* Prices may differ from that shown
I used to really dislike pretzels, but by a strange turn around, I now love them! I have been trying the soft and hard kinds, chocolate covered and home-made ones, and any others I can find. I recently discovered Penn State Pretzels, who make flavoured as well as regular pretzels. My favourite flavour is the sour cream and chive variety which I am reviewing today. Despite their name, they are made in the United Kingdom, which may not be as authentic but makes sense if you think about the food miles they would rack up otherwise. They are based on a traditional American recipe though.
I paid 69p for a 30g bag in a health food shop, but you can buy them from supermarkets for a bit less. You can buy larger sharing bags too. They are usually placed near either the nuts or the crisps, which is how I discovered them. They come in a crisp like bag, which does mean that the pretzels are vulnerable to being bashed about in the shop. There is always a few damaged bits in the bag, but I don't mind that. The pretzels are traditionally shaped in little knot shapes which I like as they just wouldn't seem the same to me otherwise. They smell like onions but they don't leave a taint on my breath which makes them a friendly choice for my work lunchbox! It is also a plus that I don't find them too messy to eat. I hate crisps and snacks that leave my fingers coated with seasoning.
As I mentioned above, you can get different types of pretzels - these are the hard and crunchy kind, rather than the soft bread like ones that you can buy freshly baked. They have a fantastically crunchy and crispy texture. What is even better is that they stay that way once the bag has been opened. If you peg it tightly closed, the contents stays fresh for a couple of days. I haven't had the opportunity to see if they last any longer than that! What realli impresses me though, is the amount of flavouring. I think plain pretzels have quite a strong and distinctive taste, so I wasn't sure how the added ingredients would blend in with that. The answer is that they do so brilliantly. You can taste the base pretzel, and plenty of the seasoning. The chive is stronger than the sour cream flavour, but that is to be expected becuase it has the more robust taste anyway. The taste lingers in your mouth, and helps to make these a satisfying snack. I am surprised at how filling even the smaller bags are considering the pretzels naturally light texture.
They seem relatively low in fat for a snack product, as the bag I buy has 6% of an adults RDA of fat and 133 calories. There is also 9% of an adults RDA of salt. They don't taste salty, where as some pretzels make me feel a bit thirsty after I have ate them. Overall I would recommend these to anyone who wants a filling alternative to crisps for a snack. If you are fed up with insipid flavourings, they are also to be recommended. I am going to try the other flavoured varieties available, as if the sour cream and chve ones are anything to go by, I willl be in for a treat.
=== The product ===
Pretzel knots with sour cream & chive flavouring.
=== The packaging ===
These come provided in a thick plastic bag. It's a standard 'large' crisp packet style packaging. The packaging is thick, sturdy and shows all the usual information on the outside of the bag. It's foil layered for freshness and this means I can just roll the bag inside itself to keep out air and these will stay fresh for several days with no staleness occurring at all. The sour cream flavour has a tang to it, it's almost a little sharp but it's not over the top and the chive flavour really comes through to compliment the sour cream and give them a kick. I find myself wanting to lick my lips a lot when eating these because the flavour powder gets absolutely everywhere and this means it has nicely coated the pretzels in the bag. The flavour is strong without being overpowering and the two flavours compliment each other very well.
=== The taste ===
These pretzels are delicious! They are medium brown in colour and have been baked to provide the perfect crunch. Each pretzel is uniform in appearance, it's a little knot design and provides a fantastic crunch with it's spindly little pieces joined up together to make one pretzel. Each pretzel is fairly small but this doesn't mean that they aren't packed with
=== Ingredients ===
Wheat Flour, Dried Potato, Vegetable Oil, Sour Cream & Chive Seasoning, Dextrose, Corn Flour, Sour Cream & Chive Seasoning contains: Salt, Sugar, Flavour Enhancer (Monosodium Glutamate), Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Dried Sour Cream, Dried Crème Fraiche (Crème Fraiche, Butter), Dried Tomato, Lactose, Acidity Regulators (Sodium Diacetate, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid), Dried Parsley, Flavourings, Emulsifier (Calcium Lactate), Colour (Paprika Extract).
