Chip Review’s Honorable Mentions – 2016

25 Chips to Christmas – 10 Honorable Mentions

25-chips-to-christmas-2016

These chips nearly made our Top 25 of the Year, and deserve some recognition too!! (alphabetical order)

Burt's - Guinness Rich Chili
“If there is one thing we want you to take away from this review it is that these chips are savory.  SUPER-DUPER SAVORY.”

“…leave it to a small town Minnesota gas station to surprise us with these ‘new’ (to us at least) Hot and Spicy Fries!  And to that, all we really have to say is ‘Chip lovers start your fry chompin’ engines!!’

Herr's - Chickie's & Pete's Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

Herr’s – Chickie’s & Pete’s Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

“While these chips may include (although we cannot confirm) many of the same spices found in Old Bay… they also include a touch of heat to spice things up, and a good dash of tangy cheese powder to smooth things out.  In other words, they improve upon the iconic East Coast seasoning!”

Ikea - Potato ChipsIkea - Sour Cream & Onion

Ikea – Potatischips Satade (Salted Potato Chips) & Potatischips GRÄDDFIL LÖK (Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips)

“It seems like so many people who shop at Ikea always make a stop at the cafeteria for a bit, but we will be making a decision to grab a bag of these prior to our future shopping excursions!”

Keogh's - Sweet Chilli

“The Sweet Chilli & Irish Red Pepper seasoning is fantastic!  Love, love, love the addition of ginger and coriander, and also what appears to be licorice root – all adding flavor notes that are uncommon in most seasoning combos.”
Lieber's - Barbecue Potato Chips

Lieber’s – Barbecue Potato Chips

“Having been in this game for quite some time now, we can tell you that it is a very rare occurrence when we grab a $1 dollar buyout special bag of chips on the way up to the cash register and it turns out that those chips are actually tasty.”

Meijer - Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeno

Meijer – Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Potato Chips

Who knew that grilled pineapple and jalapeño worked well together??  Well, apparently anyone who has enjoyed one of these pizzas.  Or, anyone who loves some good al pastor tacos with some spicy jalapeños in there, that’s who.”

Rachel's - Sriracha Sour Cream

Rachel’s – Sriracha Sour Cream Gourmet Kettle Chips

“Wow Rachel, been a long time.  And what’s this…you’ve changed your look, haven’t you?  Well, just wanted to let you know that we like what you’ve done with your style!”

ten-acre-the-day-sweet-and-sour-became-friends

Ten Acre – The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends Hand Cooked Crisps

“Probably the best way that we can describe this seasoning to you would be picture a salt & vinegar chip crossed paths with a ranch flavored chip who had brushed up next to a BBQ flavored chip.”

Uncle Ray's - Roasted Garlic

Uncle Ray’s – Roasted Garlic Potato Chips

“We can really appreciate the simplicity of these potato chips. There is not one shred of doubt regarding what the intention of these chips really is. Plain and simple, garlic flavored potato chips.”

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2016 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2016!

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Uncle Ray’s – Lightly Salted Popcorn

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

uncle-rays-lightly-salted-popcorn

Lightly salted popcorn is right.

Really, not much more to say.

Light, airy, crispy, bright white kernels.

Very little fat content, and lightly salted.

Uncle Ray’s popcorn is perfectly snackable, if you are looking for any something to crunch on; but it is certainly nothing special, and also nothing we would be choosing over most other RTE popcorn on the market.

These are our thoughts.  Let us know if you agree or not.

Popcorn discovered at Amoco; Villa Park, Illinois

Uncle Ray’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Uncle Ray’s – Sour Cream & Cheddar Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Uncle Ray's - Sour Cream & CheddarWhat’s this now?  Uncle Ray’s is the Official Potato Chip of the MLB??  Oh, wait, not THAT MLB – it appears that we’re talking Minor League Baseball (we all know who owns, or buys, that other MLB title right?  Their name rhymes with Squito Spray).

Uncle Ray’s is one of those brands that seems like they have been around forever.  Always lurking in the background.  Always content with the customers who do decide to buy their chips over those other choices.  Not exactly one of the “big guys” in the chip market, but definitely no longer one of the “little guys” either.  In fact, Uncle Ray just recently released 5 brand new flavors (that we are hoping to taste soon…wink – wink, nudge – nudge), so it appears that Ray is making to push to expand his flavor selection.

