REVIEW: Nick’s – Party Mix

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Nick's - Party MixA little while back we were pleasantly surprised when we cross paths with a local Detroit chip brand called Nick’s during our travels to the Motor City.  Luckily for us, our review of Nick’s lip-smacking Hot Habanero Tortilla Chips were spotted by someone at Nick’s Chips, and they were kind enough to send us some more of their salty snacks for us to taste and review!  First up, is Nick’s Party Mix!!

Over the past three years we have often written about the joys of growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes many times.  And, one of those greatest joys would be the abundance of Old Dutch chips available anywhere and everywhere.  While Old Dutch may be a bit bigger company than Nick’s, we imagine that there are kids growing up in the Detroit area, just like us, that will one day they too will reflect back on the joys of growing up with their favorite local chips!

So, why the connection between these two different regional chip companies?  Well, plain and simple, as soon as we tore into Nick’s Party Mix bag memories came flooding in from the good old days when we used to enjoy Old Dutch’s very, very similar Party Mix.  Seriously, the mixes may in fact be identical, but since Old Dutch discontinued their version years ago we can’t compare them to be certain.  But, we can remember enjoying the mix, and we quite enjoyed Nick’s mix as well!

To be honest, the mix is fairly unoriginal and simple, but that is a lot of what we like like about it.  The combination of corn chips, twisted pretzels, cheese dusted tortilla chips, and crunchy cheese curls forms a tasty and well balanced mix, but certainly nothing new or revolutionary.  There are ingredients we would add to this mix that could improve it in our opinion, but than it would no longer be the classic PARTY MIX that we new and loved growing up.  So, keep it the same, keep it straight forward, and keep it comin’!!  Because we would be be more than satisfied munching on a bowl of Nick’s Party Mix any day!

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

Mix provided to Chip Review by Nick’s Chips for review

Nick’s Chips Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Good Health Natural Foods – Wild Blue Buffalo Half Naked Popcorn

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Good Health Natural Foods - Wild Blue BuffaloFrom the back of the Wild Blue Buffalo bag:

All of the “Yee-Haa!” None of the “Uh-Oh.”
Who says you have to pack on the fat to enjoy the lip-smacking zing of spicy buffalo wings?

Well, good question, but after tasting this popcorn we actually say that the fat should be packed on to enjoy the lip-smacking zing of spicy buffalo wings!  This popcorn sounded like it had real promise to us, zesty buffalo sauce mixed with tangy bleu cheese somehow low in fat and calories, but in the end we were a bit let down with the execution and flavor.

First, the positives. The seasoning has a pretty good bleu cheese funk to it.  Aromatic, a little bitter, and slightly salty, and really does taste a bit like bleu cheese.  The buffalo wing seasoning does have some of that classic cayenne heat to it, but not a whole lot.  The popcorn itself is light and airy and crispy and very easy to crunch down.  But that’s about all the good things we can say about this Half Naked Popcorn.

Probably our most favorite part of any good buffalo wing sauce or seasoning is the over-the-top, aromatically pungent, vinegar tanginess!  Buffalo seasoning is never, ever subtle, nor should it be.  Unfortunately, this popcorn has cracked the recipe code and is exactly that!  None of the required vinegar nasal burn!  Seriously, none.  To top it off, the popcorn has no richness to it.  No fatty depth.  Which is of course sort of what Good Health Natural Foods is going for; but they should know that if the popcorn isn’t going to provide any fatty, delicious, comfort, than it needs to make up for it with some potent seasoning!!

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

Discovered at Marianos; Westchester, Illinois

Good Health Natural Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: D’vour Tortilla Chips made with Real Coconut – Sea Salt

D'vour - Coconut Sea SaltYou put the chip in the coconut and eat ’em bot’ together.  You put the chip in the coconut and you’ll feel better!!

Well, D’vour has opted to flip it around and put the coconut in the chip, and you know what, we do feel better for eating them!!  These are really unique and tasty tortilla chips.  One little taste and there is no doubt that the tortilla chips are flavored or filled with coconut.  Is coconut one of those ingredients that a lot of people do not appreciate until they are an adult?  We were discussing this at Chip Review and a couple of us recall not eating anything with coconut on it as a child.  Those sweet, chewy, strands of toasted, or not, fragrant white coconut just rubbed us the wrong way.  But, something happen along the way and now our palettes appreciate and even look forward to the naturally sweet, unmistakeable flavor that coconut lends to whatever it is mingling with.

Coconut seems to have seen a boom in the snack world as of late.  From what we’ve seen the majority of those snacks have been popcorn, popped in coconut oil, but we are guessing that it is only a matter of time and everyone will be utilizing the naturally sweet, verstile, and fragrant ingredient.  So, what we are wondering is….why the inclusion of coconut?  Why would we choose a chip with coconut, such as D’vour Coconut Tortilla Chips, over other chips?  Is it simply because it’s different?  It’s healthy?  It’s tasty, but we could see how it may not appeal to everyone.  For instance, some of us at Chip Review really enjoyed the addition of coconut (underlying, sweet essence), while others said that they wouldn’t choose these over regular corn tortilla chips for any reason.  We could imagine most people being fine dipping these into salsa, and enjoying the sweet, salty, savory combo.  And some of us at Chip Review were even excited to try the chips with nachos; melting a whole bunch of cheese all over them and seeing how the sweet, salty and cheesy combo works out.

