BIJOU-REVIEW: Old Dutch – Dill PIckle Popcorn

Rating: ©©-1/2 chips  (tolerable)

Old Dutch - Dill Pickle PopcornIs dill pickle flavored popcorn becoming a thing?  This would mark the 4th pickle popcorn variation that we have tried in approximately the last year!?

This flavor, this popcorn, has to be better than the other new popcorn we tried from Old Dutch right?  That’s right, Old Dutch’s cheddar bacon popcorn was pretty bad!

OK, so this stuff is better than Old Dutch’s Bacon Cheddar Popcorn, so that’s a plus.  In fact, it is also way better than Trader Joe’s new-ish version of dill pickle popcorn – Popcorn in a Pickle.  But, despite that, this is still only so-so popcorn.

Decent sour-vinegar level, and coverage of real dill weed.  The flavor is there, and tastes pretty good, but the popcorn quality is not the best.  The kernels were too meaty, and toothsome.  No light and crispy crunch here.  More like a heavy chew!

You know what?  We’re beginning to think that the two just aren’t meant to be.  Dill pickle and popcorn should call it quits, and go back to their old, time tested, partners. We’re talking about you – dill pickle & potato, and cheddar cheese & popcorn.

Popcorn discovered at Kwik Trip; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Creative Confectionaire – Grandma Edna’s Minnesota Blend (Caramel, Cheddar & Gourmet Popcorn)

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Grandma Edna's - Minnesota BlendAccording to legend (or, the internet) Grandma Edna made Caramel Corn for her family every Christmas, and it would disappear faster than it would appear. She handed her special recipe down to her daughter, Cindy, who now makes it for all her customers to enjoy.  And as they say, the rest is history.

Well, we here at Chip Review have another story for you, and it takes place at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.  Just a couple of weeks ago we were traveling from Chicago to northern Minnesota, and had a very short layover (if you could even call it that) at the MSP Airport before we had to catch our connecting flight.  We had so little time between flights in fact that we were practically running from Terminal A to Terminal F, and since you likely don’t know how far that it, let’s just say that it is a long ways!  Either way, once we reached our gate, caught our breath, and saw that people were beginning to board, we realized that our tummies were grumblin’.  Luckily, one of those typical newspaper-snacks convenience stores was right next to our gate, so we did a quick scan and bought a bag of Grandma Edna’s tasty looking Chicago Mix whoops sorry, we mean Minnesota Blend, and ran to our gate.  Fast forward about15 minutes, as we are just about to take off, we decide we couldn’t wait any longer to tear into Grandma Edna’s popcorn; but not before we turn the bag around to take a look at this popcorn’s particulars.  Grandma Edna'sThat is when our jaws dropped!  We were in such a rush to get to our plane that we hadn’t paid the slightest bit of attention to the cost, as we swiped our card through the reader.  And that is when our eyes saw the price tag to your left!!  $8.99!  That’s right, eight dollars and ninety-nine cents for this small bag of popcorn?!?  That’s runway robbery!  And as they say, the rest is history.

We’ve told you before that when cheddar cheese popcorn and sweet caramel popcorn are mixed together, and served anywhere within the state of Illinois, the combo is labeled as ‘Chicago Mix’.  There are a few local popcorn ‘houses’ that specialize in this fantastic combination (Garrett’s and Wells Street – we’re talking about you).  But, according to Grandma Edna, when she adds a buttery kernel to the classic combo this mix transforms it into Minnesota Blend!

