REVIEW: Ruffles – Poutine

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

Ruffles - PoutinePoutine, EH?

We are not going to consider for even one second that any of you out there could possibly be unfamiliar with Canada’s greatest culinary gift to the world – fries, cheese curds and gravy!

Truth be told, the Poutine Ruffles have been available since summer 2015.  The one caveat, they have remained only available in Canada!?  Meaning that for us here at Chip Review they have been that elusive white rabbit always slipping through our finger tips.

Why Ruffles?  Why would you do this to us for so long?!

Well, the day has finally came, and that elusive white rabbit, or more like white cheese curds, have found their way into chip loving arms thanks to the generosity of Chip Reviews great friend JK!

And you know what?  THESE WERE COMPLETELY WORTH THE WAIT!!  Seriously, really lip-smackingly delicious chips!  We can say without any hesitation that if this flavor was available on our local shelves, we would be spending plenty of our hard earned cash on more of them.

Now, we wouldn’t say that any of us here at Chip Review are seasoned experts when it comes to the likes of poutine, but that being said, we have tasted our fair share of versions (none more delicious than the amazing rendition at Duplex Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN).  Regarding Ruffles’ poutine flavor accuracy as compared to the real dish itself, well, let’s just say that we most definitely taste the fried potatoes (who’d have thunk it), and we also get plenty of rich and salty, beef gravy flavor; but we can’t seem to locate the cheese aspect anywhere in there.  Not even a whisper of cheese.  In Ruffles’ defense, in the actual dish the curds are more about their smooth, squeaky texture than they are about adding any flavor.  So, in that aspect, Ruffles has done a very fine job with these chips!

These may just be our most favorite Ruffles of all-time.  In fact, this means that two out of three of our favorite Ruffles of all-time happen to hail from our neighbors to the north.  And in case you were wondering those three flavors are (no, not All Dressed)  Poutine, Sour Cream ‘N Bacon, and Cheddar & Sour Cream.

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

Chips provided to Chip Review by JK – acquired in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Ruffles Canada Official Website

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REVIEW: Sabritas – Pake-Taxo – Mezcladito (Rancheritos, Cheetos, Sabritones, Fritos)

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Sabritas - Pake-Taxo MezcladitoAnd yet another pretty great Frito Lay Mexico find from our favorite Illinois Tollway Oasis!

We had to dig deep into the archives to make sure that these Pake-Taxo were not just another reboot Sabrita Mix of sorts, but as much as they may be similar to Sabritas Fiesta Mix, they are also slightly different.

In fact, if we were being really picky, these Pake-Taxo are just another Frito Lay’s / Sabritas snack mix reboot that simply combines preexisting snacks.  Similar to the likes of Cheetos Mix-Ups, Frito Lay’s Munchies, and Doritos Mixes.

And just like with all of those other mixes, the sum of those parts are not quite as delicious as the individual items themselves.

Sabritas Pake-Taxo Mezcladito are a fun mix consisting of a sort of weird combination of three different flavors of Fritos (chile y limón, sal y limon, chorizo chipotle), some Rancheritos (aka Sabritas “Doritos” Ranchero flavor), and Cheetos Spicy/Chili-Cheese Bolitas (aka cheese balls!).  Many of these different items we have tasted and reviewed individually.

For the most part the overall flavor theme sprinkled throughout this mixed bag is most definitely chile and lime, aka chile y limón.

It is blatantly apparent that the vastly abundant mix ingredient here are the Sabritones.  Seriously, easily half of the bag is made up of Sabritones’ puffed wheat based, chicharrones inspired, crunchy snacks.

The rest of the mix consists of a fairly even combination of the remaining components.  That being said, it was fairly difficult to distinguish the differences in flavor between the three Fritos.

We really can’t stand it when a mix cannot be enjoyed in a single harmonious handful.  And yet, the individual components themselves are still lip-smacking enough on their own that we did not have any problem crunching our way through this Pake-Taxo Mezcladito!

