Wing Sauce Wednesday–Wheat Thins Spicy Buffalo

Chef JimI love Buffalo wing sauce. I love it so much that I am starting a new column every so often here called “Wing Sauce Wednesday” in which I will review a product made with Buffalo wing sauce, or tell tales of something related to wing sauce, or bathe in it. Okay, maybe not bathing in it. But man, my mouth waters when you mention this stuff. Anyway, it’s become a mainstream flavor in so many foods now, that I thought we’d start to mention as many as we can–weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, or whatever.

First up, Nabisco Wheat Thins Spicy Buffalo. Wheat Thins are delicious, and have a signature sweetness that offsets the whole grain crunch. So how would a spicy flavoring alter the overall experience? It’s really good–with a very generous dusting of Buffalo wing sauce powder, a bit spicy but not too spicy, and with that nice tang that wing sauce has. And you can tell by the sweetness you are eating Wheat Thins. The only drawback? That sweetness is a bit odd against the salty and spicy tang–odd, but tasty…if that makes sense.

Anyway, if you like Wheat Thins and wing sauce, you should definitely try these crackers.


Product review: Planters Nuts for March Madness

I’ve never seen such hype around March Madness bracket-wise. There are brackets for everything now, but many of them are food-related. What are the top cereals, the top snack foods, the top fast food. Well, here are some snacks that were sent to us to review during March Madness–Planters Five Alarm Chili Dry Roasted Peanuts, and Dry Roasted Pistachios. As the press release said, before mentioning that these are indeed a healthy and tasty snack option, “What’s a party without Mr. Peanut?”

Chef JimDry Roasted Pistachios–these nuts are roasted in the shell with sea salt added. I was expecting these to be without shells as many pistachios now are, but that’s okay. I think part of the charm of pistachios is opening the shells. It takes longer and makes you eat slower. And they were nice and easy to crack open which is always a plus. Oh, and the taste? Delicious, and a good source of fiber and protein to boot! By the way, remember when pistachios had that pinkish-red dye? You ate them and your hands looked like they were smeared with lipstick. Just thought I would throw that in to reminisce.

Chef JimFive Alarm Chili Dry Roasted Peanuts–One of the biggest complaints I have about spicy snack foods is that they are often not spicy enough. Not so with these dry roasted peanuts. They are spicy in a deceptive kind of way–you pop them in your mouth, and enjoy the peppery/spicy taste of the dry rub. Then a boot comes up from behind and kicks you square in the butt. And one of the best parts? They are dry roasted, so you don’t get oily hands afterward. The peanuts also now come in a plastic jar, and there is a little “green” sticker on it that says “84% less packaging.” Hey, more spice, less carbon footprint. But yeah, these are might tasty too.

So the Final Four starts this weekend, which means more time to enjoy March Madness party food like Planter’s nuts.


Product review: Combos Buffalo Blue Cheese Pretzel and Jalapeno Cheddar Tortilla

It’s funny how yesterday I’m in a convenience store and notice the small bags of Combos, and think to myself how they have had the same boring flavors for years, maybe decades. And then, lo and behold, I turn the corner and notice larger bags of Combos–with TWO NEW FLAVORS. At least, they are two flavors I’ve never seen before–Buffalo Blue Cheese Pretzel, and Jalapeno Cheddar Tortilla. The one common denominator–spicier than the average Combos. And my wife will tell you I’m a sucker for new snacks–change the package, change the flavor, but most of all, give me a completely new product and I have to try it. So these Combos fit the bill. Here are my thoughts….

Chef JimBuffalo Blue Cheese Pretzel Combos–keep in mind that this snack is first and foremost a pretzel, and it’s the filling that makes it unique in relation to other Combos. Of course, they are crispy and tasty in a snack food nirvana sort of way, and there is a nice blue cheese tang and a spicy kick. But the only drawback is that the actual taste of wing sauce is faint, and being that I have this Pavlov’s dog thing to Buffalo wing sauce, I was kind of bummed at the lack of wing zing overall. But a really good snack nonetheless

Chef Jim
Jalapeno Cheddar Tortilla Combos–this is the first Combos flavor I’ve seen with a tortilla as the base–usually it’s pretzel or cracker. And while it’s not much different in taste or consistency from the cracker, the snack itself kicks ass. And I mean it really kicks ass–in a “holy crap is that hot” kind of way, or at least hotter than most snack foods. For this one, the jalapeno taste is dominant, and the cheese taste is more in the background–the opposite of the Buffalo Blue Cheese version. But again, mighty tasty.

So while these two spicy Combos flavors are definitely worth trying, and as always Combos does what it claims to (cheese your hunger away, yo!), I still feel like they could use just a bit of tweaking in the test kitchen. And if they are looking for volunteers to help with that, I can be reached right here on this blog!


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