REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs

Pepperidge Farm Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs

I won a goldfish from the fair when I was ten. I was so excited holding him in his bag on the drive home. Oh the fun we were gonna have… Then, I realized all he did was swim in circles. About a month later I had to flush him down the toilet. That was basically the same experience as buying and eating Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs.

The instant you tear open the bag, you’re met with no smell. Seriously, there is barely a hint of a scent from these things. I’ve never had a cheese based snack that didn’t have a distinct aroma. These smell like cardboard.

The lack of smell didn’t bother me at first because artificially flavored cheese isn’t exactly my favorite cologne, but then I tasted them and, yeah, we’re just dealing with a bland product here.

The flavor itself reminded me of Wise Cheez Doodles, only with much less flavor. These are the cheese puff equivalent of Fruit Stripe gum. The instant you get hit with the cheese flavor, you lose it. The only other sensation I got was a “corny” aftertaste. Not “corny” like my writing, but “corny” like “I just ate corn.”   

I’ll tell you one flavor I never thought of once while eating these – grilled cheese.   There’s really nothing “grilled cheese” about them. I kinda figured you’d get a nice buttery element with the cheese, but nope. Nada. 

They could have tagged this with any description they wanted and it would have been on par with “Twisted Grilled Cheese.” That name is strictly a marketing ploy. I was really hoping they would have been more in line with the Flavor Blasted Cheddar Goldfish crackers, but alas, they were just weak cheese doodles.

Pepperidge Farm Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs 2

You’re probably wondering where the “twist” comes in. So am I. Each puff has little green sprinkles on them, which I assume are pepper flakes, because there is a small heat element. Very small. This of course is backed up by the fact that neither “pepper” nor anything really relating to “pepper” is listed in the ingredients. So…either way, the heat lingers on your tongue longer than the actual cheese flavor.

It’s not all bad though. The texture is the saving grace – on a scale from “fresh puffed Cheeto” to “stale Cap’n Crunch cereal piece,” it definitely lands closer to the former.  There is a nice light crisp to each bite, but in time, I could feel them shredding the roof of my mouth.

And ya know why? Because I’m still eating them as I type. Here I am, talking about how boring these Goldfish are, yet they’re going down like water…which is ironic because I think Pepperidge Farm’s main reason for shaping their crackers like fish was due to the fact they pair so well with water. I’ve never eaten any variety of Goldfish without chugging a bottle of H2O due to excessive salt dehydration. These are certainly no different. Salt city.

Pepperidge Farm Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs 3

Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs are probably the worst Goldfish product I’ve ever had. Not to go all superficial on you guys, but they aren’t even as cute as regular goldfish. They’re fatter and more squished in appearance. There’s a certain sadness hidden behind each of those smiles. Although to be fair to Twisted Grilled Cheese, the original Cheddar sets an unrealistic standard for Goldfish alike. Real Goldfish have curves.

So, in conclusion, are these better than most puffed cheese snacks? No. Are they better than regular cheddar Goldfish crackers? Not even close.

There are so many cheesy alternatives in the supermarket, there’s almost no reason to buy these unless you are a Goldfish completist. Still, I can’t give them a super low score because of their inherent eatability – which I’m being told is not a word. Tomato, tuh-ma-toe.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.1 oz – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Twisted Grilled Cheese Goldfish Puffs
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 6 oz. bag
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Light and crisp. Addicting. Snack smiles back. Catchy advertising jingles of yore.
Cons: Bland. Salty. Mouth roof rippers. False grilled cheese advertising. Weakest twist since M. Night’s most recent flick.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish Crackers

Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish

Look, I know.

I know I shouldn’t have tried to pogo through Times Square. Or put the Tootsie Roll in the Easy Bake Oven. Or tried to build a tent in gale force winds in the middle of the Mexico desert. I do ridiculous things sometimes because I’m curious if they can be done. Somebody should stop me.

But nobody did. Not when I was walking to the grocery. Not at the back of aisle 3. Not the guy hacking up sirloin at the meat counter. So, unhindered by human or meat cleaver, I dive in to Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish Crackers, one-by-one.

Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish 4

Starting simple, the cheddar is familiar and orange as the hunk of cheese from whence it came. It’s wonderful in that nutty, salty, and savory way. It’s perhaps a bit too safe, but it’s also nice to be reminded that there’s a reason these have been bobbing about since 1962.

