TOM: For late breakfast or pre-lunch I had a little tub of leftover Bar Mix snack product that came home from the airport, and as I was eating the whole thing—because I was eating the whole thing—it made me think of my Pretzel Law: Every savory snack food is better if you also eat a pretzel in the same bite.
JOE: Yes, it’s like some sorta salt/starch substrate that sets up the single CHEX square or cheez-thing
TOM: Exactly. It’s like a spritz of lemon juice on your vegetable or entree, except it works its magic with blandness rather than sharpness. The pretzel is a blank canvas on which the other snack food’s flavoring becomes art.
JOE: Yes. Did you eat all the snack?
TOM: I emptied the tub, up to and including the stray peanut skins at the bottom.
Besides pretzels and peanuts, this particular mix also had those little slivers of pressed grain material, like a savory breakfast cereal? But it didn’t really matter; almost anything works as a snack mix as long as the pretzels are in there.
JOE: Yeah what is that stuff, a soy product? If it doesn’t have the pretzels, it’s incomplete, it’s soup without broth.
Pizza no dough (which they sell now at some pizza chain).
TOM: Is that…soup?
TOM: That first set is an abomination unto God; the second kind looks more like a lasagna without noodles than a pizza without dough.
Maybe you could dunk a pretzel into it
JOE: lol It’s a bowl of Your Feelings™
TOM: Circa late 2022 feelings. Fear and despair.
[72 HOURS ELAPSE]
Where were we? Oh, right, Eldritch Denatured Pizza Bowls.
But Pretzel Law is about giving order and presence to the snack experience.
It is about adding, not removing.
JOE: They are the Glue of a savory snack mix
Like Larry in the Three Stooges
TOM: But also everything can become its own snack mix. That potato chip is good; that potato chip is better with a pretzel.
Cheez-It? Good cracker. Cheez-It with a pretzel? Fantastic cracker.
JOE: The little pumpernickel bread doesn’t taste as good on its own as it does when you alternate with pretzel
TOM: I was talking about the pretzel as supporting actor, but the truth is a lot of mediocre snack items ride in on the pretzel’s coattails.
I was whittling pieces off a block of cheddar and sandwiching them between two pretzels, and then I realized I was reverse-engineering Combos, except much better, because the whole trick of Combos is cruddy cheese paste becomes a successful snack when encased in pretzel.
The go-to around here is the Snyder’s of Hanover SNAPS product.
JOE: The only pretzels I like not mixed up or with cheez on ’em are UTZ Rods and UTZ Hards
Oh wait, the Trader Joe’s Pretzel nugget with peanut butter inside is great.
TOM: Pretzel rods are almost a kind of breadstick.
The really big sourdough Snyder’s pretzels are maybe too rugged to combine with other things, but I’ll dip ’em in mustard, which is not really something I would do with any other snack item or honestly food item at all.
JOE: The UTZ hard pretzel is superior to Snyders.
TOM: I was just trying to figure out their geographic ranges and realized that they are both Of Hanover! Wikipedia tells me that this is a famous fact about Hanover, Pennsylvania, that it is “considered by many to be the snack food capital of the United States and has been featured multiple times on the Food Network.”
JOE: Pennsylvania owns the Potato Chip.
TOM: I feel like if you were really confident in your status as the Snack Capital you wouldn’t need to cite it to the Food Network.
Hanover is also the home of the Emeco Navy Chair, it says.
TOM: Bet that would taste great with a pretzel!
JOE: Oh yeah, mixed with pretzels would be good.
I used to like the ROLD GOLD and BACHMAN’S thin pretzel but they are hard to find.
Oh wow, UTZ ate BACHMAN’S.
TOM: A knotted history, if you will.
JOE: And ZAPP’S, huh! I gotta get some pretzels lol
UTZ ate my favorite cheez curl, the JAX!
TOM: The snack foods are devouring one another!
JOE: They changed the formula, I think, I could swear these used to have MSG in ’em
This is a quality product
TOM: Those seem like you should combine ’em with a pork chop
JOE: SNYDER’S rules the broken-pretzel pieces products dusted with flavors
The sourdough pretzel matches wonderfully with BEER
I wonder how the SNYDER’S Pizza flavor compares to COMBOS
TOM: We should taste-test.
The younger boy here likes inserting chocolate chips into the grid of the Snaps and eating them that way.
JOE: An activity and a meal.
TOM: Exactly! Pretzel Law meets Pretzel Leisure!
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