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Having tried the chocolate chip Snack a Jacks, I thought I would try these, as the chocolate ones are really tasty and satisfying. How wrong I was! These do not compare at all!
The rice and corn cake itself is plain, as you would probably expect, a little dry but edible; the biggest problem I have with these is the reconstituted cheese powder that it used on the top! This makes the whole rice cake very dry in your mouth, and the powder is literally a powder, which gets everywhere and to me does not taste like (or has any connection with) cheese. Unfortunately, after one or two bites I had to discard the rice cake, it does not satisfy at all, and leaves you wanting very much (generally for a drink!). I am a great cheese lover, and thought these might take away the craving for fat loaded cheese, but this is definitely not the case.
On the positive side, the rice cakes are only 38kcal per cake (10g each), and only 0.3g fat, which is excellent. These would make a great lunchtime snack and of course cut the calories, but they just don''t appeal at all, in terms of looks, flavour and taste. Due to the powdered coating on top, I can''t really see how you could use these with a topping, say cottage cheese; a better product would be to have a cheese flavouring in the rice cake itself, so they could be used with a variety of toppings, as with Ryvita for example.
Snack a Jacks - Jumbo Rice Cakes - Cheese.....
Yes it is true these things are like smelly tasteless cardboard but when you are a serial muncher who needs something in their hand when doing mindless things such as watching TV or reading a book, and then these things are perfect.
They cost a little over £1 for a tube of them and more often than not are on some sort of special offer so can be purchased rather cheaply. You do as well get a good amount of the Snack a Jack Rice Cakes in a tube so the price I feel is about right.
The packaging is ok and nothing too special although does the job of protecting the product inside and giving all the necessary information on the rice cakes. The company have colour coded the packets so that at a quick glance you know which flavour you are choosing. The cheese flavour, not surprisingly, is a yellow colour.
The whole packet contains 120 grams and each cake is 10 grams. So this gives you 12 cakes in the packet and the nutritional information is clear and easy to see that really you would probably take in more calories if indeed you did eat a piece of cardboard. There are only 38 calories per cake and 0.2 grams of saturated fat. This is pretty good but there is the little thing of the 8.1 grams of carbohydrates to consider which isn't so great.
The rice cakes themselves are probably not that nutritious but I guess you could always add different toppings to go with the rice cake. I don't and am strangely addicted to their cardboard texture and very false taste. The description of these Rice cakes is quite simply given as "Cheese flavour rice and corn cakes". Now although the colour is cheesy and the smell is rather whiffy like cheese these don't really have an overly cheesy taste as to my palate it seems, as I say, rather false tasting.
They are extremely crunchy unless air has gotten into the awkward to retie packaging and then they taste awful and soggy. The crunchiness is probably my favourite part about them as it is giving the mouth something to do what with all the chewing needed. They do have a rather stinky smell to them that makes Himself literally want to vomit when I get them out. This of course only make me wasn't to eat them more often! The after taste is also a strange one as it seems to linger round my mouth for far too long and the pieces of puffed up rice really get stuck between the teeth.
Overall they are not bad and as I say I really only eat them to give myself something to eat that isn't too high in calories or fat. The carbohydrate content does scare me though so I try not to eat the whole packet! They do seem to puff up rather a bit in my stomach meaning that I feel fuller for longer and perhaps those few extra calories are worth the extra puff in your tummy!
I think a 3 out of 5 star rating and a recommendation is fine for this product. Cheap, filling and tasty in a strange and addictive way..
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
mMmMMmm snack- a- jacks....
Big, crunchy, yummy cheesy goodness...in a word- yummmmm.
Many things about Snack-a-Jacks are amazing. They are extremely flavoursome, filling, low in fat and calories, and very satisfying. Fab if you are on a diet, much better than a bag of crisps, and just as tasty.
A large packet (120g) contains around 20 big cheesy ricey cakes, each one providing 38 calories and 0.3g of fat (that's around 3%). I'd say 2 or 3 is plenty to go with your sarnie or soup, or as a lovely snack mid morning or afternoon. For around £1.15, one pack would last one person a good week or so.
