Saturday, November 1, 2014

Busy Baker Tangy Cheddar Squares (Dollar Tree)

Don't be afraid...they're better than you think.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I always get a very hesitating feeling wash over my body any time I pick up a food item from Dollar Tree.  And it’s not without its reasoning, as more than a few food items I’ve purchased here have been pretty…subpar, to put it politely.  So imagine just how nervous I was when I grabbed a box of Tangy Cheddar Squares off the shelf, knowing full well that Aldi’s knockoffs are every bit as good as the national brand.  Could there possibly be room for another one?

In a side-by-side taste test, I found Aldi’s Savoritz crackers to be a lot closer to the taste and texture of the national brand.  Busy Baker’s crackers didn’t have quite the same cheesy punch, and they feel a little less crunchy than Savoritz’s version.  On the value front, both boxes are pretty close to a tie--although Busy Baker’s offers a 7 oz. box for $1, Savoritz offers their 12 oz. box for less than $2, so really the ounce-for-ounce comparison is pretty neutral.

But don’t go looking at this like it’s a complete loss for the Busy Baker’s version, because while it doesn’t have the same flavor as Aldi’s version or the national brand, that almost works to its advantage.  The taste is just different enough that it almost feels like its own separate product; like it’s just a unique twist on the same thing, yet it‘s still so good that I found it hard to limit myself to just a handful or two.  The cheese is muted a little bit, giving you a slightly more subtle (but still completely noticeable) cheesy flavor that would also be perfect in a soup or dip.

There’s also 90g fewer sodium in Busy Baker’s version.  While in the grand scheme of things, it’s still pretty high (250g per 27 cracker serving), that’s still a whole percent less sodium per serving than Savoritz’s crackers, so for those eyeing their sodium intake to a “T”, you could save a little bit going with the Busy Baker (though curiously, there’s four times more saturated fat per serving, despite similar overall fat content, which could negate that advantage).

Overall: 7.5/10.  While not as close in taste to the national brand as Aldi’s Savoritz crackers are, Busy Baker’s Tangy Cheddar Squares are almost every bit as addicting.  The cheese flavor is dialed back just a little bit, but there’s still plenty to go around.  There’s also 90g fewer sodium per serving, which can certainly add up.  If you don’t have an Aldi store nearby, or just want to try something a little different, I’d definitely urge you to give the Busy Baker a try.  For $1 per 7 oz. box, you won’t be disappointed.

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