REVIEW: Ritz Cheese Crispers

Ritz Cheese Crispers

Ritz Cheddar Cheese Crispers are better than Cheez-It Crackers.

(I’ll pause to allow you Cheez-It lovers to clickity-clack on your keyboards to type horrible words in my direction because of my blasphemy.)

You may think I was paid to write the opening sentence, but I assure you the money under my mattress was there before I even knew these cheesy potato and wheat chips existed. Oh, I should also mention there’s a Four Cheese & Herb flavor along with the cheddar variety. But since I haven’t had Cheez-It Italian Four Cheese Crackers, I can’t say the Ritz Cheese Crispers version is better.

Ritz Cheddar Cheese Crispers

The cheddar one combines the crispiness of a Ritz Crisp & Thins, the size of Wheat Thins, and Cheetos’ radioactive orange color, but without leaving a layer of cheesy dust on your fingers.

Why do I prefer them over Cheez-It Crackers?

Well, first off, the chips have an airy crispiness that I love biting down upon more than the crunch of crackers. Then there’s a sharp cheddar flavor with a bold zing that tastes even cheesier than Cheez-It Crackers. (NOTE: I haven’t tried the Extra Cheesy Cheez-Its.) I could eat these all day if I had an endless supply of it or if the box was a portal to a dimension that has only Ritz Cheddar Cheese Crispers.

Ritz Four Cheese  Herb Cheese Crispers

The Four Cheese & Herb variety is seasoned with cheddar, Monterey Jack, parmesan, and mozzarella. The only herb I see listed in the ingredients is parsley, but I imagine that’s there for looks, and the actual herb flavor comes from a vague ingredient listed, like spices.

I can’t pinpoint which cheese is which as I eat it, but combined they taste like, and I’ve used this comparison before with other cheesy cracker products, a Totino’s pizza. Much like the other one, I have a hard time putting this down.

Both are extremely snackable, especially the cheddar flavor, but they’re not perfect.

Ritz Cheese Crispers Front and Back

The whole chip isn’t covered with cheesy seasoning, and it’s most noticeable with the cheddar flavor. While one side looks like Chester Cheetah sneezed point-blank on them after stuffing his mouth with Cheetos, the other side is quite naked.

Because almost all the seasoning is on one side, to get the full cheese punch, it needs to be eaten seasoned side down so that it all hits your taste buds. If consumed the other way, they’re less enjoyable.

I imagine some of you will disagree with my belief that Ritz Cheese Crispers are better than Cheez-It Crackers. Some of you will point out that technically I can’t compare the two because one is a cracker and the other is a chip. But if I’m going to reach for a crunchy cheesy snack in the cracker section of the store I’m at, I’m going to grab Ritz Cheddar Cheese Crispers.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. Thanks Ritz! But I purchased the product and finished my review prior to obtaining them. To be honest, I don’t think I need to disclose this. Nor will I complain about getting more of these because did you read this review?

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 7 oz. box
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Cheddar), 8 out of 10 (Four Cheese & Herb)
Nutrition Facts: (21 chips) Cheddar – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Four Cheese & Herb – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ritz Tabasco Crisp & Thins

Ritz Tabasco Crisp  Thins Bag

What are Ritz Tabasco Crisp & Thins?

They are Ritz’s crispy potato and wheat chips seasoned with, according to the ingredients list, Tabasco Brand Spray Dry Flavoring. That sounds like something teenaged Crisp & Thins would use to coat themselves with before going out, like a perfume or Axe Body Spray for chips.

How are they?

I should preface this by saying my taste buds have enjoyed almost every Ritz Crisp & Thins flavor they’ve come across. The Jalapeno Cheddar one from last year can burn in Hell, which it might be because it was a limited edition. But this Tabasco variety might be my favorite because it apparently can make me forget willpower exists.

Now I don’t want to spread any horrible rumors about me on the Internet, but I may or may not have eaten the entire bag in two hours.

Okay, 90 minutes.

Ritz Tabasco Crisp  Thins Closeup

First off, the chips have that delightful crispiness that comes in second after potato chips. Secondly, the Tabasco flavor rings with every chip. The peppers. The vinegar. The smokiness. I adore these.

