What Makes a Great Pretzel Thin/Crisp?

Pretzel crisps make a delicious snack! A high quality pretzel thin snack should lead with pretzel and toasty grain notes in both aroma and flavor. There may also be some brown sugar/molasses, butter and popcorn butter notes present in both profiles, but they should not exceed the intensity of the pretzel and toasty notes. There should not be raw grain or jalapeno notes present as they both detract from a quality pretzel aroma and flavor. The texture of the pretzel thins should be crunchy, and some level of adhesiveness and cohesiveness is expected. If the thins are crispy and/or flaky, these textures should not take away from the expected level of crunchiness. There should be no heat intensity present. The taste profile should lead with salt, and be followed by bitter and sweet. The appearance should be “pretzel-like” with a golden brown color, some sheen and visible salt crystals. There may also be some visible blistering.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • cohesiveness

    The tendency of some foods to stick together while being chewed, as opposed to sticking to the teeth, tongue or palate. Example: Because they are cohesive, both bubble gum and white bread lump together into a ball while being chewed.

  • heat

    The intensity of spiciness or the perceived warmth of food in the mouth. Example: Hot sauce has a distinct flavor, but it also possesses a heat component that warms the mouth.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • appearance

    The visual quality of a food. Used to organize attributes such as color and consistency of size, it is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate food. The other dimensions are aroma, texture, flavor and taste. Example: The appearance of green olives includes attributes such as color (pale to dark) and consistency of size (inconsistent to consistent).