REVIEW: Marcela Valladolid – Fiery Habanero Flaquitos

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)



Marcela Valladolid may not be the first celebrity face to have her own line of chips (we’ve seen a rap star, a country singer, a race car driver, a comedian, and even a globally renowned yoga guru), but as far as we know, Marcela Valladolid is the first food related / chef star to have her own line of chips (that is of course as long as we don’t count those ones we spotted at Walgreens…).

We should just get it out of the way and let you, and Marcela, know right now, without any reservations, that we have a few preconceived notions regarding these chips before even tasting them.  First of all, as many of you may very well know, we we do not have a great history with the rolled tortilla chip genre; in fact, it is pretty safe to say that we do not like them.  Secondly, what the heck is a flaquito?  Lastly, who the heck is Marcela Valladolid?!?  Ok, we may be exaggerating a little bit here, we actually do know who Marcela is (but that is only because of our fixation with all things food), and we may be going out on a limb here, but we’re guessing that some, or maybe many, of you, do not know who she is.

Well…according to the website that answers all, Marcela Valladolid “is an American celebrity chef, author and the host of the Food Network show ‘Mexican Made Easy’…Valladolid was born in San Diego, California. Her interest in pursuing a career as a chef was sparked when she began working at her Aunt Marcela’s cooking school in Tijuana, Mexico. Valladolid graduated from the Los Angeles Culinary Institute as a “Certified cook” and then moved to Paris, France where she graduated as a classically trained pastry chef at the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School. She then returned to Tijuana and started her own catering company and taught cooking techniques to classes of 40 students out of her home there.”  In the end, it sounds like Marcela has more food related chops than any of the other celebrities above.  We wish you good luck in your venture.

Back to the flaquitos themselves.  Honestly, we get it, flaquito literally translates to ‘little skinny’ in Spanish, and technically the rolled corn chips are skinny and little.  However, more than that, it seems like every rolled tortilla brand tries to come up with their own witty riff on the tuber popular gas station delicacy, the taquito.  For those of you completely oblivious to gas station food, or Mexican cuisine (flautas), taquitos, or in this case flaquitos, usually consist of corn tortillas filled with meat/cheese, rolled into cylinder shapes, and then deep fried.

Hold on now!  What is this??!  No!! It couldn’t be!  Some how, some way, Ms. Valladolid has actually produced a much improved rolled corn chip.  Certainly better than any other rolled corn chips that we have ever tasted!  First, and most, noticeably is their great texture.  These Flaquitos are much lighter and crispier than the usually dense and hard tubular tortillas.  We don’t even feel like our jaws have had the work they usually experience with this style chip.

As for the flavor, well that can only be described as an extravaganza!  Buckets, and buckets, of flavorful dark red seasoning coats each crevice of the Flaquitos.  Notes of garlic, chile, onion, chile, sour, chile, fruity, chile are present with each bite.  With so many different flavors going on, the Flaquitos do taste a tiny bit convoluted.  We’re not sure that we could actually taste any habanero, definitely a lot of chile flavor, and with that spicy heat, but is it from the habanero chile, we cannot be certain (other than the ingredients’ list does include habanero).  What we are certain of is that our mouths are feeling the heat!!  Keep some milk close, because you will likely need it to make your way through this entire bag – like we did!!

Thank you Marcela for showing us that rolled corn chips can actually be tasty!!

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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