19 January, 2009

Snyder's Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

I've always been a little suspicious of "pretzel pieces" snacks. Unlike the little "pretzel bites" thingies, these are chunks and bits of broken pretzel. Like some loss-prevention guy at the factory took a look at all the busted pretzels spilling off the conveyors and said, "Hey, get someone to sweep that shit into bags and sell it, we're losing money there."

Needless to say, I don't buy them very often.

But then, who can resist a flavor like "Hot Buffalo Wing?" After all, what do you think of when you think of hot wings? Tasty, juicy fried chicken wings doused in sharp, fiery sauce - my mouth is watering just writing about it! So I gambled a buck in the vending machine at work on a package of Snyder's of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing Pieces.

They're completely bizarre to look at: irregular shards of pretzels, with a thick coating of coppery orange powder on the broken ends and kind of an orange staining on the shiny pretzel surfaces. They turned my fingertips kind of salty red-orange, but not to the extent that Cheetos do.

The flavor is interesting. There's a strong, sharp vinegary tang and a rough-edged cayenne heat that never quite turns into the strong, irritating "back of the throat" heat I usually associate with cayenne. Snyder's has managed to capture the flavor of hot wing sauce fairly well (though it would have been better if there had been some buttery elements.) There's also a savory hint of umami, thanks to the autolyzed yeast extract in the seasoning ingredients. I found myself wishing they had put some powdered chicken bouillon into the mix, though, because the flavor could have been outstanding if the "wing flavor" had tasted more like wings and less like a bottle of the wing sauce.

I have to admit, they were pretty good, especially in the single-serving package that was offered in the vending machine. Towards the end, though, I started to find the vinegar taste a little too strong and annoying. And I still think the idea of selling busted fragments is kind of oogy.


Greg (Accessible Hunter) said...

I love these things!

Unknown said...

You need to try mixing these with their buttermilk ranch pieces or their BBQ pieces - or mix all 3 - wonderful combo of flavors there