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I sometimes buy rice cakes as part of my efforts to have healthier snacks or packed lunches for work. The trouble is I don't really like the taste of them. I end up disguising the flavour by adding something such as cheese, or salad cream on top which defeats the object of having a low fat base in the first place! When I saw Real Foods Original Corn Thins on special offer in Tesco, I thought it would be worth my while to try them as an alternative to ricecakes. They were available for 86p for a 150g bag, with the usual price being £1.19 for the same amount.
WHAT ARE CORN THINS?
The Real Food Company describes their corn thins as "crispbread slices." The picture on the packet showed a product that looks very similar to a rice cake. They are made from 99% maize, with the only other ingredients being sunflower oil and salt. I always feel happier eating a product when I can easily recognise all the ingredients. The crispbreads are made by popping grains of maize, and then presumably fusing them together to make a round.
The product comes in a plastic bag, similar to those that bagels come in. On the inside there is a second foil bag which helps to keep the thins crisp. Once you have opened that though, you need to carefully reseal the outer bag, using the tie provided. I left the first bag that I bought open all day by accident, and the food inside had lost it's crispness by the evening. Now I tend to store the unused thins in an airtight jar, as I think they stay fresher that way.
As the crispbreads are called thins, I expected them to be , well, thin. Whilst they are certainly less chunky than many ricecakes and similar products, they are still more than half a centimetre thick. I thought that they would be more like an oatcake or cracker. I am not disappointed though, because they are more substantial and therefore satisying to eat due to their increased size.
They look reasonably attractive, even if they don't appear very exciting when first taken from the packet. They are circular, about 9-10 cm in diameter, so a good size for topping. If they were any smaller it would be hard to pile up your fillings! Each crispbread has a mottled yellow and white colour, and an uneven surface. They feel slightly soft to the touch. I expected them to smell of corn, but they smell only slightly of that.
I thought that I would try my first crispbread plain, straight from the packet. I was surprised that it felt crispy when I chewed it as the thin felt quite soft in the hand. They definitely have a crunch to them, which also helps to stop them falling apart under a runnier topping I think. If you leave them in your mouth long enough they start to melt, which gives an interesting range of textures in one crispbread! I don't think they taste of fresh corn with all its sweetness. Instead they remind me of plain unsalted popcorn. It is a pleasant flavour, and there is just enough of it to stop these being bland. I would happily eat these plain, while I could never imagine doing this with an oatcake, cracker or rice cake. When used with a topping, the corn taste is mild enough not to take over.
The packet displays a couple of serving suggestions. One is to top the crispbreads with grilled mushrooms, spinach, and Parmesan. The other is to use sliced turkey, Swiss cheese, and honey mustard. I have tried the former, and it tastes great. I also like them with low fat cheese and chives, and cottage cheese with honey and sliced bananas. They are a versatile snack, good with both hot/ cold and sweet/savoury toppings. They hold their shape and aren't too crumbly to eat or hold. This makes them ideal for me to take in a lunchbox to work as I don't have to worry about getting crumbs all down myself! I find that a couple with a decent topping on is enough to fill me up if I wanted a snack, but as part of a lunch, I would want something substantial as a "side".
GOOD FOR YOU?
These corn thins contain 0.4g fat, [of which 0.06g is saturated fat], per serving which is defined as two pieces. I think this makes them a good open sandwich style base for dieters. The Real Food Company say that these contain more dietry fibre per gram than wholemeal bread which is another bonus.
They are Kosher, and gluten free, as well as being suitable for vegetarians.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THEM?
I would. They taste nice and not too bland. I like having them in my storecupboard because I know that I can use them with a wide variety of toppings. They are ideal as a snack or as part of a lunch, packed or otherwise. They are worth a try if you are looking for something a bit different from oatcakes, crackers and foods such as these. I would even suggest you try them if you don't like the taste of swetcorn, because they don't taste strongly of that.
They are available in flavoured varieties such as sesame, but I have not tried those. I have only seen the original ones for sale, but I would definitely try the others if I come across them. They are incidently back on offer at the moment in Tesco, where you will find them with the crackers, and Ryvita type products. Otherwise, you can often find them in health food shops.
[This review also appears on Ciao.]
Sometimes I decide to eat more healthy food and buy products that I try only once. But a few weeks ago in my local SuperValu I noticed new crispbread so bought one packet to try. Loved them so bought more from Sainsbury's. They are Real Foods Corn Thins Original.
ABOUT REAL FOODS
Real Foods is an Australian, family operated company invented in 1980 by Michael Pels. They produce and sell popped-grain crispbread. The company is based in Sydney, Australia and employs 100 people. They started producing rice cakes but have been continuously developing and improving the whole production process. From 1985 they have been manufacturing and developing their own rice cake machines. And in 1996 the new product line - Corn Thins, a natural, low fat crispbread made from popped corn, was launched. It was an especially successful product which started competing with similar products made by larger Australian and International companies. Now Corn Thins produced by Real Foods are the best sold crispbread in Australia!
For a few years Real Foods were consolidating in Australian market. But in 1999 they started exporting to New Zealand, a bit later to South Africa, United States, Canada, UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
This is how Real Foods present their Corn Thins Original on packaging: "Real Foods Corn Thins are the best tasting wholegrain crispbread you can buy. Made with a great recipe for maximum crunch and flavour, they taste sensational on their own or with any number of delicious toppings. Our Original Corn Thins are made simply by popping grains of maize under high temperature. With more dietary fibre per gram than wholemeal bread, and 85% less fat than the leading brands of corn chips, Real Foods Corn Thins really are good for you."