=== Nutritional information ===
Each 25g serving contains:
2.2g Fat (Of which 0.2g saturates)
=== Where can I buy these and for how much? ===
I purchase these pretzels from Sainsburys stores or www.sainsburys.co.uk and a 175g bag costs £1.29. This is the only pack size that I have seen sold and I have bought these in a few different supermarkets on more than one occasion.
=== My overall opinion ===
I just adore these pretzels. They are crunchy and moreish and I just want to keep eating and eating them. Maybe I shouldn't adore them just for that reason alone! I love the little shape of them, they are the perfect size to eat, whole, individually or even just in small handfuls if I am feeling greedy. The flavour is full throughout the bag and I never find a pretzel that is not covered in delicious flavouring. The flavours are delicious and it's fair to say that these are the nicest sour cream & chive flavoured snacks I've ever eaten.
The packaging is very good and it's easy for me to roll the bag down for the days when we don't end up demolishing the entire bag, this is always a very good point for me when I am buying a larger bag of snacks as I know they generally will not get eaten the first day and I really don't like wasting money on food that goes in the bin.
The price of this is quite reasonable considering the size of the bag and because they are absolutely delicious crunchy, crispy, moreish pretzels I have no problems at all with paying out for them!
**The History of the Pretzel**
When I think of a pretzel, I automatically think, American snack, so I was surprised to discover that the pretzel is in fact of European origin, said to have its roots in Catholicism, having been invented by monks way back in 610AD and it was in fact only introduced to the Northern states of America by some German and Swiss immigrants, primarily in Pennsylvania where they gained the title of the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 19th Century. The unique folded over knotted shape is said to resemble a person in prayer and the reason behind it's invention is because a monk in his attempt to reduce wasted dough decided to twist some thin strips of dough into the unique shape you see today and hand the snacks out to the children who had correctly learned their prayers.
**Penn State Pretzels**
It's very fitting that the brand of these pretzels should be Penn State, given that the popularity of the pretzel in the united states originated in Pennsylvania and today it is said that 12 times more pretzels are eaten in Pennsylvania than in any other North American state. The pretzel didn't become available to buy in the UK until it was introduced by a company called Intersnack back in 1996 who are today one of the leading companies in snack innovation, they have only been available for UK purchase for the last 15 years which isn't a long time really, but since then their popularity has increased and is still increasing.
So far I've only ever found these pretzels in 250g bags, but after reviewing the product information on the Penn State Pretzel website I've found that these snacks are also available in 30g, 175g, 250g and 300g packs. The packaging is slightly different from what is pictured above, so I have a sneaky suspicion the Penn state pretzel has perhaps recently gone through some re-branding....that would explain perhaps why I've never noticed them on the supermarket shelves. The new packaging is predominantly black with a big bowl of pretzels pictured on the front, with the brand name Penn State very clear on the front, with the flavour information detailed below the brand name. On the front of the packaging you can also find the nutritional information located in the bottom left hand corner, which is where I find that each 25g serving will cost me 103 calories (ouch). So according to serving size suggestions, each 250g bag contains 10 servings.
Opening the pack, I can clearly see the familiar shape that makes the pretzel and although not overpowering the savoury sour cream and chive fragrance is clearly there, making my mouth water....I thought to myself at this point, I hope they taste as good as they smell.
Popping a pretzel in my mouth, my tastebuds are alive with the almost instantaneous burst of flavour. Being a huge lover of sour cream and all things sour creamed flavour I have to say that I was not disappointed, the flavouring just oozes out of these crunchy wheat and potato snacks. The pretzels themselves are coated in a powdery seasoning that helps the product achieve its tastiness and just makes me want to eat a whole bag, which isn't very good for my diet, but as I have a soft spot for soured cream in general and have always found in the past that sour cream and chive flavoured snacks are always a big hit in my book, I think I can offer myself this little indulgence...I don't have many food vices but savoury snacks such as these are definately one of them.
