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: The Money Shot

Cheez-It Crunch’d: The Money Shot

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!

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch'd: The Money Shot

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch’d: The Money Shot

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch'd

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch'd

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch'd

Cheez-It Cheddar Cheese Crunch'd

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!

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch'd: The Money Shot

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch’d: The Money Shot

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch'd

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch'd

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Crunch'd

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

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 24 Comments

  1. alek says:

    Thoughts of the metro accident few days ago? Cannot believe my eyes!

  2. Jamie says:

    nascar fan here…. and I don’t know, I have never been a fan of the Busch brothers… they are annoying they seem to like to fight…. they have tempers and it has come out alot in and out of the racecar. they say alot of stupid things… do stupid things… *shrugs*

    I have no idea who is crazy here, but I have a feeling both of them are. she had to be crazy to be with him. I don’t know who would want to be with KB.
    I feel bad for the kid. he always wore a firesuit at the races. I think it was absolutely wrong of her to go to his bus and force KB to tell the kid it was over. that was not a good mom moment. (if that was true that she did that)

    I always thought KB was a bit of a fake and pushing people to believe he is a good guy. (which his ex tried to help with all her WE ARE A FAMILY stuff)

    he lost how many rides because of his bad attitude/choices? at least two..- he likes to call himself this OUTLAW pfff.
    But I have a bad attitude about him, he did alot of crap to alot of people in nascar.
    I have no idea who is right who is wrong! I THINK they both are crazy, I only feel bad for the kid.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Jamie: So what you’re saying is….NASCAR is like its own little soap opera? With engines?

    • Jamie says:

      hahaha wow that is an interesting way of looking at it, and you know I think you are right. especially when drivers start feuding LOL 😉

      the team KB is on, there are like three hot heads and Danica Patrick! they are their own soap opera.

  3. CannedWalrus says:

    As interesting as these look, there’s nothing that would ever make me choose any alternate Cheez-it over the glorious, perfect original. They’re too delicious for their own good.

    Re: revisiting movies… Brave Little Toaster scared the shit out of me when I rewatched it last month. It seemed like such an innocent cartoon when I was a kid. It’s not. Dark story replete with evil clowns and a song called “Worthless” which features old forgotten junkyard cars being killed as they reminisce about their younger days. At the end, the last car commits suicide. Childhood ruined.

  4. Jeni says:

    Well, I love pretty much every flavor of Cheez-It, and yes, the White Cheddar Grooves are awesome.(Though the ranch flavor was really repellent to me.) I’d give the spicy “Crunch’d” a try, for sure.

  5. Marc P says:

    Just by looking at this, I think that this has Cap’n Crunch written all over it and the roof of my mouth is bleeding in advance.
    Would love to see an “Oh Yeah!!” battle between Chester Cheetah and the Kool Aid Man.

    To me, Nascar is professional wrestling with windshield wipers.

    (Ashamed to say, but somehow I have never seen Rambo)

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @MarcP: LOL. I guess if you’re trying to crush them against the roof of your mouth with your tongue (which I enjoy doing), then yes – you might have that problem. These weren’t “sharp” around the edges, though.

  6. Sarah says:

    About that nascar thing….I think I believe her…if a girl has too many secrets…she is going to bust them out somewhere! About the Nosh show, great call on the lay’s wasabi, yup, my favorite thing all year….whoops, second favorite….captain crunch sprinkle doughnut ….best thing in my world!

  7. I fell in love with The Sound of Music way before I realized what the whole Nazi storyline was about. I just knew there were singing kids and one word for every note and a part where they all hid in a cemetery from the guy with the mustache. Add to that the fact that the televised version of the movie was edited for time, so most of the Nazi context was cut out.

    It wasn’t until I watched the full two-tape VHS version in college that I realized that they’re on the run because THEIR BUTLER FRANZ RATTED THEM OUT TO THE FRICKIN’ NAZIS!!! What a bastard!

  8. Billy says:

    Am I the only one who misses/remembers cheez-it twists? Dear god I love those. If they brought back French toast crunch, why can’t they bring those back?….forever?

    • MP says:

      @ Billy – I miss the Cheez-It Twists too. They had great flavor & crunch. Basically cheese breadsticks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, theres a new type of cheez it for every year starting from 2013.
    2013: Zingz
    2014: Grooves
    2015: Crunch’d

  10. T Naso says:

    Cheez-It Crunch’d tastes like nothing. At all. No flavor whatsoever. I tried for 3 days and – NOTHING! Really disappointed.

  11. Lexie says:

    They give major gas don’t buy plus they have a bad after taste

  12. John says:

    What ever happened to the extra cheesy Cheetos? Came out about the same time as the jalapeno cheetos. Those extra cheesy were AWESOME!! That’s the kind of cheese flavor I’m looking for, suggestions on where to find it?

  13. MP says:

    Trying these Cheddar Crunch’d for the 1st time & I agree with T Naso & Lexie – these have no flavor & a weird tang aftertaste. Really wanted to like these.

  14. Ohiogirl says:

    This comment is just for the cheddar version and – not bad.

    Are they are naughty and as addicting as cheetos? No.

    But they appear to be a lot lower in fat and calories then cheetos, so the idea that I could have a crunchy, cheesy snack and not have to go up a size in my clothing? Pretty great.

    And thanks to your review, I will now look for the hot and spicy.

  15. Brad K Porter says:

    I just tried the Cheez-It Crunch’d Hot & Spicy and it’s more spicy than cheesy. Couldn’t taste much cheese.

  16. Veronica says:

    These puffs are hideous, I wish I had never bought the product, it’s nothing what I expected at all Yuck, I want a refund Now

  17. Talena Goad says:

    Ty but where can it get the new hot ones, I have looked everywhere in north florida

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