Pringles Pizza Wheat Stix Discovered on Vacation

Pringles Pizza-Flavored Baked Wheat Stix

Pringles Pizza-Flavored Baked Wheat Stix

I Paid: $3.19 for a 6.8-ounce box of 10 Wheat Stix packs (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 2 stars

I first encountered Pringles' pizza-flavored Baked Wheat Stix as litter on the ground along the shore of Lake Superior, a nasty little bit of modern marketing amid a panorama of natural splendor. The look of the green foil wrapper evoked a granola bar, but the word PIZZA was emblazoned on the right-hand side. Pringles, read the left-hand side. This was making less and less sense until the center of the wrapper, reading Baked Wheat Stix, snapped into focus. At this point, the shiny green artifact made no sense whatsoever.

Pringles aren't pizza. And Pringles are not wheat "stix." And pizza isn't wheat stix either. And creating a whole box of 10 Baked Wheat Stix packs with fewer than 100 calories each is a whole ’nother obstacle to surmount.

Little was, in fact, resolved by eating the things. Crunchy day-old pizza jumped to mind immediately: The pizza-flavored Wheat Stix are, ultimately, a strange sort of herbed sauce/graham cracker/cheese powder amalgam. Could any of us have done better than Pringles? Quite possibly not. Should this crazy stuffing-a-pizza-into-a-stick stunt have been attempted in the first place? Well ... same answer. But in an era when "simple," "natural," and "traditional" foods are coming into vogue, it's sort of comforting to see American companies still cranking out insane processed foods. Emphasis on sort of.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.