May 02, 2014
I'm usually pretty cautious when it comes to accepting products for review. It has to be something I think I'll like and will probably use, and if it's food, it has to be vegan, gluten-free and reasonably healthy. I know not everyone requires their snacks to be healthy, but I prefer to eat mainly healthy things — or at least not outrageously unhealthy ones. I don't want to consume GMOs, and I try to avoid palm oil. When I was asked if I'd be willing to review Zouq Indian snacks, I didn't think much about any of those things — only about the addictive fried lentils and other spicy snacks I've purchased in the past from farmers markets and Indian delis. So am I a hypocrite? Maybe.
I received four cans of puffed, fried snacks ranging in weight from 2.47 to 3.88 ounces, with varying serving sizes of three to four servings per can. The cans have an easy-off tab top and a plastic lid, with a recommended shelf life of 14 days after opening. I don't think consuming them within 14 days should be a problem for anyone. Not consuming them all in one day is more likely to be the issue. I've just munched one serving — of each — meaning I think I just had snacks for lunch.
As you can see there are four flavors, and I'll tell you a little bit about each one. On the left in the dish is Curry Crunch, with a sweet curry flavor and no heat. I tend not to like sweet snacks as much as savory ones, and that was the case here. The curry crunch was my least favorite of the group, though if you like a little sweetness to your snacks, this might be for you.
Next in line are the Golden Lentils, with a mild, toasty, saltier flavor. I really liked these a lot.
Third from the left are the Fiery Sticks, crispy and salty with a spicy kick and a slight tang from mango powder. The crunchy sticks were my favorite, and in fact, they're gone.
Last is the Jubilee Mix, another curry mix with a bit of spiciness and a hint of sweetness. The mix also contains fennel seed, but in a modest proportion that made me take notice, but not scream.
Here are the ingredients and nutrition facts for the Zouq snacks I sampled. The ingredients aren't labeled organic — they have the ambiguous "natural" label. They also claim 0% trans fat (except for the fiery sticks, which have 1% trans fat), no cholesterol or MSG, and they are gluten-free. On the Web site the company states the snacks contain no GMOs.You can find more information about the company and their products on their Web site (link here).
Do you prefer snack foods that are salty or sweet, and do you pay attention to the nutritional labels for snacks? Are there any ingredients that would stop you from buying a snack food?