Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz Crackers

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz Crackers

I Paid: $3.59 for a 1-pound box (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 3 stars

The buttery, light, roasty, nutty, slightly sweet Ritz has been a rock-ribbed American staple almost from its introduction in 1934. (By 1935, the cracker was “selling in the five-billion volume area … during its first year of nationwide distribution,” according to the Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands.) It also featured prominently in the opening of The Godfather Part II, one of the most unambiguously terrific films ever made. Quoth Frankie Pentangeli: “A kid comes up to me in a white jacket, gives me a Ritz cracker and chopped liver, he says, ‘Canapes.’ I say, ‘Can o’ peas my ass! That’s a Ritz cracker and chopped liver.’”

So why mess with a legend? The theory behind the newly released Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz seems to be, based on the cream cheese/apple/granola/raspberry jam recipe on the back of the box, that we need a sweet Ritz cracker for deployment on dessert-type missions. The problem with this assumption is that it overlooks the fact that regular old Ritz crackers do quite well in this capacity—their buttery saltiness doesn’t clash with sweetness, it only accentuates it.

That said, irrelevant or not, there’s nothing wrong with the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz cracker. Its cinnamon sweetness is mellow and understated, not cloying, and it retains the pleasant flaky, buttery texture of its venerable brother. It’s a good product—but quite possibly a thoroughly redundant one.

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