One of the fun perks of blogging is that we frequently get surprise boxes on our doorstep of new items to review. And most of the time, it’s items we might not have ever discovered on our own. And in an effort to clear off my desk top, and since many are perfect for back-to-school lunch boxes, we’re going to review a bunch in one fell swoop. Get ready.
First up is this line of Harvest Snaps from Calbee. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and although they have been around for over 60 years, they originally didn’t start manufacturing shrimp chips and saya in North America until the early 70s. Then, in the late 90s, still with a concentrated effort on healthy living, they started this line of crisps. And oh man, these crisps. Go get yourself some. Gluten-free, less fat and sodium than its counterparts (and, likewise, more fiber, protein, and Vitamin B), they are a light, healthy snack that is perfect to tuck into little lunch boxes. Ok, and big lunch boxes too. Six different subtly flavored varieties, they are light, crispy, and addicting enough that I found myself coming back for more and more. Although I haven’t seen them yet in retail locations, I also haven’t been looking, because they are definitely readily available in a variety of places. The snapea crisps were my favorite – go get ’em.
Next up is this line of tortilla chips and dippers from RW Garcia. When it comes to snacking, Nick is a sucker for tortilla chips, so he was all over these. We had a little taste testing of the four different varieties we received. His favorite was the sweet and spicy Mixt bag, followed closely by the blue and corn tortilla chips and the cheddar dippers. A family owned business that has been around for over thirty years, it was born from a passion of making a healthy crispy snack that has all natural ingredients. The chips are sturdier than the competitors, and easily stand up to salsa dipping, and more substantial dips like a con queso. Nick asked me to put them away because he couldn’t stay away from them.
I received this sample of Stretch Island Fruit Chews in my swag bag during my Food Blogger Forum trip to Orlando in June. I have purchased the fruit strips (or more commonly referred to as fruit leather) for the kids before, so I am very familiar with the brand. The kids love the fruit strips, but they didn’t love these chews. They described it as a texture issue, and said that the fruit snacks we usually have contain a better chew, and these pieces felt “flakier” to them. Their chew and strip products are 100% natural, contain no added sugar, no additives, and I happen to love the company and how socially conscious they are. We’ll just stick to the strips, as the kids love them more.
When I was pregnant with Nick, for the first few months, I subsisted on two things. Sweet potatoes from Boston Market, and a buttered cracker with a thin slice of Cheddar on it. All the days. Which may or may not explain Nick’s penchant for crackers. If I leave the kids alone with Wheat Thins, Cheez-Its, Ritz, or even Saltine crackers, I can come back to an empty box. And that’s without them putting butter or cheese on it. They just love crackers. So you can probably guess that the O’Malley clan as a whole was stoked to receive this box full of crackers on our doorstep. Blue Diamond, and their delicious smokehouse almonds, is very familiar to us, but this Nut-Thins line is new to us (and gluten-free). Thin, crispy, and downright awesome (eight flavors!), these are going to be perfect in the kids’ lunch boxes with a few slices of Cabot cheddar. Yes, please.