Top 5 – Plain, Salted, Traditional (you know) Regular Potato Chips

Chip Review’s Top 5 Plain/Salted/Traditional/Regular Potato Chips:

Plain-Salt- Potato_Top5

Chip Review’s Top 5 Plain/Salted/Traditional/Regular Potato Chips:

1. Rusty’s Island Chips

2. Old Dutch – Rip-L

tie 3. Better Made – Rainbow Old Fashioned Dark

tie 3. Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Dark Russet Potato Chips

4. The Original Saratoga Chips

5. Kettle Brand – Sea Salt

runner-up: Terra – Yukon Gold Potato Chips

Make sure to tell us your favorite Regular Potato Chips!!

Regular Potato Chips – Tell us what you think

Plain-Salt- Potato_Poll

Chip Review’s Top 5 Plain/Salted/Traditional/Regular Potato Chips:

1. Rusty’s Island Chips

2. Old Dutch – Rip-L

tie 3. Better Made – Rainbow Old Fashioned Dark

tie 3. Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Dark Russet Potato Chips

4. The Original Saratoga Chips

5. Kettle Brand – Sea Salt

runner-up: Terra – Yukon Gold Potato Chips

 

25 Chips to Christmas….

#8

Covered Bridge – Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning Old Fashioned Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Covered Bridge - Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning Old Fashioned Kettle Style Potato Chips

Original Review Here

This is not the first time that we have touted the delicious qualities of the mistakenly underutilized russet potato chip.  At first glance, russet potato chips may appear burnt to the unacquainted, but one crunch and all preconceived judgement should, and will, be vanquished!

REVIEW: The Original Saratoga Chips – Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Potato Chips

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

Original Saratoga Chips - Sea Salt & Cracked PepperSea Salt & Cracked Pepper – as classic a combination as there ever was.  Sort of like Saratoga, N.Y. and horse racing, or Chip Review and…..well, chips of course!!  Similar to the last bag of Saratoga Chips we reviewed, we have been meaning to get to these for quite some time now!  Well, that time has come, and let’s get this race started!

We’ve reviewed a handful of Saratoga Chips in the past year or two, and we’ve really liked them all.  If you’ve read any of those other reviews then you may want to skip over the the re-cap directly below; but for those of you who aren’t caught up on your Saratoga Chips history, you should appreciate the following.  And so the story goes:

A patron at Moon’s Lake House ordered fried potatoes with his meal. The diner complained that the potatoes were too thick and sent them back to the cook.

The cook at the restaurant was George Crum, who is described as Native American in some accounts and an African American in others. There is agreement, however, on Crum’s disposition—he was generally ornery. Upset that someone would criticize his cooking, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil to a crisp, and then salted them.

But what was intended as a stunt turned into an instant hit – the fussy patron and his friends loved the “crunch potato slices.” Soon the chips became known as Saratoga Chips. At first they were served in restaurants throughout the region. When George Crum left Moon’s Lake Inn to start his own restaurant called “Crumbs House,” he placed large baskets of the chips on every table. It was not long before Saratoga Chips could be found in restaurants up and down the East Coast. Soon they became known as potato chips. (www.originalsaratogachips.com)

While it seems like some chip companies are perfectly content with simply sitting back and providing the masses with their edible salty snacks, other chip companies continually strive to deliver their fans with even better versions of their amazing products.  Not only did Saratoga Chips invent America’s First Kettle Chip in 1853, but in the summer of 2014 (some 150 years later!!) the company has decided to only use Himalayan Pink Salt on all six of their chip flavors. As far as we know this is an industry first!

When it comes to salt & pepper flavored chips on the market today, there are really two different styles, or recipes.  First, there are your purists, or minimalists.  They like to keep it straight, and to the point – typically only four simple ingredients: potatoes, oil, salt and pepper.  The recipe is a classic, but requires flawless execution and the highest quality of ingredients for them to actually taste very good.  But, for one reason or another, this is not the style we find more often than not.  Instead, the majority of salt and pepper flavored chips are much more complex.  You can call it cheating, or you can call it brilliant, but brands such as Saratoga Chips prefer to up the flavor ante, by adding plenty of complimentary background flavors like onion and garlic to enrich the classic salt and pepper combo.  Should we penalize these brands for veering off the classic S&P recipe path?  We say, bring on the additional flavor depth, because we feel like the extra ingredients add dimension and character, and definitely flavor!

