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A Ritz-Oreo mashup speaks to our hunger for the sweet-and-salty combo – News Opener

Are you ready for another sweet-and-salty mashup?

Mondelēz International
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the food giant behind the Oreo and Ritz brands, is combining the two treats in a product, available through a limited-time mail offering.

How limited? There are 1,000 free packs of the Ritz X Oreo combo being made available, starting Thursday. (Technically, the snacks are free, but shipping is $3.95.)

Mondelēz officials didn’t respond immediately to a MarketWatch request for comment, so there’s no official word if the snack has already sold out. But if the promotion is like other one-of-a-kind offerings involving iconic brands, such as the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup “pies” that rolled out last Thanksgiving, chances are the Ritz X Oreo item will be claimed quickly.

It’s also perhaps no surprise that Mondelēz introduced the item, which features a Ritz cracker and an Oreo cookie sandwiching both peanut butter and “creme” fillings. In recent years, Americans have shown they can’t get enough of any sweet-and-salty food items. The doughnut burger has become a staple item at fairs and carnivals. McDonald’s
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has its McGriddles breakfast sandwiches, with savory items stuffed between griddle cakes. 

And earlier this year, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, a gourmet brand, rolled out an everything bagel-seasoning flavor – yes, salt, sesame seeds, garlic and more with the sweet frozen stuff.

Food experts and professionals told MarketWatch there’s a reason why sweet-and-salty items are popular. In a word, the combo works.

“I’ve always found that a little bit of salt sort of brightens up something sweet — that’s why a touch of sea salt on a brownie is so delicious,” said veteran food writer Aly Walansky. 

That point is echoed by Darryl Harmon, executive chef of Clinton Hall, a New York City restaurant. Harmon speaks from experience: One of his most popular items is a grilled-cheese sandwich made with – what else? – doughnuts. Harmon says he sells about three dozen orders a day. 

Of course, some foodies warn you can take a good thing too far. Walansky says there are some sweet-and-salty mashups she just couldn’t fathom. “I don’t want ice cream with my Bolognese” sauce, she said.

But most food pros are on board with the Oreo-and-Ritz combo.  Diamond Wynn, a recipe developer for EveryPlate, a meal-kit service, said she’d be “excited” to try the mashup, noting that her grandfather “used to put peanut butter and sea salt on Oreo cookies,” so the combo is something that speaks to her culinary roots.

“You have to be adventurous with food,” Wynn said.

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