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.)

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: Rita’s Peeps Italian Ice

Last summer, I reviewed Rita’s Swedish Fish Italian Ice (or Water Ice where I’m from) and it certainly deserved a perfect ten rating. I mean, seriously, if this thing was in a figure skating competition, it would have wowed the judges, even the hard as nails Russian judge who gives everyone, probably including his or her mama, extremely low scores.

If the Swedish Fish Italian Ice was on this season of Dancing With The Stars, it could call Kate Gosselin a terrible mother, motorboat Pam Anderson’s wonder titties and tell Buzz Aldrin the moon landing was filmed at a sound stage in West Hollywood and it would still be adored by the judges and the other “celebrities.” Unfortunately, Rita’s Peeps Italian Ice wouldn’t be able to get away with any of this, despite Peeps being oddly adorable and resembling a yellow-colored piece of Tamagotchi poop.

Or maybe it could, because it turns out Peeps have a massive following. Heck, there’s even an entire store that only has Peeps paraphernalia. I know a lot of people are part of some fandom, but Peeps? Come on, even the Trekkies think these single, middle-aged women with seven cats fans are nerds. If you can’t get enough of Peeps after buying a year’s supply, a “Hanging With My Peeps” t-shirt and a Swarovski crystal pin from the Peeps store, you always can check out a website called Peeps Show and bask in good ol’ fashioned, sticky and sweet marshmallow-flavored food porn.

Like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, there’s more than one way to eat a Peep. Some people create Peepsicles (why does typing that give me the willies?) by freezing them, others eat them au natural, some people deep-fry them, and a few single, middle-aged women who have waaaaay too many pictures of their cats in their work cubicle hardcore fans prefer them stale and hard. For those of you who have never had the sugary pleasure of eating a Peep, it’s just marshmallow (sugar) coated with colored sugar (more sugar). So basically, it tastes like sugar, and so does the Rita’s Peeps Italian Ice, except in frozen form. This proves once again that Rita’s is wonderful at developing flavors that taste exactly like its non-frozen counterpart.

I haven’t had Peeps in years, but this frozen version brought back memories of why I never liked them. It’s sickening sweet, and this is coming from a person who sometimes adds Splenda to her Frosted Flakes. It’s so sugary that a regular-sized Peeps Ice will provide enough sugar to fuel an evening of fist pumping at a club, while wearing a dress that shows one’s lady bits, like a true guidette.

Rita’s has dozens of Italian ice flavors that are far superior, and which are also much more Italian and colorful than Snookie, so I won’t be purchasing another Peeps Italian Ice. If the taste of pure sugar doesn’t turn you off, maybe its radioactive yellow color will. Or maybe the line of single, middle-aged women who smell like cat litter hardcore fans who want to try this frozen variation of their favorite treat will.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 regular cup – 320 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 77 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 2% calcium and 2% vitamin C.)

Item: Rita’s Peeps Italian Ice
Price: $2.39
Size: Regular
Purchased at: Rita’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Tastes just like Peeps. Playing with Peeps. Deep-fried anything. Smaller quantity is enough. Peepsicles. Rita’s Swedish Fish Ice. Peeps bling bling.
Cons: Way too sweet. Fist-pumping. Creepy Peeps fangirls. Even creepier Peeps fanboys. 80-year-old Buzz Aldrin punching you in the face. Cleaning up Tamagatchi dookie. Rotten teeth.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad

The Jack in the Box Grilled…Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Oh, I’m sorry I fell asleep and started sleep drooling mid-sentence. But I couldn’t help it because the Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad is one boring salad.

It’s so snooze-inducing that if you have an infant who has trouble falling asleep, I recommend you click the photo above to go The Impulsive Buy’s Flickr page, download the high quality version of the photo, print it out several copies of it on your inkjet printer (or nearest photo center), then attach those photos to the mobile hanging above your child’s crib and then watch your child instantly enter a deep slumber, allowing you to find out what that Chatroulette is all about.

