September 12, 2016


SunChips Garden Salsa

sunchipsgs.jpgIím not inclined to eat any food with ďgardenĒ in its name. Thatís why I never bothered to try SunChips Garden Salsa. The picture of the tomato on the front of the bag didnít help. Well, I recently took a risk and gave them a try and all I can say is ďwhat took me so long?!Ē They are far better than the other two SunChips varieties that I have had Ė Original and Harvest Cheddar (I donít recall ever trying the French Onion ones . . . ). SunChips Garden Salsa have a unique, vibrant flavor that is heavy on tomatoes, but have lots of other flavors going on too. They are also supposed to also have the taste of ďfresh-pickedĒ jalapeŮo peppers, but I didnít detect much of this. They are definitely zesty, but donít really have any meaningful heat. Iím really glad that I finally tried these chips. Just donít expect me to start eating salads anytime soon.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

June 11, 2016


Doritos Mix Taco Explosion

doritos-mix-taco-explosion.jpgI bought a bag of Doritos Mix Cheese Explosion recently and was not impressed. I canít recommend it to Phoood readers. But, I can recommend the bag that may be sitting right next to it on your supermarket shelf Ė Doritos Mix Taco Explosion. Itís made with spicy nacho triangle tortilla chips, taco-flavored rolled tortilla chips, salsa-flavored 3D triangle doodads, and sour cream-flavored spirals thingies. Itís a nice combination of flavors and the four different shapes make it much more enjoyable to eat compared to just tortilla chips. The flavors arenít anything new or groundbreaking, just the usual Doritosí flavors that Iíve come to love. And thatís just fine with me.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

January 31, 2016


On The Border Cafť Style Tortilla Chips

OTBchips.jpgI've enjoyed eating at On The Border (a.k.a. On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina or On The Border Mexican Cafť) for many years. For a chain restaurant, I think it's pretty decent. I wish there were more of them where I live, and less Chevys. Not long ago, I started seeing three varieties of On The Border tortilla chips in the supermarket. I bought a bag of the ďCafť StyleĒ chips to see how they would compare to my current favorite tortilla chip, Calidad Restaurant Style (if you haven't tried these, you really should). The On the Border chips have a great flavor and just the kind of texture I like in a tortilla chip. They're much better than just about every other brand of tortilla chip you'll find in a supermarket. In fact, I like them about as much as my revered Calidad chips. The On The Border chips are a little more expensive than the Calidad chips, so I will probably only buy them when they are on sale. But, it's nice to have another quality tortilla chip option when shopping.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

March 28, 2015


Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack

doritosjacked3d.jpgThe ingenious folks at Doritos have created a very tasty ďtortilla snackĒ that is kind of like a tortilla chip, but not. The roughly triangle-shaped Doritos Jacked 3D snacks taste like tortilla chips, but are about half the size and are several times thicker. Their intricate shape and their thickness result in one very crunchy snack. They have such a substantial crunch that as I ate them, my jaws actually ached a bit. No joke. Even though I may have been risking a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, I kept on eating them because I liked their flavor. The combination of jalapeno and pepper jack cheese flavors work well together. Itís a relatively mild jalapeno flavor, without too much heat. Well, unless you eat a lot of them over a short amount of time, like I did. Then, you might find yourself needing a cold glass of milk to cool things down. As much as I like the Jalapeno Pepper Jack snacks, I wish that I could buy them in Nacho Cheese, Spicy Nacho, or Spicy Sweet Chili flavors, because I think I would like them even more. If you have become bored with the seasoned tortilla chips you have been eating forever and want something a bit more daring, Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack are definitely worth trying.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

June 20, 2014


Cape Cod Waffle Cut Sea Salt Chips

capecodchips.jpgThis is one of those ďhow come nobody ever thought of thisĒ products that comes along once in a while. Waffle fries have been around for a long time, but I had never seen waffle chips until I bought a bag of Cape Cod Waffle Cut Chips while shopping at Safeway recently. The chips are delicious, with a great potato flavor and just the right amount of salt. The ďdouble-sliced waffle cutĒ gives them a unique texture that I love. Thereís just something about all those ridges and holes that makes them so enjoyable to eat. They are pretty thick chips that should stand up well to any dip that you want to eat with them. I bough the Sea Salt flavor, but the chips also come in Farm Stand Ranch and Buffalo Cheddar flavors. I figure itís just a matter of time until other companies come out with their version of waffle chips, but itís going to be hard to top Cape Cod Waffle Cut Chips.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

March 4, 2014


Cheez-It Grooves Sharp White Cheddar

cheezitgrooves.jpgI really liked the last Cheez-It product I reviewed, Cheez-It Zingz, and gave them Phooodís highest rating. New Cheez-It Grooves deserve an even higher rating, if such a rating existed. The best things about Grooves are their texture and crunch. You can consider Grooves to be either a thin cracker or a thick chip. Either way, Grooves successfully combine the best qualities of a cracker and a chip into a delicious snack. They come in two flavors - Zesty Cheddar Ranch and Sharp White Cheddar. Donít bother with the former, as it is a poor combination of flavors and lacks any ďzestĒ whatsoever. Sharp White Cheddar, on the other hand, is one of the best flavors the folks at Cheez-It have ever come up with. Itís bold, tangy, and goes wonderfully with the crispy, crunchy cracker/chip. Sharp White Cheddar Grooves are easily the best snack I've tasted this year, and I highly recommend them.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

November 19, 2013


Cracker JackíD Cheddar BBQ Snack Mix

crackerjackd.jpgI bought a box of Cracker Jack a while back. The popcorn wasnít any good and there were maybe 3 peanuts in the box. There are much better coated-popcorn and peanut snacks you can eat, including Crunch Ďn Munch (I ate some of this recently - delicious!). So, stay away from Cracker Jack. Cracker Jackíd, on the other hand, is worth giving a try. Cracker Jackíd is a new line of snack mixes with flavors like Spicy Pizzeria, PB and Chocolate, and Zesty Queso. I bought a bag of the Cheddar BBQ flavor. The three-ounce bag cost two dollars at Walmart, which seems like an okay price considering its ingredients. There are cheddar and barbecue-flavored clusters (oat and/or rice, I believe), peanuts, and hickory smoked almonds. The snack mix has a real good flavor and thereís a decent amount of nuts in it. My only gripe is that toward the end of the bag, there was a lot of loose rolled oats that I felt I had to eat (as I had paid for themÖ) but didn't taste particularly good by themselves. Cracker JackíD is marketed as a snack that ďfills you up.Ē Iím not sure exactly who they think a three-ounce bag of snack mix will fill up, but itís sure not me. Iíd have to eat a couple bags to even make a dent in my hunger. But, that goes for most snack foods so Iím not holding it against Cracker JackíD snacks.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

October 20, 2013


Cheez-It Zingz Chipotle Cheddar

zingz.jpgCheez-It Zingz Chipotle Cheddar are yet another addition to the Cheez-It lineup of snack crackers, and this time they hit it out of the ballpark. Zingz are a bit different than the Cheez-Its you are familiar with. They are made with corn masa flour and have a more pronounced crunch than ďtraditionalĒ Cheez-Its. I really like the texture and crunch that Zingz have. But itís the flavor of Zingz Chipotle Cheddar that really shines. The flavor is a combination of cheddar cheese, chipotle pepper, coriander, red pepper, cumin, and chili pepper. Despite all the peppers, they really arenít very spicy. Perhaps what I like best is that the chipotle flavor is very mild, not overpowering like some chipotle-flavored foods are. Typically, I avoid chipotle-flavored snacks because itís just not one of my favorite flavors. But, I love these crackers. Iíll go so far as to say that they have the best flavor of any Cheez-It product Iíve ever eaten. There have been lots of Cheez-It products that have come and gone - some good and some not so good. Iím hoping that Zingz stay around for a long time, because they are really special.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

August 1, 2013


El Restaurante Tortilla Chips

ElRestrounds.jpgYou might see a new brand of tortilla chips on store shelves in the near future. Just what we need, right? As if thereís not enough brands of tortilla chips fighting for you to buy them. Well, in this case Iím glad that another brand has entered the tortilla chip wars because El Restaurante chips are an outstanding product. Sure, theyíre just simple corn tortilla chips. You would think it would be easy to make tasty tortilla chips, but many brands fall short for one reason or another. El Restaurante chips get everything right and are probably the best tasting ones youíll find. They have a very nice corn flavor that is stronger than many other chips. They also have a texture that I absolutely love. Itís hard for me to describe the texture other than to say it is if the chips have layers. Must be the way that the chips are fried. As a result, the chips have a great, unique crunch. They also have just the right amount of saltiness, in my opinion. El Restaurante has hit a home run with these chips and they easily deserve Phooodís highest rating.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

January 3, 2013


Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy

tostitoscantina.jpgTortilla chip makers have been forever trying to produce chips that are as good as they ones you get in some Mexican food restaurants. You know - the chips that you canít stop eating because they are so utterly delicious. The ones you eat so many of that when your meal finally comes, you arenít very hungry. I donít think any store-bought chips reach this level of tastiness, but Iím hoping someday they do. Tostitos gives it their best shot with their new Cantina Thin & Crispy chips. I suspect that Tostitosí goal for the chips was for them to be similar to the chips served at Chevyís, and they come pretty close. The chips are thin, but not so thin that they fall apart easily. They also have a very nice crispiness and feel great in the mouth. But, thereís one very important thing missing: flavor. I found the chips to be bland and boring, with very little corn flavor. I suppose that if you are using the chips to eat salsa or some other type of dip, the flavor of the chip isnít as important. But, I think every chip should taste good when eaten by itself, without any accompaniment. Perhaps the lack of flavor is because the chips are so thin. I canít explain why the chips are so lacking in flavor, but I know that I wonít be buying them in the future.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

October 20, 2012


Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flaminí Hot

cheetosXXTRA.jpgSpicy is very popular these days, and Iím all for it. I enjoy food hot enough to clear my nasal passages. Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flaminí Hot snacks claim to be twice as hot as regular Cheetos Flaminí Hot. That may be true, but XXTRA Flaminí Hot really aren't that hot. Sure, they have some heat. I felt it in my mouth and in the back of my throat long after I had finished eating them. But, they donít have that immediate burn of the tongue and lips that really gets your attention. Iím not sure what type of peppers the folks at Frito-Lay, Inc. used for the heat, but Iím pretty sure they weren't habanero or ghost peppers. My (unscientific) description of the heat level is ďmoderately hot.Ē When I see the word ďXXTRAĒ in all caps, I expect something over-the-top. Something that I will remember eating for a long time. Something that I may regret having eaten. Frito-Lay, you left me a bit disappointed.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

September 11, 2012


Lay's Classic BLT Flavored Potato Chips

rsz_1l.jpgEver since the creation of the potato chip, there's been quite a few... unique flavors cooked up that many people aren't aware of. A few examples are cheeseburger, kimchi, and even "Australian BBQ Kangaroo" (seriously). The list goes on and on, but I'm the type of person who prefers simplicity when it comes to food. Even still, I couldn't help but be curious as to whether or not Lay's Classic BLT potato chips would actually taste like the popular sandwich. As soon as I ripped the bag open, I caught a whiff of vinegar and bacon. Upon eating the first few chips, I noticed a hint of toasted bread as well as the tartness of mayonnaise, surprisingly. The smoky presence of bacon was thereó albeit rather mildly. This may be hard to believe, but I did notice the taste of lettuce here and there. Sadly the chips didn't do a very good job in exuding a tomato flavor. Of course, the texture of bacon and the coolness of the vegetables could not be replicated but I believe this is as close as it can get. The chips surpassed my expectations and resulted in my taste buds almost being fooled into thinking that I had just finished eating a BLT. Perhaps now I will be more open to sampling other strange varieties of potato chips; although I will most likely pass on haggis.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

