REVIEW: Terra Celery Root – Aged Cheese

Rating: ©-1/4 chips  (return to sender)

Terra Celery Root - Aged CheddarWOW!  These real vegetable chips are easily….. E-ZAH-LEE, by a large landslide, the most unique, and challenging chips that we have tried in a long time!  We’re talking more weird than Chicken and Waffle flavored potato chips, or White Chocolate Peppermint flavored potato crisps, or Thick Juicy Steak and Horseradish, or Thai Coconut Curry flavored popcorn.  Yep, Terra’s Aged Cheese flavored Celery Root Chips (yes, we said Celery Root Chips) are a first of a kind, both perplexing, and off-putting, and as much as we respect them, we just can’t quite stomach them.

First of all, can we take one second and discuss the image of the chips on the front of the bag.  Take a good look at them, and tell us what you see.  Aren’t they beautiful?  Doesn’t it sort of look like the chips have been piled up in such a way that they resemble a plant?  We’ve decided that it looks like either an exotic mushroom, or something from the bottom of the ocean.

Let’s move onto shape and texture next.  These celery root chips are extremely thinly cut.  Almost paper thin.  Lots of different sizes and wiggles and folds, all with a burnt-orange, sunset hue.  On the surface everything seems pretty normal, no red flags, but then we pop the first chip into our mouths and….are these chips CHEWY?!?  We aren’t kidding, literally chewy.  No crunch, no crispy to them at all.  We bit down, and the semi-soft celery root chip folds in upon itself, and then your teeth begin working on these chewy chips!  Unlike anything we have ever tried.  And believe it or not but the texture isn’t necessarily off putting to many of us (we’re pretty sure that it may be to the majority of people), but really just peculiar and different and unexpected.

As for the flavor, well first and foremost these chips really do taste like celery root!  And celery root tastes very much like celery, with a dash of parsley thrown in.  So, celery root chips that taste like celery, we are off to a weird start.  And then Terra, sticking with their strategy of weirdness, decides to season these new chips with what else…..aged cheese.  That’s right, now our mouths are tasting stinky, sort of sweet and bitter and tangy seasoning mingling with celery and parsley.  All we can say is that in our opinion the combination is really off-putting, and barring on disgusting.  We did not like this flavor in the least.

In the end, we recognize Terra’s willingness to push the boundaries and deliver something completely unique to the industry, but we are more than certain that all we want to do with this delivery is return it to sender!

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

Discovered at World Market; Willowbrook, IL

Terra Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Target – Sweet Saucy Barbecue Rib Popcorn

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Target - Sweet Saucy Barbecue Rib PopcornIsh.

You know what this popcorn tastes like?  Sweet and saucy barbecue flavored popcorn.  And you know what flavor does not taste good on popcorn?  Yep, you’re right – sweet and saucy barbecue!

You know the one – overly sweet, generically tomato heavy with no character or depth whatsoever.  We loathe the stuff!

Popcorn itself was OK.  Airy, slightly crispy kernels without much body or chew to them.  And certainly no level of fat or richness to them at all – despite the popcorn actually having 11g of fat…

Popcorn discovered at, where else, Target; Hillside, Illinois

Target Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Old Dutch Ripples Appetizers On The Go – Chicken Artichoke Flatbread

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Old Dutch Ripples Appetizers - Chicken Artichoke FlatbreadWe may have called Old Dutch’s Appetizers On The Go our favorite sort of Appetizers On The Go ( AKA CHIPS, they are so deliciously versatile!), the last time we reviewed them, but that statement does not hold true with this most recent flavor!!

Old Dutch’s Chicken Artichoke Flatbread is salty, salty, – capital S-A-L-T-Y!!  And not in the good, we really love salt, sort of way.

The potato chips have a very distinct spices/herbs aroma – we recognize basil right off the bat.

But, as for the taste – uhhhh…. we do not taste any chicken, artichoke or flatbread (not that we were expecting to actually taste the flatbread).

What we do taste are all of the ingredients that are listed on the back of the bag – tomato powder, onion, garlic and basil.  In other words these chips taste sort of like generic pizza seasoning.

The chips aren’t necessarily bad by any means but they are just some of the least accurately flavor named that we can remember.  Why Old Dutch even decided to call them chicken artichoke is beyond us?!?

Chips discovered at Kwik Trip; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Popcorn in a Pickle

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Trader Joe's - Popcorn in a PickleWhoa! Now that is an eye-catching bag for sure!!  Green to the maximus!  Clever word play too, but then again, isn’t Trader Joe’s always witty and playful with their product names?  Might we have another hit on our hands from that Joe we know who likes to trade (that’s our meager attempt at word play)?

Have we discovered the new sriracha of the popcorn world?  We were surprised to find that we have actually tried four different dill pickle flavored popcorn bags in about the last year.  Unfortunately, none of them have been really good.  Well there is always hope that this new popcorn from Trader Joe’s isn’t all visual show and wit, and actually tastes good, and certrainly better than their last new popcorn – Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn!

SADLY….as you may have noticed from our rating above already, Popcorn in a Pickle is not only not better than Trader Joe’s Baconesque, but it makes Joe’s cheddar bacon popcorn seem lip-smacking in comparison.

