Friday, August 16, 2013

Cracker Jack'D

I've been pretty into snack foods lately, particularly those that I can munch on, and I do love sweet popcorns, so the new Cracker Jack'D line caught my eye.  And then ... I quickly realized that it has nothing to do with popcorn whatsover.  They are using the Cracker Jack name, but besides that, there is nothing else Cracker Jacky about these products.

The Cracker Jack'D line features "Snacks with Impact", which appears to mean that they are either caffeinated, or supposed to help power you up.

The Cracker Jack'D line is further broken down into 3 types: Hearty Mix, Intense Mix, and Sweet N Savory Clusters.  There are 4 Hearty Mix products, all with flavored coated clusters and nuts, two different Intense Mix products with pretzels and corn chips, and a single Sweet N Savory Cluster, which does apparently contain popcorn. 

The products I had were all horrible.  Do not recommend.
Hearty Mix: PB & Chocolate.  $2.49.
I started with the most appealing one, PB & Chocolate. Always a winning combo, right?  The mix is made up of chocolate covered granola clusters, peanut butter coated granola clusters, and honey roasted peanuts.  I liked it.  Well, at first anyway.

I love peanut butter and chocolate as a combination, but that isn't usually enough to do it for me if the components aren't quality.  And these were not quality components.  The "chocolate" I'm sure was more corn syrup and oil than cocoa solids.  The peanut butter coating I'm pretty sure didn't even contain peanuts.  And the "granola clusters" were made up mostly of graham cracker crumbs.

But ... it worked. It was sweet.  It was salty.  It tasted like peanut butter and chocolate.  And it was crunchy, in numerous ways - the plain nuts or the clusters that fell apart as you bit them.  But, after a few bites, it quickly tasted stale.  And too sweet, particularly from the honey roasted peanuts.

If I'd only had a few bites, I might have bought it again, but, after eating a full bag, even when consumed over several days, I'm done with this stuff.  It is the honey roasted peanuts that ruined it, they were just too much unbalanced sweetness.
Hearty Mix: Cheddar BBQ.
Undeterred by the overpowering sweetness of the first kind of "Hearty Mix" I tried, I moved on to a savory version, the cheddar bbq.  Like the PB & chocolate, it started with granola clusters, this time cheddar bbq flavored.  The honey roasted peanuts were switched out for regular salted peanuts, and hickory smoked almonds were added.

This almost tasted good.  The cheddar flavor was actually good, but the bbq part was not.  But ... cheddar bbq granola?  Who wants that?  I sure didn't.  The granola bits were actually nauseating.  I call them bits not clusters, as there weren't really any clusters in here.  Totally all broken up.

The cheddar bbq flavor was less intense on the peanuts, and they were decent.  The only part of the mix I tolerated.

The smoked almonds were also too strongly flavored.  I like hickory smoked almonds, but not these.

This was overall totally gross.  I couldn't even bring myself to try more than a few bites of the granola or the almonds.  Certainly wouldn't get again.  I gave it to Ojan, who took one bite, and deemed it unfit for consumption.  He passed it off to a co-worker, who is notorious for liking any random food we throw his way, and even he took only a single bite.  It has been sitting untouched in our snack bin at work since.  This was a serious fail!
Intense Mix: Spicy Pizzeria.  $2.49.
Even after striking out with the Hearty Mix offerings, I decided to try an "Intense Mix".  This was made up of pretzel pieces, crunchy corn kernels, and crisp corn sticks, all "pizza flavored".

I often like this sort of snack mix, as silly as that sounds, particularly those with corn kernels and corn sticks.  I even like the snack mix in the Admiral's Club!

But this was not good.  The flavor was just gross.  A bit tomato-y, a bit zesty, but just not good at all.

The pretzel pieces were assorted, abnormal chunks.  They were very crisp.  The corn kernels I liked for the crunch, but the flavoring ruined them.  The corn sticks were unremarkable.

Nothing worth eating here!
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