In this world, variety will always be a better choice than indulging in only one type of thing, and for further proof, look no further than a bag of Chex Mix. In each bag, different textures, shapes, and tastes come together in an unforgettable delicious harmony.
The precursor to Chex was Ralston Purina's introduction of Purina Whole Wheat Cereal in 1898. The cereal pieces took their modern-day shape in 1951, and soon after the cereal was renamed to Wheat Chex. The famous Chex "Party Mix" started making rounds at get-togethers in 1953 when the recipe appeared on packages. Three decades later, in 1987, Ralston decided to take the burden off party planners' plates and mass-produce Chex Mix. Since 1997, General Mills has been the steward of the brand after acquiring it from Ralston.
Ever since, Chex Mix has branched out into a wheat and cornucopia of flavor offerings to satisfy those with a savory tooth, as well as those with a sweet one. Today, General Mills offers 12 distinct and unique Chex Mix flavors for crunchy munching. We tore open a bag of each to determine the flavors that are the cream of the wheat crop, and perhaps those that need to be dropped (gasp!). You're invited to the party too, so without further ado, Chex this out, as we Mix things up!
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Honey Nut Chex cereal has been sweetening breakfasts since at least the early 1990s, and by the end of the century, it was tapped to be its own Chex Mix. In 2000, General Mills had quite a trio of Honey Nut products, including Cheerios, Chex, and Chex Mix. The first two products are restrained in their sweetness but still have a touch enough to stand out from their regular versions. Honey Nut Chex Mix, on the other hand, is an overly sweet affair.
Honey Nut Chex features mini vanilla breadsticks and vanilla swirl cookies, which are partially comprised of brown sugar, molasses, and dried honey. This product seems more at home on a shelf next to the sugary General Mills cereals like Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs, and not its Chex Mix sisters. If you're seeking out a Chex Mix that would be perfect to munch on while watching Saturday morning cartoons, look no further than the Honey Nut Flavor. This flavor lands at the bottom of our list though since there are other, slightly-sweet flavors that are simply better.
Tex-Mex spices are well-suited for chips and other snacks, so it was high time that General Mills started offering Chex Mix with the popular flavor. New to 2023 is another Chex Mix Remix flavor — Zesty Taco -- and the instant Cliffs Notes take is that they are indeed zesty AND very much taco-esque. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well...
Zesty Taco doesn't stop hammering the senses with its zesty taco flavor, from the first whiff of what is perhaps the strongest aroma of all Chex Mixes, to the final taste of the tequila sunrise-colored mix that leaves an eater with a smokey dry feeling in the mouth. It's not for a lack of trying, as it's comprised of ingredients that seem right at home in an actual taco, like jalapeno pepper, dehydrated green pepper, cheddar cheese, and lime juice powder; but it mainly just tastes like a Chex cereal doused with a giant bag of taco spice powder seasoning.
Still, there is promise here. The corn shell chip, which is essentially a Frito, is a nice and welcome newcomer to Chex Mix in general, and who would ever say no to Fritos? Still, it wasn't a favorite, therefore it ranks lower on our list.
Sour Cream And Onion
Sour Cream & Onion is one of the most standard flavors for any snack brand, and for Chex Mix, it has been an option up for sale as far back as 1987. In 2018, it was relaunched by Chex Mix as a new and improved flavor.
While we can't compare the two flavors, we do know that today's version doesn't seem all that sour or creamy. Tearing open a bag releases the essence of Lipton's Onion Soup and Dip mix, but the taste doesn't come through on that same stark level. Yes, dried sour cream and dried onion are part of the recipe, but those ingredients seem to serve other Chex Mix flavors better than it does this one, even though it has the ingredients right in the name. It's still a decently palatable Chex Mix flavor but it could be improved upon further if the zesty flavor was a bit more intense.
Max'd Spicy Dill
Spicy Dill Max'd Chex Mix was introduced in 2019 alongside the brand's Buffalo Chicken flavor and caters to those who like their cucumbers both pickled and apparently on fire. The packaging backs up that idea, with the image of a pickle literally covered in flames, which is probably not something people often think about.
Opening the package immediately emits an excellent and strong dill smell. Crunching on a handful initially brings out the puckering pickle taste as expected, before it's soon overly enveloped by the hot spice. Max'd Spicy Dill certainly hits that intersection on the Venn diagram where pickle lovers and hot heads meet, but while that very specific audience will eat it up, it may limit this brand of Chex Mix to only a handful of nibblers. Perhaps the spice would be better served to raise the temperature of the Max'd Buffalo Ranch flavor instead.
When Chex Mix first hit the test market in the '80s, Nacho Cheese shared shelf space with good old Traditional and Sweet & Nutty. By 1989, Cheddar replaced Nacho as the cheese on the Chex list. In each bag, the corn and wheat Chex, mini breadsticks, pretzels, rye chips, and triangular cheddar crackers have a lovely cheese dusting on them. That cheesy dust is made of dried cheddar cheese and cheddar cheese powder, both made from milk, cheese cultures, sour cream, butter concentrate, salt, and enzymes.
For those who want something a little bit different from Traditional Chex Mix, but nothing too outrageous, the Cheddar flavor is the one to turn to, because as the saying goes, "cheddar makes it better." Today, the Cheddar Chex Mix remains a popular flavor, and one of the very few that comes in snack sizes, which can be found in many kids' lunchboxes, and even in their parents' hungry hands after they go to bed.