We feel that there are two major issues with this popcorn.  First, would be the usage of dill oil as opposed to the real herb.  The flavor just seems off, and even sort of off-putting.  You get some of the fragrant dill notes but it’s like all of the fresh and bright herbal life that you would typically get from the fresh stuff has been completely sucked dry from the dill oil.  Our second, and certainly bigger issue, lies with the popcorn itself.  According to Trader Joe’s website, their supplier uses the largest mushroom popcorn kernels they can find, and they air pop them (apparently mushroom popcorn kernels are large, round balls of popcorn, with lost of surface area).  In our opinion these air-popped mushroom kernels are the probably the worst popcorn texture that we have ever tasted.  No real popcorn flavor what so ever.  Sure, they were light and crispy, and sure they were largest popcorn we have ever seen, but they were also SOOOOOO full of pesky, gum catching, kernels that we could barely pay attention to what we were tasting!!  Add to this the fact that this popcorn was air popped, and no additional amount of mouth pleasing fat was added to supplement and enrich the dry popcorn, in the end left us wanting so much more.

Sorry Junk Food Guy, but we have to disagree with you on this one!  For another, far different review of the Popcorn in a Pickle, make sure to check out his review too!

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

Popcorn discovered at Trader Joe’s; La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Old Dutch – Cheddar Bacon Popcorn

Rating: ©-1/2 chips (return to sender)

Old Dutch - Cheddar Bacon PopcornIt seems like every time we travel home to Minnesota we come across at least one or two, maybe three, new chips, popcorn, or salty snack that have snuck onto the scene since our last visit.  Well, this time we can say that the magic snack discovery number is more like TEN than one or two, and well, let’s just hope that this Old Dutch Cheddar Bacon Popcorn is not a reflection, or more so, any indication of the quality of all of the other snacks to come!!  Because if it is, then we’re going to want to rush back to Chicago lickety-chip!!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we reviewed Trader Joe’s Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn, and while we weren’t necessarily the biggest fans of that popcorn either, it was still leagues ahead of this Old Dutch stuff!  Plain and simple, we did not enjoy any single part of Old Dutch’s Cheddar Bacon Popcorn (other than maybe the coloring and design of the bag – the diamond shaped grating in the background was a nice touch).  But really, none of that matters because snacks have to taste good above all else!

First, the bacon aspect was not reminiscent of bacon but rather of standing in front of a camp fire.  Smoke, and smoke alone, does not make popcorn taste like bacon.  It makes it taste like fake smoke flavored popcorn.  Second, the cheddar cheese tasted nothing of cheese, but rather only salt; and not very much of it for that matter.  Third, the popcorn had no crisp, and no crunch.  It was toothsome, but in a sort of soggy, gotta chew my way through this stale stuff to force it down!  Three strikes and you are out!!

Now, we understand that there is always that chance that we tasted a sample of this particular popcorn that was not an accurate representation of the true quality of the product.  Well, to that we say, TOO BAD!  Sometimes that’s just how the kernel pops!  Often times there just isn’t enough time, or enough room in the stomach to give something a second chance, and first impressions can also be last impressions!  Which is what this will be (unless someone happens to buy us a bag, or sets a bag out at a party we are at).

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

Popcorn discovered at Kwik Trip; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: SexyPop Popcorn – Pineapple Habanero

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

SexyPop - Pineapple HabaneroWe’ve reviewed a handful of SexyPop flavors over the past couple of years, and we still do not know what exactly SexyPop is going for with their name? Is popcorn inherently sexy in and of itself?  No.  Does anyone out there really think popcorn is sexy??  We don’t think so.  Secondly, and we have actually never commented on this before, but what is up with the spiral symbol on the bag…?  Is it just there for decoration, or does it have a deeper meaning?  Does SexyPop want us to get in touch with our inner selves?  Who knows?!?  We certainly do not know the answers to these questions, and regardless of whether or not we did, in our opinion both topics simply distract away from the popcorn itself!  And shouldn’t it be about the popcorn?!

The more we pay attention to it, the more we realize that the habanero chile is a very versatile pepper.  It can be paired with so many different ingredients.  More often than not it would be fruits such as mango, peach, and lime, but this list also includes everything from bacon to cucumber to parmesan! To top it all off, it seems like more often than not the combinations are very delicious!  Which might explain why the habanero is our most favorite chile pepper of all time!!  Which may also explain why we were so disappointed with this popcorn from SexyPop!!

First of all, SexyPop uses butterfly style popcorn.  Light, fresh and crispy kernels that we found to be dry and practically devoid of any richness.  The popcorn does deliver a good level sweetness, but we can’t necessarily say that we taste any of those tart, tropical, pineapple notes.  To make matters worse, we do not taste any salt anywhere, which is most definitely needed to help counter some of the sweetness.  To top it all off, and what is probably the most disappointing was that we do not taste any hananero chile at all!  None!  Nada!  Plus, we certainly do not get very much, if any, of the legendarily, powerful habanero heat!  Only after we had consumed many handfuls did the backs of our throats feel a little tickle!

In the end, we were just so disappointed with SexyPop’s Pineapple Habanero Popcorn.  We have enjoyed so many great habanero snacks that we can very easily recognize one that does not make the cut!  We admit, we had high expectations for this popcorn because we love us some habanero anything, so we think our assessment is fair, but like anything others may disagree.  Let us know what you think?

As always, these are our thoughts. Agree or disagree, make sure to let us know.

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by SexyPop for review

SexyPop Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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RATING: Beanfields – Unsalted Bean & Rice Chips

Rating: ©-1/2 chips  (return to sender)

Beanfields - Unsalted

Beanfields makes some really decent bean & rice chips, but these ones, well these aren’t among them!  Seriously, we are nearly 100% sure that somewhere within the definition of CHIPS is the word salt!!

Chips provided by Beanfields to Chip Review for review

Beanfields Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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