My Favorite Snack Foods

I was pulling into the convenience store this morning to get myself a Coke Zero (it has just been one of those mornings. The kind where I feel like a giant exhausted slug) when I noticed a big Doritos truck. I remember as a kid passing trucks full of potato chips and wishing that they would crash and chips would go everywhere, like some sort of vehicular piñata. Or that maybe at a stoplight the driver would look over and notice me in the backseat, exclaiming, “I can tell what a brilliant and amazing child you are; please allow me to give you several free bags of chips.” So odd that this never happened.

But back to the Doritos truck. I don’t like Doritos; not in any of their various flavor incarnations. Which made me think about what other snacks I don’t like and what snacks I do like. Basically we really need to have a roundtable discussion of snacks–Savory snacks, that is. We’ll have to save sweet snacks for another day. (I could write an entire treatise about Little Debbie vs. Hostess.)

Here are my favorite snack foods:

Chips. I really, really like potato chips. I don’t eat them often because they’re so full of fat but they are so good (precisely because they are so full of fat.) I know Pringles aren’t very vogue, being that they’re bits of potato smooshed into a mold. But I dare anyone to make a duck bill with two of them and not think “I love Pringles!”  On the other end of the chip spectrum you have the fancy-pants chips. My absolute favorite are the Kettle Krinkle Cut Chips in the salt & pepper flavor. I can eat a big bag in one sitting, no problem.

Pretzels. These aren’t full of fat so I eat them more often. Although I’m drastically reducing my consumption of white flour so I don’t get these as much as I used to. My favorite brand by far is Snyder’s of Hanover. They’re about a thousand times better than Rold Gold which are in turn about a thousand times better than store brands. You might think that the shape of pretzel is just a gimmicky way to get you to buy more pretzels, but each one feels different in your mouth and affects the overall pretzel experience. In my opinion thick straight pretzels are not good*. Too much pretzel. The regular traditional pretzels are a little better but they require two bites to eat the whole thing; eating a snack that requires two bites is simply unnacceptable in snackdom. It has to be small enough to eat in one bite–or better still, to eat several in each bite. I prefer Snyder snaps (regular flavored not that nasty butter flavor). They are cute and different and nice to crunch. I also like pretzel sticks. I like to eat them beaver-style: I hold one end and feed it into my mouth, bitting it really quickly like a wood chipper. In case you didn’t know, this is the proper way to eat a pretzel stick. Pretzels also taste better when served in those little colored plastic bowls from Ikea.

Slim Jims. Not just any beef jerky. Slim Jims. I don’t want the real beef jerky that I have to chew for three months before I can swallow it. Who do I look like, Meriwether Lewis? I bought some Sasquatch Brand at a convenience store a while ago because it looked like Slim Jims and had Bigfoot on the label. And heaven knows I can’t resist Bigfoot. But it did not taste like Slim Jims at all. Which is a bad thing. I have always and will always be partial to Slim Jims.

Funyons. I remember when Chili’s first opened in Provo. I was in college at BYU and waitressing at a Chinese restaurant. One of my fellow waitresses told me all about this giant onion-ringy thing they served at Chili’s called the Awesome Blossom. I have always been madly in love with onions. Mister, who was just my boyfriend at the time, picked me up from work that day and I demanded he drive me to Chili’s right that second. I had an Awesome Blossom and it was bliss.  Funyons aren’t the same thing but I can’t just order an Awesome Blossom any old time. Plus onion rings don’t melt in your mouth the way Funyons do. Sadly, Funyons and my digestive tract don’t really see eye to eye. I only have them on rare occasions.  They also give me bad breath for about a week. But I still love them.

Nuts. Oh my gosh I love nuts! Peanuts, cashews, macadamias, Smokehouse Almonds. I love them all. These are even fattier than chips but it’s the “good fat”. Although any fat that makes you gain weight is bad fat, as far as I’m concerned. But they are full of protein and much more filling than most snacks so I eat them pretty often. I was thinking about it the other day and I pretty much don’t eat chocolate unless there are nuts involved somehow.

Bugles. Another member of the crunchy-yet-melts-in-your-mouth club. Love the taste; it’s corny and buttery. Plus there is the spectacular bonus of being able to put Bugles on your fingertips to make witches claws.


My least favorite snack foods:

Cheetos. Ewww. Not only do they taste terrible (I’m not a hug fan of cheese in any form. Even man-made powder that has a slightly cheese-like odor.) but they are so messy. I hate them for myself and I doubly hate them for my children. Orange fingerprints are not my favorite. My kids, of course, love them passionately. Especially those flaming hot ones. Gross! Also, their shape reminds me of cat poop. Double gross!

Corn Nuts. Mister loves these. I don’t get it. The taste is OK but they are so dang hard. Every time I bite one I feel like I’m eating a tooth.

Doritos. I can’t explain it. I just don’t like them; never have.