Produced in these varieties: Original, Sesame, Cracked Pepper & Lemon, Soy & Linseed, Multigrain, BBQ flavoured, Tasty Cheese flavoured, Sour Cream & Chives flavoured, Feta & Sun dried Tomato flavoured and also Rice Thins.
WHY I BOUGHT THEM
There are a few reasons why I chose Real Foods Corn Thins Original:
- Saw them for the first time in our SuperValu.
- I was looking for something healthy and low-fat. And this crispbread sounded great: 97% fat free, gluten free, high in fibre (10% dietary fibre), GMO free, no added sugar, no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives!
- Corn Thins are new and different as usually you buy rice cakes and these were made from popped corn.
- Simple curiosity because they were called "Thins".
Each Real Foods Crisp Thins packet comes in double packaging: cellophane bag with a resealable plastic closure and a sealed foil bag with crispbread inside. Outer cellophane bag is coloured with yellow and blue stripes, there are pics of corn grains and of a Corn Thin with a topping on it. All product and nutritional information is placed on the back of the packaging.
I especially liked that closure to keep crispbread fresh and crispy. I've never seen a closure like this before, so I'm keeping them from each packet of Corn Thins and use for bread bags!
APPEARANCE AND TASTE
After opening the foil packaging I finally saw the Corn Thins. They are of perfect circular shape and look almost like usual rice cakes but the colour is yellowish with some brown pieces. Diameter of a Corn Thin is 9 cm, thickness - 4 mm and that's the main difference from other similar crispbread. I counted Thins in one packet - there were 25 of them. A lot I would say, especially if you manage to eat let's say only 2 slices at once.
None of the Corn Thins were broken and looked tempting. So, FIRST BITE! The crispbread was very crunchy, crispy and tasty. It was actually a little bit harder than a rice cake, but that's what I like about Corn Thins. They also don't crumble that much while eating so you don't make a mess of yourself.
After eating a few packets of Real Foods Corn Thins I may say they are more fulfilling than rice cakes. A few slices (especially with topping) are enough for me. Unless I'm watching TV and need to nibble something... Then I can't stop eating them as they are so tasty! I like that crunchiness and as this crispbread is so thin, the bag empties slowly than if eating standard size rice cakes. So sometimes you don't feel you've eaten quite many slices! On the other hand each packet of Corn Thins lasts much longer for you as you get twice as many slices comparing to usual thick crispbread.
Often I eat crispbread on it's own but Real Foods Corn Thins are so convenient to eat with toppings on as they are thin. You don't have to open your mouth as wide as can to bite some. That's a big plus for Corn Thins from me because I like to put so many stuff on a sandwich or crispbread that usually it is difficult to eat. Now I can add what I want and not bother if I'll be able to bite some without having half of topping on my plate or knees!
And if you have no idea what toppings to put on, don't worry as Real Foods website offers recipe ideas. You may choose from a few sections: Deliciously Light, Vegetarian toppings, Sweet toppings or you may send your recipe idea to Real Foods! I usually eat Corn Thins instead of bread so top them with anything I can find in a fridge. But it is always great to know that Real Foods not only make a product but care for a customer! They even offer a few serving suggestions on the back of the packaging. For example, Original Corn Thins are delicious with grilled mushrooms, spinach and grated parmesan cheese or with baked sliced ham, swiss cheese and honey mustard. Sounds fantastic!
My little girl also loves Corn Thins. They are very convenient to hold in her little hands, tasty and healthy (high in fibre, made from natural ingredients, no added sugar, artificial preservatives or colours)!
Caution: Do not heat in toaster! Closure may be a choking hazard!
Maize (99%), Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.
Sunflower Oil is one of ingredients so don't buy this crispbread if you are allergic!!!
Adviced serving size is 2 slices (12g). So typical values per serving: Energy - 192kj/ 46kcal, Protein - 1.2g, Carbohydrate - 8.5g of which sugars - 0.04g, Fat - 0.4g, of which saturates - 0.06g, Dietary Fibre - 1.2g, Sodium - 31 mg, Potassium - 14mg.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I bought Real Foods Corn Thins Original from SuperValu and Sainsbury's but price was the same - £1.09. Very good price for 25 slices of delicious crispbread I may say. The only thing I dislike - limited availability of Corn Thins varieties at shops. I have already mentioned that Real Foods offer 9 varieties of Corn Thins but as they are Australian company only a few varieties available in UK: Tesco - Original, Sainsbury's - Original and Cracked Pepper & Lemon, Waitrose - Original, Organic with Sesame, Cracked Pepper & Lemon.
Without any doubts I give Real Foods Corn Thins Original 5 stars out of 5! They are of high quality, taste great, so healthy and so affordable!
I really hope supermarkets will offer all varieties of Corn Thins in near future.
If you want more information about Real Foods Corn Thins, browse their website: www.greenfoods.com or contact them:
Real Foods Pty Ltd
47 Campbell Road
St Peters NSW 2044
Ph: +61 2 8595 6600
Fax: +61 2 8595 6601
Thanks for taking time to read my review! Hope You'll find it useful!
Also posted on other websites under the same user name.