Purchased Price: $2.50 (on sale) Size: 7.6 oz box Purchased at: Times Supermarket Rating: 6 out of 10 Pros: Has a strong sweet cinnamon flavor, but…(see below). Slight buttery flavor. Love the crunch of these. Ingredients lists real cinnamon and not that vague “natural flavor” crap. A low fat snack. Might be good on vanilla ice cream. Cons: Strong sweet cinnamon flavor dissipates quickly. Does not come close to being as tasty as Sweet Cinnamon Wheat Thins, which I now miss Sweet Cinnamon Wheat Thins even more. Makes my fingers slightly greasy. Might be bad on vanilla ice cream.
Nutrition Facts: 10 crackers – 130 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 75 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
Once upon a time there was a cracker called Triscuit. It was wheat, oil, and salt. And for 50 years people liked it…allegedly.
Look, I’m not hear to disparage the tastes of those from the Greatest Generation. As far as I’m concerned, if you kick the Nazis asses and rise out of the Great Depression, you’ve more than earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what you consider good eats. These days though, I’m glad we have more than a few Triscuit flavors and other crackers to crunch. Rosemary and olive oil, caraway and dill, sundried tomato and basil—seriously, just give me some aged cheese and I’m ready to go to town.
Triscuit’s latest crackers, the Wasabi & Soy Sauce Thin Crisps made with brown rice, don’t exactly lend themselves to cheese pairings. But one would think the pungent and salty double-whammy of wasabi and soy sauce would provide more than enough flavor to render toppings unnecessary. Good thing? The jury was out as I stared down the cracker box in my local grocery store with echoes of bygone Super Bowl beer commercials reverberating through my noggin. But clearly this cracker dared to go where few mainstream crackers have gone before, and I knew I had to try it.
I know this because I could stuff a handful of the crisps in my mouth and not make that face Steve Spurrier makes when his team fails to convert on third down. Also known as my Wasabi Face, it typically involves a momentary cessation of all vital breathing functions, an inward suction of the cheeks and lips, and, most importantly, a slight head shake in acknowledgement of the sinus-clearing capacity of wasabi paste.
Because I go balls to the walls when I eat crackers, I made sure to measure the relative intensity of a handful of crisp against a single crisp topped with a dollop of actual Wasabi paste and a drizzle of soy sauce. Long story short, I instantly cleared up any nasal congestion by eating the latter crisp. I couldn’t say that about the former, although I did save my face from quite a bit of contorting.
Truth be told, I could appreciate having the flavor of wasabi in a cracker without having to subject myself to the physical effects of actual wasabi. Making a constipated face isn’t exactly how one envisions his or herself during the social occasions that oftentimes feature crackers, and in the modest flavor of the wasabi, in tandem with a subtle toasted brown rice sweetness, I found a happy snacking medium. Nevertheless, I do wish the soy sauce flavor had more pop, both in terms of its saltiness and that umami savoriness which makes it such a natural compliment to rice. It’s just not there, and if anything, I found the crackers to be slightly sweet instead of moderately, but pleasantly, salty.
Speaking of rice, while I appreciate the crunch on each crisp, the decibel level created within your noggin from each bite is incredibly distracting. Those who struggle with multitasking may wish to use caution, as chewing the Thin Crisps is not advised while listening to significant others speaking and/or operating heavy machinery. On second thought, these might actually come in handy…
Triscuit’s Wasabi & Soy Sauce Thin Crisps are a daring flavor for a mainstream cracker brand that has almost become synonymous as nothing more than a vehicle for cheese. But like most steps out of the familiar confines of our snacking comfort zone, the new crisps play it safe enough not to blow anyone’s head off with the intensity of their flavor.
(Nutrition Facts – 10 crackers or 30g – 130 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Nabisco Wasabi & Soy Sauce Brown Rice Triscuit Thin Crisps Purchased Price: $2.50 Size: 7.6 oz. box Purchased at: Weis Markets Rating: 6 out of 10 Pros: Good change of pace from regular old boring Triscuit flavor. Brown rice has subtle toasted sweetness. Wasabi flavor without causing looks of constipation and third down futility. Whole grains. Cons: Soy sauce flavor is weak. Wasabi flavor lacks nasal-clearing pungency of actual wasabi paste. Asian flavor profile kills the usual the cheese and cracker vibe with Triscuit. Makes a loud ass noise inside your head when you chew.
