REVIEW: Nabisco Chili Cheese Wheat Thins

Nabisco Chili Cheese Wheat Thins

Of all my shortcomings as a writer, one of the more noticeable tics is a tendency to bury the lede. If not for the numerical rating at the top, you could read three or four paragraphs into most of my reviews without having any idea whether I actually liked the product, and who has time to indulge a rambling narcissist for that long? Not you, you’re a busy person. Things to do, foods to try! So allow me to cut to the chase:

I had to buy a second box of these Wheat Thins because my family and I ate the first one before I had finished the review, and also just because I wanted to. That almost never happens, even when I really like the food. So there you go.

Now that we’ve gotten the metaphorical first kiss out of the way, we can move on to the rest of our evening. Let’s be candid: in terms of thrilling or exotic foods, crackers rank somewhere between canned tuna and oatmeal. No movie has ever featured a box of Saltines in a steamy seduction scene. Scarlett Johansson could not make crackers sexy. There’s a reason why it’s the preferred terminology for boring white guys like myself.

And even in that dubious company, Wheat Thins are not what you think of as the cutting edge, kick-ass cracker brand. Triscuits, maybe. Cheez-Its? Hell, those em-effers are crazy. But Wheat Thins? They’re what your parents put out as an appetizer before dinner. (Confidential to mom and dad: I still love them! But mostly when sandwiching pepperoni and cheese slices.) So when you hear Wheat Thins is putting out a chili cheese flavor, you scoff and think, “Targeted at who, retirement communities? 8-year-old girls? The Amish? Get real, Wheat Thins.”

And then you take a bite just to be indulgent and it’s like that Chappelle Show sketch where Charlie Murphy plays Prince in a game of pick-up basketball, and the only thing you can say after your first bite is, “Game… blouses.”

I’m serious — by cracker standards, these are really good. They aren’t going to immolate your tongue or make steam shoot out your ears like a 1930s cartoon. But you WILL taste some heat, especially in the crackers at the top of the box. (I noticed the chili flavor starting to get less intense around the middle of the package.) Yes, a Texan would probably pour oil and rattlesnake venom on these and call them breakfast cereal, but for the rest of us, the heat is enough to keep you interested.

In terms of the cheese, it’s definitely overshadowed by the chili. Which is not to say it’s bad — there’s a coating on every cracker that’s probably mostly chili powder, but I would guess also includes cheese dust. It’s just not especially noticeable unless you’re really concentrating, and even then… enh. Not bad, but you’re getting these for the chili, not the cheese. As for the texture, I know it’s incredible to believe but they remain, in fact, Wheat Thins. Same as it ever was.

So there you go: I said at the very beginning that these were great crackers that I willingly bought another box of, and here I am reiterating it. If you’re in a position to pick these up, you should definitely jump on it. That said, I am still going to take points off for unironic use of the word “kickin'” on the back of the box. Because at the end of the day, you are still Wheat Thins. Own that.

(Nutrition Facts – 15 pieces – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 95 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Chili Cheese Wheat Thins reviews:
Junk Food Guy

Item: Nabisco Chili Cheese Wheat Thins
Purchased Price: $2.99 (on sale)
Size: 9 oz. box
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Putting stereotypes to rest. Brings some heat to the party. Would probably be great sandwiching some Swiss cheese. Not too bad for you. Game… blouses.
Cons: Could stand a little more cheese flavoring to keep up with the chili. tl;dr. “Kickin'” is a very cracker thing to say. Taking shots at the Amish is so 1996.

REVIEW: Nabisco Honey Mustard Wheat Thins

Nabisco Honey Mustard Wheat Thins

I oftentimes wonder if there’s some kind of flow chart that maps out how snack companies pick the next flavor for their brands. You know, the kind of simple-to-read document with the Microsoft Word-Art-inspired fancy arrows in bright colors that leads executives on a maze to the big pastel colored circle that says (in Comic Sans, no less) “Red Velvet Pop-Tart” or “Chicken and Waffles Potato Chips.”

