BIJOU-REVIEW: Pretzel Crisps Limited Batch – Bacon Habanero

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

pretzel-crisps-bacon-habaneroWe have wanted to try these new Pretzel Crisps ever since The Impulsive Buy spotted them on Safeway shelves some four months ago….

We mean come’on – BACON & HABANERO?!?!  Yes & Yes – Please!!

In fact, these aren’t the first bacon habanero flavored chips that we have tried.  Last year Late July’s lip-smacking tortilla chips wowed us.

Let’s hope that this flavor combo becomes a new standard among all chip companies – because there could be nothing wrong with that!

Smokey, salty, delicious bacon essence exudes from the Pretzel Crisps.

The flavor is sort of reminiscent of barbeque seasoning, and we are surprised to see that Pretzel Crisps has never offered the classic flavor as an option….

Unfortunately, similar to Late July’s chips, these Pretzel Crisps suffer from a case of no-habanero-flavor-idous. Maybe, just maybe, we get a little bit of the chili flavor deep behind the bacon, and there is a subtle burn when all is said and done.

But really, this seasoning is all about the bacon.

The crisps are tasty, and salty bacon flavor works well with the pretzels (not quite as well as Late July’s corn-ful tortilla chips), but we still really wish that we could taste some habanero!

Another welcome addition to Pretzel Crisps’ line-up.

Crisps discovered at Jewel Osco; Westmont, Illinois

Pretzel Crisps Official Website

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REVIEW: Cheetos Sweetos Limited Edition! – Cinnamon Sugar Puffs

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

cheetos-sweetos-cinnaon-sugar-puffsAnytime we see a new sweet variation from one of our typically savory snack companies, we are hesitant to give them a shot.  Which is why last year around this time, when Cheetos first released these Sweetos, we simply refrained from trying them…  Now that we have gone and bitten the bullet….

WHAT WERE WE THINKING!?!?!

Seriously, these are really quite delicious!

That’s right, every once in a while the chip companies can completely surprise us here at Chip Review, and create a fantastically sweet, and in this case, ever so slightly savory snack.  We would place Cheetos Sweetos smack dab along side other notable savory-gone-sweet successful snacks such as: Pretzel Crisps Cinnamon Toast, Snyder’s of Hanover’s S’mores Pretzel Pieces, and Pringles Tortillas Cinnamon Sugar (which in our books is some fine company to be included among).

Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs are shaped like, we’re going to go with, sledding inner tubes – despite the fact that Chester has opted for the more classical racer sled.  The puffs are approximately half the size of a Funyun ring, but their texture is eerily similar.  The Cheetos do not exhibit their usual melt-y cheese puff texture, but more of a light and crispy, layered ring puff.

The ultra classic Cinnamon and Sugar combination works wonders with the puffs.  Delivering all at once an aromatically sweet treat, as well as, a savory richness.  A quick glance at the ingredients list shows that this savory layer has to come from the inclusion of buttermilk.  Everyone who was chomping on these agreed – they are delicious, and hard to stop eating.

Probably the best way that we can describe them to you is that they are like savory Cheetos ring puffs that have been crossed with the greatest of all sweet cereals – Waffle Crisp.  A marriage of rich, savory, butter notes dancing with sweet maple like syrup, and spicy, aromatic cinnamon.  Beautiful.

If you are fans of Cheetos (and we’re guessing that you are – who isn’t?), and you also like some sweet treats every now and again, then we suggest you give these a try.

Cheetos discovered at Walmart, Pontiac, Illinois

Cheetos Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Paqui Tortilla Chips – Nacho Cheese Especial

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

paqui-nacho-cheese-especialBy now we’re guessing – NO! We’re hoping!! – that most of you chip lovers out there are familiar with Paqui Tortilla Chips.  (If you are not, we are in fact slightly judging you and letting you know that you should be flying out the door right now to try them!)

Their most recent, insanely spicy, venture has been all over the Twitter-sphere!  You may have heard about it, the #OneChipChallenge?

Somehow, Paqui’s Nacho Cheese Especial chips snuck onto the chip market, and we didn’t even realize that we had never reviewed them.

And as usual, these Paqui chips are lip-smacking!

Take this next statement as you will, but these chips taste an awful lot like the classic Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, in the best ways possible.

Same deliciously cheesy seasoning, only with maybe a touch more zing. 

Extremely light, crispy, airy, and flaky corn tortilla chips.  But, to top it off, also with some real corn flavor depth.

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

Chips discovered at 7-eleven; Addison, Illinois

Paqui Official Website

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REVIEW: Zapp’s – VooDoo Heat New Orleans Kettle Style Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

zapps-voodoo-heatLong, long ago, in a place far, far away (we’re talking at least eight, maybe even ten miles) Chip Review fell hand over mouthfuls for Zapp’s Original VooDoo chips….

