BIJOU-REVIEW: Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Smoked Chipotle Potato Chips

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

herrs-kettle-cooked-smoked-chipotleThese are really quite tasty chips.

After eating quite a few handfuls of these chips the heat of the chipotle chilies did begin to build.

Smoked Chipotle…? Hmmm, that’s sort of redundant isn’t it?  A chipotle by nature is a smoked jalapeño.  So, it is sort of like calling salt, salty, or a grilled cheese, as grilled-grilled cheese.

Overall, we have a tough time calling these CHIPOTLE flavored chips. They are certainly delicious, but we don’t think that chipotle is an accurate description of their flavor – especially the emphasis on the SMOKED.

In fact, these are some of the least smokey chipotle chips we have ever tried.

Let’s just call them some deliciously spicy BBQ potato chips.

And as usual, Herr’s fantastic kettle cooked potato chips do not fail.

Just the right amount of hearty crunch, and potato flavor.

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 Herr’s Foods for review

Herr’s Foods Official Website

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Hawaiian Barbeque with ginger infused sea salt Potato Chips cooked in 100% Avocado Oil

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

kettle-brand-hawaiian-barbequeSo, there’s Carolina Barbeque, and Kansas City Barbeque, there’s Texas Barbeque and Memphis Barbeque, of course there is Korean Barbeque – Kettle Brand’s most recent new chips that we reviewed – and, there’s probably even a few more regional styles that we can’t recall, but how many of you out there knew there was such a thing as Hawaiian Barbeque?  Certainly not us!

We’re not going to beat around the bush here, we had some high hopes for these chips, but then again, we almost always have high hopes for new Kettle Brand chips.  Unfortunately, we are here to tell you that these are just….OK.  They are missing that wow, that difference maker, that….ginger infused sea salt that we were promised….

Speaking of ginger, we’re onto you Kettle Brand.  You’ve released three new flavors that we are aware of – Korean Barbeque, Moscow Mule (which we still haven’t located), and of course these Hawaiian Barbeque.  What is the ingredient commonality between these three new flavors – GINGER.  Kettle Brand has gone ginger crazy!  Which certainly isn’t a bad thing in our books.  We love ginger here at Chip Review, but really we haven’t tasted all that many ginger flavored chips.

….Back to these chips being just OK.  Honestly, we could not really taste any of that ginger we were promised.  And for the most part, these “Hawaiian Barbeque” flavored chips taste like one hundred other BBQ flavored chips that we have reviewed.  Strong tomato powder presence, the usual onion and garlic tag team, of course there is a splash of smoke, but then if these chips did actually taste any different, it would have been an underlying, tropical, sweetness.  The ingredients on the back indicate that this flavor note likely comes from the inclusion of pineapple powder!  That’s unique at least, but we feel like Kettle Brand should have amp’d it up a bit more to really drive home that Hawaiian Barbeque flavor.

Luckily Kettle Brand’s Avocado Oil Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are always fantastic themselves.  So, in the end, we didn’t have any problem devouring these chips, we just were hoping for more.

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; Elmhurst, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

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RATING: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Limited Edition Flavor – Spicy Chili & Cheese Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

lays-kettle-cooked-spicy-chili-cheeseAs we thought to ourselves “Lay’s All New Limited Edition Spicy Chili & Cheese Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are a pretty darn tasty addition to the L.K.C. line-up….and yet, at the same time…..also very familiar.”

Apparently, a little bit too familiar.  A few minutes of Chip Review research and we discovered that a couple of years back we tasted and rated (but no review) Lay’s Kettle Cooked Spicy Cayenne & Cheese Potato Chips, or in other words, what we’re guessing were the SAME EXACT CHIPS!!  We can’t verify the accuracy of this statement for, but if we could locate the  Cayenne & Cheese list of ingredients we’re more than certain they would look exactly like THESE.  We mean come’on, both bags are using the SAME EXACT INGREDIENT PIC!  Bunch of kettle cooked, heavily seasoned potato chips, with a large block of white cheese, and a couple of red chili/cayenne peppers sitting directly in front.