While it's true that cheddar does in fact make things better, whoever came up with the slogan forgot to specify that it's 'white' cheddar that makes things the best. Yep, the Cheddar Chex Mix is certainly a solid flavor, but a just notch above is its younger brother White Cheddar, which came to light in 2021.
The two Cheddar flavors aren't carbon copies of one another whatsoever. A simple eye test can resolve that, as the regular Cheddar is very orange in appearance while the White Cheddar version isn't as colorful and is instead devoid of orange and rather pale. It also leans on its seasoning with far fewer ingredients than its older brother does. Maybe less is more when it comes to Chex Mix, as whatever the fine folks did in whipping up the creamy and smooth White Cheddar edition obviously works taste wonders. This is why we ranked it a little higher than the Cheddar.
Some of the more sought-after trail mixes include a dash of sweetness that both offsets and compliments the saltiness found within. For Chex Mix, there are surprisingly not a lot of options available that match that winning combination, but the Turtle flavor, which has been around since 2005, is the one best suited to answer the call.
Turtle Chex Mix's components sound so dreamy on their own: caramel-coated corn Chex, cocoa-season corn Chex, caramel-coated popcorn, and chocolaty candies all mixed up with pretzels and nuts. We are not sure if it was just the batch we tasted, but the popcorn didn't seem exactly as fresh as it should have been. Still, the caramel and mini-faux-M&M's in this bag turn this Chex Mix flavor into a guilty pleasure that would be perfect for a night at the movies, either at the theater or in the comfort of your own home.
Where Honey Nut Chex Mix doesn't come through on its honey namesake promise, the Honey BBQ Chex Mix makes up for it and then some. This flavor joined the lineup in 2018. The brown and slightly orange-tinged pieces are loaded with perhaps the widest array of snappy ingredients of any Chex Mix flavor, including molasses, brown sugar, tomato powder, dried garlic, dried onion, mustard powder, celery powder, barley malt syrup, dried soy sauce, unspecified spices, and, of course, dried honey.
With so much under the hood, the Honey BBQ Chex Mix strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savory, where a nice touch of syrupy honey (without being sticky) meets a mild smoky barbeque taste. There's a little something in here for everyone, but if you want to up its game just a wee bit more, try tossing some honey-roasted peanuts into the Mix.
Bold Chex Mix has been around since 1997 and the packaging features a graphic of garlic, onion, basil leaves, and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce. The actual ingredients included in this flavor echo those tasty pictures with garlic powder, onion powder, molasses powder, and salt on the label. While barley malt syrup is also included, oddly enough, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar are missing from the list.This Bold type is made even bolder with the addition of dried romano and parmesan cheeses.
This zesty mix has a salty and savory combination that is like no other Chex Mix, and may be a little too pungent for some palates. Bold Chex Mix is also a kind of a time traveler, conjuring up food memories of the long-lost, but never forgotten Doo Dads snack. That product, once made by Nabisco, also had a bold flavor of its own, and this actual Bold Chex Mix flavor carries on that legacy.
It's hard to argue that the tried and true Traditional Chex Mix bag is anything but a winner. It's the reason why this list even exists, and how the company expanded on the standard bearer to capture more tastes and more mouths. On the menu in this bag are Chex, wheat Chex, and since 1995, pretzels, rye chips, mini breadsticks, and returning in 2022, bagel chips. The latter key, a super crunchy ingredient, was such a welcome return that Chex hired rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot to sing its praises.
The Traditional Chex Mix is clean and classic, free of over-flavored dressings and dustings, and just is a plain and simple salty delight. It's also one of the easier to replicate on your own with an at-home Chex Mix recipe. Although, why bother making it when General Mills can do the work for you so well to begin with?
Max'd Buffalo Ranch
Max'd Buffalo Ranch is still a relative newcomer, only hitting shelves in 2019, but with its strong and delicious dual flavoring, in both the buffalo and ranch camps, it ALMOST proves to be the ultimate champ of all the Chex Mixes. Despite the Mix starting with Buffalo first in its name, it doesn't exactly lead with that taste, nor smell. The hot sauce mixture consists of cayenne pepper, vinegar, salt, and garlic, and exists at a pretty tame spice level that no one would be confuse with a hot product like Flammin' Hot Cheetos or Takis.
Instead, Ranch is the Max'd out flavor here. Fused with buttermilk, onion powder, dried onion, and dried sour cream, it helps to keep the buffalo at bay. It all adds up to a savory snack that is hard to stop eating. It's not the most common of Chex Mix flavors found on shelves, but it's certainly worth going the extra mile to seek it out.
Cheesy Pizza entered the Chex Mix world in 2023 and has already conquered it. This dream Mix, which is reminiscent of eating a bag of Pizzeria Combos, is nothing but a winner in reality, as each of its pieces is scrumptious on its own. It's actually hard to pin down which piece is the cream of this tasty crop, and while the pizza sauce flavor on Chex is certainly a revelation, it's the garlic and herbs flavors that crunch the brightest out of them all. It made us wonder if perhaps a sequel may be in order... can you say cheesy pepperoni pizza?
The bold flavors and cheesy goodness of the Cheesy Pizza Remix Chex Mix land it at the very top of our list. This is the one we could go back to over and over again. While no Chex Mix is really bad, there's just something about how the classic pizza flavors and crunchy textures work together perfectly in this new cheesy pizza variety.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.