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54 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    I agree. Not greasy like chips but will all salty goodness.

    I like the soft ones and the hard ones.

    I will say that salted nuts-almonds or mixed nut or peanuts are also very good.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

      Nuts are fantastic, and healthy to boot. However, I have a low ceiling before I hit my nut limit. I’m rarely in the mood for nuts in the way I get into the mood for pretzels. And mixed nuts? Too much chance involved.

      I do enjoy peanuts roasted in the shells and sunflower seeds, but there are so few occasions where those are appropriate to eat, that it is hard to make much of a case for them.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        These are the mixed nuts you are looking for:

        Ratio is perfect. This is my go-to snack (well, that, or just eat peanut butter out of the jar).Report

      • Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

        Can’t get enough of boiled peanuts. 🙂

        And roasted and salted pumkin seeds. Papitas in spanish if i got that right. Moms sent those to me from south of the border once. outstanding.Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        I could survive on pumpkin seeds alone, or better still, pumpkin seeds and avocado alone.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy says:

        The boiled peanut is not for me. Ran across a bad boiled peanut once and now have a horror of them. This is very sad, for once I loved them. Likewise, the Twizzler. In a fit of nervous eating, driving back from Louisville to Chicago, I hate too many in one session and now can’t abide ’em.

        But the pumpkin seed is a wonderful thing. Come Halloween, I’d scrape out my kids’ pumpkins, rinse off the seeds and roast them with a little salt and butter. I am a devotee of the squash in all its forms, going down both the sweet and savoury routes with them. They are all American.

        Papitas are just potato chips. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Doritos, I find, have a one-chip horizon between “each one being better than the last” to “I wish these were never invented.” And it is impossible to predict.Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        Doritos are the Natural Ice of tortilla chips.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Doritos needs to drop the pretense that they are tortilla chips. They ain’t. When I see people dipping Doritos into salsa, I’m tempted to say, “You’re doing everything wrong.”

        Also, every time I buy a bag, it is Nachoier Cheesiererester. What was wrong with the way they were back in the 90’s? They had the perfect ratio of fake cheese to fake chip. Now it’s all fake cheese. Calm down, Doritos. We’ve all got plenty of fake cheese in our lives.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        See, I have the opposite problem with Doritos. I will limit my discussion to Cool Ranch, since these are objectively the best of the lot.

        I WANT the maximum amount of flavored chemical powder on the chips. But I am convinced that Doritos is deliberately under-coating 95% of the chips, then over-coating 5% of them.

        What happens when you get one of the totally drenched ones is, your brain’s pleasure centers light up, like you just got a hit of snack-crack.

        Then, you keep eating more chips in hopes of getting more with the correct Dorito-dust-to-chip ratio….but the other chips are unsatisfying – they don’t have enough flavor – so you keep eating, until BAM! You find another one.

        Rinse and repeat.

        Every once in a while you’ll get a bag where the whole bag is totally over-seasoned (that is, CORRECTLY seasoned), and it’s both glorious, and completely diabolical – since it means you will buy another bag in future hoping for a repeat, and will invariably be disappointed.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy says:

        Glyph, an intervention may be in order. Soon enough, you’ll have graduated to Cheetos and then your fate will be sealed. Repent!Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        That’s me on the corner, trembling, my lips and fingers coated in unnaturally-orange dust…”Hey Mister! Spare some chedda?”Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        Ah, the variable ratio reinforcement schedule: very resistant to extinction and produces a high response rate. Doritos are evil.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m not even joking. I seriously think that if the dust-to-chip ratio were more consistent, Doritos would sell *far* fewer bags of chips.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy says:

        ” It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the dust of Doritos that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.”Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        I don’t doubt it. I get the same impression from a lot of mass-produced foods, including some fast food places. Every once in a while you get something that is basically the same as a dopamine injection straight into your mesolimbic pathway, and you immediately come back for more, but are disappointed, which leads you to come back again. It’s diabolical.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:



        You know, you probably could make a not-terrible sci-fi/horror story around hackers/gamers addicted to some Spice-like snack chip/drug. Calling John Carpenter (or maybe Ken Russell or Cronenberg)!Report

      • Pinky in reply to Kazzy says:

        They did change the formula for both the nacho cheese and the cool ranch. I preferred the old ones.

        I rarely eat them, but I recognize the Universal Rule that any nutritional errors you commit on a road trip don’t count against you, and have a small bag on a long drive.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        More broadly, vacations are not for dieting. Full stop.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Damon says:

      I love hard chocolate-covered pretzels. Its the perfect mix of salt and sweet. My opinion is that the best snacks and deserts are the ones that masterfully combine saltiness and sweetness.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        What is interesting about that combination is that dark chocolate, in many applications, is the salty component. But because the salt of the pretzels is much greater, it brings out the sweetness in the chocolate.

        When I cook with my students, I always make a point to emphasize the importance of salt in even the sweetest of recipes. As I say, “A little bit of salt doesn’t make things saltier, it makes their taste stronger. Chocolate gets chocolatier when we add a bit of salt.” They’ve since declared that salt makes cookies cookie-er, one of my more favorite sayings they’ve come up with.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Cocoa goes down the savoury route, too. When the Spanish first encountered chocolate, it was being drunk hot, with spicy peppers, as it is still consumed in southern Mexico and Guatemala. It’s a Nahuatl word, xocolaatl, from xococ, which still means bitter in two or three Maya dialects. Moctezuma the Aztec emperor was drinking a dozen cups a day of the stuff.

