BIJOU-REVIEW: Sun Chips Veggie Harvest – Farmhouse Ranch

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Sun Chips Veggie Harvest - Farmhouse RanchIt has been a long time Sun Chips!  A long, long time since we reviewed any of your classic multigrain waves.

We’re pretty sure that we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, Sun Chips’ groundbreaking, and now iconic, multigrain chip texture, and shape, changed the way we looked at chips, and we will always love them dearly for that!

Sun Chips new ‘Veggie Harvest’ line of chips apparently are made with real veggies, in addition to the usual wholegrains.

Initial thoughts – these taste a lot, seriously a lot, like regular Sun Chips.  In other words, great news!

Believe it or not, the very first ingredient listed on the back of the bag – dried yellow peas.  DRIED YELLOW PEAS?!?  YUM, right?  Yeah right!  And yet somehow, these really just taste like any other Sun Chips.  Wow, very impressive.

If we were to nitpick about anything about the texture, then we might say that these chips have a slightly harder crunch than regular Sun Chips.  Maybe something about the baked peas provides a more dense and tough texture?

There is a lot-lot-lot of seasoning coating these chips.  Very salty, but also tasty. These chips are so heavily seasoned we are wondering if Sun Chips is perhaps trying to cover something else up??  Peas perhaps?

All the standard ranch flavors are present – garlic, sour cream, onion, dill.  It really tastes like ranch dressing.  FYI – this is not Sun Chips’ first venture into the ranch flavor field.  In fact, their original Peppercorn Ranch flavored chips are some of our most favorite Sun Chips of all-time!

Long story short, if you want to include more veggies into your chip diet then Sun Chips new ‘Veggie Harvest’ chips are lip-smacking way to do that!

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

Chips discovered at Jewell Osco; Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Sun Chips Official Website

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RATING: Good Health Natural Foods – Mickey Shaped Veggie Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Good Health - Mickey

Do you have kids?

Then your kids will want these!  They may even need them!!

Are veggie chips really a healthier alternative to your everyday chip snacking?  Are any of the actual vegetable nutrients found in these chips??  Regardless, these do not turn your kids’ fingers bright orange which is a win for everyone!!

Discovered at Target; Willowbrook, Illinois

Good Health Natural Foods Official Website

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REVIEW: Lay’s – Copa de los Sabores (Flavor Cup) – Brasil Feijoada

Rating: ©©©©© chips (“A” list)

Lay's - Copa de los Sabores - FejoidaAlright, we have reached the culmination of this southern hemisphere tour de chips!  Lucky for you, and even more lucky for us, we saved the best for last!

If you are a regular around these parts then you know that we’ve already reviewed Lay’s Ensalada Chilena (deliciously simple), España Chorizo Iberico (tangy and funky), and Peru Pollo a la Brasa (lackluster) flavored chips, and in our opinion they have completely blown away Lay’s U.S.A. in the new, limited edition flavor field!  This is how it should be done!!  South American Style!!!

You may have already read the following, but for those of you who have not:

Wouldn’t you know it, Chip Review leaves the country right as Lay’s U.S. released this year’s four new ‘Do Us a Flavor’ chips.  So, we missed all of the initial hub-bub, and our own ‘Do Us a Flavor’ reviews were a little behind on the ball, but everything worked out in the end, because while most of your were struggling through weird flavors like cappuccino, we were busy devouring four delicious limited edition Lay’s Chile Copa de los Sabores! Aka – World Cup inspired flavors!  That’s right, in honor of 2014’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Lay’s Chile decided to release four unique flavors highlighting traditional dishes from four, scratch that three, South American countries, plus Spain??  *On a side note: we just wonder why Lay’s Chile opted to include Spain, a European country, rather than stick with their South American siblings, and include a country such as Argentina, who of course exudes World Cup soccer, and who’s grilled steak with chimichurri sauce, would have fit right in with this flavor line-up??  Is there some sort of underlying rivalry between the two…?!  Or, are are they simply honoring their Latin American roots by including Spain? The world may never know!

Sort of fitting that Brasil was our flavor winners among Lay’s Copa de los Sabores flavor line-up because they were also the soccer, excuse us futbol, team that made it the furthest in this year’s World Cup! Brasil – really good at soccer, and even better at chip flavors!!

So, what exactly is feijoada?  Well, for those of you who somehow unfamiliar with this delicious Brazilian staple (shame on you), let’s just call it the most comforting-comfort food there ever was!  You know that favorite winter dish that only your grandma, (who just so happens to live far far away), makes only once a year when you finally come to visit?  Now imagine just how comforting that dish is to you, multiply that comfort by three, and you may begin to understand the delicious contentment that feijoada provides.  Feijoada reminds us of home, even if it was never made in any of our homes growing up.

