I love snacks, and while I appreciate a well-curated assortment of charcuterie, my tastes tend to skew less “artfully arranged board” and more “highway-rest-stop free-for-fall.” So I figured that reviewing the most popular snacks from the most popular online store in the world would be a magical meeting of my interests and the internet’s hunger for guinea pig snack journalism. But in the interest of personal growth, I decided to try snacks I’d never had before—really expand those sweet and salty boundaries—and boy did that go awry.
Join me as I not only try new foods, but a whole new approach to nourishment, thanks to five of Amazon’s 100 best-selling snacks.
Planter’s Pistachio Lovers Mix
Baby Nut weirdness aside, this is a good mix because it’s got nothing but all-stars. It’s the Lady Marmalade 2002 cover of nut mixes. Mostly pistachios, a good amount of salted almonds broken up so as not to disrupt the general texture of the mix, and nature’s butter: cashews. The whole thing is EXTREMELY salty which is great and you get a lot! Were it not flu season I would have put them in a little dish on my desk in an attempt to make friends (please be my friend). I will say, I missed the ritual of peeling pistachios, I always feel wise when I’m doing that, but the tips of my beautiful fingers were grateful for the break as were my tastebuds.
Buy this product if you like luxury.
A truly irresponsible amount of popcorn kernels
I get it, I am not the target audience for Amazon’s bulk snack market. I’m a single woman who lives in New York City, a snack oasis. Which is why, in the spirit of that one time I watched Big Bang Theory, I ordered this large tub of popcorn kernels to see how most folks do it. Also, I fucking love popcorn, just ask Edith, just ask my family that I keep trying to convince to get matching popcorn tattoos. I made these kernels on the stove and they only turned out okay but that was mostly due to user error. I imagine if you are running a carnival, or own an air popper, or one of those stir machines, this popcorn would be delicious. What I like about this giant tub of kernels is its ability to help me mark the time. Where will I be when I reach the bottom? Where will we all be? Who knows, but watch this space (in like 10 years) to find out!
Buy this product if you have a family, own and operate a movie theater, or are trying to get into some sort of popcorn-related ASMR.
GoGo Squeeze Applesauce on the Go
I LOVE applesauce. I LOVE convenience. Why was I surprised by how much I loved these applesauce bags??? Who knows! The applesauce is very good, all of the flavors are nice, and the pouch is easy to open and a nice little serving. I averaged two a day and felt great about that, even though I looked slightly deranged drinking pouches of applesauce at work. The only thing that takes this from “good” to “fine” is that you have to collect the applesauce bags and return them to a specific place in order to recycle them. Just make them regular recyclable! Even better, compostable! I love these little guys but I love the planet more so my final verdict is “meh.”
Buy this product if you’re committed to keeping a box of applesauce empties in your home and then making an extra stop at your local shipping purveyor.
Utz 40 oz Barrel of Pub Mix
Sigh. This poor Pub Mix. What it lacks for in quality it makes up in quantity, and my good dudes, I have been there! It knows that people will look at it and think it is its Italian-American cousin Gardettos, or its wholesome twin Chex Mix, but there’s no way sticking your hand in this giant barrel of snackable sundries won’t lead to disappointment. But they didn’t give up, they tried to stake their claim in the world of rye chips and pretzels by adding a beloved element: cheese powder. And let me tell you, it doesn’t work. And it’s heartbreaking. There are those yummy sesame chips in here and rye chips are good no matter what, so if you exist in the kind of space where it is acceptable to only eat the pieces you want and leave 80% behind, go nuts.
Buy this if you want to see your own uncomfortable attempts at individuality reflected back to you.
Slimfast Keto Fat Bomb Snack
Albert Einstein once said, “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” That thought ran through my entire being as I consumed the true wild card of this whole experiment, these Slim Fast Keto Cup Fat Bombs. I knew that these weren’t going to be standard peanut butter cups, I knew they weren’t going to be like candy at all, and yet, they still found a way to surprise me.
Upon first bite, the familiar taste of the chalky chocolate “coating” (think the flavor profile of chocolate La Croix combined with the texture of sand stuck to your hand at the beach) and then the not-very-peanut-buttery peanut filling that went from bland to surprisingly fine a few seconds after filled my unwilling mouth. As I chewed slowly and intentionally, not enjoying the experience but not hating it, I thought, Hey, if I were on a Keto diet, this might work in a pinch on a particularly bad day. But then. THEN. I finished. I took a sip of water and… the taste was still there.
I took a sip of coffee and the taste was still there.
I decided to see how long the taste would stick around but caved a minute in and drank more water. But still, it felt like the particles of MCT oil or god knows what were clinging to the roof of my mouth with all their might. Diet flavor stalactites populating the unwilling cave of my soft palate that would not be removed.
I had more coffee and, oh god, is it worse? Less strong but still there. I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. I was sweating. Just this morning my train was the victim of the serial emergency brake puller and this situation conjured a series of similar emotions: How did I get here? Why would someone do this? When will it end? Just then I remembered I had gum and could use the chemical sweetness of one treat to outdo another, and finally, I was free.
All in all, my Amazon snacking experience was just very Amazon: easy, satisfying enough, occasionally surprising. But did I do anything with the time I saved? Not really. Did I discover anything new about the bold wide world of snacks? Actually, yes (shout out to pistachios, I see you thriving). So to that I say: If you’re looking for a large quantity of snacks that you know and love, and your life prohibits you from your local bulk grocery, by all means, go ham.
But please, do not eat those Keto cups, my friends, for they will lead you down a dark path.
Photos by Beth Sacca.
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