        These days, you’ll find people down there roasting up cacao with chiles, cinnamon and allspice, making little balls of the paste, then using it to season all sorts of meat, such as turkeys and chickens. You have a little grater, the ball and grater are passed around and everyone seasons his meat accordingly.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Salt is just really important in cooking.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode about chocolate was the best of a very good series. When you consider how labor intensive it is to harvest and prepare cocoa by hand, you get a sense of the wealth and power of those Aztec emperors who consumed dozens of cups of the stuff a day.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


        If you are an AB fan, here is a website that has transcripts of all the “Good Eats” episodes:

        It is invaluable when trying to recall a tip he shared. Or if your significant other finds his shtick insufferable.Report

  2. Chris says:

    Are we talkin’ those big, giant pretzels that people put mustard and stuff on, or are we talking regular ol’ pretzels in a bag? If it’s the former, I can see that, even if I disagree (that’s more of a thing for y’all folk up there north of the Mason-Dixon line). If it’s the latter, you crazy.

    Also, cookies are a dessert, a snack, a lunch food, breakfast, and anything else cookies want to be.Report

  3. Dman says:

    Bah, trail mix is the best snack. peanuts, almonds, cashews, added with raisins and M&Ms….. nothing is better than that salty sweet mix.Report

  4. Kim says:

    Pretzels are indeed da bomb. I buy them in boxes, and eat ’em the whole day long.
    You haven’t had a real soft pretzel until you get one straight from the factory line.Report

  5. Burt Likko says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I do love me the pretzel in both its crunchy and chewy incarnations. And tortilla chips, both real and in their bastardized Dorito mutations, are also delicious and salty and fatty and deeply pleasurable, and post facto, ruinous of one’s self-esteem.

    But I’m going to have to give the nod to French fries. Thick cut, hot out of the fryer, with the big hunks of coarse salt. As I eschew tomato ketchup as too sweet and pungent, I prefer the fattiness of a garlic aioli or a Cajun-spiced mayonnaise as condiment to these sticks of starchy potato bliss.Report

    • Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Anything I can’t take on the trail fails the portability test.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

      There’s a place around here that has awesome fries (I think they fry them 2x), served with malt vinegar aïoli (which I keep meaning to make at home, since it seems like it would go great on a burger).

      If I knew how to type that “Homer Simpson drools” sound, I would.

      These are definitely my favorite, but not practical – not every place has good ones, you don’t always have time to make your own, and in any case they don’t travel well.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Fries have a shelf life that is measured in minutes. When done right, they are no doubt fantastic, but they are more “side” to go with a meal than they are “snack”.

      If someone develops a method to warm cold French fries, I would have no objection to awarding them the Nobel Peace Prize.Report

  6. Pinky says:

    I think that “snack” food has two meanings: there is food to snack on, and food to have for a snack. There is no better food to have for a snack than cold barbecued chicken. I’m not sure where ramen falls on this system – it’s more formal than snacking food, but it doesn’t quite rate as a full-fledged snack. A good ramen (not the ones in stryofoam that taste like, well, styrofoam) is one of the best late-night snacks.

    That’s something I hadn’t considered – there’s a difference between good afternoon snacks and good late-night snacks. For example, a brownie with nuts is fine for the afternoon, but after 8pm it would have to be nutless.Report

  7. Pinky says:

    Nuts give a brownie substance. They’re nutritional. Lights-out snacks should be oxidants.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

      They’re nutritional

      Fish that, then.

      As we (kinda) speak, I’m snacking on pumpkin bread I made from a Trader Joe’s mix. It’s good, a lot lighter than their banana bread, though I make that richer by mixing in a banana.Report

  8. Tom Woolf says:

    Thoughts? Assuming you’re not talking about those cheap-ass in pretzels sold in the potato chip aisle, and that you mean the hefty, salty, satisfying soft pretzels even those places in the mall can’t screw up (too badly), I’d say this is the most genius freaking thing you’ve ever written!

    (Hyperbole switch now turned to “off”)Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Tom Woolf says:

      Well, the Herr’s and Rold Gold’s of the world? Bleh. Snyder’s makes a decent ‘zel. But Newman’s Own makes a variety of good ones and Unique’s Splits line is great; these two you usually have to go to a speciality grocer.

      But, yea, soft pretzels? Mmmmm. Pretzels buns and rolls, sometimes called “Breadzels” are delectable. My only objection to these types are when they go for sweet… Save the cinnamon for the churros and the greasy butter for popcorn. That typically only happens at the Wetzel’s of the world, the aforementioned mall stands.

      And I will say that, despite having never seen you ’round these parts, your high praise here means the world. If anything brings us world peace, it’s the pretzels.Report

  9. Mike Dwyer says:

    I don’t know about other cities but soft pretzels, especially being used as buns for all sorts of sandwiches, are blowing up in Louisville. It’s one of the best food trends I’ve seen in quite some time.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I’ve seen it here and there. Wendy’s has a new burger out that does that. It is indeed great. I believe a local bagel store has created a pretzel bagel, which is borderline sacriligious in NY… But, well, pretzel bagels are basically perfect.Report