July 16, 2018

Munch Madness 2018

The supreme battle of the best stuff to eat after you get a quick trip to the gas station in between games has arrived!

One of the most frustrating parts of the March Madness experience for me is usually that point when I realize that I’ve been watching games for hours and there are no snacks in the house. One of my useless talents is being able to run to the gas station before the next tip-off, and narrow down a bunch of choices really quickly. With that in mind, I did a bracket of the 64 best gas station snacks, as rated by me. The seeding is random, no drinks, and no fruit allowed. The field is sealed. Does the snack you stan for have what it takes to be a champion?

After some amazing and tough matchups in the opening rounds, sixteen out of the sixty four originally chosen survived to duke it out for snack supremacy.

Sweet Sixteen

Game 1 – Gardettos vs. Snyders of Hanover Honey Mustard Pretzel Pieces

The pretzel pieces bring are a tough opponent for Gardettos, but the lack of variety ultimately did them no favors. Gardettos move on.

Game 2 – Twizzlers vs. Mini Powdered Donuts

Mini powdered donuts beat both Original Skittles and Jolly Ranchers on their way to this matchup against the king of the licorice, and will win that too. So what if you end up with powdered sugar everywhere? At least you won’t be chewing on the taste equivalent of an extension cord all day.

Game 3 – Ranch Sunflower Seeds vs. Snickers

Snickers are amazing when you’re hungry, just as advertised. You will have a stomach ache before ever de-shelling and getting enough calories out of sunflower seeds to make a difference. Snickers is the clear winner here.

Game 4 – Energy Bars vs. Pizza Combos

Pizza Combos are a classic, like UNLV. Unlike the Rebs, they can make a tournament. However, they just don’t carry the power of an energy bar, full of nuts and goodness instead of questionable lab created “food.”

Game 5 – Sweet Chili Doritos vs. Caramel M&M’s

Sweet Chili Doritos brought their fire and crunch, but it wasn’t enough to move past the addictive sweetness of the newest of the M&M family.

Game 6 – Lemonheads vs. Takis

This matchup is like watching the two best mid-majors square up in the sweet 16. Sure, someone is going home, but they’re both winners. Unfortunately, this time, it’s Lemonheads that are headed home, if only because you’re less likely to choke on a Taki if some crazy shit goes down.

Game 7 – Trail Mix vs. Chile Picante Corn Nuts

This is the battle royale of the third round. Trail mix almost comes off as healthy, but Corn Nuts are flat delicious. What they lack in variety, they make up in flavor. Unfortunately, we need some protein to get through March whole, so the Corn Nuts gotta go.

Game 8 – Teriyaki Jerky vs. Sour Gummy Worms

This matchup is down to the wire, three ball heaving insanity. Turns out, in the end, it’s all about how clutch Jerky is when it comes to being actually hungry and needing real sustenance.

Elite Eight

Game 1 – Gardettos vs. Mini Powdered Donuts

Rye Chips come through big here to really differentiate the mini powdered donuts from Gardettos. A favorite of boring folks everywhere, the donuts held up well until it was time to have a treat after noon. Gardettos then took over.

Game 2 –  Snickers vs. Energy Bars

This one is close, but energy bars pull out the win based on their actual nutritional content. No candy containing nougat could ever reasonably expect to win the whole thing.

Game 3 – Caramel M&Ms vs. Takis

M&M’s may not melt in your hand super easily, but they do melt in the mouth. Especially when that mouth is breathing the fire of the flavor dragon. M&M’s made a solid run, but just can’t be put away with beer nearly as well as Takis can.

Game 4 – Trail Mix vs. Teriyaki Jerky

Trail Mix is the Duke of snacks. Lots of people really like it, it’s fun to eat (candy with obstacles!) just like Duke is to watch sometimes. It’s a traditional food of the couch dwelling, gas station shopper who likes to feel healthy even when they aren’t. However, Teriyaki Jerky is North Carolina. For now, the jerky wins, because of its consistency. That could change at any time.

Final Four

Game 1 – Gardettos vs. Energy Bars

Rye chips are building their legacy as one of the greatest snacks of all time, and pulling the rest of that bag along with it. Sure, it’s a little painful to get a mouth full of pretzel and not get the flavor explosion expected, but when you do finally get one, it’s glorious. There is no such experience with energy bars (granola, nut, etc.) and thus their run is over. GG, energy bars, now it’s time to go.

Game 2 – Takis vs. Teriyaki Jerky

This matchup is a battle. Takis are crunchy, addictive goodness, but in the end, are just spicy, rolled up corn chips. Teriyaki Jerky is actual meat. While Takis held their own well up until this point, the lasting power of jerky can’t be denied. Na-na-na-na. Hey-hey-hey. GTFOOOOOOOO.

Championship

Gardettos vs. Teriyaki Jerky

The real work in Gardettos isn’t the flash of the rye chip or the crisp snap of the pretzel, it’s the perfectly seasoned goodness of the bread stick ends working hard in the paint with every bite. They’re really a perfect snack food for everyone, and thus are the winner. Sorry, jerky, even the sweet umami of teriyaki wasn’t enough to carry you to victory.

🎶One Shining Moment✨

Congrats to the 2018 #MunchMadness tournament champion… Gardettos Original Snack Mix!

Tami Dooley 112 Articles
Chief Shade Officer

Tami is a 5th generation Idahoan, who lives in Boise with her husband and their elderly, yet adorable, poodle named Cooper. She likes Boise State, the Seattle Seahawks, music that is fast and loud, and believes that all perfect breakfasts involve both potatoes and beer.

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