Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas – 2013

Well Chip Review readers, that wraps things up for another great year of chip reviewing!

We would like to say that it has been a true pleasure sharing our thoughts with all of you as we chomped our way through hundreds of bags, and countless calories this past year 🙂  Thanks to all of you who follow us each and every day.  We appreciate it, and we wouldn’t be here without each and everyone of you!!  Also, a very special thanks to those snack companies who graciously provided their products for us to review.  It’s a tough job (especially for our waistlines), but someone has got to do it.

Below is our list of the Top 25 Chips we reviewed this year.  Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear it!!

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#1 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

#2 Yamayoshi – Spicy Chili Sour Plum Potato Chips

#3 Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

#4 Paqui Tortilla Chips – Grilled Habanero and Limited Edition Haunted Ghost Pepper

#5 Simply 7 – Jalapeno Lentil Chips

#6 Tyrrell’s – Sweet Chili & Red Pepper Hand Cooked Potato Crisps

#7 Palo Popcorn – White Cheddar Cheese

#8 Gibble’s – Red Hot Home Style Potato Chips

#9 The Original Saratoga Chips – Rosemary Garlic Potato Chips

#10 Angie’s – Sweetly White Cheddar Kettle Corn

#11 Herr’s – Sweet Onion Potato Chips

#12 Lundberg Multigrain Chips – Mojave Jalapeno

#13 Deep River Snacks – Aged Cheddar & Horseradish Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

#14 Mackie’s of Scotland – Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Flavor Potato Crisps

#15 Chio Flips – Classic Peanut

#16 Lay’s Wavy – Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt Potato Chips

#17 Monster Munch – Flamin’ Hot

#18 Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Russet Potatoes Dark Potato Chips

#19 Yamayoshi – Wasabeef Potato Chips

#20 De-lish-us – Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips

#21 Simply 7 – Creamy Dill Lentil Chips

#22 Barrel O’ Fun – Gardy’s Signature Flavors – Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips

#23 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – Buffalo Wing Puffs

#24 Maebo’s – One-Ton Chips

#25 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

2013 Honorable Mentions

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2013 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2013!

Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas…

#17

Monster Munch – Flamin’ Hot

Monster Munch - Flamin' Hot

Original Review Here

Among all of the lovely crisps that Josh over at Crisp Nation shared with us earlier this year, Monster Munch’s Flamin’ Hot Corn Snacks tickled our fancy the most.  A hybrid combination of monster-hand shaped corn puffs coated in a slightly spicy, unique flavor combination unlike any snack we have in the U.S.

REVIEW: Monster Munch – Roast Beef

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Monster Munch - Roast Beef

Comments:

Monster Munch, similar to other U.K. snacks like Space Raiders, is part of a wholly different genre of crunchy corn puffs unlike anything we have seen in our U.S. market today.  The vast majority of our U.S. puffed corn snacks always seem to be covered with cheese based seasoning (the two are practically synonymous with one another).  However, apparently the U.K. is perfectly fine coating their puffed corn with everything from Pickled Onion to Roast Beef!

In our initial Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch review, we had told you that we believed that the Monster Munch shape was supposed to mimic that of the spooky monster head that graced the front packaging.  However, upon further examination, the monsters on the front of the packaging look nothing like the snacks, we’re pretty sure that the shapes are actually supposed to mimic big fat monster feet!  Kids must really get a kick out of thes3!!  Get it? Big, fat, monster feet – kick!!

Similar to the Flamin’ Hot, and Pickled Onion Monster Munches, we could swear that we tasted a little bit of Worcestershire sauce among the flavors.  We like Worcestershire sauce, it provides a strong, rich and salty, umami presence.  Which was good, but even more than the Worcestershire sauce, we tasted strong sweet onion flavor.  Which was OK.  However, in the end, what seemed to be missing, was any meaty-beefy flavor.  Which was not good, or OK.  For that reason, we did not like this “Roast Beef” flavored Monster Munch nearly as much as the first two flavors.

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

Monster Munch provided to Chip Review from our good friend Josh at Crisp Nation

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Monster Munch – Pickled Onion

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Monster Munch - Pickled Onion

Comments:

We hate to sound like a broken record, but……here is another remarkable U.K. snack for us to enjoy, and ponder over.  Monster Munch, similar to Space Raiders, are part of a wholly different genre of puffed corn snack really unlike anything we have seen in our U.S. market today.  Like we have previously told you, the vast majority of our U.S. puffed corn snacks always seem to be covered with cheese based seasoning (the two are practically synonymous with one another).

We were so happy to see these included amidst the great selection from our bud Josh at Crisp Nation.  We have been beyond ecstatic with the quality of snacks from over seas!!