Anything flavored like vinegar.  Vinegar? Vinegar??? This doesn’t make any sense. Vinegar doesn’t belong on snacks! Even Kettle chips can’t make up for the nastiness of vinegar.

What about you? What snacks do you hate and what do you love? (It’s Ok to tell me that you hate Funyons. Most everyone does.)


*I have very fond memories of these pretzels. When I was a tiny girl of three or four my mother would give me a nickel and let me walk down to the corner store all by myself to buy a big pretzel stick. Now that I look back I am completely horrified. We lived in Detroit for one thing and my mother apparently didn’t get the memo that life in Detroit was not like life in Provo, where she grew up. I had to cross a busyish street to get to the shop which was actually a liquor store with bars on the windows. But here I am un-kidnapped so I guess it was fine.

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8 thoughts on “My Favorite Snack Foods

  1. I admit to loving Pringles. And road trips are a free for all, so when driving to UT this summer I bought 5 cans of Pringles, all the different flavors. (they don’t last long). Pretzels are too boring for me, but my kids seem to like them. Kettle brand sour cream and cheddar are a favorite. Have you tried Caramel Bugles? Now that’s a snack. Salty and sweet.

  2. I refuse to waste my potato chip calories on anything but the best, so it is always Cape Cod or Kettle Brand for me. Big fan of the black pepper ones, also…
    Salted peanuts and Coca-Cola cured my PMS the other night, so I’m a fan of those, also.

  3. I LOVE Cheetos! They are basically saffron-colored puffed air, and yes, they stain your fingers, but if someone doesn’t stop me, I’ll eat the whole bag.

    Also love Pringles, and some kind of cheddar popcorn Arianne buys.

    I love the kind of string cheese sold at Target. It’s better tasting than any other kind. And it strings better, too. I can string off about 100 fragments that melt in my mouth, thus enjoying oral delight for 20 minutes.

    Last, but not least, I love a heaping teaspoon of crunchy peanut butter. Lick up the melty smooth part and let it drizzle down your throat. Then crunch the little nut pieces between your front teeth. It lasts and lasts! Again, an oral delight for those of us stuck in that phase. (Of course, crunchy peanut butter is SUPREME if wrapped in chocolate and presented in an orange wrapper! THAT’S a treat I enjoyed every night for 14 years, until Reece’s stopped making them.)

  4. Bugles!!! Carmel Bugles are absolutely inspired, but we’re talking savory today. I love, love Pringles as well. No to Doritos and Cheetos both. I have been known to involuntarily drive to Chili’s for chips and salsa at very inconvenient times as well.

    Great topic!

    P.S. We never participate in fund raisers! Although the most successful one I have experienced auctioned off parking spaces and car pool parking passes! One family paid $1800.00 to park first in line everyday for Kindergarten pick up, no joke!

  5. I like the crunchy Cheetos, no to the puffy ones. Pringles are a travel mainstay, plus the container is great to use to pack cookies in for our missionary. (Maybe a wee bit of justification there.) I like Triscuits plain but in high school spray cheese was mandatory. Love nuts too. Have you tried the almonds with the slightly sweet, hm, maybe bittersweet cocoa on the outside. I like those but after a while I can’t eat any more but that’s probably a good thing. I hate to admit this and I haven’t done it for some time, but I love butter on saltines and pretzels. Mmm… Salt, Fat and a bit of starch carry it is my weakness; although a spoonful of Nuttella is pretty good too.

  6. With tiny kids constantly needing things, snacks have become my life. Sad to say. How I long for real food. My favorites:
    -Pirate Booty white cheddar puffs: Cheetos for the discerning mother types. All natural goodness. Cheese that’s not glow-in-the-dark scary.
    -Terra Chips, Mediterranean flavor: Parsnips, Sweet potatoes, beets and other root veggies make it fun and a bit more interesting than a bag of homogeneous potato pieces.
    -PB filled pretzels: I don’t know if you get these where you are. I get them at a lovely Northwest favorite store, Trader Joes. Love them. They’re bite sized nuggets of pretzels with just a tad of PB inside.

  7. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we’re related, especially when it comes to food. You and I could hardly be more different. First off, I don’t like salty snacks at all. I mean, there are a few I’ll eat, but they don’t tempt me in any way. I can have a whole cupboard full of pringles, BBQ chips, nuts, pretzels, crackers, etc. and never think about them once. If I HAD to choose a salty snack to eat, I admit to liking those Salt and Pepper kettle chips you introduced me to. Or Wheat Thins. Or Pringles. and I do like nuts for their protein-i-ness. But seriously, to write a whole blog post on these snacks? Either you or I must be adopted. (Now, do one on baked goods, I’m all over that!)

  8. Oh, and I had a major craving for Slim Jims when I was pregnant with Daphne. Early pregnant. Like eat-a-slim-jim-then-go-barf pregnant. I ate them by the canister-full. Needless to say, I’ve never been able to look at them the same since.

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