**My overall experience and opinion**
I have purchased several bags of this tasty snack now from my local Asda and each pack has been just as satisfying as the previous. I would even go as far as to say that these are my new favourite crispy snack, from the moment the first pretzel tingled my tastbuds I've been hooked. £1.10 will get you a 250 gram pack and if you pace yourself you'll have 10 days of snacking ahead, or alternatively if you're feeling generous you can share a pack of this size with friends. I've only ever seen the sour cream and chive flavour in Asda but I know Tesco also sell this brand of snack....apart from these 2 supermarkets I haven't actually seen this product anywhere else. Overall I think this is a great alternative to crisps if you fancy a change and they come highly recommended from me. ..
Seriously, there are addictive! They should come with a health warning because I can assure you that if you have one, then you'll have to eat the whole packet! They're similar Pringles in that respect!
So, they come in a 175g bad - which is a perfect size for sharing, or if you're anything like me, for stuffing down while you're all by yourself in front of the TV!! Each pretzel is uniform in size and shape, each measuring about 3 cm x 3 cm and are roughly heart-shaped in design.
The pretzels themselves are baked and as a result are crisp and crunchy. I am always particularly impressed with how fresh they taste. Probably the fact that they are foil packed helps with maintaining the freshness of the pretzels, and so they actually taste like they've been just backed.
The sour cream and chive flavour is delicious. The flavour is strong and vibrant - and although it actually tastes nothing like sour cream and chives, the flavouring is very moorish. They do contain monosodium glutamate and this can be detected in the flavouring - and so if you're not a fan of this then you probably won't like them. They do taste a little powdery, but again I don't find this unpleasant.
I recommend these pretzels for anyone who's having a party or just wants some comfort food!
I was in the 99p shop a couple of weeks ago with my mom picking up some munchies for a night in front of the tv when these pretzels caught my eye. If I had the choice between a savoury and a sweet snack savoury would win everytime so I definately wanted to try these straight away. Id never heard of the brand Penn State before but that thought didnt even enter my mind because the flavour just sounded really yummy - and I have never had a problem with snacks bought from that shop before.
Price: 99p - £1.50 For A 175g Packet
Stockists: 99p Store, Poundland & Most Supermarkets
I cant find the exact nutritional values for these pretzels but I remember reading that a small amount of these are actually better for you than a packet of crisps. If I remember rightly the salt levels are quite high in this product so dont have to many of them. They are quite bad for you in some respects.
As soon as you open the packet you are greeted by the VERY strong smell of chives and they smell like a savoury food fans dream. The smell is incredibly strong and the taste actually is as well so if you dont like this flavour then I really would stay away because I can guarantee you wont like these. The pretzels are really tiny and absolutely covered in flavouring and they look really delicious.
Luckily they taste amazing as well. These have a really great texture to them as well as taste as they are just like a biscuit. But its a savoury one! I would describe the texture of these pretzels as exactly like a breadstick - even though that may not be a great description. As I mentioned these crisps are absolutley packed with flavour and they really taste like cheese and chives but with a salty, tangy kick to them which makes them a little bit different to ordinary snacks. The flavour is fabulous but I reckon it could be a bit to strong for some people, I loved the taste of them though. The only thing I didnt love is how damn moreish they are! Although thats probably a good thing as these were a hit with everyone in my house.
These are a great but different snack to have and they are perfect for watching a film with - who doesnt fancy a change from crisps and popcorn? These are fully recommended by me and even though they arent great for you, you dont have to eat them everyday.
Thanks For Reading
x0 Salz 0x
I went to buy some lunch with my sister and we fancied something savoury. We decided to give these a try and were quite surprised by how tasty they were. We got these at the local Budgens for £1.38 and they come in a large 175g pack which is ideal for sharing. I have seen these on offer for a £1.00 at my local supermarket which I think is more than reasonable.
