25 Chips to Christmas – 2016….

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

#6

Late July – Buffalo Queso Tortilla Chips


Late July - Buffalo Queso

Original Review Here

Late July strikes again.  Last year Late July cracked the Chips to Christmas list with their taco truck inspired Bacon Habanero Clasico Chips.  This year their fantastic Buffalo Queso Chips have even cracked our Top 10.  Plain and simply, Late July Snacks makes a variety of tasty tortilla chips, and we have decided that these ones are the best, so that’s that.

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REVIEW: Late July – Buffalo Queso Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Late July - Buffalo QuesoOkay Late July Snacks, we’re not exactly sure where it is that you are trying all of these odd flavored taco truck inspirations (Bacon Habanero – really?! or Sriracha Fresca – whoa!), but if those tacos taste anything like these tortilla chips (which are inspired by them) – well, then we need to get moving right away, and go give these taco trucks a try!  Ahhhh, who are we kidding?  We’re just going to stay put, and keep enjoying these chips instead!

That’s right Chip Review readers, Late July Snacks strikes again!  This time with their lip-smackingly delicious all new Buffalo Queso Clasico Tortilla Chips!!  And dare we say that these are our most favorite flavor to date.

First things first, we’re thinking that these chips should have probably been called QUESO Buffalo, instead of Buffalo Queso, as the cheese half of the equation is without a doubt the most pronounced and delicious aspect of this flavor combination.  In fact, these buffalo queso flavored chips are probably the first of their flavor kind that we have tasted sooo much cheese up front.  Typically the cheese plays second fiddle to the powerful buffalo ingredients, but not this time.  This time, queso takes the lead, and dominates the flavor show!  And that queso is all at once tangy, salty, creamy, a little funky, and of course delicious to the very last crunch.

As for the buffalo notes, they are certainly there, but they just aren’t quite as bold and overbearing as they typically are with buffalo sauce.  We taste a good amount of vinegar and garlic, mingling with just enough cayenne chili pepper, to trigger thoughts of buffalo sauce.  Honestly, these chips sort of remind us of the late great Doritos Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch (only minus the ranch).  If we had one gripe with Late July’s buffalo though (which would probably be our only gripe with the chips at all), it would be that we wished they delivered a touch more heat.  A bit more burn – zip – pow!

But overall, WOW – these are just top notch tortilla chips!  Really flavorful, and really fantastic!  The flavors are bright, and not muddled.  We can actually taste and identify the multiple layers of flavor, including the superb corn tortilla chip.  You know what, these chips taste like light, fresh, crispy corn tortilla chips that have been slathered with a great melting cheese, and a deliciously, mild buffalo sauce.

If you see Late July Organic Chips in your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor and give them a try – all of them!

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; River Forest, Illinois

Late July Organic Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Late July – Sriracha Fresca Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Late July - Sriracha FrescaIt was about a year ago this month when we first spotted Late July’s current bag design; which at that time was coinciding with the release of their Taco Truck inspired Clasico Tortilla Chips.  Both creations, the bags and the chips were pretty terrific.  We wrote the following words in regards to those newly designed bags, and those same words surely apply here with Late July’s latest aggressively green specimen!

Anyone who tries to tell you that appearance doesn’t matter is kidding themselves!  Appearance does matter, even when it comes to chips, and Late July Snacks really seems to understand this with the design of their new….bags!  Just look at that electric green bag to your left!  Eye catching isn’t it?  Great sense of style.  Bold, yet refined.  Simple, and yet so poignantly candid with their visual message that our mouths start salivating just by looking at the bag. 

Sriracha Fresca?!  Hmmmm…..  fresh sriracha huh….?  We sort of doubt that these chips have been covered in freshly blended, Thai chili, sriracha hot sauce.  Wouldn’t that make the tortilla chips really soggy?  Either way, nit-picking aside, Sriracha Fresca is a perfectly acceptable flavor name variation of the popular flavor!  Late July being the latest of chip companies adding another mark to the ever growing list of sriracha flavored chips!

Sriracaha hot sauce really goes well with everything!  And, sriracha hot sauce flavored seasoning goes well with every crunchy snack as well!!  However, in our opinion, the snack food seasoning version does go best with potato chips, as opposed to tortilla chips or popcorn.  That being said, these are probably the most delicious sriracha flavored tortilla chips that we have tasted thus far.

For one reason or another the combination of corn tortilla chips, and sriracha’s slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and extra garlicky flavor notes always make us think of other tortilla chip flavors that already existed prior to SRIRACHA EVERYTHING – flavors like sweet & spicy chili, or sweet chili & red pepper.  In other words, they do not really offer up anything new to the chip game.  Late July’s version does offer the addition of lime juice (we’re assuming this is the fresca aspect), and we can appreciate the slight variation, but it is not nearly enough for us to say WOW! These chips have something very different about them!

Late July’s tortilla chips themselves are pretty fantastic!  Easily among the best tortilla chips out there.  In fact, these tortilla chips could even quite possibly be mistaken for a Doritos tortilla chip in a blind crunch test.  Light and crispy, with those lovely little air pockets that give our mouths some real enjoyment.  They also deliver a good amount of real ground corn flavor.

So, in the end, these new Sriracha Fresca tortilla chips are lip-smackingly eatable, but if you are looking for something that scream unfamiliar, or even makes you actually think of real sriracha from the bottle, then these probably aren’t it.

If you see Late July Organic Chips in your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor and give them a try – all of them!

