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)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Terra – Sharp & Spicy Wasabi

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

terra-wasabiWe’re sorry to say it, but we feel like we do not review very many Terra chips these days.  Now, whether that is due to Terra not introducing many new chips onto the market these days, or the fact that when they do release something new it is very often some sort of unusual vegetable chip that we’re just not feeling like reviewing….

What we do know for sure is that when we do try a new chip from Terra, whether it is good or bad, it is almost always something very unique and original!

Case in point, Terra’s newest Sharp & Spicy Wasabi real vegetable chips made with a UNIQUE seasonal potato blend.  While these Wasabi flavored chips may not be as unique as the last chips we reviewed from Terra, we’re talking about you – Celery Root Chips w/ Aged Cheese!!  Terra’s Wasabi chips are most certainly better tasting!

Now, if you are a huge fan of wasabi’s typically pungent, nose burning heat, and that is what you are really looking for from these then you may be somewhat disappointed.  These chips are not about the seasoning at all.  The seasoning is very subtle, and is just there to compliment the fantastic potato chips.  A simple, perfect sprinkling of just the right amount of salt, and only delicate dash of what tasted like mustard powder.

As for those fantastic potato chips, well apparently they are made up of a seasonal selection of four types of potatoes.  There’s Andover, Atlantic, Marcy and Waneta potatoes (and if those names mean anything to you, then bravo for being up on your potato varietal knowledge).  What we can tell you is that we did not really notice any textural, or flavor, difference from chip to chip, but all together the seasonal variety delivered a fantastically rich, buttery, and earthy flavor combo.  Seriously, chip for chip these were some of the best tasting potato chips we’ve tried in a while.  Really, nothing to do with the seasoning, all about the chip!

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

Discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Villa Park, Illinois

Terra Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Neal Brothers Foods – Extremely Tasty Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips

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

neal-brothers-spicy-srirachupFor many of you out there, we’re willing to go out on a limb and guess that your all-time favorite, red colored condiment, is the same as it was when you were a child.  You know what we are talking about, that french fry dipping, meat loaf topping, red squeeze bottle filled with that sweet, smooth paste from your past, as well as your present.

For a certain one of us here at Chip Review, ketchup was never a staple of his childhood.  In fact, he wouldn’t touch the stuff, or any red sauce for that matter.  Let’s put it this way, he never even tried PIZZA until he was TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD!!??  And yes, he now knows that this was one of his life’s biggest mistakes, and he has been trying to make up for it ever since.

Okay, so what’s the point?  Well, now that he does enjoy red colored condiments and sauces of all types, he has realized that he hates ketchup with a passion.  To him, ketchup just seems like a horribly sweet, candy colored condiment, most likely designed to get children to consume vegetables.  Fortunately for him, ketchup flavored chips for the most part are usually rather tasty.  And just FYI, overall our favorite red colored condiment here at Chip Review is Original Tabasco (okay reddish), but Huy Fong’s Sriracha, and all of its versatility, ain’t too shabby either. 

Which brings us to the review at hand – Neal Brothers Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips.  That’s right.  Sriracha and Ketchup flavored potato chips!!  You know what that means don’t you?  The best of both worlds!  Sriracha for those of us who like a mildly sweet, definitely tangy, garlic heavy, decently spicy, Thai chili hot sauce; and ketchup for those of us who still like to eat as if we are 5 years old….just kidding!  Ketchup for those of us who like a sweet-salty-tomato-y sauce that we have been enjoying for years and years.

Earlier this week we told you about Neal Brothers lip-smacking Montreal Steak Spice kettle chips, and we are happy to report that their Spicy Srirachup kettle chips are lip-smacking as well!  We wouldn’t say that they are quite as dynamically delicious as the Montreal Steak Spice, but we could also see a lot of people liking the Sriracha Ketchup even more.

First and foremost, the chips are tangy, tangy, tangy.  Lots of acid or vinegar, which sounds about right as both of the red condiments do have a tang to them.  Next, we tasted a good dose of sriracha’s garlic and ketchup’s tomato.  Lastly, a decent level of chili heat came creeping in and rounded the whole flavor combo out.  We were very thankful and pleased that the seasoning stayed away from ketchup’s too sweet aspect.

Once again Neal Brothers’ medium-thick cut, extra crunchy, not greasy at all, kettle cooked potato chips pair nicely with their seasoning.