Not to frighten those of you who grew up on Pokemon instead of He-Man, but your thirty-somethings will really creep up on you.
One day you’re going out drinking on work nights, then coming home and five-starring some Guitar Hero before bed. Next thing you know you’ve got muscle cramps from your adult kickball league, you can’t remember the last video game you played that wasn’t on your cell phone, and you’ve officially become the guy who reviews crackers.
Crackers! What happened to you, man? You used to be… well, not cool. Kind of cool.
But if you’re going to be dragged forcibly into the middle third of your life, might as well embrace it, right? Start wearing that baseball cap forward. Get bacon OR cheese on your burger, not both. Let your wife finally get that minivan she’s been coveting. (Only kidding, dear. We’re not doing that.) But at the same time, if you find yourself looking at a grocery store shelf full of brown rice Triscuits, well… at least get one with a little flavor to it. If you’ve got to get old, be Mick Jagger, not Gene Simmons.
This brings us to Nabisco Sea Salt & Black Pepper Brown Rice Triscuit. The front of the box tells you all you need to know about the demographic they’re shooting for: there are no dinosaurs with sunglasses or randomly slanted words, and surprisingly few explosions. Just a nondescript brown base that gradually lightens into a burnt umber and eventually orange near the top, with a bright yellow glowing orb that most of us call “Almighty Ra” or “Mr. Sun.” Below it, two bowls: one filled with black pepper, the other grains of salt. A single image of a cracker. And that’s it. You want a spokesanimal or rainbow-colored letters? Fuck you, these crackers are for adults. Leave the kiddie crap at home.
The back isn’t much more interesting, filled with imagery meant to convince your subconscious that these are wholesome and good for you: rice, a few stalks of grain, some red beans, and what I initially thought were slices of bread until the text clarified them as sweet potatoes. One side of the box suggests topping the crackers with ricotta cheese and fresh strawberries, but overplays its hand by promising this will “thrill” your guests. Nice try…stick with “mildly enthuse” and I might buy what you’re peddling, Nabisco. The other side is just the nutritional info, which isn’t bad (130 calories from 9 crackers), although the total fat is a bit more than I would have guessed, 7 percent of your recommended daily intake.
I know this will disappoint those of you hoping for another round of great crackers, but like my beloved Phillies this year, it isn’t going to happen. And the reason is that (like the Phils), these crackers boast a certain amount of potential but just don’t make it happen in execution. Remove one from the box and you become mildly hopeful — it mostly looks like a standard Triscuit, but there’s a slight glaze reminiscent of melted butter (Spoiler! It isn’t), as well as visible pepper flakes in little enclaves around the cracker. Turn it back and forth under a light source and you can even see the glint of salt crystals, although don’t do it when anyone’s around because seriously, you look like a tool.
Take a bite, though, and you’ll remember why no one has ever come close to being excited about the combination of brown rice and crackers: these are dry as hell. They ARE crunchy, it has to be said, but have a drink with you at all times. And not just because of the salt, which is present in reasonable quantities, though it does vary some from cracker to cracker; that’s understandable, though. The pepper flavor is distinct and probably the best thing about the crackers — it’s plentiful enough to savor without overwhelming your palate.
That said, it’s still fighting a losing battle against the dryness and the texture of the crackers. And while the sodium level isn’t bad, they aren’t reduced fat or anything that might mitigate your feelings slightly like that. Sad to say, the sea salt and black pepper are both mildly pleasant, but not magic. They can enhance a steak, but ultimately, they just aren’t enough to make these crackers exciting.
