Product: 2015 F’real Milkshakes and Smoothies
Manufacturer Stated Serving Size: 16oz
Flavors Tested: Blueberry Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry, Chocolate Malt
Reviewer: 6’ 165 lbs, reckless driving style
Locations Tested: Gas Stations in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, California and Washington
Days Tested: 15
Several years ago, Blister’s editor-in-chief kicked off the “Random Review” Series with his in-depth look at the Salsitas Spicy Salsa Chips.
Inspired by his analysis (and the idea of built-in guacamole), I am here to present my own gas station favorite.
I’m bad at driving and I don’t like doing it. But I do like skiing, and try to do that as much as possible. As a result, I end up sleeping in my car a decent amount, and I also spend an above-average amount of time in gas stations.
Fortunately, I still have the digestive system of a 21 year old male, since (unfortunately) I also have the eating habits of a 21 year old male.
But I don’t usually mind my diet of sour gummy worms, various Hostess pies (“Vs.” review coming soon if I can get it approved), gas station hot dogs, and the occasional slice of long-expired pizza.
But sometimes, I get a hankering for fruit.
It’s probably the same biological need for fruit that’s felt by pirates who are about to succumb to scurvy. This need cannot be sated with candy, no matter how “Sour apple-flavored with real fruit juice!” that candy may be.
Of course, in the high cholesterol, environment of your average gas station, fresh fruit is not often available. (I’m not at all willing to count the depressing looking apples or bananas sitting in the plastic bowl by the cash register with the sign, “Fresh”.)
That’s when I discovered F’real.
They claim to be “The folks who proudly bring you the BEST TASTING milkshakes, smoothies and frozen cappuccinos blended by YOU in our magical milkshake machine.”
They also claim to use “Real Ingredients” and “Fresh Blending.”
I was intrigued. The abundant use of ALL CAPS made me ready to believe that F’real could offer the solution I was looking for.
In their marketing copy F’real claims that their milkshake machine is “Magical.” This may be the first time I have ever 100% agreed with a manufacturer’s description.
The image below gives some idea of the typical F’real setup:
As you can see, the customer is greeted by an array of choices that are tastefully displayed in the F’real F’reezer. While it can be hard to choose a flavor, I’ve outlined a few of my favorite choices below.
Once you’ve made your decision, simply peel back the foil lid from your cup, and place its slotted base in the machined pedestal. Then choose your desired thickness (I usually go with “medium”) and press the Start button. The cup then ascends up into the machine, and your frozen treat will be ground into your preferred texture.
I have no idea what actually happens up there, but I assume there’s some kind of industrial-strength, multi blade grinder with some sort of laser heating. I would not recommend sticking your arm up into the F’real machine unless you want a nickname like “One Hand Ryan” or “Stumpy Steve.”
However, this machine is not merely a milkshake grinder. No, this is America! So this machine is also a personal marketer—you can watch ads for upcoming movies on its built-in screen as it prepares your snack.
Once it’s done whipping up your smoothie to the desired thickness, the magnificent machine then lowers your cup back down, and the screen prompts you to remove your shake.
This process is indeed magical, and in my opinion, nearly perfect. Though if there were flames shooting out the top of the machine, that would be cool too.
NEXT: Flavors, Comparisons, Etc.