“ Type: Biscuits „
I don't take kindly to pseudo-products, like juice drinks (not juice), chocolate flavours (not chocolate) and so on, but these biscuits had a claim on the front that made them stand out:
Made with REAL Kraft Cheese
I am something of a Cheese fiend. Cheese and chocolate. There's nothing that cannot be improved by the addition of either of these two wonders. At home, I probably wouldn't have touched these with a barge pole, even with that 'real cheese' claim, but here the stakes have changed. The issue is not obtaining cheese, per se. They sell it in both the supermarkets in town, with a good range of mozzarella, Edam and Cheddar. No, the issue is more the price (over £5 for the smallest block) and the resulting need not to let it go to waste. Since home fridges aren't too common here, I would have to eat up a whole chunk of cheese within 24 hours which is slightly excessive. What's more, on a daily allowance of £7, I'd barely be able to afford the bread or pasta to enjoy it with. With this in mind, could these crackers form a reasonable substitute for the real thing?
These sandwiches come in a tube like normal Ritz Crackers. The difference is, inside you find them in sets of two Ritz biscuits with a layer of cheese filling. They're starting from a good point: Ritz crackers are yummy. They're deliciously salty and full of flavour, and I can quite happily eat them alone with no toppings or accompaniments. The crackers they use here are just the same, with the trademark golden colour, pinwheel design with scalloped edge, and little glints of salt on the surface.
Inside, there is a small disc of cheese that doesn't come up to the edges. In a way, they're a bit like a savoury Oreo, in their design and also in the fact that the filling is a thick, creamy spread. Unlike Oreos, however, you would not want to dunk these in milk. (Incidentally, both Ritz and Oreos are Nabisco products, so maybe the comparison is meant to be made).
If you split them in half, most of the time the cheese divides itself (albeit unevenly) between the two biscuit pieces. It is a bright orange colour, not too natural but also not that different from the 'proper' cheese I've been known to buy at home. The filling looks creamy initially but when you try to disturb it, it flakes a little. While the crackers smell great, it's not the cheese you're getting a whiff of. These smell just like normal, unfilled Ritz, and the cheese is strangely lacking in odour. The texture is also a little random as it is just like the aforementioned Oreo cream and not solid like cheese. It makes the sandwiches slightly softer to eat, and changes the flavour a little but if it didn't say so on the packet, I would struggle to identify it as cheese.
I bought these because I was missing cheese, but they don't fill the same gap a nice slice of cheddar on some normal Ritz would. They're simply not cheesy enough, and despite the packet's claims, seem more like a cheese substitute and a poor one at that. Nonetheless, they are quite nice to eat. They have a real salty kick, like the originals, which is very welcome here given the amount of sweating that goes on, and you cannot beat Ritz for that lovely flaky, buttery biscuit texture that is just crispy enough. The one good thing about these is that the cheese filling helps to keep the crackers together to a certain extent, meaning they're not quite as messy as normal Ritz. The flip side is that because of the filling, you can't stuff them in your mouth whole the way you can with the originals, which is the easiest way to avoid crumbs in the first place. I find these biscuits go soft and slightly soggy very quickly, even when kept in a sealed container, so try to eat them quickly.
A serving of 3 sandwiches (i.e. 6 crackers plus filling) is 140 calories and 8g fat, with a minimal amount of protein (2g). It's not the worst snack in the world, but I can think of more enjoyable ways to allocate my calories.
Buying these crackers might be more convenient than slicing up cheese to make your own version, but I still think doing so would be worth the effort. Maybe one to put out as part of a selection at Christmas, but not special enough to eat alone in my mind.
There are lots of Cheese/Ritz combos on the market, including Philadelphia and Dairylea dunkers, and a wholewheat version of these. I had some yummy ones in Philadelphia earlier this year, so I'm not totally against the idea of Ritz where they do the cheesing for you, but I don't think these sandwiches are the best in the range.
If you want to make up your own mind, you can pick these up for about £1 a roll, in the UK or Sierra Leone, whichever is more convenient...
Although it is normally just the normal Cheese Crackers we have in the house, when we were on holiday and wanting a few snack things for to eat in the house, we picked up a pack of these for a change.
Think these cost around 80p over here for the 125g pack. The pack looks ok. It is a medium yellow colour and although perhaps not quite as eye catching as the red wrapper that the normal Cheese Biscuits come in, this is still ok. The picture on the front looks ok as well.
I didn't count how many of these you get in the pack, but would say about 10. May not sound like a lot, but since they are 2 Biscuits stuck together with a Cheese filling then they are thick enough biscuits and an ok amount of eating in a biscuit.
The biscuit part is a wheat Cracker. it isn't too thick and it breaks up easily enough in a nice flaky way. The Biscuit tastes of Cheese as well as the filling, but more a subtle Cheese. The Cheese inside is quite creamy, but also that bit powdery as well. It tastes a bit fake, but it's all ok. A nice Cheesy goodness in a way. It does taste that bit salty though.
Per Biscuit these have 40 calories and nearly 2g of fat. The calories don't sound like a lot, but I was surprised at the amount of fat.