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; River Forest, Illinois

Late July Organic Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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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: Late July – Jalapeño Lime Clasico Tortilla Chips

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

Late July - Jalapeno LimeAnyone who tries to tell you that appearance doesn’t matter is kidding themselves!  Appearance does matter, even when it comes to chips, and Late July Snacks really seems to understand this with the design of their new Taco Truck Inspired Clasico Tortilla Chip bags!  Just look at that electric green bag to your left!  Eye catching isn’t it?  Great sense of style.  Bold, yet refined.  Simple, and yet so poignantly candid with their visual message that our mouths start salivating just by looking at the bag.  Three perfectly shaped corn tortilla chips, mingling with fresh slices of jalapeño, and a juicy wedge of lime.  Those ingredients just scream out tacos!

Jalapeño Lime is the third and final act from Late July’s new Taco Truck Inspired trio of flavors.  A little while ago we reviewed Late July’s Bacon Habanero Tortilla Chips, and overall, we thought the bacon and habanero chips were lip-smacking, and definitely permeating profusely with a pronounced porky presence, but they were also lacking a bit in any true habanero chile presence!  We then reviewed their Nacho Chipotle Tortilla Chips, and while they did deliver a salty and tasty cheese flavor, we did not recognize very much chipotle chile at all.  Where’s the smoke and heat?!  As for these Jalapeño Lime chips, well they fall somewhere in the middle our ranking of the other two flavors.  Not quite as lip-smacking as Bacon Habanero, but certainly more notable than Nacho Chipotle.

Initial thought, after a couple of chips is that these are not so much jalapeño lime as they are jalapeño ranch, or zesty ranch, or creamy & zesty jalapeño.  Anyway which way we describe them they are tasty!  First, a little splash of citrus from the lime, but not too much, then a wonderfully creamy layer of something akin to the buttermilk in a ranch seasoning, next a few fragrant vegetal notes, maybe that is the jalapeño – not sure, and lastly, toss in some garlic and onion for good measure.  The flavors compliment the yellow corn tortilla chips very nicely.  While they don’t necessarily have as much heat as we would expect from a chip being called jalapeño (seems to be the trend with Late July’s new flavors), we definitely recognized that there was some heat on the tail end of the chip chomping experience.

Overall, pretty great chips, but a bit deceiving with the flavor accuracy. No where among the flavor descriptors on the front of the bag does it indicate that we would be tasting CREAMY jalapeño lime chips??  That being said, flavor reigns supreme in this case, and regardless of accuracy we really liked these, and the entire Taco Truck Inspired Clasico Tortilla Chip Trio!!

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Late July – Nacho Chipotle Clasico Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Late July - Nacho ChipotleSo, we ask you, who’s chipotle is it exactly if it is not yours?  Nacho, get it? As in nacho = not your!  Nacho Chipotle!!  Please continue reading, once you have fully composed yourself!  And please note that if you do buy a bag of these chips that they are in fact yours, and you may enjoy them at your own leisure.

A few weeks ago we reviewed Late July’s new Bacon Habanero Tortilla Chips (another flavor from the trio of Taco Truck Inspired tortilla chips from Late July, leaving only Jalapeno Lime left for us to review).  Overall, we thought the Bacon Habanero chips were lip-smacking, and definitely permeating profusely with a pronounced porky presence, but they were also lacking a bit in any true habanero chile presence! (Remember that statement, because apparently it is a trend among the taco truck inspired tortilla chips).

Last year Doritos released their own  JACKED Spicy Street Taco (the eventual winners of the Bold Test Flavor Experience), and we must say that we quite like this trend of tasty taco inspired flavors!  We can only hope that more brands hop on the taco-band(truck)wagon, and we start seeing some flavors like flame grilled skirt steak with chimichurri, or crispy sriracha-lime shrimp!

First, the good.  Late July’s Clasico Tortilla Chips are really fantastic.  Light and crispy, not crunchy, with those lovely little air pockets that give our favorite style of crispy tortilla chips their delicately delicious texture!  Tons of deep corn masa flavor.  These tortilla chips could easily be mistaken texturally for a Doritos tortilla chip in a blind crunch test.  Which is no small feat.  We feel like most other tortilla chip brands steer very clear of that comparison because nobody likes to challenge the big boys, but Late July shows no fear, and creates a very similar light and crispy chip.  The nacho chipotle seasoning itself has a tasty, albeit very subtle, salty cheese seasoning.  We tasted a couple of those other typical nacho flavors like garlic and onion, but beyond that, this seasoning was simply dull!

Alright, now onto the brass tacks, these chips suffer from what we, and we’re guessing our little friend Ms. McStuffins, would call lack-o-spice-atosis!  Maybe Late July is trying to give us much lighter seasoned chip, to keep those sodium levels down, or let the tortilla chips themselves shine.  But, needless to say we were, we are, expecting a lot more flavor with a name like Nacho Chipotle!  We want our tongues to dance and tingle when they lick the chips!  While we can appreciate the health conscientious seasoning gesture, but this is 2015, and we want our seasoned chips to be seasoned heavily!  Of course sometimes a subtle seasoning is suffice, or even preferred, but when we read a flavor name such as Nacho Chipotle we expect all sorts of seasoning!

To top it all off, the seasoning has absolutely no heat!  None.  Seriously!  Wait……  There it is…… No, wait is that it?!  Yep, we’re guessing that the itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie tickle in the backs of our throats is what Late July is offering up for any real chipotle chile heat on these chips.  In fact, the ingredient list on the back of the bag confirms our assumption, and assertion, as chipotle is the very last ingredient on the list.  We couldn’t even identify any of the obligatory smokiness that confirms we were eating chipotle.

So, overall we were not thrilled with these chips.  We love the tortilla chips themselves, but the seasoning was much too mild for our taste buds.  We will be sticking with the Bacon Habanero chips, that is unless the Jalapeno Lime chips really surprise us!!  We shall see!

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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