Review: Cheez-It Crunch’d (Cheddar Cheese, Hot & Spicy) & That Movie Was NOT What I Thought It Was & Who’s Crazier: Busch or Ex?
Junk Food Nation! I hope you’re all doing well this hump day. Me? I’m sort of fighting a cold…fighting…fighting…must NOT GIVE IN. I’ve been spending my evenings resting and reading movie synopsis on Wikipedia, my favorite pastime now. The synopsis I read last night: RAMBO. That movie came out when I was a baby, so I never saw it except for random reruns on TBS. And you know what? That movie is insane! I remember the explosions and firefights, but I guess I didn’t QUITE realize what was going on. The whole movie was all sort of a PTSD-induced reaction???? THAT’S what was happening?? Holy crap. That DEFINITELY went over my head when I watched it as a kid. I guess at that point, Rambo 2 and other sequels were out so I only knew Rambo as this mercenary badass. But Rambo 1?? What the.
Has that happened to you, Junk Food Nation? Have you ever gone back to watch a movie that you saw a LOOOOONG time ago, and realized: WHOA. That movie was NOT what I thought it was. I feel like I totally didn’t understand Labyrinth until much later in life. You? Let me know which movie in the comments below.
Equally crazy is the recent story out of the NASCAR world about Kurt Busch’s no-contact hearing with his ex-girlfriend. You can read the article here, but the gist is: Kurt Busch, a NASCAR driver, testified that his ex-girlfriend, the one requesting the no-contact order, is a trained killer and hired assassin. Um, excuse me? Apparently, his ex, Patricia Driscoll, would tell him that she was a trained killer and had missions around the world and would say “I take down foreign governments. I own Washington” and would show him bodies with gunshot wounds. Uh huh. Yup.
Now, I’m no expert in trained assassins, but I’ve seen plenty of movies and TV (which of course makes me an expert), and I believe Rule #1 of being an assassin is that YOU DON’T TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE AN ASSASSIN. Something about compromising your position and painting a target on your forehead. Anyways, Driscoll’s response is, of course, that Busch is crazy and he’s talking about a movie script she’s been writing. HOOOOOKAY.
Which leads me to three conclusions: Either Busch IS crazy…or the ex is crazy too…or SHE IS AN ASSASSIN. What if she HAD been showing him these pictures and making these claims? I mean, she is the head of the Armed Forces Foundation. She is tangentially involved with US government defense. What if he’s not making this up? What if she…OH SNAP. SHE LIVES IN MARYLAND??? I’m shutting up now. That’s a little too close for comfort, fabrication or not. There’s no problem here, Ms. Driscoll. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.
Anyways, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Today’s junk food: Cheez-It Crunch’d!!
Cheez-It Crunch’d is Cheez-It’s newest snack line, presumably introduced to directly compete with Cheetos. I mean, look at the bags. They basically look like the old Cheetos Paws, but just in sqaure, puffed-Cheez-It-like form.
While I’m not sure about the name (does taking the E out of the word CRUNCHED = fun factor
I love Cheez-Its and recently spoke about them in this Yahoo article. Cheese, salt, carb, fat. What else does one need? That’s why whenever Cheez-It has come out with a new snack (Grooves, Zingz), I have been ALL IN. And I’m all-in with these Crunch’d snacks, even without tasting them. Well, maybe I should taste them first.
We’ll start with the Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d!
When I opened the bag of Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d, I could smell just a faint bit of cheese. Nothing overpowering. Much like when I smell a box of Cheez-Its, it really just smelled like a carb.
Popping a few of these Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d pieces into my mouth, the texture of these was as expected – like the old Cheetos Paws, i.e. like a small, cube, corn puff. In a lot of ways, the size and shape sort of reminded me of puffed corn cereal, but there was a distinct cheese puff stiffness to the pieces. As someone who grew up eating cheese balls, and who still loves Utz Cheese Balls, I liked the bite-size nature of these.
But the most important part is, of course, the flavor, and I think these Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d were pretty good. The flavor of the Crunch’d, unlike a typical cheese puff, was NOT nacho cheese, but was, indeed, more of a cheddar cheese flavor like a normal Cheez-It. I’m aware that most Cheez-Its are comprised of a blend of cheese flavorings, but the foremost flavor is that sharp, biting cheddar flavor that gets stuck in the back of your mouth, and these had that flavor. In other words, the flavor definitely reminded me more of Cheez-Its than cheese puffs.
So, in that way, I really enjoyed these. Definitely a different sort of snack than your standard cheese puff, if you’re looking for a more sharp cheese flavor. I will be honest – these didn’t blow me away or make me go “OHHH YEAAAH” when I first ate Cheez-It Grooves (THOSE things are AWESOME), but these are still tasty in their own right. Comparing them to regular Cheez-Its, the original cracker still wins…but if you want an alternative to Cheetos, I think these will satisfy you – they do not taste like a cheap knockoff.
Next up: Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch’d!
When I opened the bag of Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch’d, I could immediately smell the difference – this bag of Crunch’d pieces had a definite vinegar-y tang to the aroma, which obviously came from the Tabasco.
I popped a few of the Hot & Spicy Crunch’d in my mouth, and chewed. Like the Cheddar Cheese Crunchd, the texture was that of a bite-size cheese puff. I’ll reiterate – I really enjoyed the texture of these pieces. The flavor of these Hot & Spicy Crunch’d was definitely different – still cheesy but with the distinct added flavor of tabasco and peppers. There was more tang, first and foremost, and a definite vegetable-y pepper flavor that added to the bite of the pieces.
As for burn, there wasn’t any (to me). Instead, there was almost a tiny bit of smoke that I could taste. Like the Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its, these took on the flavor of Tabasco really nicely and accentuated the existing sharp cheese flavor. REALLY tasty. I actually really enjoyed this combination a LOT. While the Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d were tasty, I still preferred regular Cheez-Its. With this flavor? I think the Crunch’d version actually gives the cracker version a run for its money. There’s something about the puffy crunch that just works with the tang and pepper-y flavor of the green Tabasco. REALLY good.
All in all, I fully endorse this Crunch’d line. While I’m not sure they will directly compete with Cheetos ever, and while I’m also not sure they are any improvement over the cracker Cheez-Its, they offer a different flavor profile than any other cheese puff I’ve had – so if you’re looking for DIFFERENT, these fill the gap. If you can find these, I’d check them out.
PURCHASED AT: Giant Food Grocery, Van Ness, DC
COST: $3.00 a bag on sale
Junk Food Guy