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The Big Tub Of Utz Cheese Balls Reigns Supreme

You simply can't beat a colossal plastic keg full of puffed cheese snacks.

There's something deeply gratifying about a giant tub full of anything edible. I surmise that's because these bulky, industrial-looking snack containers immediately comfort us with the promise of abundance. The huge jug of peanut butter stuffed pretzels, for instance, has such an imposing physical form that it's actually a relief. Don't worry, buddy, there's a whole lot of peanut butter pretzels to go around, the tub seems to reassure us. We simply won't be able to crush the whole thing in one day, meaning more snacks tomorrow. And no snack is better suited to the enormous tub format than Utz Cheese Balls.

Utz, established in 1921, is a legendary brand in the chip and snack space, so much so that it has acquired most of your favorite snack companies over the years. You might see this tub full of bright orange balls protruding from the shelf of a Walmart, Sam's Club, or Giant Eagle. The tubs are impossible to miss, their brawny structure beckoning to our cart.

But the container takes up a ton of space, and no one can put away that many cheese balls. Can they? Do these really taste as good as childhood memories suggest? It's time to revisit the giant tub and see if it's worth the buy.

What do Utz Cheese Balls taste like?

These are pretty standard, and nothing mind-blowing—just a solid execution of a classic puffed cheddar snack. They're cheesy, salty, crunchy, and everything you'd expect.

A 1-oz. serving of Utz Cheese Balls contains 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, and 300 mg of sodium. Compare that to similar cheesy cornmeal snacks like Cheetos and you'll find the two are pretty on par in terms of nutritional content. Utz does list butter in the ingredients, which it has in common with some other pretty legendary cheese snacks. There's something about them that never gets old—and that's in large part due to their airy texture.

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These cheese balls very, very light, and that's by design—it encourages us to consume them in large quantities. Because of this, Utz Cheese Balls have strength in numbers; that's why they come in a giant tub in the first place. You wouldn't see a huge transparent keg of Takis or Cheetos. Those snacks are far too bold for volume snacking like this. But cheese balls, specifically Utz's, actually feel too paltry when they're purchased in a standard-size bag. There's almost no reason to buy them in that format.

However, the tub itself is definitely a bit impractical if you're tight on kitchen storage. One tub contains 1 lb. 7 oz. of cheesy cornmeal product (although there's actually even a bigger size that contains well over 2 lbs. of balls). It's a wide, hulking mass not really meant to be stored in a cupboard, but rather set out on a counter or table, or stacked atop a fridge. Reach for the giant tub of cheese balls when hunger pangs hit, put it back, and repeat for 2-3 weeks. When it costs about $8 from the local Target, that's not a bad deal.

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I love the packaging, naturally, because it's silly and humongous. Though the cheese balls should probably be poured into a snack bowl of some kind, I have had the most fun reaching straight down into the giant tub itself while sitting on the couch. For maximum effect, watch some brainless television with your tub. Put your arm around it and call it a friend. It's the weighted blanket of snack containers; it's meant to console you. The giant tub of Utz Cheese Balls has many aesthetic pleasures, chief among them the tableau you create alongside it when you're lazy as hell and letting go of all your worries.

That's right, all of them—because they'll fit inside the tub. What else is comfort food for?

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