Tagged: Habanero / Scotch Bonnet

REVIEW: Chex Mix Xtreme – Habanero Lime

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Chex Mix Xtreme - Habanero LimeThe Chex Family appears to be on a unique flavor renaissance as of late.  It started with the recent release of four different flavors of Chex Chips (which we were pretty big fans of).  And now, two new XTREME flavors of Chex Mix (stay tuned for our Sweet & Spicy Sriracha review soon).

Most of us here at Chip Review are from the generation raised on homemade Chex Mix!  There really was not much better than coming home to discover a giant roaster full of still warm from the oven Chex Mix.  All of those pieces deliciously saturated with unctuous amounts of butter and Worcestershire sauce, many of them still a bit soggy, never fully crisping up during the baking process.  So incredibly, and absolutely, delicious!  And while the Chex Mix that many kids these days are growing up with may seem miles away from that delicious homemade stuff, every once in a while Chex Mix comes up with something brand new and pleasantly surprises us!

Whoa, what the heck are these?!  The habanero lime flavor combo registered thoughts of Thai food with our tasters’ palettes.  The initial blast of strong citrus lime flavor combined with the chile, garlic and some sort of vegetal notes, brought us straight to our favorite Thai restaurants (we even thought we noticed the most subtle touch of fish sauce hidden somewhere deep in the background).  Oh, and yep, there is heat! Lots and lots of spicy habanero heat.  Not blow your mouth off, or among the hottest snacks out there heat.  More like a pleasantly surprised to actually be feeling and tasting habanero heat.  Bravo Chex, we really didn’t see it coming.

We were also pleasantly surprised with the choice of pieces in this specific mix. Of course there were the standard rice or corn chex pieces, and the pretzels, but this particular mix also included what we like to call bagel chips. Those thicker, dried out and crispy round discs of white bread.  However, the real kicker in this mix, were some deliciously crunchy puffed corn sticks. Think Cheetos, only a lighter white-ish yellow in color, minus any cheese, and seasoned with a habanero lime seasoning blend.  These were a really unique addition to the mix.

Like we said earlier stay tuned for our review of the other new Xtreme flavor Sweet & Spicy Sriracha coming soon (and further affirming our declaration that sriracha has been chosen as the flavor that every brand must include in their flavor arsenal).

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

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Westchester, Illinois

Chex Official Website

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REVIEW: Archer Farms – Habanero Ranch Homestyle Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Archer Farms - Habanero RanchWell look at you Archer Farms.  You’ve gone ahead and redesigned your packaging.  We have to admit that we like it.  The re-vamped design feels more natural, streamline, and fresh. Great big, clear picture of the main ingredients, with the AF logo and description simply floating inside of a dark green square in the upper left side of the bag.  Works for us.

In case you have never heard us say it, Archer Farms really puts out a lot of great chip products.  Their vast selection, originality, and quality are definitely near, if not, at the top of the grocery-store, exclusive line of chips.  And, in case you are somehow unfamiliar with Archer Farms – SHAME ON YOU, and you should probably check out What’s Good at Archer Farms?!!  And, in case you decide not to, Archer Farms is Target’s exclusive line of food products.

Archer Farms’ homestyle potato chips are thicker cut, hearty, with a robust, kettle cooked crunch.  These are commanding potato chips, with super crispy edges, and are definitely up there with some of the crunchiest chips on the market.  Visually, they are a light golden color, and come in every shape – large circles, folded half moons, wiggles and bunches.

Ranch AND Habanero?!  We are there!!  Initial reaction, these are pretty tasty.  First wave of flavors includes an impressively rich and creamy, sour, buttermilk flavor.   Then a wave of powerful garlic and onion!  And we do mean POWER. FULL!  You will be tasting those sweet pungent flavors for hours to come.  Then the heat creeps up suddenly appears! It is most certainly present and powerful and packing a spicy punch. The heat level is certainly representative of habanero, but we can’t really taste any of habanero’s delicious citrus and floral notes that we love!  Lastly, just at the tail end of the tasting experience, the chips settle with a rich, salty layer of cheese…?  Do our taste buds decieve us?  Ingredients list says: NOPE! Cheddar cheese is right there on the list.

In the end we would describe them as spicy & creamy garlic and onion flavored potato chips!  But whatever we call them, they are lip-smackingly delicious!  We just love how it seems like our society just continues to require, or demand, more and more heat!  First it was ranch, then it was peppercorn ranch, then it was jalapeno ranch, and now we’ve transitioned to habanero ranch!  At this pace we should have fire and ranch combined into one bag in no time!

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

Discovered at Target; Hillside, Illinois

Archer Farms Official Website

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RATING: Doritos – 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Doritos - 3rd Degree Burn - Scorchin' Habanero

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REVIEW: Route 11 – Mama Zuma’s Revenge Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Route 11 - Mama Zuma's Revenge - HabaneroBy now, most of you know that it is no secret here at Chip Review we love our hot and spicy chips!  We are always on the lookout for any sort of new spicy chips that we can find!!  Heat seekers!  And while it seems like there are so many spicy new chips hitting the market each and every day, none of those chips would even exist if it weren’t for those “classics” that paved the fiery way for those other chips!

