Sunday, November 22, 2015

New York Style Cheddar Mini Bagels (Big Lots)

I think this is a brand name, but it was at Big Lots and it kinda sucks, so I'm reviewing it anyway.

This is probably a name brand, but I found it at Big Lots, and so I consider it to be fair game.  It’s a 5 oz. bag for $1.30, which I don’t think is too bad at all, and since I was looking for a quick snack on a meager budget, it definitely fit the bill for me.

Nutritionally, what‘s contained inside this bag are potato chips.  The amount of calories and fat per serving are very close, so don’t be fooled into thinking that this is some kind of healthy alternative, just because the word “baked” appears on the front.  That being said, we’re all entitled to splurge on some junk food every now and again, and I was in the mood for fat and salt, so I grabbed a bag just based on its inexpensive price tag.

What I didn’t necessarily stop to think about is, “Why is this product at Big Lots?”  It’s true that there can be a myriad of legitimate reasons.  The product could be a limited edition product, or out of its selling season.  The product could be discontinued, with Big Lots relied upon to sell the last remaining units.  The product could have just been a poor seller, with the manufacturer attempting to liquidate the units.  Or it could just totally suck, and it’s there because everyone knows it sucks and refuses to buy it.

The latter might be a little too harsh, but it’s certainly close:  These things just aren’t very good.  When I first opened the bag, I honestly thought they were there because they put the wrong product in at the manufacturing plant--don’t expect any of the bagel chips to feature a nice orange, cheddar-y hue like is featured on the front of the bag--what’s contained within are white, like typical bagel chips.  My suspicions grew even stronger when I took a bite, and discovered that, despite the ingredient label’s assurance that there are not one, but two different types of cheddar cheese inside (regular, and “modified”, whatever that means) the main flavor is salt.  As I got to the bottom of the bag, the cheese flavor became more prominent and noticeable, but it still wasn’t nearly as cheesy, or as strong, as I was expecting.

Of course, you don’t have to eat these out of the bag:  I suspect these would be pretty good in soups (especially cheddar broccoli), and would probably be good with a solid ranch dip.  But just taking these at face value, with nothing added to them, they’re totally underwhelming.

I will say the $1.30 price tag still gives it some value, which adds some points to the total.  I tend to ignore serving sizes and overeat things, and yet I still managed to get about four or five servings out of it (the bag says there are “about five” in a bag), so that was good.  However, I also think the extra servings were due, in large part, to the disappointing nature of the product itself, which isn’t.

Overall: 5/10.  I didn’t really detect much cheddar, until I got near the bottom of the bag…the rest of the bites just tended to taste like salt.  They do have a nice, solid crunch, and at $1.30 for a 5 oz. package at select Big Lots stores, the price is pretty decent for a quick snack.  I’m also not discounting that these wouldn’t be good as an addition to an existing product (soups, salads, etc.), so they probably have their place in the world.  But right out of the bag, these were hugely underwhelming.

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