BIJOU-REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Mango Coconut Caramel Corn

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

Trader Joe's - Mango Coconut Caramel CornMango Coconut Caramel Corn?!?

Does that sound appealing to you?  If the answer to that question is yes, then you are most definitely going to enjoy these.  If the answer to that question is no, then you will most likely be extremely surprised by how tasty this caramel corn truly is!

Initial scents triggered thoughts of tropical far away lands.  Strong notes of coconut, combined with sweet, sticky caramel, and rich butter.

Initial tastes reconfirmed initial thoughts of tropical far away lands!  Delicious far away lands filled with the flavors of sweet caramel and coconut, mingling with fruity mango and rich, smooth butter.

This is some seriously heavily coated popcorn kernels, they have some weight to them.

Large, full, round, popcorn kernels.

Surprising, impressively surprising.

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

Triple P discovered at Trader Joe’s; La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: PopCorners – Mango Salsa Popped Bean Chips

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Popcorners - Mango Salsa Popped Bean ChipsPopCorner’s slogan used to be “The New Shape of Popcorn,”  apparently now it has changed to “Simply the Better Choice.”  So, the question then arises, was that “simply the better choice”, for “the new shape of popcorn?”

First, let’s point out PopCorner’s beautiful new sophisticated packaging to our left.  The bright white, eye-catching bag with bold orange and blue font popping off of it is eye-catching to say the least.

These chips intrigued us from the get go.  We have always been fans of the popped popcorn chips, but we’re pretty sure that we have never tried any that included popped beans (there has to be a joke in there somewhere in there right?)!!

Just like with the packaging, the actual chips are also quite visually impressive.  Hexagonal in shape, with colors of blue-ish-black, and green mixed in with the typical yellows and whites of popcorn.  The chips sort of reminded us of a multi-colored granite counter top.

Unfortunately, the chips also taste like that same granite counter top…. no, we’re just kidding, they aren’t quite that bad.  But, we can tell you that it is very apparent, right from the first chomp, that this is  not your typical popcorn chip party.  Beans, of three types (black, green split and yellow split), have crashed this shindig, and taken control of the crunchy refreshments!

The beans give the chips a tougher texture and chew, and definitely cause them to dry out quite a bit.  We were reaching for some water after only a couple of chips.

Even probably more odd than their texture was the chips’ seasoning. The mango salsa seasoning started out just like any other mango salsa flavoring, delivering a sweet and tangy, tropical fruity flavor, but that quickly diminished and the seasoning went somewhere we just did not enjoy following.

We don’t know about you but when we think of mango salsa we do not think of paprika, cumin or cinnamon.  Do you?  Didn’t think so.  Pretty sure this seasoning included all three.

Last little gripe, we could have used more salt on these chips to keep them in the savory realm as opposed to the sweet

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Popcorners Official Website

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REVIEW: Pringles Exclusive Flavor! – Mango Salsa

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Pringles - Mango SalsaJust the other week we went into detail on our thoughts and concerns over the controversial Exclusive Flavor!  We’re not sure how many other stores are exceptional (rich, big) enough to have their own versions of Exclusive Flavors, but so far as we can tell most, if not all, Exclusive Flavors that we have spotted have both been from blue and white behemoth – Walmart.

Plain and simple, these are some of the oddest tasting chips (crisps) ever!  Just weird!!  And, not because we haven’t reviewed mango flavored chips before.  Most recently we tasted and reviewed last year’s Lay’s Wavy Do Us a Flavor Finalist, who gave us their variation of the mango salsa!  Unfortunately, our initial reaction to those was yuck!  A very surprised, and disappointed, YUCK!  We were thinking that the mango salsa flavor was going to be our favorite among the four flavor finalists.  So, the question at hand is, will Pringles Mango Salsa disappoint as well?  Does mango salsa just not work as a chip flavor?  Because it is worth mentioning that other chip brands have proven that mangoes plus habaneros plus potato chips can actually be a fantastic combination!

