Friday, October 06, 2017

Pretzel Perfection

Update Review, October 2017

Several years ago, I wrote about Pretzel Perfection, a gluten-free pretzel manufacturer that made flavored pretzel sticks that I kinda liked, although they were not really like normal pretzels (which, I consider a good thing).  I appear to not have been the only happy consumer, as their product lines have expanded dramatically since then.

They still offer interesting varieties of savory sticks (and they ditched the one flavor I didn't like), and the sweet clusters I was never able to find, but have now added more sweets, in the form of white chocolate covered "Twists", in decadent flavors like raspberry truffle, lemon cheesecake, and english toffee.

And ... they've added seasonal products.  Some I don't quite approve of, based only on concept (yes, they have pumpkin spice twists, sigh), but others sound great (egg nog clusters!).  I was able to try one of these new seasonal items, Cool Peppermint Twists, around the holidays.
Cool Peppermint Twists.
"Gluten free pretzel Twists covered in creamy white chocolate infused with all natural holiday peppermint flavor."

I was pretty happy when I saw these on the shelf at the grocery store in my parent's hometown.  I knew that I liked Pretzel Perfection products already, and, uh, coat things in white chocolate and add peppermint, and I'm even happier.  Dessert pretzels!

These were ... almost good?

The pretzels were just as I remembered, crunchy in a different way, but, good.  The white chocolate coating was applied evenly and all pretzels had a nice layer.  The coating was creamy.  But ... there was something in the flavor of the coating that didn't quite do it for me.  It tasted like fake sweet peppermint, like sugar-free peppermint syrup.  This makes no sense, since, the peppermint comes from peppermint oil, and there is only real sugar in it, but, that is what I tasted.

I still liked them, but there was just this slight hint of not-quite-real that I wasn't a fan of.

Original Review, June 2015

Pretzel Perfection is a gluten-free snack food manufacturer.  I'm not gluten-free myself, but I love snacks, so, I was excited to try them out.

They make two product lines.  The first is their signature "Twice-Baked Pretzel Sticks", which look like any old pretzel sticks, but are available in five different flavors (they don't seem to make them plain at all).  The other is Clusters, which are sweet options, basically pretzel bits covered chocolate, with things like nuts and dried fruit mixed in, and even one version, dubbed "Ultimate Clusters" with butter toffee, peanut butter chips, and butter toffee peanuts!

Sadly, I never found the Clusters, but I've tried several flavors of the Sticks.

The pretzels themselves were far more crispy than I am used to, seriously crunchy.  I originally thought that perhaps they were stale or something since they were so hard, but, they didn't taste stale, so I guess not.  Plus, every flavor I tried was like this.  I think the unique texture must be the gluten-free aspect?  Regardless, I actually liked the crunch.  And the flavors were good.

I'd certainly eat these again, and will keep my eyes on the lookout for the flavors I never got a chance to try, and those Clusters!
Chipotle BBQ Sticks.
"All-natural, gluten-free pretzel sticks with a blend of earthy smoked jalapeno and southwestern spices."

These delivered in the flavor department, and had some serious kick!  They tasted more like Worcheshire than bbq however.  I didn't mind, and thought they were quite tasty, but the flavor wasn't quite what I was expecting giving the product name.

I really, really liked both the flavor and texture of the sticks.  Hmm, gluten-free pretzels, who knew?
Tomato Basil Sticks.
"All-natural, gluten-free pretzel sticks with a blend of tomato, basil, tangy balsamic vinegar and spices."

These ones were also really flavorful. You could taste the tomato and basil, and a touch of sweetness from the balsamic, yet they were certainly savory.  Incredibly munchable, and far more interesting than a bag of chips.

I really liked these too, and would gladly get another bag.
Lemon Toffee Sticks.
"All-natural, gluten-free pretzel sticks with a tangy blend of lemon, old-fashioned toffee and rosemary."

I was most excited for these, after really liking the others, since these sounded sweet and dessert-like.  But ... they didn't deliver the toffee as promised.  I'm not sure I tasted lemon either.  Certainly not "tangy" as described.  I did taste the rosemary.

I still loved the crunch from the pretzel, the texture, etc, but I was expecting a sweet treat, and was thus disappointed.  My least favorite variety.


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