In our initial Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch review, we had told you that we believed that the Monster Munch shape were supposed to mimic that of the spooky monster head that graced the front packaging.  However, now that we have noticed that these Pickled Onion flavored Monster Munch encompass the same shape as that of the Flamin’ Hot flavored snacks, but the monsters on the front of the packaging look nothing like one another, we’re pretty sure that the shapes are actually supposed to mimic big fat monster feet!  Kids must really get a kick out of these, which of course means that many of us here at Chip Review (who are often described as children), also loved their fun shape!

Just a short while ago we reviewed Space Raiders version of the classic U.K. pickled onion corn snack. Truth be told, we felt that their product was tasty, but maybe a little bit too unfamiliar for our pallets to truly appreciate.  The combination of vinegary pickle, plus sweet & pungent onion, plus soft puffed corn snack, was a completely new experience for us.  Like we said in our Space Raiders review, “Pickle and onion – that works.  Onion and corn snack – that works.  Pickle and corn snack – sorry, nope.  Which is weird, because we are usually huge fans of pickled anything (accept for some pickled bacon we had the other day – not good!).  Maybe our pallets just need to adjust in this case? ”

For the most part, Monster Munch was the same product as Space Raiders.  The only difference(s) we could detect were possibly a slightly more minimally dense crunch, and a bit more depth to the overall flavor profile.  Similar to the Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch, we could swear they tasted a little bit like Worcestershire sauce.  We like Worcestershire sauce.  Worcestershire sauce provides a strong, rich and salty, umami presence.  This is good.  Which means, these have some, or more, good than “all” of the other pickled onion puffed corn snacks that we have tasted.  Would we buy these if we spotted them during our trip abroad – certainly.  Would we specifically search them out during said trip?  Probably not.

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

Monster Munch provided to Chip Review from our good friend Josh at Crisp Nation

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Monster Munch – Flamin’ Hot

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips (lip-smacking)

Monster Munch - Flamin' Hot

Comments:

Here is another unique (weird) U.K. snack for us to enjoy (very much so), and ponder over (all of the delicious weirdness).  Monster Munch, similar to Space Raiders, are part of a wholly different genre of puffed corn snack really unlike anything we have seen in our U.S. market today.  Like we previously told you, the vast majority of our U.S. puffed corn snacks always seem to be covered with cheese based seasoning (the two are practically synonymous with one another).

The Monster Munch’s shape, we believe, are supposed to mimic the spooky blue monster head that graces the front of their packaging.  However, without the goofy blue monster adorned on the package we would definitely think that the snacks were supposed to represent fat hands!!  Kids must really get a kick out of these, which of course means that many of us here at Chip Review (who are often described as children), also loved their fun shape!

We were so happy to see these included amidst the great selection from our bud Josh at Crisp Nation. Mainly because we’ve wanted to give them a bite ever since they received a perfect 10/10 score from @Crisps365!!

As suspected, these are very tasty.  Very, very tasty.  So tasty in fact, that we have two words for you all: Doo! Dads!!!  Huh, what??  No, we are not quoting Fred Flintstone.  We said, “Doo Dads, not Yabba Dabba Do”.  We may be dating ourselves a little bit here, but the last couple of snack eating generations have grown up with the good old Chex Mix snack mix.  However, for any of you out there growing up in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s then maybe you, like us, grew up with the good(er), and old(er) Doo Dads.  Doo Dads were the Chex Mix, before Chex Mix, was even Chex Mix.  Most importantly, Doo Dads were such a big staple, and played such a big part of our earlier childhood lives, that they will forever hold a giant tasty spot in our heart.

So, what exactly do Doo Dads have to do with Monster Munch?  Well, Monster Munch’s flavor profiles are very similar to what we remember on Doo Dads.  First, and foremost, is the Worcestershire sauce, providing a strong, rich and salty, umami presence.  Next, comes a wave of sweet and sour notes with a hint of garlic.  Closely followed by the lovely inclusion of celery salt, always a welcome addition to any recipe.  And that is about as far as the similarities between Doo Dads and Monster munch go, but for us, it was far enough to make us love them!!  Monster Munch also includes a mild chili heat, not enough to warrant the Flamin’ Hot declaration in our books, but maybe the U.K.’s heat levels differ from ours? One last interesting ingredient inclusion is that of mustard oil?!?  The mustard oil imparts a pungent, nasal-y burn to the Munch, that melds very well with the other flavors.  All in all, just a great array of flavors!

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

Monster Munch provided to Chip Review from our good friend Josh at Crisp Nation

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list