And knowing how some flavors get the check-mark before others, I further wonder if the brilliant advisors to some of our nation’s finest food brands aren’t in fact the same whiz kids giving AT&T all that brilliant advice.

I bring this up because it seems a long-time coming that Wheat Thins would add Honey Mustard to their flavor lineup. Seriously, Nabisco. If “artisan” cheese, low sodium, and cinnamon sugar can get on the flavor list, then you’d think a flavor like honey mustard would have made the cut by now.

Well, better late then never.

The taste is classic honey mustard powder, which from my experience is different than actual honey mustard because it has all the benefits of the irresistible sweet-salty combination with a hint of tang and earthiness to go along with not having to deal with the annoyance of squeeze bottle physics.

Nabisco Honey Mustard Wheat Thins Closeup 1

There aren’t any particularly “artisan” notes that suggest a fancy-smancy Dijon or horseradish-type of honey mustard, which is great in my book because the last thing I want while snacking is making funny faces thanks to nasal irritation. The powder is applied liberally enough to allow for a finger-licking experience, even after a handful of crackers, which seem a natural fit for honey mustard given the crackers’ malted aftertaste and wheaty flavor.

Like I said, it’s a flavor that seems a long time coming.

The sweet and slightly tangy taste permeates past the powder though, which in this case makes the crackers all the more addictive. It also validates their ability to withstand plenty of the stresses of springtime events like watching opening day baseball on your couch with a cold one.

Yes, spilling your beer on Honey Mustard Wheat Thins will infuse the cracker with the triple hops brewed taste of fermented barley, but it won’t wash away the honey mustard taste. Should you not spill beer on your Wheat Thins and just be one of those weird people who insist on licking every atom of seasoning powder off your favorite snack before crunching down, you’ll still find the usual malted taste of the Wheat Thin melding perfectly with the honey mustard flavor.

Nabisco Honey Mustard Wheat Thins Closeup 2

Truth be told, I really can’t find noticeable flaws with the Honey Mustard Wheat Thins. However, a bit more seasoning as well as a hint of the kind of innate “pretzel” flavor that goes so well with honey mustard would have put these crackers over the top for me.

On that note, Honey Mustard Wheat Thins won’t be the kind of snack that inspires you to deplete your local Walmart’s stock before your tax rebate check arrives, but at the same time, they’re not something that disappoints. If only all flow-chart inspired snack flavor product decisions could accomplish so much.

(Nutrition Facts – 30 grams (About 15 crackers) – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 85 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Nabisco Honey Mustard Wheat Thins
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 9 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Classic honey mustard powder flavor reminiscent of Rold Gold Honey Mustard pretzels. Sweet-salty-malty powder applied liberally enough for finger licking action. Not overpowering in the tang department. Avoiding squeeze bottle physics which rob me a good three tablespoons of honey mustard. Whole grains.
Cons: Snack food flavor flow charts. Lacks familiar “pretzel” flavor. Still waiting for a Beer and Honey Mustard Wheat Thins flavor.

REVIEW: Nabisco Wheat Thins (Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa)

Wheat Thins (Spicy Buffalo & Zesty Salsa)

I think it’s safe to say Nabisco Triscuits crackers are for refined palates, while Nabisco Wheat Thins crackers are for unrefined palates, and Nabisco Premium crackers are for nauseated palates.

Triscuit comes in flavors that sound like they were conceived by a food snob wearing a top hat and monocle. These flavors include Rye with Caraway Seeds; Rosemary and Olive Oil; and Dill, Sea Salt & Olive Oil. Even the name Triscuit sounds snobby.

Don’t believe me?

Say “Triscuit” with a French accent.

Do you believe me now?

On the other hand, Wheat Thins varieties, like their new Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa, sound like flavors you might find on a Chili’s/Applebee’s/T.G.I. Friday’s menu.