These are not only my favorite Crisp & Thins, but they might be the best tasting Tabasco snack I’ve ever had. Although, to be honest, I forgot what other Tabasco-flavored products I’ve had over the years. Obviously, they weren’t memorable, but I will remember Ritz Tabasco Crisp & Thins 4EVA.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I don’t know if I’d consider them spicy because at no point while eating the whole bag in an hour (alright, you got me, it wasn’t 90 minutes!) did I think I could use some cold liquid to calm any heat. But, as we all know, people have different heat tolerance levels, so your experience may vary. However, I did need to drink some because my mouth was parched from eating all those chips in 45 minutes. Dammit!

I was super hungry, okay! And they were just so damn tasty!

Conclusion:

I hate to admit it, but I sometimes forget Tabasco exists. It seems as if it’s a Tapatio and sriracha world right now, with the two attached to so many products. So I’m glad these Ritz Crisp & Thins are there to remind me that the peppery sauce from the McIlhenny Company is still around. Although I do wish these chips had a little more kick to them. But, if you love the flavor of Tabasco, you’ll enjoy these.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 7.1 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (21 chips/30 grams) 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, less than 1 gram of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Veggie Crackers

Pepperidge Farm Veggie Crackers  Cheesy Tomato and Sweet Carrot

What are Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Veggie Crackers?

Iconic Goldfish crackers have received a vegetable update, with two new flavors: Cheesy Tomato, made with tomato paste powder, and Sweet Carrot, made with carrot juice concentrate and carrot puree.

According to the packaging, one serving contains one-third of a serving of vegetables. The pictures in the middle of this review show the recommended serving size of 56 or 57 pieces.

How are they?

Pepperidge Farm Cheesy Tomato Veggie Crackers Closeup

Pepperidge Farm Sweet Carrot Veggie Crackers Closeup

First of all, the smiling tomato and carrot shapes are adorable!

Taste-wise, I ended up liking the tomato version more than the carrot version, which was the opposite of what I expected. It tastes like tomato soup. Though it’s called Cheesy Tomato, it has less cheese than standard Cheddar Goldfish, so it likewise tastes less cheesy.

Pepperidge Farm Cheesy Tomato Veggie Crackers

Pepperidge Farm Sweet Carrot Veggie Crackers

The Sweet Carrot version isn’t as sweet as, say, a graham cracker; it’s sweet in the same way that carrots are sweet. I find it a little bland. It reminds me more of sweet potato chips, with a texture that I might call mushy.

For both varieties, they aren’t as good as regular Goldfish, even though they are a little more expensive.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Pepperidge Farm seems to be implying that these are healthier than classic Goldfish. I’m no nutritionist, but the supposed health benefits appear to be minimal, and in some ways they are worse than the original.

Pepperidge Farm Cheesy Tomato Veggie Crackers Tomato Soup

Pepperidge Farm Sweet Carrot Veggie Crackers Carrot Soup

The crackers make welcome additions to tomato soup and carrot soup, but still not as good as Cheddar Goldfish.

Conclusion:

Goldfish Veggie Crackers are a fun variation, but their flavor don’t compare to the OG.

Even so, I hope Pepperidge Farm brings us other veggie colors and shapes: broccoli, pumpkin, corn, and more. Crackers won’t replace vegetables, but they might help kids to think about them!

Purchased Price: $1.67
Size: 4 oz. bags
Purchased at: Dick’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cheesy Tomato), 6 out of 10 (Sweet Carrot)
Nutrition Facts: Cheesy Tomato (57 pieces) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 0 grams of added sugars, and 3 grams of protein. Sweet Carrot (56 pieces) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Triscuit Woven with Seeds Crackers

Triscuit Woven with Seeds Crackers

Triscuit has a new line of crackers with seeds in them. Yes, IN them and not as a topping for fancy Triscuit recipes that has ingredients that aren’t readily available in most home kitchens.

How are they made? Simply. That’s what the side of the box says — Made Simply. The process, which is also on the side of the box goes like this: cook the wheat, shred and weave the wheat together with seeds, and bake to golden perfection. Okay, I still don’t understand how it’s done, but it probably involves patents and something proprietary.

The woven with seeds line debuted with three varieties: Woven with Poppy Seeds Garlic & Onion, Woven with Quinoa Seeds Basil & Garlic, and Woven with Chia Seeds Rosemary & Jalapeño.