More technically, feijoada is a thick black bean stew cooked at a very low temp, for a very long time, with various cheap cuts of pork and beef.  The rich and hearty Brazilian stew that we are familiar with is often accompanied by rice (to soak up all the delicious stew juice), julienned collard greens (adding some freshness and crunchy texture), farofa (toasted flour – think very finely ground bread crumbs, toasted with butter and bacon, providing some salty, nutty, and additional porky notes), and lastly, orange slices (for some acidity, and of course to help cut through all of that richness!).  Sounds complex, sounds like a lot, and it is, but amidst everything that is going on, feijoida is completely harmonious!

So, how well did Lay’s do with replicating feijoada’s vast array of flavors?  Did we really taste layers of rich black beans, stewed with pork and beef with sides of greens, rice, toasted flour and oranges?  The simple answer is NO, but do these potato chips taste absolutely unique and delicious?  YES! Yes they do!!!  Not only were these easily the best among the four Copa de los Sabores, but they are also the best chips that we have ever had from Chile, and even among the best Lay’s that we have tasted ever!  The seasoning included an amazing array and interplay of flavors.  Everything from a slightly smoky meat flavor, to some tangy sour acidic notes, and even a touch of some bitter vegetal notes.  And while the chips may not have perfectly represented Brasil’s national dish, they were a delicious and complex attempt.

Viva las papas fritas!!

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

Chips discovered at Lider Express; Santiago, Chile

Lay’s Chile

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REVIEW: Popchips – New! Tuscan Herb Veggie Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (tolerable)

PopChips - Tuscan Herb Veggie Chips

Comments:

How would it sound to you if we said that we just tasted some spinach, navy bean, kale, chickpea, beet, pea, pumpkin, tomato and red bell pepper chips?

That’s what we thought!

As if we didn’t already dislike the majority of Popchips enough already, they have decided to go ahead and use one of what we consider the oldest, most gimmicky chip tricks in the book!  Chips, disguised as vegetables.  In this case, popped veggie chips.  The funny thing is, despite Popchips’ declaration from the back of their bag that they ”pop a flavorful blend of nine (count’em, nine) veggies and add our zesty tuscan herb blend for tasty chips that are light, crispy, and gluten free;” the very first ingredient listed on the back of these veggie chips is still good old trusty potatoes!  Kind of ironic, don’t you think?  Not to say that Popchips is lying to us, because according to the list of veggies above, the ingredients do in fact include at least nine vegetables.  It’s just we wonder, no we ask, ‘why’?

According to the visual on the front of the bag, Popchips has suggested that there are five different colored Popchips within this bag of veggie chips; however, in the end, our eyes could only decipher four distinct colored chips within the bag – green, orange-ish red, golden tan, and lighter white potato.  Our mouths on the other hand, could decipher practically zero flavor difference between the multiple colored chips, and only a slightly noticeable textural difference between them.  So again, we ask, what exactly is the reason for the veggie chips?

The tuscan herb seasoning blend was rather potent, and from what we could decipher consisted of a wide melange of flavors, most prominent of which were salt, tomato and thyme.  The seasoning blend was adequate, but did not wow us for any reason.  So, in the end, Popchips new Veggie Chips aren’t bad for any reason, it’s just that they don’t necessarily bring anything new or exciting to the table for us!

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

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REVIEW: Tyrrell’s – Beetroot, Parsnip & Carrot Crisps with Seal Salt

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Tyrrell's - Beetroot, Parsnip & Carrot Crisps With Sea Salt

Comments:

We are going to keep this review short and sweet, sort of like the deep rich magenta colored beet crisps in this bag….

Why, why, why, why would someone choose vegetable crisps over traditionally delicious potato crisps??  Your guess is as good as ours.  And, while we are nitpicking, are potatoes not vegetables themselves?  They are not fruit?  Definitely not meat?  Yep, potatoes are technically considered vegetables, so to specifically call these carrots, beets and parsnips, ‘vegetable crisps’ is sort of doing an injustice to potatoes.  As you may or may not know, we have not reviewed many vegetable chips on our site, and the reason is simple, we don’t very much like them.

We know Tyrrell’s English Crisps are relatively new to our North American shores, but why anyone would try to compete against the vegetable chip kings of the West (Terra) is beyond us….?

Their are two things we should note regarding these vegetable crisps:

First of all, we’ve made a point of Tyrrell’s potato crisps’ texture in the past, but these vegetable crisps are a whole new dilemma.  Each of the three vegetables have their own slightly different texture; none of which are necessarily pleasing.  Visually, we cannot really tell the difference between the parsnip and carrot crisps, and unfortunately they take up the majority of the bag.

Secondly, the beet crisps exude a strong interplay between sweet and (extremely) salty, that was the only welcome surprise we could find among these crisps.  The texture, color and richness somehow mimic the texture and flavor of some overcooked, crispy pieces of bacon.  Now, isn’t that ironic – vegetable chips that taste a bit like the exact opposite, the anti-vegetable – bacon!

So, in the end, if you like vegetable chips then maybe you would like Tyrrell’s version, because in our opinion, they are just like all the rest.

As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

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