A nice change to the plain Cheese biscuit ones, but also a bit sickly if you have quite a few - which I did/ I never learn.
At uni I developed a ridiculous addiction to Tuc Cheese Sandwich biscuits. I also gained a considerable amount of weight, and as such curtailed my gluttonous habits for quite a few years and subsequently lost most of the weight. Secretly, I wished I could be pigging out on their cheesy goodness once more.
Well, yesterday I was on my way somewhere with my dad and having had a busy day realised I wouldn't have time for either breakfast or lunch! I asked if he could bring me something to snack on when he picked me up from my previous appointment (okay, so for appointment read "Transformers II" but whatever, that's important!) and was pleased when he brought a pack of these Ritz Cheese Sandwiches, remembering I've always enjoyed this type of cracker.
A 125g roll of these crackers contains a fair few, but they also come in snack packs of four crackers, which I sort of wish I'd had so I didn't eat quite so many! Each sandwich consists of two wheat-based crackers, just like the plain Ritz ones in the trademark red box, stuck together with a "cheese" filling. I use the term cheese loosely because we all know how artificial a substance cheese has now become in some cases. And, despite being not the biggest cheese lover in the world, and certainly not the biggest lover of bright orange "cheese", I love the inside of these.
Mainly because they're so salty-tasting. I love salt. A lot. I know it's bad for you but I drink a ridiculous amount of water anyway so I figure it evens out. But it's pretty much my favourite ingredient. I know, I'm weird. Reading the nutrition info for a serving of four crackers, I noticed the sodium content increased pretty dramatically when written as the equivalent as salt. No wonder they taste so good!
The cracker itself is light and crispy, although can lead to quite a few crumbs. The cheese part does taste cheesy but the salt is really the theme here. They are incredibly moreish, although I have just eaten some for the interests of reviewing and stopped at two. A serving of four is good if you are actually hungry, I guess, but for a snack two or three is probably okay.
Which is just as well considering these are not the healthiest. Four crackers contains 160 calories and 7.8g fat, which is comparable to an (admittedly low fat) chocolate bar. I'm not one for snacking these days, and tend to balance my more sinful food as part of a meal, so it's definitely not completely off-limits so long as I'm sensible, but it is more than I'd like.
The main comparison to these is obviously the Tuc sandwiches I was so obsessed with. It's a tough one because I WAY prefer the cracker part to these, but it's crumbliness means it's more difficult to pop off one cracker and scrape off the cheese which is my favourite way to eat these. Crumbs aside, a really tasty cracker!
A roll of these will cost around £1 from all good supermarkets.
Whenever I see a box of Ritz crackers I think of Christmas, when we were children that was the only time of year that the bright red box was brought in through the front door.
Mum used to hand them out as though they were precious gems and the contents of the box lasted the family all over the festive period!
How times have changed, now I would buy a box of Ritz crackers any day of the week without feeling guilty and sit and eat far too many feeling really guilty!
This all goes to show just how spoilt we are today, as the great depression took hold in America during the 1930s everyone yearned for something good and tasty. Most readily accepted that cakes and cookies were too much to hope for but were over the moon when the National biscuit company introduced the Ritz cracker to the market.
Ritz crackers have been on the go for over 60 years, the brand is now owned by Kraft foods.
The plain Ritz crackers are tempting enough without adding that rich cheesy centre and I could systematically demolish a box of those crisp salty crackers with no problems.
Ritz cheese sandwich have taken things a step further, there are two delicious Ritz crackers sandwiched together with a thick layer of cream cheese.
The Ritz packaging has remained unchanged, the bright red plastic packet using the banana yellow lettering. The packet is well sealed so the crackers remain crisp and fresh and although there is a pull tab to open the packet I always seem to end up using the tip of a sharp knife to do the job.
These Ritz cheese sandwich biscuits would be good to put on the table at a buffet or just to eat as a snack at a party or to serve when you have guests, but if you do that it means that you're going have to share them!
Each Ritz sandwich biscuit is small and circular, the edge is fluted, the top has a few small holes and if you look closely you can just see the salt crystals sitting on the crust.
Each golden biscuit is a mass of flaky layers and as you bite into one small crumbs have a habit of falling everywhere. To make the cheese crackers Ritz have placed a layer of rich cream cheese in between two of their tasty crackers.
The layer of cream cheese is a very rich creamy buttercup colour, the ingredients state that dried cheese is used, whether this is what creates the unusual flavour remains a mystery.
The cream cheese also has a pleasant `kick` to it, which is maybe down to the cayenne pepper which is also in the listed ingredients.
When you bite into the deep cracker the flaky biscuit falls away yet the cheesy centre remains firm making the biscuit much more interesting.
Each Ritz sandwich biscuit contains 51 calories, 0.9g protein, 5.9g carbohydrates of which 0.5g is sugar, 2.6g fat of which 1.8g is saturates, 0.3g fibre and 0.3g salt.
A glass of wine in one hand a Ritz cheese sandwich biscuit in the other and a good film to watch, what more could anyone ask for!
If by any chance you are buying Ritz biscuits for children then the cheesy type may be too rich for them but I am sure that the plain Ritz crackers will go down a treat.