Kiersten Hickman/Taste of Home
If you haven’t heard yet, M&M’s is testing three new crunchy flavors. But instead of voting in-house, they are asking the public to decide which flavor should officially hit the shelves for 18 months. From now until May 25, you can pick up Crunchy Raspberry, Crunchy Mint, and Crunchy Espresso and taste test yourself.
When I first heard which three flavors were being tested, I felt torn three ways. Anything with raspberry, mint, and coffee are my typical go-to ice cream orders. How was I going to possibly pick just one to vote for? So before I gave the three flavors a try, I decided to chat with the person who made them up in the first place.
The Science Behind the Flavors
At an M&M launch party held in New York City, I was able to chat with Danielle Dossantos who is the product development scientist behind the flavors. She said after working through hundreds of different flavors (which even included Chocolate-Covered Potato Chip), they ultimately wanted to choose flavors they knew would work mixed with chocolate. Having these flavors be “crunchy” actually had to do with the science behind making them.
“[The crunchiness] actually is playing on the texture of the center,” said Dossantos. “So in the mint and espresso it has a coco crunchy center, which really adds to the flavor. So when you’re getting the crunchy texture you’re getting out the espresso flavor and the mint flavor. It also makes eating them fun. The texture really makes sense with all the flavors, as a crunchy element.”
After hearing more from Dossantos and her passion for creating these three flavors, it was time to finally taste them myself.
Kiersten Hickman/Taste of Home
Since I’m a huge fan of mixing raspberry and chocolate, I came to the bag of Crunchy Raspberry M&M’s with high expectations. At first, I was delighted by the flavor. It reminded me of the raspberry mocha lattes I used to order heading to a night class in college. But after a few more bites, my original thrill started to fade. It sort of tasted like a raspberry tart to me (kind of like these Raspberry Sugar Cream Tarts). Although they’re delicious, they just aren’t exactly my cup of tea. But that certainly didn’t stop me from eating the whole bag.
My summer go-to ice cream cone is a mint chocolate chip (if it’s mint Oreo, even better), so I also had some pretty high expectations trying the Crunchy Mint. My immediate reaction was how it tasted like a delicious Thin Mint Girl’s Scout cookie (or these Fudgy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies). The crunchy chocolate has that same consistency, and I was surprised how powerful the mint flavoring is just from one simple bite. It honestly left me feeling like I brushed my teeth (even though I was eating chocolate) and had me pouring them into my mouth by the fistful.
Mint was certainly delicious, but in my personal opinion, nothing could compare to the incredibly delicious Crunchy Espresso. I am a coffee lover to my core. Typically when it comes to coffee flavored treats, I’m skeptical. Flavoring something with coffee is a true art and I find most coffee-flavored items to be underwhelming. But the Crunchy Espresso came to my rescue. It reminded me of mud pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen during those humid summer days. The espresso flavor is subtle and mixes perfectly with the chocolate, which usually isn’t the case with coffee-flavored food items. Needless to say, the bag was consumed faster than my usual morning cup of joe.
The Flavor I Voted For
When the evening finally came to a close, I was whisked over to a set of tablets where I was asked to vote for the winning Crunchy M&M flavor. Although all three are delicious, I do admit that I voted for the Crunchy Espresso. It brought back nostalgic moments of late summer nights eating ice cream, sitting in the bed of my used pickup truck that I parked at the beach, looking up at a starry night sky. Those other flavors didn’t really stand a chance with a nostalgic memory like that.
However, if Crunchy Raspberry or Crunchy Mint end up winning, I certainly won’t be disappointed.