The story of Mama Zuma’s Revenge is a great story!  Apparently, since she lost the love of her life in a bizarre and tragic potato peeler accident, she has been hell bent on burning every mouth she kisses with her special brand of passion.  Her weapons are the hottest jalapeno and habanero peppers this side of the Rio Grande.  In other words, be forewarned and keep your distance!

Like we’ve said in the past, Route 11 has some of the best packaging design in the potato chip market, bar none!  Mama Zuma’s Revenge (as you can see) is no different – creatively artsy.  She’s so spicy that she is carrying a burning red habanero, every cactus she passes goes up in flames, and she has a bandolier loaded for more chiles!!  Route 11’s packaging is simply creative, fun and very well executed!  And when compared to a few of the ridiculous bags we have seen recently (sorry Brad), Route 11 really shines.

Mama Zuma’s Revenge potato chips have been available for years, and we know that we’ve tried them a handful of times over the years, but for one reason or another, we never put our thoughts down on paper, or keyboard.  So, after grabbing another bag a couple of days ago we thought, hey, why not tell the world about these fiery chips?  So…

These chips are a single dash away from being practically perfect.  The chips have some great flavor profiles, like smoky, sweet, garlic, and chile notes.  Like Route 11 describes them, a combo of habanero and barbeque.  But, what these chips are really missing, and what we really wish there was more of was S – A – L – T!!  Salt!!  Salt-salt-salt!  Due to their lack of salt, all of the great flavors we just mentioned seemed toned down a bit, and sort of muted.  A good sprinkling of salt would emphasize and enhance those flavor notes so much, and really take these chips to the next tasty level!

The potato chips themselves are top notch.  Semi-thick, crunchy, kettle cooked potato potato chips, with lots of potato flavor, and just the right amount of oiliness to them.  We would rank the chips themselves up there with some of the best!

While these potato chips may not seem like they are the hottest chips at first, their sneaky, delayed, habanero heat, brings the spicy vengeance!  We’re pretty sure that back in their day these chips were one of the hottest chips around!  On a heat scale, we would give these chips a solid 7 out of 10.  Hot for sure, but not burn your mouth and stop eating!

So, there you have it, beware of Mama Zuma’s Revenge, not because she will scorch you (unless you are a real woosy!), but because she may leave you wanting for more salt!

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

Discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois

Route 11 Official Website

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RATING: Blair’s Death Rain – Habanero Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips  (lip-smacking)

Blair's Death Rain Habanero

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RATING: 7 Select – Fiery Habanero Kettle Style Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

7 Select - Fiery Habanero Potato Chips

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REVIEW: Doritos Dinamita – Fiery Habanero

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Doritos Dinamita - Fiery Habanero

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What do we have here?!?  Doritos has decided to take one of our most favorite flavors from years ago (Original Fiery Habanero), and combined it with what are most definitely some of our least favorite type of snacks of all-time (Rolled Corn Snacks (aka taquitos, flaquitos, takis, you name it…)!

Luckily for all, the end result is lip-smacking, and mouth burning!  We can say without a doubt that this flavor is the best that we have tried from the Doritos Dinamita line-up.  Similar to some other habanero flavored rolled corn snacks we reviewed a while back, only just not quite as texturally tasty!  Still, these Dinamita are nothing to scoff at, and they’ve even got us rethinking our position towards those crunchy tubular rolled tortilla chips!

Doritos Dinamita seem to be mimicking the illustrious gas station snack the taquito.  As many of you may very well know, we do not have a great history with the rolled tortilla chip genre.  In our opinion, despite their often delicious seasoning, they are too dense, too crunchy-hard, and while we are nit-picking, their shape does not allow us to really give them a good lick across any large, flat chip surface the way we traditionally like to (it’s our top secret technique!).  We actually get a little scared before each bag of rolled corn snacks that we eat, assuming that sooner or later we are going to crunch down on the hard rolled corn snack, and it is going to jab right into the roof of our mouth!

Where these Fiery Habanero chips really differ from other habanero chips out there is the addition of cheese into the mix.  That’s right, you heard us correctly, there’s cheese in them there ingredients.  Not one, but two types; and they most certainly add a tasty depth of salty smoothness to the concoction!  Combined with hints of of garlic, spices, onion, and lots of that mouth burning acid that Frito Lay loves to use, and we’ve got ourselves some delectably spicy Dinamitas!  The funniest part is that we actually did not even notice that habanero was no where to be found within the ingredients’ list.  Granted, there was the always ambiguous “spices” present, so we’ll just assume that it was included in there; that, and the fact that we honestly felt like we tasted a bit of habanero in there.

Before we go, can we just take a moment to admire how vibrantly colorful the bag above really is?!  Let’s just say, that we didn’t have to look twice to spot these on the supermarket shelf!

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

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Westchester, Illinois

Pringles Official Website

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