These two new Wheat Thins flavors follow last year’s Smoky BBQ and Sweet Cinnamon. At the rate Nabisco is burning through adjectives, I’m expecting fruity, herbal, earthy, and umami Wheat Thins varieties in the next two or three years.

Wheat Thins (Spicy Buffalo & Zesty Salsa) Closeup

Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins have a slightly menacing orange hue on one side, which make them look like they shared a BOGO spray tan offer with Snooki. Since only one side is seasoned, I’d recommend eating each cracker with the flavor side down. Once you start chomping, you’ll instantly taste the familiar flavor of buffalo wing sauce. It’s not a powerful buffalo wing flavor, but it’s definitely noticeable and delicious.

In order to recreate buffalo wing sauce in dry form, these Wheat Thins are seasoned with a combination of cayenne pepper sauce, garlic powder, and tomato powder. Eating these Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins will create a very slight burn in your mouth, so have your Ranch Wheat Thins handy to cool it down.

As for Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins, they smell and taste like someone took a bag of regular Wheat Thins dumped chili powder into it and shook it. Okay, the way I just described them make them sound like they aren’t good, but they are good in the sense that, if there weren’t any Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins around, I wouldn’t object to eating them.

The seasoned side of the Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins have a combination of dried green bell peppers and salt, so they look like leprechaun magic was cast upon them. As I said before, they taste like they were seasoned with chili powder. There’s also a slight sweetness to them, but I wouldn’t consider their flavor to be salsa-like. However, they are good and if your local store doesn’t have the Spicy Buffalo flavor, these Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins would be a good substitute.

Overall, the Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins are two great additions to the Wheat Thins lineup and will satisfy any unrefined palate.

(Nutrition Facts – Spicy Buffalo – 14 pieces – 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 90 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Zesty Salsa – 15 pieces – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 105 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins reviews:
Junk Food Guy (Spicy Buffalo)
Junk Food Guy (Zesty Salsa)

Item: Nabisco Wheat Thins (Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa)
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Spicy Buffalo)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Zesty Salsa)
Pros: Crunchy tasty goodness. Great for unrefined palates. Spicy Buffalo has that familiar buffalo wing sauce flavor. Leprechaun magic. BOGO offers. Premium crackers great for nauseated palates.
Cons: Zesty Salsa is not really salsa-like. Zesty Salsa not as good as Spicy Buffalo. Bad for refined palates. Snobby crackers. Saying “Triscuit” in a French accent. Nabisco is running out of adjective to use to name new flavors.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon

Limited Edition Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon Crackers Box

Ah, crackers.

For some reason I always find it hard starting off a cracker review. Maybe it’s because crackers aren’t a very sexy food. Candy is sexy. Fruit can be very sexy. Ice cream? Ice cream is definitely sexy, which is ironic since eating a lot of it will have the opposite effect on you. But crackers are not sexy. Nobody has ever eaten crackers off someone’s naked body, and if they have, I don’t want to know about it.

But hey, it can’t all be fast food and desserts — at some point you’ve got to devote some time to the staples, the unsung members of the snack world. And if that snack knows it isn’t glamorous but has gone to the trouble of decking itself out in sweet cinnamon for the holidays to make a good impression on your visiting relatives? Well, that says a lot. Be honest, ladies: what impresses you more, the guy who’s naturally gorgeous, or the one who goes out of his way to clean up, dress up, and put his best foot forward? Exactly. Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon are the homely guy who knows he doesn’t stand a chance with you, but dammit, he’s going to give it his best shot anyway. You’ve got to admire that.

Mind you, I do like regular Wheat Thins, but I’m used to eating them as little sandwiches with cheese and/or pepperoni slices in between. It’s rare that I’ll eat straight from a box of Wheat Thins, but that’s what seems most appropriate here, since neither cheese nor meat makes for a natural combination with cinnamon. I would guess that’s why these are limited edition for the holidays, since they lose a little bit of their versatility for party settings, where you’re more likely to want to make cracker sandwiches. However, what the cinnamon Wheat Thins lose in party food-ability, they gain back in solo use. After all, you’re more likely to dig into a box of something on the couch if it’s sweet and can be enjoyed straight out of the package, without needing to cut cheese slices or get out the platter and martini glasses, or whatever people without two young kids do at parties these days. (Network? Spin the bottle? Get crunk? I just don’t know.)

