RATING: 7 Select – Kettle Style Cheddar Ale Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

7 Select - Cheddar Ale

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REVIEW: Barcel Takis – Zombie Nitro (habanero & cucumber)

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Taki's - Zombie NitroBarcel chip company specializes in chips/snacks targeted at the Latino community.  The company must be doing very well because Barcel’s snacks can be found almost everywhere these days.  And if we had to summarize the Barcel brand using just one word it would be “SPICY!”.  Nearly every single one of their chips has some level of heat to them.  So, if you can’t handle the heat, you may want to pay extra attention to which bag you pick up!

Barcel’s Takis are a riff on the uber popular gas station delicacy, the taquito.  For those of you completely oblivious to gas station food, or Mexican cuisine (flautas), taquitos usually consist of corn tortillas filled with meat/cheese, rolled into cylinder shapes and then deep fried.  Barcel’s Takis aren’t filled with anything, but they are corn tortilla chips that have been rolled tight, deep fried and then seasoned.

Plain and simple, these are our most favorite Takis that we have ever tried.  The Zombie Nitro – Habanero & Cucumber flavor is POWERFUL!!  Barcel blasts us with the most maximus flavor onslaught that we have encountered in quite some time.  The actual amount of tongue tingling chile-lime-cucumber seasoning physically clinging to each Taki would even impress Doritos top seasoning experts.  Seriously, it is as if the Takis chips have been battered with the bright neon green seasoning!  That’s right, neon green!  As if the Takis weren’t already unnatural enough, now Barcel has taken it one shade further!

Zombie?!?  We did not encounter any zombies inside of this bag.  Maybe Barcel is referring to the eery green color, but other than that we don’t see the connection.  We also did not encounter any real habanero flavor inside of this bag.  The chips do bring the heat, but not in the form of the deliciously fruity (and of course spicy) habanero chile pepper.  Rather, this seasoning tasted more like an extremely acidic, and spicy version of the classic chile limon flavor.  Toss in a subtle layer of vegetal cucumber notes and we’ve got something more unique than the neon green seasoning on our hands.

We simply do not love the shape, crunch or consistency of rolled tortilla chips, which of course includes Barcel’s Takis.  Every time we try a new version of these rolled chips we miss the classic tortilla chip edge that we can run our tongues across, and lick the seasoning.  The Takis do not have much licking surface area (we like two sides to our chips!).  The crunch and consistency of a rolled tortilla chip is always a bit heavy and dense, but Takis are even more so, and we simply prefer a lighter and crispier crunch and consistency.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Takis discovered at Shell Gas Station; Hillside, Illinois

Barcel Official Website

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REVIEW: Skinny Pop – Ultra Lite White Cheddar Popcorn

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips (notable)

Skinny Pop - White Cheddar

 

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REVIEW: Snyder’s of Hanover Sweet and Salty – Maple Bacon Pretzel Pieces

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Snyder's of Hanover Sweet & Salty - Maple BaconAll new Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Pieces alert!  Should we also mention Maple Bacon?!

If the sound of that doesn’t peak your interest, then we’re not sure if you are in the right place, nor if your taste buds are actually working!  May we suggest you have those checked out right away!!

As many of you are probably already aware Snyder’s of Hanover (SOH), are (in our humble opinion) the “classic masters of hard sour dough pretzel snacks”.  We have touted their pretzel making merits countless times around these parts.  That being said, we’ve reviewed both the Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Sugar flavors from SOH’s newer-ish ‘Sweet and Salty’ line, and in our humble opinion they have not been quite as successful as their traditional Pretzel Pieces line.  If we had a choice of sticking with one or the other, we would be choosing their ‘salty and savory’ traditional line of Pretzel Pieces every time!

For those of you somehow still unfamiliar with SOHs Pretzel Pieces, let us explain to you our optimistically proposed beliefs regarding the creation of these deliciously crunchy pretzel pieces.  In a perfect world, SOH would resourcefully use their leftover pretzel pieces, broken during the manufacturing process, to creatively provide us with these tasty bites (unlikely, we know)!  The most ingenious part of the “broken” pretzel pieces, is that they generously expose their very porous, bread-y insides, and willfully absorb a more than ample amount of whatever flavoring SOH is applying.

Everyone seems to love the sound of bacon flavored snacks (most likely due to the fact that real bacon is awesome!!).  However, we have noticed over our many years of reviewing bacon flavored crunchy snacks that the majority of them are actually not really good.  All too often the bacon flavored snack has been coated with such an obscene amount of salt, along with an off-putting unnatural smoke layer, that we are repulsed from the get go.  Of course there are some really great bacon snacks out there, but the key seems to be that they either use real pork, or combine a subtle bacon flavor, with a really great complimentary flavor, ie. sour cream, or cheddar.  From what we have tried thus far, that complimentary flavor does not seem to be MAPLE!

Luckily for all of us, SOH’s Maple Bacon Pretzel Pieces are the best of any maple bacon flavored snacks that we have reviewed thus far, but given its competition, that really isn’t saying very much!  In fact, and in all honesty, SOH’s maple bacon seasoning is straddling a very fine line between tasty and completely off-putting.  One step in either direction and you could have yourself a delicious snack, or a quick gag reflex!  Which way you step depends upon whether you find the smoky bacon, sweet maple and bread-y pretzel combo to really meld together, or you find it to be just too much.  Same with the other two Sweet and Salty flavors we could have used a bit more salt; but we did really appreciate all of the smoky and savory notes.  In the end, if there is one thing that can be said about the maple bacon seasoning it is that it is not subtle.  In fact, we could not eat too many of them in one sitting, and would suggest that they be enjoyed in moderation – for fear of crossing that fine line in the wrong direction!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Westmont, Illinois

Snyder’s of Hanover Official Website

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RATING: Terra Yukon Gold – Salt & Pepper Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Terra Golds Salt and Pepper

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RATING: Wise New York Deli – Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Wise New York Deli Jalapeno

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RATING: Viva La Papa! – Andean Pink Salt Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Viva la Papa! - Andean Pink Salt Potato Chips

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