BIJOU-REVIEW: The Little Kernel – Pink Himalayan Salt Mini Popcorn

Rating: ©©© chips  (tolerable)

The Little Kernel - Pink Himalayan Salt Mini PopcornWhat a cute little colonel kernel.  Waiving his cute little flavor flag, on his cute pink bag.

And you know what?  The popcorn itself is actually cute and little.  The bright white miniature kernels are probably one half the size of a traditional popcorn kernel.

But, really we don’t get it.  Or, let’s just say we aren’t falling for the kernel’s cute little smile, and cute little kernels.

The mini popcorn just seems like one more gimmick to trick us into buying another new product on the market.

The popcorn itself is alright, but nothing special. Light and crispy kernels, with a hint of olive oil flavor, but definitely lacking in salt content.  We would have really liked more seasoning.

Getting back to that “we don’t get it” mentioned above.  Popcorn is already a snack where a handful of it can be picked up and tossed into your chomper.  So, why would it be necessary, or for any reason practical, to make it any smaller?  It is not as if you are taking kettle cooked potato chips, and making them miniature so we can cram an entire handful into our chip eaters, rather than grabbing one or a couple of chips and crunching them.  In other words – we just don’t get it.

Popcorn discovered at Mariano’s; Westchester, Illinois

The Little Kernel Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Coney Island Classics – Jalapeño Poppers Kettle Corn with Himalayan Pink Salt

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notagle)

Coney Island - JalapenoOK, before we go any further, we would like to preface this Bijou-Review with the following statement: Coney Island Classics Jalapeño Poppers Kettle Corn with Himalayan Pink Salt is some really delicious popcorn.  Certainly better than the 3-chip notable rating that we have decided to give it, but despite that being said….

We smell something fishy here…. or, is it more like, we taste something extremely familiar here!  We have our suspicions, and we have our theory, but let’s just present all of the facts first:

  1. Jalapeño flavored kettle corn
  2. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
  3. Non-GMO Corn
  4. Surrounding NYC area
  5. Lastly, this Coney Islands Classic has an eerily similar style, pop, shape, and flavor to….

Some of our favorite popcorn of all-time – Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Happenin’ Jalapeño with Himalayan Pink Salt.

Now, we could be totally wrong here, but we just have this sneaking feeling that Ziggy’s recipe has been copied, or Ziggy’s may very well be making this popcorn for Coney Island Classics!!  Could this be the case?  And, is there anything actually wrong with this?  Well, the easy answer is no, not really.  But, deep down there’s just something that rubs us the wrong way when we think about it.  We only want Ziggy’s to sell Ziggy’s!  Just like we don’t want to order McNuggets from Burger King, and we don’t want our Toyota to have a Ferrari engine underneath its hood (wait, that example doesn’t work – we do want that!).

Coney Island Classics’ kettle corn is delicious.  If you want to actually read a review of what it tastes like, see our review of Ziggy’s Happenin’ Jalapeño.  But know this, it is not Ziggy’s, no matter how you crunch it!

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

Popcorn discovered at Marshalls; Yorktown Shopping Center, Illinois

Coney Island Classics Official Website

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RATING: Coney Island Classics – Butter Me Up Bliss Kettle Corn With Himalayan Pink Salt

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Coney Island - Butter Popcorn

Popcorn discovered at Marshalls; Lombard, Illinois

Coney Isand Classics Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Kickin’ Buffalo Wing with Himalayan Pink Salt

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

Ziggys - Kickin Buffalo WingOver two years ago we tasted Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for the first time here at Chip Review.  To call the experience deliciously amazing would be an understatement.  While Ziggy’s Buttery Bliss Kettle Corn was a lip-smacking rendition of the classic combination, it was Ziggy’s two other flavors (Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno) that really knocked our socks off!  In fact, just this past year we finally put together our Top 5 Popcorn list, and of course Ziggy made the cut!

And just recently, Ziggy released 4 all-new flavors!!

This is some tasty delicious popcorn!

The sweet and salty kettle corn interplay still remains the most pronounced aspect of this popcorn, but there is most definitely an underlying buffalo wing-ish essence to the whole combo.

The seasoning doesn’t necessarily taste extremely like real buffalo wing flavors.  We really didn’t get any of that aromatically pungent buffalo wing vinegar nasal burn.  Ziggy’s Buffalo seasoning relies more on the acidic-sour touch, which seemed to work because we couldn’t stop eating this stuff!

Great combination of tangy, sweet, salty, zippy, spicy, zingy, sour-y, and did we mention spicy-spicy-spicy?!?  Seriously, lots of heat – WHOA!!  The Cayenne took a little bit of time, maybe 30-45 seconds, to resonate and get going but then BAM! POW! Wowsers!!