It’s fair to say my expectations were pretty high for this product, because let’s be honest, cinnamon is awesome and it’s pretty hard to screw up sprinkling it on a cracker. That’d be like praising me for writing a review that successfully uses the word “ass” three times… it’s just kind of expected. Plus the snowman on the box predisposes me to wanting to like whatever’s inside, a tactic the government would do well to remember when issuing jury summons. With all that being the case, my takeaway is that the cinnamon Wheat Thins are pleasant, and that’s probably the correct adjective. Not “amazing” or “mind-blowing” or “pulchritudinous,” but pleasant. A nice winter treat that would probably pair well with some hot chocolate while snuggled up with a loved one, watching Jimmy Stewart tough-talk an angel on Christmas.

[As an aside, do you know how hard it is to type “thins” rather than “things”? Your fingers just want to add that “g”. Try it!]

Limited Edition Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon Crackers Closeup

You’re familiar with what you’re going to get if you’ve ever had Wheat Thins before, because the size, consistency, and texture are the same as they’ve always been, the only difference being the addition of cinnamon and sugar. Speaking of which, I suspect this will be a polarizing product based on the amount of cinnamon per cracker. It’s not insignificant — no one will confuse these with having a “hint of” cinnamon. That said, they aren’t comprised solely of cinnamon and sugar pressurized and molded into the vague shape of a Wheat Thin either. I personally found them tasty and think most people will as well, but anyone hoping these would equate to a slightly larger version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is advised to keep walking. (However, I did dip some in milk, just out of curiosity. Not bad, but not something you’d want to eat out of a bowl with a spoon.)

Like a lot of you would have guessed, Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon is a product that offers zero surprises. It’s exactly what the name implies it to be, and it looks and tastes exactly how you’d expect. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though — the crackers ARE tasty, and they’re a safe snack food you can enjoy equally with friends or home alone in your pajamas. (Those of you who wear them, anyway. I know our readers like to walk on the wild side.) If snack foods were an ’80s movie, they’d be the quiet nerd who never gets noticed until finally the stars align and Molly Ringwald takes a chance on him, only to discover that, hey, this guy’s got a little spice to him! That’s Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon. Enjoy them, and enjoy the holiday season!

(Nutrition Facts – 14 pieces – 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Limited Edition Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon
Price: $2.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: Wegman’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Reasonably nutritious. Snowman on box. Homely crackers who doll themselves up for you. Can be readily enjoyed solo. Unsurprising but pleasant taste. Decent in milk. Nabbing Molly Ringwald at the end.
Cons: Not bringing sexy back to crackers. No good for making mini-sandwiches. Doesn’t keep you guessing. Not an effective breakfast cereal replacement. Probably not enough cinnamon and sugar for some people.

REVIEW: Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ

Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ

Man, I love bourbon. That slow burn that creeps down your throat, when it’s so acrid you can taste the Southern anger. Mmmmmmmm! Dessert is a maraschino cherry topped in a Manhattan and breakfast is black coffee with two fingers of Maker’s. My liver says otherwise, but there is nothing like sitting in a chaise lounge with your striped pajamas on, The Weather Channel’s Storm Stories on the flatscreen and a rocks glass with some heat. I keep hoping to see Jim Cantore shoot up like that cow did in Twister.

And always accompanying my vice is that recognizable yellow box of Wheat Thins. For as long as I can remember, Wheat Thins slathered with supermarket onion dip or a gummy block of cheap Monterey Jack cheese has always been my drunk eats. Bourbon and Wheat Thins are like peanut butter and jelly to me. I love my bourbon and I love my Wheat Thins. Making me decide between either is like asking who would I choose, saving my wife or my collection of Morrissey albums from Ragnarock (neither, I would choose my bourbon).

