25 Chips to Christmas….

#17

It’s Freakin’ Awesome Nosh Bag – & – Wicked Mix – Chocolate-Laced

16 mix

Original Reviews Here and Here

Okay, maybe we are cheating just a little bit by including two different mixes with our choice for #17 on this year’s 25 Chips to Christmas; but in our defense there are only so many spots on the list, plus they are both delicious mixes unlike any others we had tried before them.  Seriously, if you are a fan of sweet, salty and spicy snacks, then either one of these unique mixes should be on your ‘must find list’!!  You can thanks us later!

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RATING: Wicked Mix – Spicy Hot Chipotle

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Wicked Mix - Chipotle

Yeah, we’re as surprised as you are that we liked this flavor less than Wicked Mix’s Chocolate-Laced version.  Just goes to show that you just never know!

Mix provided to Chip Review by Wicked Mix for review

Wicked Mix Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Wicked Mix – Chocolate-Laced

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

Wicked Mix - Chocolate LacedOne of these things is not like the others!  One of these things just doesn’t belong!!

One of these things are so lip-smackingly different and delicious, that they even made us sing this song!!

Every once in a while we cross paths with a new snack that just does not fit nicely into any one category.  Something new and unique!  Sure, we’ve tasted and reviewed plenty of snack mixes, and even some of those have been of the sweet chocolate varietal, but never before have we tasted such a deliciously odd combination of chocolate and savory flavors!!

Just a short while ago we reviewed another unique sweet and salty snack mix by the name of It’s Freakin’ Awesome Nosh Bag!  And just like we fell head over heals with that unique mix, we have found another tasty surprise in Wicked Mix’s Chocolate-Laced!

Wicked Mix has three flavors or varieties of their Wicked Mixes.  There’s Spicy Original, Spicy Hot Chipotle, and then of course these Chocolate-Laced.  Wicked Mix was kind enough to send us some of each to taste and review!  Yeah, we know-we know, it is a tough job but someone has got to do it!!  If we are being completely honest with you, we started our tasting process with the Chocolate-Laced flavor first because we were the least excited for it.  Sure, we appreciate sweet and salty combinations, kettle corn popcorn is one of our all-time favorite snacks, but more often than not snacks that are covered in chocolate, completely lose sight of the sweet and salty (or savory) juxtaposition!  Luckily for you, and us, and them, Wicked Mix has found that happy medium spot where every ingredient jives and comes together to form a unique flavor experience!

First, what exactly does Wicked Mix consist of?  Well, a delightfully nutty combination of Pecan halves, Cashews, Almonds, plus 4 other tasty morsels…?  Tasty morsels?  Huh?!  Don’t look at us, that is Wicked Mix’s own description.  We think that those other morsels would be the pretzels, Chex like criss-cross wheat crisps, and some unusual honey roasted sesame crisps.   Those morsels are then spiced with a wicked liquid brew containing 8 spices, some secret, some not, resulting in a tasty snack mix that cannot be adequately described, only experienced.  But, since we are in the business of describing snacks to you, so you can in turn decide if you want to experience them, let us try and give this a shot.  The Wicked Mix combo is impressively heavy on the nuts (which is always a good thing in our books) coated with a tangy, spicy, salty, savory, chocolatey-sweet flavor layer.  At first the seasoning confuses the palette, but if you stick in there long enough to let the flavors develop, and give it a real open minded shot, we think that your taste buds will end eventually thank you!!  To get a good idea of the depth of flavor going on with this mix, just take a look at some of ingredients (and mind you, in the end this is all finished with a drizzle of white and dark chocolates): distilled white vinegar, onions, ANCHOVIES, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, fully aged peppers, salt, LARD, garlic, salt, Cayenne pepper & CELERY salt!!  Whoa!  That is one delicious mouthful!

Not to plagiarize a line from some of our own work, but this little snippet from a recent review just fits too perfectly not to use it – The myriad of contrasting ingredients are amazingly cohesive, and despite the unique combination they tasted oddly familiar?  And that’s just it, this Wicked Mix hits all of those familiar flavor notes our childhood Chex Mix, while at the same time, taking it somewhere new and delicious!

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

Mix provided to Chip Review by Wicked Mix for review

Wicked Mix Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Popsalot – California Cruisin’

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

Pops-A-Lot - California CruisinAlright, sometimes we feel a little bit bad when we end up giving a chip or puff or popcorn one of our unforgiving ‘return to sender‘ ratings.  But sometimes, we just have to do it!  And although sometimes we may question ourselves, there are other times we just know we’re right!  This is one of those times!  Sorry California Cruisin’ but we need to RETURN YOU TO SENDER!!

