REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Ghost Pepper Lattice Cut Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips  (lip-smacking)

Trader Joe's - Ghost Pepper Lattice Cut Potato ChipsHi, we’re Chip Review and we love spicy chips.  

They say that the first step is to admit it.  Obviously, the next logical step would be to go out and find some new spicy chips to satisfy our addiction!

Oh…well…hello there.  Don’t think that we have seen you around these parts before?  Are you new here?  You must be new, because we’re certain that we would have noticed you before now. What’s that?  You think that you’re not our kind of chip.  Well, you are lattice cut, but we won’t let that dissuade us from taking you home!

That’s right readers, scary new Ghost Pepper flavored Lattice Cut Potato Chips from Trader Joe’s, hitting the shelves just in time for everyone’s favorite spooky holiday!!  Like we mentioned above, we enjoy our spicy chips here at Chip Review.  We especially love our hot chili pepper flavored chips, and frankly we have tried quite a few of them over the years.  Just for reference sake, we have tasted over 100 different jalapeño flavored snacks, and about 30 different habanero flavored, but to date, we have only tried 2 other ghost pepper flavored snacks prior to these new ones from Trader Joe’s.  Plus, the ghost pepper chili would be the hottest of chili peppers that we have ever seen in chip form, but having now been surpassed in scoville ratings by both the Trinidad Scorpion, and the current hottest chili in the world, the Carolina Reaper, we expect to see chips displaying those flavor names sometime very soon (or, at least we can hope)!

First, the good.  In fact, the very, very good.  These chips are delicious!  Really super fantastic seasoning combination!!  Seriously, it is tough to accurately describe what is going on here with this flavor, we were not prepared for these to be this complex….  Touch of sweet, good dash of salt, lots of vegetal and fruity chili pepper notes, and we love-love-loved the splash of tangy vinegar and citric acid.  Of course there is some onion and garlic are in there (mandatory in every seasoning it seems), but also a touch of smoke, providing a touch of BBQ-ness!  These chips have depth, they have layers, and plain and simple they work, very well.

BUT – you knew there was a but – what about the ghost pepper heat?!?! First of all, yes, we checked the back of the bag and sure enough ghost pepper is right there near the top of the ingredients list, and yet these chips DO NOT BRING THE PAIN!!! That’s right, we said it, there is a touch of heat that alludes to the threat of tongue burning heat but never really gets anywhere near it.  In fact, the heat doesn’t even really build after many repeat visits to the delicious chip bag!  That is not to say that there is no heat whatsoever because there is a bit of tongue tickle, just nothing to the extent that we would have expected from the ghost pepper!

Our other little gripe has to do with the chips themselves, and quite frankly it is more of a personal preference than anything else.  We here at Chip Review respect the lattice / waffle cut potato chip, but we don’t love them.  We more than understand that the double sliced, criss-cross technique creates more fry-able potato chip surface area, resulting in an extremely super-crunchy potato chip, but our mouths, teeth, and taste buds would prefer a slightly less crunchy chip, with more potato flavor.

Despite our qualms with these chips, and we consider the lack of heat a fairly big one, these are some fantastic chips!  Bravo Trader Joe’s, bravo!!  Anyone out there know who is making these chips for Trader Joe’s?  Or, is it possible that they have their own amazing chip factory cranking these delicious potato chips themselves??

These are our thoughts, agree or disagree, make sure to let us know!

Chips discovered at Trader Joes; La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

8 thoughts on “REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Ghost Pepper Lattice Cut Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

  1. I recently went through a bag of these myself and I do agree with your review. Great flavor, they’re lacking heat because I’ve had raw ghost peppers and these do not come close. I don’t think I’d buy these again, only if the heat was cranked up considerably.

    • @ John – thanks for the confirmation, we were wondering if we could have gotten a bum bag. That being said, we would buy them again just for their great flavor, and then wish the whole time we were enjoying them that they brought the pain!!

  2. Return to sender

    These are extruded potato mash formed into waffle crisps. They are lacking flavor except medium salt and a lot of sugar. Given the ingredient list, I am stunned and disappointed in this crisp. It is not a whole potato, this is more of a ruffles meets mild seasoning. Wouldn’t buy it again.

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