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Tasters: Snyder's, Utz Worth Their Salt

Tasters: Snyder's, Utz Worth Their Salt

Craig LaBan | The Philadelphia Inquirer

Snyder’s of Hanover is buying Utz, and has pledged not to fool with the two product lines – at least, for now. That’s a good thing for snack-food sophisticates, who know that all pretzels are not created equal.

An Inquirer tasting of 17 products from the two companies revealed a consistent distinction between the brands as Utz and Snyder’s went nugget to nugget in the newsroom, chunky twist to chunky twist.

There was no clear winner of the broader popular vote, as casual tasters on the whole were more or less split. But Food section staffers certainly had their obvious favorite: Utz pretzels delivered the most explosive crunch and saltiest savor.

The salt content was no illusion. With an average of 470 mg of sodium per serving, Utz pretzels nearly double the Snyder’s serving average of 240 mg. But health issues aside, the more generous salting – with smaller crystals scattered evenly like snow – lent Utz pretzels a deeper flavor, with a more resonant twang to the sourdough, a toastier nuance to the nugget, and a roasty linger to the “extra dark” special twists, a new personal favorite.

For pure crunching prowess, meanwhile, Utz consistently reigned with the superior snap. The deeply top-split Snyder’s nugget, for example, dissolved blandly in a dry and powdery pouf beside the crouton-like crackle of the more lightly scored Utz.