We have tried and reviewed a lot of salt and pepper flavored chips over the years, and we must say that this version from Saratoga Chips is a very fine addition to the flavor family.  While they may not necessarily make our all-time Top 5 salt and pepper chips, we are pretty sure that if we extended this list to 10, they would definitely be in the running!

This salt and pepper recipe starts off with potent flavor notes of onion, and the finely cracked peppercorns.  Throw in a dash of garlic, and a good level of salt, and you have a delicious seasoning blend that perfectly compliments Saratoga’s potato chips.  Visually, the chips exhibit a very even distribution of finely cracked pepper, with a few larger peppercorn shell pieces scattered throughout.  We really appreciated how each chip delivered a subtle yet spicy black pepper warmth in the back of our throats.

As great as this salt and pepper seasoning is, the real star is Saratoga’s kettle cooked potato chips.  We really like how the chips appear as though they are going to be very crunchy, as the majority of kettle cooked chips are, but instead they are much more crispy than crunchy.  A light and crispy crunch that is full flavored without hurting our teeth!  And despite all of the seasoning covering these chips we could still taste the real potato flavor.  Plain and simple, these are fantastic chips that we could devour every day.

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 Saratoga Specialties Company for review

The Original Saratoga Chips Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: The Original Saratoga Chips – Dark Russets Potato Chips

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

Saratoga Chips - Dark RussetsAnd we’re off to the chip eating races!!

We have been meaning to get to this review for quite some time now, but as so often happens our chip tasting notes were no where to be found.  Well, luckily for you, and for us, those notes have have reappeared and we can finally discuss Saratoga Chips newest venture – Dark Russets with Himalayan Salt.

While it seems like some chip companies are perfectly content with simply sitting back and providing the masses with their edible salty snacks, other chip companies continually strive to deliver their fans with even better versions of their amazing products.  Not only did Saratoga Chips invent the America’s First Kettle Chip in 1853, but in the summer of 2014 the company has decided to only use Himalayan Pink Salt on all six of their chip flavors. As far as we know this is an industry first, and really reflects Saratoga Chip’s strong efforts to meet the demands of picky consumers these days.

For those of you who may not be aware, Himalayan Salt::

*   Provides 84 beneficial minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium
*   Delivers purity because the salt is protected in veins of the Himalayans – untouched by pollutants and impurities for more than 250 million years

Plus, come’on let’s admit it, using Himalayan Salt is trendy and sounds really cool!!

We have decided that there are really two types of russet potato people in the this world.  Those who love them for their uniquely dark, nutty, pure potato essence, and those who think that they are actually burnt, and obviously just don’t get it.  Burnt Chips?  Recycled chips??  Dark Russet potato chips have been called many things, but we’re fairly certain that the chips are more the result of the use of Russets, than actually being overcooked.

Either way you crunch it, these are tasty potato chips.  The kettle chips are on the thinner side, very light with an extra crispy crunch.  Like we’ve mentioned before, the dark Russet chips deliver a very rustic, smoky, nutty, golden brown, pure potato flavor!  The chips are not greasy, and the sunflower oil provided a very neutral fry that simply let the potatoes shine.  Honestly, we do not get very much from the Himalayan salt.  As so often the case with the use of sea salt, it simply does not hit our palettes the same way that traditional salt does.  Instead of tasting the salt simultaneously with the chips, the sea salt delivers a delayed subtle salt flavor.  We would have liked a bit stronger, more forefront salt punch, but can certainly recognize how the Himalayan salt compliments, or enhances the potato flavor, and provides a healthier product.

