REVIEW: Lay’s – Flavor Swap – Fiery Roasted Habanero Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's - Fiery Roasted HabaneroWell, now that Lay’s 2015 ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest has officially ended….?!?  That’s right, how many of you out there actually heard who the most recent contest’s flavor winner was?  Us neither.  But apparently the winner was Hailey Green of Noblesville, Indiana with her Southern Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips.  Congrats Hailey!

Which of course means that it is time for an all new Lay’s Potato Chip Promotion, or as we like to call it an LPCP.  What does Lay’s have cooking in 2016?  Well, for starters, some Fiery Roasted Habanero flavored potato chips, that’s what!!  And they are apparently a part of Lay’s new Flavor Swap.  No, this is not some far fetched potato chip dating sort of thing, it is Lay’s pitting 4 totally brand new flavors up against 4 existing flavors that they currently offer on the market.  We, the consumers, in turn vote to save our favorite flavors – either the new, or the old.  As Lay’s says “One Stays. One Goes.”  Not quite sure if this could get any more dramatic?  Oh wait, maybe instead of clicking on which flavor we like best, Lay’s could have a small pile of roses that we can give to those flavors we want to stick around a while longer…. Moving on.

So far we have only spotted the Fiery Roasted Habanero flavor on our local store shelves (but we’ll be honest and tell you that this is also the flavor we were most excited to try). The rest of the line-up looks like this:

Lay's Flavor Swap

What do you guys think?  Tried any of the new ones by chance?  Or, perhaps there’s one or more of the old flavors that you really want to stay, or go?  All four new flavors sound pretty darn interesting to us!

As for the Fiery Roasted Habanero flavored chips, well these are pretty darn delicious. First, a sweet tomato-red pepper-citrus tang assertively says hello to your taste buds.  Which is then quickly followed by a fragrant splash of every flavors best wing men buddies garlic and onion.  We’re not too sure if we actually taste any real habanero chili flavor, maybe just the slightest touch of that greatest of great chili peppers, way, way back in the darkest corner of our palettes. That being said, we do see that Lay’s did in fact use real habanero in their seasoning blend, and we can also confirm that when you eat a lot of these chips (and we’re guessing that you will, because they are delicious), you will feel a very decent amount of spicy heat build up in your mouth, and on your tongue.  Not an overwhelming level of heat, but certainly an undeniable and impressive level when we think of these being Lay’s.  But, the fact of the matter is that we do not taste very much habanero, and we really wish that we could taste more!

The potato chips tasted very potato-ful.  Much more potato-ful than we typically taste from Lay’s potato chips.  We’re not sure if this specific seasoning blend simply highlights layers of potato flavor that we can’t typically do not taste on a Lay’s potato chip, or if Lay’s has opted for better quality potatoes; either way, these chips had a soft and crispy crunch, with loads of tasty potato flavor!

So, there you have it, these chips are delicious, taste very little like habanero, but do bring a decent level of heat along with them. Let’s do America a flavor and get rid of Flamin’ Hot, and #VoteFieryHabanero!!

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

Chips discovered at Walmart; Villa Park, Illinois

Voting ends March 21st, so make sure you go to the link below, and let Lay’s know which flavors should STAY, and which should GO!!

Lay’s Flavor Swap

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25 Chips to Christmas….

#12

Late July – Bacon Habanero Clasico Tortilla Chips

Late July - Bacon Habanero

Original Review Here

You got our attention with ‘bacon’, and you got our hard earned dough with ‘habanero’.  We knew we had to have these chips the very first time we saw them, plus we knew that there could be no way that they weren’t lip-smackingly delicious!  Our only suggestion to Late July would be to sprinkle the habanero seasoning shaker a few more times before sealing up those bags, because the only thing keeping these chips from being “A-list” status is their too subtle habanero presence.

REVIEW: Doritos Collisions – Habanero & Guacamole (Canada)

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (tolerable)

Doritos Collisions - Habanero GuacamoleOkay, so we are being sort of harsh with the rating we ended up giving these chips, we can admit it.  These Doritos, like pretty much all Doritos, are still pretty easy to devour by the bag full.  In fact, these two collided flavors (Habanero and Guacamole!), individually are among some of our favorite discontinued Doritos of all-time!  We’re sure that some of you out there are probably too young to even remember one or both of those flavors!

The question of, ‘is two always better than one’, or ‘can you ever have too much of a good thing’, or ‘is more always better than less’ can be summed up with the simple answer – see Doritos Collisions!  We’ve said it before, or maybe we haven’t, and if we haven’t then we should have, and we’ll just say it now – Doritos Collisions are not the greatest example of Doritos. The idea of combining two flavors into one bag may sound pretty tasty conceptually but it just doesn’t really work. Even when you combine two really delicious flavors.

Why doesn’t it work exactly? We’re not quite sure.  But, if you need other examples of where we feel like this tactic of combining two different flavors or products has also failed see: Cheetos Flamin’ Hot & Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon or Snyder’s of Hanover Flavor Doubles.  The main problem seems to stem from the two flavors rubbing off on one other.  No longer can you taste each flavor individually, but rather the predominant flavor (in this case habanero) begins to influence and change the weaker flavor.  It is almost as if it is a peer pressure sort of thing…

Hey, come try my spicy chili powder.

Okay sure, why don’t you taste my creamy avocado seasoning.  No, well okay.