May 26, 2012


Doritos Toasted Corn

doritostc.jpgDoritos is best known for their flavored tortilla chips. You will find numerous varieties taking up a large section of almost any supermarket. But, one of their best flavors - if not the best - is Toasted Corn. No, they arenít covered in fiery sweet spicy chili nacho cheese taco powder. The ingredients are only corn, vegetable oil, and salt. So, all you get is pure, unadulterated corn flavor. And what a great flavor it is! Better than any other corn tortilla chip, in my opinion. They also have perhaps the perfect crispyness/ crunchiness quotient, the one that other tortilla chips strive for. You may have to look carefully on your supermarket shelves to find Doritos Toasted Corn. They may not be in a prominent location and there may not be many facings of them. You may have overlooked them in the past, but I urge you to buy a bag and taste for yourself. Iím certain that you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 15, 2012


Screaming Yellow Zonkers

syz.jpgI havenít seen Screaming Yellow Zonkers on the shelves for a while. Thatís because, if the Wikipedia page is correct, they were discontinued in 2007. However, the tasty popcorn treat has recently returned. If youíve never enjoyed Screaming Yellow Zonkers, or if youíve forgotten what it taste like, let me refresh your memory: itís popcorn covered with a sweet butter glaze. SYZ is made with real butter, not some nasty-tasting artificial butter flavor. So, the butter flavor is legit. The butter flavor is balanced with a nice sweetness that should appeal to both sugar-craving youngsters and those who are more mature. Itís a delicious and unique flavor. Iíve been told that Screaming Yellow Zonkers are only available at Walgreens, and only for a limited time. So, get a few boxes while you can.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 2, 2012


Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme

doritosjacked.jpgWith Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme, the fine folks at Doritos try to improve on the well-known Doritos tortilla chip in two ways: by making it thicker and by making it larger. The thicker chip works well, but they should not have made the chip larger. By my very hasty and possibly inaccurate measurements, Doritos Jacked are about fifty percent larger than the Doritos I have eaten forever. They are just big enough that I canít fit a chip into my mouth in one piece. Eating regular-sized Doritos is easy Ė I just pop a chip into my mouth and chew. With the larger Doritos Jacked, I canít do this. I have to bite the chip first. You wouldnít think this would be such a big deal, but it is. It creates crumbs and pieces of chips on my shirt and on the floor. I just donít need the mess. As for their taste, Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme have a good flavor that is consistent with their name and have a pretty good amount of heat. All in all, it would be a good chip if not for their unfortunate size. For this reason, I canít recommend them.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

February 9, 2012


Cheetos Puffs Honey BBQ

cheetoshoneybbq.jpgAs I was perusing through the vending machine at work today, I caught a glimpse of these Honey BBQ Flavored Cheetos Puffs. They sounded interesting enough to me, so I decided to grab a bag and try it out. My expectations were somewhat high due to the fact that I've had some pretty good Cheetos products in the past, and sadly these fell short. I should start out by saying that I'm not a real big fan of Cheetos Puffs to begin with. They just seem to be mostly filled with air and not have as much cheese powder compared to Crunchy Cheetos. While eating these, I had a very difficult time trying to make out any sort of BBQ flavor and the sweetness of honey was just not there. It was one of those instances where I had to eat a whole bunch of something in order for the flavor to accumulate in my mouth. If anything, I felt like I was eating a bunch of corn meal with a few sprinklings of cheese and BBQ powder mixed in. If you're expecting something similar to what you might find slathered on some chicken wings, you'll probably find out that these don't even come close.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

January 14, 2012


Cheez-It Mozzarella

cheezitmoz.jpgYou expect a mozzarella cheese-flavored cracker to taste like it has some mozzarella cheese in it, right? And, you expect that there would be a decent amount of mozzarella cheese in it too, wouldnít you? So, I donít know what the folks at Cheez-It are thinking with new Cheez-It Mozzarella. Sure, they have a cheese flavor. But, itís not the flavor of mozzarella cheese. Itís just a generic, amorphous cheese flavor. It could be one of many cheese flavors. One look at the ingredient list on the side of the box explains why. Mozzarella cheese is listed there, but itís not the first type of cheese in the list. In fact, itís not even the second type of cheese on the list. Sadly, mozzarella cheese is third on the list, behind white cheddar and cheddar. This is why the crackers donít taste like mozzarella cheese. It also explains why the crackers deserve the lowest Phoood rating. Itís not because the crackers themselves arenít perfectly edible, but because as I ate them I had the feeling that I had been duped.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

November 21, 2011


Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon (Limited Edition)

wheatthinssc.jpgIím old school when it comes to Wheat Thins. Iíve never bought any of the newfangled ďflavoredĒ Wheat Thin varieties. And, I probably wouldnít have bought Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon (Limited Edition) if the company had not sent me a box to try. Iím glad they did. The crackers are like a cross between Wheat Thins and churros, or Wheat Thins and snickerdoodle cookies, although not quite as sweet. Personally, I would think they would taste better if they were just a little more sweet. Also, the sugar that is sprinkled on the crackers is ground very fine; I think a more course sugar would have made the sweetness more prominent and improved the mouthfeel. But, Iím nitpicking. Wheat Thins Sweet Cinnamon are a tasty snack and are a good choice when you want something sweet but donít want to go overboard.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

October 27, 2011


Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

tjschips.jpgThe chocoholics out there will disagree with me, but I believe that there is such a thing as too much chocolate. An example is Trader Joeís Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. They are thick, ridge-cut potato chips covered with milk chocolate. Oh yeah, theyíre tasty. Very tasty. But, I canít help think that they would be even better if the chocolate coating wasnít quite so generous. The chocolate dominates, leaving little room for the flavor of the potato chips to come through. A little more balance in this regard would make them even more delicious. But, donít get me wrong. You should still go buy a bag, as they are a delicious, sweet, and salty treat that Iím sure you will enjoy.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

October 11, 2011


Stauffer's Whales

whales.jpgThe dollar section at Target can be so appealing. I love spending only a dollar for an item. But sometimes, even a dollar is too much. Take Stauffer's Whales crackers, for example. Sure, they're less expensive than Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers. You save some money, but what do you get? You get a cracker that is far inferior to the iconic goldfish-shaped cracker. The cracker's cheese flavor isn't very good and they have a slightly bitter aftertaste. The crackers just taste a bit Ö cheap. Which they are. If you only have one dollar to spend on marine animal-shaped cheese-flavored crackers, I recommend that you keep that dollar in your pocket and pass on Stauffer's Whales.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

September 30, 2011


Doritos Fiery Fusion Sizzliní Cayenne & Cheese

doritosff.gifWhen I sat down to write this review, I realized how many times a review has been posted on Phoood for some variety of Doritos chips. Itís because Frito-Lay, rather then just be satisfied with the success that the Doritosí brand has had, is continuously introducing new flavors. To be honest, I havenít always loved the flavors they have come up with. But Fiery Fusion Sizzliní Cayenne & Cheese (what a long name...) is one of their best. The chips combine the flavors of cayenne, jalapeno, and cheese in a way that is nicely balanced. You can taste each flavor separately, and none overpowers the other. I donít usually like things that are jalapeno flavored, but these chips are rare exception. Those of you that like it hot will enjoy the lingering heat of the cayenne that stays on your tongue and in the back of your throat long after you are done eating the chips. Itís a reminder that these arenít just any ordinary tortilla chips. Frito-Lay is to be commended for continuing to offer bold, interesting flavors such as Fiery Fusion Sizzliní Cayenne & Cheese.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

September 8, 2011


Cheez-It Baby Swiss

babyswiss.jpgNow you're probably thinking the same thing I was when I passed by Cheez-It Baby Swiss in the supermarket for the first time.

Baby Swiss?

This immediately piqued my interest and so after a quick internet search I soon realized that Baby Swiss was actually a real thing, characterized by its mild taste and smaller "eyes" (holes in the cheese). I guess that's appropriate for Cheez-Its, as they too have a signature hole in the center of their crackers. Anyway, immediately after digging into the box my first impression was that it tasted too similar to the regular Cheez-It crackers. It was only after a couple dozen more that I was able to recognize some subtle differences. It's not as sharp as the regular Cheez-Its, and it has a sweeter aftertaste. These differences weren't very noticeable though, as I had a hard time trying to find something unique to the crackers. Maybe it's due to my lack of experience with Baby Swiss cheese, but I had hoped for a little more "oomph" coming from flavor department. Either way, I always find it difficult to put down a box of Cheez-Its, so I suggest you try it at least once to determine whether or not you like it.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

July 11, 2011


Doritos Tapatio

doritostapatio.jpg
Tapatio Hot Sauce is one of my favorites, and I love most Doritos tortilla chips flavors. However, Iíll admit that I was a bit skeptical when I learned that the two had been combined into Doritos Tapatio chips. Surely, Doritos wouldnít be able to capture the unique flavor of Tapatio Hot Sauce on a chip. Or at least I thought. Turns out that they were able to do just that, and the result is very good. And very spicy! The chips are on the upper end of the heat scale for tortilla chips and I only recommend them for those who can take the heat. The Tapatio flavor is very pronounced, so much so that the corn flavor of the chip is pretty much lost. I think the flavor could have been scaled back a bit so that the corn flavor of the chip was discernible. But who asked me, anyways? Free marketing advise to Doritios: make a Doritos Collisions variety that combines Tapatio and Cool Ranch or Sour Cream-favored chips. I think it would be a winner.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

March 6, 2011


Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese

rufflesloaded.jpgI like Ruffles because they have ridges, and more ridges means more potential for flavor (at least in theory). And, they have a better crunch than most other chips. Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream have been a favorite of mine for years. While perusing the chip aisle at the supermarket recently, I spotted Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese. The picture on the front of the bag - Ruffles covered with chili and cheese - reminded me of chili cheese fries at Tommyís in Southern California or Sacramentoís own Tommyís knockoff, Willies. My mouth watered as I stood in the isle. The chips were on sale, so I just couldnít pass them up. The chips do an okay job of capturing the flavor of chili cheese fries. I could definitively taste the chili, but the cheese flavor was not as prominent. The chips also have the flavor of onions and peppers, which wouldnít be found on any chili cheese fries that I would eat. All these flavors mixed together make for some very bold-flavored chips. So bold that youíll want to brush you teeth a couple of times after eating them unless you donít mind having strong chili-onion breath. I think, however, that thereís just too many flavors going on at one time for the chips to really succeed. I really wanted to like them, but they just didnít live up to the picture on the front of the bag. At the end of the day, the important question is whether I would buy the chips again. I wouldnít, which is why they only deserve a ďSo-soĒ rating.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