These Sour Cream & Cheddar rippled potato chips are not among those 5 new flavors (did we mention that we can’t wait to try Pepperoni Pizza flavored potato chips!?), and unfortunately, these SC&C are also not among our Top 5 Uncle Ray’s chips of all-time either.  That being said…..in case you were wondering what those Top 5 actually are:

1. Roasted Garlic Potato Chips

2. Salt & Pepper Potato Chips

3. Green Onion Potato Chips

4. Cheese Flavored Puffs

5. Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips

Well, as for these Sour Cream & Cheddar rippled potato chips, Uncle Ray once again seems to be relying a touch heavily on the salt level.  Now, we aren’t ones to shy away from salt, but these are on the verge of being described, and labeled, as “too salty” in our opinion.  The salt practically overwhelms any actual presence of sour cream and cheddar.  If we focused our palettes and strained our taste buds we could recognize just a smidgen of sour cream, but really no cheddar.  In the end the chips still went down pretty easily, but we just had to make sure that we had a beverage in hand to balance their seasoning level.

The semi-wide ridged potato chips were more than adequate, and delivered a very sturdy crunch.  Any weaker potato chip would have crumbled under the weight of Uncle Ray’s salty seasoning.

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

Discovered at Max Mart; River Grove, Illinois

Uncle Ray’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Uncle Ray’s – Roasted Garlic Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Uncle Ray's - Roasted GarlicGREAT GARLICKY GOODNESS!!

Warning: if you are a vampire, or have an aversion to garlic, you will want to stay away from these!

We can really appreciate the simplicity of these potato chips.

There is not one shred of doubt regarding what the intention of these chips really is.

Plain and simple, garlic flavored potato chips.

We wouldn’t go so far as to call them “roasted” garlic, as we don’t really get much of that sticky-sweet-caramelized garlic flavor.  Instead, these are potent, pungent, GARLIC flavored potato chips.

The potato chips are very thin cut, crispy, and deliver a good amount of delicious potato flavor.

We could eat these all day long, and then we could work the entire next day on getting our breath to smell anything like garlic!

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

Discovered at Shell Gas Station; Burr Ridge, Illinois

Uncle Ray’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Uncle Ray’s – Smokey Chipotle & Jack Cheese Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (almost not tolerable)

Uncle Ray's - Chipotle & Jack CheeseChipotle & Jack Cheese…..hmmm, pretty sure that is a new flavor combination for us.

We’ve tried chipotle paired with a lot of different flavors, everything from ranch, to lime, to crema (ewww!), but never with Jack Cheese.

Well, it appears as though Uncle Ray may have a bit of a heavy hand with the salt when it comes to these chips.  And by “may have”, we mean that we are fairly certain, that these are the saltiest chips we have tried in the last year, or two!

Salty, salty, S-A-L-T-Y!!!

We actually, almost, sort of like them, but fear for our lips becoming chapped, or our bodies becoming completely dehydrated, if we eat more than a few.  No joke, we are stopping.

The chips flavor does include some smoke, some salty cheese, a little chile heat, and of course salt.

The potato chips are semi-crunchy, wide rippled, and practically devoid of any recognizable potato flavor from  beyond the salty seasoning.

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

Discovered at Shell Gas Station; Burr Ridge, Illinois

Uncle Ray’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Uncle Ray’s – Cheese Flavored Puffs

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Uncle Ray's - Cheese Flavored PuffersUncle Ray to the rescue again!  Anytime we have a craving for some crunchy, salty snacks, we just call up good old Uncle Ray, and he’s always got something new we can try!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, we can only imagine what it would be like to have an Uncle Ray who made chips for a living!  Seriously, how cool would that be?!  While some kids may have grown up dreaming of having that uncle who played a professional sport for their favorite team, or that cool uncle who hung out with his movie star friends on the weekend, well that was not us!  We always dreamed of having that salty uncle who lets us walk the line of his potato chip (cheese puff) factory, and scoop handful upon handful of warm, fresh, crispy potato chips (cheese puffs) into our chip (puff) loving mouths!

Lip-smackingly suffice!  Textbook cheese puffs.  Uncle Ray’s Cheese Flavored Puffers incorporate all of the necessary curl components – initial crunch, light and airy mouth-feel, and finished up with a tongue melting puddle of cheese.  Plenty of deliciously, salty cheese crystallization has formed on the outer edge, requesting a firm cripsy bite before releasing the softer, cheese melt-y center.

**Funny side-note: on the back of Uncle Ray’s snack bags it appears that Uncle Ray likes to include a story from his past.  We think that he is trying to bestow some of his life lessons on us.  Free advice with good snacks?  Count us in.  Chapter 7 is a doozy regarding Uncle Ray’s Grandfather, and how he helps Ray steer clear of a dangerous habit before it even starts!  Isn’t that what grandpas are for?!?

Discovered at Super America; Lexington, Kentucky

Uncle Ray’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list