The Bigger Debate

Throughout the year 2021, many arguments have been raised. Though tensions have lowered through the past year, the same questions remain. Now, more technical inquiries arise from the formerly black-and-white debates. The controversy of masks has faded to the background as the ethical concerns surrounding the enforcement of the vaccine are in the spotlight. Yet another newly discovered mutation of COVID- 19 has arrived in the U.S., while a second state asks the Supreme Court for their wavering support in overturning Roe V. Wade. As the year comes to a close, one parley remains undiscussed, and inaccurately answered- The greater Chex Mix debate. 


Chex Mix, a popular American snack, consists of six different constituents, each with their own unique flavors, textures, and shapes. These different elements compete to become the favorite bite, collaborating to form the iconic taste of the mix. These different snack pieces go by the classification of wheat Chex, corn Chex, the breadstick, the rye chip, the circle pretzel, and the windowpane pretzel.


In last place sits the corn Chex. This piece gives a nice texture to the overall mix, but when confronting flavor, is lacking. Firstly, the flavor is basic- what anyone would imagine when asked to think of a corn-flavored snack. The taste is more notable as an essence, without salt or spice. The bland taste lingers in your mouth with a sour taste after swallowing, giving no satisfaction when consumed as an individual. What makes this important, however, is the diversity it gives the overall snack. The lack of flavor and individuality present in the corn Chex breaks up the otherwise overbearing saltiness of the snack, while the texture provides an easier crunch, eager to relieve the gums of unnecessary trauma and the jaw of unnecessary work, therefore, making this piece more functional than yummy.


In fifth place, the circular pretzel lies. This feature of the snack serves exclusively as a failed stylistic choice in the manufacturing of Chex Mix. While the saltiness and the act of being a pretzel are appreciated, this shape falls in comparison to the window pane. The size of this circle is where this pretzel specifically lacks. While the attempt for a fun texture is seen by the eater, the most appealing aspect of this is robbed, where the circle is too small to fit over their tongues. Not only is this disappointing, but also serves as a constant reminder of this failure in every bite. 


The windowpane pretzel sits in fourth place, as what I consider the first legitimate element of Chex Mix. The shape of this piece is unique, making it iconic to Chex Mix. Using this, personality is given to an otherwise “easy” flavor. While the taste of pretzel is basic and known to everyone, the piece works to ground the mix as a whole. When added to the mix in addition to the circular pretzels, this becomes close to obsolete. While outranking the circle, the combination of two types of pretzels becomes too much. The ratio of more dense, heavy, and salty elements weighs over the airy munchie-ness of other pieces, therefore dropping the ranking of the window pane. 


In third place is where the breadstick stays. Some may argue this piece is both flavorless and obsolete, however, in terms of functionality, this piece is detrimental to the mix as a whole. Unlike the pretzel, the ratio of this piece to others is reasonable. When compared to the corn Chex, this piece serves to remind the pieces of their failures. This piece provides a nice crunch, while left close to unnoticed in taste, balancing the overstimulating taste of the pretzels, rye chip, and Wheat Chex. Because the practicality of this piece overrides the lack of flavor profile, I believe it to be key in developing the pleasantry that is Chex mix. 


In Second place sits the watery flavor blast that is the wheat Chex. This element of the mix is unique to Chex. The stimulating flavor of the wafer gives a taste with more depth and personality than the alternatively bland corn Chex. The dimensions of flavor present in the wheat wafer are what give Chex’s mix it’s savory, unique taste. Furthermore, this piece gives personality to the overall texture of the mix. The slight crunchiness of the piece gives relief of continuous cottonmouth when consuming the mix overall. Not only is this piece tasty, but also functional-key in the creation of Chex Mix.


The piece deserving of first place in the ranking of the elements of Chex mix is the rye chip. This chip not only is the densest ingredient of the snack but contains a worryingly good imitation of staleness. This scary unique element may be controversial to some, however, it serves as an example of taking a successful risk. The flavor of the chip- similar to that of the wheat Chex- is one more piece carrying the personality of the snack mix. The balance of both pieces serves to give the mix an adequate personality and a healthy variation of texture. The fame given to Chex through the creation of this piece is what makes it number one, adapted through the sale of imitation mixes of Chex-such as the mix, Gardetto’s- and the individual sale of the rye chip in bulk, existing as the most popularly liked element of Chex-mix. 


Though different people may hold different values and opinions of the rankings of elements of Chex-mix, this one is right. Each ranking consists of thorough thought, agreeable by all. 


“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and themselves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, new needs, friends… Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” – Ratatouille