Target has finally started rolling out all of their seasonal Halloween merchandise, after an unusually long September delay, and I'm happy to report that it's looking pretty great so far even though they still don't have everything on shelves just yet. Their playful new "Fright Done Right" theme by artist Christopher Lee is definitely something any Halloween fan will appreciate. I particularly love the cardboard store displays depicting a skeleton gorging on candy; especially since you can see all of said treats resting in what used to be his stomach. He even ate a skeleton key for some unknown reason. I guess that's one major problem with being a skeleton; your hunger can never be satiated.
I've already purchased a bunch of goodies, but today I figured it would be nice to give some attention to a Halloween treat that I could easily see people overlooking since it's not nearly as flashy as some of the other products at Target this season:
Market Pantry Pumpkin Shaped Cheesy Potato Puffs. Alright, so it's far from the greatest name for a product. It's kinda like when you see a restaurant in a strip mall called "Chinese Food", and you can't help but wonder why the hell they couldn't spend five minutes to come up with a catchier name. Now despite looking like a generic brand product, these pumpkin puffs are still worthy of your full attention this season. First off, one cannot overlook the fact that this company went out of their way to actually make their cheesy puffs shaped like pumpkins. The incredible Cheetos Monster Mummy Bucket I reviewed last week had many merits, but even the Frito-Lay company didn't go so far as to give their snack a festive new shape, so we need to give credit where credit is due.
They also have spiders crawling all over the pumpkin snacks on the front of the package, and while I knew it was too much to ask that they'd actually include a few toy spiders in the bag, a little part of me was still disappointed not to find any in there. Maybe I'll buy a few plastic spiders of my own and toss 'em in. The package even has a nice little "Limited Time Only" jack-o-lantern on the front. Sure, it's not much, but I still appreciate it.
You know you love it.
While the packaging is pretty tame, I do like that they're encouraging you to watch some horror movies while snacking on these puffs. But the real eye-catcher here was in the ingredients. Pumpkin Pellets??? I always thought the only edibles featuring "pellets" was the hermit crab food you buy at pet shops 'n what not. All I know is that as soon as I saw that as the first ingredient, these potato puffs went from a "Maybe I'll buy these" to a "If I don't buy these, the Great Pumpkin should come murder me in my sleep for dishonoring one of his great creations!" Seriously, I don't know who could pass up the opportunity to eat something made primarily of pumpkin pellets.
Sure enough, the pumpkin shapes are the real deal. How they achieved this feat is a question best reserved for the witches who are most assuredly employed at Target's Market Pantry division. They're completely hollow in the inside and you can even wear them on your fingers as makeshift cheesy pumpkin rings - something I can easily see just about any kid doing naturally anyway. What surprised me most about these was the flavor. I was expecting them to taste just like Cheetos, and while they do pack a very enjoyable crunch, they actually taste a lot like Pringles! No, this is not a bad thing at all. These cheesy potato puffs are basically pumpkin-shaped, cheddar-flavored Pringles, and I'm officially a fan.
So yeah, if you're looking for a different, non-candy Halloween treat to munch on this season, or you simply want to pretend you're Jesse Pinkman and shout at the moon, "I JUST ATE PUMPKIN PELLETS, BITCH!", I'd suggest you seriously consider giving these a try.
Oh and one last thing before I go:
In case you didn't know, the deadline for the Halloween Hot Sauce contest I'm holding ends this Sunday, September 22nd, so be sure to have your entries turned in by then. It's a super easy contest to enter and it should be fun for everybody, because entries are not judged on the quality of art. Plus, I'll be putting up ALL of them in an online gallery just like I did with our Halloween toothpaste art contest last year. So yeah, click here for details on how to enter to win one hell of an awesome hand-made bottle of Bat Blood hot sauce and get crackin' on your masterpieces if you haven't already. Looking forward to seeing all of your tongue-terrorizing entries!
ColdFusion (Guest) on 09/17/2013 12:56 pm
Those potato puffs look DELICIOUS
dagnabbit I hope I see that in grocery stores because I don't have time to get to fun stores like target..
Laura (Guest) on 09/17/2013 1:39 pm
Maybe it will be worth the half day trek uphill in the snow to get to a Target store.
PreApocalyptica on 09/17/2013 3:00 pm
Now, is Christopher Lee actually the dude's coincidentally fitting name, or just an alias?
-RoG- on 09/19/2013 12:37 pm
Laura - Definitely worth it you ask me.
PreApocalyptica - Nope, that's his real name. Here's his web site.
choconado (Guest) on 09/19/2013 8:49 pm
A week and a half ago I went to my target to try for the retro monster cereals (a success, btw) and ended up while there finding amidst their still barely started seasonal shelving a pumpkin flavor of their Market Pantry version of Nutri-Grain bars. They're quite tasty, with the normal fruity consistency those types of bars always have, as opposed to my expectation of a pumpkin pie style mush inside, and they top the bars with strips of frosting ala coffee cakes, which is not on their other flavors. Recommended.
sewnupsmile on 09/20/2013 9:45 am
Nice...I like the Jason mask as the presentation plate for the cheesy pumpkin puffs. -RoG- Will you be using the same for your Halloween Candies of 2013???
-RoG- on 09/20/2013 11:33 am
choconado - Sounds pretty good, I'll keep an eye out for 'em. Thanks for the tip!
sewnupsmile - Heheh thanks. I doubt I'll use the mask for all the candies though. It was hard just getting the pumpkins to stay in place on it, so trying to do that with tiny candies would be a pain. I'll probably stick with the classic presentation plate I've always used for my big Halloween candy review article.
Lord Tony on 09/23/2013 8:31 pm
I want that hot sauce.
darkvare on 09/26/2013 4:20 pm
the skull looks like something the guacamelee artists drew also that skeleton took his iron by eating keys lol
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