Revisiting Second-Rate Snacks

By Christine Gallary

Props to blog Second Rate Snacks, which burst upon the scene in 2008 (we covered it back then, along with many others) with clever side-by-side comparisons of commercial snack foods. Here's the update: THEY'RE STILL BLOGGING. The formula—head-to-head tastings of commercial snack foods like Cool Ranch vs. Chillin' Ranch tortilla chips, complete with photos and analysis—still works. And it provides a little junk-food validation: My beloved Cheez-Its were found to be far superior to Cheese Nips.

Although far from being truly scientific, it provides a few good chuckles and a walk down a memory lane filled with Ho Hos and Funyuns, sometimes with some unexpected winners like the Walgreen’s mini doughnuts triumphing over the Hostess brand. But after three years of snack-food comparison, the bloggers apparently found the need to compare something of more substance: Thus their spinoff blog, Different But the Same, which compares old packaging to new designs of the same product. Both blogs let you interact in each post by voting for who you think should be the winner.

I’m glad someone else is doing the legwork for me, as the constant eating in a test kitchen leaves little room for snacking. Well, unless you were us last month, knee-deep perfecting our own versions of Girl Scout cookies, which I’d be proud to put up in a head-to-head tasting against the originals any day.

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