25 Chips to Christmas – 2016….

On the tenth day of Chips to Christmas our true love gave to us……

#16

Kettle Brand – Korean Barbeque – and – Moscow Mule – and – Chili Lime Potato Chips Potato Chips


kettle-brand-korean-barbecuekettle-brand-moscow-muleKettle Brand - Chili Lime

Original Reviews Here and Here and Here

Kettle Brand really hit it big with three new fantastic flavors this year.  Each representing a different region of the globe.  As for these three flavors, well, one is practically a CLASSIC chip flavor combo grateful to Mexico, another is rather trendy restaurant cuisine taken from eastern Asia, while the last is simply an icy cocktail served in a cool copper mug.

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Moscow Mule Potato Chips

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

kettle-brand-moscow-muleWe finally found you!  That’s right, you thought you could hide from us by completely selling out of the entire Chicago area, but NO! we have Chip Review friends everywhere, and with their help you have shown up at our front doorstep, ready to be reviewed just like all the others!

First of all, we’re going to assume that most of you out there know what a Moscow Mule is.  If you do not, a quick Google search will solve that, and we would also recommend finding your local watering hole and procuring one.

Next, let’s take note of the gorgeous copper colored packaging that Kettle Brand has chosen for these chips (sorry our pic is not as nice as it could be – here are some more examples).  There’s no doubt that the shiny metallic top-half of the bag is meant to represent the classic copper mug that a proper Moscow Mule cocktail is traditionally served in.  We are very impressed with the amount of creativity and consideration put into this packaging.  In fact, we’ve quite liked the packaging for all three of the newer Kettle Brand chips.

As far as the Moscow Mule flavor itself goes, well, it is another delicious home run from Kettle Brand.  For what it is worth, it has become very apparent to us here that Kettle Brand has either gone GINGER CRAZY – because all three new flavors that we have tried of theirs, have all been very ginger focused; or, perhaps Kettle Brand just came across a free supply of ginger and thought that they would make the best out of it?!  Either way, it has worked out in our favor, because these are really delicious.

These chips may not be for everyone as they do definitely lean towards the sweeter end of the flavor spectrum, but there’s just something about that unique sweet-sour-pungent combination of ginger and lime that we really enjoy.  The chips are just so aromatic, and refreshing, and tropical, that we felt like they perfectly compliment Kettle Brand’s always fantastic, medium-thick, slightly greasy, potato-ful kettle cooked potato chips.

Don’t quote us but as far as we know it, both these Moscow Mule, along with the new Korean Barbeque, can only be acquired at World Markets. That’s all we know, and we’re sticking to it!

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 LRH & RLH for review (thanks you two)

Kettle Brand Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Hawaiian Barbeque with ginger infused sea salt Potato Chips cooked in 100% Avocado Oil

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

kettle-brand-hawaiian-barbequeSo, there’s Carolina Barbeque, and Kansas City Barbeque, there’s Texas Barbeque and Memphis Barbeque, of course there is Korean Barbeque – Kettle Brand’s most recent new chips that we reviewed – and, there’s probably even a few more regional styles that we can’t recall, but how many of you out there knew there was such a thing as Hawaiian Barbeque?  Certainly not us!

We’re not going to beat around the bush here, we had some high hopes for these chips, but then again, we almost always have high hopes for new Kettle Brand chips.  Unfortunately, we are here to tell you that these are just….OK.  They are missing that wow, that difference maker, that….ginger infused sea salt that we were promised….

Speaking of ginger, we’re onto you Kettle Brand.  You’ve released three new flavors that we are aware of – Korean Barbeque, Moscow Mule (which we still haven’t located), and of course these Hawaiian Barbeque.  What is the ingredient commonality between these three new flavors – GINGER.  Kettle Brand has gone ginger crazy!  Which certainly isn’t a bad thing in our books.  We love ginger here at Chip Review, but really we haven’t tasted all that many ginger flavored chips.

….Back to these chips being just OK.  Honestly, we could not really taste any of that ginger we were promised.  And for the most part, these “Hawaiian Barbeque” flavored chips taste like one hundred other BBQ flavored chips that we have reviewed.  Strong tomato powder presence, the usual onion and garlic tag team, of course there is a splash of smoke, but then if these chips did actually taste any different, it would have been an underlying, tropical, sweetness.  The ingredients on the back indicate that this flavor note likely comes from the inclusion of pineapple powder!  That’s unique at least, but we feel like Kettle Brand should have amp’d it up a bit more to really drive home that Hawaiian Barbeque flavor.

Luckily Kettle Brand’s Avocado Oil Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are always fantastic themselves.  So, in the end, we didn’t have any problem devouring these chips, we just were hoping for more.

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; Elmhurst, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Korean Barbeque Potato Chips

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

kettle-brand-korean-barbecueWOW! These are really, really deliciously funky and quite spicy!!

We have not tasted very many Korean BBQ flavored chips. But, just one bite and we can tell you that these are LEAGUES above both Lay’s versions of Korean BBQ chips that we have tasted, and we weren’t even as unimpressed with Lay’s most recent attempt the way that Junk Food Guy was.  We can’t wait to hear his thoughts regarding Kettle Brand’s rendition.

Seriously, we are very impressed with these chips.  These are easily some of the best Kettle Brand Potato Chips that we have tasted in quite a while!  We also can’t wait to find Kettle Brand’s other new flavor that they just released.  Two intriguing new flavors…thank you Kettle Brand!

