Kroger Zesty Italian Croutons can be found only in Kroger grocery stores. The croutons are made and packaged by Kroger and sold under the Kroger brand name. I like to purchase these croutons when they are on sale for just a dollar a bag, which luckily seems to be pretty regularly. Compared with say the New York The Original Texas Toast Croutons or the Rothbury Farms Croutons or the Old London Restaurant Style Croutons, the Kroger brand croutons taste just as good and seem to be just as crunchy, too. Unless I have a coupon or there is a sale on croutons sold under another brand, I simply stick with the Kroger croutons because I save money by choosing the Kroger brand and I get a product that I am more than satisfied with.
Kroger Zesty Italian Croutons are seasoned quite heavily. The moment I put one in my mouth, the zesty flavoring shoots across my tongue. It is not an easy flavor to describe, but they are very similar in flavor to the flavor found in Italian dressings, particularly the Italian dressings that are marketed as having a zesty flavor, like the Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing or the Walden Farms Zesty Italian Dressing. There is certainly some garlic, onion and cheese mixed in with the other spices and seasonings that help give these croutons a sharp, rich flavor. The flavoring is all on the outside of the crouton though. Once I actually bite into the crouton, it tastes a lot like just regular toasted bread and the flavoring disappears. It is that initial burst of flavor that is really pleasant to the taste. The croutons are crunchy and only do I occasionally come across a crouton that appears to be bit overcooked. I like to simply snack on these croutons right out of the bag, which is not really a good thing because it is very easy to lose track of just how many I have eaten, and a five ounce bag will not last long that way! I also find that these croutons deliver a burst of flavor to salads and crunchy croutons go delightfully well with crisp lettuce. A salad that is comprised of crisp lettuce, zesty croutons, rich mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, chopped red onions, slices of cucumber and a zesty Italian dressing is absolutely delicious, and I know I would not enjoy a salad as much if these croutons were missing. I do not add croutons to canned soups too often though because the croutons lose some of their pleasant crunchy texture and the flavor of the croutons does not seem to stand out as much. Still, I do feel that croutons can enhance the flavor of a bowl of soup and as long as they retain some of their crunchiness, give the bowl of soup a crunchy component that contrasts nicely with the soft noodles, beans or vegetables.
Kroger Zesty Italian Croutons are a treat to have as a snack or with salads and sometimes soups. I think the croutons are just as tasty and crunchy as the ones sold under the New York The Original Texas Toast Croutons brand as well as the croutons sold under other store brands, like the Great Value Croutons or Albertsons Croutons. When on sale for a dollar, I buy several bags and the croutons hold just fine. I definitely look forward to snacking on these croutons from time to time and when I have a salad, these croutons must definitely be present! I am really glad I gave the Kroger brand a try because now I am able to enjoy the same flavorful croutons, only for less money.