BIJOU-REVIEW: I Heart Keenwah – Aged Cheddar Quinoa Puffs

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

I Heart Keenwah - Aged Cheddar Quinoa PuffsQuinoa = Keenwah

We still giggle a little every time we hear someone try to pronounce quinoa for the first time… Quin-noah?, is what we usually hear.

Ooooh, the quinoa puffs are in the shape of a heart. Yep, it’s those little details that really get us every time.

Well, these are certainly unique, and definitely a first.

Unfortunately, opinions seem to also be uniquely split right down the middle.

Some of us here at Chip Review really, really, appreciated the quinoa puffs, and after a couple additional handfuls, began to love them.  Extra crunchy, cheddar dusted, grain-y quinoa “croutons”.

Others of us here at Chip Review did not like them one bit.   Sorry.  Weird, hard, quinoa snack nuggets.

Hearty crunch, not a meltable texture at all. These are not puffs like we know puffs.  No corn meal melt at the site of tongue moisture here….these “puffs” have some body.  They are cruuuuuunchy!  Plain and simple, the quinoa puffs’ texture is not normal, and may even be off putting to some…..but, definitely unique!

The aged cheddar seasoning is fine. It is salty, a little funky, with a good orange color.

Some will love these, and others not so much.  We can’t wait to try some more flavors from these guys!

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

Puffs discovered at Marshall’s; Lombard, Illinois

I Heart Keenwah Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Mr. Snaki – Maczugi (Ketchup)

Rating: ©©© chips  (Notable)

Mr. Snaki - MaczugiOH NO IT’S BIG SCARY MR. SNAKI!  AND HE HAS KETCHUP!!!

Okay, so we have tried one other snack from this Mr. Snaki in the past, and we’ll admit that there’s a possibility, just maybe, that we did not do as much research as we probably should have prior to posting.  See, we assumed that Oczaki was the name of the snack flavor – Peanut.  But, as it turns out, with this newest snack we have discovered that Mr. Snaki’s Maczugi does not describe the flavor of Ketchup, but rather translates into the English word “club”.  Which we are assuming is meant to describe the shape of the snack that Mr. Snaki is so angrily charging us with.  Which would mean that the other Mr. Snaki – Oczaki – snack that we have tried actually describes the puff ball eyes…our apologies for any confusion.  We need to sharpen up on our Polish.

First, the positive: It is undeniable that these taste like ketchup.  Sweet, sweet tomato, with the slightest hint of vinegar.  In fact, it is uncanny how much these taste exactly like ketchup (in other words, if you are a ketchup hater like some of us here at Chip Review, don’t say we didn’t warn you!).

As for Mr. Snaki’s crunchy corn clubs, well, they are not as accurately amazing as their seasoning.  These Maczugi are very dense.  For a split second they hint at delivering Cheetos’ light, and airy, and crispy texture, but instead they simply offer a very solid crunch, that then fades into a weirdly heavy, sort of chewy, mouth texture.  They certainly do not melt away like most of the delicious corn crunchies, or puffs, that we enjoy here in the U.S.

So, if you are a big fan of ketchup flavored snacks then you may very well like these, but we’re going to keep searching and see what else this black, furry-face, Mr. Snaki has to offer.

Discovered at Lassak Market & Deli; Willowbrook, IL

Mr. Snaki’s Official Webite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Cheetos – Jumbo Colmillos (fangs) Chili Cheese (Mexico)

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Cheetos - Jumbo ColmillosIn our opinion, nothing says scary colmillo/fang puffs better than an extremely shiny purple bag!  Nice choice Chester!!

We do not have very much to say about these….

The puffs are shaped just like the pic on the front of the bag.  Basically a circle, with four little arms, or teeth – fangs, sticking out of it.

The puffs themselves are very soft, practically no crunch to them at all.  They did however have the stereotypical rich, fatty, mouth melting texture that we have come to expect from quality puff corned.

Chili cheese seasoning was practically unrecognizable.  Really, we tasted cheese with some sort of background tang.

We had no problem eating these, but we would never go out of our way to buy them again.

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

Discovered at 7-eleven; Hwy. 294, Hinsdale Oasis, Illinois

Cheetos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Grand Papa’s – Cheese Balls

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Grand Papa's - Cheese BallsThese are perfectly acceptable cheese balls.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Texture wise, just like with their spicy counterparts, these cheese balls have a softer, toothsome crunch.  But, most importantly, they still deliver that classic corn puff mouth meltability quality that everyone loves.

As for these balls’ cheese level, well it is there, but it is very subtle.  Not a whole lot of tangy cheesy-ness going on.  Perfectly adequate rich and creamy cheese essence, but really just adequate flavor.

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

Balls discovered at Shell Gas Station; Oak Park, Illinois

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Cheetos – Flamin’ Hot (Mexico)

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

Cheetos - Flamin' Hot (Cheetos)Have you ever tried something that is familiar to you in your everyday surroundings only to discover that the same thing elsewhere, in a different country for instance, is different?  A good example of this would be McDonalds.  We all know and recognize the mega fast food chain from those glowing golden arches, whether we are driving down our hometown street or thousands of miles away in some foreign land; the only thing is although we may recognize it by sight, our taste buds tell us that something is different.  Not necessarily off, or less delicious (although sometimes this is true as well), but simply that this seemingly always recognizable thing is not what we are accustomed to.

Welcome to Cheetos Flamin’ Hot from Mexico.

Even prior to tasting these Cheetos we could have told you that they are not the standard U.S. version of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Cheetos - Flamin' Hot DuoThe two bags are obviously visually different, despite sporting the same overall color scheme.  Our everyday bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is broken up into three different color partitions, one orange, one red, one yellow – sort of like it is an official Flamin’ Hot flag.  Mexico’s version is predominantly yellow, Chester is sporting his devil look, and there are red and orange flames of fire along the very top edge.  Despite their visual differences, we also found this very yellow bag of Cheetos in among a shelf filled with other Mexican Frito Lay products, so we knew from the get go that we weren’t trying our same old every day Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

As for the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos themselves, well, they are pretty darn frackin’ tasty!!  Really, really similar to our flawless iconic U.S. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos only, slightly………..yes, there’s that word again, DIFFERENT.   Luckily that this different does not equal bad in this case.  Mexico’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have a much more cheesy seasoning, that also delivers more of a lip puckering sour tang than the bold and powerful acidic burn that we are used to with our every day Flamin’ Hots.  They still deliver just enough heat to warrant a Midwestern sort of Flamin’ Hot, but not enough to really scare anyone, from anywhere, away.  The Mexican Cheetos also have a slightly softer, or lighter crunch – just not quite as crispy.  They still melt with the slightest touch of the tongue, and provide plenty of that mouth loving, rich and fatty texture.

For the most part, these are close enough to the originals that most anyone who tries them wouldn’t really think twice that they are trying anything other than the usual Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that they are used to.  But, if you are like us, you pay attention to you crunchy, salty and spicy snacks, and in that respect, there are a few differences  But, in the end, they are still lip-smackingly delicious!  In fact, we have no concerns about that unplanned future Mexico trip, and our ability to find some type of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on the local store shelf.

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

Discovered at 7-eleven; Hwy. 294, Hinsdale Oasis, Illinois

Cheetos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list