Chip Review’s Honorable Mentions – 2016

25 Chips to Christmas – 10 Honorable Mentions

25-chips-to-christmas-2016

These chips nearly made our Top 25 of the Year, and deserve some recognition too!! (alphabetical order)

Burt's - Guinness Rich Chili
“If there is one thing we want you to take away from this review it is that these chips are savory.  SUPER-DUPER SAVORY.”

“…leave it to a small town Minnesota gas station to surprise us with these ‘new’ (to us at least) Hot and Spicy Fries!  And to that, all we really have to say is ‘Chip lovers start your fry chompin’ engines!!’

Herr's - Chickie's & Pete's Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

Herr’s – Chickie’s & Pete’s Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

“While these chips may include (although we cannot confirm) many of the same spices found in Old Bay… they also include a touch of heat to spice things up, and a good dash of tangy cheese powder to smooth things out.  In other words, they improve upon the iconic East Coast seasoning!”

Ikea - Potato ChipsIkea - Sour Cream & Onion

Ikea – Potatischips Satade (Salted Potato Chips) & Potatischips GRÄDDFIL LÖK (Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips)

“It seems like so many people who shop at Ikea always make a stop at the cafeteria for a bit, but we will be making a decision to grab a bag of these prior to our future shopping excursions!”

Keogh's - Sweet Chilli

“The Sweet Chilli & Irish Red Pepper seasoning is fantastic!  Love, love, love the addition of ginger and coriander, and also what appears to be licorice root – all adding flavor notes that are uncommon in most seasoning combos.”
Lieber's - Barbecue Potato Chips

Lieber’s – Barbecue Potato Chips

“Having been in this game for quite some time now, we can tell you that it is a very rare occurrence when we grab a $1 dollar buyout special bag of chips on the way up to the cash register and it turns out that those chips are actually tasty.”

Meijer - Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeno

Meijer – Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Potato Chips

Who knew that grilled pineapple and jalapeño worked well together??  Well, apparently anyone who has enjoyed one of these pizzas.  Or, anyone who loves some good al pastor tacos with some spicy jalapeños in there, that’s who.”

Rachel's - Sriracha Sour Cream

Rachel’s – Sriracha Sour Cream Gourmet Kettle Chips

“Wow Rachel, been a long time.  And what’s this…you’ve changed your look, haven’t you?  Well, just wanted to let you know that we like what you’ve done with your style!”

ten-acre-the-day-sweet-and-sour-became-friends

Ten Acre – The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends Hand Cooked Crisps

“Probably the best way that we can describe this seasoning to you would be picture a salt & vinegar chip crossed paths with a ranch flavored chip who had brushed up next to a BBQ flavored chip.”

Uncle Ray's - Roasted Garlic

Uncle Ray’s – Roasted Garlic Potato Chips

“We can really appreciate the simplicity of these potato chips. There is not one shred of doubt regarding what the intention of these chips really is. Plain and simple, garlic flavored potato chips.”

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2016 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2016!

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RATING: Neal Brothers Foods – Extremely Tasty Maple Bacon Kettle Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

neal-brothers-maple-bacon

Chips provided to Chip Review by Neal Brothers for review

Neal Brothers Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Perri – Thai Rings (Oriental Spice Flavor)

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

perri-thai-ringsYep, that’s right, these unusual Thai Rings are another unusual snack from the box full of different chips, and chip like snacks, that we were sent from our new friends at MunchPak.

And wouldn’t you know it, they of course hail from none other than…..that’s right….

Ireland!?!  Really?

Well, that may just explain why they did not really taste anything reminiscent of actual Thai flavors.

Not that the snack rings were bad necessarily, they just did not taste anything like the best Thai food, or Thai chips, that we have tried over the years.

The rings sort of reminded us of a smaller, and denser, version of Funyuns.  Easy to pop a few in and crunch’em down.

The seasoning though, was just pretty generic.  A lot of sweet, mingling with a bit of indistinguishable chili heat.

Thai Rings provided to Chip Review by MunchPak for review

MunchPak Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Lay’s Stax – Xtra Flamin’ Hot

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

lays-stax-extra-flamin-hotApparently, we rather enjoyed Lay’s lip-smacking Flamin’ Hot Potato Crisps when we reviewed their original variation nearly four years ago…

Lay’s has now followed Chester’s lead, and taken their Flamin’ Hots, and XTRA-fied them.

Unfortunately, just like with Cheetos original Flamin’ Hots, the XTRA sequel version falls short of the classic.

That being said, they do still bring a lot of that unmistakable Flamin’ Hot flavoring!

And, they most certainly, without a doubt, bring a lot of XTRA heat on them.

The inner curve side of the crisps are absolutely caked with a thick layer of electric red Flamin’ Hot powder.

The seasoning and the potato crisps do not jive in harmony the way that other Flamin’ Hot snacks have.

In the end, if you like spicy chips, and you are already a fan of Lay’s Stax, then you are certainly going to like these.

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

Stax discovered at Quik Trip; Clayton, Missouri

Lay’s Stax Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market – Jalapeño Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips  (tolerable)

fresh-thyme-jalapenoDo not let it deceive you, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is not in fact a farmers market that specializes in fresh thyme….  It’s really just another grocery store hopping onto the farmer, fresh, healthy, etc., etc., grocery store bandwagon.

