Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)
Be honest with us here, how many of you out there actually love sweet potato chips?? Not, we’ll take them if that’s all you’ve got, but LOVE them?! Love – as in… you actually select and purchase sweet potato chips over more traditional white potato chip varieties! In fact, love – as in… you actually go to the grocery store with the words sweet potato chips written on your grocery list?! Or perhaps, love – as in… your nickname, or youngest child’s middle name is SWEET POTATO!
Here at Chip Review, one may say that the majority of us share an appreciation, or respect for the sweet potato variety of potato chips, but we do not really love them. It has taken many, many bags of chips, but we have discovered, and determined that we sort of have a love-hate relationship with the reddish hued tubers. We very much enjoy the potato’s natural sweetness, especially when combined with oil and Himalayan Sea Salt; but we can’t seem to forgive their all too dense and crunchy texture.
For any of you out there who have never tried sweet potato chips of any type (where have you been…?), let’s just start off by saying that they are of the more toothsome variety. There is really no better way of describing them than toothsome…tough…dense…almost leathery, but still in a crunchy sort of way. Obviously the thinner that the chip company decides to cut them, the less apt we are to run into the overly chewy chip texture; and in this case, The Original Saratoga Chips did a pretty darn good job. These chips are just thin enough to deliver a little crispy crunch, but refrain from too much of that pesky dense texture.
Flavor wise, the sweet potato chips plain and simple, emit pure, unadulterated sweet potato essence. Naturally sweet (of course), with an edge of earthiness, and all balanced with a kiss of salt. The Himalayan Sea Salt delivers this almost tangy salty flavor. The finely ground sea salt gradually coats the lips during the chip eating process and tingles them, enticing your tongue to eventually take a pass, and taste that powerful salty goodness! Plus, come’on let’s admit it, using Himalayan Salt is trendy and sounds really cool!
The more we think about sweet potato chips, the more we realize that very, very few chip companies seem to want to try and actually cut, or subdue, any of the natural sweetness using a dash of seasoning blend (other than salt of course). Most chip companies seem perfectly fine with either letting the sweet potato chips’ natural sweetness speak for itself, only complimenting it with a touch of salt, or embracing that natural sweetness, and even trying to enhance and compound that natural sweetness, by adding further brown sugar with aromatics like cinnamon or nutmeg, to the mix. Sorry chip companies, we are not fans of those types of chips. We need, we want salt!
So, there you have it. Are Saratoga Chips’ new Sweet Potatoes better than their Original Potato Chips, not in our books. But for those of you out there who may be big fans of the sweet potato chip variety, then these are certainly at the top of that chip chain.
Before you leave, just in case you are unfamiliar with Saratoga Chips’ tasty back story, let us indulge you. In the year 1853:
“A patron at Moon’s Lake House ordered fried potatoes with his meal. The diner complained that the potatoes were too thick and sent them back to the cook.
The cook at the restaurant was George Crum, who is described as Native American in some accounts and an African American in others. There is agreement, however, on Crum’s disposition—he was generally ornery. Upset that someone would criticize his cooking, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil to a crisp, and then salted them.
But what was intended as a stunt turned into an instant hit – the fussy patron and his friends loved the “crunch potato slices.” Soon the chips became known as Saratoga Chips. At first they were served in restaurants throughout the region. When George Crum left Moon’s Lake Inn to start his own restaurant called “Crumbs House,” he placed large baskets of the chips on every table. It was not long before Saratoga Chips could be found in restaurants up and down the East Coast. Soon they became known as potato chips.” (www.originalsaratogachips.com)
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 by Saratoga Specialties Company for review
Chip Ratings Scale:
© – return to sender
©© – tolerable
©©© – notable
©©©© – lip-smacking
©©©©© – “A” list