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Lotus Foods Sriracha Arare Rice Crackers: I sometimes feel guilty when I purchase the Western version of classic asian snacks, made with likely responsibly sourced ingredients and marketed with minimalist, sans-serif packaging. But having had Lotus Food’s Arare rice crackers in the past, I had a sense that the difference in quality would be worthwhile, and it was. Black, red, and yellow rice crackers in a variety of shapes, from stars to squares, have a clear sheen from a chili-flavored glaze. They’re satisfying crunchy, and the hea... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 crackers rice arare sriracha lotusfoods ricecrackers asian berkeleybowl recommended
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Mandy’s Zesty Lemon Cookie Thins: Similar in diameter to Ritz crackers but just a few millimeters thick, like Anna’s Swedish Cookies, these lemon cookies from Mandy’s have a good balance of sweet and tart. The have a prominent citrus flavor than most lemon cookies I’ve had from a grocery store. Packaged in a well-designed tin. Not sure why it has exactly 42 cookies - the owners must be nerds. 3.5/5.0

3.5 thins cookie lemon zesty mandys cookies berkeleybowl recommended
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Saffron Road White cheddar chickpea crisps: Chips with an irregular texture reminiscent of Popcorners, with muted confetti-colored “splotches” indicative of the vegetables used to flavor it (green for peas, orange for sweet potatoes, and red for lentils). While I liked the sharp cheddar powdered flavoring that coats the chips, the combination of vegetable with cheese is a little odd and doesn’t quite come together. Purchased from Whole Foods. 3.0/5.0

3.0 crisps chickpea cheddar white saffronrose wholefoods veggie chips
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Brothers Freeze-dried fruit crisps Fuji apples with cinnamon: Freeze dried fruit is a modern-day convenience, a space-age snack that has trickled down to everyday consumption. I find that certain types of fruit benefit from the resulting crispy and brittle texture more than others; soft berries seem to lose their sweetness while their tartness levels receive a boost, but fruits like mangoes are transformed into portable, snackable spears with a condensed tropical flavor. These Fuji apple crisps from Brothers are an example of a successful freeze-dried ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 cinnamon apples fuji crisps freeze-dried brothers freezedried fruit recommended
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Milk Bar Cereal milk soft serve: You’re probably familiar with the cereal milk flavor, which replicates the taste of milk after a helping of frosted corn flakes. Attributed to the Milk Bar franchise, the cereal milk flavor has since been duplicated by many. Although I’ve sampled it before, this is the first time I actually purchased the cereal milk flavored soft serve from its original source. The smooth texture was excellent, but the generous serving size might be best shared with others. The soft serve comes in a single ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

softserve 3.5 serve soft milk cereal milkbar sweets nyc icecream dessert recommended
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Yogurt Pump Red Raspberry Frozen Yogurt: During my visit to Chapel Hill, I tried to seek out local ice cream shops and found the independently-owned Yogurt Pump among Ben and Jerry's and Coldstone Creamery. On offer was about 8 different flavors, ranging from salted caramel to red velvet cake. After sampling the strawberry lemonade (which was extremely sweet), I asked what the least sweet options were, to which the response was Vanilla or Oreo. That was worrisome. But I ultimately decided to order a small serving of the red ras... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 yogurt frozen raspberry red yogurtpump chapelhill froyo