In the end these chips are not bad in any way. We devoured the bag like we do most bags of Doritos. In fact, it was really nice to try something “new” from Doritos that wasn’t of the JACKED variety! But, this combination did nothing to improve upon either of the original flavors, and quite frankly we could not even taste the green guacamole seasoning.  We would have preferred it if Doritos just kept the two flavors separate and re-released them for us to enjoy!

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

Doritos purchased off of eBay, shipped from Cananda

Doritos Official Website

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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

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REVIEW: Late July – Bacon Habanero Clasico Tortilla Chips

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

Late July - Bacon HabaneroWell, if you can’t beat’em (and in the case of flavored tortilla chips, we’re guessing no one will ever come even remotely close to really competing against the little golden triangles…), then why not join’em!!  Following in the footsteps of Doritos lip-smacking JACKED Spicy Street Taco (last year’s eventual winners of the Bold Test Flavor Experience), Late July has created an entire new line of Taco Truck Inspired Flavors!!  Stay tuned for our reviews of Late July’s other delicious sounding flavors coming soon…. Jalapeno Lime anyone?  How about some Nacho Chipotle??

Here at Chip Review we have a lot of respect for companies that work hard to produce a chip that is healthier than other chips on the market; and when those companies can actually deliver their healthier options that also taste as good as, if not better than, those unhealthier options, we are thrilled!!  Late July Organic Company is just that, a small family owned operation (or at least they were…), giving us a more conscientious chip, and certainly a delicious product!!

These are some really delicious chips!!  In fact, without actually going back through all of our bacon flavored reviews from throughout the years, we’re willing to bet that these are probably the most bacon-y bacon flavored chips that we’ve ever tried! Seriously, these permeate profusely with a pronounced porky presence! Try and say that five times fast!!   First, the smoke hits and sort of engulfs the entire cavity, then a dash of sweetness tickles the taste buds.  The combo really, really evokes thoughts of sweet-smoky bacon!  Working with the bacon flavor were also those standard staple ingredients – onion and garlic – that when combined with the smoke and sweet, really made us think of bbq seasoning.

We love like these chips a lot!!  If you happen to be thinking to yourself “why are they crossing out words? Why do I feel like there is a ‘but’ somewhere hidden here within this review…?”  Well, that is because there is a but.  A big BUT!!  A wish there wasn’t but there is but!  We really like these chips……. ‘B-U-T’ – habanero is practically no where to be found!!  That’s right, the cursive half of this delicious flavor combo has sent in the second string, or maybe third.  Don’t get us wrong, there is certainly a delayed heat that does develop over time, and it is a bit spicy, but when you start throwing around the ‘h’ word (habanero) we expect to actually taste those deliciously fruit and floral chile peppers! And we didn’t.  Also, we expect our mouths to be on fire!!  Which they were not.  As good as these chips are, and they really are, we think that they could have been really, really GREAT!  Late July just couldn’t commit to the habanero half and deliver some authentic street taco flavors!

All that being said, the tortilla chips themselves are fantastic!  Easily our favorite new tortilla chips since Paquis Tortilla Chips a couple years ago.  In fact, these tortilla chips could even be mistaken for a Doritos tortilla chip in a blind taste test.  Light and crispy, with those lovely little air pockets that give our favorite style of tortilla chips their delicious texture!

So, in closing, love the bacon, miss the habanero, can’t wait to try the other flavors.  Great job Late July!

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

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; River Forest, Illinois

Late July Organic Snacks Official Website

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REVIEW: Nick’s – Hot Habanero Tortilla Chips

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

Nick's - Hot Habanero Tortilla ChipsWe are always pleasantly surprised when we cross paths with a local or regional chip brand while we are traveling.  Especially one that is as lip-smacking as these Hot Habanero!!  We spotted Nick’s tortilla chips while visiting the Detroit area, and after a little bit of research, it appears as though Nick’s chips are actually based in the Detroit area, and we’re guessing that their distribution is predominantly limited to that area as well.

WHOA – flavorful!!  First crunch, and we can tell instantly that Nick is our sort of chip guy!  No subtle dusting of a delicate seasoning blend in this case.  Rather, a potently spicy, full-flavored, no holds barred – CHIPS!!

In fact, surprisingly enough, Nick’s Hot Habanero Tortilla Chips are sort of reminiscent of Doritos long lost Fiery Habanero from years back! And, of course by surprisingly enough, we mean awesomely enough!!  Easily some of the best Doritos of all-time!!

Nick’s hot habanero seasoning blend has an initial zip to it.  Sort of a spicy, tangy, slightly acidic combo, finished with a nice splash of salty cheesy-ness to smooth things out!  That initial tangy burn doesn’t last very long, and while the cheese flavor does mellow it out to certain extent, the powerful, slow burn from the habanero heat creeps up, and plants a nice wallop on the backs of our tongues and throats!  No joke, this heat continually gains and retains!  Be warned, by the bottom of this bag our tongues were sweating and throbbing a bit!!

The tortilla chips are decent, but have that slightly more toothsome, or the best way we can describe it is sort of “stale” texture to them.  Who knows, maybe our bag was actually stale, maybe one day we will get the chance to compare.  Either way, we usually prefer more crispy, light and fragile tortilla chips, but with this powerful hot habanero seasoning blend, it’s probably best that the chips had some body to them.

Overall, just really tasty chips.  We can’t wait for our next excuse to visit the Detroit area and search out Nick’s chips once again!!

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

Chips discovered at random gas station; Detroit, Michigan

Nick’s Official Website

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