Snack Review: Genisoy Soy Crisps, Multigrain Crisps, and Soynuts
One of the ironies in my life as a snacker is that I often find myself awkwardly inspecting the natural and organic snack aisle at my local supermarket. Ironic in the fact that I have few qualms about loading up on goodies that contain HFCS or even a smattering of partially hydrogenated oils, but not ironic in the sense that I’m always looking to try something new. And while there is no way on God’s green earth that I’d pay extra to indulge in evaporated cane juice over corn syrup, I’m never one to pass up a bargain.
Hence, a recent flurry of purchases of several items made by Genisoy. On sale at my local market, Genisoy’s products promise a clean list of ingredients and a respectable amount of soy protein per serving. That’s all well and good if you, you know, lack taste buds, but what I wanted to know was whether or not these snacks could actually satisfy. Here’s my verdict:
I’ve actually had soy crisps before, and despite some previous reservations over their odd texture was willing to try them again. I’m a sucker for anything garlic-flavored, with these soy and rice powdered “chips” being no exception. While they feel like a slightly snappier version of a rice cake, the real highlight of these crisps is the flavoring agent. The seasoning was liberally applied and finger-licking good, holding a strong garlic flavor that benefitted from the application of sea salt and dried parsley. With only 3.5 grams of fat (none saturated) and 7 grams of protein per 17 crisps, I had no reservations downing the entire 3.5 oz bag. I even got over some of my “issues” with the texture, and found some the crisps to have a strong bite and snap that mimicked that of a baked chip.
Retail Price: $2.69
GrubGrade: 8.50/10 (Very Good)
Made from the same base of soy and rice flour, these crisps were texturally the same as the Roasted Garlic and Onion flavor. Once again I found some inconsistency in the texture of the crisps, with only about 1/3rd of the crisps displaying the real snappy crunch that mimics a chip. The others had more of a dull bite that dissolved as I chewed. While these do have a respectable flavor, it’s nothing to write home about. Like similar products using cane juice as a main sweetener, the sweetness is somewhat muted, but thankfully is saved by a strong cinnamon seasoning presence, as well as a hint of apple. Ridiculously healthy, I’d put this in my “mindless snacking” category as opposed to a sweet treat.
Retail Price: $2.69
GrubGrade: 7.50/10 (Good)
These are among Genisoy’s latest snacking ‘innovations,’ and are touted for their nutritional benefits. True to form, the company markets these primarily on health-based claims, pointing out how other snacks contain “bad” or “empty” calories, while their own crisps offer superior nutrition. I don’t doubt the latter, but I dislike the advertising technique of classifying things as black and white in terms of nutrition. Still, I thought the Multigrain Crisps had the best showing of any of the snacks I tried. The smelled fantastic, with a strong aroma of a foccacia or artisanal kalamta olive loaf that instantly took me to a bakery setting. For as savory as they smelled, the predominant flavor was actually more sweet and dare I say earthy, with the multiple grains (including rye and corn) balancing each other out and lending a real wheat-thin like quality to the product. The crisps weren’t too salty, and did display a strong olive-flavor, although the rosemary was a little muted. Still, I found them satisfyingly addictive, so much so that I ate the entire bag in one sitting. What I especially liked about these crisps was that they have a strong Mediterranean flavor without going over the top. Think of it as a slightly more sophisticated wheat thin.
Retail Price: $2.69
GrubGrade: 9.25/10 (Exceptional)
Thanks to nutritional revelations over the past decade — as well as a bevy of amusing commercials produced by the fine folks at Emerald — nuts of all kinds have become one of the more chic snack items over the past few years. Outside of the proverbial ballpark bag of peanuts, I’ve been largely resistsant to this trend. That is until I spotted these, which promised a “mouthwatering old-hickory smoked seasoning.” I had never seen a “soy nut” before, and these were smaller than I had anticipated. Still, they were crunchy like a peanut, and had a great roasted flavor that I’d expect from a classic bag of ballparks peanuts. They weren’t sweet in a BBQ sense, but I really did catch the smoke flavor, and found myself curiously addicted to them. Like the Multigrain crisps, there was not way I could stop after just one “serving” (a meager quarter of a cup) but with plenty of protein and very little saturated fat per serving, these are the kind of nuts you can definitely feel good about popping. I didn’t think it could be done, but these might just have converted me to the ever popular world of nut-snacking.
Retail Price: $ 1.58
GrubGrade: 9.00/10 (Exceptional)
I give Genisoy credit. As someone who eats regular potato chips on an almost daily basis, I didn’t have high expectations for anything involving the terms “crisp” or “soy.” Yet these snacks managed to deliver based on exceptional flavor and taste, which made some of the textural issues much easier to deal with. While I can’t say I’d always be willing to pay more for their health benefits, I will definitely be on the lookout for Genisoy products when on sale.
Check Them Out:
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00 (Exceptional)
More Info: Genisoy.com