The Good: Comparatively inexpensive, Accurate aroma
The Bad: Not overly healthy, Does not taste much like cheese.
The Basics: Quite simply, Cheez-It Cheddar Jack crackers did not bowl me over with their flavor . . . or any realistic sense that they were supposed to be cheese crackers.
Sometimes, it is hard for me to get excited about writing about a food. In the case of Cheez-It crackers, I have had mixed reviews, mostly based upon whether or not the crackers actually taste like what they claim to. That has led to split reviews on the Cheez-It Baby Swiss (reviewed here!) and Colby (reviewed here!) crackers. Unfortunately for the Cheddar Jack Cheez-It, the flavor did not sell me on being cheesy, much less the specific flavors of Monterey Jack and Cheddar.
To be candid, having been on a low-salt diet the past few months, I enjoyed the salty flavor of the Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its. However, salt is really the only dominant flavor and I want something more out of my cracker, which makes it impossible to recommend the Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its, even as a guilty pleasure.
Cheddar Jack Cheez-It, for those who are not familiar with them, are baked snack crackers. Sunshine Biscuits has marketed their Cheez-It chip line as a fairly high quality, but inexpensive bite-sized cracker. In recent years, they have flooded the market with new flavors of Cheez-It crackers and that has yielded some interesting results. Cheddar Jack is one of the flavors they are having consumers vote upon for its survival in the product line. The crackers look like small square cheese wedges. The Cheddar Jack flavored Cheez-It crackers are a vibrant orange, which closely mimics the color of traditional Cheez-It crackers.
Cheddar Jack Cheez-It come in various sizes, but usually in a bag inside a box. The standard size box that I have found is 13 oz. The crackers are square and approximately 7/8" by 7/8" by 3/16”. Each cracker has a hole in the center and slightly scalloped edges.
Ease Of Preparation
Cheez-It Cheddar Jack are simple to consume; all you need do it open the bag inside the box and remove the crackers from it! There is no trick to eating Cheddar Jack Cheez-It; they are a snack that is ready to go from the package to the mouth.
Cheddar Jack Cheez-It crackers certainly make consumers believe they are made with real cheese by their smell! The Cheddar Jack crackers smell tangy and sour and there is a slightly curdled smell to these crackers, which makes sense for something based on cheese!
In the mouth, Cheddar Jack Cheez-It crackers are dry and very salty. In fact, the flavor of the cheese is almost an aftertaste to the salt. These crackers have more the conditioned flavor of cheese, as opposed to an actual cheese flavor. Salty, with a vaguely sour taste as they finish, these very dry crackers taste like cheese only by suggestion. These are hardly as flavorful, creamy or even sharp and zesty as actual cheese. Instead, these crackers have as much in common with real cheese flavor as Cheese Puffs. These do not taste bad, but they are not even a facsimile of cheddar cheese flavor. Moreover, any hint of Monterey Jack cheese is buried beneath the salt and mild hints of sharp cheddar sourness.
These crackers leave the mouth exceptionally dry. What I discovered was that after three minutes of having eaten the Cheddar Jack crackers without taking a drink, my mouth reacted like it would if I had eaten a sharp cheddar. In other words, the aftertaste becomes (eventually) the same effective aftertaste as the cheese these crackers promises to be! Once one takes a drink, though, even that element of flavor dissipates.
Cheddar Jack Cheez-It are not at all all-natural, nor are they particularly healthy. Loaded with preservatives, they are made primarily of enriched flour, soybean and palm oil with TBHQ for freshness and skim milk cheese. These snacks have a pretty limited shelf life; our box, which we bought in February, had a June 21 (2012) expiration date.
Each twenty-one gram serving of Cheez-It Cheddar Jack has 110 calories, fifty of which come from fat. There is less than one gram of dietary fiber. While there are 6 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, there is a mindblowing 180 mg of sodium, which represents 8% of one's RDA of sodium. There is a smattering of Iron and Calcium, but no vitamins or other nutrients. There is a dietary note that the Cheddar Jack crackers includes wheat, soy and milk ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant, in addition to not being generally healthy.
Kept in their bag, Cheddar Jack Cheez-It will remain fresh for a year and as long as the bag is resealed, one suspects they will last for a few weeks before getting stale. I've never had to deal with issues of freshness for my Cheddar Jack Cheez-It.
Cleanup is simple as well. Cheddar Jack Cheez-It are a dry food and thus leave no mess behind. Simply wash your hands, because that’s a good idea regardless, throw out the bag and cleanup is done!
Cheddar Jack Cheez-It are a mediocre snack and it would not be a loss to fans of Cheez-Its or cheddar crackers if they were eliminated from the product line by the current round of voting.
For other salty snacks, check out my reviews of:
Planters Flavor Grove Jalapeno Pistachios
Chex Mix Sour Cream & Onion
Tostitos Hint Of Lime Chips
For other food and drink reviews, please click here to visit my index page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.