REVIEW: Taco Bell Big Cheez-It Tostada

NOTE: We also reviewed the Taco Bell Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap

In June 2022, a Taco Bell store in Irvine, California, made news by being a test store for two items centered around a giant Cheez-It cracker. Initially slated for a two-week run, the location sold out in six days due to demand. Now, two years later, Taco Bell is doing a nationwide rollout of the Big Cheez-It in its stores. The Taco Bell Big Cheez-It Tostada starts with the titular cracker as its base and is topped with familiar Taco Bell items: seasoned beef, lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream. They also offer a Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme that substitutes the standard tostada with the giant cheese cracker.

The presentation was a lot nicer than I’ve come to expect from my Taco Bell; it looked almost like the ad! I wanted to get a good idea of the size of the thing, so I went to pick it up. This was where one of its fatal flaws showed: it broke as I started to lift the 16x-sized Cheez-It.

No matter; I had a nice piece with all the toppings. Unlike the Doritos Locos taco, there was not a strong cheese smell as I brought it towards my face. My first bite was underwhelming. The standard Taco Bell flavors were there (seasoned meat, crunchy lettuce, wet tomatoes, salty cheese, and creamy sour cream), but the Cheez-It was almost non-existent. There was a slight crisp to the cracker, but sitting in a box with toppings was already causing it to soften.

I scraped the toppings off to try the cracker on its own. By itself, it tasted like a standard Cheez-It but milder. The cheeseiness felt muted, which was odd. I wondered if it lost some of its oomph because of the increase in size. Sort of like a Hass avocado versus a green avocado: Hass are smaller, so the flavor is much more concentrated. Knowing what flavor my taste buds were looking for, I went back to grab the remaining cracker, only for it to (once again) break.

Tasting it again with everything, I still struggled to notice the Cheez-It. I could taste it if I really focused on it, but it was too easily overwhelmed by the other ingredients. As for the texture, any crispiness I had in the first bite (which wasn’t much) was almost non-existent by the end.

The Taco Bell Big Cheez-It Tostada is a fun concept with disappointing execution. While the presentation was surprisingly good, the massive cracker shatters easily and loses its already muted flavor against the familiar, strong Taco Bell ingredients. I still enjoyed the taste, as I love that standard Taco Bell flavor profile, but the novelty of the giant Cheez-It wore off pretty quickly. It’s worth a try to say you tried it, but I doubt I’d get it a second time.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tostada) 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 570 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme

During my 12-minute walk from home after picking up Taco Bell’s Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme, the only thought that kept crossing my mind was how soggy the colossus Cheez-It cracker would be by the time I got home and had a chance to eat it. Actually, that thought has been in my head since 2022, when the collaboration went viral after the internet learned the product was being tested at one location in California. A giant Cheez-It is cool and all, but does a cracker made from enriched flour have more resilience than a corn chip, which can withstand dips of every kind?

Well, I can now find out and fill the grey matter occupied by that thought with something more useful since the special Crunchwrap is now available for everyone to wrap their hands around and crunch into. The limited time offering features seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and a Big Cheez-It Cracker, all wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla. The massive cracker, the standout feature, replaces the tostada shell in the original Crunchwrap Supreme.

How big is “big”? According to Taco Bell’s website, the giant Cheez-It is 16 times larger than a regular Cheez-It. It also claims it’s 16 times cheesier and 16 times crunchier. After trying it, I believe its size claims, but everything else, not so much.

I wondered if I received a regular Crunchwrap because that’s what it tasted like after the first bite. But after unwrapping it, I saw a corner of the cracker peeking out from under a mountain of toppings, so no social media complaining needed. With the next bite, I began to notice the sharp cheesiness of the Cheez-It, but it was too mild for my liking, and there was no crunch associated with it. I expected it to be the headlining act instead of a backup singer. Its flavor is perhaps less noticeable than the corn tostada in the regular Crunchwrap, which, no shade, can also maintain most of its crunchiness after 12-minute walks home. The Cheez-It’s cracker crunch never materialized except for a couple of bites. At closer inspection, most of it seemed pulverized after being exposed to the moisture and heat within the grilled flour tortilla. But again, it had to withstand being in the tortilla wrap for double-digit minutes. If you’re eating it seconds after it is handed to you, the crunch might still be there.

I can’t help but be disappointed with Taco Bell’s Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme. While the cracker is indeed 16 times larger than a regular Cheez-It, which is impressive, and the cheesy flavor is somewhat present, I couldn’t help but wish for a more pronounced cheesiness and a crunch that comes close to its 16-times claim. Heck, four times would’ve made it better.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 470 calories, 17 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 1210 milligrams of sodium, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar (including 2 grams of added sugar), and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheez-It Extra Toasty Cheddar Jack Crackers

What are they?

Intentionally overbaked Cheez-It crackers in a flavor that’s as divisive as the idea of slightly burning your snacks on purpose. People seem to either love the original Extra Toasty Cheez-It crackers or not understand why they exist. Similarly, the Cheddar Jack variety ranks higher than the original for many people, while others find it overly cheese-powdered and weird.

How are they?

Really tasty and just how they’re supposed to be. They live up to their extra toasty name with every square bronzed on both sides. It’s a carefully controlled browning and none of the crackers come close to tasting burnt. The cheddar jack flavor is assertive; it’s tangy but also smooth and very cheesy. The cheese powder seems less prominent on these as compared to the regular Cheddar Jack Cheez-It, so if that was a sticking (dusting?) point for you, these should be less offensive.