So, there you have it.  Are Saratoga Chips’ new Dark Russets better than their Original Potato Chips, we think that’s a toss up.  We would be happy snacking on either of them.  In case you are unfamiliar with Saratoga Chips tasty back story, according to their website, in the year 1853:

“A patron at Moon’s Lake House ordered fried potatoes with his meal. The diner complained that the potatoes were too thick and sent them back to the cook.

The cook at the restaurant was George Crum, who is described as Native American in some accounts and an African American in others. There is agreement, however, on Crum’s disposition—he was generally ornery. Upset that someone would criticize his cooking, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil to a crisp, and then salted them.

But what was intended as a stunt turned into an instant hit – the fussy patron and his friends loved the “crunch potato slices.” Soon the chips became known as Saratoga Chips. At first they were served in restaurants throughout the region. When George Crum left Moon’s Lake Inn to start his own restaurant called “Crumbs House,” he placed large baskets of the chips on every table. It was not long before Saratoga Chips could be found in restaurants up and down the East Coast. Soon they became known as potato chips.” (www.originalsaratogachips.com)

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 Saratoga Specialties Company for review

The Original Saratoga Chips Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Covered Bridge – Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning Old Fashioned Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Covered Bridge - Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning Old Fashioned Kettle Style Potato ChipsOh Canada!  Oh Covered Bridge!  We stand and applaud your Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning chips!  Yeah, you’re right, our sweet melody won’t be replacing the Canadian national anthem anytime soon, but we can tell you with utmost certainty that you should be replacing whatever you are eating right now with some of these lip-smacking potato chips!!

Truth be told, these chips, or more accurately, their deliciousness, came as a complete surprise to us.  Straight from left field, or more like, from Canada.  Little did we know that hiding inside this simply designed bag were some of the best tasting chips of 2014!

So, what exactly is Montreal Steak Seasoning Spice?  From the looks of the front of this bag it consists of two spice containers (appropriately labeled “spice”), some onion, garlic and tomato, and some flames and a giant steak.  Some of our tasters were thinking that the flavor may taste like steak itself, but based on the ingredients listed on the back of the bag, Covered Bridge seems to be keeping the recipe close to their chest.  Garlic is listed, and of course there is salt, but beyond that is simply the always illusive “spices”.  In our opinion, Montreal Steak Seasoning Spice is not very far removed from most salt and pepper flavored chips.  In fact, that is exactly what it is.  An amp’d up, or an elevated, salt and pepper variation.

The flavor starts with loads of the classic black and white spices, followed closely by hints of garlic and onion, and it even seemed like there was a little spicy heat hidden in there at the finish.  Yep, no doubt about it, when we were finally able to stop eating these chips for a second, there was definitely a light burn on our tongues and in our mouths (granted, this could possibly be from the loads of pepper being used).

While Covered Bridge’s Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning is certainly a more than acceptable seasoning blend, it is not what set these chips apart from the masses.  What exactly is it that catapults them into the illusive, nearly perfect, chip rating territory?  Plain and simple, the potato chips themselves!!!  These are SUPERB potato chips. On the thinner side, extra light and crispy, with a very substantial and prominent real potato flavor. The russet Burbank potatoes lend a darker color, with a rich, and rustic potato flavor. Some may even consider the chips burnt, but just like with Better Made’s Rainbow Dark Potato Chips, they are simply delicious!  The dark potato provides some uniquely nutty, and smoky “burnt” flavor profiles that we are simply suckers for.  If you’ve never tried dark potato chips, you should really seek them out!

Probably our only gripes with these chips, and we are nitpicking here of course, are that there were quite a few crumbs at the bottom of the bag (possibly due to how thin the chips are, or perhaps the fact that they traveled all of the way from the frozen tundra to the North). We also think that the salt level could be turned down just a touch. Don’t get us wrong, you know we love salt. Probably our most common complaint, other than chips tasting disgusting, would be that they are under seasoned. However, these chips are really, really close to being too salty!

Lastly, in case you were wondering, Covered Bridge Potato Chip’s factory is located in Hartland, New Brunswick, which is the home of the world’s longest covered bridge.  And we were wondering where the name came from – problem solved.

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

Discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Covered Bridge Chip Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list