Yes, it’s the season I wait all year for … Chocolate Covered Pretzel season!
I have a motto that goes along with this season, because frankly, Chocolate Covered Pretzels (CCPs) are yummy, but totally unhealthy, and notoriously fattening. That’s why I say, life is too short to eat inferior chocolate covered pretzels! I mean, if you are going to indulge in the calories, you need to make them worthwhile, right? 2012 has produced quite a crop of interesting CCP products, ranging from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, and more. In an effort to help distinguish the worthwhile CCPs from the rubbish (and to justify trying every variety I have come across in the past two weeks), I have painstakingly sampled and researched. As a public service I compiled my findings in this blog post.
FYI, I did not research any white chocolate covered pretzels. As a general rule, I stay away from all “white chocolate” because there is no such thing. White chocolate is fake chocolate, so I don’t waste my time.
Mint Chocolate Flipz by Nestle
As a general rule, I would not include Flipz in a review of Chocolate Covered Pretzels, because although they are sweet and crunchy, they are more like candy than a chocolate covered pretzel. The chocolate is of very poor quality, and the pretzels themselves are non-descript, rendering Flipz a very pedestrian version of CCPs. They are made by Nestlé, so I would not be surprised if they were full of GMO evilness. They are the only CCP that I have found that is available all year round, which I think is indicative of the quality. However, given that this is the holiday (and CCP) season, they got a little creative and produced a mint chocolate version this year, therefore I felt compelled to include them in my research.
At first bite they are very reminiscent of Thin Mints, those classic Girl Scout cookies that I try to avoid during Girl Scout Cookie season. The chocolate has a darker flavoring – it is still not REAL chocolate, but nice in that it’s not too sweet. The pretzels themselves are not very prominent in the flavor profile, and crunch-wise, they are more like an afterthought. The mint flavoring could be a little more interesting; all in all its an entertaining attempt at doctoring up a mundane Flipz, but really not worth investing in more than one package.
Snyder’s Pretzel Dips
Snyder’s is a perfect example of logic in CCP’s. They are made by a pretzel company, what could be more logical than that? The nice part about Snyder’s is that they seem to put a lot of thought into their CCPs. They offer two chocolate varieties, both with Hershey’s chocolate, milk and Special Dark. MMMMM. I find Snyder’s to be highly satisfying, and until I tried a few other varieties, I thought they were the best. The pretzels are crunchy and salty, and the chocolate is delicious. Snyder’s does not skimp on the chocolate, which is another very important quality.
If you are looking for a mint chocolate pretzel, Snyder’s makes a York Peppermint Chocolate Pretzel Sandwich with little pretzel rounds. When I eat one of these I get the sensation of a more robust GS Thin Mint. Very satisfying and crunchy.
Rold Gold Dark Dipped Bavarian Twists
As I mentioned before, until I tried other brands, I was satisfied with Snyders. Then, my husband brought home a bag of Rold Gold Dark Dipped Bavarian Twists and turned my world upside down. I mean, whoa! As a pretzel-lover, Rold Gold Bavarian twists do not disappoint. They are crisp and buttery, with a hint of saltiness that in itself is delicious. Add to that the generous coating of dark, creamy chocolate, and it elevates the CCP to a new level.
I also learned that size does matter, at least when it comes to CCPs. Rold Gold obviously does not want anyone to confuse their confections with anything that remotely resembles a prosaic Flipz. Rold Gold’s Bavarian Twists are large, they take at least two bites to eat just one. I found that this fact compels one to stop and savor the pretzel. It is also interesting to note that while I am apt to wolf down a bag of Snyders CCPs (in a lady-like fashion, of course), Rold Gold CCPs are made to savor, to contemplate even. The result is that a comparably-sized bag of Rold Gold lasts longer than a bag of Snyders.
There is a metaphor in there somewhere.
Snack Factory Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crisps
I love the concept of Pretzel Crisps. Because I am a big fan of pretzels, pretzel crisps allow me to enjoy the yummy pretzel flavor and use them to scoop up myriads of different things, from cream cheese to dips. When I heard that Snack Factory makes a CCP crisp, I was psyched! First the good qualities: good chocolate and crunchy crispiness. They are thin, so it seems like there are a ton of them in the bag. They are larger than a mini pretzel, so you can take two bites. Downside: Pretzel crisps are a bit dry, perhaps because of their flatness. They go great with dips and flavorings, but above all other pretzels they have a tendency to stick to your teeth after you chew them. So, although they are tasty and chocolaty, the stick-to-your-teeth quality brings the satisfaction down a notch.
I tried both the Dark Chocolate and the Mint Chocolate Crunch. If you want a mint chocolate pretzel, I don’t recommend these. The mint is on the outside of the chocolate, in the form of crushed peppermint candy. Although this makes it attractive looking, the mint is not integrated enough. Most of the peppermint candy dust ends up in the bottom of the bag. Also, for some reason, the Mint Chocolate Crunch is very skimpy on the quantity of pretzels in the bag.
The Painted Pretzel Pretzelicious Pretzel Knots
When I saw the Painted Pretzel on ABC’s Shark Tank, I was excited. What a great idea! All the sharks seemed to like the pretzels, but vacillated. Then, Mark Cuban made an offer to invest in the company, solidifying in my mind that he obviously has great taste AND investment acumen. By a stroke of good fortune, I was able to get my hands on some of these babies. They are larger pretzels, Rold Gold size, and in terms of artistry, they do live up to their name. Everything about them is good, the chocolate is high quality, delicious, and plentiful. The toppings add variety and scrumptiousness. I even liked the white chocolate ones, which says A LOT.
There you have it. As of December 25th, Chocolate Covered Pretzel season is officially over for me. I have been doing double time at the Y to make up for my indulgences, and it’s time for me to quit while I am ahead. So, unless I come across something incredible, such as an organic chocolate covered pretzel, see you next season!