REVIEW: Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps Buttery Flavor

Ritz crackers. If you live in most of the Anglosphere, you’ve probably eaten them before. To me, Ritz crackers are ubiquitous; they’ve just always been around, like Cheerios. You know what they taste like, but you don’t really give a crap either way. You open the cupboard one day, see a box of Ritz and think, “Huh…I don’t remember buying those.” Then you grab the 8-pack of Entemann’s chocolate donuts sitting next to the crackers and head for the couch to stuff your face while you watch the Deadliest Catch marathon that you’ve already seen twice…in the past month.

Oh sure, you’ll crack the box of Ritz eventually, as you hover over a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup, with snot running down your face, wishing for death and hoping that you can keep down a few crackers long enough to take your seventh hellish dump of the morning without having to bring an old Tupperware with you, just in case your body decides it wants to expel both your virus-laden bodily fluids at the same time.

By the way, that’s the standard scenario I use to define what I would call a “bad day.”

Six months later, you’ll be cleaning out the pantry, notice the Ritz have long since expired and toss the remainder of the box in the trash. Poor Ritz. Possibly the most disregarded cracker in existence, hovering just above the humble saltine.

Somewhere along the line, Ritz decided it was time to expand their empire and get people excited about the Ritz brand name. Okay, well, maybe not excited. Mildly interested, let’s say. They went wild, launching new lines of crisps, miniatures, and recently, “Crackerfuls.”

The latest addition to this growing family is the Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps. Here’s how Ritz’s official website describes them: “What happens when you hide a bite-sized, buttery tasting Ritz cracker inside a salty, crunchy pretzel? You get Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps, a scrumptiously satisfying snack you just pop in your mouth.”

What the fuck, Ritz? Have you gone crazy?

It’s like Ritz has hired Dr. Frankenstein to come up with their new products, because there’s no other explanation for it. Who else would think of putting a Ritz cracker inside a pretzel? It’s madness, pure madness.

Madness aside, it’s actually already been done, in a sense, by Keebler. A few years back, they introduced Town House FlipSides, which are a cracker on one side and a pretzel on the other. I thought it was ridiculous then, and I still think so. I guess Nabisco wanted to step it up by having the pretzel actually swallow the cracker. I don’t like where this particular competition is headed.

Pretzel Crisps currently come in two flavors, Buttery Flavor and Cheesy Sour Cream & Onion. I was drawn to the latter, of course, because the more flavors you pack into one snack product, the more intrigued I am. However, I figured Buttery Flavor would give me a better idea of what a regular Ritz cracker tastes like…inside a pretzel. That doesn’t get any less weird, no matter how many times I type it.

You know what also was a little weird? The image on the back of the box. There’s guy shoving a basketball into his crotch with another white guy and a black dude who all look like they’re having a brodown over a local sports team’s basket, goal, touchdown, or whatever. But it also looks like they just watched the revealing of some dumpy chick’s “new look” on TLC’s What Not to Wear. Seriously, I’ve never seen a “candid shot of guys celebrating something out of frame” manage to look so completely emasculated. Adding a basketball doesn’t make it any more manly when it looks like the guy is using it to hide the boner he’s getting from holding hands with his friend that he’s secretly had a crush on for years.

I didn’t have any preconceptions on how the crisps would taste going into this. I guess my mind couldn’t even come up with what a Ritz cracker pretzel would be like. I think my thought was basically, “Danger! Warning! Bad!”

The Ritz Munchables do look like little Ritz mutants, with their signature round shape and pattern of holes, but smaller, thinner and less heavy than regular Ritz. The outside is darker, more indicative of a pretzel, and it’s also smoother. As you can see from the one I broke in half, there’s no scary surprise inside. It looks just like a regular ol’ pretzel chip.

And, while I don’t think I’ve ever had a pretzel chip, I’d imagine these Munchables are pretty much what they taste like. Crunchier but less crumbly than Ritz crackers, with a mild pretzel-flavored finish. I can’t really detect any of Ritz’s traditional texture here, but I think what makes it believable as a cracker/pretzel hybrid is the presence of Ritz’s signature buttery flavor. It’s not as noticeable as in a regular Ritz, but it’s enough to turn it from a bland pretzel snack into a slightly buttery-tasting bland pretzel snack.

I think if I’d purchased the Cheesy Sour Cream & Onion flavor instead of Buttery Flavor, all resemblance to a Ritz cracker probably would go right out the window. It’s only the butter taste that makes it seem like a pretzel/Ritz hybrid. Personally, I require my pretzels to either be pre-flavored or dipped in something tasty. The butter taste just can’t save these Munchables from being Blandsville to me. I can imagine enjoying them with a nice, heavily-processed nacho cheese sauce, but they’re too small to dip into anything without getting dip all over your fingers.

Also, have a tall glass of water handy, because the Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps Buttery Flavor will suck your mouth dry, just like eating a handful of plain pretzels. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t eat these as a regular snack, but if I found myself hovering over a bowl of tomato soup, feeling miserable, these would be a good “try to get some solid foods into you” option. But then, so would saltines, and I don’t think they’re ever going to win any “Flavor of the Year” awards.

The Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps Buttery Flavor – a great choice if you’re having a “bad day.”

(Nutrition Facts – 15 pieces/29 grams – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 340 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, 2 grams of proteins, 0% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 4% calcium and 6% iron.)

(NOTE: Yum Yucky also reviewed them. Here’s another review. And one more.)

