Shockingly, they're vegan, too.

By Antara Sinha
September 10, 2020
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Sarah Crowder

Spiced, chickpea-based snacks have been a staple in my Indian American household, permanently stocked in our snack cupboard, and a standard accompaniment to my parents’ evening chai. So it just felt right when I came across bags of Biena, Poorvi Patodia’s brand of chickpea snacks, stocked alongside chips and pretzels at the grocery store. Biena has a range of tasty flavor options, from spicy ones that feel familiar like Habanero, to the unexpected Girl Scouts Thin Mints. But the surprise winner of the bunch: the Vegan Ranch Puffs.

When it comes to a road trip snack, or a desk snack to stave off the 3 p.m. munchies, these perfectly poppable snacks will have you reaching for the bottom of the bag way faster than you plan on. They bring all of the satisfaction of chowing down on Cheetos, right down to the tangy powder that sticks to your fingers—but without the greasy heaviness that follows after you unwittingly chow down on a whole bag. The puffs have a subtle, mild sweetness from the chickpea flour and are satisfyingly crisp and crunchy, but also have that familiar melt-in-your-mouth quality that cheese puffs fans know and love. The seasoning is tangy, garlicky, crave-able, even though the puffs are vegan and packed with plant-based protein. In fact, they’ll fit the bill for many dietary restrictions: corn-free, rice-free, grain-free, gluten-free—it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Stock up on these puffs, and they’ll become your family movie-night popcorn replacement, the highlight of your desk lunch, and the winner of any snack spread. Just don’t plan on having any leftovers.

Biena Snacks Vegan Ranch Puffs, 6-pack for $30 at amazon.com

Sarah Crowder