Now we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, and again, we love a good sweet and salty combo, and in our opinion caramel and cheese are one of those yin-yang flavor combinations that were destined for one another, and for our stomachs!  Grandma Edna’s cheese and caramel blend is very lip-smacking.  The star of this blend is far and away the caramel kernels.  Coated with a deliciously buttery, rich and sweet coating that transforms each kernel into something quite extraordinary, and each handful of the blend simply tastes incomplete if it is missing a caramel corn!!  The cheddar cheese popcorn is no slouch either.  A liberal dusting of the standard bright orange seasoning clings to each cheese kernel, and brings with it that deliciously salty, funky cheese we all love.  In our opinion if Grandma Edna was in charge of this popcorn she would have stopped with the caramel-cheese combo.  Perfect as is.  Sweet and salty, end of story.  Should have left it at Chicago Mix!  But nope, this combo is the Minnesota Blend, and a MN Blend includes butter popcorn that is a complete throw away.  Seriously, no flavor at all.  We actually really wish it wasn’t in there because it would have freed up more room for the tasty kernels!!

Grand Edna has some delicious caramel and cheese popcorn.  BUT!  It is NOT WORTH $8.99.  No way, no how!  In fact, we wouldn’t pay $8.99 for any of our most favorite bags of popcorn unless it was going to disappear forever!  Luckily for us, Grandma Edna’s Popcorn is also available online, and this bag would cost us more like $3.99.  Now that sounds like a tasty deal!

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

Popcorn discovered at Trader Joe’s; La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Pringles Exclusive Flavor! – Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Prinlges - Bourbon BBQExtra! Extra! Read all about it!  Another all new Exclusive Flavor from Pringles has hit the store shelves!! And this Exclusive Flavor belongs to…..drum roll please….everyone’s favorite, dollar section near the front doors, Archer Farms selling, giant red bullseye – TARGET!  As far as we know it, this marks Target’s very first Pringles exclusive flavor, right?  The vast majoirty of Pringles Exclusive Flavors thus far have belonged to Walmart, with a maybe one, or two, being carried elsewhere.  Well, here’s hoping Target’s first

Sorry Marvo, didn’t want to be the ones to burst your high hopes bubble, but these are just…OK.  Not nearly as unique or tasty as Pringles Kickin’ Chicken Taco.  Not necessarily bad in any way, just not very unique or original either.  We are certain that if we wouldn’t have read the flavor name before eating these, there is no way we would have been able to pinpoint anything unique about them, and simply called them BBQ flavored.

Speaking of that Bourbon Barbecue Chicken flavor…when we first saw this flavor we had visions of one of our favorite sticky chicken dishes, from one of our favorite Minnesota chain restaurants – Leeann Chin.  BUT, as it turns out, our idea, or vision, of these Pringles should have been more Kentucky BBQ than American-Chinese carryout!

Well, since we are calling this a review, we better say at least something about the crisps themselves (although, we’re going to be honest, we don’t really have very much to say).  Have you ever tried bbq flavored Pringles?  Well then, you already sort of know what these taste like.  Standard Pringles potato crisps – salty, crunchy, stacked – check.  The seasoning was a little bit darker in color than a standard bbq red.  And the Bourbon Barbecue Chicken flavor was maybe a little bit richer, deeper, and what we can only describe as more caramel-ly…if that makes any sense?!?  We can say that we did sort of, way, way, way at the tail end of the flavor catch a hint of chicken presence.  Again, there is no way to be certain that we would have tasted this chicken flavor note without knowing that it should be there.

Overall, the flavor is pretty good, no real complaints, other than just nothing very unique or original about it.  We’re sort of wishing that Pringles had actually gone more along the lines of our original Leean Chin thoughts of the flavor!

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

Pringles Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Pretzel Crisps – Sriracha & Lime Deli Style

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Pretzel Crisps - Sriracha & LimeAlways an exciting thing when a new flavor appears from Pretzel Crisps!  Even more exciting when that flavor, in this case combo, is a completely new one to us (albeit, simply just a riff on the classic chili & lime flavor combo, but using today’s most popular hot sauce!).

Fair to say that we pretty much enjoy Pretzel Crisps’ entire line-up.

As soon as we tore into the bag, a distinct cistrus-y lime essence floated into the air.

Unfortunately, these do not really taste like sriracha in any way, shape or form.   At least any sriracha that we know.  Tasted more like an ultra salty, and citrus-y, buffalo sauce.  That being said, they were pretty darn tasty, and their heat level does build quite significantly after a couple of handfuls.