So, when we first heard about Zapp’s new HEAT variation of the original lip-smacking chips we had high hopes.  Not high hopes like, oh we sure do hope this pull-tab is a $2 winner.  No!  High hopes as in these new Zapp’s chips could just be flippin’ amazing!

Before we go ahead and crunch into these new Zapp’s, perhaps a little backstory is in need.

According to Zapp’s themselves, the:

“Voodoo flavor is a result of an accident. An employee was moving a pallet of spices off the top shelf, and dropped it. While cleaning it up, someone stuck their finger into the mixture of about 5 flavors and pronounced it great.”

Now, if we had to gander a guess as to how the VooDoo Heat flavor came about, it would go something like this…

“The VooDoo Heat flavor is a result of someone (perhaps us, who knows) saying that the VooDoo flavor is lip-smacking, and wouldn’t they taste EVEN BETTER if we made them even SPICIER?!?!”

With Zapp’s original VooDoo chips we didn’t understand what exactly the VooDoo name was meant to represent (of course other than Zapp’s is New Orleans), but with these new chips, we totally get it.  These chips encompass, and deliver, and absolutely cast a delicious dusting of VOODOO flavor Magic all over the New Orleans Kettle Style Potato Chips!

You really have to taste these chips to really understand the wonderful circus of flavors they have going on.  First and foremost, the chips deliver a pungent zing of zippy vinegar.  Then came a sugary sweetness that paired nicely with the vinegar’s acidity.  Next, came the heat, and a good level of it for sure.  One taster thought that they may have tasted horseradish…?  Finally, we tasted a touch of sweet and tangy and vegetal tomato flavor, which helped round out the entire flavor combo.

All said and done, probably the best way that we can describe this delicious flavor to you would be to compare it to some spicy version of an American Chinese breaded chicken dish….sweet, tangy, sticky, spicy, and delicious in all of the right ways.

As far as the potato chips themselves go, Zapp’s knows what they’re doing.   Their Cajun Kettle Recipe makes for some really crunchy, perfectly greasy, semi-thick potato chips, that we could munch on all day.

Overall, we were really, really impressed with these chips!  And, although Zapp’s aren’t always readily available here in the Midwest, we know for certain that these chips are almost always available at Potbelly!

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

Zapp’s provided to Chip Review by MunchPak for review

Zapp’s Official Website

MunchPak Official Website

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REVIEW: Terra – Sharp & Spicy Wasabi

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

terra-wasabiWe’re sorry to say it, but we feel like we do not review very many Terra chips these days.  Now, whether that is due to Terra not introducing many new chips onto the market these days, or the fact that when they do release something new it is very often some sort of unusual vegetable chip that we’re just not feeling like reviewing….

What we do know for sure is that when we do try a new chip from Terra, whether it is good or bad, it is almost always something very unique and original!

Case in point, Terra’s newest Sharp & Spicy Wasabi real vegetable chips made with a UNIQUE seasonal potato blend.  While these Wasabi flavored chips may not be as unique as the last chips we reviewed from Terra, we’re talking about you – Celery Root Chips w/ Aged Cheese!!  Terra’s Wasabi chips are most certainly better tasting!

Now, if you are a huge fan of wasabi’s typically pungent, nose burning heat, and that is what you are really looking for from these then you may be somewhat disappointed.  These chips are not about the seasoning at all.  The seasoning is very subtle, and is just there to compliment the fantastic potato chips.  A simple, perfect sprinkling of just the right amount of salt, and only delicate dash of what tasted like mustard powder.

As for those fantastic potato chips, well apparently they are made up of a seasonal selection of four types of potatoes.  There’s Andover, Atlantic, Marcy and Waneta potatoes (and if those names mean anything to you, then bravo for being up on your potato varietal knowledge).  What we can tell you is that we did not really notice any textural, or flavor, difference from chip to chip, but all together the seasonal variety delivered a fantastically rich, buttery, and earthy flavor combo.  Seriously, chip for chip these were some of the best tasting potato chips we’ve tried in a while.  Really, nothing to do with the seasoning, all about the chip!

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

Discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Villa Park, Illinois

Terra Official Website

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REVIEW: Neal Brothers Foods – Extremely Tasty Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips

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

neal-brothers-spicy-srirachupFor many of you out there, we’re willing to go out on a limb and guess that your all-time favorite, red colored condiment, is the same as it was when you were a child.  You know what we are talking about, that french fry dipping, meat loaf topping, red squeeze bottle filled with that sweet, smooth paste from your past, as well as your present.

For a certain one of us here at Chip Review, ketchup was never a staple of his childhood.  In fact, he wouldn’t touch the stuff, or any red sauce for that matter.  Let’s put it this way, he never even tried PIZZA until he was TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD!!??  And yes, he now knows that this was one of his life’s biggest mistakes, and he has been trying to make up for it ever since.

