Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zackly Choco and Banana Cream Crackers

In addition to eating junk food on a regular basis, I also cook healthy food and investigate new recipes. In fact, I have an ambivalent relationship with food porn sites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker. I dislike their snobbery and picky nature when it comes to their pictures (that means they never accept my pictures and I'm bitter). That being said, I can't fault them for being high-handed about the types of food they'll show because on multiple occasions, I've seen what could be called recipes for what is often called "magic pudding". This is saltine crackers with chocolate pudding and whipped topping that is allowed to sit awhile and then you're supposed to think is a tasty pastry dessert.

I mention this because I've actually sampled the monstrosity of magic pudding before and the truth is that there is something appealing in the mixture of salty and sweet that comes from layering instant pudding on a cracker. The main problem with magic pudding is the part where it sits around for awhile and gets soft kills any sort of texture enjoyment. You essentially have soggy cracker with crappy pudding.

The Zackly cracker makers (made by a company in the Philippines called H & H) probably never heard of magic pudding, but they've got the basic notion down in this offering. Take three saltine crackers and layer chocolate between a pair and banana between the last and middle one. This equals sweet plus salty with subtle banana and chocolate flavors. The fact that the banana isn't too extreme is good since it's so easy to overdo fake banana.

Sorry for the washed out picture. I took 5 and this was the best one, but, really, it's just saltines with hardened goo between the layers... not much to see.

The cream doesn't extend out to the edges of the crackers so it's a very mild taste experience near the edges and only quite sweet and intense near the middle. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad one. As junk food goes, there's something oddly appealing about this. You know it's bad, but if you're in the right mood, it sort of works as a flavor combination and the crispy crackers are quite nice. One triple cracker combo is 135 calories, and it's a fairly good size snack for that. It's essentially the same calorie cost as a Pepperidge Farms Sausalito cookie, which most people are probably going to enjoy more than this.

My husband thought this was a bizarre combination and he wouldn't eat it again, but I liked it in the way that I used to like certain weird food combinations (e.g., cottage cheese with Doritos crumbled in it or French fries dipped in chocolate milk shakes) when I was a child. I can't recommend this, and I don't anticipate buying it again any time soon. It's the sort of thing I may develop a peculiar hankering for once every 3-5 years in a fit of hormonally induced craving or a revival of my child-like tastes in weird food. At only 100 yen ($1.21) for a whole package, it's hardly a financial risk to sample it if you spot it and the general description sounds interesting to you. Just keep your expectations appropriately low.


Ejia said...

Yeah. I live in the Philippines, and there are a lot of cracker sandwich things here.

Anonymous said...

I do to as well feel quite ambivalent toward those sites, plus, there's another called pininterest, and you have to be invited. It's a bit of a love /hate/confused relationship I have with them.

Three will be accepted and then three get denied by whatever arbitrary reason. You see, I would be fine with being rejected, because I'm sure not all of mine are up to par, and I've had photos accepted with my point & shoot and my professional camera.. I wish I really knew if they had some sort of bias or rules which they don't' publicly admit.

I was most bitter when one was accepted for this magazine layout and denied by them, but as they say, its all subjective.. har har har who really knows who/what editors are really combing through, or how many and what bias lies with them.

I tweak mine to fit their site, the jump in traffic helps, I just wish there was a fashion related/ or scenic gawker so I could submit others... it helps brand my photography some, but more or less I like connecting with new folks... you know me, I'm little social bug which comes in spurts.

What nerves me the most is spending time setting up studio lights, etc and getting denied, then another that I don't even put half as much time into gets accepted... gah!!! Some of the rejections helped me learn more, get better, do better in photography, but I don't let their acceptance nor denial define me (okay, that's a lie, I sometimes do) but I try not to.

I understand your bitterness!!! I'm upset with pin right now.... invite only... I've wanted to comment a few times on some of your posts, things I've tried, that you reviewed, now that I'm not a novice with google anymore, I can comment.."wink"!

Orchid64 said...

Ejia: Any really peculiar ones you'd like to tell us about? ;-)

elle marie: I was actually kidding about being bitter, though it is true that they always reject my pictures. I gave up after about 3 rejections. I wasn't even sure that they could do much for me anyway.

Clearly, there is no standard whatsoever for what gets in and what gets rejected. I've seen pictures which are far "worse" than mine get in, and I've had a few which I thought were shoe-ins which were rejected. I know I'm not a great photographer, but I have had some pretty good shots on occasion. Part of me wonders if they give preference to certain types of blogs over others (particularly foreign language ones).

At any rate, I can understand your frustration quite well!

Ejia said...

I find that the best ones I've tasted are from Monde Nissin. I'm not sure if they're related to Nissin Foods, though. Monde Nissin has some instant noodle products as well, but Nissin Instant Ramen as sold here is under the Nissin Foods brand.

Of course, being basically junk food, you wouldn't actually expect them to taste really good. They simply taste less artificial to me than most other biscuits.

Orchid64 said...

I think that there is something truly awesome about eating junk food. There's something about it's nature which is both repelling and attractive.

Thanks link! I love that they have cookies named "sumo". :-)