Snack Critic: Nissin Crunchers Takes the Best of Both Worlds with their Wafer-Cracker Hybrid SnackOctober 10, 2017
- Patricia BaesWords
Snack hankerings can be dynamic: sometimes you want something on the substantial side, for which the satisfying density of a cracker is a good fit; other times you want something a little lighter with the suggestion of sweetness, for which wafers (plain or stacked and filled) can be your best bet. But making decisions can be a burden—sometimes you just want a snack that can hit both bases. Enter Nissin Crunchers, a line of what they deem to be “light and crunchy wafers” but is in fact the wafer-cracker hybrid we’ve long been waiting for.
You might not think much at first glance with their initially familiar-looking front, coming as thin sheets of crackers full of polka dot-like dents and sprinkled with sugar (similar to the more popular “Butter Cream Crackers” from the Croley Foods brand). But feel the undersides and you’ll notice a surface similar to the wafer base used in classic cake cones. Turn them to the side, and you’ll find a thicker, puffier interior filled with air bubbles (which gives it a look similar to corrugated cardboard). Though we can draw similarities to Wasa Crispbread with its dented, puffy form, its wafer-cracker hybrid properties are not something we’ve seen (or felt) in any other cracker previously.
Fresh off the package, each Cruncher (you get three in a pack) displays a most inviting light-as-air quality and fragility that they easily succumb to the most delicate of bites. But as you chew you’ll find makes for a surprising, substantial crunch with passionate fervor that truly satisfies the need to chomp. Beyond that you’ll hear a crackle—the kind of crackle characteristics of wafers in their light, bubbly glory (think of the way biting into, say, a Loacker wafer imparts a slight fizzly feeling before dissolving on the tongue), but magnified a ton and accentuated by the sugar granules that envelope the top surface of each piece. The result is a snack that takes the best of both worlds (that of wafer and cracker) and combines them seamlessly into one cohesive whole.
For a tried-and-tested taste trip, go for the Cinnamon-Sugar variant, which is generously doused with a good sprinkling of cinnamon sugar for a warm, fuzzy bite. Our top pick, however, is the the Sweet Corn flavor, which righteously delivers the slight nuttiness and corn-y essence of its namesake (in a slightly artificial but nonetheless tasty way), with pops of salt from time to time that really bring out the corn.
It’s never easy bridging the gap between opposite ends of the spectrum, but Nissin successfully teaches us how—with attention to detail and an eye for what works together and why—it is, in fact, very possible.
Are you a wafer or cracker person? What did you think of these chips? Share away on the comments down below.