So, long story short, we’ve eaten these chips before.  That being said, technically we did not review them the first go around, so we will take this time to scribe a few descriptive details regarding their flavor.

Lay’s Spicy Chili & Cheese seasoning is not lacking in flavor.  To more or less quote the great Junk Food Guy, these taste a lot like Spicy Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos did a bit too much mingling with Ruffles Sour Cream & Cheddar chips.  In other words, the seasoning has plenty of salty and tangy cheese flavor, a decent enough dash of chili pepper heat, and a surprisingly tasty splash of tart sour cream.  The flavor combo has been used plenty of times before, but that does not make it any less tasty.

All in all, tasty “NEW” limited RE-edition of Lay’s.  We’ll enjoy them while they last.

Chips discovered at Walmart; Villa Park, Illinois

Lay’s Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Good Health – Jalapeño Kettle Style Avocado Oil Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

good-health-avocado-oil-jalapeno-chipsGood Health Natural Foods chips may be good for our health, but not necessarily for our taste buds.

We have tasted other Avocado Oil Kettle Chips from Good Health Natural Foods, and for the most part we have been impressed….

But, these ones just don’t do it for us.

Same great medium cut, avocado oil kettle cooked, extra crispy, potato chips.

Where the chips went completely wrong for us was with their “jalapeño” seasoning.  Or, we actually say, lack there of!

Seriously, we have eaten plain potato chips that tasted more like the green, spicy chile pepper.

Maybe something was wrong with the bag we got, or maybe jalapeños aren’t good for one’s health (so they were left out of the bag)?  Either way, these chips do not deserve to be called jalapeño seasoning.

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

Chips discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois

Good Health Official Website

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Korean Barbeque Potato Chips

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

kettle-brand-korean-barbecueWOW! These are really, really deliciously funky and quite spicy!!

We have not tasted very many Korean BBQ flavored chips. But, just one bite and we can tell you that these are LEAGUES above both Lay’s versions of Korean BBQ chips that we have tasted, and we weren’t even as unimpressed with Lay’s most recent attempt the way that Junk Food Guy was.  We can’t wait to hear his thoughts regarding Kettle Brand’s rendition.

Seriously, we are very impressed with these chips.  These are easily some of the best Kettle Brand Potato Chips that we have tasted in quite a while!  We also can’t wait to find Kettle Brand’s other new flavor that they just released.  Two intriguing new flavors…thank you Kettle Brand!

We are not going to pretend like we know very much about what real Korean BBQ food actually tastes like, or even what all it entails.  Our only insight into Korean food is the likes of kimchi, good old twice fried chicken, and of course the fantastic Chicago restaurant that is Parachute!  In fact, we’re fairly certain that we’ve never actually had Korean BBQ.

Apparently, the main flavors/ingredients associated with Korean BBQ are – soy, sugar, garlic, onion, sesame, ginger – according to what we found on the internet.

As for Kettle Brand’s Korean Barbeque seasoning, the first taste is of classic BBQ chip flavors – sweet, tomato, garlic, onion, with maybe a splash of smoke?  The next wave of flavor includes some more of those funky, or uncommon notes like ginger, soy, sesame, and the realization that there is a LOT of sweet onion flavor.  On the finish an impressive level of heat appears, and decides that it is staying for the entire party. The flavor tastes a lot like Kettle Brand combined their Spicy Thai, Organic Chipotle Chili Barbeque and Roasted Garlic Potato Chips, and then added a splash of soy.  All in all, the whole Korean Barbeque shebang just works.  To top it all off, it works extremely well with Kettle Brand’s deliciously crunchy kettle cooked potato chips.