Pringles Mango Salsa potato crisps are a combination of zippy – sour, with a sort of real fruity mango essence, plenty of garlic, a little bit of heat, the sweet and aromatic balance of onion, loads of salt, and sort of like mango salsa actually….  OK, so we’ve settled that.  These do kinda, sorta, taste like mango salsa….in powder seasoning form of course.  That being said, do they really taste good?  In our opinion, sort of, well, not really!  Initially, we taste those delicious mango salsa flavors, but then on the back end of the tasting experience our enjoyment sort of transitions to an off-putting experience.  We’re pretty sure that our negative feelings are a result from the combination of the mango salsa flavor and potato crisps.  It just seems unnatural to combined those two!  Who eats salsa with potato chips?! Not us, and there is likely a good reason for that.  The combo does not seem organic. It just doesn’t jive! Corn and fruit = works.  Potatoes and fruit = not so much!

In the end, we appreciate Pringles mango salsa flavor accuracy, but this is not a combo we would be buying again for any reason.  That being said, of course we would crunch a few if we spotted them on a snack table at some great chip party we were attending!

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

Discovered at Walmart; Countryside, Illinois

Pringles Official Website

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REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Mango Salsa Potato Chips

Rating: ©© chips (tolerable)

Lay's Wavy - Mango SalsaBy now we’re sure that most of you, if not all of you, are well aware of Lay’s all new 2014 ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest.  Just about every one and their mother’s mother have chimed in with their own thoughts or reviews on these unique flavors.  Similar to last year’s wildly popular flavor contest, Lay’s is once again offering up the chance for one lucky individual to win a million dollars for creating an all new potato chip flavor, and for the general population declaring it the tastiest!  This year Lay’s has offered up four flavor finalists rather than just three, and you can stay tuned for our future reviews of: Cappuccino – yep, that’s right Cappuccino, and Bacon Mac & Cheese!  A slight variation from Lay’s this time allowed the flavor creators the liberty of choosing what style of Lay’s potato chips they would like to use as their delivery medium between traditional, kettle cooked and wavy.

As humungous chip fanatics and consumers and reviewers, we cannot begin to tell you how giddy we get each time a contest such as this is released.  We love this stuff!!  And usually, as soon as we hear about this sort of thing we run out to as many different stores as it takes, and we hunt those new chips down!  Unfortunately, this time around Lay’s forgot to check our schedule and released their new chips just as we left the country for two weeks!!  So, in other words, we had to idly sit back and watch as review after review hit the web for the past two weeks.  Well, we are now back stateside, we have the four flavors in our possession, and we are ready to toss in our two cents!

Next up: Wavy Mango Salsa

Submitted by: Julia from Sacramento, CA

Chip Review flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 8

Chip Review’s excitement level (scale: 1 – 10): 8

Fresh, orangy-yellow, sweet, tropical, juicy, all adjectives we like to describe our favorite fruit ever!  That’s right, those dark green and red skinned orbs called mango are practically perfect (if only we could bite right through their skin!!).  And, of course we love pineapples, and raspberries, and certainly strawberries – when they are in season.  Oh, and we love bananas too!  OK, so mangoes make our fruit short list at the very least.

You know what, we have also found that we love mango flavored chips (or at least the ones combined with chiles).  We’re not kidding around here, some of the best chips that we have ever tried were mango flavored, but……that being said some of them were also the worst!  So, where do Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Mango Salsa chips fall?  Unfortunately, it’s in the latter.  Our initial reaction to them was yuck!  A very surprised, and disappointed, YUCK!  These taste nothing like any of the amazing mango flavored chips that we have had.  Instead, they tasted like a fake mango flavored candy. You know how green apple, and watermelon, and grape flavored candies taste nothing like the real thing?  Well, these taste like a sugary candy representation of real mango.  In other words, they taste fake!

We thought for sure that these would be our favorites, but alas, that does not appear to be the case.  How to describe their off-putting flavor?  The first flavor character is a powerfully sweet citrus fruity note, followed directly by a tangy, sour tinge.  While we would typically appreciate the sweet and sour juxtaposition, this combo seemed off from the get go!  And, we are pretty certain that we know why.  Mango salsa is not meant to be served with potato chips.  In fact, that goes for any and all salsas.  Salsa was born to mingle with corn tortilla chips.  Salsa does not jive with potato chips.  Also, these are just too sweet!  Sort of one strong note, with a couple of supporting ingredients like garlic and onion, and without any heat to speak of.  Disappointing.

Chip Review’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Rankings:

1. Cappuccino

2. Wasabi Ginger

3. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

4. Mango Salsa

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

Vote for your favorite here

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