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 Neal Brothers for review

Neal Brothers Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Paqui Tortilla Chips – The One Chip Challenge – Carolina Reaper Madness

Rating: ©©©©© chips (“A” list)

paqui-carolina-reaperThere’s no turning back once you enter Homemade Hell.

— Inside: One Deadly Chip —

The reaper is waiting.  Any last words?

IT’S DAMN HOT.

#onechipchallange

We could go on, and on, referencing Paqui’s quippy packaging slogans, but all we really want to do is say:

Bravo Paqui.  Bravo.

We don’t normally show you more than a single picture from the front of the bag, but we’re feeling like this packaging warrants a couple more shots.

paqui-carolina2paqui-carolina3

Details (“warnings”) from the back of the coffin, and the single Fear the Reaper chip bag from inside.

In all seriousness, Paqui’s new One Chip Challenge may just go down in history as the single greatest chip marketing promotion that we have ever encountered!  The videos posted all over the internet of people attempting the One Chip Challenge, combined with Paqui’s absolutely, freakishly, fantastic packaging, had us fearing these chips even prior to tasting them.

Quick backstory on Chip Review and Paqui. We reached out to Paqui Tortilla Chips over three years ago about reviewing their small-ish line of chips.  After a few weeks of back and forth, Doug finally got a sample box out to us.  If you have ever checked out our 25 Chips to Christmas then needless to say that we were WOWED by the amazing quality of Paqui’s Grilled Habanero flavored tortilla chips.  Not just for their spot on attention to flavor detail but also for their willingness to really push the heat level to somewhere we had never tasted before.

Later that year, around Halloween time, Paqui reached out to us about being the first to taste, and review, their Limited Edition Haunted Ghost Pepper flavored tortilla chips.  Once again, if you have ever checked out our 25 Chips to Christmas, then you know that we were wowed by these as well.  Once again, Paqui pushed the heat to a level we had never before tasted on chips.

Fast forward to today: Paqui Tortilla Chips – The One Chip Challenge – Carolina Reaper Madness.  Lets break these chips, hold on, sorry, this chip experience down for you.

Truth be told, we typically start out by licking a chip.  We like to get a taste of the seasoning on its own.  This time was no different.  Lick 1 – wow, really delicious.  And, yeah, that’s pretty spicy.  One more lick – yep, these are very delicious.  Another amazing seasoning blend by Paqui.  Fruity, smoky, floral chile notes…..

Hold on now, wait a second…..

Oh yeah, there it is…..

Oh……

OMG!!!!!!! HOLY HELL!! F&$^(#F!!!!

Yep, that’s right, Paqui brought the heat once again!  It takes a little while to really hit you, but then once it does, you can expect some compounding, persistent, PAIN!  The tongue was actually throbbing. Two glasses of milk, and about ten minutes later and the heat practically disappeared.  We survived.

We are calling these chip, “A” list – perfect, not because they are our most favorite chips, or even that we would want to taste another one, but because they live up to everything they promise, and everything we expect from Paqui.  Without a doubt, the spiciest chips of all-time!

Bravo Paqui.  Bravo.

As always, these are our thoughts, agree or disagree, let us know.

Chip provided to Chip Review by JK, for review, plus to torture us….

Paqui Tortilla Chips Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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RATING: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Limited Edition Flavor – Spicy Chili & Cheese Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

lays-kettle-cooked-spicy-chili-cheeseAs we thought to ourselves “Lay’s All New Limited Edition Spicy Chili & Cheese Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are a pretty darn tasty addition to the L.K.C. line-up….and yet, at the same time…..also very familiar.”

Apparently, a little bit too familiar.  A few minutes of Chip Review research and we discovered that a couple of years back we tasted and rated (but no review) Lay’s Kettle Cooked Spicy Cayenne & Cheese Potato Chips, or in other words, what we’re guessing were the SAME EXACT CHIPS!!  We can’t verify the accuracy of this statement for, but if we could locate the  Cayenne & Cheese list of ingredients we’re more than certain they would look exactly like THESE.  We mean come’on, both bags are using the SAME EXACT INGREDIENT PIC!  Bunch of kettle cooked, heavily seasoned potato chips, with a large block of white cheese, and a couple of red chili/cayenne peppers sitting directly in front.

So, long story short, we’ve eaten these chips before.  That being said, technically we did not review them the first go around, so we will take this time to scribe a few descriptive details regarding their flavor.