January 24, 2011


Doritos Taco

doritostaco.jpgIf you look around on the web, youíll find that Doritos Taco flavored chips have a legendary status. Apparently, they were the second flavor of Doritos released but were discontinued many years ago. Recently, Doritos brought back the Taco chips, at least for a limited time. The bag has the all-to-familiar-nowadays ďLimited EditionĒ label on it, so thereís no knowing how long they will be around. I picked up a bag recently to experience the nostalgia. Love the retro bag design! The chips have a pleasant, familiar taco flavor that is much more subdued compared to many of the other flavors of Doritos that are out there. Thatís not to say that the chips are lacking in flavor, just that the flavor isnít as bold as most other flavors of Doritos. Lots of the other flavors try much too hard to be interesting and exciting. Doritos Taco, on the other hand, tastes like it doesnít have anything to prove and is comfortable being just ďtaco.Ē This is just fine with me. I like the flavor of the chips and hope that Doritos makes them a permanent item.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

January 21, 2011


Not Just Cereal Toasted Rice

njctoastedrice.jpgAs Iíve mentioned before, I love breakfast cereal. I donít just eat it at breakfast time Ė it makes a mighty fine lunch, dinner, or late-night snack. So, itís no wonder that I love what Nassau Candy has done with their line of Not Just Cereal Products. They have taken four types of breakfast cereal and covered them with mild chocolate. What genius! The company was kind enough to send me samples of each variety to try. Each was pretty good, but the Toasted Rice variety, surprisingly, stood out as the best. Itís just toasted rice cereal (think Rice Chex) covered with milk chocolate. Toasted rice cereal by itself doesnít have the greatest flavor, but this is a situation where the sum is greater than the parts. The combination of the toasted rice cereal and the mild chocolate is absolutely wonderful, like the two were just meant to go together. Itís a snack that youíll find hard to put down, so itís a good thing that it comes is a relatively small three-serving package. Or, if you have my appetite, you can think of it as one large serving. According to the companyís web site, Not Just Cereal products are available at Walmart. Iím not sure if you can find them anywhere else, but itís worth a special trip to Walmart to get some Not Just Cereal Toasted Rice for your snacking pleasure.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

December 17, 2010


Cheez-It Duoz Smoked Cheddar and Monterey Jack

duoz2.jpgI like the new trend of products that mix two different flavors together in the same box or bag. It makes the eating experience a little more interesting, which is always a good thing. Cheez-It has their Duoz line of crackers that mix two flavors in each box. I reviewed Duoz Zesty Queso and Cheddar Blanco a couple years ago and gave it the highest rating. Unfortunately, I think this variety has been discontinued. Youíre in luck, however, because there is a Duoz that I may like even more - Smoked Cheddar and Monterey Jack. They are a great combination of flavors. In particular, the smoked cheddar crackers are outstanding Ė you can really taste the smokiness in them. It may just be the tastiest Cheez-It flavor yet. Monterey Jack cheese isnít one of my favorites, but I liked the flavor of the cracker. Like almost all Cheez-It products (there have been a few that I havenít cared forÖ), the box is empty very soon after I open it. My inability to close the box and put it back in the cupboard is a sure sign that Duoz Smoked Cheddar and Monterey Jack crackers deserve an Outstanding! rating.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

October 15, 2010


Doritos Stadium Nacho

doritossn.jpgThis is not so much a review as it is an appeal for people to go out and start enjoying the new Doritos Stadium Nacho chips, inspired by Madden NFL 11 from EA Sports. The name, at least the stadium nacho part, is a perfect description of what to expect in this chip. This tastes exactly like nachos you find at most major sporting events, except . . . better. About a year ago, I reviewed another Doritos product that was subtitled Last Call Jalapeno Popper from their Late Night line, and concluded that the chips tasted like stadium nachos. After trying the new Doritos Stadium Nacho, and comparing it to those chips, it appears that the folks down at Doritos have now found the formula that goes beyond perfecting the stadium nacho in a seasoned chip. After trying both chips, I realized the slight difference and ultimately the major success in this new chip. The Late Night Last Call Jalapeno Popper, surprisingly enough, had a bit of a more jalapeno taste, which took away from the aftertaste in my opinion. The new Stadium Nacho chips donít have as much of a kick, resulting in an aftertaste that leaves you begging for more. Iím a bigger fan of sweet snacks than salty snacks, and this chip accomplished something only one other salty snack has ever accomplished with me. Only Munchies Cheese Fix and the new Doritos Stadium Nacho inspired by Madden NFL 11 have made me finish an entire bag in one day, because they were just too tasty to save. I hope everyone goes out and gives this limited-time product a shot, encouraging Doritos to turn it into one of their staple products for years to come.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Matt | Comments (1)

September 25, 2010


Pop Tarts Ice Cream Sandwich

poptartsicecream.jpgI never thought that I would eat a Pop Tart that I didnít really care for, but Iíve done it. After all, how can a Pop Tart, with its sugar and fat, not taste good? First, I ate an Ice Cream Sandwich Pop Tart straight out of its iconic foil package and was utterly unimpressed. The flavor of the dark chocolate crust was no good, the vanilla filling tasted like it was there only as an afterthought, and the thing did not taste one bit like an ice cream sandwich. I heated up the next one in the toaster and it this made it taste a bit better Ė but is still tasted nothing like an ice cream sandwich. Knowing that some food tastes better when frozen (like most cookies and candy bars), I even put one in the freezer and ate it after it was frozen. Nope, it didnít work. The remaining five Pop Tarts have been sitting in my cupboard for about a month, which is telling. Tasty food doesnít stay in my cupboard very long.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

July 2, 2010


Pringles Multigrain Truly Original

pringlesmg.jpgMultigrain food products are the current rage. Everywhere you look, thereís multigrain this and multigrain that. I like to try multigrain products when I can to compare them to the regular versions. Pringles Multigrain Truly Original is the latest multigrain product that Iíve tried. Not surprisingly, they have the well-known Pringles shape and are packaged in the familiar cardboard tube. They donít, however, have quite the same crunch as you get in regular Pringles. They have a much different texture and are a bit crumbly. As far as the flavor, Pringles Multigrain just taste okay. Not good and not bad, just somewhere in the forgettable middle. Being a health-conscious junk food lover, I compared the nutritional information of Pringles Multigrain to regular Pringles. It appears the Pringles Multigrain may be a little healthier, but not much. Not enough to choose them over regular Pringles, thatís for sure. With a mediocre flavor and nominal heath benefits, Iím not compelled to buy Pringles Multigrain Truly Original again.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

June 26, 2010


Fiesta Crunch Chili Con Carne Potato Poppers

fiestacrunch.jpgThe nice folks at Fiesta Crunch recently set me a big box full of their products to try. Some were good, others not so good, and one stood out as being really good. Chili Con Carne Potato Poppers got my attention right away with a bold, rich flavor. Itís about as close as youíre going to get to a real bowl of chili con carne. And Iím not just talking about the combination of tomatoes and spices that makes up a good bowl of chili. Somehow, they were able to capture the essence of the meat itself and put it in the little fried balls of corn meal and potato flakes. By biting one of the poppers in half, I was able to see that the flavorings go deep into it. This is unlike many products Iíve eaten that have the flavorings just sprayed on the outside and is probably one reason why these have such strong flavor. I think Fiesta Crunch is a new brand, and I havenít seen their products in my area yet. I hope I do soon because Iíd love to buy Chili Con Carne Potato Poppers when Iím craving some real good snackage. Also highly recommended are Fiesta Crunch Restaurant Style White Corn Tortilla Chips. They are as good, if not better, than any similar product Iíve ever eaten.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

March 20, 2010


Cheetos Mighty Zingers Sharp Cheddar & Salsa Picante

cheetosmz.jpgReaders of this blog know that I am a Cheetos enthusiast. I canít get enough of them, especially the crunchy variety. Well, thereís a new Cheetos for me to enjoy Ė Cheetos Mighty Zingers. I bought a bag of the Sharp Cheddar & Salsa Picante flavor to try (thereís also Raginí Canjun & Tangy Ranch flavor). They are small, crunchy Cheetos pieces about the size of popcorn. Both the size of the Cheetos and their flavor didnít appeal to me at first, but I liked them more and more as I ate them. By the time the bag was finished, I was really liking them. The salsa picante pieces by themselves arenít great, but when mixed with the cheddar pieces the resulting flavor is surprisingly good. Eating them with you fingers can be tedious because of their small size, which is probably why the bag they come in has a great feature that allows you to tear the corner of the bag off cleanly, without ripping the whole bag apart. The resulting aperture is perfect for pouring the Mighty Zingers into your mouth. Sit down, tip your head back, and enjoy.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

March 2, 2010


HK Anderson Peanut Butter Filled Nuggets Original

hkanderson.jpgRegardless of whether you like them or not, I think most people can appreciate the pretzel. They are easy to consume with minimal cleanup and are a foundation of the salty snack market. This widespread appeal has caused many pretzel brands and varieties to try to capture a segment of the vast market. Recently I tried one of these new varieties Ė well, at least new to me Ė and felt obligated to report the results on the premier snack review website. The product is HK Anderson Peanut Butter Filled Nuggets Original. This is not my first experience with peanut butter and pretzels. Peanut butter filled pretzel Combos were a staple of my childhood and although I enjoyed them in my youth, they're at most average peanut butter wrapped in their less-than-great pretzels, and so didnít stick with me through the years. On the other hand, HK Andersonís certainly will. The pretzel outside is of a perfect consistency with just the right amount of salt. Once you get through the pretzel shell, the moist peanut butter will simple melt in your mouth. Pop one in and suck on it until it dissolves in your mouth or grab a handful and throw them into your mouth Ė either way you canít go wrong.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Matt | Comments (6)

March 1, 2010


Sun Chips Peppercorn Ranch

sunchipspr.jpgThe whole business model behind Sun Chips has always seemed a little funny to me. They market themselves as the healthy chip, which is pretty much an oxymoron, but apparently an effective strategy seeing as how they have come to be a major player in the chip market. There has always been one thing that has stopped me from jumping on their bandwagon, and that is taste. Itís not that their chips taste bad per se, it is just that they lack the flavor punch of many of their competitorís chips. One resulting benefit of this is that their chips donít leave your breath tasting as bad as some of the more pungent flavors their competitors deploy. With all that being said, the new Peppercorn Ranch Sun Chips stays true to their theme of providing a healthy chip that might lack the flavor of a competitorís similarly flavored chip. The Peppercorn Ranch chips have an initial mild ranch flavor that then reveals a hint of pepper and finishes with an aftertaste that is very similar to their Sun Chip Original chip. I think the best way I can describe its true flavor is to imagine the taste of a peppercorn ranch chip and then make it diet. For a guy that loves the flavor-packed punch of a Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream or a Doritos Cool Ranch, I canít fully endorse Sun Chips' unusual new flavor.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Matt | Comments (1)

February 22, 2010


Mom & Popcorn Company Peanut Butter Covered Caramel Popcorn

pbcpopcorn.jpgThe nice folks at Mom & Popcorn Company wanted me to try some of their popcorn. The only problem was that their store is in McKinney, Texas, and Iím in California. Sure, I like popcorn, but not enough to travel half way across the country to get some. So, they were kind enough to mail some samples to me. They sent a selection of flavors and all of them were very tasty. However, one item stood out as my clear favorite Ė Peanut Butter Covered Caramel Popcorn. Wow, is it good! It has the perfect balance of peanut butter and caramel covering crispy popcorn. I think itís safe to say that it is the best tasting popcorn Iíve ever eaten. If you donít live near McKinney, Texas, donít worry. You can order Mom & Popcorn Company products through their website, www.momandpopcorn.com. Be sure to order some Peanut Butter Covered Carmel Popcorn. You wonít be disappointed, unless maybe youíre from another space-time continuum where delicious popcorn doesnít exist. By the way, my second favorite flavor was Hot Cheese.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