Okay, so what’s the point?  Well, now that he does enjoy red colored condiments and sauces of all types, he has realized that he hates ketchup with a passion.  To him, ketchup just seems like a horribly sweet, candy colored condiment, most likely designed to get children to consume vegetables.  Fortunately for him, ketchup flavored chips for the most part are usually rather tasty.  And just FYI, overall our favorite red colored condiment here at Chip Review is Original Tabasco (okay reddish), but Huy Fong’s Sriracha, and all of its versatility, ain’t too shabby either. 

Which brings us to the review at hand – Neal Brothers Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips.  That’s right.  Sriracha and Ketchup flavored potato chips!!  You know what that means don’t you?  The best of both worlds!  Sriracha for those of us who like a mildly sweet, definitely tangy, garlic heavy, decently spicy, Thai chili hot sauce; and ketchup for those of us who still like to eat as if we are 5 years old….just kidding!  Ketchup for those of us who like a sweet-salty-tomato-y sauce that we have been enjoying for years and years.

Earlier this week we told you about Neal Brothers lip-smacking Montreal Steak Spice kettle chips, and we are happy to report that their Spicy Srirachup kettle chips are lip-smacking as well!  We wouldn’t say that they are quite as dynamically delicious as the Montreal Steak Spice, but we could also see a lot of people liking the Sriracha Ketchup even more.

First and foremost, the chips are tangy, tangy, tangy.  Lots of acid or vinegar, which sounds about right as both of the red condiments do have a tang to them.  Next, we tasted a good dose of sriracha’s garlic and ketchup’s tomato.  Lastly, a decent level of chili heat came creeping in and rounded the whole flavor combo out.  We were very thankful and pleased that the seasoning stayed away from ketchup’s too sweet aspect.

Once again Neal Brothers’ medium-thick cut, extra crunchy, not greasy at all, kettle cooked potato chips pair nicely with their seasoning.

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 Neal Brothers for review

Neal Brothers Foods Official Website

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REVIEW: Neal Brothers Foods – Extremely Tasty Montreal Steak Spice Kettle Chips

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

neal-brothers-montreal-steak-spiceShow of hands please.  How many of you out there have Montreal Steak Spice in your spice cabinet right now?  If you are like us, then your hand is raised to the ceiling.  Okay, so that was an easy one.  Now, a more difficult question.  How many of you out there know what constitutes, or makes up, a Montreal Steak Spice?  Crickets……

Yeah, we thought so.  Well, according to the world wide web-a-sphere: Montreal steak spice is a spice mix used to flavour steak and grilled meats that was based on the pickling dry-rub mix used in preparing Montreal smoked meat. The smoked meat seasoning is derived from pickling mixes used in Eastern Europe or Romanian Jewish cuisine. The primary constituents of Montreal steak seasoning include garlic, coriander, black pepper, Cayenne pepper flakes, dill seed, and salt. The spice mix recipe varies slightly among restaurants and manufacturers. (wikipedia.com)

Now that we have that out of the way, who better to deliver us some Montreal Steak Spice flavored Kettle Chips than two brothers from Canada (because Montreal is in Canada of course).  Who are these Neal Brothers, you ask?  According to their website, those Neal Brothers are Peter and Chris.  And the two of them started their specialty food company nearly 30 years ago.  Included among all of those specialty foods, are of course the most important of all foods – CHIPS!

Let’s start off by saying that these chips do not taste like steak at all.  So, if you were wondering about that, or hoping for that, throw that presumption/wish right out the window (and you should probably go back and read the paragraph above that describes Montreal Steak Spice).  Fortunately, we are here to say that the Extremely Tasty portion of the Neal Brothers chip flavor, does in fact hold true!  These are some delicious chips!!  Especially if you like dill.

These chips are not shy with their seasoning.  We definitely tasted some onion and garlic, mingling with a good amount of salt and black pepper, along with a splash of sour like vinegar.  On the tail end, the chips definitely deliver some chili pepper heat.  But, more than anything, we tasted A LOT of DILL.  Seriously, in a blind taste test we would have most certainly thought that these chips were some amp’d up version of dill pickle chips – which is never a bad thing in our books!

Neal Brothers have wisely chosen a medium-thick cut, extra crunchy, not greasy at all, kettle cooked potato chip to pair with the powerful Montreal Steak Spice seasoning.  Any lesser chip would have crumbled under the barrage of strong spices.

All in all, we were very impressed with these chips.  If you like dill, and prefer your potato chips loaded with flavor, then we suggest you give these a chomp!

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 Neal Brothers for review

Neal Brothers Foods Official Website

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