Discovered at 7-eleven; Hwy. 294, Hinsdale Oasis, Illinois

Pake-Taxo Official Website

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REVIEW: Tim’s Cascade Style Special Batch #2 – Coney Island Potato Chips

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Tim's - Coney StyleSpecial Batch #2??  Where the heck is Special Batch #1?  Oh…..now we remember.  We actually reviewed Special Batch #1 – Hawaiian’s Island Lemon Kettle Style Potato Chips (that’s right Hawaiian Kettle Chips is a part of the Tim’s family) – a month or so ago.  Well, to say that we were a lot more impressed with Batch #1 than #2, would be a ginormous understatement!  We had high expectations for both, but while one wowed us with their tart & tangy citrus notes, the other just gave us more corny than Coney!

Many of your out there may not be familiar with Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips, but others of you probably know that Tim’s makes some of the most fantastic “kettle style” potato chips in the entire industry.  Large, thick cut, extra crunchy, filled with loads of delicious potato forward flavor.  Unfortunately, with these latest Coney Island flavored chips, we found it nearly impossible to recognize any of the chips’ fantastic Cascade Style characteristics due to the absurd distraction that was their flavor accuracy.

First things first, we’re assuming that everyone out there understands that by “Coney Island” flavor, Tim’s of course means the infamous Coney Island Dog.  This is made apparent by the caricature of the mustard covered hot dog in the top left corner of the bag.  Which brings us to second things second – what exactly is a Coney Island Dog?

According to most everything we read online, a Coney Island Hot Dog consists of a boiled hot dog topped with a savory meat sauce (or as we like to call it around these parts chili).  It would also include a variety of other topping variations (most dog pics we saw showed chopped raw, white onions along with mustard).  On a side note, for one reason or another these infamous dogs have become associated with Detroit, despite bearing the name of Coney Island.

Which brings us to the real question at hand, or third things third, what the heck does Tim’s honestly think they are are doing with this flavor?  Did they do any research on what a Coney dog consists of?  In our opinion, they most certainly did not!  Honestly, the only thing we tasted was mustard, on maybe half of the chips (seasoning inconsistency issues for sure).  There was no dog, no meat sauce, no onion flavors at all.  The chips should have been named yellow mustard flavor.  Disappointing to say the least.

Tim’s could learn a thing or two from the likes of International Popcorn regarding how to make a great hot dog flavored crunchy snack like their – Jersey Dog Popcorn!

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

Chips discovered at World Market; Oakbrook, Illinois

Tim’s Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Cadia – Cheddar Cheese Baked Corn Curls

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Cadia - Cheddar Cheese CurlsAnd yet another Cheetos substitute….

And by substitute, we of course mean wannabe.  In this case, a healthy wannabe, but still a wannabe that makes us yearn for the real thing!

Oh, don’t look at us like that, you know it’s true.  No matter how close those other brands come, they just can’t replace Chestah’s iconic Crunchy Cheetos!

Now don’t get us wrong, Cadia’s Cheddar Cheese Baked Corn Curls are still lip-smackingly impressive for what they are – a healthier substitute for Cheetos.

Is it wrong that we have mentioned Cheetos more times than Cadia in this review?

Anyways, Cadia’s curls are very well coated in a smooth and creamy cheddar cheese powder.

They could use a touch more salt, I.O.O.

The curls are certainly crunchy, and visually resemble Cheetos, but it is immediately apparent upon crunching on just a few curls that they are lacking the same fatty, mouth coating, appeal of Cheetos.  They are a touch more dry, and dusty.

The cheddar cheese seasoning really saved these curls, and we had no problem crunching on them for a while……but truth be told, we snuck a few Cheetos afterwards to really curb our craving!

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

Curls discovered at Fruitful Yield; Darien, Illinois

Cadia Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Doritos Shots – Yoghurt & Herb Mix

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Doritos Shots - Yoghurt & Herb MixHow many of you out there can actually remember the original Doritos 3D chips?