Kickin’ Buffalo Wing is probably our most favorite flavor combination of Ziggy’s after his fantastic Happenin’ Jalapeno, which in our books most likely cannot be topped. We love the fresh vegetal jalapeno chile heat, mingling with the sweet & salty – delicious!

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 by Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for review

Ziggy’s Kettle Corn Official Website

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REVIEW: The Original Saratoga Chips – Sweet Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Saratoga Chips - Sweet PotatoBe honest with us here, how many of you out there actually love sweet potato chips??  Not, we’ll take them if that’s all you’ve got, but LOVE them?!  Love – as in… you actually select and purchase sweet potato chips over more traditional white potato chip varieties!  In fact, love – as in… you actually go to the grocery store with the words sweet potato chips written on your grocery list?!  Or perhaps, love – as in… your nickname, or youngest child’s middle name is SWEET POTATO!

Here at Chip Review, one may say that the majority of us share an appreciation, or respect for the sweet potato variety of potato chips, but we do not really love them.  It has taken many, many bags of chips, but we have discovered, and determined that we sort of have a love-hate relationship with the reddish hued tubers.  We very much enjoy the potato’s natural sweetness, especially when combined with oil and Himalayan Sea Salt; but we can’t seem to forgive their all too dense and crunchy texture.

For any of you out there who have never tried sweet potato chips of any type (where have you been…?), let’s just start off by saying that they are of the more toothsome variety.  There is really no better way of describing them than toothsome…tough…dense…almost leathery, but still in a crunchy sort of way.  Obviously the thinner that the chip company decides to cut them, the less apt we are to run into the overly chewy chip texture; and in this case, The Original Saratoga Chips did a pretty darn good job.  These chips are just thin enough to deliver a little crispy crunch, but refrain from too much of that pesky dense texture.

Flavor wise, the sweet potato chips plain and simple, emit pure, unadulterated sweet potato essence.  Naturally sweet (of course), with an edge of earthiness, and all balanced with a kiss of salt.  The Himalayan Sea Salt delivers this almost tangy salty flavor.  The finely ground sea salt gradually coats the lips during the chip eating process and tingles them, enticing your tongue to eventually take a pass, and taste that powerful salty goodness!  Plus, come’on let’s admit it, using Himalayan Salt is trendy and sounds really cool!

The more we think about sweet potato chips, the more we realize that very, very few chip companies seem to want to try and actually cut, or subdue, any of the natural sweetness using a dash of seasoning blend (other than salt of course).  Most chip companies seem perfectly fine with either letting the sweet potato chips’ natural sweetness speak for itself, only complimenting it with a touch of salt, or embracing that natural sweetness, and even trying to enhance and compound that natural sweetness, by adding further brown sugar with aromatics like cinnamon or nutmeg, to the mix.  Sorry chip companies, we are not fans of those types of chips.  We need, we want salt!

So, there you have it.  Are Saratoga Chips’ new Sweet Potatoes better than their Original Potato Chips, not in our books.  But for those of you out there who may be big fans of the sweet potato chip variety, then these are certainly at the top of that chip chain.

Before you leave, just in case you are unfamiliar with Saratoga Chips’ tasty back story, let us indulge you.  In the year 1853:

“A patron at Moon’s Lake House ordered fried potatoes with his meal. The diner complained that the potatoes were too thick and sent them back to the cook.

The cook at the restaurant was George Crum, who is described as Native American in some accounts and an African American in others. There is agreement, however, on Crum’s disposition—he was generally ornery. Upset that someone would criticize his cooking, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil to a crisp, and then salted them.

But what was intended as a stunt turned into an instant hit – the fussy patron and his friends loved the “crunch potato slices.” Soon the chips became known as Saratoga Chips. At first they were served in restaurants throughout the region. When George Crum left Moon’s Lake Inn to start his own restaurant called “Crumbs House,” he placed large baskets of the chips on every table. It was not long before Saratoga Chips could be found in restaurants up and down the East Coast. Soon they became known as potato chips.” (www.originalsaratogachips.com)

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 Saratoga Specialties Company for review

The Original Saratoga Chips Official Website

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REVIEW: Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Smokin’ Honey Barbecue with Himalayan Pink Salt

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Ziggy's - BBQTwo years ago we tasted Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for the first time here at Chip Review.  To call the experience deliciously amazing would be an understatement.  While Ziggy’s Buttery Bliss Kettle Corn was a lip-smacking rendition of the classic combination, it was Ziggy’s two other flavors (Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno) that really knocked our socks off!  In fact, just this past year we finally put together our Top 5 Popcorn list, and guess who landed at the top spot!

