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Purchased at: Target
Price: $2.31 (on clearance)

So, the bag of these that I picked up at Target had the word “NEW” stamped across the front, which seemed weird to me, because I picked them up from the clearance endcap in the grocery section (which is, quite frankly, one of my favorite sections of the entire store). This was last Monday, which was June 7th. The best before date? June 5th. I like to fancy myself as being pretty brave, so I decided to risk it.

First off, I hate when companies spell things with unnecessary letters as a way to be “cutesy” or something. There is no need to spell tortillaz with a z. An s would be sufficient. But I digress.

These things are made up of a mixture of puffed rice and corn (they’re air-baked instead of deep fried) and are Quaker’s attempt at making a healthy alternative to a nacho cheese Dorito. They’re the same size and shape as Doritos and they also seem to have the exact same bright orange cheese powder on them. How do they taste in comparison?

They’re a lot lighter and are, if I’m not mistaken, just thinner versions of the Quaker rice cakes. But they taste good, so I don’t mind. These things are a really good healthier alternative to Doritos. The cheese tastes exactly the same to me. They’re light and crispy and your fingers still get that orange cheese powder coating (which is either disgusting or lovely, depending on who you’re talking to. I tend to lean towards the “grossed out” side of things on this issue). The only thing that’s missing is the excessive grease that coats the inside of a Doritos bag, which also ends up on your hands/fingers when you’re eating them. I would definitely buy these again, because they’re a solid snack, even a week after their “best before” date.

4/5

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Purchased at: Kroger
Price: $1.89
According to the bag… a light, crispy crunch! (Not much for a product description, huh? Maybe the taste speaks for itself.)

I love Quaker’s rice snacks – the caramel ones are awesome and I practically lived off of them during that week I tried (and failed at) Weight Watchers, because they’re sweet and I could eat them without feeling guilty. I also love creme brulee. How could these go wrong?

After opening the bag, all I could smell was vanilla. Artificial vanilla, but that’s what I was expecting. They smell heavenly. You know that vanilla sugar candle/body spray/lotion that every 14 year old girl loves and claims is her “signature scent” or something? Yeah, it smells like that. It’s fabulous. The smell alone made me want to dig in ASAP. And that’s exactly what I did.

The taste isn’t as overpowering as the scent, and that’s probably a good thing. The brown rice is the first thing I tasted, which may sound unpleasant, but it’s actually quite nice. After a few seconds, there was a faint vanilla/brown sugar flavor coming through. I was expecting these to be much sweeter (I thought they might taste a little bit like Trader Joe’s brown rice krispy treats – which are awesome, by the way – but they’re a completely different thing), but I really like the subtle flavors. A serving consists of 8 mini rice cakes, but I definitely ate more than that. They’re addicting. I devoured nearly half the bag while watching the Detroit Red Wings own the Phoenix Coyotes last night (probably not the most traditional game food ever, but definitely a guiltless one, with only 60 calories per serving). Their victory probably made these rice cakes taste sweeter than they really are, but that could just be speculation.

I loved these things. They’re sweet, but not too sweet. Definitely keep an eye out for these. (There’s also a new sea salt and cracked black pepper flavor, according to the website. My local grocery store didn’t have those in stock, but I’m betting they’re awesome, too.)

5/5