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

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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

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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

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Simply Balanced Organic – Baked Corn Puffs Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Simply Organic - Jalapeno Cheddar PuffsCrispy, crunchy, baked corn puffs!

Unusual size – about half the length of what we would call a traditional cheese puff.

Holy moly – are they serious??  They can’t really be serious…. Just try and guess how many puffs are in one serious serving size?  Twenty?  Thirty?  Getting warmer….. Maybe forty??  NO! SIXTY PUFFS!!  That’s Six-Zero – 60.  Name one other snack you eat sixty of, and have still only consumed a single serving?  No other snack we can think of.  Maybe grains of rice?  If you consider that a snack.

This is one of those snacks where despite the healthy, baked, organic labels, the puffs are flavorful and provide enough delicious belly filling bang for our buck!

First, a spicy, vegetal flavor kick from a combination of chipotle and jalapeño powders hits the tongue,  The heat does slowly build with the more and more puffs you eat (and you will eat a lot of them); but it never truly reaches any extreme burning culmination.

The light, baked corn puffs weren’t completely devoid of that rich, fatty, textural mouthfeel, but they also did not deliver nearly as much as the best cheese puffs out on the market.

The cheese seasoning really just tasted  like tangy salt.

Overall, we enjoyed eating these, mostly because we felt like we were eating healthy, while still consuming tons and tons of puffs.

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

Puffs discovered at Target; Hillside, Illinois

Simply Balanced aka Target Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: GimMe Chips – Wasabi Seaweed Rice Chips

Rating©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Gimme Chips - WasabiIf you are looking for a more detailed description of who and what GimMe Chips are, then please see our original review of their Teriyaki flavored chips located right over here.

However, if you are simply looking for the quick and simple low down on these wasabi flavored seaweed rice chips, please continue reading.

Wasabi + seaweed + rice = winning flavor combination for a very long time.

However (you knew there was going to be a however), GimMe Chips wasabi flavored seaweed rice chips somehow in our opinion do not knock this one out of the park.

Plain and simple, the seaweed flavor is too prominent for our paletes, and dominates the usually powerful wasabi flavor.

It’s not that we don’t taste any wasabi, because we do; and it tastes like the same old burning nasal punch as it always does.  However, despite wasabi’s undeniably powerful presence, somehow the seaweed still steals the show (and like we’ve said before, we don’t love licking the bottom of the ocean!).

The chips themselves had a strong, hearty crunch, with a grainy mouth texture.

So, if you are a big fan of that seaweed ocean flavor, and you also like getting your sushi maki on, then you may very well like these chips and we suggest you give them a try for yourselves.

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 from Gimme Chips for review.

Gimme Chips Official Website

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REVIEW: Garden of Eatin’ – Kale Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (tolerable)

Garden of Eatin' - Kale ChipsHey, have any of you out there heard of this leafy green roughage they call kale yet?  Oh, you have??  Just kidding, of course we have heard of kale, how could we not have!  Doesn’t it seem like everywhere you go you practically can’t escape it?!  Heck, even the grocery store “junk food” aisles have included chips made from kale for quite some time.  Although, we have discovered that we like, or can at least tolerate, snacks that are flavored with kale much more than kale chips themselves!  As for these new Garden of Eatin’ “Kale Chips”, we would include them in the latter, as they are predominantly made of corn, but they are still not very delicious.

We can admit it, we have actually made our own kale chips at home, using just some oil and salt, and baking them until they become really crispy.  And you know what? They really aren’t half bad (better than any we have bought in a package); but then again a large portion of them tasting “not half bad” likely comes from the fact that we are proud of ourselves for eating something healthy.

So, the question is, do we still feel like we are eating something healthy when we cram handfuls of corn tortilla chips into our mouths, that have likely been fried in oil, but that do include the super food kale, somewhere in the mix.  Yeah, we’re not quite convinced that we are.  Sure, healthier than other junk foods, but still corn tortilla chips nonetheless, and the fact of the matter is, corn tortilla chips that don’t taste like much.

If we do taste any bits of flavor they predominantly seem to be coming from what the back of the bag describes as Garden of Eatin’s Vegetable Blend (sweet potato, tomato, carrot, onion, and garlic). We definitely taste hints of onion and garlic, and then the rest is sort of a blurry, savory, vegetal essence that just wafts over the palette. The flavor really is not appealing in any way to us.

The tortilla chips themselves are very lightly salted. The corn tortilla triangles are stone ground, and our mouths could actually tell the difference. They deliver a hearty toothsome crunch that we really enjoyed, but the seasoning is simply too mediocre to overcome.

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; Willowbrook, Illinois

Garden of Eatin’ Official Website

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