Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Ellio’s vs Betzio’s


Old school cafeteria-style pan pizza, mmmm, nothing like it.  I haven’t had this in many years, probably since middle school but maybe high school.  My sister and I loved the commercial with the kid having his big brother prepare the pizza for him and having the cheese go “blub blub blub”.
I never heard of Betzio’s before but saw it at the market and felt it was perfect for a comparison.

Ellio’s:
 
Um…where to start?  This is not the pizza I remembered when I was a kid, and it’s definitely not the pizza shown on the box.  First, the perferations on the dough do not let the pizza break off to make a neat rectangle.  This shape  pictured above is what Ethan got after trying to snap off the perferations.
Second, the cheese – where is it?  The pizza is sparingly sprinkled with minimal cheese revealing a somewhat “zesty” sauce but it’s really like ketchup with too much herb.  Ethan said it wasn’t oregano though because he likes oregano, so I don’t know what it was.  The dough is bland and tasteless and so chewy that I just scraped off the cheese and sauce because I couldn’t deal with it.

Betzio’s:

Betzio’s had much better everything.  The cheese tasted better and there was more of it.  The sauce was milder but the dough was much more pleasant, light, soft (but not mushy) and crisp on the bottom.
Ethan said it really reminded him of pizza he got at school growing up and it was good in a comforting way.

Wrap up:
Definitely Betzio’s.  I just can’t believe how dissapointing Ellio’s was.  Did I like it before because I was kid or has it gone way downhill in the past 25 years?  It’s almost shameful to pass this off as pizza.
Anyway, at least we’ll always have the commercial. Blub blub blub.

Ellio's or Betzio's

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Goober vs Stripes

I’ve never ever been tempted to try Smucker’s Goober.  First, because I’m not a big grape jelly fan and second I always like to have a little more control over of mt PB to jelly ratio.  Also, I am a hardcore Teddie crunchy addict.  There’s just nothing like it (to me).  But of course now that I found a doppelganger for it, I’d have to try both.

Goober:
Goober looked okay with it’s smooth PB and shiny jelly stripes. 
We tasted and…blah.  I was really surprised at the total absence of peanut flavor.  the jelly was so ultra-sweet that it really just tasted like pure corn syrup with maybe a hint of grape.  the over all consistency of the product was very “manufactured”; it felt like two kinds of plastic on my tongue.  Ethan agreed.

Stripes:
Stripes peanut butter was much darker looking but had the same plasticy feel.  I felt it did have a little more peanut flavor but Ethan detected some bitterness too.

Wrap up:
I guess I’d side with Stripes because of the slight peanut flavor, which beat the no-peanut flavor of Goober.
Ethan sided with Goober because he liked the jelly better.  We both agreed that both are pretty gross though and won’t be eating more than the teaspoonfool we had tonight.

Goober or Stripes?

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Pirates Booty vs Miners Gold

 One of the great snack inventions of the 90’s (?) is Pirate’s Booty. I used to love the Veggie Booty but I think I OD’d on it a few years ago  I forget where we found the Miner’s Gold but of course we couldn’t pass up comparing it against the boot-ay.

Pirate’s Booty:
Booty is puffy and provides a soft crunch.  These are made from corn and rice but the corn is the more detectable taste.  The cheese flavor is mild but enough to satisfy.  Ethan said this is a snack he could eat the whole bag of and not feel full.

Miner’s Gold:
Gold is similar in texture, although not quite as crunch.   When we ate these we immediately noticed a difference in flavor.  The cheese is different, we couldn’t really put words with the taste but Ethan described it as “gross” and we kind of agreed it was sharper, but still something wrong with it, kind of like a sour taste.

Wrap up:
Pirate’s Booty wins for us.  The more satisfying crunch and more pleasant cheese flavor makes it a winner.
I’d say Miner’s Gold is okay if nothing else is around, it’s not the worst but I wouldn’t buy it as a first choice.

Pirate's Booty or Miner's Gold?

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Brown’N Serve vs Sizzle & Serve


I don’t have much of an intro for this one except that we used to get Brown and Serve sausage on occasion and I remember it being okay.  I also remember it being Swift Premium Brown’N Serve but it looks like Banquet has taken over.  Too bad because I liked the old box better but I guess I didn’t buy it enough to even notice they got bought out by Banquet, or who ever owns Banquet.

Brown’N Serve:
I actually lost my notes on this whole evaluation but I do remember we bough thought this was okay.  The thing about these are that they have a kind of spongy texture, which is a little weird at first they tasted decent enough to accept it as just a characteristic of super processed meat.  They do have a generous amount of fat in them too, which almost spills out when bit into.

Sizzle & Serve:
These seemed even spongier but less flavor.  Ethan said if he tasted this blindfolded that he might not even know what it was.  I felt like it wasn’t that bad but definitely not as flavorful as the Brown’N Serve.
Wrap up:
Brown’N Serve wins with us but I think it’ll be another few years before I have these again. There is just so much grease to really feel okay about eating all the time.

Brown'N Serve or Sizzle & Serve?

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Fruit Roll-ups vs Fruit Roll


I think everyone has had a fruit roll-up in the lunch bag at school.  They’re convenient, tasty and something that needs to be ripped apart so they’re perfect for kids.  My only issue with these are how terribly they stick to my teeth, making them so enjoyable I stopped eating these many years ago.

