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Friday Conversation: What’s your favorite unconventional snack?

“The One Where John Stans for Croutons”

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Celebrity Chefs Light Up The Strip At Vegas Uncork'd By Bon Appetit's Grand Tasting At Caesars Palace Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit

Americans spend a lot of money on food, and quite a bit of that gets put toward items that require no prep. In many cases, those are snacks -- a wide category that traditionally spans from candy to cookies, crackers, chips, popcorn and numerous other items typically packaged in a bag for grab-and-go consumption. Fruits and vegetables can end up in this category too, depending on your preference.

While I love a good bag of chips (RIP, the best damn chips ever, Doritos Late Night Cheeseburger), I’ve always had a soft spot for a less conventional snack as well: croutons.

Typically put on a salad to add some carbs and additional texture, croutons do have versatility that far outweighs their ability to maybe get soft enough to eat while you’re consuming a salad (assuming it’s been pre-tossed, with the croutons inside). As I mention above, price and calories are a pretty good value in comparison to chips as well. A bag of Kroger brand croutons is just 99 cents, and there’s only 180 calories in the entire bag.

Where croutons fall a little short, however, is the flavor options. My local Ralph’s has just a few: Parmesan and Herb, Caesar and Texas Toast — the latter having more calories than the first two, for obvious reasons. But why do I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can do with croutons? What if we got bold with some BBQ, ranch and/or sour cream and onion flavors?

Remember what chips were like 20-25 years ago? There were a handful of varieties and that’s it. You were cool with your five options and moved on. Now? I walk into a store and can get Korean BBQ-flavored chips, or banana pepper-flavored ones. Lays isn’t even that groundbreaking of a company and they’ve rolled out options like chicken and waffles, Reuben and everything bagel of late.

It’s time croutons made the same jump. Sean’s already got a name for the product, and I’m totally onboard. From the looks of Twitter, it seems like there are quite a few more #Crouthers out there as well.

Whether you’re with us or not, though, what’s your favorite unconventional snack? This is a snack safe space, so feel free to offer up any and all possibilities.