REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked – 40% Less Fat Cream Cheese & Chive Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips (notable)

Lay's Kettle Cooked - Cream Cheese & ChiveFor a second there we thought Lay’s has given us a new and unique flavor type – Cream Cheese & Chive.  But then we though about it for more than a second and realized that essentially, these are Sour Cream & Onion flavored chips, and there is nothing new or unique about that!

Initial thoughts, yep, these taste PRETTY MUCH like any other sour cream and onion flavored chips that we have tried. And really, what’s the difference between cream cheese and sour cream?  Texture?  Pretty sure the texture of each in seasoning form is very similar….

Maybe, just maybe, the seasoning provided a ittle extra salt, and tang from the “cheese” component.

Nothing wrong with the seasoning, just nothing special either.

While the kettle cooked potato chips are perfectly edible, it was very apparent that they were missing some fat content.  They sort of seemed dry in a way, and lacking the reason we all naturally love fat – a tongue coating, fatty, rich mouth texture.

Due to the lack in fat the chips also seemed sort of…..should we call it brittle?  Like they were missing moisture (fatty oil?) that keeps the chips from being overly crispy and crumbly.

All in all, we were more than fine eating with eating these chips, but we won’t be going out of our way to buy them again.

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

Chips discovered at Jewel Osco; Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Grand Papa’s – Hot Cheese Balls

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Grand Papas - Hot Cheese BallsNot going to lie, we are always pleased to see any new addition to the hot & spicy-flamin’-hot crunchy curls, puffs or balls family!Well these are interesting.

That being said Grand Papa’s Hot Cheese Balls are….well….let’s just call them interesting?!

Texture wise, they exude a sort of stale, or soft crunch.  But they do deliver that classic corn puff mouth meltability quality that everyone loves.

As for their flavor, first and foremost, we taste a certain level of sweetness?  Sort of like honey or something.

This sweetness, combined with the cheese and always ambiguous “hot” seasoning, certainly makes for a unique, and rather tasty, flavor combo. They kind of remind us of Herr’s Hot’n Honey Cheese Curls, only without the delicious crispy corn curl quality.

So, if you enjoy your spicy soppressata and cheese pizza finished with a drizzle of honey, these may be for you!

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

Balls discovered at Shell Gas Station; Oak Park, Illinois

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REVIEW: Spicy Chex Mix and Bugles Snack Mix – Cheddar Hot Buffalo

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

Chex Mix and Bugles - Cheddar Hot BuffaloWell, well, well……well, what do we have here?

Apparently, what we have here is the coming together of two  entirely different General Mills’ snack (how would Teddy “KGB” say it ….?) “MAUNSTERS!”.  That’s right, Chex Mix -AND- Bugles together in one big bag of snack mix!  Seriously, this is big news, and really, how did we not hear about this marriage, let alone not invited to it, prior to accidentally (and luckily) stumbling upon them at our local grocery store?

We’re assuming that none of you really require any actual description of either of these iconic snacks.  The classic Chex Mix recipe has been around forever…..F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  Crunch for crunch, it is probably our most favorite salty snack of all-time (and yes, we’re talking about the homemade stuff of course)!  And Bugles, well they are no slouch either.  They have actually been around in prepackaged snack form for decades longer than Chex Mix has.  Interesting fact we discovered while investigating these snacks: “Bugles were test-marketed in 1965 and introduced nationally in early 1966 as one of several new General Mills snacks, the others being the flower-shaped Daisies, tube-shaped Whistles, round Buttons, bowtie-shaped Bows, and wheel-shaped Pizza Spins, all of them long discontinued.” Wikipedia.com  Our best guess is that none of these other snacks survived because they can’t be worn on your finger tips.

From the back of the bag:

Chex Mix & Bugles – They are both awesome on their own but how do we make them even more awesome? Put’em together! So we did just that. Chex Mix and Bugles have been mixed together to create a unique snack experience….

And then at the very bottom of the bag it mentions:

MIX IT UP! May have settled some on its way to you.