The tortilla chips themselves are of medium thickness, with black and white toasted sesame seeds strewn throughout, adding a deliciously nutty profile and dimension to the chips.  The tortilla chips have a uniquely solid crunch, with a toothsome chew.  We certainly wouldn’t call them a crispy chip, but more of a meaty, full-bodied, hearty, and somewhat grain-y, crunchy chip.  Maybe the shredded coconut actually changes the textural composition of the chips?  Not sure.  Either way, these are some rustic and sturdy chips, and most of us here quite enjoyed them.

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 from Mario Camacho Foods for review

D’vour Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

Sour Cream & Onion Chips – Tell us what you think

Sour Cream Onion_ChipReviewPoll

Chip Review’s Top 5 Sour Cream & Onion:

 

REVIEW: Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Smokin’ Honey Barbecue with Himalayan Pink Salt

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Ziggy's - BBQTwo years ago we tasted Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for the first time here at Chip Review.  To call the experience deliciously amazing would be an understatement.  While Ziggy’s Buttery Bliss Kettle Corn was a lip-smacking rendition of the classic combination, it was Ziggy’s two other flavors (Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno) that really knocked our socks off!  In fact, just this past year we finally put together our Top 5 Popcorn list, and guess who landed at the top spot!

Well, it is now 2015, and we are betting that it will be yet another great year popcorn!! And, one of those reasons will likely be due to the fact that Ziggy’s has made the superb decision to release 4 all-new flavors!!  Yep, that’s right, everyone’s favorite kettle corn brand has decided to branch out, and try their hand at combining some other flavors with their deliciously sweet and salty popcorn!  Lucky us, we have all four of those flavors in the snack vault, and will be reviewing each and every one in the near future!

A little while ago we started with reviewing Ziggy’s Tomato Basil with Himalayan Pink Salt kettle corn.  We started with tomato basil flavor because it sounded the least interesting to us.  And overall, the kettle corn was good (we can’t imagine any of Ziggy’s Kettle Corn being anything but good), but overall it wasn’t anything very special.  We really couldn’t taste any basil at all, and the tomato didn’t really do anything other than reiterate the sweetness of the kettle corn.  Next up is Ziggy’s Smokin’ Honey Barbecue with Himalayan Pink Salt.  Again, we fear that putting more sweetness onto an already sweet kettle corn maybe redundant and overkill.  We honestly believe that kettle corn is best flavored using ingredients that will juxtapose the sweet notes.  Which is why we are saving Ziggy’s two other new flavors – Kickin’ Buffalo Wing and Savory Chili Lime – for last, because we think think they hold the most promise!

You know what?  The Smokin’ Honey Barbecue is better than we expected.  Sweet, smoky and savory notes flood the air as soon as we open the bag.  Initial thought, this kettle corn evokes thoughts of sweet and smoky bbq meat – probably ribs to be specific.  So, if you are looking for sweet, smoky, savory and salty bbq, and can’t find the real stuff, this kettle corn may just do the trick!  The kettle corn does tread very closely to the too sweet line, but in the end the tangy tomato, fragrant smoke, and salty salt are able to corral that sweetness and deliver a balanced, tasty combination!  The more popcorn we ate, the more we enjoyed it.  Ziggy’s just knows how to produce great sweet and salty kettle cooked popcorn!

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

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for review

Ziggy’s Kettle Corn Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Beanfields – Salt N’ Pepper Bean & Rice Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Beanfields - Salt N PepperBean, bean the musical fruit.  The more chips you eat, the more you…..well, you know how the saying goes!

We haven’t really tried too many different bean chips, or rice chips for that matter.  But, of what we have tried, we can tell you with certainty that we prefer rice chips over bean chips.  While rice chips tend to offer a more solid, crunchy chip, the inclusion of bean really seems to dry the chip, and our mouths, out.  While we obviously understand that the use of beans is meant as a healthy alternative to the typical chip base of potato or corn, we just wish that it worked better as a base!  Luckily, Beanfields has figured out that by combining rice and beans, the result is a much more palatable chip offering!

Overall, Beanfields remind us a lot of other rice chips we’ve tried (like Riceworks), with a good grainy consistency, but with a much softer bean chip crunch.  These chips are fun.  Sturdy, rustic, solid, very well built.  In fact, we’re pretty sure that the bold black bag consisted of only full chips.  Not a single crummy to be found.  Unfortunately, despite the use of rice in the ingredients, the bean component does deliver that moisture absorbing, dry consistency, albeit to a lesser extent.

The Salt N’ Pepper seasoning is a nice compliment to the bean and rice chips.  The black pepper is certainly present, but a lot more subtle than other full force pepper flavors.  More of a dull, fragrant, black pepper burn or presence, than an in your face salty, and spicy combination.  The ingredients do include some other supporting characters like onion and garlic, which we always like with our black pepper chips, but we didn’t really taste much of either of them.  Overall, the seasoning is good, simple, and does its job, but nothing to write home about.

These chips are lighter in color, sort of a cloudy white, which makes us think more of rice chips than bean chips, but scattered throughout the chips are large black specks which we are guessing are the beans, and not the black pepper.  The chips are sort of like a triangular kaleidoscope, or stained glass window, made of rice and beans.  While it maybe visually impressive, and fun to look at, we’re not sure if we actually enjoy eating them.  But, don’t only take our word for it, Beanfield’s chips are indeed award winning.  Check out what these other people have had to say about them.

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

Chips provided by Beanfields to Chip Review for review

Beanfields Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list