February 17, 2010


Cheez-It Italian Four Cheese

cheez-it4cheese.jpgI like to read the list of ingredients on food that I eat so that I have an idea of whatís in it and to practice pronouncing words like phenylalanine and disodium guanylate. I read the ingredients list on a box of new Cheez-It Italian Four Cheese crackers that I bought recently and was surprised to find not four, but six types of cheeses listed: white cheddar, Monterey Jack, romano, parmesan, mozzarella, and Asiago. I guess ďItalian Six CheeseĒ just wasnít as catchy. In regard to the crackers, they are very tasty, with a cheese flavor that reminds me of, well, six different cheeses combined together. They are one of the better tasting types of Cheez-It, but they are not without a few small complaints. Theyíre very close to being too salty for my taste and are also covered with a powdery substance, which I assume is cheese powder. This means that your fingers get covered with the stuff as you eat the Cheez-Its, which I donít like. Inevitably, the powder ends up not only on my fingers but also on my shirt, the couch, and the cat. Fortunately, there is a solution for this. Next time, Iíll just pour the crackers directly from the box into my mouth and bypass my fingers altogether.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

December 20, 2009


Giant Cheetos

giantcheetos.jpgAn easy (lazy) way to expand a product line is to make a new product that is either smaller or larger than the original. For example, Mini Oreos or Big Cheez-Its. Cheetos has taken this approach with new Giant Cheetos. Theyíre pretty big all right Ė about the size of a marshmallow. If your mouth is as big as mine, you can pop the whole thing in your mouth and get a mouthful of cheesy crunchiness. I advise against doing this, however, as itís a lot of Cheeto to chew and your jaw may get sore. No kidding. My jaw ached after eating just a few of them this way. They are a lot more manageable when bitten in half, but still require a lot of chewing. So, the downside of Giant Cheetos is that you may develop temporomandibular joint disorder. The upside is that you get a lot of great Cheetos flavor quickly. If you love Cheetos as much as I do, I recommend that you try Giant Cheetos and decide for yourself if the great flavor is worth the effort it takes to eat them.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

November 19, 2009


Trader Joeís Multigrain Crackers

multigraincrackers.jpgI donít shop at Trader Joeís very often, but when I do, I always seem to find something that I really like. And, their prices are very reasonable. One of my favorite TJ items is their Multigrain Crackers. The name alone would typically cause me to ignore these crackers on the shelf, but somehow I got past the healthy-sounding name so I could enjoy what are perhaps the best crackers available anywhere. The Multigrain Crackers have a great flavor and a buttery texture. They sure donít taste like I would expect a multigrain cracker to taste. I especially like eating them with some cheese on top, but they are delicious just eaten by themselves. Like a box of Cheez-Its, I find it hard to eat less than the whole box. In my opinion, they are better than Ritz, Wheat Thins, Wheatsworth, Club, or any other similar cracker. Iím not sure what Trader Joeís knows about making crackers that Nabisco and Keebler donít, but they sure know something. Grab a box for yourself and see that Iím right.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

October 19, 2009


Pringles Extreme Blaziní Buffalo Wing

pringlesextreme2.jpgI guess the word "extreme" is subjective. You would think that a product labeled ďextremeĒ would really knock your socks off in some way. And you would think that a product labeled both ďextremeĒ and ďblaziníĒ would have a flavor that would set your mouth on fire. Youíd be wrong. Pringles Extreme Blaziní Buffalo Wing have a moderately hot Buffalo wing flavor that will warm up your mouth a little bit, but thatís about it. Not exactly blaziní, Julius Pringles. I donít claim to be a Buffalo wing expert (I canít remember the last time I ate them. Too messy.), but I think the flavor is pretty generic and easily forgettable. You should pass on these and get another flavor of Pringles instead.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

October 15, 2009


Cheese Nips (New & Improved Cheese Taste)

cheesenipsnew.jpgWhile shopping at Safeway recently, I noticed that the Cheese Nips box was labeled ďNew & Improved Cheese Taste.Ē I was immediately interested, as Iíve always though that Cheese Nips had a slightly odd favor and they were never my first choice when buying a cheese cracker. After eating a handful or two of the crackers, I was pleased to discover that the new Cheese Nips taste nothing like the old ones. Gone is the unique flavor that Cheese Nips used to have, which I donít miss at all. The cheese flavor is significantly better than it used to be, but itís still not as good as the cheese flavor of Cheez-Its, the king of cheese crackers. The cheese flavor of Cheese Nips is mild, whereas Cheez-Its have a more sharp cheese taste that I prefer. New and improved Cheese Nips are a marked improvement over the old version and come pretty close to the iconic Cheez-It Ė but not close enough to dethrone the king.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

October 5, 2009


Doritos Collisions Cheesy Enchilada and Sour Cream

collisionsenchilada.jpgOn occasion, Doritos comes out with some awesome snack chips (the Toro Habanero flavor comes to mind). However, just as with any product that comes in a wide variety, some selections are destined to fall flat. This is one of them. For those of you who haven't seen Doritos' "Collision" line, the gimmick is that there are two different flavors of Doritos in one bag. The idea was definitely intriguing, so I decided to try the Cheesy Enchilada/Sour Cream mix. While not the worst snack chips I've ever tasted, the taste definitely leaves something to be desired. The Sour Cream flavor is similar to the Cool Ranch variety that Doritos has had on the market forever. The only difference is that in order to taste like sour cream, they removed all of the seasoning that gave the Ranch variety its definitive taste, leaving a bland flavor with no kick. The Cheesy Enchilada is a bit harder to describe. I suppose that it is comparable to a cheap microwave enchilada meal that initially tastes like nothing and then briefly leaves a faint enchilada sauce aftertaste. Overall, I suppose that this product isn't terrible, so I can't honestly give it a bad rating. On the other hand, its boring flavor and lack of bite leaves it unable to be considered anything other than mediocre.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Edgar | Comments (0)

September 25, 2009


Doritos Last Call Jalapeno Popper

doritospopper.jpgOne of the main reasons I contribute to this forum, other than the fact that I love junk food, is to try to give people an idea of how new products taste before they commit to filling up their precious cupboard space. The easiest way to do this is by describing or comparing how the product tastes as accurately as I can. When I tried Doritos Last Call Jalapeno Popper chips, I instantly recognized the taste as one I have come across in the past. The initial flavor is strong and cheesy, only to be reinforced with a spicy kick that is very distinctive yet mild. That spicy kick is what gives it the jalapeno name, and is also how I determined what the chips taste like. Anyone who has been to a sporting event has probably eaten or at least seen the stadium nachos consisting of round tortilla chips topped with atomic neon-colored cheese. The flavor of the Doritos Jalapeno Popper chips matches the five-dollar stadium version to a T, especially the stadium nachos that have little bits of jalapenos in the cheese. The only thing that throws this comparison off is the fact that the ballpark nachos have the delicious consistency of crunchy chips + warm liquid coating, while the Doritos is simply a seasoned chip. For me, this takes something away from the flavor accomplishment. So if you think you would enjoy stadium nachos at home minus the warm liquid cheese and the mess, these chips are definitely worthy of your cupboard space. If not, I recommend taking a pass on this one.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Matt | Comments (3)

September 10, 2009


Chex Mix Barbeque

chexbbq.jpgThe folks at Chex must have set out to offend no one when they developed new Chex Mix Barbeque. It has one of the most meek, boring barbeque flavors that Iíve ever tasted. If the word ďbarbequeĒ wasnít on the front of the bag, I may have never known what flavor it was supposed to be. With that said, the flavor isnít bad. It has more sweetness than anything else. I wish there was more I could write about the flavor, but a couple of short sentences is all the effort it deserves. Chex Mix Barbeque is mediocre at best and thoroughly deserving of a ďSo-soĒ rating.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

September 5, 2009


Doritos Toro Habanero

doritostoro.jpgDoritos Toro Habanero chips arenít the best tasting tortilla chips Iíve ever eaten, but they sure are the hottest. The heat from the habanero chilies starts slowly but quickly overwhelms the mouth. The heat also lingers long after youíre done eating them. I really like the flavor of the chips, although admittedly is it kind of one-dimensional. I'll eat them occasionally, but wouldn't want them to be my everyday chip. If you arenít used to spicy food, and especially the heat that comes from habanero chilies, you should eat them cautiously and with a large glass of milk nearby. Iím not sure how easily youíll be able to find Doritos Toros Habanero in your area. The packaging is in both Spanish and English and carries the Sabritas logo (Sabritas is a popular snack brand in Mexico), so they may only be available in areas with a high Hispanic population.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

May 27, 2009


Wheat Thins Artisan Ė Wisconsin Colby

wheatthinscolby.jpgIím always on the lookout for new crackers on my supermarket shelves, especially cheese-flavored crackers. I recently found new Wheat Thins Artisan crackers in Wisconsin Colby flavor. They attempt to combine a Wheat Thin cracker with a cheese flavor, but donít succeed very well. Perhaps in an attempt to make the cracker ďartisanĒ (whatever that is), they went with a cracker that is a bit thicker and has a different texture than a regular Wheat Thin. As a result, it doesnít have the same pleasant crunch that Iím used to from a Wheat Thin. And while the box says that Wisconsin Colby cheese is known for its ďmild, gentle flavor,Ē the cheese flavor has a slightly bitter aftertaste that I wouldnít call gentle. Wheat Thin Artisan crackers also come in Vermont White Cheddar flavor, but Iím not really inclined to try them after eating the Wisconsin Colby flavor.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

April 30, 2009


Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bar

naturevalley.jpgIím not a massive fan of granola bars, but Iíve been stuck packing them in lunches for some time now as a result of there being nothing of superior (i.e. deliciously junky) in the pantry. Nature Valleyís ďSweet and Salty Nut BarĒ (Peanut Edition) was, for a brief period, one of my favorite granola treats when I wanted something to stuff in my face quickly in lieu taking time to prepare a decent meal. These bars consist of your standard granola coated together with sugary glaze, with an added bottom layer of sweet peanut butter dip the make the whole formula an unoriginal, twice-as-large version of Chewy Peanut Butter Bars. I enjoyed the bars greatlyÖ at first. I canít place the exact reasoning behind it all, but I became sick of the things with incredible speed. Sweet and Salty Nut Peanut Bars are a tasty snack and I would suggest picking them up for yourself or the kidsí lunches, just donít buy them in bulk.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Elric | Comments (2)

April 16, 2009


Doritos Tacos at Midnight

doritostacos.jpgRecently, Iíve spotted a few new flavors of Doritos here in Sacramento. Iíll get around to trying them all eventually, but the first one I bought was Tacos at Midnight. It's one flavor in the new ďLate NightĒ series, which also includes Last Call JalapeŮo Popper. It appears that by ďtacos at midnight,Ē Doritos was thinking tacos from a taco truck or taqueria (or maybe from Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos) rather than Taco Bell, Del Taco, Taco Johnís, or Taco Bueno. The flavor is heavy on the onions and cilantro and much spicier than the regular Taco flavor of Doritos. You also get some tomato and sour cream flavor. Overall, I like the flavor and would definitely buy Tacos at Midnight over many of the other lesser Doritos flavors. Now, if they can only come up with a Carne Asada Burritos at Midnight flavorÖ

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (22)

