I've been crazy busy these last few months.
I'm working on tons of things for two upcoming anime/comic conventions that I'll be selling at, I'm trying to update Youtube at least once a week, I'm doing blog posts here on Sometimes Foodie every day, and we've got another one of our Candyology101 podcasts this weekend. Not to mention working my 9-5 day job and trying to figure out my transportation for the Summer Fancy Food Show. (Which is in 10 days! Oh god! So soon!) I think it's safe to say, tonight's a lazy dinner kind of a night. I earned it.
The packaging for these pretzel sandwiches is similar to HotPockets, burritos, and other quick and easy frozen meals. It's a cardboard box filled with two individually wrapped frozen pretzel pockets. Nothing too fancy there. The front of the box features the classic Aunt Anne's pretzel logo with it's signature blue backdrop, and a photo of the sandwiches. I gotta say, the product sounds appealing, the the front cover of the box feels so...blah. The front of the box has some good ideas, but nothing feels fleshed out. Almost as if this were the star design student, but they stayed up all night and put things off until the last minute. (I'm totally not speaking from experience, or having college flashbacks, or anything.) The back panel is a lot more interesting.
On the back we have a bold yellow-mustard color that adds a lot of visual interest and it's a lot more eye-catching than the simple layout on the front of the box. Overall, this item fits in with all the other Aunt Anne's pretzel products, so it's good that it follows the branding guidelines, but I think the company really needs to update their overall look. It looks a little bit dated and not in the cool vintage hipster kind of way.
Alright, I'm hungry, and tired, let's eat!
The sandwiches are pretty hefty, and they're wrapped in clear plastic heal-sealed bags, similar to other frozen food items. Now, you have two different sets of instructions for heating these up. Microwave instructions for the tired lazy person (i.e. ME!), and convection oven ones for those who have a bit more time and patience on their hands. Since I am getting hangry, I'm going to go with the microwave instructions today, and I'll try the convection oven ones in another post. (Because I'm guessing that is the better way to go about cooking food instead of "nuke-ing" it in a electric box.)
I followed the microwave instructions, which were the same as any other freezer food out there, and this little sandwich was ready to eat in less than 2 minutes. Hooray for convenience!
The pretzel pocket is fluffier and more irregularly shaped than other frozen sandwiches on the market, and it's pretty hefty too. It sounds super odd, but I'd liken it to a large potato as far as weight and size, but it looks like some kind of weird pretzel-croissant hybrid.As far as smell, it smells just like you'd expect, I can smell soft pretzel, ham, and cheese. It's pretty appealing for something that just came out of a microwave.
I took a bite, and the texture of this pretzel was way better than what I was expecting. The dough is dense and chewy from being steamed in the microwave, but it's really pleasant and it has that typical Aunt Anne's pretzel flavoring. If you like eating steamed buns from the Asian supermarket, you'll like the texture of this pretzel dough. As for the fillings, there's just something about the combination of ham, cheese, and soft pretzel that's super comforting after a long work day.
The ham is salty, which is good because the pretzel part of this sandwich doesn't have any added salt on top, and the cheese is soft, stringy, and mild. All of the flavors work very nicely together, and I felt really full after just one sandwich. (I won't lie, I'm no delicate flower when it comes to eating. I typically eat both of the sandwiches in theses frozen meal boxes within 24 hours, but with these, one was really filling and I didn't need to eat the other one to feel full.)
Worth mentioning: After only 90 seconds in the microwave, my sandwich was cooked throughout. A lot of other freezer product suffer from the frozen-core problem. Molten hot outside, icy cold inside. I mean, you could pop it back in the microwave and heat that frozen center right up, but who has time for that?
This was a delicious and filling lazy dinner, so I'm going to say this was a successful product. The pretzel dough is, well, doughy from the microwaving process, but I bet if I had been patient and used the convention oven method instead the end-product would have been even better. Still, doughy or not, this was a really satisfying work-night meal. I would definitely buy another box of these. (Plus, there's a coupon on the bottom for buy one get one pretzels. You guys know I love coupons and
being cheapsaving money.) If you like Ham & Cheese HotPockets, try these instead, you won't be sorry.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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