I’m surprised and disappointed to find the ketchup tastes much similar to the cheddar cracker, but with a very, very, very, very minuscule hint of canned tomato paste. Some may say the tomato isn’t there at all, but, if you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can taste a tomato-y afterthought at the end. Those looking for the sweet tang of ketchup shall be sad in this tomato effort, but the sprinklies of salt coating each fish help things along. It’s not a bad fishy, but not noticeably different enough from the cheddar to declare its taste as unique.

Now, on to the most curious beast: the burger cracker.

No skipping around the tulips: it’s pretty good. No hints of metal, artificial smoke, or burnt-charcoal. There’s a salty, savory, roasted-portabella edge with a hint of caramelized onion bits found at the bottom of the pan. Sure, it may not be the medium-rare hunk of cow I look for, but it holds its own, and, in that capacity, it goes excellently with the cheddar. The two eaten together may encourage you to shovel up every last crumb of the bag as if you were raised by wolves. Do not be ashamed of being raised by wolves: scoop those crackers down, you wolf-human.

Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish 3

Maybe it’s the smell of charcoal in the air, but I think I like these. I really do. They’re not spectacular, even a little too safe, but they’re also not putrid.

They’re savory, nutty, cheesy and easy to chomp. It would be exciting to see Pepperidge Farm go further with the idea of the burger: give me some jalapeño, Colby, and mustard-coated Goldfish. Bacon and bleu. Give me all the pickle-flavored fishies you can muster. I shall eat them. Eat them all. If I’m going off the deep end, so be it.

But maybe you will join me? Here? In the deep end? It’s nice. And way fun. And has lots of crackers.

(Nutrition Facts – 56 pieces – 140 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish Crackers
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 6.3 oz. bag
Purchased at: Morton Williams
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nutty. Savory. Burger cracker not gross. Cheddar remains unchanged. Brown bits of caramelized onions. Salt sprinklies. Benefits of being raised by wolves. Pogo sticks.
Cons: Ketchup tastes like cheddar. Absence of tang. Can’t order medium rare. No pickles? Trying to set up a tent in gale force winds.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Bacon Goldfish Puffs

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Puffs Cheddar Bacon

It’s wiffle ball season!

That’s right, world, it’s that glorious time of year when the few, the proud, the scrappy bust out their perforated plastic golf balls and toss up curves for this 1953 riff on baseball, but before you grab your yellow plastic stick and funky white ball, you’ll need to make sure you have a snack to keep you sharp. Something crunchy. Something easy to transport. Something made with smiles and whole grains.

Well, alongside the 15 billion other curious ingredients, Pepperidge Farm seems to have hit the nail on the head, and, knowing that there’s nothing like and a little fake cheese dust to perfect your wiffle curve, they have brought forth their new Goldfish Puffs, here represented in cheddar bacon form.

These little fishies are a specimen of the cheesy poof in a shape reminiscent of Pac-Man if he had a fin, a quality that, had it been on the real Pac-Man, probably would have helped him get away from those ghosts a little easier. The fin also serves as a great handle to carry each poof as you pop it into your mouth.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Puffs Cheddar Bacon Goldfish Puff is Pac-Man

And are these ever easy to chomp. They don’t quite hold the Styrofoam-peanut texture of classic cheese puffs, nor do they sustain the crunchy-nibby sensation of Crunchy Cheetos, but settle somewhere in between: puffy, but still slightly dense with a crunch that it makes me wonder if these were a cracker sent through Mr. Poofinator [the name of the robotic Cheezy Poof maker].

As with all cheesy poof varietals, it is the cheese dust that ultimately makes or breaks the game, and, boy howdy, is there plenty of that dust here. Opening the bag sends a gust smoky, cheddar-filled powder into the air. You may fear this will eliminate said dust from your eating experience, but fear not! There is plenty of this fine grain to go around, spreading kindly to your fingers during the eating experience so that you may consume it after your poofs have been devoured.

