Snack Review: Herr’s Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks
When it comes to the high paced world of snacking, few items have been shafted more than the now lowly pretzel. Arguably a regional snack choice to begin with, pretzels have only decreased in popularity in recent years, as shown by this comprehensive GrubGrade.com study below:
Hypothesized factors for such a dramatic decrease in popularity range anywhere from the Atkins craze of the early 2000’s to the minimalist style of the pretzel itself, which some say lacks the ability to become a vehicle for flavors like its starchy rival, the Potato Chip. Never mind the fact that some companies dip these things in chocolate or lather them up in Buffalo wing sauce or God knows what else; but the days of enjoying a simple, flour and water and yeast pretzel seem to have passed America by. It is truly a shame if you ask me, because this objective snacker embraces all forms of pretzels, including the latest and greatest innovation from the fine folks at Herr’s; The Whole Grain Pretzel Stick.
I have to give it up to Herr’s Marketing Director Jennifer Arrigo, who hooked me up with these bad boys to begin with. Despite my association of the company with “some crusty old guy,” the fine folks at Herr’s have confidence in their products, and were willing to look past my childhood favoritism of rival Utz when sending me some sample snacks. As for the product itself, all I can say is thank goodness that the Pennsylvania based company sent two bags of each flavor for me to try out. I say this because my father (who happens to have the midnight snacking of Somalian refugee) somehow found his way into the bag of the Honey Wheat flavor, digging in at uncontrollable speeds that left the bag nearly empty after only one night in the pantry. What he didn’t consume my mom and sister got to shortly after, threatening this very review yet also validating the very fact that these must be some damn good pretzels.
I have to say that once I did try these out that I fully agreed with my family’s assessment. The Honey Wheat pretzel had a terrific crunch and just the right amount of salt on the surface. It had a nice “wheaty” flavor that was followed by a buttery taste upon chewing, while an almost coarse finish (but in a good, rustic kinda way) rounded the flavor out with a subtly sweet aftertaste. For as much as I liked these I didn’t think they were as good as the Multigrain variety however, which very well may rank in my top five hard pretzels that I have ever had. These were much more “sophisticated” in taste, and according to the package contained a veritable cornucopia of flours to include flaxseed, rye, buckwheat, and oat. The strongest flavor I got was the rye (which I liked) but I also detected the “nuttiness” of the flax seed and caraway seed. I love how REAL butter was used in these pretzels as the most prominent fat, and also detected a hint of the buttermilk and honey as I got to the latter stages of my chewing. In all it was a very well rounded pretzel, and once which I could definitely enjoy again.
The only downside I see for this snack is that at 110 calories per seven pretzel serving you’re basically admitting yourself an entire meal when you open the bag. These things are seriously too good to just stop at seven, and considering the small size of the 10 oz. bag you’re also going to have to be willing to pony up some cash to really get your pretzel fix on a regular basis. A lesser, more immature reviewer may equate such a dynamic to that of the economics behind the crack cocaine industry, but I’ll stop short of that and just say that these are addicting.
- Pros: Awesome hard pretzel texture. Just the right amount of “coarse” salt. Nice buttery-wheat flavor for the “Honey Wheat” variety, while the “12 Grain” pretzels have multi-layered and great “old world” taste. 4 grams of fiber is apparently a good thing, especially when it doesn’t come from “chicory root extract,” whatever the heck that is.
- Cons: Too good to eat just one serving, leading to consumption of entire bag in just under 4 minutes. Somewhat hollow interior means less chewage which also equals less enjoyment. The image of my dad attacking these with all the fury of the opening scene in Black Hawk Down makes me feel guilty for not donating these to poor African kids.
GrubGrade: 8.00/10 (Very Good)
Price: $2.39 per 10 oz bag.
Nutrition – Utz Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks (Honey Wheat and 12 Grain Variety)
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: .5g
Total Carbohydrates: 22g
Available in 12 Grain and Honey Wheat flavors.