Triscuit Woven with Poppy Seeds Garlic & Onion

Triscuit Woven with Poppy Seeds Garlic  Onion

I’ve eaten enough garlic and onion in my life to know what they taste like and how far away others should stay away from me after I’ve eaten either of the two pungent ingredients. So I’m confident when I say these crackers taste cheesy.

Maybe combining the two creates something like a primary colors scenario where the primary flavors of garlic and onion create a secondary flavor — cheesy. Okay, at times, the garlic comes out, but these taste cheesy to me, which is fine because they’re still tasty.

Triscuit Woven with Chia Seeds Rosemary  Jalapeno Closeup

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 8 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 crackers) 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Triscuit Woven with Quinoa Seeds Basil & Garlic

Triscuit Woven with Quinoa Seeds Basil  Garlic

One sniff of these and I knew the basil would be strong. My nose let my taste buds know, and after eating one, my taste buds confirmed it to my nose, who did a few nostril pumps to celebrate.

The garlic lingers in the background. Sometimes I can taste it, but most times I can’t. The basil is the dominant flavor, probably because of its strong aroma. The cracker is as tasty as the others, but this is the only one that makes me want to dip it in olive oil and cracked pepper at a Macaroni Grill.

Triscuit Woven with Poppy Seeds Garlic  Onion Closeup

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 8 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 crackers) 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Triscuit Woven with Chia Seeds Rosemary & Jalapeno

Triscuit Woven with Chia Seeds Rosemary  Jalapeno

If you’re hoping for a spicy Triscuit, these are not the crackers you’re looking for. If you want that, I’m sure Triscuit has a recipe it can recommend you. There’s a heat tickle that builds up after eating a few, but it’s not something that has me reaching for a room temperature glass of water.

Rosemary and jalapeño seem like an odd combination to me, but the two work together, and they’re the only duo of this bunch that I could taste both ingredients. The rosemary is the most noticeable, causing the crackers’ aroma to remind me of a roasted chicken. But jalapeño lets your taste buds know it’s there with its heat tickles and pepperiness. There’s also a slight sweetness that helps cut through the two main tastes.

Triscuit Woven with Quinoa Seed Basil  Garlic Closeup

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 8 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 crackers) 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

All three are tasty savory crackers, but I’m not sure the woven seeds do anything other than make these more appealing to birds and cause all three to look very similar. How similar? Let me just say the photos of the actual crackers aren’t embedded in the appropriate sections of the review. Or am I lying about that? You can’t tell because they look so damn alike.

I thought they’d add a different crunchy texture, but Triscuit have always been super crunchy, so I imagine its hard for the seeds to stand out. The only times I notice the crunch of the seeds is when they get unwoven from the wheat, hang out between my teeth, eventually come loose long after I’ve swallowed the wheat, and end up as a post-snack snack. I also thought they might provide some nuttiness, but the seasoning used on each cracker is potent enough to mask whatever flavor they have.

*I totally switched photos. The first one is the Rosemary & Jalapeño, the second one is Garlic & Onion, and the last one is Basil & Garlic.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch

Do the kiddos still use the word “epic”? I’m asking for a friend because, obviously, I know the answer because I’m totally cool. Wait. Do the kiddos still use the word “cool”? Anyhoo, Pepperidge Farm is using the word that may or may not be hip to help name its latest crunchy fish-shaped snack —- Goldfish Epic Crunch.

According to the packaging, the snack has a tortilla crunch and big flavor, and that “big flavor” is available in three varieties — Ranch, Nacho, and Honey BBQ. While Ranch and Nacho have graced the surface area of previous Goldfish, Honey BBQ appears to be a first for the snack.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Hollow

The hollow pieces are more massive than regular Goldfish, and they do have an epic crunch that reminds me of rolled tortilla chips, but they don’t have epic flavor.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Ranch Closeup
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Ranch

They’re not completely tasteless, but the seasonings are light in flavor, and they fade quickly, leaving behind mostly the whole grain tortilla base to torture my taste buds until I eat more.