One note, if you hate Wheat Thins…you can stop reading. This product will not change your mind. And if you hate Wheat Thins, you need to do a self-evaluation since there are more important things to hate than a snack.

I was very surprised when I walked in from the awful day of work and noticed a box of Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ crackers on the counter that my wife bought me. Now I have never been a big fan of the flavored Wheat Thins because I have a rule, why mess with perfection unless it includes a hand shandy? Looking at the box, coupled with my recent behavior of “drinking too much” (as if there is such a thing), I knew I was not getting either.

Defeated, I grabbed the box and sighed. I was leery of them because it seems like every snack has some version of BBQ flavor. So I took off my jacket and tossed it on my stained ottoman. Loosening my collar and tie, I folded my sleeves 50’s dad style and walked over to my wet bar. I grabbed a glass and poured a couple of shots of hello dolly.

After a swallow or two or five, I returned to the box and decided to give them a chance. The box promises a whole 10 grams of whole grain per serving which is fine and dandy, but I was more interested in the taste.

Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ Closeup

The crackers had that recognizable square shape and a very faint orange-red shade versus the mustardy brown color of Wheat Thins. They smelled like the normal ones, toasted grains and wheat.

Wow! The sweetness was a wonderful contrast to the subtle smoke (as the ingredients list natural smoke flavoring). The smokiness was a punch of garlic and onion. The sweet taste was definitely from the tomato powder used and let me tell you, it was “sucking on a ketchup packet” good. I know you readers out there suck on ketchup packets when no one is looking. It is okay, I won’t tell anyone. As long as you ignore that everyone’s hands have probably molested the hell out of those things, you’re in for a good time normally.

Anyhow getting back to the Wheat Thins, the sweet flavor is not candy sweet nor is it a heavy syrupy sweet. It may not appeal to everyone, but I loved it. I can’t think of anything close to the flavor because while it is similar to other barbecue chips, it has its own character. The Smoky BBQ deserves a try at the very least.

I thought these were damn-o-riffic! The barbecue flavor wasn’t that fakey sugary musk that cheap BBQ potato chips have. I also wouldn’t say it was savory like umami (what an overused term that I now have partaken in) but the taste was close to that sweet and savory thing we all love. It’s similar to Kansas City style barbecue, heavy on the tomato paste and sweeter than other barbecue sauces. After eating more than I should, the flavor was never tiring. Now make sure you have something to drink, the crackers can get a bit salty if you eat too many.

Snacking on these alone are perfect enough but if you want to change it up a bit, an aged white cheddar or some other mild tasting milky cheese would absolutely work. I think brie or even a tub of cream cheese would be a fine accompaniment which would mellow some of the BBQ flavor. A box of Silk Cut ciggies would do the same, but smoking and eating at the same time is gross.

I ate so many that half a box was left after I went to town on them and didn’t care how awful I looked with my joe boxers (those smiley face ones), black socks and a stained white T-shirt.

I have to admit, Wheat Thins BBQ Thins don’t mix well with bourbon but I doubt many of you will be drinking that while eating them. I went ahead and brushed the crumbs off my shirt and onto my lap. I drained my glass after I was rebuffed by the wife again and took comfort knowing that I could place my paws all over the Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ. Yum Yum Yum.

(Nutritional Facts — 14 crackers — 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Wheat Thins Smoky BBQ
Price: $3.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased: Publix
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Unique and great addictive barbecue taste. You will not get tired of the flavor. Morrissey. That scene when the cow shoots up rocket style in Twister, man I still laugh pretty hard. The barbecue taste is not fake tasting. Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma.
Cons: It may be a bit too sweet for other people’s taste. If you dislike Wheat Thins, do not bother. Can be a bit salty. Helen Hunt’s forehead, it’s so big I can scrawl another face on it. Jim Cantore’s delivery. The word Umami.