March 28, 2009


Cheez-It Pepper Jack

cheezitpj.jpgIf you donít already know, I am a diagnosed Cheez-It addict who is unable to control his Cheez-It consumption despite the risk of health problems and negative social consequences. So naturally, I get excited when there is a new flavor of Cheez-It. Cheez-It Pepper Jack is a new addition to the Cheez-It family of crackers that appeared on my grocerís shelves recently. I avoided buying a box initially because pepper jack is one of my least favorite types of cheese. Iím not really sure why I donít like it, but assume itís because there are tiny flecks of vegetables in there. After a few weeks, I just couldnít resist trying them and bought a box (on sale, of course). My initial impression was that they tasted very similar to regular Cheez-Its. Then slowly, the flavor of the peppers started to appear. The crackers donít have a lot of heat but the jalapeŮo flavor is definitely noticeable. The overall flavor is well-balanced between the cheese and peppers, with a pleasant aftertaste that lingers long after you are done eating them. The more of the crackers I ate, the more I liked them. Cheez-It Pepper Jack is a solid addition to the Cheez-It family and should appeal to many people, including other Cheez-It addicts.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (12)

January 21, 2009


Wingers Nacho Chilichanga

wingers3.jpgWingers are delicious buffalo wing-shaped crispy potato snacks that come in five unique flavors, each with a different level of spiciness with a "heat index level" of 1 to 5. Number 1 on the heat index is No Bull Barbeque, which are appropriate for for anyone who thinks ketchup is spicy. On the other hand, number 5, Fiery Buffalo Bleu, is probably the hottest snack food you will ever eat. Small children and those with preexisting gastropathy should definitely stay away from them. Between these are number 2, Honey Mustard Horsepower, and number 4, Caribbean Zing. My favorite is number 3, Nacho Chilichanga. It has a great taco/chili/burrito type of flavor with a moderate amount of spiciness. Their flavor kind of reminds me of those mini taco-shaped tortilla chips that I used to eat as a kid (does anyone remember the name of them?). Like all good snacks, I am unable to stop eating them once I open the bag. Health conscious snackers will appreciate that they are all-natural, low-fat, trans-fat and GMO-free. Personally, all I really care about is that they taste great. You may not be able to find them in your local supermarket, so visit the Wingers web site to find retailers in your area. You can also buy them on Amazon.com.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

December 11, 2008


Doritos Collisions Pizza Cravers and Ranch

doritospizzaranch.jpgIíve met some people who like to dip their pizza in ranch dressing. Although I love both pizza and ranch dressing, I tried the combination one time and didnít really like the result. Doritos thinks that pizza and ranch make a good combination and have brought the idea to their line of Doritos Collisions, which combines Pizza Cravers and Ranch-flavored tortilla chips. Doritos Ranch have been around for years, but I donít remember ever seeing Pizza Cravers. I realize that it is probably very difficult to put all the flavor of pizza onto a tortilla chip, but Doritos just didnít do a very good job with Pizza Cravers. The flavor is unremarkable and generic and doesnít really taste much like pizza. To me, it tasted more like a taco flavor. I canít recommend Collisions Pizza Cravers and Ranch, but luckily there are many other great Doritos flavors to satisfy your chip cravings.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

September 11, 2008


Beer Chips

beerchips.jpgIt was only a matter of time until someone got the ingenious idea to combine beer and potato chips into one snack. Beer Chips start with a very tasty, thick, crispy, kettle-style chip that would, no doubt, taste great even without any flavoring. Then, sugar, salt, honey, and beer are sprinkled on them. Eating them, you donít really get the impression that they are covered with beer. Instead, you taste some sweetness and some maltiness that may remind you of a quality beer. Itís a unique flavor that I really enjoy. Those who like beer will probably like the taste of Beer Chips, and even those who arenít beer drinkers will probably enjoy them too because of the mild beer flavor they have. Donít worry about eating too many chips and getting tipsy Ė they contain no alcohol. Beer Chips have limited distribution so you may not be able to find them easily, but you can order them online at www.beerchips.com.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

August 4, 2008


Cheez-It Reduced Fat White Cheddar

cheezitswc.jpgIíve enjoyed Cheez-It original reduced-fat crackers for years. No, they donít taste as good as the regular ones, but I got used to eating them and really like the fact that they have 40% less fat. That means I can eat 40% more of them, right? I often wondered by they only made one lower fat variety. Why not a reduced fat white cheddar cracker? Well, they must have read my mind because now on the supermarket shelves are Cheez-It Reduced Fat White Cheddar crackers. I should have been more careful for what I wished for, because they arenít as good as I hoped they would be. The cheese flavor is not very good. In fact, I wanted to spit out the first mouthful I ate. After my taste buds adjusted, I was able to continue eating them, but they didnít get that much better. OK, I ended up eating the whole box, but I only did it because loyal Phoood readers deserve to know the truth. I donít recommend that you eat a whole box.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

July 22, 2008


Eagle White Cheddar Bursts

cheddarbursts.jpgEagle Snacks, once a division of Anheuser-Busch and hard to find in stores for a while, are back and they have set out to conquer the snacking world. They just might be able to do this with their White Cheddar Bursts. These things are incredibly tasty and absolutely addicting. They are made with real cheese (cheddar and blue, according the ingredient label), giving them a very strong, natural cheese flavor. However, it is their texture that makes them unlike other cheese-flavored puffs. When I first started eating them, I was a bit put off by the texture because I was expecting them to be more like Cheetos. The more I ate, however, the more I liked the light, silky smooth texture. They literally melted in my mouth as I ate them. Other advantages over Cheetos are that they donít leave nearly as much residue stuck between your teeth and they donít turn your tongue and fingers orange. I really enjoyed eating them and strongly recommend that you give them a try.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (11)

July 1, 2008


Bugles Sweet & Salty Caramel

buglescaramel.jpgTraditional Bugles have been a favorite of mine as long as I can remember. As a kid, I used to put them on my fingertips for "claws" and then chew them off one-by-one. (OK, sometimes I still do that...) Today, my wife brought me home a surprise from her shopping trip: Caramel Bugles! That's right, caramel! I was a bit leery at first, but they smelled so good I just had to try one. I was very glad I did! Caramel Bugles are deliciously sweet and salty, with a just-right balance of caramel and corn flavor. They have the same crunch as the original, and the same light texture that Bugles fans love. Kind of like eating caramel corn without getting hulls stuck in your teeth. There seems to be a trend of sweet and salty snacks, right now, and as far as I'm concerned, Caramel Bugles can take their place at the top of the heap!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Ed | Comments (24)

June 27, 2008


Baked Ruffles

bakedruffles.jpgIím I big fan of low fat and baked snacks Ė but only if they taste good. If eating a low-fat snack reminds you of eating particleboard, then whatís the point? Baked Ruffles donít just taste good, they taste great. Like regular (fried) potato chips, once I start eating them itís hard to stop and before I know it, the bag is almost gone. You might think that a chip would need to be fried in order to be crispy, but the geniuses at Frito-Lay have found a way to make Baked Ruffles very crispy without submersing them in oil. They have a great crunch and I think they are even crispier than most regular chips. They also have plenty of saltiness, which really helps to enhance their flavor. Baked Ruffles should be near the top of your list of Baked Snack Foods that Donít Taste Like Particleboard. Not only do they taste great, but you also wonít feel so guilty if you eat the whole bag.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

June 14, 2008


Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers

maccrackers.jpg
I did a double-take in the supermarket when I saw Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers on the shelf. My first thought was ďwow, thatís a big box of mac & cheese.Ē When I realized that it was actually a box of crackers, my next thought was ďwhose stupid idea was this?Ē Nevertheless, I was intrigued and bought a box. The cheese-flavored crackers are Ė big surprise Ė shaped like elbow macaroni. Wow, it must have been really difficult coming up with that idea. Eating them does not really remind me of eating Kraft macaroni & cheese, although the cheese flavor is slightly reminiscent of the childhood favorite. Their cheese flavor is a bit different than other cheese crackers on the market, but it doesnít do much for me. Itís too one-dimensional (and that dimension is cheddar) and boring. The crackers may be great for little children because of their small size and softly rounded edges, but I think they are too small for adult fingers. With all the other great cheese crackers in the supermarket shelves, I donít think there is a good reason to buy Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers Ė perhaps unless you are buying them for your toddler.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (19)

May 27, 2008


Baked Cheetos Crunchy

bakedcheetos.jpgHistorically, the flavor of baked snack foods has been far behind that of their fried counterparts. However, I am noticing that the gap is closing. Baked Cheetos stand up very well to regular Cheetos. Although they have 50% of the fat and 20% fewer calories compared to regular Cheetos Crunchy, they have nearly all the flavor and crunch. Sure, you can taste a difference, but it's really not that significant. Baked Cheetos have a nice cheese flavor and a satisfying crunch, without any odd taste that you sometimes get from a baked snack food. Like regular Cheetos, I have trouble restraining myself from eating a whole bag of Baked Cheetos. They are so good, in fact, that I doubt I'll ever go back to regular Cheetos. It's just not worth the extra fat and calories.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

May 20, 2008


Town House FlipSides Pretzel Crackers

flipsides.jpgI recently had a party where I was picking up some munchies, and my local grocer had a sign that said "Buy One Get One Free". This was a good deal in my opinion, since the box of "pretzel crackers" was $3.50. However, there was only one box left. I asked a salesperson, and he said that they had already restocked the shelf twice, and there were no more left. I was intrigued. A cracker that's so good it sells out? I opened my one box before I even got to the car. One side looked like a pretzel-shaped cracker, and the other side looked like a regular Town House cracker with grill marks. I ate a couple, and I was impressed with the pretzel-y flavor. Then, I ate a couple more. I tried to close the box, but I couldn't. By the time I got home, there were only a few crumbs in the bottom of the box. Each subsequent box purchased has disappeared with the same speed, and usually the box is eaten in one sitting, possibly two if I exercise extreme self-control. I'm convinced that if bars replaced regular pretzels with these, they would see huge profit increases. I could just sit there and eat them all night.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Wendy | Comments (12)

April 26, 2008


Combos Zesty Salsa Tortilla

combossalsa.jpgI think that Combos are one of the most underrated snack foods out there. While other snacks get all the praise and admiration, Combos donít get the accolades they deserve. Iíve really enjoyed every variety Iíve ever eaten, and new Zesty Salsa Tortilla variety is another delicious addition to the Combos lineup. They are intended to taste like chips and salsa, and they succeed. The outer shell, made from stone ground corn, isnít quite as tasty as a tortilla chip, but its pretty good nonetheless. What makes them so good is the salsa-flavored filling. It really does taste like salsa, which is amazing considering that tomatoes are not listed in the ingredients. The filling is fairly spicy, which I really liked. When you want the taste of chips and salsa but donít want to risk dripping salsa on your clean shirt, these are the way to go.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

April 11, 2008


Little Debbie Nutty Bar Singles

nuttysingle.jpgOf all the delicious Little Debbie products, Nutty Bars are probably my favorite. Sugary wafers and peanut butter covered in chocolate are sure hard to beat. Following the popular trend of reduced-size portions for those who are trying to watch their calories, new Nutty Bar Singles ares individually wrapped and are only 100 calories each. I compared a Nutty Bar Single to a regular package of Nutty Bars and found that the only difference is the thickness of the bar. They simply removed a layer from the bar to get it to that magical 100 calories. Otherwise, both the bars look and taste exactly the same. The only problem I can see here is that itís very hard to eat just one, 100-calorie Nutty Bar. Nutty Bar Singles deserve Phooodís highest rating because they are so delicious, with the caveat that you better have a lot of discipline and will-power if youíre going to try to eat just one.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

