Serious Eats

We Try Every Flavor of Snyder's Flavored Pretzel Pieces

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[Photographs: packages, Snyder's of Hanover; pretzels, Brooke Porter]

Pretzels: that go-to snack that satisfies salt cravings but isn't completely bad for you. And they come in so many shapes and sizes! Braided twists, squares, skinny sticks, and, well, pretzel-shaped. Plus, you can dip them in stuff, making them vehicles for other delicious flavors; peanut butter is my go-to.

But what happens when the tried-and-true pretzel gets the chip treatment, coated in different flavors? Snyder's of Hanover did just that, introducing its Flavored Pretzel Pieces in 1992 with Honey Mustard & Onion; Buttermilk Ranch and Cheddar Cheese followed the year after. Today, there are seven varieties from the 104-year-old company that claims to be the global leader in pretzel sales. As a big fan of both the Honey Wheat Braided Twists and the big Sourdough Hard Pretzels, I was excited to find out if they were snackable.

Here are all the flavors of Snyder's Pretzel Pieces, from best to worst:

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

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This one wins high marks on looks alone. They're covered in individual pepper and salt granules, so I had a feeling they would live up to their name. Some pieces tasted too salty, but overall they were evenly balanced, with a perfect, peppery kick. If you're craving cacio e pepe pasta or a basket of salt-and-pepper fries, these will do the trick.

Rating: No. 1. I attribute the success of this flavor to its simplicity.

Honey Mustard & Onion

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These pieces are golden in hue, and equal parts tangy and sweet—by far the sweetest of the bunch. In fact, when sampled after a more savory, robust flavor like Bacon Cheddar, it was almost like eating dessert. The onion flavor was subtle in the best way possible.

Rating: Second place, for being more sweet than salty and for not making me feel sick after eating more than the suggested serving size.

Bacon Cheddar

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I had high hopes for this variety. Bacon makes everything better, after all. And these really delivered. They have a rich, smoky flavor, like that of bacon bits. Another positive: they were a lot less salty than I expected. Judging by the bright orange coating, I thought the cheddar flavor was going to pack a bigger punch.

Rating: Third place. Although only in small portions—I started feeling ill after the second handful.

Hot Buffalo Wings

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The smell hit me immediately upon opening the bag—that tell-tale vinegar-y scent we all know and love from sports bars. They're even the color of buffalo sauce. I felt a tiny kick of heat on the back of the tongue, but the sourness is what really popped and then lingered. The only thing missing? Celery and ranch dressing.

Rating: Middle of the bunch, but only once in a while. As with real wings, they always seem like a good idea until you've eaten too many.

Jalapeño

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Let me start by saying that while I love spicy food, I don't have the highest tolerance for heat. So it wasn't a surprise that after eating a handful of these green-flecked pieces, my face turned red and I started to sweat a little. The fiery, distinct jalapeño flavor hit right on the center of the tongue, and it didn't subside for quite some time.

Rating: Close to the bottom for me, but only because they were too spicy for me to enjoy.

Cheddar Cheese

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I really wanted these to taste like Cheetos. Sadly, despite being the same color, they didn't—a big disappointment. Even when I picked out the most coated morsel, I barely discerned that artificial cheddar flavor. There's nothing much else to say except they didn't deliver on the bag's promise of "Bursting with Flavor." The ultimate irony: they may be the most flavorless, but they have the most grams of total fat (8 grams) and saturated fat (3.5 grams) of all seven kinds.

Rating: Second to last place.

Buttermilk Ranch

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It only made sense to follow up Hot Buffalo Wings with Buttermilk Ranch. Sadly, these tasted nothing like the dressing. And unlike the Cheddar Cheese, they over-deliver on the flavor promise—as in they are extremely (and terribly) onion-y and garlic-y, and more like bad sour cream and onion dip than anything else. They also reminded me of the croutons you might find on a lunch buffet Caesar salad.

Rating: Dead last.

The Verdict

With the exception of Cheddar Cheese, every variety delivered in the flavor department—but many, even the ones I liked, were almost too overwhelming to become a regular snack. While I can see myself picking up the occasional bag of Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper or Honey Mustard and Onion (likely for a road trip), these take my beloved pretzel and turn them into something altogether different and a lot less healthy. And you definitely can't dip them in peanut butter.

About the author: Brooke Porter is a Los Angeles native now living in Brooklyn. She is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Printed from http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/we-try-every-flavor-of-snyders-flavored-pretzel-pieces-review.html

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