We are not going to pretend like we know very much about what real Korean BBQ food actually tastes like, or even what all it entails.  Our only insight into Korean food is the likes of kimchi, good old twice fried chicken, and of course the fantastic Chicago restaurant that is Parachute!  In fact, we’re fairly certain that we’ve never actually had Korean BBQ.

Apparently, the main flavors/ingredients associated with Korean BBQ are – soy, sugar, garlic, onion, sesame, ginger – according to what we found on the internet.

As for Kettle Brand’s Korean Barbeque seasoning, the first taste is of classic BBQ chip flavors – sweet, tomato, garlic, onion, with maybe a splash of smoke?  The next wave of flavor includes some more of those funky, or uncommon notes like ginger, soy, sesame, and the realization that there is a LOT of sweet onion flavor.  On the finish an impressive level of heat appears, and decides that it is staying for the entire party. The flavor tastes a lot like Kettle Brand combined their Spicy Thai, Organic Chipotle Chili Barbeque and Roasted Garlic Potato Chips, and then added a splash of soy.  All in all, the whole Korean Barbeque shebang just works.  To top it all off, it works extremely well with Kettle Brand’s deliciously crunchy kettle cooked potato chips.

And may we just point out how much we love the appearance of this bag.  First of all, bright blue is not a color we see very often while walking down our favorite aisle of the grocery store.  Secondly, we very much appreciate how Kettle Brand has yet to succumb to what seems like a recent chip industry standard of displaying the actual potato chip product on the front packaging.  We much more prefer the simple representative image that describes the flavor inside.  In this case, that image is a Korean tabletop grill with chopsticks.  Very simple, yet descriptive.

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

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Chili Lime Potato Chips cooked in 100% Avocado Oil

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

Kettle Brand - Chili LimeWay, way, way back, there was a period of time when Kettle Brand….then known simply as Kettle Chips (that is until everyone started calling their chips kettle chips)…. used to have their own new flavor promotion called ‘People’s Choice‘.  This promotion was very akin to Lay’s recent ‘Do Us a Flavor‘ promotion, which we are guessing, and hoping, that you are familiar with, except for that we the people were not creating the new flavors, only voting on them.

Anyways…..our real point is, that some years back Kettle Brand released a very similar chili lime flavored potato chip during one of their People’s Choice promotions called Twisted Chili Lime Krinkle Cut Potato Chips. This was before a time when we actually began reviewing chips, and probably a time before anyone was actually using 100% Avocado Oil to fry their kettle chips.  What we do remember is liking them very much back then, and we’ve got to assume that Kettle Brand has kinda, sorta, re-released, at the very least, a similarly delicious chili lime flavor blend combination.

Let’s get the avocado oil discussion out of the way right from the start.  Is avocado oil important to us, or you?  Is this the next big thing to take the snack market by tasty storm?  Must be fairly important to Kettle Brand at least because they sure have taken up a big portion of the front of their packaging letting us know that these chips have been cooked in 100% Avocado Oil.  From what we can research avocado oil is known for its antioxidants and heart healthy monounsaturated fats, but we all know that the real question is ‘does it taste any different?‘ And, even more importantly ‘does it taste good?‘  Well, as far as we can tell it really does not taste any differently, especially on seasoned chips.  Luckily, it does seem to do the frying trick, as these kettle cooked potato chips are just as delicious as they typically are from Kettle Brand.

Over the years we have tried quite a few different versions of the chili pepper and lime flavor combination.  So many different brands in fact that we would go so far as to call this flavor combo a classic now, that should be included in a everyone’s line-ups.  Among these many versions, there have been ups and downs, goods and bads, and Kettle Brand’s new version is definitely one of the goods!

Delicious!  Probably the single most impressive aspect of this seasoning is the citrus infused sea salt.  The flavored salt delivers a unique lime flavor that is not overly citrus-y or acidic, like we are used to tasting with lime flavored chips, but simply more of a pure lime essence. It is almost as if fresh lime has been zested and sprinkled all over these chips. Very unique and delicious.  On the tail end of the lime flavor, our tongues also noticed a slight hint of sweetness that helped to accentuate the lime.

The chili half of the flavor combo equation was also impressive in its own right.  We’re not talking about the usual, over the top, in your face, abrasive and yet at the same time one note, tangy red chili powder.  No.  Instead, what we have here is the usage of the jalapeño chili pepper, which provides much more of a real vegetal chili heat.  Delicious!  Combine this with supporting seasoning characters like tomato, garlic and onion powders, and we’re talking about a fantastic flavor fiesta!  Who brought the guacamole…?  Anyone??  No?  Well, at least we do have some avocado, even if we can’t really taste it!

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Kettle Brand – Carolina BBQ Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Kettle Brand KC - Carolina BBQKettle Brand really knows how to give us the best kettle cooked krinkle cut potato chips.  They understand that there is a fine line between kettle cooked crispy-crunch, and over the top, tooth cracking, just too crunchy chips.

What exactly is ‘Carolina BBQ’?  Well, these chips taste just like they have been coated with a smoky honey mustard barbecue sauce. So, if that is what Carolina barbecue sauce is, then Kettle Brand has nailed it.  Honestly, we thought Carolina barbecue was supposed to include a touch more vinegar tang, but maybe we are wrong.  Either way, the seasoning goes very well with Kettle Brand’s fantastically, crispy, slightly greasy, perfectly salty potato chips.

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Kettle Brand Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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