“ Brand: Pretzel Pete / Type: Snacks „
I like to think my ability to eat Pretzels on a regular basis without suffering any dire consequences as a result would qualify me to be President of the United States, should I ever want to be. Sure, they'd have to get rid of the whole 'must be an American' rule too, but in case they ever relax that to include people who have shown a dedication to the country, regardless of their origin, I continue to buy American products on a regular basis, and this is one of them.
Since I don't like potato chips / crisps, pretzels are one of my main savoury snack foods, and I'm always on the look-out for new brands or different flavours. I spotted these in WalMart here in Mexico, but they are made in the USA.
Everyone knows what (snack) pretzels look like: sort of heart-shaped with 3 holes in them to let the light through. The Catholic Church even believes these holes represent the father, son and the holy spirit, according to Wiki. Not one for religious overtones in my salty snacks, I'm also not someone who is worried about tradition, and the fact that these pretzels are not pretzel shaped doesn't bother me in the slightest.
I chose the Garlic and Cheese flavour, though the company have 4 other flavours including:
- Honey mustard
- Sour cream and Habanero
- Peanut Butter filled
- Chocolate covered, peanut butter filled (mmm)
I bought a 150g box for about £1.50, and this was supposed to provide me with 5 servings, which seemed reasonable for the price, akin with a multipack of crisps. The pretzels come inside a foil bag in the box, and this keeps them very fresh. I opened mine and it took my 2 weeks to eat them up, but having pegged together the foil bag (I'm too lazy to buy ties) I found they didn't go the slightest bit soft during that time.
The pretzels are actually pretzel nuggets. They're small rectangles, each about half the size of my thumb, and each one contains 10 calories. A 'serving' is 12 nuggets, or 120 calories, which again is reasonable, and compares well to other savoury snacks. I would have said 10 would be enough, and that would also give you an extra serving, since the box has about 60 nuggets in.
The first thing I noticed about the nuggets themselves was that they looked a bit green. I checked the sell-by-date and found it to be February next year. (NB: I don't think much of sell by dates, and would happily eat most things a few weeks out of date, but this is Mexico, and for all I know they could have been sitting on that shelf for years). Satisfied these weren't some ancient pack that had just been pushed to the front of the shelf, I looked at the packet again, which handily comes with a picture of a nugget on the back. A labelled picture, in fact. With green bits on. 'Parsley', it said. That sounded ok to me, so I kept reading to see what I was going to eat. 'Full garlic taste, with a hint of parmesan cheese' was next, followed by 'Sourdough pretzel'. Having bought them I was clearly going to try them, but I decided that since I was reading, I might as well check out the ingredients list as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find, among other things, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley and parmesan cheese on the ingredients. Clearly these were the real deal, and not just some flavoured synthetic product.
It was afternoon snack time, so I decided to have a handful to try them out and it was love at first bite. These really are a perfect combination of flavours with a decent, crisp (but not too hard) base. You can taste the garlic and the cheese, and they taste like the real garlic and real cheese we've just discovered they are. I am a slight salt addict, so I loved the salty taste, but it wasn't overpowering, and I didn't need to drink a gallon of water afterwards to recover. They were incredibly moreish, and I suddenly understood why a helping was 12 pretzels. The only slight downside I found with regards to taste was the ongoing garlic breath that came with them, as if I'd eaten a massive garlic bread or garlic pasta. You don't always think small snacks will have the same effect (hideous Monster Munch breath aside) but these really do.
A few days later, I needed something for lunch and had no pasta prepared, so decided to experiment with adding these to my salad (and by 'salad' I mean a bunch of spinach with balsamic vinegar). I packed them separately for my picnic as I didn't want them to go soggy, and when it was time to eat I sprinkled them on top of the greenery as if they were croutons. It worked wonderfully, and I repeated it again this weekend, even having pasta prepared, because the spinach/pretzel combo was so tasty. The first time I went with 20 pretzels (since that was going to be my whole lunch, and I needed a carb boost to power me through 3 afternoon classes) but the second time I discovered I only had 7 left, so ate them all and still found it enough, though a mid-afternoon lime-cake ice cream was subsequently needed.
These are a proper hearty snack, not like those silly Boots Shapers or Slimfast pretzels you get that are little more than air. These ones are nice and chunky, and full of flavour. They take time to chew, though are not tough on teeth, and leave you feeling nicely satisfied afterwards. The flavour is infused throughout the nugget, not just drizzled on the top, and it is very intense. We're not talking a hint of garlic here, but enough to knock a vampire off his feet. The base tastes like a more substantial version of a normal pretzel, and is not covered with salt crystals, though still has that salty taste.
Nutrition-wise, these are not bad at all. They are low in fat for a non-diet-branded snack food with only 4g per serving, and of course 0g trans fat, and supply 8% of your RDA of iron. They contain 150mg sodium which, again, is reasonable given their lovely salty taste, though I did read an article recommending you eat only foods with the same or less sodium mg as calories, so this is slightly sodium heavy with 150mg in a 120 calorie serving.
Overall, I would heartily recommend this hearty snack food, and will be buying them again soon. While the strong flavour rules them out as an any time snack, from noon onwards I could happily enjoy them alone or with a meal. Full marks from me.