BIJOU-REVIEW: Pringles – Consomme (Japan)

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

pringles-consommeThis past week Chip Review was lucky enough to be shipped a box full of different chips, and chip like snacks, from our new friends at MunchPak.  The box included chips from all over the globe.  Everywhere from Germany and Korea, to Ireland and of course Japan.  It was would be fair to say that the majority of these chips were new to us.

So, who is this MunchPak?  Well, according to their website:

At MunchPak we are just a bunch of devoted snackers! We love to share our passion for foreign and familiar snacks with you and therefore only ship out a MunchPak that we ourselves would enjoy. We also strive to make your MunchPak experience on our site fast, convenient, and customizable….  Whether you’re sticking to your usual treats or are a more adventurous snacker, you can easily customize your order to include your favorites or be able to add a different kind of rare item that you wouldn’t have normally tried. No other subscription based snack service offers such customization and customer driven choices. We aim to satisfy even your most insatiable snack cravings. No one makes it as easy or as convenient to discover the best snacks from around the world like MunchPak does!

Well, that sure sounds like a cool concept to us.  And, in case you are interested in such a service, make sure to tune in and pay attention to the unique chips we will be reviewing over the next few weeks.

First up from our worldly munch-pack are these Consomme flavored Pringles from Japan.  Just in case there are any of you out there who do not know what consomme is, basically it is concentrated broth or stock.  In other words, a clarified soup.

The Japanese Pringles are a bit smaller in size than our U.S. version, as well as, a bit thicker, with a more hearty than crispy crunch.  We prefer the U.S. Pringles.  As for the consomme seasoning, well, these taste pretty darn accurate.  In other words, the crisps tastes just like they have been coated in a  chicken flavored ramen seasoning packet, or a crushed buillion cube.  The seasoning is salty and works fairly well with the potato crisps.

All in all, these Japanese Pringles were notably good.  We think that we would have liked liked this flavor even a bit more on our U.S. Pringles, but we get it, that is sort of like saying that we want to have our chips, and eat them too!

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

Pringles provided to Chip Review by MunchPak for review

Pringles Official Website

MunchPak Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: T.G.I. Friday’s – Buffalo Ranch Party Bites

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

tgi-fridays-buffalo-ranch-party-bitesPARTY!!!

TGI Friday’s is back again with another restaurant themed line (if two flavors can constitute a line) of crunchy RTE snacks, that should be available in a snack aisle near you this month.

These Party Bites, if you haven’t already read for yourself, are “Premium Puffed Corn Snacks”; or, as we like to call them – PUFFS.

The Party Bites are roughly a third of the size of a standard cheese puff, and maybe 3/4’s of an inch long.

In other words, perfect for popping handfuls of bites all party long.

TGIF’s Buffalo Ranch seasoning is a tasty combination.  Nice, sharp, tangy and slightly spicy buffalo flavor, supported by a sour, herbal, garlic-onion background flavor.  Seasoning wise, these are very solid.

That being said, the puffs – wait, sorry, the Party Bites – are lacking the typical, rich, mouth-melting texture of the best puffs.

We’re guessing that there are two reasons for these Party Bites not bringing the delicious  thunder.  1) they are baked (are the usually fatty puffs baked?), and 2) they are lacking the usual presence of rich and smooth cheese powder.

Despite their texture lacking a bit, TGIF’s new Party Bites are a solid new snack item.

Bites provided to Chip Review by T.G.I. Friday’s for review

TGI Friday’s Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: G.H. Cretors – Chile Jalapeño White Cheddar Organic Popped Corn

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

G.H. Cretors - Chile Jalapeno PopcornWe certainly would not consider ourselves pessimists here at Chip Review, but upon opening G.H.’s bag of popcorn to the left, we would also certainly call this bag more than half empty with popcorn, or should we say not nearly half full.

In G.H. Cretors’ defense , we’re sure that there is some sort of logistical transport reasoning behind their bag-to-popcorn-to-air ratio, but quite frankly we found this bag’s fill level pretty disappointing.

Luckily the bag was filled with some pretty tasty popcorn!

Large white fluffy popcorn kernels, coated in a savory, slightly funky, white cheddar cheese powder.

Despite the mention of two types of spicy ingredients – both generic “chile pepper”, in addition to jalapeño – we really didn’t get very much chile flavor, or heat from the popcorn.

The white cheddar cheese seasoning did a fairly good job of making up for the lack of heat.  A rich, and creamy, and tangy white cheese powder that sufficiently coated the popcorn.

Is this the greatest popcorn?  No.  Is it more than adequately eatable?  Yes.

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

Popcorn discovered at Whole Foods; Elmhurst, Illinois

G.H. Cretors Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: XL Fresh Potato Chips – French Cheese

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

xl-fresh-potato-chips-french-cheeseMore potato chips from a far away land.

Thanks again must be given to our BFF’s S&A for bringing us back the great U.E. chip spread!

Despite being called XL Fresh Potato Chips, we wouldn’t call these potato chips XL at all.  The chips themselves were what we would call medium – at best.

The French Cheese seasoning was….well, let’s just call them unique, and on the verge of being weird.

The cheese seasoning has a touch of tang with a good level of smooth creamy essence, but the weird part comes from just how sweet it was as well.  SWEET?!?  Yep, we’ve got sweet cheese here!

That being said, it sort of worked.  Odd, but certainly unique and got our taste buds thinking.

The potato chips themselves are okay.  Light and thinner, with a soft crunch.  Potato flavor not very noticeable from behind the French Cheese seasoning.

Anyone else out there tried them by chance?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by S&A, acquired in Dubai, United Emirates

XL Fresh Potato Chips Official Facebook Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list