Fruit Roll-up:
These were very smooth in texture and had a slightly plastic feel.  The strawberry smell was very strong.  The taste was a little too sweet and had an artificial quality to it, but still fruity.  Ethan said he was afraid to bite down, I was too so I just kind of rubbed it against the roof of my mouth with my tongue until it dissolved.
 

Fruit Roll:
I feel like we should have tried the Fruit Roll first because it just didn’t taste too good.  We spit out our pieces before we were done eating them.  Later I found out that dried apricots are the main ingredient which explains the rough texture and less strawberry taste that Fruit Roll-up had.  Although I do remember the original texture of Fruit Roll-ups being more like this years ago.  There is still corn syrup and sugar in these but I think it’s the apricot base that really disrupted the strawberry flavor.

Wrap up: 
We just barely sided with Fruit Roll-up (instead of neither) just because we didn’t spit it out when we were eating it but we weren’t crazy about the artificial and overly sweet taste.  I did like the more natural texture of the Fruit Roll though.  If anyone is interested, it turns out Fruit Roll was on the market before Fruit Roll-ups and you can read an article here about how the company stopped giving interviews after an article in the ’70’s provided a competitor with enough ammo to make their own. (From the article) “That company was bought by Knox gelatin, which was purchased by Lipton. That product became the Sunkist fruit roll, the first major snack food of that kind, followed by General Mills’ Fruit Roll-Ups, to hit the market.”

Fruit Roll-up or Fruit Roll?

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Oh, hi!


I fell off the earth for a while and in the meantime my email went down so I haven’t been getting any email. I can’t even log into the server to see what’s going on because I forgot the password and all of the sudden my saved info isn’t working. Maybe I’ve been hacked? Although I’m sure someone would be trying to sell porn or Sham WOW’s on here if they has the server info. Who knows. I’ll try to get that straightened out and get my act together. I do miss the snacking, unfortunately the working world had taken over. I hope to be back soon! Thanks to Dave for writing me and letting me know I was even more cut-off from the world than I thought!

Smart Balance vs Newman’s Own

There are a variety of popcorn brands to choose from, but last night I was feeling like getting something a little healthy and picked the only two brands offered at my local grocery store that didn’t have partially hydrogenated oil in it.   So you have your Smart Balance (which I am a fan of their buttery spread) and Newman’s Own.

We started off with Newman’s Own:
This was okay, nothing too exciting.  Just your average tasting popcorn.  We felt it just barely had enough butter and salt to give it any flavor but of course it dd say “light butter” on the package so we weren’t expecting huge flavor anyway. 
There was an odd smell that I couldn’t really find words for but Ethan said it had a slight kettle corn quality scent when we first opened the bag.  In the end we agreed that this popcorn was “acceptable”.  Nothing great but not bad either.

Smart Balance:
This was also light butter flavor but it tasted like no flavor and started to leave a waxy taste in my mouth after a couple of handfuls. 
I was surprised from the lack of flavor since their butter spread is so good,  but Ethan and I both felt like it was just plain popcorn and it made Newman’s Own seem like it had movie theatre butter on it.

Wrap up:
We chose Newman’s Own because it  had more detectable butter and salt.  Which was very light but compared to Smart Balance it was just enough to taste like something and SB was void of any flavor, plus left that waxy film in my mouth so we wouldn’t get SB again. 

Smart Balance or Newman's Own?

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Get used to this guy (sorry)


Not to get into the whole reason why I used geocities instead of the secondratesnacks server to upload some photos, but it was convenient when using this ancient mac laptop (with no ftp and it wouldn’t install filezilla) that I’d blog from when I was in the living room.

Geocities ended the other day and I’ve lost most of my photos on there so you’ll be seeing this lovely red X where a photo used to be. For some reason I thought they were just not allowing new accounts, I didn’t realise they were vaporising all the pages and images but in the end it’s a good thing since I’ll have to keep all my photos on one server now.

Anyhoo, I’ll try to salvage what I can but sorry about any missing images.

Sociables vs Minglers

There are a number of products that Stauffer’s seems to copy from Nabisco and Minglers seemed to be inspired by Sociables.  I did notice that they don’t offer the same flavors but I felt the closest match was garden vegetable to the seasoned flavor of sociables.  Both promote a party environment which would be interesting to conduct an evaluation at a social situation but we just tried these at home.

Sociables:
These were kind of bland except for the salt flavor.  We could see the seasoning but Ethan and I felt they tasted similar to Saltines.  We liked the texture though, it was light and sort of flaky.  Overall not a bad cracker.

Minglers:
Minglers were a bit toastier looking and much harder in consistency than Sociables.  The taste was a little more flavorful probably from dehydrated vegetable flakes but there was still an absence of any enjoyable flavor.

Wrap up:
Not that we liked them all that much but Sociables win for their flaky texture and mild flavor.  Minglers were too hard and had a weird taste to them.  They weren’t bad when used as a vehicle for dip but on their own they were kind of gross…and didn’t have the variety of shapes Sociables does, which I think suggests a social atmosphere -a variety of something all hanging out together.  Where as Minglers are just the same shape which might suggest “We only mingle with people who look exactly like us”.

Sociables or Minglers?

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