Well, it is now 2015, and we are betting that it will be yet another great year popcorn!! And, one of those reasons will likely be due to the fact that Ziggy’s has made the superb decision to release 4 all-new flavors!!  Yep, that’s right, everyone’s favorite kettle corn brand has decided to branch out, and try their hand at combining some other flavors with their deliciously sweet and salty popcorn!  Lucky us, we have all four of those flavors in the snack vault, and will be reviewing each and every one in the near future!

A little while ago we started with reviewing Ziggy’s Tomato Basil with Himalayan Pink Salt kettle corn.  We started with tomato basil flavor because it sounded the least interesting to us.  And overall, the kettle corn was good (we can’t imagine any of Ziggy’s Kettle Corn being anything but good), but overall it wasn’t anything very special.  We really couldn’t taste any basil at all, and the tomato didn’t really do anything other than reiterate the sweetness of the kettle corn.  Next up is Ziggy’s Smokin’ Honey Barbecue with Himalayan Pink Salt.  Again, we fear that putting more sweetness onto an already sweet kettle corn maybe redundant and overkill.  We honestly believe that kettle corn is best flavored using ingredients that will juxtapose the sweet notes.  Which is why we are saving Ziggy’s two other new flavors – Kickin’ Buffalo Wing and Savory Chili Lime – for last, because we think think they hold the most promise!

You know what?  The Smokin’ Honey Barbecue is better than we expected.  Sweet, smoky and savory notes flood the air as soon as we open the bag.  Initial thought, this kettle corn evokes thoughts of sweet and smoky bbq meat – probably ribs to be specific.  So, if you are looking for sweet, smoky, savory and salty bbq, and can’t find the real stuff, this kettle corn may just do the trick!  The kettle corn does tread very closely to the too sweet line, but in the end the tangy tomato, fragrant smoke, and salty salt are able to corral that sweetness and deliver a balanced, tasty combination!  The more popcorn we ate, the more we enjoyed it.  Ziggy’s just knows how to produce great sweet and salty kettle cooked popcorn!

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 by Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for review

Ziggy’s Kettle Corn Official Website

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REVIEW: Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Tomato Basil with Himalayan Pink Salt

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Ziggy's - Tomato BasilTwo years ago we tasted Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for the first time here at Chip Review.  To call the experience deliciously amazing would be an understatement.  While Ziggy’s Buttery Bliss Kettle Corn was a lip-smacking rendition of the classic combination, it was Ziggy’s two other flavors (Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno) that really knocked our socks off!  In fact, just this past year we finally put together our Top 5 Popcorn list, and guess who landed at the top spot!

Well, it is now 2015, and we are betting that it will be yet another great year popcorn!! And, one of those reasons will likely be due to the fact that Ziggy’s has made the superb decision to release 4 all-new flavors!!  Yep, that’s right, everyone’s (at least ours!) favorite kettle corn brand has decided to branch out, and try their hand at combining some other flavors with their deliciously sweet and salty popcorn!  Lucky us, we have all four of those flavors in the snack vault, and will be reviewing each and every one in the near future!

First up, Tomato Basil with Himalayan Pink Salt.  To be completely honest, we chose this flavor first because the combination sounded the least interesting to us.  Obviously, tomato and basil is a time tested classic combination that has stood the test of time!  Maybe the flavor would work with kettle corn because it is very likely that the natural sweetness from the tomato would compliment the kettle corn’s sugary sweetness, while contrasting the salt, and the fragrant basil would lighten and freshen up the entire package.  Unfortunately, we didn’t actually taste the tomato basil flavor doing any of that!

Short and simply, we do not taste any fresh, herb-y basil notes, and only the very slightest possibility of tangy-sweet-sour tomato notes.  In fact, what we really thought we actually tasted was a splash of sweet honey!  Huh?!  Was our bag actually mislabeled?  Did some popcorn batches get mixed up??  To top it off, somehow Ziggy gets away with not having to list his top secret ingredients on the back of the bag, but rather simply tells us: Tomato Basil Seasoning…..??  Any which way we crunched it, we do not really taste a tomato and basil seasoning here!

Regardless of all that, the kettle corn tastes great as always!  The kettle corn once again includes Ziggy’s delicious, minerally, slight spicy Himalayan Pink Sea Salt that we love!!  Freshly popped, large white popcorn, that has been perfectly glazed with the sweet sugar coating.  We love Ziggy’s Kettle Corn!  But for now, we are going to stick to the original three flavors.

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 by Ziggy’s Kettle Corn for review

Ziggy’s Kettle Corn Official Website

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