Crisps discovered at Jewel Osco; Westchester, Illinois

Pretzel Crisps Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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Introducing Bijou-Review

Hello Chip Review readers!  How are things?  Good we hope!  Can’t complain here!

Yusho Chicken Skin ChipsAs you may or may not have noticed our number of reviews recently has been pretty minimal – what maybe one or two, every other week? – and for this we apologize.  All we can say is that for a multitude of different reasons, we have found it more and more difficult to find time to sit down and type out a full review.  However, be not afraid, we think that the answer to this dilemma resides in our new Bijou-Review!  What the heck is a Bijou-Review?  Well, in short, a Bijou-Review will be a very condensed version of one of our usual reviews.  The CliffsNotes if you will.  Just our tasting thoughts – short, condensed, and sweet.  In other words a Bijou-Review will likely not be as much fun to read, none of our witty and whimsical written word; but if you are looking for something more than just our rating of the chips, or all you really want to know is what do these taste like?  Well then our new Bijou-Review should suffice.

As always, thanks so much for sticking around and reading our reviews!  And, just so you can see what one of these new Bijou-Reviews will look like, it should be landing in your inbox any minute now!  Happy crunching!!

Chip Review

REVIEW: Old Dutch Crunch – Bistro Blend (with a Savory Mix of Garden Grown Spices) Kettle Chips

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Old Dutch Crunch - Bistro BlendYou’ve had’em.  They’ve had’em.  We’ve all had’em…  Those generically seasoned, ubiquitous kettle cooked potato chips that come with so many sandwiches, at so many different restaurants!  The seasoning blend, and chip quality, may vary slightly from time to time, but for the most part they all pretty much taste the same, and they all pretty much do the job they are meant to do.  Which would be to add a salty and crunchy accompaniment to the real star of the meal, not to be a chip that you enjoy on its own.

When we first grabbed the bag of Old Dutch Crunch’s newest flavor – Bistro Blend – we really didn’t know what we were dealing with.  We’re assuming that by the red, white, & blue color theme of the bag, along with the inclusion of stars across the top of the bag that these chips are sporting some sort of 4th of July theme.  Maybe they were some limited edition?  We just don’t know.  Bistro Blend… what the heck is that??  A little front bag investigating (aka reading), we noticed that in the blue box right below the flavor name, was written Savory Mix of Garden Grown Spices.  Again, what the heck is that?!?  It wasn’t until we rotated the bag 180 degrees that we finally found the answer we were looking for: These delicious chips are served across the Upper Midwest in restaurants.  In other words, these are those generically seasoned, sandwich extensions that we mentioned in our opening paragraph.

Before we contemplate, or complain, about why Old Dutch would even package these chips for resale, lets first take care of the crunchy details.  The chips deliver that safe combination of a little sweet (sugar & dehydrated onion/garlic), a little heat (some sort of chili pepper – cayenne?), a little smoke (paprika, gives it color too), and of course a good coating of salt.  The combination melds together fine, but in the end is sort bland, like an unconvincing BBQ chip. The chips themselves encompass a lighter golden orange hue, and as with all of Old Dutch’s – Dutch Crunch line of kettle cooked potato chips, these chips are semi-thick, sturdy and really crunchy!  They are a very fine example of what we feel is the textbook definition of kettle cooked potato chips.  In the end, you know what these chips taste like?  Yep, you’re right, like those “bistro blend…” kettle chips that come with your sandwich at your local grill!!

In the end, we just don’t quite understand why Old Dutch felt the need to offer these chips for retail sale.  Sure, we’ll crunch on them if we find them sitting out in the a bowl, or if they arrived on our plate with our sandwich, but we would not ever crave these chips, or go out and buy another bag.  There are far too many more interesting and delicious chips already out there on the market, including Old Dutch’s other Dutch Crunch flavors, for us to waste any more time with these “Bistro Blends”!!

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

Discovered at Kwik Trip; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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