Lay’s Spicy Chili & Cheese seasoning is not lacking in flavor.  To more or less quote the great Junk Food Guy, these taste a lot like Spicy Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos did a bit too much mingling with Ruffles Sour Cream & Cheddar chips.  In other words, the seasoning has plenty of salty and tangy cheese flavor, a decent enough dash of chili pepper heat, and a surprisingly tasty splash of tart sour cream.  The flavor combo has been used plenty of times before, but that does not make it any less tasty.

All in all, tasty “NEW” limited RE-edition of Lay’s.  We’ll enjoy them while they last.

Chips discovered at Walmart; Villa Park, Illinois

Lay’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Cheetos – Bag of Bones Flamin’ Hot

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

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hotIt’s that time of year again!

The time of year when all of the stores begin to market for holidays that are still roughly two months away!  It seems like it is getting so bad these days that we’re not sure if we are supposed to put up the Christmas lights for the trick-or-treaters or not!

But, we really do love this time of year, especially for the kiddos.  They get excited about dressing up as their favorite movie characters, or sports heroes, and of course those spooky creatures who typically scare them in the night.  And then they are let loose in the neighborhood in search of bags full of teeth rotting sugar loaded treats!

That being said, they are in for a surprise when they come knocking on Chip Review’s doors this year.  This year we will not be delving out any sweets, instead we will be delivering them some spicy and spooky bone shaped puffed corn!  Isn’t that what every kid really wants anyways?

Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Bag of Bones is this Halloween’s addition to last year’s release of Cheetos White Cheddar flavored Bones.  We are nearly certain that we tasted the white cheddar bones last year, but for whatever reason we did not actually review or rate them.  All we can assume is that they must not have been that tasty…

The Flamin’ Hot Bag of Bones basically just consists of Cheetos Puffs, in cute (we mean spooky) skeleton bone shapes.  They deliver the same, classic, unmistakably delicious, spicy, bright red Flamin’ Hot seasoning!  We don’t love them nearly as much as Cheetos Original Crunchy Flamin’ Hots, but they are just as fantastic as the Puffs variation of the Flamin’ Hot powerhouse flavor; probably better in fact because they are delivered in fun shapes.

For another positive review of these tasty bones check out Junk Food Guy.

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

Cheetos discovered at Walmart; Countryside, Illinois

Cheetos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Somewhat Spicy Dill flavored Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

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

Trader Joe's - Spicy DillWe really appreciate how Trader Joe’s just loves keeping their packaging light, and a little quirky!  With these latest chips we get an orange haired young chap, who is apparently dressed for his St. Patty’s Day party or something, and is reflecting to himself – “Everything changed the day I discovered…”
We have to assume that this reflection is in regards to the day he discovered these chips.

Well, we’re not going to go so far as to say that everything changed the day that we discovered….. these Somewhat Spicy Dill flavored Kettle Cooked Potato Chips.  But, we can guess that things would certainly change for us if we wore an outfit such as the one this guys is wearing!

The Spicy Dill variety is not necessarily a new combo in the chip flavor game, but it is one that has not really picked up steam with the “big” brand companies.  Most of the chip companies willing to venture into this tangy flavor realm seem to be a bit more of the independent sort.

Most certainly our all-time favorites from this flavor combo variety are Grippo’s Hot Dill Pickle Potato Chips.  It is very likely that these are no longer available, but our memories of these herbal-y-spicy thin cut potato chips were forever live on!  We are also huge fans of Zapp’s, and Deep River’s potato chip versions.  We are happy to report that Trader Joe’s Somewhat Spicy rendition can be added to that list of favorite versions!

TJ’s medium-thin cut kettle cooked potato chips are fantastic!  Perfectly crispy, with just the right amount of mouth pleasing body.  We couldn’t really taste any potato flavor underneath the powerful seasoning blend, but that was just fine since that seasoning was a delicious recipe.

Joe’s seasoning recipe reminded us a lot of McClure’s Bloody Mary chips.  First, comes the tongue tingling spicy acidic-chile burn.  The acidic burn attacks the throat and the nasal cavity sort of harshly, but then quickly subdues to the moderate chile burn that resides in the mouth!  The one-two spicy punch.  The fragrant dill herbal notes flutter there in the background, bringing thoughts of pickles to the mind.  Garlic is also very present.

The flavor combo works deliciously well!  If you are a fan of spicy chips, or pickle flavored chips, then we’re fairly confident that you would be fans of these as well.  Make sure to let us know your comments below regarding these chips, or the day everything changed when you discovered…..what?”

For another take check out What’s Good at Trader Joe’s review.

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

Discovered at Trader Joe’s (of course); La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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