Item: Ritz Munchables Pretzel Crisps Buttery Flavor
Price: $2.49 (on sale)
Size: 12.25 ounces
Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Hint of traditional Ritz buttery flavor. Having a basketball around to hide your boner. Crispy and crunchy. Dr. Frankenstein running the Ritz R&D department.
Cons: Too bland. Bodily fluids coming out both ends. Too small for dipping. Unrequited man crushes.

REVIEW: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz

For some reason, Nabisco knows how to push my fun buttons, and they’re doing it again with their new Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz.

I don’t know if they realize it, but if they push them too much, I may just cream all over myself, which now that I think about it, wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing because at least I’ll have something to spread on top of this new Ritz cracker.

This latest variation, along with their new Honey Butter, breaks the streak of savory Ritz Crackers and makes them a little sweet. Just like flavored Pringles and old school postage stamps, the flavor is only on one side, which, in the case of the Ritz Crackers, is on top. So if you’re going to enjoy these sans toppings, I recommend eating them with the top side facing towards your tongue.

They have taste that’s almost like graham crackers, which made them kind of addictive. Despite the noticeable crystals of brown sugar and cinnamon on it, the flavor was a bit light and disappeared quickly in my mouth, which encouraged me to add a little pizzazz to the cracker.

If you decide to go all Rachael Ray on your Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz Crackers, might I suggest topping it with some vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup or using each cracker to scoop out Cool Whip straight from the container and into your mouth, instead of using a spoon, your hands or Teddy Grahams you’re trying to drown.

YUM-O!

Although if you’re going to be shoveling Cool Whip into your mouth with them, might I suggest letting the Cool Whip soften because these are as flaky as all the other Ritz Crackers and AT&T’s cell network in big cities. I also crushed a few crackers over some vanilla ice cream and thought they were a nice addition. So if you live near a self-serve fro-yo place, which you probably do if you live in a big metropolitan city with a flaky AT&T cell network, it would make a nice topping that you don’t need to pay for, just like the cream when I cream all over myself.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 crackers – 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 2% calcium and 2% iron.)

Item: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 pound
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes somewhat like graham crackers. Contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Makes a nice ice cream or fro-yo topping. Getting my fun buttons pushed.
Cons: Light flavor, which disappears quickly. As flaky as regular Ritz Crackers. AT&T’s cell network in large cities. Shoveling Cool Whip into your mouth with your hands. Cleaning up after I cream all over myself.

REVIEW: Ritz Crackerfuls (Classic Cheddar and Four Cheese)

With a name like Ritz, shouldn’t Ritz Crackers be fancier than they truly are?

Maybe they’re extremely high-class, but I have yet to see a monocle or top hat-wearing old man eating them and getting crumbs stuck in his white beard while discussing the African safari he went on to hunt the ultimate game — humans. Although I have to admit I’ve never been invited to galas that have The Most Interesting Man in the World who only drinks Dos Equis on the guest list or parties that don’t use red plastic cups to hold beverages.

If Ritz Crackers are fancy, Nabisco is attempting to make them a little more ritzier with their Ritz Crackerfuls, which come in two flavors: Four Cheese and Classic Cheddar. They’re basically elegant Ritz Cracker sandwiches with classy canned spray cheese in the middle. According to its box, each individually wrapped cracker sandwich is made with real cheese and five grams of whole grain.

The Ritz Crackers that Chinese fingercuff the cheese filling had that familiar buttery Ritz taste. The Four Cheese one had the sharper flavor of the two and on my ritzy scale of 1-10, with 10 being fine diamonds and 1 being shards of a broken glass window, the Four Cheese Crackerfuls was probably a 5 rating or a plastic silver ring with a clear plastic gem won from accumulating 25 prize tickets at an arcade. As for the Classic Cheddar, it tasted like a Kraft Handi-Snack and on my ritzy scale it was a 4 rating or a plastic neon colored ring with a clear plastic gem that comes delivered in a plastic egg from a 25 cent machine outside of a grocery store.

While I felt both weren’t very fancy, I also thought they weren’t bad. The combination of the buttery Ritz crackers and the soft cheese paste was pleasant, but I think one would get more flavor by purchasing some fancy cheese that doesn’t come in individually wrapped slices and putting it on top of a Ritz cracker. Although I believe that would degrade the cheese.

Something I really didn’t enjoy about the Crackerfuls was the long Ritz Cracker, which was extremely fragile. Because they were even more delicate than normal round Ritz Crackers, I was forced to use a plate since I lack the white beard to catch the crumbs.

Another thing I didn’t like about the Ritz Crackerfuls was its name. Now I don’t have an English degree…

Oh wait. I do.

So it’s all right for me to say I found its name to be confusing because it’s not filled with crackers, it’s filled with cheese. So shouldn’t it be named Cheesefuls?

Now if two layers of cheese were Chinese fingercuffing a Ritz Cracker then it would be Crackerfuls. But it still wouldn’t be very fancy.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package – Classic Cheddar – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 6% calcium and 4% iron. Four Cheese – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 220 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 6% calcium and 4% iron.)

Item: Ritz Crackerfuls (Classic Cheddar and Four Cheese)
Price: $3.18 each
Size: 6 pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Classic Cheddar)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Four Cheese)
Pros: Pleasant tasting. Buttery Ritz Crackers. Four Cheese flavor had a nice sharp flavor. Simply Cheddar tasted like a Kraft Handi-Snack, which I do enjoy. Contains mono- and poly unsaturated fats. Hunting humans.
Cons: Cheese looked like something that came out of a can. Long Ritz Crackers were extremely fragile. Crumbs. Would be tastier to buy Ritz Crackers and put your own cheese on it. Not very ritzy. Name doesn’t seem right. Being hunted by humans.