Friday, January 03, 2014

Snyder's of Hanover

As you know, I love snack foods.  Whenever I visit my family, my mother always has a variety of pretzels around, usually for use as part of Chex mix.  And she always buys Snyder's of Hanover brand.

Over the year's, I've sampled a large number of Snyder's of Hanover's offerings, although in looking at their website now, I realize they make far more products than I realized.  They are most known for pretzels, which come in assorted shapes and seasonings, but they also apparently make chips and salsa.

The pretzels are pretty much as generic as can be, standard bagged pretzels, although they do come up with some interesting flavors.  I won't ever seek them out on my own, but when I'm home, you know I can't resist ...

Traditional Pretzels

The most classic product made by Snyder's is traditional pretzels, offered in just about every shape and size, including mini pretzels, sticks, rods, snaps, and of course, holiday shapes.  Snaps are the checkerboard shaped ones, which are the best for use in Chex Mix in my opinion, since the waffle shape helps trap extra seasoning!

These pretzels are all about the same, not offensive, slightly buttery, nice and shiny, some salt.  Nothing remarkable, but not bad.

Seasoned Sourdough Nibblers

For interesting flavors, go for the Nibblers. These are chunks of their sourdough pretzels, coated with seasonings.

I only have notes on one variety that I've tried, the Honey Mustard & Onion: The flavor coating on these was awesome.  The pretzels were crunchy.  I was addicted.   But not because I loved them.  Rather, I was addicted because I wanted MORE of the coating.  The ratio of pretzel to coating was just off for me.  But then again, I did keep eating them, so perhaps they did create a good product.

Flavored Pretzel Pieces

Luckily for me, Snyder's seems to have realized that their coating is delicious, and figured out a way to expose more surface area of the pretzels.  They also offer flavored "Pretzel Pieces".  Just like the Nibblers, they are made from sourdough pretzel, but are just little twists and chunks, with lots of exposed edges to soak up the flavor.  By far my favorite of the products I've tried, as the pretzel: coating ratio is perfect!

The pieces come in a slew of flavors, ranging from savory cheddar cheese or spicy jalapeno, to sweet and salty salted caramel or s'mores, to "50% less fat" varieties, and finally, peanut butter filled.
Honey Mustard & Onion.
Just like the Nibblers, I liked the slightly sweet, flavorful, salty coating. Do they really taste like honey mustard or onion? Nah. But I get addicted, even more so with the the pieces than the nibblers. I do find that I always want them to be better than they are. As single pieces, they still just aren't that great. They are much better by the handful. Beware though, I've found that eating too many of these in one sitting really easily causes a stomach ache. And it is far, far too easy to eat too many of these!
Hot Buffalo Wing.
The hot buffalo wing are almost awesome.  The flavor is intense.  And I like it ... about half the time I try them.  The other half of the time, I find the flavor repulsive.  I really can't explain why I find them so nasty sometimes, when other times, I'm so close to loving them.

The flavor is ...  I guess buffalo hot wing.  There is some garlic and cayenne flavors that come out.  And of course, MSG.  They always leave my fingers bright orange.

Like the honey mustard & onion, they aren't great when you just eat one or two, but really require a big handful to get addicting.  And then they do get addicting.  The assorted sized pieces range from fairly large to tiny little bits.  The tiny bits are usually my favorites, as they are just absolutely coated in seasoning.

I always want to love these more than I do, but, like I said, so close to good.

They also come packaged as "Flavor Doubles" with Buttermilk Ranch.

These were quite interesting.  The Hot Buffalo Wing and Buttermilk Ranch flavors are also each sold separately, but they also mix them in a bag together, as "Flavor Doubles".  At first I didn't realize that there were two distinct flavors in the bag, I just thought each piece was supposed to be both ranch and buffalo, and that some were more or less coated than others.  After a few handfuls, I realize that the very orange ones were buffalo wing, and the duller ones were ranch.  The ranch really didn't taste much like anything else "ranch" flavored I've had.  It was a very muted flavor, probably due to being mixed in with the hot buffalo ones?  The buffalo were good, and addicting, but even more so than the Honey Mustard & Onion, you really had to be careful not to overdo it.  I can't even tell you how many times I ate too many handfuls of these and later regretted it.  I'm not sure what is in these things, but they really give a stomach ache!

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More Varieties
  • Cheddar Cheese: Not my favorite of the flavors, slightly cheesy, but decent.  I'd eat them again, but wouldn't pick if given a choice.
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper: Well, these tasted like pepper.  Very strongly of pepper.  I didn't like them at all, but if you like the idea of peppery pretzels, check them out.
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