Well, we would agree with both of those statements.  In our books, Bugles probably gain the biggest bump by joining Chex Mix in this “unique snack experience”.  But, we can admit that in this case the usual General Mills’ Chex Mix combination definitely benefits from the inclusion of Bugles’, cone shaped, uniquely textured snacks.  We weren’t exactly sure what GM meant by the “MIX IT UP” statement until we tore open the bag and found that the top layer of snack mix was entirely made up of Bugles, and all of the Chex Mix pieces had settled to the bottom.  So yes, we concur that this snack mix combination could certainly use a good shake prior to tearing it open!

As for the spicy cheddar hot buffalo seasoning, well it is quite delicious, and works extremely well with the snack mix.  The combination of salty cheddar cheese powder and hot & tangy buffalo sauce are strong enough flavors to season all of the crunchy snack pieces more than adequately.  The seasoning is not really “hot” by today’s standards, but does deliver just enough of a spicy bite to keep your tongue on its taste bud toes!  All in all, we really liked this seasoning, especially when sprinkled all over some of General Mills’ most time test, and long standing brands like Chex Mix and Bugles.  Great job!

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

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Chex Official Website and Bugles, for some reason, do not have an Official Website….. see General Mills.

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Sun Chips Veggie Harvest – Farmhouse Ranch

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Sun Chips Veggie Harvest - Farmhouse RanchIt has been a long time Sun Chips!  A long, long time since we reviewed any of your classic multigrain waves.

We’re pretty sure that we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, Sun Chips’ groundbreaking, and now iconic, multigrain chip texture, and shape, changed the way we looked at chips, and we will always love them dearly for that!

Sun Chips new ‘Veggie Harvest’ line of chips apparently are made with real veggies, in addition to the usual wholegrains.

Initial thoughts – these taste a lot, seriously a lot, like regular Sun Chips.  In other words, great news!

Believe it or not, the very first ingredient listed on the back of the bag – dried yellow peas.  DRIED YELLOW PEAS?!?  YUM, right?  Yeah right!  And yet somehow, these really just taste like any other Sun Chips.  Wow, very impressive.

If we were to nitpick about anything about the texture, then we might say that these chips have a slightly harder crunch than regular Sun Chips.  Maybe something about the baked peas provides a more dense and tough texture?

There is a lot-lot-lot of seasoning coating these chips.  Very salty, but also tasty. These chips are so heavily seasoned we are wondering if Sun Chips is perhaps trying to cover something else up??  Peas perhaps?

All the standard ranch flavors are present – garlic, sour cream, onion, dill.  It really tastes like ranch dressing.  FYI – this is not Sun Chips’ first venture into the ranch flavor field.  In fact, their original Peppercorn Ranch flavored chips are some of our most favorite Sun Chips of all-time!

Long story short, if you want to include more veggies into your chip diet then Sun Chips new ‘Veggie Harvest’ chips are lip-smacking way to do that!

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

Chips discovered at Jewell Osco; Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Sun Chips Official Website

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REVIEW: International Popcorn – ‘Jersey Mix’ Taylor Ham & Cheese

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

International Popcorn - Jersey MixDear New Jersey,

Hi, the name is Chip Review, and we just wanted to take a second to send you a quick little note to say that we are very impressed by the meat flavored, Jersey represented, popcorn we have been reviewing as of late.  Who knew that iconic Jersey meats could possibly be so deliciously captured in popcorn form!  N.J. – make sure to do yourself a favor and try some of I.P.’s meaty popcorn – you can thank us later.

Sincerely, Chip Review

Repping the home state once again!  Not very long ago International Popcorn amazed us with their Jersey Dog flavored popcorn (in our opinion the best dog flavored crunchy snack that we have ever tried), and now they have knocked our socks off with their another meat-centric flavor – Taylor Ham & Cheese!!

If you are like us then you are not from Jersey, and likely asking yourself what the heck is Taylor Ham?  Well, you can either do what we did and Google it, or simply click on this link for all the details.  We really like the part on the website that mentions:

In North Jersey, residents continue to use the term Taylor Ham, while South Jersey residents generally use the term “pork roll”, with Central Jersey residents using a mix of the two.