And may we just point out how much we love the appearance of this bag.  First of all, bright blue is not a color we see very often while walking down our favorite aisle of the grocery store.  Secondly, we very much appreciate how Kettle Brand has yet to succumb to what seems like a recent chip industry standard of displaying the actual potato chip product on the front packaging.  We much more prefer the simple representative image that describes the flavor inside.  In this case, that image is a Korean tabletop grill with chopsticks.  Very simple, yet descriptive.

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

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Kitco – Arabic Spice Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Kitco - Arabic Spice Kettle Cooked ChipsIntriguing…..

Very…  intriguing…..

And yet, at the same time, we find it a little perplexing that over in the United Emirates there would be Arabic Spiced Potato Chips?  Isn’t that like selling chips here in the U.S. as American flavored?  And who are these chips really targeted at? We’re guessing that it has to be all of the foreigners who are visiting the United Emirates and wanting to try something familiar, and yet a little exotic or foreign…who knows.

All that being said, we unfortunately did not taste any of the unique seasonings pictured on the front of the bag.  No star anise, no cinnamon, or bay leaf.  And is that coriander?  Yep, none of that.  Nutmeg?  Nah-uh.

Instead what we tasted was exactly what the ingredient list on back of the bag said we would – tomato powder, paprika, onion, black pepper….  So, yeah, none of those are screaming exotic, or Arabic to us!  They are screaming seasoning salt!!

The potato chips themselves are okay. They have some body to them, but with a much softer crunch.  Decent potato flavor.

Anyone else out there tried them by chance?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by S&A, acquired in Dubai, United Emirates

Kitco Official Website

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Somewhat Spicy Dill flavored Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

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

Trader Joe's - Spicy DillWe really appreciate how Trader Joe’s just loves keeping their packaging light, and a little quirky!  With these latest chips we get an orange haired young chap, who is apparently dressed for his St. Patty’s Day party or something, and is reflecting to himself – “Everything changed the day I discovered…”
We have to assume that this reflection is in regards to the day he discovered these chips.

Well, we’re not going to go so far as to say that everything changed the day that we discovered….. these Somewhat Spicy Dill flavored Kettle Cooked Potato Chips.  But, we can guess that things would certainly change for us if we wore an outfit such as the one this guys is wearing!

The Spicy Dill variety is not necessarily a new combo in the chip flavor game, but it is one that has not really picked up steam with the “big” brand companies.  Most of the chip companies willing to venture into this tangy flavor realm seem to be a bit more of the independent sort.

Most certainly our all-time favorites from this flavor combo variety are Grippo’s Hot Dill Pickle Potato Chips.  It is very likely that these are no longer available, but our memories of these herbal-y-spicy thin cut potato chips were forever live on!  We are also huge fans of Zapp’s, and Deep River’s potato chip versions.  We are happy to report that Trader Joe’s Somewhat Spicy rendition can be added to that list of favorite versions!

TJ’s medium-thin cut kettle cooked potato chips are fantastic!  Perfectly crispy, with just the right amount of mouth pleasing body.  We couldn’t really taste any potato flavor underneath the powerful seasoning blend, but that was just fine since that seasoning was a delicious recipe.

Joe’s seasoning recipe reminded us a lot of McClure’s Bloody Mary chips.  First, comes the tongue tingling spicy acidic-chile burn.  The acidic burn attacks the throat and the nasal cavity sort of harshly, but then quickly subdues to the moderate chile burn that resides in the mouth!  The one-two spicy punch.  The fragrant dill herbal notes flutter there in the background, bringing thoughts of pickles to the mind.  Garlic is also very present.

The flavor combo works deliciously well!  If you are a fan of spicy chips, or pickle flavored chips, then we’re fairly confident that you would be fans of these as well.  Make sure to let us know your comments below regarding these chips, or the day everything changed when you discovered…..what?”

For another take check out What’s Good at Trader Joe’s review.

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

Discovered at Trader Joe’s (of course); La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

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