The reason why these don’t do it for me is because, with all three varieties, they’re like diet versions of some of my favorite snacks. Ranch reminds me of Cool Ranch Doritos; Nacho evokes Nacho Cheese Doritos; and Honey BBQ brings to mind Fritos Honey BBQ Flavor Twists (the best Fritos, IMO). I’d rather have the tasty goodness of the originals than diet versions.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Nacho Closeup
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Nacho

However, much like Cool Ranch and Nacho Cheese Doritos, eating Goldfish Epic Crunch will lead to getting the seasoning on your fingers, which will turn your digits into savory suckers after you’re done eating. Although, it’s not as potent as what you’d get from Doritos. But, if you think about it, whatever seasoning ends up on your fingers won’t be on the Goldfish, which is where it needs to be.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Honey BBQ Closeup
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Epic Crunch Honey BBQ

My unscientific guess at how much lighter the taste is to those classic snacks would be about 50 percent, which is not strong enough to compel me to keep sticking my hand into the bag to catch more of these Goldfish. I wish they were, to use a Pepperidge Farm trademark, Flavor Blasted.

Overall, Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish Epic Crunch is something I wouldn’t try again. With regular cheddar Goldfish, the salty and cheesiness makes me want to keep stuffing my mouth with them. But I don’t want to do that with these. They do have an epic crunch, but their flavor is wiggity wiggity wack.

Do the kiddos still use “wiggity wiggity wack”?

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way. Although, you probably guessed that while reading this review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 5.5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Received from Pepperidge Farm
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (26 pieces) Ranch – 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Nacho – 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Honey BBQ – 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Nutmeg & Cinnamon Triscuit Crackers

Limited Edition Nutmeg  Cinnamon Triscuit Crackers

I’ve got to admit, I only eat Triscuit once or twice a year.

My family has a tradition at holiday gatherings to make one of the simplest yet most delicious appetizers you’ll ever try. A block of Philadelphia cream cheese covered with a jar of salsa and served with Triscuit. I know, it might sound kind of bizarre, but don’t dog it ’til you’ve tried it cause it’s damn delicious. I love Triscuit in this setting, they’re perfect. Better than Wheat Thins or any other chip when combined with this dip, but I don’t ever buy them for myself.

Popcorn, Cheez-Its, Doritos – these things all find their way into my snack cabinet, but I’ve never felt compelled to buy the hard little squares of shredded wheat on my own…until now. My inner spice sense began tingling the second I saw the new and autumn-kissed Nutmeg & Cinnamon Triscuit.

Limited Edition Nutmeg  Cinnamon Triscuit Crackers 2

The crackers look no different than your average Triscuit – square, brown, and wheat-y. The aroma is similarly familiar – wheat with a hint of lingering sweetness.

The flavor, though, is surprisingly soft and very good. The overwhelming feeling I get when biting into these crackers is warmth. The presence of the spice doesn’t smack you over the face with artificiality or some kind of sweet pumpkin spice foil – they simply elevate the flavor of the wheat and add a wonderful spicy flourish to the already established successful profile.

Cinnamon and nutmeg are definitely the key players in the mix, but I also get a nice tingle of ginger. Nothing about the flavor is harsh and, shockingly, the crackers aren’t sweet either. In fact, they aren’t even really salty, less so than the original. Being devoid of sweet and salty would imply that they’re bland, but the spices make up for it.

Limited Edition Nutmeg  Cinnamon Triscuit Crackers 3

Since the flavor comes off as more of a warm feeling than bold tongue-tingling taste, they lend themselves very well to different applications. Smeared with some cream cheese? Awesome. Topped with peanut butter? Delicious. Garnished with a bit of medium cheddar? Divine. The spices don’t bully their way to the forefront of the experience and yet they stay there in the background like lovely jazz in a cozy coffee shop – never taking over the conversation, but elevating the atmosphere immensely.

If you’re a Triscuit fan and are looking for a slight festive twist on something you already love – look no further than Nutmeg & Cinnamon. They’re subtly complex and fitting for your next holiday gathering, and hey, maybe even try topping them with cream cheese and salsa – you might be pleasantly surprised.

(Nutrition Facts – 6 crackers – 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 8.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice subtle but complex blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of ginger. Not sweet. Flavors work well with variety of toppings.
Cons: A Triscuit can only be so good. They will never be Cheez-Its or Sweetos