REVIEW: JC’s Pie Bites (Pumpkin Caramel & Caramel Apple Crumble)
A few weeks ago, a young up-and-coming food blogger who shall remain nameless reviewed a product he was not exactly fond of. That product was JC’s Pie Bites, specifically the S’mores variety. This food blogger, with absolutely zero qualifications under his belt, didn’t have very nice things to say about these truffles. The unqualified jackass swore off JC’s Pie Bites as a result. A mere few days later, he encountered the word “pumpkin” on JC’s new Pumpkin Caramel Pie Bites. He also discovered a Caramel Apple Crumble variety. He was faced with a moral dilemma that tested the integrity of his word. Pumpkin prevailed. Would JC’s Pie Bites escape from his dog house?
JC’s Pie Bites Pumpkin Caramel truffles are described as “sweet pumpkin center coated in a caramel, pumpkin and shortbread cookie crust.” They sound divine, just as the S’mores variety did. Note that the picture of the colorful crust on the package is NOTHING like the nondescript white crust. Bad start. The outside is softer than you’d expect it to be. It reminds me of stale and flavorless shortbread cookies. Texturally, the outside does nothing to enhance the experience. The pumpkin center, however, is creamier than the horribly stiff chocolate I experienced in the S’mores bites. Yet it’s still too rigid for me to classify accurately as a truffle. The inside is only vaguely pumpkin, and looks an awful lot like the “Macaroni and Cheese” Crayola crayon. I would rather be eating macaroni & cheese truffles than these right now. The caramel component is not present whatsoever. The white chocolate, to its credit, is a marked improvement over the milk chocolate used in the S’mores variety. But I am mostly tasting white chocolate and vanilla. These need to be sweeter to intensify and improve the artificial pumpkin center. They’re passable as candy, but not as a truffle. These are a hurricane of disappointment.
Forgot to Use Caramel Rating: 9 out of 10
Velveeta Macaroni & Cheese Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Next up are JC’s Pie Bites Caramel Apple Crumble truffles. Surely, this is JC’s last chance for me. These truffles are described as “decadent caramel apple center coated in a caramel, cinnamon apple, and oatmeal cookie crust.” Let’s not blindly toss around the word “decadent.” These use the same white chocolate as the Pumpkin Caramel truffles, and that was the right move. The leading flavors complementing the white chocolate are apple, cinnamon, and vanilla. I’m most impressed with how robust and authentic the spiced apple flavoring is. The flavor is complex. I actually find myself enjoying these, although my reference point was pretty poor given my other experiences with JC’s. Once again, I find myself begging for some caramel because I was promised it. They’re tasty without it, but I’m extremely critical of products that claim to be something they’re not. If you were to call these “Cinnamon Apple Candy Blobs” instead of “Caramel Apple Crumble truffles,” I would gladly give these a higher rating. But JC’s appears to consistently talk a big game about their products, then missteps on their execution. Because they nailed the apple flavoring and seem to fully embrace the whimsical flavors we appreciate at Junk Banter, I will soften my stance on JC’s to some degree. But perhaps I would soften it more if they would soften their truffles.
“Fool Me Once, Shame On You” Rating: 10 out of 10
“Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me” Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10