BIJOU-REVIEW: Cheetos – Cinnamon, Banana & Minions (Japan)

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Cheetos - Minions BananaWe sometimes wonder here at Chip Review if the Japan population looks at our snack flavors – our Doritos Cool Ranch, our Cheetos Flamin’ Hot, and our Pringles Sour Cream & Onion – and thinks to themselves, wow, now those are those some REALLY WEIRD flavors!?

Well, we think that it is more than fair to say that the same can be said for Japan’s unique snacks!  We mean come’on, with this latest one we’re talking about Cinnamon Banana Minion Cheetos here!!!

Truth be told, we do not have very much to say about these.  They are, for lack of a better description, weird but surprisingly okay.  If you are looking for a thorough examination of them, make sure to check out The Impulsive Buy’s review, it’s a great read.

As for our thoughts, just imagine light yellow colored Crunchy Cheetos that have been slightly dusted with cinnamon, and even more slightly dusted with a fake banana flavor (we are unsure of whether or not we could taste any minion in there).  We here wished that there was a dash of salt somewhere in there to cut the too reminiscent of eating cereal sweetness, but unfortunately there was not.

We could eat these, but we won’t ever be ordering them from Japan again.  Stay tuned for two more unique Japanese Cheetos flavors soon.

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Tostitos – Salsa Verde (Mexico)

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Tostitos - Salsa VerdePretty sure that we have pointed this out before but just in case we haven’t, or in case you didn’t read that particular review; have you ever noticed how the ‘T’s and ‘I’ in Tostitos appear to be two people dipping a triangular tortilla chip (one could assume a Tostitos’ chip) into a red dot most likely meant to represent a bowl of salsa.  Clever, and at the same time subtle enough that we don’t typically notice this.

We surprisingly discovered these Salsa Verde flavored Tostitos at the Hinsdale Tollway Oasis 7-eleven gas station, just off of 294 south.  We say surprisingly not because we don’t typically find chips at a 7-eleven gas station (heck, they even have their own line of sometimes impressive 7 Select chips), but surprisingly because we never expected to see a small rack of chips, all of which were Frito Lay, but more importantly, all of which were from Mexico!  That’s right, these Tostitos Salsa Verde are not a Tostitos flavor offered here in the U.S. To obtain these chips one would have to either travel to Mexico, or find some unique gas station that has decided to stock a small selection of Mexican Fritos Lay chips.

As some of you may know, Doritos Salsa Verde chips are easily in our Top 5 chips of all-time.  For the longest time they were THE TOP CHIP of all time, but as we continue to taste more and more delicious chips each year, we find ourselves unable to pick a single best chip, or more accurately, that – single best chip – changes from day to day depending upon our moods, the weather, pretty much anything.  So, after spotting these Tostitos we immediately thought two things 1) since these are made by Frito Lay, could they possibly be as good as Frito Lay’s other salsa verde flavored corn tortilla chips? 2) sorry, but there is no way these could possibly be as good as Doritos version of the flavor, and thus these chips will most likely be reviewed unjustly in comparison to them….oh well, that’s just how the corn chip crumbles.

So, all that being said the seasoning for these chips tastes very, very similar to that of Doritos.  And since we have already described that seasoning previously in written form we are simply going to copy and paste those words: “To start, they are all at once spicy, earthy, salty, vegetal, fresh, tangy, complex, and powerful, yet subtle, and simple!  They ignite each of our senses, and all of our taste buds!  Honestly, they really do taste like they have been sprinkled with a deliciously fresh and spicy, green tomatillo and jalapeno, salsa powder.”  In other words, Tostitos Salsa Verde seasoning is really delicious.  That being said, their tortilla chips, although tasty in their own right, do not compare to Doritos classically light, airy and crispy tortilla chips.

We happily accept Tostitos’ nomination for their variation of salsa verde flavored tortilla chips into the Salsa Verde collection, but they are at the same time too much like the Doritos, but also no where close to being in their league!

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

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

Tostitos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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.

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list