The salad contains a list of vegetables that bores me, but would give the Easter Bunny a hard-on. It has a blend of romaine, iceberg and spring mix lettuce, along with shredded cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, red onion and shredded carrots. Seasoned croutons and low-fat balsamic dressing are served on the side, and the salad is topped with strips of grilled chicken. As you can see in the boring salad photo above, it’s a rainbow coalition of ingredients, if the rainbow contains mostly orange and green.

As with most fast food salads, the Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad contained mostly the nutritious-empty and flavorless iceberg lettuce. But thankfully, all of the vegetables looked fresh — no wilting or bruises. The only vegetable I disliked more than the iceberg lettuce was the red onion because of its strong flavor that dominated the rest of the salad like it was paid $500 an hour to make the salad its bitch via gagging and restraining it in chains.

The grilled chicken seemed like it was just there for protein and sodium because it didn’t provide much of anything else. As for the low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing, it gave the salad enough flavor so that it can legally be called a salad, and not just something to cushion my head if it were to fall into the salad because it’s so sleep-inducing.

Despite being a boring salad, I’d probably hit the Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad again. Its nutritional values don’t make me feel guilty, unlike most of Jack in the Box’s menu and paying some woman $500 an hour to gag me, chain me to a wall and call me a filthy pig who should be punished.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 salad with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette – 275 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1130 milligrams of sodium, 965 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar and 28 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad
Price: $5.99
Size: 1 salad
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Filling salad. One of the healthier items to eat from the JITB menu. Low calorie compared with other JITB salads. Great if you like the colors green and orange. Paying $500 an hour to be some woman’s submissive slave.
Cons: Boring salad. High in sodium. Too much iceberg lettuce. Dominating flavor of the red onions. Paying $500 an hour to be some woman’s submissive slave. Chatroulette. Pictures of it may help babies fall asleep faster.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Chocolatey Peanut Butter Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars

Fiber PLUS antioxidants!?! It’s like Kellogg’s is trying to kill us with wholesomeness with their Chocolatey Peanut Butter Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars. Being bear hugged by vitamin E, zinc and 35 percent of my daily recommended intake of fiber seems kind of scary, especially the fiber, because the combination of being squeezed hard and a lot of dietary fiber cannot be good for my pants.

But I guess it’s better than Kellogg’s killing us with Tony the Tiger’s sharp claws or the reality shows on MTV and VH1 killing my hope for humanity.

The Chocolatey Peanut Butter Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars takes oats, rice crisps, peanuts, and peanut butter chips and smashes them together into a neat rectangular bar that measures 3.5 inches long and 1.25 inches wide. The back of the bar is dipped in faux chocolate and the front is drizzled in faux chocolate, creating a snack that’s like a sticky Chinese finger trap.

While these contain normal ingredients that one would find in many snack bars, I was surprised to see chicory root extract as the ingredient that’s listed first. I personally thought the number one ingredient was going to be love. Now many of you might be wondering, “What is chicory root?” I could be a total asshole and say in a condescending tone, “Duh! It’s the root of a chicory plant.”

Or I can admit, I have no idea. Thankfully, I can look it up on every student’s favorite resource that most teachers and professors don’t approve of because of the chance that the information provided is inaccurate — Wikipedia. According to the omniscient website, chicory root extract is used as a high-fiber dietary supplement, which explains the nine grams of dietary fiber per bar.

As you can see in the picture above, the Chocolatey Peanut Butter Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bar doesn’t look like a food that will provide you with fiber and antioxidants. Instead it looks like something that might give you diabetes and/or a fat ass. The bar has a chewy and slightly crunchy texture that’s common with many snack bars nowadays. The peanut butter chips and peanuts do a good job of compensating the faux chocolate, which is faux because it lacks cocoa fats. These ingredients make for a tasty snack bar, proving that even fake chocolate and peanut butter can make a decent combination.