March 27, 2008


Pringles Select Bold Crunch Jalapeno Ranch

pringlesjalaranch.jpgUsually, when the word ďJalapenoĒ is included in the name of a snack food, I have fleeting thoughts of heartburn and bad breath. However I have always been an avid lover of Pringles Original Potato Chips, so I decided to give this one a try. The mixture of Jalapeno and Ranch flavors were perfectly united to create a taste bud sensation which I rarely find in the plethora of snack food options available today. The Jalapeno did not overpower the chip, and the crunchy texture was exactly what I look for when I am craving a salty snack. This is a snack I will definitely buy again and again. Itís true, once you pop, you canít stop, especially when you have an entire bag of Bold Crunch Jalapeno Ranch in front of you at the office. No Tums necessary either, but perhaps a breath mint was still in order for the sake of my companions.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Karen | Comments (1)

March 19, 2008


Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili

spicysweetchili.jpgHere we go again Ė another Doritos flavor. It seems like they come out with a new flavor every other day, but Iíve found that many of them taste very similar. Not so with new Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili, which I saw for the first time in a local Longís Drug Store. They have a unique flavor that isnít like any other Doritos chips that Iíve eaten. The spiciness isnít too hot, but does have a bit of a bite. Underneath the heat is a slight sweetness. The two flavors go very well together and create a final flavor that is both interesting and enjoyable. These chips definitely deserve Phooodís highest rating.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (18)

March 10, 2008


Cheez-It Duoz Zesty Queso and Cheddar Blanco

duoz.jpgHi. My name is Jim and I am a Cheez-It-aholic. Iíve had this problem for a long time, and new Cheez-It Duoz has made it even worse. The zesty queso and cheddar blanco crackers in the same box are a delicious combination and I found it hard to put the box down once I started eating them. The zesty queso crackers are very spicy and Iím not sure that Iíd want to eat them by themselves. Mixed with the mild flavor of the cheddar blanco crackers, however, they are great. Thereís still a lot of spice, so you may want to have your favorite beverage nearby to cool things down. I like all the varieties of Cheez-Its, but Duoz Zesty Queso and Cheddar Blanco have quickly become one of my favorite.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

February 19, 2008


North Fork Cheddar Onion Potato Chips

nfchips.jpgThe nice folks at North Fork Potato Chips recently sent me a couple bags of their chips to try. I had never heard of the company, which is located on Long Island. Their products are distributed primarily on the East Coast, so I may have never had the pleasure of eating their chips if they hadnít sent them to me. Each of the flavors I tried was good, but I especially enjoyed the Cheddar Onion variety. The chips are ďkettle cooked,Ē but they are much thinner than other kettle chips Iíve eaten. They also have a very fresh taste, as if they were just recently cooked. I usually donít like onion-flavored food, but I really like these chips. The cheddar flavor is very nice and the onion flavor is mild. Most importantly, the delicious flavor of the potato chip is not obscured by the cheddar and onion flavors. They are really tasty chips, and Iím sorry that I probably wonít be able to find them in my area easily. But for those of you on the East Coast, give them a try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

January 25, 2008


Burger King Flame Broiled Potato Snacks

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You wonít find these at Burger King, but you might find them in the supermarket. In my case, I discovered them at my local Rite Aid. Intrigued by the Burger King logo on the bag, I figured Iíd give them a try. These snacks are round, bite-size chips that I immediately found to be very delicious. I donít know of any other chip quite like them. Theyíre made with potatoes and corn, giving them a flavor and texture you would expect by mating a potato chip with a tortilla chip. They have a very nice crunch and are thick enough that they would undoubtedly be great for dipping. I really like the ďflame broiledĒ flavor. Itís similar to barbeque, but not as sweet, and has a great smoky taste. Amazingly, they really do taste like they could have been cooked over an open flame. Burger King Flame Broiled snacks have quickly jumped to near the top of my ďfavorite snackĒ list.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

December 31, 2007


Popchips Barbeque Potato Chips

popchips.jpgI have never noticed Popchips in my local supermarket, probably because I generally stick with my favorite brands of potato and tortilla chips and donít deviate very often. Popchips was nice enough to send me three different varieties to try recently (they currently make nine different products, including rice and corn chips). The chips are different than most in that they are not fried or baked, instead heat and pressure are applied to ďpopĒ the chip. Of the three varieties I tried, the Barbeque Potato Chips were my favorite. They have a very pleasant, sweet barbeque flavor and a nice, light crunch. The single serving bag didnít take me long to eat and I wished I would have had another couple bags to snack on. I wasnít sold on the other varieties I tried. The Original Potato Chips reminded me a lot of Munchos in both the texture and flavor. They could have used more salt, in my opinion. The Cheddar Corn Chips were my least favorite. They had a very mild cheese flavor and the texture was similar to a stale rice cake Ė not appealing. The Barbeque chips, however, are definitely worth trying.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

December 10, 2007


Sun Chips Cinnamon

sunchips-cinn.jpgNew on my local supermarketís shelves are Sun Chips Cinnamon. I love Sun Chips (especially Original and Harvest Cheddar), and really hate to give a Sun Chip product a poor review, but someone has to tell it like it is: Sun Chips and cinnamon just donít go well together. By the picture on the front of the bag, I thought that they might taste like a churro or Cinnamon Twists from Taco Bell. Instead, they have an uninteresting cinnamon flavor and not enough sweetness (even though sugar comes before cinnamon in the list of ingredients). The flavor of the actual chip itself is difficult to detect under all the cinnamon, so much so that I probably wouldnít have guessed it was a Sun Chip if I didnít already know. On a positive note, those looking for a relatively healthy, slightly sweet snack may appreciate the 18 grams of whole grains per serving.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (22)

October 15, 2007


Oreo Cakesters

oreocakesters.jpgThe Oreo cookie sandwich is one of those classics that never goes out of style. Whether with milk or alone, Oreos are a perfect little snack. One impressive thing they have managed to do over time is come up with innovative new varieties and flavors that keep their product fresh and interesting, or, in the case of Double-Stuf Oreos, twice as good as the original. Their most recent addition to the snack industry is called the Oreo Cakester. Instead of a hard chocolate cookie, the Cakester consists of two chocolate cake-like pieces sandwiching the same Oreo filling people have loved for almost a century. The Cakesters are more like a pastry than a cookie and arenít packaged in a sleeve like traditional Oreos, but in wrapped pairs. They managed to pull off the cake-like taste with some effectiveness, however, the rich chocolate flavor attacks your taste buds with little room left for the cream filling, which offsets the balance of chocolate and cream that weíre used to. This can be annoying for those of us who lick the cream off and throw away the cookie pieces, but if you enjoy chocolate pastries or other Oreo products, I recommend you give the Cakesters a try. Just be sure you try them with an open mind (and mouth).

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Matt | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 4, 2007


Cheerios Cheddar Snack Mix

cheerios.jpgNew Cheerios Snack Mix has one thing going for it Ė the Cherrios name. Many people will probably buy it based on this, as I did. However, they may not buy it again. I recently tried the Cheddar variety, which looks delicious on the front of the bag, but really doesnít have much going for it. To begin with, it has too many Cheerios. I estimate that they make up about half of the snack mix. The other components Ė cheese crackers, twist pretzels, Chex cereal, and bread twists, are barely discernable. One of the great things about snack mix is the variety of flavors that you get while eating it. Not so with this snack mix Ė everything tastes like cheddar cheese. I guess that if you are a serious cheddar cheese lover, you might like it. Others should probably look elsewhere to satisfy their snack mix cravings.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 1, 2007


Doritos Collisions - Hot Wings and Blue Cheese

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There never seems to be a shortage of ideas for renewing Doritos. In my opinion, there is no need, as they are a delicious classic snack. Regardless, Collisions are a fabulous idea. All they did was combine two complementary flavors of chips in one bag. Simple enough, but oh so perfect. I tried the Hot Wings and Blue Cheese Collisions. Although Blue Cheese is not a traditional flavor of Dorito, I'm glad they didn't just get boring and put the Zesty Ranch in. I've always though Ranch with Hot Wings was just wrong. The best strategy is to eat a Hot Wing chip and follow it with a Blue Cheese cooler. It truly tastes like you've eaten the real thing. The only preference I might have is to combine the two flavors on the same chip for ease of snacking. The other downfall is that there are only two flavors right now- this and Zesty Taco with Chipotle Ranch. I look forward to more though!

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Lindsey | Comments (7)

September 17, 2007


Cheez-It Party Mix

cheezitparty.jpgI really, really want to like Cheez-It Party Mix. Why shouldnít I? It has lots of good stuff in it, like Cheez-It crackers, mini sourdough rounds, Chex-like cereal pieces, and pretzels. You would think that it would be delicious, but Iíve been disappointed every time Iíve eaten it. I bought a box recently, hoping that it would taste better than the last box I bought. I was wrong. Cheez-It Party Mix just has a flavor that is uninteresting, and always tastes kind of stale to me. As much as I love Cheez-It products, I have to admit that Cheez-It Party Mix nowhere near as tasty as Chex Mix. And with all the delicious flavors of Chex Mix (I love Traditional and Cheddar), thereís no reason to settle for less.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

August 30, 2007


Archer Farms Chocolate Drizzle Indulgent Snack Mix

No-Image.jpgI have a slight obsession with Target and spend an embarrassing amount of money and time there. I especially enjoy doing my grocery shopping there, and I can mostly attribute that to the awesome Archer Farms "house" brand. I found myself having one of those 'Do I want salty or sweet?' conundrums on my most recent trip, so I began scouting the snack aisle. Immediately, the Archer Farms Chocolate Drizzle Indulgent Snack Mix jumped out. Peanuts, pretzels and an unidentified "crunchy treat" covered with chocolate. Yum! Totally took care of all the cravings at once. Unfortunately, I now have yet another reason to waste $3.00 at Target...

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Lindsey | Comments (4)

August 25, 2007


Phoood Hall of Fame: Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

doritos-nc.jpgThere are a lot of different brands and flavors of tortilla chips, and the number just keeps increasing. Many of them are quite good, but none are as tasty as Doritos Nacho Cheese. Thereís really not much that needs to be said about their flavor (Iím sure you are all familiar with it) except that it sets the standard by which all other flavored tortilla chips are measured. Occasionally, Iíll have another favorite flavor for a period of time. But sooner or later, I always come to the realization that Fiery Taco, Smokiní Cool Salsa, or Blaziní BBQ Nacho flavors, although they may be delicious, can never take the place of my faithful favorite, Doritos Nacho Cheese.

