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!

BIJOU-REVIEW: Perri – Thai Rings (Oriental Spice Flavor)

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

perri-thai-ringsYep, that’s right, these unusual Thai Rings are another unusual snack from the box full of different chips, and chip like snacks, that we were sent from our new friends at MunchPak.

And wouldn’t you know it, they of course hail from none other than…..that’s right….

Ireland!?!  Really?

Well, that may just explain why they did not really taste anything reminiscent of actual Thai flavors.

Not that the snack rings were bad necessarily, they just did not taste anything like the best Thai food, or Thai chips, that we have tried over the years.

The rings sort of reminded us of a smaller, and denser, version of Funyuns.  Easy to pop a few in and crunch’em down.

The seasoning though, was just pretty generic.  A lot of sweet, mingling with a bit of indistinguishable chili heat.

Thai Rings provided to Chip Review by MunchPak for review

MunchPak Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Lay’s Stax – Xtra Flamin’ Hot

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

lays-stax-extra-flamin-hotApparently, we rather enjoyed Lay’s lip-smacking Flamin’ Hot Potato Crisps when we reviewed their original variation nearly four years ago…

Lay’s has now followed Chester’s lead, and taken their Flamin’ Hots, and XTRA-fied them.

Unfortunately, just like with Cheetos original Flamin’ Hots, the XTRA sequel version falls short of the classic.

That being said, they do still bring a lot of that unmistakable Flamin’ Hot flavoring!

And, they most certainly, without a doubt, bring a lot of XTRA heat on them.

The inner curve side of the crisps are absolutely caked with a thick layer of electric red Flamin’ Hot powder.

The seasoning and the potato crisps do not jive in harmony the way that other Flamin’ Hot snacks have.

In the end, if you like spicy chips, and you are already a fan of Lay’s Stax, then you are certainly going to like these.

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

Stax discovered at Quik Trip; Clayton, Missouri

Lay’s Stax Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Tic Tac Snack Original (Indonesia)

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

tic-tac-snack-originalHello all!  It’s time to introduce chip-snack-thing #2 from our gift box full of goodies that we recently received from our new friends at MunchPak.

We first mentioned this fantastic goodie box a couple of weeks ago in our review of Japanese Consomme flavored Pringles; which we thought were decently tasty.

MunchPak’s goodie box included chips from all over the globe.  From Germany and Korea, to Ireland and Japan.  Today’s reviewed snack apparently hails from Indonesia!  Exactly which one of Indonesia’s 13,000 islands these came from, we have no clue.

Our initial thoughts of Tic Tac’s Gobstopper-size snack balls were actually of Newton’s balls; which you may technically know better as Newton’s cradle.  And if that still doesn’t ring a bell for ya, we’re talking about that thing – CLICK-CLACK – that sits on top of those nice corner office desks – CLICK-CLACK – with the metal balls hanging by strings….the ones that never, ever stop CLICK-CLACKING once they start going.  We’re guessing that it has something to do with Physics…  Either way, Tic Tac’s little white snack balls made us think of Newton’s balls, probably because of their name more than anything.

Second thoughts…..these are not THOSE Tic Tacs!  These snack balls WILL NOT improve your breath in any way, shape, or form!

Tic Tac’s texture really reminded us of Kix cereal.  And that was because, well, it had exactly the same texture as Kix cereal.  Light and crunchy, and sort of melt-able like the best cheese puffs.  However, we’re guessing that Tic Tac’s may or may not be kid tested, and we’re certainly hoping that they are not mother approved…..

Let us put it this way, Tic Tacs do not taste bad necessarily, they sort of have this savory-sweet-salty thing going on.  They are made up of tapioca powder (safe enough), palm oil (high saturated fat), and flavored with garlic, MSG, and…. Aspartame!  Oh yeah, the old A.M.G. flavor combo!!  In other words, Tic Tacs are probably the farthest thing away from being all natural that we have come across in a long time.  Honestly, it was sort of hard eating these after we knew that they basically consisted of two artificial flavor enhancers that may do amazing things for flavoring food, but that have also been known to be unhealthy for our bodies.

There you have it, another foreign pack of munchies from our MunchPak box of goodies.

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

Tic Tacs provided to Chip Review by MunchPak for review

Dua Kelinci Official Website

MunchPak Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market – Jalapeño Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (tolerable)

fresh-thyme-jalapenoDo not let it deceive you, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is not in fact a farmers market that specializes in fresh thyme….  It’s really just another grocery store hopping onto the farmer, fresh, healthy, etc., etc., grocery store bandwagon.

And, like any good grocery store worth a damn, Fresh Thyme of course has an aisle, or maybe it was only a portion of an aisle, dedicated to the greatest snacking food in the world – chips!

Within that aisle were these jalapeño flavored kettle cooked potato chips, branded with the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market name.

Unfortunately, Fresh Thyme’s chips are really not that good.

The kettle cooked chips themselves may in fact have been THE THINNEST, kettle cooked, potato chips that we have ever encountered.  Very thin.

This thinness resulted in an extremely light crunch, and an invariably greasy chip, with no distinguishable potato flavor.

The jalapeño seasoning was potent enough to cover up any grease flavor, but it was also more of a spicy seasoned salt blend, than it was jalapeño in any way.

In the end, just really salty, salty, salty.  Dash of onion here, a splash of garlic there, and maybe a sprinkle of jalapeño at the end.

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

Chips discovered at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market; Downers Grove, Illinois

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list