For those of you out there who require a bit more supporting evidence than just our opinion and word, may we point you in the direction of Popsalot’s website link below.  Please click on that link, and then search for this popcorn on their website…..What’s that you say?  It doesn’t exist?!  Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn has actually removed the flavor from their popcorn line-up!!  Now, we do not know for certain why it was removed, but if we were to speculate we’d assume that it was because no one liked it!  **Correction – sometimes we jump to our own assumptions without actually having any facts to back it up.  Luckily, we were contacted by Popsalot, and informed that:

California Cruisin’ was newly launched last year in specific regions and immediate demand for it was too high to keep any in stock for potential online sales.  We held off on adding California Cruisin’ to our website until we launched it nationally AND had sufficient production time to ensure that any online demand could be met.

To be completely honest, we were far and away the most excited about this flavor from all of the flavors we were sent by Popsalot.  There was just something very intriguing about the combination of caramel corn, almonds and meyer lemons.  We love tasting new flavor combinations.  And California Cruisin sounded unlike anything that we can ever remember trying – we were giddy!

Unfortunately…the end result of the California Cruisin’ flavor combination is nothing like we had imagined!  And, we do not mean that in a good way!  As far as the actual flavor execution goes, we must assume that it is spot on.  Why? Because the popcorn did taste just like sweet, smoky, vanilla-kissed caramel corn, tossed with some savory almonds (unfortunately once again, much less than we would hope for), and then there is an underlying presence, which slowly shifted to an overwhelming essence, of citrus-y Meyer lemon.  One taster even asked if they were eating orange dreamsicle flavored popcorn?!?!  Ewww is right!  Somehow the sweet, velvety, caramel flavor, mixed with nutty almonds and fruity Meyer lemons, combines to trigger memories of treats better acquired from an ice cream truck, rather than the snack aisle!

In the end, the flavor combination just didn’t work with popcorn, and rubbed every on of our tasters the wrong way!  Of course, that being said, we understand that our aversion to this flavor combination is subjective, and there are of course others out there who may very well love this unique combination!  Despite props for execution, and a unique willingness to push flavor boundaries, we’re sorry Popsalot, we simply did not love the California Cruisin’ combo!!

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

Popcorn provided to Chip Review from Popsalot for review

Popsalot Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: It’s Freakin’ Awesome Nosh Bag

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

It's Freakin' AwesomeWow, this stuff really is Freakin’ Awesome!  Seriously, it literally is It’s Freakin’ Awesome Nosh Bag!!

Every so often we cross paths with a chip or snack that is a first of its kind.  Heck, just last week we tried our first Mojo Criollo flavored chips, along with chips made from egg whites!  And, what we have here is plain and simple, unlike any other snack, of any sort, that we have ever tried!! It is FREAKIN’ UNIQUE!  It is FREAKIN’ LIP-SMACKING!  It is FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!  May we just point out the product advisory from the back of the bag: “This disruptive tasting snack has corrupted the palates of NCAA athletes to 87-year-old grandmothers.”  Well, let the delicious disruption begin!

First of all, listen to this line-up of just some of the ingredients: peanuts, almonds, dried cranberries, something like, if not, Crispix corn & rice cereal pieces, and caramelized tortilla chips!  CARAMELIZED TORTILLA CHIPS!!  All mingling with spices like cinnamon, cayenne and garlic!  The creative mix definitely leans towards the sweeter end of the flavor spectrum.  However, remaining just savory enough for our own personal taste preferences from the generous usage of peanuts and almonds!  And just sour and tangy enough from the the dried cranberries.  We also absolutely love all of the contrasting textural elements.  Crispy Crispix, crunchy nuts, chewy dried cranberries and crackly corn tortilla chips – oh my!

Did we mention the CARAMELIZED TORTILLA CHIPS yet?!  A golden hued, glossy sugar glaze, coated much of the product inside the Nosh Bag, but none more so than the tortilla chips.  Why this ingenious combination hasn’t been done before (if it has we are unaware), we have no clue!  The thick-ish coating of crystallized sugar envelops the tortilla chips, adding a crispy layer of sweetness that perfectly compliments the natural corn sugars. Sprinkle on a dash of fragrant cinnamon, spicy cayenne and pungent garlic, and our taste buds were shocked and amazed!  If we had one complaint it would most likely be that we could have used a bit more salt included in the equation, but again that is our own personal preference.

The myriad of contrasting ingredients are amazingly cohesive, and despite the unique combination they tasted oddly familiar?  But, we just can’t quite pinpoint what it is…?  Does this combo taste like delicious Nutter Butter cookies?  Caramel corn?  Or, is it a Butter Finger candy bar?  Could it be one of the hundreds of different types of Girl Scout Cookies available today?  In the end, we’re pretty sure it is likely some sort of Christmas cookies that grandma used to make, but frankly we don’t care as long as we have this Nosh Bag in our lives (we say as we shake the bag above our mouths to get those last little crumbs!)!!

We’re not sure if this amazing stuff is available for sale at any retail outlets (you’ve got to be freakin’ kiddin’ us!?!), but we do know that you can clink on their website below and get it headed your way right fast!

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

Nosh provided to Chip Review by It’s Freakin’ Awesome for review

It’s Freakin’ Awesome Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list