If I was required to guess at which snack product would abandon the usual attempt to capture the taste of a nutritionally poor fast food product or even an offbeat American classic in favor of something that sounds like it came from a Giada De Laurentiis cookbook, then I would pick Triscuit.
More upscale than a lowly potato chip and much more inclusive than the crunchy, sometimes divisive malt flavor of the Wheat Thin, Triscuits are the kind of crackers you put out when you’ve invited your next door neighbors over. You know…the nicely dressed couple in their late 30s with 2.4 kids and a dog named Champ. Average. Moderate. Broad. Unassuming. They’re kind of just there. Except when Champ poops on your front yard.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I can admire a safe snack like that. It serves a purpose, and is something I don’t feel too bad about when going for seconds at holiday socials. This is important, because like most people, I hate talking to my annoying relatives, who tend to flock to such gatherings. But while I can admire Triscuit because they provide me a distraction when I want to be anti-social, I usually don’t go out of my way to buy them. Hard as I try, I just cannot leap for joy at cravings spawned by the taste of soft winter wheat.
However, combining brown rice, sweet potato and roasted sweet onion in and on a Triscuit? Don’t expect me to make it and upload a photo on Instagram, but even my inner fat kid can get behind a composed flavor combination of wholesome grains and vegetables like that.
Triscuit’s marketing people did a really nice job talking up how these crackers were baked with “real food,” but from the slightly orangyish hue, an almost fried-like wheat and rice structure, and a liberally coated seasoning that looked like Doritos Cooler Ranch powder, each square resembled someone’s misplaced attempt to fry a cracker rather than an actual sweet potato or red onion. Undeterred by this bastardized cracker, my initial bite was greeted by an unmistakable shattering sensation that borders somewhere between crispy and crunchy. Wherever it is on the crunch spectrum, it’s strikingly addictive, and a textural bite I’ve really only encountered at Korean fried chicken restaurants like the chain Bon Chon. Far from the usual sturdy, if not boring, crunch of a Triscuit, I was instantly hooked.
The flavoring powder is strong and slightly sweet and definitely has the red onion vibe going for it. It’s thankfully not as sharp or intense as a raw red onion, although the flavor doesn’t quite reach the mellowed, smoky-sweetness of an actual roasted red onion. Basically, someone like Scott Conant might not be “kinda angry” from eating it, but would rather be just be mildly confused. Personally, I loved it. For while the sweet onion flavor wakes up your tastebuds, a mellow, smokier and wholesome sweet potato taste permeates the backend. Think a whole grain sweet potato chip, if you’ve ever had one of those. If you haven’t, just think yummy and smile.
Through it all, there’s an almost Doritos Cooler Ranch quality to the seasoning. I can’t place my finger on it (probably because I was licking them), but there’s a slight tang that just melds everything together. Or maybe it’s just the natural reaction to licking little green herb seasoning off my fingers.
The box came with a nice little recipe idea for topping my crackers with Gouda and figs, but because I chose a career in writing and editing and don’t have that kind of straight cash money, I settled for some Walmart mozzarella and a few raisins. The cracker did just what it needed to do, contributing the sharp sweet onion flavor and meaty sweet potato back notes to the earthy sweetness of the raisins and milky taste of the cheese. Not overwhelming the topping but still holding its own, my little creation was probably the closest thing I got to an actual meal all week.
Clearly, I’m impressed. So impressed, as a matter of fact, that I’m ready to proclaim this my favorite Triscuit and right up there with some of the best crackers I’ve ever had. What Triscuit has managed to do is create a cracker with one of the greatest textural elements of chips but also the robust flavors of, well, actual food. And they’ve done it with something that’s actually pretty good for me and combines none of that actual cooking stuff. While I can foresee those with a strong aversion to onions taking a pass on these, I think most people will be pleasantly surprised by the entire Brown Rice Triscuit line.
As for pleasing your neighbors at those awkward pre-dinner conversations? Well, you’re completely on your own there.
(Nutrition Facts – 6 crackers – 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Other Roasted Sweet Onion Brown Rice Triscuit reviews:
Junk Food Guy
Item: Nabisco Roasted Sweet Onion Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato Triscuit
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 9 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Wonderful and slightly sharp sweet onion flavor balanced by subtle molasses sweetness of earthy whole grains and sweet potato backnotes. Crispy-crunchy-shattery texture like Korean fried chicken. Real food. Whole grains. Doesn’t overpower toppings but can hold its own. Has a Cooler Ranch Doritos vibe for some odd reason.
Cons: Confusing Scott Conant and the anti-onion crowd. Might be a little intense for those who like plain crackers. Not as much fiber or protein as regular Triscuit. Assistant Editors’ salaries. Divisive cracker tastes make for awkward pre-dinner conversation with the neighbors.