We’re guessing that even fewer of you can remember, or have ever even heard of Doritos Sonic Sour Cream chips?!

Fear not, because Doritos has created Shots Yoghurt & Herb Mix – aka the combination of Doritos original 3D chips, and Doritos Sonic Sour Cream seasoning from the United Emirates.

Unfortunately, this combination is not one we like very much.

First of all, we have never felt like the flavor of Sour Cream / Yoghurt has melded well with corn tortilla chips.  And these shots, with the additional ‘herb mix’ are no different.

But, even worse than the seasoning is the unpleasing texture of these shots.  Where as Doritos’ 3Ds would crunch very similarly to their traditional chips; providing a light, softer, crispy crunch.  These Doritos Shots are rigid, with a too strong-solid-toothsome crunch.  In other words they do not make us think of Doritos at all, and they do not treat our mouths kindly!

Well, there you have it.  Anyone else out there tried them yet?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by S&A, acquired in Dubai, United Emirates

Doritos Official Website

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REVIEW: Alaska Chip Company – Katmai Volcano Jalapeño Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©© chips  (“A” list)

Alaska Chip - Volcano JalapenoJust as we were beginning to believe that the Alaska Chip Company made much better popcorn than it did actual chips, along comes these amazing Katmai Volcano Jalapeño flavored gourmet kettle cooked potato chips!

So, what exactly is Katmai Volcano?  According to the world wide web’s technical gobbledygook, Mount Katmai is one of five vents encircling the Novarupta volcano, source of the VEI 6 eruption and associated voluminous pyroclastic flows in 1912…..  Um, yeah, we’re just going to go ahead and say that the Mount Katmai Volcano is the namesake to easily the most deliciously spicy jalapeño flavored potato chips that have ever erupted our taste buds from the great state of Alaska!

What Alaska Chip Company delivers for jalapeño flavor is most certainly a deliciously unique rendition.  An ingredient combination that had us saying HUH? WHOA. WOW! from the very get go!  Sour, and tangy, and pickle-y, and of course the usual spicy, and vegetal.  This creative jalapeño flavor variation is the result of garlic, onion, vinegar, citric acid and yes, lemon juice – Boom!  Heck, A.C. Co. even throws in some parsley just to class the chips up a little bit!

The kettle cooked potato chips themselves are on the thinner end of the spectrum, with a decently solid crispy crunch.  A little bit oily, but in delicious mouth pleasing sort of way, and at the same time, delivering a good amount of real Alaskan potato flavor.  All in all, extremely impressive gourmet kettle cooked potato chips!

Alaska Chip Company’s Katmai Volcano Jalapeño Potato Chips are so tasty that we had to update our Top 5 (actually Top 9) Jalapeño Flavored “Chips” of all-time.  So, if you happen to find yourself in Alaska, and you have that craving for some deliciously spicy kettle chips, these are your no brainer choice.  And while you are there, if you could pick us up a bag or two, we would really appreciate it!

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

Chip provided to Chip Review from Alaska Chip Company for review

Alaska Chip Company Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: The Little Kernel – Truffle Sea Salt Mini Popcorn

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

The Little Kernel - Truffle Sea Salt Mini PopcornWhat a cute little captain kernel, sailing his sorta sapphire sea salt sail boat with his sidekick….suidae?  Huh?!  Oh, now we get it….with his little blue, truffle hunting piggy.

The Little Kernel’s mini popcorn itself is actually cute, and is certainly on the smaller kernel end of the popcorn spectrum (probably half the size of a typical kernel).

Unlike the Himalayan Sea Salt flavor we tried from The Little Kernel just the other day, this stuff is impressively flavored.

Additionally, unlike many other truffle flavored chips or popcorn that we have tried, this popcorn impressively provides a lot of true truffle flavor!

We could have used a touch more salt.

If you like popcorn, and you like truffle, this stuff will certainly do the trick.

Popcorn discovered at Mariano’s; Westchester, Illinois

The Little Kernel Official Website

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