They also come in smaller bags and much smaller pieces, sold singularly or in packs of 6 bags. (normally on offer at Asda, £2 for 2 and the like.)
The problems with the Snack- a- Jacks however would include: too addictive!, once the pack is opened they must be stored in an air-tight container, they are quite dry and sometimes (rarely) have too little or too much flavour added, leaving the consumer either a little let down or overcome with cheese!!!
They are also yummers topped with cheese itself, dipped in homous/taramasalata/cheese and onion dip or a nice bit of Philadelphia and cucumber.
I would definitely recommend them to all; men, ladies, slimmers, kids and grandparents! And, obviously, Snack a Jacks do come in many other flavours alongside Cheese...although cheese is the reigning supreme...!
Go on....give 'em a go!
This is a review of cheese-flavoured rice cakes. That said, allow me to be blunt. I don't eat these sorts of things out of choice. I'd much rather be eating nacho cheese Doritos with copious amounts of guacamole and salsa, however, a dedicated regime of doing exactly that (and oh so much more) saw me balloon to 25 stone not so long ago, so quaffing fried corn chips is no longer an option.
However, having spent most of my formative years in the junk food Mecca of the USA, its not easy to quit the diabolically addictive artificial flavour that is "nacho cheese" - which has always been - in my book at least - the snack food industry's secret weapon against dieters. As such, when I discovered that this pernicious day-glow orange concoction was adorning "Snack a Jacks" idea of edible Styrofoam, I was mildly excited.
PACKAGING & PRICE
These jumbo, Cheese flavour Snack a Jacks come in a bright yellow and orange plastic wrapper containing a stack of twelve disc-shaped wholegrain rice and corn cakes, each weighing in at a feather-light ten (10) grams. I bought mine at Tesco, where they normally retail at £1.18, but at the time of writing there is currently an offer on for two for £2 which includes all the "jumbo" varieties (i.e. Cheese, Caramel, Chocolate Chip and Salt & Vinegar).
The best before date and nutritional information is clearly and boldly printed on the side of the package, as is company information, a website address and a quality promise. A fairly robust twist tie is provided, and you are encouraged to re-seal the packaging tightly to stop the cakes from going stale and chewy.
That would be all well and good, but for the fact that it's virtually impossible to open these things by hand without the contents either exploding out in various directions, or ripping the package such that major surgery (of the duct tape variety) would be needed to make it airtight again. I would suggest scissors. The plastic packaging can be recycled.
NUTRITION & INGREDIENTS
Snack a Jacks are a dieter's friend. Each "cake" has only 38 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, 8.1g of carbohydrates and 0.15g of salt. They count as 2 "Syns" each on the Slimming World plan. It is suitable for coeliacs and vegetarians, but not for vegans as it contains milk products in the cheese flavouring.
The cake is made up of 44% wholegrain rice, an indeterminate percentage of maize, cheese flavourings, and sunflower oil. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavour enhancer, and this may put some people off, as it has been the subject of health studies and the source of some controversy.
APPEARANCE & TASTE
The cheese flavouring liberally coats only one side of the cake, and is that trademark powdery lurid orange colour. The sharp, slightly pungent aroma is reminiscent of cheese Doritos with a hint of butter popcorn. The obverse is a cream colour flecked with yellow areas (rice and corn obviously).
It feels like a bit like eating compressed popcorn.
When fresh, it has a substantial crunch to it with a pleasant, very more-ish taste. The cheese is not overpowering and combines nicely with predominantly "corny" taste. However, there is a slightly gluten-like, cloying residue that stays in the mouth for a little while after eating, which I would put down to the MSG. The other down-side is that bits often get stuck in the molars and can be annoying to try and prise out.
Despite my initial reservations, I found these "cakes" to be relatively inoffensive. They don't set the world alight and are not a patch on the real thing, but they are not a bad substitute if you're looking for a healthier, calorie conscious nacho cheese "hit" every now and again.
© Hishyeness 2009