Speaking of devouring, the flavor of these poofs starts out with a sharp cheddar tang, highlighting the nutty/beefy aspects of cheddar. Unlike the original Goldfish cheddar crackers, this cheddar bites back. What’s curious is that, unlike Cheetos, which leaves its poofs in an unflavored cornmeal state, the interior cornmeal of the Goldfish poof is enhanced with cheddar, giving each fish extra cheddar oomph. I dare say it hinges on too much cheddar, but, if I had a craving for a sharp cheddar blast, I might dive for these. What follows after this cheddar barrage is the “bacon” flavor.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Puffs Cheddar Bacon Escape

I often subscribe to the School of Everything’s Better with Bacon, but, let’s face it: bacon can be an assertive flavor and, if not treated with care, will stomp all over your sandwich, maple-glazed doughnut, or, in this case, cheese puff. Here, the bacon flavor translates to smoke, char, and that jar of artificial bacon bits you’ve been ignoring in your refrigerator for the past seven years.

According to the puff’s rather extraordinary list of ingredients, I’m guessing the culprit to be the “bacon flavored lard,” although it may also be the ferrous sulfate. Now, I could support bacon-flavored lard if it supported the cheddar flavor, but, when it overpowers with a flavor reminiscent of Oscar-Mayer-gone-awry, it’s doing a disservice to an otherwise pretty tasty snack.

Despite the taste flaws, there’s something to be said for a product that’s ambitious: a product that gives a new shape/flavor on an otherwise old timey favorite. These cheddar bacon puffs? Definitely ambitious. They’re made with whole grains, they come in the shape of smiling fishies, and the cheddar flavor is muy fuerte.

Sure, the bacon flavor may not be doing them a service, but I could foresee liking the regular cheddar puff variety if I had a hankerin’ for sharp cheddar. They could use tweaking on the flavor edge, but they’re a bold product. Props for that, Pepperidge Farm.

(Nutrition Facts – 41 pieces – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Puffs reviews:
Junk Food Guy (Buffalo Wing)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Bacon Goldfish Puffs
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Ambitious. Loads of cheese dust. Sharp cheddar everywhere. Cheddar-enhanced poof. Crunchy-poofy texture. In the shape of happy fishies. Made with whole grains. Mr. Poofinator. Wiffle ball season!
Cons: Bacon flavor reminiscent of char and 7-year-old bacon bits. Sharp cheddar gets overwhelming. Realizing cheese dust has similar effect as pollen. Questionable origins of “Bacon-flavored lard.”

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & CreamThere was a time in American history in which tyranny and mayhem ran rampant. A time in which deception and little known, yet long-lasting, wars raged.

Yes, dear readers, there was a time when Pepperidge Farm did not exist.

It was during this time that children acted like princes and ruthless animal crackers trampled the land, stampeding under sofa cushions. It was a time of lawlessness, indeed. Some say residents were forced to flee from their homes, holding tight to their boxes of graham crackers, crumbs flinging willy-nilly as they fled from snack thieves.

The consumers that remained scoured Aisle 9, looking for the one snack that could satisfy an empty pocket of the soul. A pocket that could only be filled by a fish-shaped cracker. And thus, the Goldfish was born.

Since then, the snack battles have subsided as the Goldfish has brought joy in the form of an unassuming, aquatic-inspired treat, and it is in the spirit of this great joy that I grabbed this new Cookies & Cream Graham incarnation of the “snack that smiles back.”

Undoubtedly, Goldfish hold a steady place in the world of American snack history, yet with great familiarity comes great responsibility. Coming from one who has experienced the full line of Goldfish, how do these Cookies and Cream grahams stack up to their ancestors?

Let’s rip open this bag and find out:

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream 2

These are of the standard goldfish-cracker size and it looks like they put both chocolate and vanilla cookies in the mix, both of which are fairly equally distributed through the bag.

And no doubt these fishies are jolly little crackers. I mean, just look at that smile.

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream 1

What a happy-dappy little freshwater fish. Happiness is contagious and these little buggers spread it. Happiness alone earns these a full point before I even taste.

And now, to dig in to the goods.

(Complete, unrestrained Goldfish consumption ensues.)

Yum.

In terms of texture, these grahams offer a unique riff off their cheddar cracker cousins. Unlike the crisp features inherent in a Goldfish cracker, the Goldfish graham is an undertaking that highlights the crunchy benefits of density, with the chocolate being slightly more compact than its vanilla counterpart. The chocolate is also the stronger of the two flavors, strutting in with a solid merit of dark chocolate, while the vanilla adds a subtle contrast. If this were an orchestra, the chocolate bangs the bass drum while the vanilla comes in like a violin, softening the chocolate with a hint of shortbread.