Upon opening I was greeted by a strong smell of chives which didn't put me off. The pretzels themselves are light brown in colour and look quite dry. They have a dry biscuit like consistency but they are savoury rather than sweet. They are crunchy and full of flavour and extremely tasty and we found ourselves polishing off the whole pack in one go. The flavouring does tend to stick to your fingers but this is easily licked off or wiped off.
Pretzels are low in fat but they are not that healthy because the salt content is actually pretty high. As these are a savoury snack they do make a good alternative to crisps and because they haven't been fried they appear to be the healthier option.
Overall this was a tasty snack to compliment our lunch and we have bought these a few more times.
Penn State sour cream & chive flavour pretzels come in a 175g bag which according to the pack is supposed to provide seven servings, (However, I find these things so moreish that a pack is soon gone over a couple of days!) They come in a green and black pack with a tempting photo on the front.
They have a good strong sour cream and chive flavour and a good crunch. They are the ideal snack to watch a movie with at home. I wouldn't suggest taking them to the cinema as they might be too noisy to eat.
I'd also suggest trying the salted ones (same size and price but a red pack), when I buy them I like to dip them in melted chocolate and allow them to set for 10minutes in the fridge, they are delicious.
These Pretzels are fine for people who are allergic to nuts as they are produced in a nut free factory.
Despite pretzels being american and the name "Penn State" sounding american, they are actually manufactured in County Durham, UK. For some reason I find this slightly disapointing and leaves me wanting to compare them with the genuine american version.
Price and availability
I bought the pack I'm currently munching through from Iceland for £1. Iceland have only just started selling them, I used to buy them from Sainsburys. I've been buying them a few years now and I've never seen them on offer. They are available from most large supermarkets, and also come in mini individual packets, and they do the same size pack as this one but BIG pretzels inside the pack.
Each 25g serving provides 103 calories, 1.3g of sugar, 2.2g of fat, 0.2g of saturated fat and 0.5g of salt.
To summarise, they are a great tasting snack and an excellent alternative to crisps and popcorn.
Penn State Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels
Description: Manufacturer: Penn State / Type: Snacks
These pretzels currently have a whopping 50% extra free so you really do get value for money! They are available in most supermarkets, in the same areas as crisps and snacks and come in a black packet with the brand name on the front and a picture of the pretzels. I paid £1.20 for these snacks.
I bought these to snack on because they are healthier than crisps. This is the first time that I have tried this flavour though and was really impressed.
Each pretzel has a thick coating of sour cream and chive flavouring which is tasty and tangy. It really adds something special to what is normally quite a plain snack and I will definitely be buying these again. They have an excellent crunch to them and make a great alternative to more conventional snacks.
Nutritional values per 25 gram serving are as follows;
2.2 grams of fat
If you are not a fan of sour cream and chive flavours then you are unlikely to like these as they are quite strong. If you are a fan though, you will be delighted by these because there is so much flavour that you can see it. This is great as I personally like to lick the flavour off snacks before crunching them!
Try these now while they have loads extra free - 50% more delicious!
These pretzels are delicious! I typically don't like sour cream flavoring on things, but I had a taste of these pretzels and they are amazing. The sour cream and chive taste is savoury and much better than just simple salt.
The consistency of the pretzel is almost like a cracker snack, and the flavoring is dusted over it. This can be kind of messy, since crumbs and flavored dust go all over, but make sure to snack with a napkin handy and you should be fine.
Nutritionally, these pretzels are actually a good snack. At only 103 calories per 25 gram serving and 2.2 grams of fat, they offer satisfaction to a savoury food craving and no reason to feel guilty about it.
I like the single serving packs the best, to take to work or in my purse, but there are also larger bags available that I've served at parties.
The only problem I've had is that sometimes Penn State is difficult to find. I usually buy mine at Tesco, and I've heard they're also sold at Sainsbury's, but I've only been able to find them in a handful of stores. It's worth the hunt, though, if you're looking for a snack or party bites.