(Nutrition Facts – 6 crackers – 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Nabisco Sea Salt & Black Pepper Brown Rice Triscuit Purchased Price: $2.49 Size: 9 oz. Purchased at: Giant Rating: 5 out of 10 Pros: Crunchy. Salt and pepper are both plentiful and reasonably tasty. 2008 Phillies. Pretty favorable sodium and (especially) cholesterol levels. Cons: Quite dry, and after the crunch, not a great texture. 2013 Phillies. Does not move like Jagger. Not much excitement. Embracing your thirties.
If I was required to guess at which snack product would abandon the usual attempt to capture the taste of a nutritionally poor fast food product or even an offbeat American classic in favor of something that sounds like it came from a Giada De Laurentiis cookbook, then I would pick Triscuit.
More upscale than a lowly potato chip and much more inclusive than the crunchy, sometimes divisive malt flavor of the Wheat Thin, Triscuits are the kind of crackers you put out when you’ve invited your next door neighbors over. You know…the nicely dressed couple in their late 30s with 2.4 kids and a dog named Champ. Average. Moderate. Broad. Unassuming. They’re kind of just there. Except when Champ poops on your front yard.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I can admire a safe snack like that. It serves a purpose, and is something I don’t feel too bad about when going for seconds at holiday socials. This is important, because like most people, I hate talking to my annoying relatives, who tend to flock to such gatherings. But while I can admire Triscuit because they provide me a distraction when I want to be anti-social, I usually don’t go out of my way to buy them. Hard as I try, I just cannot leap for joy at cravings spawned by the taste of soft winter wheat.
However, combining brown rice, sweet potato and roasted sweet onion in and on a Triscuit? Don’t expect me to make it and upload a photo on Instagram, but even my inner fat kid can get behind a composed flavor combination of wholesome grains and vegetables like that.
Triscuit’s marketing people did a really nice job talking up how these crackers were baked with “real food,” but from the slightly orangyish hue, an almost fried-like wheat and rice structure, and a liberally coated seasoning that looked like Doritos Cooler Ranch powder, each square resembled someone’s misplaced attempt to fry a cracker rather than an actual sweet potato or red onion. Undeterred by this bastardized cracker, my initial bite was greeted by an unmistakable shattering sensation that borders somewhere between crispy and crunchy. Wherever it is on the crunch spectrum, it’s strikingly addictive, and a textural bite I’ve really only encountered at Korean fried chicken restaurants like the chain Bon Chon. Far from the usual sturdy, if not boring, crunch of a Triscuit, I was instantly hooked.
The flavoring powder is strong and slightly sweet and definitely has the red onion vibe going for it. It’s thankfully not as sharp or intense as a raw red onion, although the flavor doesn’t quite reach the mellowed, smoky-sweetness of an actual roasted red onion. Basically, someone like Scott Conant might not be “kinda angry” from eating it, but would rather be just be mildly confused. Personally, I loved it. For while the sweet onion flavor wakes up your tastebuds, a mellow, smokier and wholesome sweet potato taste permeates the backend. Think a whole grain sweet potato chip, if you’ve ever had one of those. If you haven’t, just think yummy and smile.
Through it all, there’s an almost Doritos Cooler Ranch quality to the seasoning. I can’t place my finger on it (probably because I was licking them), but there’s a slight tang that just melds everything together. Or maybe it’s just the natural reaction to licking little green herb seasoning off my fingers.
The box came with a nice little recipe idea for topping my crackers with Gouda and figs, but because I chose a career in writing and editing and don’t have that kind of straight cash money, I settled for some Walmart mozzarella and a few raisins. The cracker did just what it needed to do, contributing the sharp sweet onion flavor and meaty sweet potato back notes to the earthy sweetness of the raisins and milky taste of the cheese. Not overwhelming the topping but still holding its own, my little creation was probably the closest thing I got to an actual meal all week.
Clearly, I’m impressed. So impressed, as a matter of fact, that I’m ready to proclaim this my favorite Triscuit and right up there with some of the best crackers I’ve ever had. What Triscuit has managed to do is create a cracker with one of the greatest textural elements of chips but also the robust flavors of, well, actual food. And they’ve done it with something that’s actually pretty good for me and combines none of that actual cooking stuff. While I can foresee those with a strong aversion to onions taking a pass on these, I think most people will be pleasantly surprised by the entire Brown Rice Triscuit line.