Now, it must be noted that one very important element is missing here in the Cookies & Cream Goldfish: cream. Where would this cream be on such a small cookie? I do not know. Perhaps in the center of the graham? Perhaps in the form of a mini cream-filled sandwich? I can’t say for sure, but it seems to have gone astray in the process of research and development and I mourn its absence.

Of course, I could say the vanilla is meant to highlight a “cream,” quality as it adds a lighter, daintier flavor, yet it does not provide the texture contrast that I had so hoped for. Perhaps these are not so much suited “Cookies and Cream” as they are “Chocolate and Vanilla.” Nothing bad about that. Simply different than one might have anticipated.

A peculiar sugar sprinkle seems to reside on the outside of each maritime morsel. After three tastings, I have yet to discover this coating’s function in the realm of taste, although it does add a certain sparkle, which leads me to believe it was intended to help support Goldfish expression. I imagine that, being an inanimate cracker, Goldfish have a difficult time finding opportunities to express themselves. I am pleased to find Pepperidge Farm is taking this into account by equipping Goldfish with a fashion-forward glimmer on their outer graham.

I’m also relieved to find that this thin canopy of glammed-up sparkly coating won’t send me bouncity-bouncing down the highway in a crazed sugar rush. These have only 9 grams of sugar and oodles of whole grain per serving. Oh, did I mention there are 35 graham fishies in one serving? That’s a solid handful (two handfuls for the humans with small hands).

Even without the cream, these are good little grahams. They celebrate diversity within the Goldfish culture and are easily munchable, although, if eaten in rapid abundance, the chocolate can be a bit aggressive on the taste buds (and this is coming from a chocolate fiend).

If you’re brave (and I know you are…), you might consider mixing these with cheddar and pretzel goldfish. It will be a bit of sweet-and-salty fish-shaped magic that goes well with ice cream and provides hours of creative nourishment.

These Goldfish hearken back to a simpler time. A time in which one could sit at a table and color for hours while wearing a wonky crown built of paper maché and drinking from a juice box with a bendy straw, and, like the memory of a fond love affair, these hints of the past always highlight the good. The happy times. The thing that, despite all the goofs and flaws and fumbles, brings you back and begging for more. Will these Cookies and Cream Goldfish, with their vanilla-chocolate-happy crunch, send me back for another bag? I’m not sure, but I do believe they’re good enough to try, offering a simple, modest snack for the quiet child in all of us.

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream Collage

(Warning: opening Goldfish bag may inspire spontaneous desire to craft.)

(Nutrition Facts – 35 pieces – 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, Less than 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream
Purchased Price: $1.89 (on sale)
Size: 6.6 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Variety. Crunch. Vanilla like a violin. Fashion-forward. Spontaneous whims to craft. Whole grain. Pairing with ice cream. Equal distribution of vanilla and chocolate. Coloring books. Drinking juice with a bendy straw.
Cons: Absence of cream. Tyrannical chocolate Goldfish. Sugary coating without a taste. Life before Pepperidge Farm. Being trampled by an animal cracker.

NEWS: Goldfish Sandwich Bread Totally Freaks Me Out

365.163 - Smile!

Why do Goldfish crackers smile?

I’ve always wondered this because their smiles freaks me out as much as clowns do.

They have no reason to smile, because I’m going to crush their fragile cracker bodies with my teeth, then let their mangled, saliva soaked bodies travel through my digestive system, and then I’m going to poop them out of my body. How can a Goldfish smile knowing that fate?

So if tiny smiling Goldfish crackers freak me out, I believe I’ll have nightmares forever if I come face to face with the new Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Sandwich Bread. Yes, bread shaped like smiling Goldfish crackers.

They’ve been available for several weeks and come in packs of eight in either white or whole wheat. The freaky crust-free bread has 120 calories, 3 gram of fiber, and 18 grams of whole grains per serving. They also don’t contain high fructose corn syrup. Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Sandwich Bread has a suggested retail price of $3.49.

Source: Crown Combo