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

July 29, 2007


Pringles Select Parmesan Garlic

pringlesselect.jpgI love Pringles potato chips (who doesn't???), so I was very interested in the new Pringles Select chips that I found recently at the local Wal-Mart. They come in several different flavors - Sun Dried Tomato, Cinnamon Sweet Potato, Szechuan Barbecue, and Parmesan Garlic. I bought a bag of the Parmesan Garlic variety, as they looked the most promising. Wow, was I wrong. Pringles touts them as being "gourmet" and just from the name, I expected an improved, more refined chip. Instead, the Pringle Select chips are smaller, thicker, and heavier tasting that the traditional Pringles I'm used to. I can describe the flavor only as being altogether ordinary and boring. There's nothing gourmet about them, in my opinion. I'll stick with the regular Pringles.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

July 5, 2007


Banana Twinkies

bananatwinkies.jpgAccording the Twinkie entry on Wikipedia, the original Twinkie (invented in 1930) had a banana creme filling but was changed to vanilla creme during WWII. Now, Hostess has re-introduced the Banana Twinkie. It tastes like - you guessed it - a Twinkie with banana creme filling. I found it to have a nice banana flavor that is an improvement over the vanilla creme variety. It may be tempting to think of the Banana Twinkie as a "healthy" snack due to the banana flavor, but I wouldn't take it that far. Just enjoy it for what it is - tasty sponge cake with a sugar-creme filling.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 10, 2007


Doritos Smokin' Cheddar BBQ Tortilla Chips

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You may have seen these chips, along with another new variety Ė Wild White Nacho Ė at your local Quick-E-Mart. They are part of a promotion in which consumers can vote to determine which flavor survives on store shelves and which one gets pulled. I tried both, and Smokiní Cheddar BBQ is definitely better tasting. Iíve noticed that many of the Doritos varieties kind of have the same flavor. Smoking Cheddar BBQ has a flavor that is unique and really different from the others. They are highly recommended, but you better find a bag soon, just in case they lose the contest.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (16)

May 3, 2007


Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips

tostitos-flour.jpgIíve eaten flour tortilla chips at local Mexican restaurants for years and always wondered why I couldnít by them in the store. Well, now I can. Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips are not as good as the flour tortilla chips Iíve had in restaurants, however. Compared to the restaurant chips, the Tostitos chips are heavier, darker (overcooked?), and have little flour tortilla flavor. They remind me of Cinnamon Crispas that used to be available at Taco Bell, without the cinnamon and sugar. Maybe another chip brand will get it right, but I donít think Iíll be buying another bag of Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips anytime soon.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 9, 2005


Planters Trail Mix - Honey Nut & Caramel

planters.jpgI found this Planters Trail Mix on sale at Albertsonís for only $1.00. I couldnít pass up such a great deal, so I bought a few bags. Itís a unique combination of ingredients Ė honey roasted peanuts, yogurt flavored raisins, peanut brittle, cashews, pretzels, and caramel popcorn. Honestly, I didnít think it would work. Surprisingly, it does. The peanut brittle pieces, which you normally donít find in trail mix, are what really make it good. The rest of the ingredients are also very tasty. There are five other varieties of Planters Trail Mix, but I recommend trying Honey Nut & Caramel first.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (14)

November 2, 2005


Wheat Thins Chips

wtchips.jpgHereís yet another example of uninspired product development Ė take an existing product, change it a little, put it in different packaging, and call it new. It worked with Ritz Chips Cheddar, didnít work with Cheese Nips Chips, and doesnít work with new Wheat Thins Chips either. They only vaguely taste like Wheat Thins (which I love), and the ďchipĒ format just doesnít work with these multi-grain chips. Sure, theyíre edible, but so are lots of other snacks. But that doesnít mean you should spend your hard-earned money on them.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005


Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar

sunchips.jpgSun Chips may be the most underrated product on the chip/pretzel/cracker aisle. Not only are they unlike any other chip, they are also delicious. If you care about nutrition, youíll be glad to know they have 30 percent less fat then regular potato chips. I have loved the original variety Sun Chips since they were first introduced, but only recently tried the Harvest Cheddar flavor. They are great, as I expected. They have a mild cheddar flavor that is very tasty, and the same unique texture and crunch of original Sun Chips. Try them and youíll agree that Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar are one of the best tasting chips you can find.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (31) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005


Phoood Hall of Fame: Cheez-It Crackers

cheezit.jpgFor almost as long as I can remember, Cheez-Its have been my favorite snack crackers. One of my earliest childhood memories is that of me and my best friend at the time, Todd Edwards, eating Cheez-Its together while sitting in my garage on a hot summer day. There are many Cheez-It imitators, some of which are pretty good, but none are better than original Cheez-Its. The cheese flavor and crunch just cannot be beat. For a tasty combination, eat them with a glass of milk. I think that milk complements them better than any other beverage. Try it! My other favorite way to eat Cheez-Its is to put them inside a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yum!

Posted by Jim | Comments (51) | TrackBack

October 8, 2005


Orville Redenbacherís Popping Corn

orville.jpgAs I prepared to write this, I was filled with a sense of dread. I think I am about to create a storm, but here goes: I do not like microwave popcorn. To me, there is no better taste than popcorn made on the stove in a kettle. And there is no better popping corn than Orville. Period. The popcorn pops up huge, always minimal un-popped kernels, and tastes great. Use as much or as little oil as you want, the same with the toppings.

Now before the lynch mob gets started, I have tried a boatload of brands of zapped corn, even many of Orvilleís own. Tweaking the time, etc., etc. I either get burnt popcorn or a colony of kernels laughing at me. In those rare cases where it comes out ďjust rightĒ it ALWAYS seems like either too much or too little salt, butter or whatever. Yes, I followed the directions. Yes, Iíve followed advice from friends, family, strangers and the internet. NO, Iím not looking for tips or hints.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Sir Osiss | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 4, 2005


Chocolate Chex Mix - Turtle

chexmixturtle.jpgIím so old, I remember when there was only one kind of Chex Mix. Now, there are about a dozen different varieties. One of the newer ones is Chocolate Chex Mix Ė Turtle. Itís made with caramel and chocolate Chex cereal, caramel popcorn, honey roasted peanuts, milk chocolate candies, and pretzels. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, it isnít nearly as good as it sounds. The caramel popcorn has no crunch at all, the milk chocolate candies are low-quality M&M rip-offs, and there isnít nearly enough honey roasted peanuts. This Chex Mix is described as ďthe perfect sweet and salty snack,Ē but it is far from perfect. Itís closer to so-so.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005


Lay's Stax Potato Ships

stax2.jpgThese were on sale at Wal-Mart, so my wife bought them. I have tried them, different varieties, several times. Each and every time, without fail, I always have to ask myself: Why? Why try to get the Pringles taste and experience from something other than Pringles? I do not care for the consistency Ė they always seem to be stale. Perhaps this speaks of crispness rather than consistency, but they just seem to lack any spark. The different flavors always strike me as just missing the mark. I really like potato chips, in almost any form, but these just do not hit the spot the way a chip should. The bottom line with these is ďIf you want Pringles, get Pringles.Ē

Special Phoood rating: pringlelogo.jpg

Posted by Sir Osiss | Comments (51) | TrackBack

September 6, 2005


Cheese Nips Chips Ė Bold Cheddar

nipschips.jpgThese new Cheese Nips Chips are very similar to Ritz Chips, but there really is no comparison. Ritz Chips, which were previously awarded an ďOutstanding!Ē rating, have everything going right for them, while Cheese Nips Chips have almost nothing going their way. Their flavor is pretty bad, much worse then I expected from a ďNipĒ product. The texture and crunch were also less than desirable. They are worth eating only under rare circumstances, like maybe when there is nothing else in the cupboard. Otherwise, stick to other snacks or the far superior Ritz Chips.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (28) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005


Cheetos Cheezy Pizza Flavored Puffs

cheetospizza.jpgI admit I bought a bag of the Cheetos Cheese Pizza Flavored Puffs with a little bit of a biased attitude, as Iím a huge Cheetos fanatic. I had tried Baked Cheetos, and those werenít too bad, so I thought Iíd give it a shot. Well, the original Cheetos flavor wasnít really detectable. Cheese pizza was, though. The flavoring tasted almost exactly like the filling flavor of Cheese Pizza Combos. If I sat there and thought about Combos, the puffs werenít too bad. So, as a new chip these are pretty good. As a new Cheetos brand chip, these missed the mark, in my opinion.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 9, 2005


Lay's Limůn Tangy Lime Flavored Potato Chips

layslimon.jpgThis is another lime-flavored product that may not be available in all areas of the country. Layís Limon Potato Chips are only for a true lime fanatic, if there is such a person. The chip itself is your traditional Layís variety Ė thin and crispy. What makes this chip unique is the strong lime flavor. It is so strong that the tartness actually makes my lips pucker. Now, I like lime as much as the next guy, but this is just too much for my taste. The lime flavor is overpowering and the chip has only one dimension to it. A little subtlety in the flavor would really make the chip more enjoyable. Unless you are one of the aforementioned lime fanatics, I wouldnít bother trying these chips.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (41) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005


Snyder's Old Tyme Pretzels

snyders.jpgSometimes, I work quite long hours and find myself hitting up the trusty vending machine down the hallway. You'd be surprised at what sort of new goodies you can find in vending machines. So I saw this new item -- Snyder's Old Tyme Pretzels. I didn't have any change with me, but luckily, our vending machine takes dollar bills. I have to say these pretzels are quite different from your run-of-the mill pretzel -- for most pretzels, the salt overpowers the dough. But for these, there was a perfect balance between the salt and the dough ... i.e. you could taste the dough of the pretzel and yet still get the salty taste to go with it. Overall, a great snack!

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by | Comments (6)

July 19, 2005


Fritos Lime & Chile Corn Chips

fritoslime.jpgIím not sure if Fritos Lime & Chile Corn Chips are available everywhere, as I think the product is targeted mainly at Hispanic customers. Iíve seen them here in Northern California for a while, and finally bought a bag to try. They have a very unique taste that I suspect wonít appeal to everyone. The chips have a very strong lime flavor and a little bit of heat from the chile flavoring. Personally, I think the lime flavor is a little too strong and the chile flavor could be more pronounced. Nonetheless, I like the chips and recommend them to those of you who like corn chips and want to try something a little different than usual.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (11)

April 28, 2005


Stax Pizza Flavor

stax.jpgAfter years of being unique, Pringles potato chips were joined by another shaped-potato-chip-in-a-canister product Ė Layís Stax. I picked up a can of Pizza Stax recently at my local supermarket. I am not impressed with them at all, but I have to admit that I am comparing them to Pringles (itís hard not toÖ). The pizza flavor is generic and boring. The texture and crispiness are not nearly as good as Pringlesí. Iíve tried other Stax flavors in the past, and didnít really like them either. Overall, Iím glad that I bought them on sale for only $1.00. Paying any more for these chips would be foolish.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 10, 2005


Kettle Chips Honey Dijon

kettlechips.jpgIíve had Kettle Chips before, and thought they were really good - definitely better than most other potato chips. Yesterday, I saw Kettle Chips on sale at my local supermarket and picked up a bag of the Honey Dijon variety (which I had never tried). The chips are thick and crunchy just like I prefer, but the flavor is not as good as I thought it would be. There is a strong honey flavor, but the Dijon mustard flavor is weak and overwhelmed with sweetness. I really wanted to love these chips, but I have to give them only a so-so rating instead.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005


Wise Snacks

ridgies.jpgMy brother was nice enough to bring me an assortment of Wise snacks on his last trip to California. Wise snacks are only available in twenty East coast states, so I had never tried them before. My favorite is the Sour Cream & Onion Ridgies. They are thicker than most similar chips, and have a great flavor. I could eat them all day long. My second favorite is the Honey BBQ potato chips. The light BBQ flavor is nicely completed by the taste of honey. The two flavors work very well together. The Puffed Cheese Doodles were ok, but werenít really much different than other cheese puffs Iíve had. Overall, Iím impressed with the East coast snacks (see my previous Utz review). Hey, Glenn - bring me some more Wise snacks the next time you come to visit!

