Essay About Baked Onion Rings: A Gluten-free, Flavorful Snack

The Product

So today’s pick is Trader Joe’s Baked Snack-O’s. They are described on the package as “Crunchy corn rings flavored with sweet onion seasoning.” And this is true. But what the package does not tell you is exactly how flavorful they are. This is actually my only complaint about the product. On first crunch there is really an explosion of flavor. While this may not seem bad, the problem is you keep eating trying to figure out exactly how so much flavor is in one little ring. But then, as you eat more, the amount of flavor can become overwhelming. I often have to drink quite a bit of water to clear my palette. But then whatever addictive quality they put in the onion rings draws me right back for more. Usually once a bag opens, everyone—including the 2- and 3-year-old—clamor for his or her piece of the pie (or rather onion ring).

Pros and Cons

What are the benefits and pros for these flavorful rings? Let’s start with two of the most important: this product is gluten-free and vegan. So, a snack does exist for those with Celiac or who are gluten-free by choice that really tastes good. These snacks are made with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. I can understand the others, but I do not know how they get so much flavor with natural spices. Taste them and you will know why I keep rambling about the flavor profile. This is why the back label reads, “These crisp, flavorful onion seasoned snacks are baked, not fried. Their sweet onion flavor tastes so good, we predict you won’t be able to stop at just one.” And once again the company is correct.

So here are the actual ingredients that make it so good and gluten-free: cornmeal, rice flour, sunflower (or safflower) oil, sweet onion seasoning (cane sugar, salt, dried onion, dried garlic, natural flavor, dried parsley, and citric acid). Count it all up and that’s only four main ingredients, amazing. The best description of Snack-O’s comes from another Hubber who actually has not tried Snack-O’s before. But his comment was if these snacks taste anything like Funyuns, then he is all in for trying them. And I never thought about the connection between the two onion ring snacks. But a great way to describe Snack-O’s is as healthy Funyuns. So thanks prospectboy for the thought!

Now that I eat for my blood type, Snack-O’s are out for me. But I still appreciate how a gluten-free snack provided so much flavor and crunch.