Monday, April 27, 2020

Benton's Cinnamon Graham Crackers (Aldi)

More like a saltine than a graham cracker.
There are always those treats that seem to appeal to you less and less the farther away from toddlerhood you get. I mean, some are obvious, like baby food, but then there are the more interesting casualties, and graham crackers would probably be chief among them. I mean, it's at least an occasional staple in almost every child's diet at some point in their lives, but have you ever actually witnessed an adult eating one, like, ever? And it's not that they don't still taste good—it's just that, in the overwhelming world of the supermarket, graham crackers become buried amongst the thousands of more appealingly-packaged options.

About the only time I ever eat graham crackers at all is in s'mores, and despite being one of both my wife and I's all-time favorite treats, about the only time we ever think to get them is the twice-a-year we visit her parents in Tennessee (where we make them over an open fire in the quiet solace of their large country acreage). It's one of those products that people seem to always have in the pantry, but they never even consider eating, unless it's a matter of life or death survival, with nothing else available in the house; you could probably go to the store the day before the known apocalypse, and graham crackers will still be fully stocked on the otherwise-empty shelves.

So, naturally, after offering some to my son (an offer that he and his underdeveloped tastebuds eagerly accepted), I decided to take a visit down memory lane to check out a snack from yesteryear....

...and it doesn't even come close to satiating my memories of a cinnamon graham cracker-fueled youth; the taste here is majorly disappointing. The flavor starts off innocuously, with a light cinnamon profile taking the early lead; however, the strong, trademark graham cracker flavor that you're expecting to follow immediately behind just never decides to show up, like it's on vacation, or something. The texture does slightly make up for the lull in taste, with a light, soft exterior that feels like it's going to melt in your mouth, without actually doing so (although this preference to a softer graham cracker is personal and probably won't appeal to many others). In many ways, these are more akin to cinnamon-covered saltine crackers than grahams, which is highly disappointing, to say the least.

The $1.25 price tag (for a 14.4 oz. box) delivers quite a bit of product for the price, which technically gives high marks for value, should this be something you enjoy. But as I always say, value has no bearing on a product that sucks...and this one, unfortunately, falls rather safely into that category.

Overall: 4.5/10. Ouch. I was anxious to revisit a little bit of childhood by (once again) stealing some of my son's snacks, but this one did more to destroy the memory than enhance upon it. The value is solid (with a 14.4 oz. box retailing for just $1.25), and the texture also receives some good marks for me (although the soft, almost melt-in-your-mouth composition won't be for everyone), but as attractive as everything is on the outside, it all goes downhill once you, you know, actually try eating it. It's not that the flavor is bad, it's just that there isn't nearly enough of it there: the soft, appealing intro of cinnamon is followed up by a light touch of graham cracker flavor that barely registers as a blip on the radar of your tastebuds. It's more akin to a cinnamon-covered saltine than a graham cracker, a notion every bit as disappointing as it sounds.

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