Phoood rating - Sour Cream & Onion Ridgies: Outstanding!
Phoood rating - Honey BBQ Potato Chips: Good.gif
Phoood rating - Puffed Cheez Doodles: So-so

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January 18, 2005


Utz Snacks

utz.jpgMy brother, who lives in NYC, recently gave me a selection of Utz snacks. Utz products are only distributed on the Mid-Atlantic Coast, so I had never heard of them. The Bar-B-Q potato chips have a light BBQ flavor that has a nice sweetness. I found them to be better than most BBQ chips Iíve eaten. The Cheese Balls are also very tasty, with a light texture and good cheese flavor. My favorite, however, are the Cheesier Nacho tortilla chips. They have a very good nacho flavor and a great texture that really makes them stand out. Overall, Iím impressed. On my next trip to the East Coast, Iíll be sure to try more Utz products.


Phoood rating - Cheesier Nacho Tortilla Chips: Outstanding!
Phoood rating - Cheese Balls: Good.gif
Phoood rating - Bar-B-Q Potato Chips: Good.gif

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December 30, 2004


Wheat Thins Ranch

wheatthins.jpgIím cautious with ranch-flavored food products. Often, the ranch flavor is not very good. Not so with Wheat Thins Ranch. The crackers have a great, tangy ranch flavor that makes them really delicious. The crackers have a different texture and crunch then I am used to from Wheat Thins. I think itís because Nabisco changed the ingredients a while back to make them free of partially hydrogenated oil (ď0g Trans Fat,Ē it says on the box). Even without the unhealthy fat, the crackers are good, and their ranch flavor makes them even better.


Phoood rating: Good.gif

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December 18, 2004


Cheez-It BBQ Cheddar

cheddarbbq.jpgJust when I thought that the folks at Sunshine had thought of every possible flavor for a Cheez-It, they come out with a new one. Cheez-It BBQ Cheddar tastes exactly how you would expect them to. They have a pretty bold BBQ flavor that, unlike the flavors of some other of the Cheez-It varieties, is very distinguishable. They are tasty enough that I ate most of the box in two sittings. If you are a big fan of BBQ-flavored foods, youíll probably like them even more than I did.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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December 7, 2004


Triscuit Cheddar

triscuit.jpgRegular Triscuit crackers are kind of dry if you eat them plain, but are pretty good when you put something fattening on top of them. Triscuit Cheddar, on the other hand, are very tasty eaten straight out of the box with nothing on them. These orange crackers have a cheddar cheese flavor that may not satisfy a highbrow epicure, but is just fine for regular guys (and gals) like me. Best of all, you won't feel too guilty because Triscuits are a baked, whole grain wheat cracker. I feel healthier already...

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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November 3, 2004


Bugles Salsa Flavor

bugles.jpgBugles are not one of the snacks I put at the top of my shopping list. In fact, they donít go on the list at all. Honestly, they just arenít very good. But now, there is a new variety of Bugles that are worth buying. New Salsa flavored Bugles are full of spicy salsa flavor that make them very tasty. The salsa flavor is very familiar Ė I think it is used in another snack food. Nevertheless, it works well on Bugles and makes them almost impossible to stop from eating.


Phoood rating: Good.gif

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October 24, 2004


Lay's Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

No-Image.jpgLayís are not one of my favorite potato chips, as I prefer a thicker chip. I usually try a new snack food once, however, so I bought a bag of new Layís Cheddar & Sour Cream flavor. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are pretty good. They have a nice cheese flavor and the sour cream gives them a little tanginess. The flavor is very similar to Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream, which isnít surprising as both Layís and Ruffles are Frito Lay products. These are definitely a potato chip that I would buy again. I recommend trying them, even if Layís arenít your favorite potato chip.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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October 12, 2004


Natural Cheetos

naturalcheetos.jpgIn case you havenít noticed, Iím not really into ďnaturalĒ or ďhealthĒ foods. But when I saw the new Natural Cheetos, I was intrigued. Is it possible to make healthy Cheetos? Apparently, it is. These white cheddar cheese puffs are made with organic corn meal and contain no hydrogenated oils, no trans fat, no preservatives, and no added color. The taste is excellent, with a mild but distinctive cheddar flavor and the familiar crunch you would expect from puffy Cheetos. Theyíre so good that you will likely forget that they have the word ďnaturalĒ on the front of the bag. Frito Lay has made a natural snack that tastes great. Go get some today.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

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October 5, 2004


Doritos Black Pepper Jack

doritosbp.jpgI found these new Doritos Black Pepper Jack (ďLimited Time Only,Ē it says on the bagÖ) at the neighborhood Kwik-E-Mart late one night. The chips attempt to combine the tastes of black pepper and pepper jack cheese. Did the folks at Doritos ever think that maybe this was too much pepper flavor? Pepper dominates the chips, with the cheese flavor pretty much indiscernible. Unfortunately, the chips taste too much like several of the other Doritos flavors. I give Doritos credit for trying to come up with something new, but these chips left me a bit dissapointed.

Phoood rating: So-so

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September 25, 2004


Munchies Classic Snack Mix

munchies.jpgIím a big fan of snack mixes. I think thereís nothing better than kicking back on the couch with a bag of snack mix and watching Sunday afternoon football. I really like the Chex and Cheez-It snack mixes, but think I might have found my new favorite Ė Munchies. Itís hard to go wrong with a snack mix made from Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, Sunchips Harvest Cheddar chips, and Crunch Cheetos. It also contains Rold Gold mini pretzels. With three cheese-flavored snacks, it definitely has a strong cheese flavor. A little more variety in the flavors would have been nice. Overall, however, Munchies is delicious. Itís perfect for any time you have, well, the munchies.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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August 25, 2004


Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Jack Goldfish Crisps

No-Image.jpgPepperidge Farm makes some great snack foods, so I had high expectations for the new Goldfish Crisps. They look like regular goldfish crackers (those little orange ones that have been around forever) that have been flattened. That is where the similarity to their smaller brothers ends. The flavor is bland, with a cheese flavor that reminds me of some low-end cheese crackers I have eaten. And, despite their name, they are not as crispy as I thought they would be. Edible, yes, but there are many other cheese crackers that I would rather eat instead.

Phoood rating: So-so

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July 17, 2004


Ritz Bits S'mores Sandwiches

ritzbits.jpgRitz Bits Símores Sandwiches try to capture the flavor of a símore in a bite-size snack. Surprisingly, they succeed. Each Símore sandwich is made from two small, round graham crackers (I think they are actually more like a cookie than a crackerÖ), with chocolate and marshmallow in between them. The graham crackers are very good, and you can taste the chocolate in the middle. The marshmallow filling, however, is kind of hard to taste; I wish that there was more marshmallow in them. Overall, these little cracker sandwiches are very tasty, and go great with a tall glass of milk.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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July 12, 2004


Pringles Salt & Pepper Potato Crisps

No-Image.jpgWhen I saw Pringles Salt & Pepper potato chips in my local supermarket, I knew I had to try them. Why? Because I just had to find out how bad they tasted. I am really surprised that they are quite good. They taste like regular Pringles with dash of pepper. The pepper flavor is mild, but definitely gives the chip a distinct flavor. I am not one who goes for weird potato chip flavors (wasabi flavored shrimp chips, hot vinegar chips, dill pickle chips...), but I sure like these. The label reads ďLimited Time Flavor,Ē so get your Salt & Pepper chips while you can.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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July 3, 2004


Skippy Snack Bars

skippybars.jpgSkippy Snack Bars (Peanut Butter & Marshmallow variety) are another example of a good idea gone bad. In theory, the chocolate covered granola bar with peanut butter and marshmallows should make a very tasty treat. However, the Skippy Snack Bar is made with a bland granola bar, tiny, hardened marshmallows, and a minimal amount of peanut butter. Even covered in chocolate, the taste of these ingredients is not very appealing. Nice try, Skippy, but all we have here is a snack bar that is edible, but not very enjoyable.

Phoood rating: So-so

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May 26, 2004


Cheese Nips Salsa & Cheddar Doubles

cheesenips.jpgIn my opinion, Cheese Nips have always taken a back seat to Cheez-Its when it comes to cheese snack crackers. I just never thought that Cheese Nips had as good of a flavor. I recent years, however, the folks at Kraft have introduced some new Cheese Nips varieties that close the gap significantly. The Four Cheese variety are great, and are probably my favorite Cheese Nip. The Salsa & Cheddar Doubles variety are unique in that the cracker has a different flavor on each side. I first thought that this two-sided approach was just a gimmick, but after eating the cracker, Iím convinced that itís not. By having two sides with contrasting flavors, the eater really gets to taste both of them. And in this case, both flavors were really good. Together, they were even better. Once I started eating them, I couldnít put the box down. After I had finished of the box, I started thinking about the other flavor combinations that might taste good as a Cheese Nip Double. How about Pizza & Beer? Pastrami & Swiss? On second thought, maybe I should leave the product development up to the people at Kraft.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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May 20, 2004


Ritz Chips - Cheddar

ritzchips.jpg
These new Ritz Chips are an interesting snack Ė theyíre kind of like a chip and kind of like a cracker at the same time. I tried the Cheddar variety (they are also available in Original and Sour Cream & Onion), and found them to be delicious, with a great cheddar flavor. The texture and taste are a perfect combination of a cracker and a chip. They are really unique in this way; I donít know of any other snack like them. In case you have any doubt that I absolutely love these snacks, you have to know that I ate two entire bags of them all by myself. And now, I purposely steer clear of them in the supermarket so that Iím not tempted to eat another two bags. Oh yeah, I love them.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

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May 19, 2004


Doritos Rollitos - Taco and Nacho Cheesier Varieties

doritos Rollitos
I think that civilization would have survived just fine without Doritosí new Rollitos, described on the bag as ďbite-size tortilla snacks,Ē but I guess someone high up at Frito-Lay thinks that snackers like me are tired of eating those old-fashioned, triangle shaped Doritos chips. So, they took a chip, rolled it up, and made it ďeasier to eatĒ (according to the Doritos Web site). I never found that tortilla chips were difficult to eat, but maybe thatís just me. I tried two varieties of Rollitos, Taco and Nacho Cheesier, and was disappointed with both. The Taco variety had an odd texture that didnít remind me of a tortilla chip. They also had a terrible aftertaste that made it impossible for me to finish the entire bag (which is almost unheard ofÖ). The Nacho Cheesier variety had a better flavor, but I didnít care for the texture either. Overall, Iím in no hurry to eat Rollitos again. My snack food money will be spent on other, more tasty snacks.

Phoood rating (Taco): Don't Waste Your Money
Phoood rating (Nacho Cheesier): Don't Waste Your Money

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May 3, 2004


Cheez-It Twisterz Cheddar & More Cheddar

I have loved Cheez-Its since I was a young child. I vividly remember eating them with a glass of milk with my best friend Todd at age five or six. I also remember feeding them to the family cat, Midnight, who loved them just as much as I did. Back then, there was only one flavor of Cheez-Its to choose from. Now, we have lots of choices, including low-fat, spicy, extra large, and SpongeBob SquarePants-shaped crackers. New to the Cheez-It line up are Twisterz, bite-size crackers made by twisting together two flavors. The Cheddar & More Cheddar variety combines yellow and orange cheddar flavors into one of the tastiest snacks I have eaten in a long time. They have a very distinctive taste, just the right amount of salt, and are impossible to stop eating. After eating just one box, Twisterz are on my list of favorite snack crackers. Also available are the Hot Wings & Cheesy Blue variety.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

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