As for pleasing your neighbors at those awkward pre-dinner conversations? Well, you’re completely on your own there.
(Nutrition Facts – 6 crackers – 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Other Roasted Sweet Onion Brown Rice Triscuit reviews: Junk Food Guy
Item: Nabisco Roasted Sweet Onion Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato Triscuit Purchased Price: $2.50 Size: 9 oz. box Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 9 out of 10 Pros: Wonderful and slightly sharp sweet onion flavor balanced by subtle molasses sweetness of earthy whole grains and sweet potato backnotes. Crispy-crunchy-shattery texture like Korean fried chicken. Real food. Whole grains. Doesn’t overpower toppings but can hold its own. Has a Cooler Ranch Doritos vibe for some odd reason. Cons: Confusing Scott Conant and the anti-onion crowd. Might be a little intense for those who like plain crackers. Not as much fiber or protein as regular Triscuit. Assistant Editors’ salaries. Divisive cracker tastes make for awkward pre-dinner conversation with the neighbors.
Remember a few weeks ago when New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin took the NBA world by storm, creating the phenomenon known as Linsanity and the neologisms that soon followed, like Linspiration, Linderella, Linvincible, and Lincredible.
Well, there’s a dillicious baked whole grain wheat cracker that has caused a dillirious frenzy in the snack world. What snack has caused this dillirium? Why it’s the dillectable Triscuit Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil.
Look at how easy it is to come up with a bunch of made up words using “dill.” It’s not dillficult. BOOM! I did it again. It’s so simple I’m surprised Nabisco didn’t use one and put it on the Triscuit Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil box, not even “dillicious.” They only put boring words and phrases, like “100% Whole Grain”, “Good Source of Dietary Fiber”, and “May Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease.”
I wonder if avoiding neologisms was dilliberate. BAM! I am a verbal machine that dillivers! Oh snap! You can’t stop me, you can only hope to contain me!
To be honest, I’m surprised I put this box of Triscuit into my shopping cart because I’ve never really cared for them. I’ve always considered Triscuit crackers to be “not Wheat Thins” or “shredded wheat cereal rejects.” However, the combination of dill, sea salt, and olive oil compelled me to get over my Triscuit bias.
On the back of the Triscuit Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil box, there are two suggested topping recipes, smoked salmon & dill and tangy greek. The box also says what wine would go well with these hors d’oeuvre. (Pinot Grigio, in case you were wondering.) Well, I recommend you avoid the topping and wine suggestions and just open the bag of Triscuit, stick your paw in the bag, pull out a handful of crackers, and stuff them into your mouth, because, just like women on a European beach, they’re quite wonderful topless.
Each woven whole grain soft white winter wheat cracker has noticeable specks of dill, and after I ate a couple I started seeing the sea salt granules build up on my fingers. A wonderful sour dill flavor, which kind of reminded me of pickles, was all I could taste when I put this cracker in between my food mashers. However, after several chews, the dill dissipated and was replaced by the garlic and onion powder added to the cracker. Also, at this time, the sea salt was slightly noticeable. But I really wish the dill flavor hung around longer.
Overall, the Nabisco Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil Triscuit crackers are a satisfying crunchy snack and I think they’ve helped me get over my Triscuit bias. They are dillightful and Lincredible.
(Nutrition Facts – 6 crackers – 120 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 110 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Other Nabisco Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil Triscuit reviews: Junk Food Guy
Item: Nabisco Dill Sea Salt & Olive Oil Triscuit Price: $3.00 Size: 9 ounces Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 8 out of 10 Pros: Wonderful dill flavor. Crunchy. 22 grams of whole grain per serving. Reminds me of pickles. Decent source of fiber. Doesn’t need toppings. My ability to coin new words using “dill.” Cons: Dill flavor needs to hang around longer. Putting smoked salmon on a Triscuit. My Triscuit bias. My ability to coin new words using “dill” since I’ll probably only use it for this review.