When I stumbled upon the newest addition to Keebler’s Wheatables line, my first thought was “Finally! Someone has tapped into the sorely neglected yet obviously lucrative grey squirrel market!” I’m serious. My brain operates in strange and fascinating ways. I am afraid of word association exercises and what horrors they might reveal about my psyche.
The Toasted Pecan Nut Crisps were strategically placed on the top row of shelves in the snack aisle. That’s a horrible position for attracting the bulk of the snacking population, but it’s prime squirrel territory, provided my local grocery store starts accepting tree-dwelling rodents as valid customers.
Keebler’s foray into the nut-gatherer segment of the population actually makes sense when you think about it. Of course the tree-dwelling elf company would be among the first to respond to the outcry of squirrels frustrated and bored with the usual range of stale mixed nuts offered up by their overly gregarious, primarily elderly suppliers. I think we can all agree that no self-respecting modern urban squirrel actually goes out foraging among the trees anymore.
Back at my alma mater we had squirrels on the main quad that survived solely on McDonald’s scraps and the adoration of the student body. It was damn near impossible to enjoy a Nature Valley bar in the shade of majestic maple tree on a warm spring day without the little guys circling like vultures, ever tighter, ever closer, chattering expectantly. San Diego’s omni-sunny, seasonless climate makes things all the worse by eliminating the need to hibernate and stockpile. It was only a matter of time before our local rodent friends evolved from hunter-gathering to lounging in little eucalyptus hammocks, munching on acorn-blasted goldfish and googling all sorts of disturbing variations of the phrase “huge savory nuts”.
At first whiff, the crisps smell like Honey Bunches of Oats with a twinge of maple syrup. Each one is rife with pecan flecks and salt crystals. I’m left with a fine nutty/salty dust coating my fingertips, making this a decent option for all those grading their snacks on the Doritos scale of puzzling powder-based messiness.
The flavor is buttery, with prominent pecan, and just a hint of salt. Think pecan French toast, only crispier, like a standard, non-amazing Wheatable. This threw my best friend into a state of existential confusion. She very much likes to categorize, organize, and keep things neat. The nut crisps shattered that careful order in just one bite.
They aren’t really crackers – too sweet. Their hexagonal shape disqualifies them from any special animal cracker exemptions. They certainly wouldn’t qualify as a cookie either, as they’re too flat and crispy. They’re far too nutritionally deficient to pass as breakfast in any but the most desperate of circumstances, yet every fabric of their being practically screams “GOOD MORNING!” from the moment one opens the box. Even the good elves of Keebler seem unable to decide what to make of this monster. The box tentatively labels them as crackers in tiny print below the giant “nut crisps” banner. So they’re crisp cracker snacks? I guess?
If you’re able to get past that philosophical quandary and dive into a box with no regard for labeling, the Nut Crisps are quite delicious and addictive snackâ€¦ thingies. They apparently also come in almond, but as a former Midwesterner looking to regain some of the street cred I lost in the Popeye’s fiasco, I only bothered to hunt down the buttery goodness of pecans.
(Nutrition Facts – 16 crackers – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% calcium, 0% vitamin C, and 6% iron.)
Item: Keebler Wheatables Toasted Pecan Nut Crisps
Size: 8.5 ounces
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Addresses the plight of bored urban squirrels. Tastes like honey bunches of hexagons. Peh-cahns. Good random snack. The Doritos powdery coating scale. Brimming with sunshine and cheeriness.
Cons: Suffers from an identity crisis. Possibly promotes squirrel obesity. Pecan dust never goes away. Makes a very sad stand alone breakfast and an even sadder lunch. Pee-cans. Failing a word association test. Stale mixed nuts.