CHEEZ-IT RATING: A professional evaluator's approach towards rating the supreme cheese cracker
During the beginning of quarantine, I bought my first box of Cheez-Its. What motivated this purchase? My dear friend Talata—a polite Canadian—wrote a letter to the Cheez-It company after getting a bag of burnt Cheez-Its. They sent her an apologetic email and a coupon for free Cheez-Its. A very "sore-y"(🇨🇦) response that led me to buying my first box of Cheez-Its. I had tried Cheez-Its before, but I was a Cheez-It moocher. Upon my first trip to the neighborhood Giant with the intention of buying Cheez-Its, I learned that there are a ton of Cheez-It flavors and textures. I would buy different flavors and leave little baggies of Cheez-Its on a table outside on my porch for Talata to pick up during her daily walks. We would then discuss online our impressions of each flavor and rate them without rigor. To cap off this story of my Cheez-It quarantine, I also led an online pandemic-themed bake club, and a participant made homemade Cheez-Its. I bought cheddar cheese powder and tried to make my own homemade Cheez-Its using (of course) sourdough discard. They always tasted FINE, but obviously they aren't the real thing.
I am a professional evaluator. I spend a lot of time thinking about and working with global health indicators. Given I also enjoy eating food, I started Yum Index with Maria Adelmann. Yum Index is a series of data-focused food-rating journals that allow you to rate and compare foods based on your personal preferences. We have pizza and donut journals available for purchase and another edition will be launched soon. To add rigor to Talata's Cheez-It rating, I created a Cheez-It tasting kit for her with Cheez-It rating sheets. Below you can download the rating sheets (for free!) and rate Cheez-Its too. There is a basic version that allows you to assign a score from 1 to 10 to each Cheez-It type, and an advanced version that features a weighted index where you can weigh three different benchmarks (flavor, appearance, texture). The advanced version methodology is based on the Yum Index approach of creating a weighted index based on your own prioritization of how important specified benchmarks are to your eating satisfaction. It also involves more math.
Click below to download the rating sheets and play along. Let me know about your experience :)
Since you're probably curious, there are many existing rankings of Cheez-Its: