REVIEW: Hawaiian – Island Lemon (Special Batch #1) Kettle Style Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4  (lip-smacking)

Hawaiian Kettle - LemonSpecial Batch #1 = Island Lemon.

Holy lemony-lemon chip man!  Tart & Tangy… well that’s kind of an understatement.

First off, these are some unique chips.  How often do you see lemon flavored chips?  Apparently, if you clicked on our link to the left, the answer is more often than we were aware of (we’ve tried a dozen or more).  Maybe a better question would have been “how often do you see solely lemon flavored potato chips?”  There we go, that’s the answer we were looking for – not very often!

Plain and simple, everything about this bag exudes tart and tangy lemon-ness.  From the big cross sections of plump juicy lemons, to the bright, bright, bright yellow bag, to the hula dancers soaking up the sunny tropical Hawaiian weather.  But what really screams CITRUS, and in the end what really truly matters, is their spot-on lemon flavor!  Nailed it!!  Chock up another winner up for Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips team.

***WARNING*** ***WARNING*** These chips may not be appropriate for those of you who can’t handle your tongue tingling lemony citrus.  Everyone’s favorite yellow citrus fruit is certainly the star of the show.  Bright and fresh, as well as, tangy and acidic.  We simply have to say it again, these chips just nail the flavor execution!

And while the lemon seasoning does compliment Hawaiian’s thick cut and extra crunchy kettle cooked potato chips very well, we do have to admit that the flavor eventually becomes a touch overpowering, and monotonous.  In other words, we couldn’t eat very many of them before having to take a break, and cleanse our palettes.  We are all for a good squeeze of lemon juice on our food, but this equates more to eating lemons with a squeeze of potato.

So, if you are up for the lemony challenge, or are huge fans of lemons, than you are going to want to give these chips a try!

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; Oakbrook, Illinois

Hawaiian 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….

#6

Manomasa – Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper – and – Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Tortilla Chips

Manomasa - Salt & PepperManomasa - Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn

Original Reviews Here and Here

What do you get when you combine the classiest looking packaging of the year, with some of the best executed, and most creative flavor combinations….?  Well, some of our most favorite chips of the year of course!!

REVIEW: Manomasa – Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Tortilla Chips

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

Manomasa - Green Lemon & Pink PeppercornTORTILLAS WITH SPIRIT

Manomasa nailed it with that statement!  In fact, we’d go even further and say Tortillas with Spirit and –  Vision, Execution and Creativity!! Wow, these are some of the most unique, and delicious tortilla chips that we have tried in a while!

A little while ago we were lucky enough to be introduced to this fantastic U.K. brand of chips via a glowing review we read on Crisp Nation (Josh – we owe you for this one!).

We had originally thought that the Manomasa name was a witty word play calling themselves the MAN o(f) MASA; but after a little digging we found that the name is actually a combination of two spanish words: MANO (of the hand), and MASA (corn).  The clever name combo fits perfectly as each one of their different flavors is delivered on a different style (or ‘recipe’ as they call it) of corn chip!  Brilliant!!

First up: Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn.  That’s right, GREEN LEMON & PINK PEPPERCORN!  Green Lemon?  What’s that??  Are we are having flashbacks to when we were in Chile, and and it seemed like there was no way to differentiate between lemons and limes?!  They just called everything limons!  We actually assume that by green lemon Manomasa is most likely referring to unripened lemons.  And what would green lemons taste like?  Would they be more sour?  More bitter?  We are not sure, but clever marketing either way, and we’ll just crunch along.

These chips bring some serious lemon flavor.  Not necessarily lip puckering, but just loads of those deliciously fruity, aidic, citrusy lemon notes!  Far and away the lemon is the star of the show here but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good supporting cast of other flavors as well.  The pink peppercorns are of course the next predominant flavor.  Providing just enough of that semi-spicy throat tickle, along with those elegant fruity-floral aromatic notes that only PINK peppercorns can provide. The lemon with the peppercorn sort of reminded us of that classic seasoning combination that we’re sure you all have somewhere in your spice cabinet – lemon pepper!  You know, that seasoning that you use a ton of to try and cover up for your dry chicken?!  Throw in a couple more of the usual ingredient characters like onion and garlic, and it looks like even some vinegar, and these tortilla chips provided a pretty delicious flavor party!

The Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn seasoning utilized Manomasa’s Recipe No. 86: The Tostada, as their chip of choice!   According to the back of the bag the tostada SHAPE: named in homage to the original MEXICAN TOSTADA – the large circular tortilla that’s toasted and then enjoyed with fresh, tasty toppings.  The shape served its purpose just fine.  The chips themselves were light and crispy, and we didn’t know it at first, but apparently they also incorporated a medley of beans into the recipe; most likely to provide some additional textural variance, along with all of the additional health benefits of course.

Bravo Manomasa!  You really impressed us, and we can’t wait to try the next flavor and tortilla recipe!

As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by Manomasa for review

MANoMASA Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

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REVIEW: Popsalot – California Cruisin’

Rating: ©-3/4 chips (return to sender)

Pops-A-Lot - California CruisinAlright, sometimes we feel a little bit bad when we end up giving a chip or puff or popcorn one of our unforgiving ‘return to sender‘ ratings.  But sometimes, we just have to do it!  And although sometimes we may question ourselves, there are other times we just know we’re right!  This is one of those times!  Sorry California Cruisin’ but we need to RETURN YOU TO SENDER!!

For those of you out there who require a bit more supporting evidence than just our opinion and word, may we point you in the direction of Popsalot’s website link below.  Please click on that link, and then search for this popcorn on their website…..What’s that you say?  It doesn’t exist?!  Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn has actually removed the flavor from their popcorn line-up!!  Now, we do not know for certain why it was removed, but if we were to speculate we’d assume that it was because no one liked it!  **Correction – sometimes we jump to our own assumptions without actually having any facts to back it up.  Luckily, we were contacted by Popsalot, and informed that:

California Cruisin’ was newly launched last year in specific regions and immediate demand for it was too high to keep any in stock for potential online sales.  We held off on adding California Cruisin’ to our website until we launched it nationally AND had sufficient production time to ensure that any online demand could be met.

To be completely honest, we were far and away the most excited about this flavor from all of the flavors we were sent by Popsalot.  There was just something very intriguing about the combination of caramel corn, almonds and meyer lemons.  We love tasting new flavor combinations.  And California Cruisin sounded unlike anything that we can ever remember trying – we were giddy!

Unfortunately…the end result of the California Cruisin’ flavor combination is nothing like we had imagined!  And, we do not mean that in a good way!  As far as the actual flavor execution goes, we must assume that it is spot on.  Why? Because the popcorn did taste just like sweet, smoky, vanilla-kissed caramel corn, tossed with some savory almonds (unfortunately once again, much less than we would hope for), and then there is an underlying presence, which slowly shifted to an overwhelming essence, of citrus-y Meyer lemon.  One taster even asked if they were eating orange dreamsicle flavored popcorn?!?!  Ewww is right!  Somehow the sweet, velvety, caramel flavor, mixed with nutty almonds and fruity Meyer lemons, combines to trigger memories of treats better acquired from an ice cream truck, rather than the snack aisle!

In the end, the flavor combination just didn’t work with popcorn, and rubbed every on of our tasters the wrong way!  Of course, that being said, we understand that our aversion to this flavor combination is subjective, and there are of course others out there who may very well love this unique combination!  Despite props for execution, and a unique willingness to push flavor boundaries, we’re sorry Popsalot, we simply did not love the California Cruisin’ combo!!

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 from Popsalot for review

Popsalot Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©©©notable

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REVIEW: Hernandez – Lemon Corn Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Hernandez - Lemon Tortilla ChipsWe always love it when we are traveling somewhere and stumble upon some locally made chips!  And, we love it even more when we can tell right away that those chips are being made by hand, and by a small company.

In this case, a little Google research revealed that there is also a Mexican Restaurant of the same name – Hernandez – in the Delavan, Wisconsin area.  And one swift mouse click on their webpage link displayed the same caricature of that happy, poncho sporting gent, and his large sombrero!  So, our theory is that the Hernandez Mexican Restaurant got so many compliments of the tortilla chips over the years that they decided why not try our hands at a few more flavors (we also spotted ‘hot’ and ‘garlic’ flavors), and then produce them at a high enough volume to offer them at the local grocery stores?!?  Sounds like a win – win to us!

As for these lemon flavored chips, we were kinda, sorta, hoping for a bit more.  We envisioned some light as air, crispy, and citrusy-sour, lemon kissed tortilla chips.  Instead, these chips deliver a rustic, extra crunchy, sort of hearty, mouth texture.  Each thick cut tortilla chip has puffed into two separate halves, sort of like a pita chip, with a hollow center.  Not exactly sure how other tortilla chips keep this from happening?  Maybe they poke holes in the tortillas allowing air to escape, as opposed to balloon the chips up?  That’s our thought at least.  Either way, while we appreciate the chips’ rusticity, our mouths did not enjoy their texture as much as other tortilla chips.

The lemon seasoning was much more fake acidic, than the fresh, citrus-y, lemon flavor we were hoping for.  You know what we are talking about if you have ever tried Tostitos Lime Tortilla Chips.  Still, the seasoning blend wasn’t bad, and definitely complimented the crunchy tortilla chips very well.  We also appreciated the heavy hand of salt that clung to the slightly oily chips.

Plain and simple, we would be more than happy to enjoy these chips with some salsa at the Hernandez Restaurant, but we wouldn’t necessarily grab another bag from the grocery store shelf.

As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips discovered at Piggly Wiggly; Delavan, Wisconsin

Hernandez Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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