I’d probably eat these Fiber Plus Antioxidant Bars if I want to quickly make up for the lack of fiber, vitamin E and zinc in my diet because I’m too lazy to pour myself a bowl of any fortified kid’s cereal or get those nutrients via fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% calcium, 20% vitamin E, 2% iron and 20% zinc.)

(NOTE: Food In Real Life also reviewed it.)

Item: Kellogg’s Chocolatey Peanut Butter Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars
Price: $3.19
Size: 5 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Faux chocolate and peanut butter makes a decent combination. Chewy and crunchy. 7 grams of whole grains per serving. 35 percent of your daily fiber. Contains vitamin E and zinc. Learning about chicory root. Wikipedia. Chinese finger traps.
Cons: Contains faux chocolate. Contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. Getting nutrients from a snack bar. 5 bars per box (whatever happened to even numbers). MTV and VH1 reality shows. Being bear hugged after eating a lot of fiber. Chinese finger traps.

REVIEW: Philly Swirl Cereal Conez

The ice cream novelty market is always looking for new items to entice children. These products can make any school-aged kid annoy the shit out of their parents when they beg for them, and they cause junk food review bloggers to cream in their pants. But there needs to be something that stands out amongst the space-aged pellets, superhero heads with gumballs for eyes and ice pops shaped like phalluses writing instruments.

Besides ice cream, what food item do kids (and weird looking birds) go cuckoo for and that’s only for them and not white, anorexic rabbits? You got it — breakfast cereal.

The Philly Swirl Cereal Conez is the bastard offspring from the sticky lovemaking between a complete sugary breakfast and a pre-packaged ice cream and cone combo. If I wore a hat, I would tip it to Philly Swirl. Why you ask? Because there is no cereal in Cereal Conez. Instead, they got rid of the middleman, struck a deal with that pot o’ gold loving ginger and topped the cones conez with the marshmallows that are found in a certain cereal that claims it’s lucky. The next thing I want to do, is ask Philly Swirl how can I get a bag of these packing-peanut textured marshmallows without having to sift through pieces of cereal, because everyone buys Lucky Charms for the marshmallows.

Although I do love dehydrated, colorful, and ill-shaped pieces of sugar, I really wish that the Cereal Conez had cereal on them, because it would provide a crunchy texture to compliment the creamy ice cream and compensate for the somewhat soggy cone.

If cereal was added, think of the marketing possibilities. Bran Conez could be for those who need some fiber in their desserts and Frosted Shredded Wheat Conez could be for those who get off on eating adorable little mascots. I don’t think they would call them conez though, because we all know that when you slap a Z on something it’s targeted towards kids, or it’s a product from a certain gas station/fast food eatery.

There’s two flavors in the box: Chocolate Marshmallow Swirl (more like chocolate vanilla swirl) and Vanilla, but there’s no way of picking which flavor you want, because the cones are all wrapped the same way in white paper with no text. When you disrobe the cone and become excited or depressed, which depends on whether or not you received the flavor you wanted, you are greeted with a mound of “magical marshmallows” that dominates the top of the cone. It’s certainly eye opening, but it’s lousy because the first four bites or so is all marshmallow and no ice cream.

After that, it’s just a standard ice cream cone novelty, but one that’s tasty because the inside of the cone is covered in chocolate. However, by the time you reach that point, the thrill of devouring the leprechaun’s beloved “magical marshmallows” is all but a distant memory.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cone – 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Philly Swirl Cereal Conez
Price: $2.59
Size: 4 cones
Purchased at: The Big Blue Supercenter
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Lots of “magical marshmallows.” Ice cream is rich and smooth. Size of each treat is bigger than I expected. Chocolate inside of each cone. Those novelties with gumball eyes. Telling the Trix rabbit he can’t have the cereal he so desperately wants.
Cons: No way to tell which flavor is which. Marshmallows aren’t “magical” enough. Cone is a little soggy. Only four in a box. Doesn’t actually contain cereal. Adding Z’s are so 90’s.