Snyder’s of Hanover Jalapeño Pretzel Pieces

‘The pretzel bites exist on a plane of flavour so high, so supreme, that they dwarf all other tastes’

Snyder’s Jalapeño pretzel pieces: the world’s best kept secret. Arcane and inconspicuous, the Ventrilocrisp was put onto these some time ago (thanks @hvmsclark). As the shrewd observer will note, these are not a crisp per se (the Ventrilocrisp makes an exception). The Snyder’s have a curious, old time feel about them. This is frankly a red herring: the bites have some tricks up their sleeves.

Don’t think for a minute that the pretzel pieces are dry. More fool you! The chunks are nigh on wet with oil; almost cold to the touch. Physically, the reddish colouring and curvature of the pieces bear strong resemblance to a frankfurter. But the Snyder’s real raison d’être is their intense flavour. My goodness, the Ventrilocrisp is hard pushed to think of another snack with quite so mammoth a taste. Each little nugget is a well of flavour, redolent with salt, peppered with herbs, and endowed with an alluring smoky taste (slightly tomatoey) which steamrollers over the taste buds. Above all, there is the spice which creeps by stealth into the palette, growing, growing until it engulfs the mouthful. The taste is full-bodied (the fullest); delicious (the most); intoxicating (wholly). Enough to drive a man mad. The pretzel bites exist on a plane of flavour so high, so supreme, that they dwarf all other tastes (be warned: other foods are tasteless for 30 minutes). They are without subtlety: we are pushed roughly into the ocean of flavour, no paddling around in the shallows.

But each moment of fulsome delight comes at a price. The bites’ tell-tale scent lingers heavily and oppressively on the breath, debris embeds itself under the fingernail, the grubby finger leaves silky trails of oil in its wake. In our pursuit of heady pleasure we ultimately find ourselves greasy and debased. Snyder’s make a Lady Macbeth of us all: in our vast greed we consume; we destroy. We’re left shameful, scrubbing our hands red raw to rid ourselves of that immovable, haunting taste.

The cat may be out of the bag now, but this will always be a clandestine love affair, consumed illicitly behind closed doors. For they are the siren that drives us fatedly to shipwreck; the instrument of inevitable ruin.

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