And, like any good grocery store worth a damn, Fresh Thyme of course has an aisle, or maybe it was only a portion of an aisle, dedicated to the greatest snacking food in the world – chips!

Within that aisle were these jalapeño flavored kettle cooked potato chips, branded with the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market name.

Unfortunately, Fresh Thyme’s chips are really not that good.

The kettle cooked chips themselves may in fact have been THE THINNEST, kettle cooked, potato chips that we have ever encountered.  Very thin.

This thinness resulted in an extremely light crunch, and an invariably greasy chip, with no distinguishable potato flavor.

The jalapeño seasoning was potent enough to cover up any grease flavor, but it was also more of a spicy seasoned salt blend, than it was jalapeño in any way.

In the end, just really salty, salty, salty.  Dash of onion here, a splash of garlic there, and maybe a sprinkle of jalapeño at the end.

These are our thoughts, agree or disagree, make sure to let us know!

Chips discovered at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market; Downers Grove, Illinois

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Terra – Sharp & Spicy Wasabi

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips  (lip-smacking)

terra-wasabiWe’re sorry to say it, but we feel like we do not review very many Terra chips these days.  Now, whether that is due to Terra not introducing many new chips onto the market these days, or the fact that when they do release something new it is very often some sort of unusual vegetable chip that we’re just not feeling like reviewing….

What we do know for sure is that when we do try a new chip from Terra, whether it is good or bad, it is almost always something very unique and original!

Case in point, Terra’s newest Sharp & Spicy Wasabi real vegetable chips made with a UNIQUE seasonal potato blend.  While these Wasabi flavored chips may not be as unique as the last chips we reviewed from Terra, we’re talking about you – Celery Root Chips w/ Aged Cheese!!  Terra’s Wasabi chips are most certainly better tasting!

Now, if you are a huge fan of wasabi’s typically pungent, nose burning heat, and that is what you are really looking for from these then you may be somewhat disappointed.  These chips are not about the seasoning at all.  The seasoning is very subtle, and is just there to compliment the fantastic potato chips.  A simple, perfect sprinkling of just the right amount of salt, and only delicate dash of what tasted like mustard powder.

As for those fantastic potato chips, well apparently they are made up of a seasonal selection of four types of potatoes.  There’s Andover, Atlantic, Marcy and Waneta potatoes (and if those names mean anything to you, then bravo for being up on your potato varietal knowledge).  What we can tell you is that we did not really notice any textural, or flavor, difference from chip to chip, but all together the seasonal variety delivered a fantastically rich, buttery, and earthy flavor combo.  Seriously, chip for chip these were some of the best tasting potato chips we’ve tried in a while.  Really, nothing to do with the seasoning, all about the chip!

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

Discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Villa Park, Illinois

Terra Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Neal Brothers Foods – Extremely Tasty Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips

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

neal-brothers-spicy-srirachupFor many of you out there, we’re willing to go out on a limb and guess that your all-time favorite, red colored condiment, is the same as it was when you were a child.  You know what we are talking about, that french fry dipping, meat loaf topping, red squeeze bottle filled with that sweet, smooth paste from your past, as well as your present.

For a certain one of us here at Chip Review, ketchup was never a staple of his childhood.  In fact, he wouldn’t touch the stuff, or any red sauce for that matter.  Let’s put it this way, he never even tried PIZZA until he was TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD!!??  And yes, he now knows that this was one of his life’s biggest mistakes, and he has been trying to make up for it ever since.

Okay, so what’s the point?  Well, now that he does enjoy red colored condiments and sauces of all types, he has realized that he hates ketchup with a passion.  To him, ketchup just seems like a horribly sweet, candy colored condiment, most likely designed to get children to consume vegetables.  Fortunately for him, ketchup flavored chips for the most part are usually rather tasty.  And just FYI, overall our favorite red colored condiment here at Chip Review is Original Tabasco (okay reddish), but Huy Fong’s Sriracha, and all of its versatility, ain’t too shabby either. 

Which brings us to the review at hand – Neal Brothers Spicy Srirachup Kettle Chips.  That’s right.  Sriracha and Ketchup flavored potato chips!!  You know what that means don’t you?  The best of both worlds!  Sriracha for those of us who like a mildly sweet, definitely tangy, garlic heavy, decently spicy, Thai chili hot sauce; and ketchup for those of us who still like to eat as if we are 5 years old….just kidding!  Ketchup for those of us who like a sweet-salty-tomato-y sauce that we have been enjoying for years and years.

Earlier this week we told you about Neal Brothers lip-smacking Montreal Steak Spice kettle chips, and we are happy to report that their Spicy Srirachup kettle chips are lip-smacking as well!  We wouldn’t say that they are quite as dynamically delicious as the Montreal Steak Spice, but we could also see a lot of people liking the Sriracha Ketchup even more.

First and foremost, the chips are tangy, tangy, tangy.  Lots of acid or vinegar, which sounds about right as both of the red condiments do have a tang to them.  Next, we tasted a good dose of sriracha’s garlic and ketchup’s tomato.  Lastly, a decent level of chili heat came creeping in and rounded the whole flavor combo out.  We were very thankful and pleased that the seasoning stayed away from ketchup’s too sweet aspect.

Once again Neal Brothers’ medium-thick cut, extra crunchy, not greasy at all, kettle cooked potato chips pair nicely with their seasoning.

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 by Neal Brothers for review

Neal Brothers Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list