In the 1910 lawsuit, it was described as “a food article made of pork, packed in a cylindrical cotton sack or bag in such form that it could be quickly prepared for cooking by slicing without removal from the bag.” Some people compare the modern article’s taste and/or texture to Treet, bologna sausage, mild salami, or US-style Canadian bacon.

Taylor Ham, pork roll, bologna….hmmm, well whatever you want to call it, sounds like an interesting popcorn flavor to us!!  And guess what?  Pair it with cheese and it’s not only interesting but really, really delicious!  You know what else, and we were surprised by this as well, we have never tried any other ham & cheese flavored chips or popcorn.  Odd, don’t you think?

Any who, let’s talk about this Taylor Ham & Cheese flavor.  First of all, this seasoning does not taste like any ham and cheese we are familiar with; but then again we have never had Taylor Ham, or certainly anything described as a “pork roll”.  So, just to be fair we can’t exactly judge the seasoning for accuracy, but what we can do is judge it for overallflavortastiness!  And for that we give it a great big “A”.  Loads of rich, creamy, salty, bright yellow-orange cheese seasoning amply coat each and every crispy kernel. This is easily the richest and most cheesy seasoning we have tasted from International Popcorn.  Nothing too funky just a good rich and tangy cheese blend.  As for the Taylor Ham flavor aspect, well we just can’t put our finger on what exactly we are tasting. The seasoning has this savory, funky, slightly salty and smoky background pork-ish flavor.  In other words, it is lip-smackingly delicious!

So, there you have it.  Just when we thought that I.P. had reached their pinnacle popcorn flavor with Jersey Dog, they somehow top that great encased meat flavor with a rolled meat one!  What’s next?  A deep fried one?

As always, these are our thoughts. Agree or disagree, make sure to let us know.

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by International Popcorn for review

International Popcorn Official Website

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REVIEW: Doritos Royal – Ahijo (Japan)

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Doritos Royal - Ahijo (garlic seafood)Doritos Royal = Rich Taste Tortilla Chips….. Okay, we can definitely buy into that!  Plus, we’re pretty sure that these chips are double fried.

As you may or may not know, we are slowly working our way through a variety of unique flavored Japanese Doritos and Cheetos from eBay.  So far we have reviewed: Doritos Black Pepper, and Tandoori Chicken flavors.  Next up, Doritos Royal Ahijo?!

Not sure what Ahijo is…?  Well, neither were we; so we did a little research.  Obviously the pic on the front of the bag looks like shrimp and clams, in some sort of soup or stew, and sprinkled with some herbs.  According to what we found on the world wide web, Ahijo = Garlic Seafood (not sure if this flavor is supposed to be a misspelled version of the popular Spanish dish Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)?  Either way, yes that’s right GARLIC SEAFOOD flavored Doritos!!  All together now “Ewwwwwwww!!!”

These are amazing!  Wait, that may have come out wrong.  These Doritos are amazing-ly spot on, 100%, seafood flavored tortilla chips!  We definitely taste shrimp or prawn.  There’s a touch of garlic in there.  Good splash of sea water, or seaweed. Really wow, we have not tasted very many seafood, fish, shellfish, etc. flavored chips, but we cannot deny that these are spot on!  However, due to said accuracy, there in lies the question “do you like garlic seafood flavor sprinkled on your corn tortilla chips?” Well, we here at Chip Review have come to the cohesive conclusion that we certainly do not like garlic seafood flavored tortilla chips!!  Maybe this flavor combination is simply too foreign to us, but in the end none of us actually enjoyed eating them.  If we were rating these chips solely on our taste preference then they would have received our worst possible rating, however due to their unique flavor accuracy we have bumped that rating up a bit.

Doritos Royal tortilla chips themselves are shaped just like the example on the front of the bag – sort of like a bell.  They are a tad thicker than our traditional U.S. Doritos, with a harder crunch.  No qualms with the chips themselves until they try to carry seafood seasoning into our mouths!!

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 purchased from market_tokyo on ebay.

Frito Lay – Doritos Japan Official Website

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