Anything else you need to know?

They have a bit of a “pizza-flavored snack” taste to them. The extra toasting reminds me of the browned spots on pizza cheese and the overall flavor has a familiarity with some pizza-flavored chips and crackers I’ve had before.


They’re not going to become my favorite Cheez-It, but that being said, I couldn’t stop eating them and would buy them again. If you’re a fan of the regular Extra Toasty or Cheddar Jack flavors, I think you’ll love these. If you don’t have a strong opinion on Cheez-It crackers but appreciate salty, cheesy snacks, these are definitely worth a try.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 12.4 oz box
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (26 crackers) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugar (0 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheez-It Puff’d

Cheez It Puff d Bags

What are Cheez-It Puff’d?

A new variety of baked snacks from Cheez-It, these tout themselves as “cheesy, airy, & puffy” and come in three flavors: Double Cheese, White Cheddar, and Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar. They strongly resemble a Cheez-It product from a few years ago, Cheez-It Crunch’d, but because I never sampled those, I can’t confirm if Puff’d is a retooling of Crunch’d or something entirely new. These are Cheez-It’s version of a cheese puff.

How are they?

Cheez It Puff d Back Bag

At first glance, promising. They come in bags that assure you they’re “crave-ably cheesy,” “incredibly airy,” and “perfectly puffy.” The shapes look like they’d be fun to eat and the smallish size makes them seem like a snack you could toss up and catch in your mouth like popcorn. Occasionally two of them remain stuck together in a neat little domino shape. They look like the sort of thing you’d have in a bowl and happily munch on, eating way too many because they’re so light and airy. Unfortunately, the fun stops there because these are not good.

Cheez It Puff d Closeup

They remind me of several types of things you would use to fill a box for shipping so the contents don’t break in transit. My first thought was that these are like eating old packing peanuts. Not even fresh packing peanuts but more like what I imagine the packing peanuts that surround the Christmas ornaments I inherited from my grandmother decades ago probably taste like. Next, I thought about another box filler, those not-totally inflated little plastic bags of air that all come connected to each other. Remember what I thought was a cute domino shape? It’s actually just two of those stuck-together bags. While eating, I thought to myself, “these are why some people really hate cheese puffs.” There’s something strange about them right from the start. It’s almost as if they’re stale, even though I know that’s not possible. Any puffiness they have immediately melts away the second they’re in your mouth and what’s left is pretty off-putting and oddly sticky.

Anything else you need to know?

They say they’re baked with real cheese inside and out, and I don’t have any complaints about the flavors. Double Cheese has the most regular taste of the trio and is the least remarkable. I’m unclear if there are supposed to be two different cheeses (presumably cheddar and something else?) or if it’s just supposed to be twice the amount of the regular cheese flavor. At any rate, it doesn’t stand out as being particularly strong. The White Cheddar version is sharper and more distinctive. Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar isn’t too fiery to handle but has a pleasant heat.


Cheez It Puff d Bowls

I like cheese puffs and want to like these, but I can’t get past the texture. If you give them a try, I’d recommend White Cheddar or Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar. A single serving is 40 pieces, and this is a rare case in snacking where I won’t come close to eating that many.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 5.75 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Double Cheese), 5 out of 10 (White Cheddar), 5 out of 10 (Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar)
Nutrition Facts: For all three flavors (40 pieces) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheez-It Grooves Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar Crackers

Cheez It Grooves Scorchin Hot Cheddar Box

“Scorchin’ Hot” sounds like a store brand attempt at a flavor that’s supposed to taste and burn like Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot. Oh wait, it turns out Walmart used it. I guess it’s going to be super awkward when Walmart comes out with a Great Value version of Cheez-It’s new Grooves Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar Crackers that uses the same flavor name.

For those of you who don’t follow crunch snack crackers, Grooves are an offshoot of the Cheez-It line that debuted several years ago. The cheesy flavors that I’ve tried have been decent to good. Although I haven’t tried the Hot & Spicy variety, so I don’t know how “extra hot” these are. When it comes to the crunch, Grooves are somewhere between regular Cheez-It crackers and Wheat Thins.

Cheez It Grooves Scorchin Hot Cheddar Red

This Scorchin’ Hot Cheddar flavor is as light on the cheesiness as any Flamin’ Hot product. It’s not the first thing your mouth will notice when you start eating it. That honor goes to the heat. It’s not Flamin’ Hot-spicy, but it’s more like two or three levels below that.

With products that have the spicy Frito-Lay seasoning, there’s a point where I have to stop because my mouth gets a bit too hot. But with these Cheez-It Grooves, I ate them at a scorching pace without the need for something to soothe my mouth. Of course, your eating speed may vary based on your mouth’s heat tolerance.

But it’s not only hot spices and cheese that I taste. There’s also hints of garlic and onion powder, which are also in Flamin’ Hot seasoning but are much more noticeable with these crackers. While these aren’t as spicy as Flamin’ Hot, they have a more well-rounded flavor. Although I’ve made fun of its name, I do enjoy these crackers.

Cheez It Grooves Scorchin Hot Cheddar Pale

As much as I like this Cheez-It Grooves flavor, I do find the underlying cracker’s paleness to be a bit odd. They are made with rice flour, so I understand why they might be that way, but I don’t remember any other Grooves flavors being so pale. It also doesn’t help that the crackers aren’t entirely coated with seasoning and that its dark red color makes the paleness stands out even more.

Purchased Price: $2.89
Size: 9 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (18 crackers) 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.