Potato Chip Review Face-Off – Herr’s Hot Sauce chips vs Ruffles Molten Hot Wings

As tribute to the Nick Cage/John Travolta movie…..we are going to have a Face (hand motion) Off.

Once again I picked up two crazy looking flavors, and surprisingly, I thought that these two chips would be very similar in taste, but they ended up being pretty different. Both in the intensity of the hot sauce hot, as well as the overall flavor.

First up are the Hot Sauce chips from Herr’s, and the description on the bag perfectly describes these chips, which is chips with a coating of dried hot sauce on them. You maybe get a little bit too much of the vinegar flavor, that you would have with a cayenne based hot sauce (such as Texas Pete or Franks.) But in actuality it’s the cayenne and vinegar that make these hot sauces who they are, so you really can’t fault Herr’s for trying to capture the full essence of a hot sauce on a wavy potato chip.

Lastly we have the Ruffles Molten Hot Wings, and these chips kind of surprised me, since I was expecting them to be close in flavor to the Herr’s chips, but they really weren’t. With the key difference being that the Ruffles have not only the hot sauce flavor, but they also have some chicken bullion added in, so that you actually kind of think that you’re eating a buffalo wing, even though you are eating a potato chip. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the flavor is “molten”, but they are mildly hot, and quite interesting for a chip flavor.

Unfortunately in the end I thought this challenge was going to be more like apples vs. apples, but it turned out to be more of apples vs. oranges. Both chips overall have a good flavor, it’s just that with the addition of the chicken flavor on the Ruffles, it puts them in the same category in my mind as the Baby Back Ribs chips from Herr’s, due to the addition of a “protein” flavor on the chips. But really, if you are looking for a chip with hot sauce flavoring, either one is more then adequate to satisfy your desire for hot sauce. I know it did for me.

Potato Chip Review – Herr’s – Baby Back Ribs

Talk about a crazy sounding flavor, this is almost like out of the Chappelle Show skit for “Ribs Sleep-Aid.” But being someone that lovers crazy flavors of potato chips, I just had to get a bag of the stuff. Honestly I really didn’t know what to expect, since it seems like every week, someone is coming out with a new version of “BBQ” flavored chips.

But these chips ending up being very interesting for a number of reasons. Number One, is that these are not a “sweet BBQ” style chip, so that a bonus for me. Number Two, is that you actually get a bit of a “porky” taste on these chips, even though there is no pork listed on the ingredient list. But don’t confuse this with the bacon flavor on chips, since these taste more like ribs (un-cured pork) and not bacon (cured pork). And Number Three is…..smoke. Oh yes, smoke, and plenty of it….so much in fact that when I first opened the bag, I thought that I had opened the lid on a vertical smoker. It wasn’t until about a week after opening the bag, that the smoke aroma mellowed out.

Overall, I would get these chips again. But I just need to be in the mood for some smokey BBQ beforehand.

Potato Chip Review – Better Made – Salvatore’s Sicilian Style Parmesan & Garlic

Its strange how the same cut of chips, in this case Krinkle Cut from Better Made could be so different. On the one hand you have Salvatore’s Sicilian Style Parmesan & Garlic Krinkle Cut chips that are totally awesome, and on the other hand you have the ho-hum taste of the plain Kinkle Cut chips. Continue reading

Potato Chip Review – Doritos – Mr. Dragon’s FireChips

OK, so talk about a random bag of chips.
When I was down visiting my sister and her husband a while back. My sister ended up picking me up a bag of Mr. Dragon’s FireChips from Doritos. Personally I didn’t know what to expect, since the name really didn’t lead you down the road to what the chips should taste like. But the description on the back of the bag ended up being a subtle clue with the statement:

From the base of Mt. Fuji, this dragon, a symbol of luck, had brought DORITOS one of Japan’s most intense flavors.

And with only one bite the enigma was solved, and all the clues then made sense. So what do you think the flavor is? Give up?
Continue reading

Potato Chip Review – Barcel Kettle Style – Jalapeno & A La Diabla

You know sometimes I roll the dice on a couple of random bags of chips. My last random roll was at my local Mexican bodega on two bags of Barcel brand kettle cooked chips, with the flavors being Jalapeno and the other A La Diabla (red hot chili pepper.) And the results were 50/50, so lets start with the loser, which were the a la diabla, and talk about a strange looking chip. First off they had a strange color, almost like they had been rolled around in cinnamon sugar instead of chili powder. And the taste, it’s like a citric acid overload with a little bit of chili heat. So if you are looking for fake lime taste and some chili heat, on a cinnamon sugar looking chips, then check these out. But personally I’ll take a pass.

So onto the stand out flavor, which were the Jalapeno kettle chips. And talk about a winner in my book. The first thing that got me sucked in was the smell from the bag. Since the chips smelled exactly like a bag of fresh cut jalapenos. But for the smell being so strong the taste was very mild, and that kind of surprised me in a good way. In that the chips had a jalapeno/green pepper kind of flavor, but not very much of that jalapeno heat, so it made them very easy to eat. And because they are kettle style chips, the crunchiness of these chips kind of reminded me of Kruncher’s Jalapano chips. So notch these Jalapeno chips up of the totem pole, because I would definitely like to get them again.

Side notes for both of these chips:

  1. The cartoon pepper on both bags is pretty funny, but it wasn’t enough to sway my decision on not liking the a la diabla flavored chips. I guess better luck next time Barcel.
  2. &

  3. For both of these Barcel brand chips, of all the ingredients listed on the bag, one of the ingredients is MSG, and its listed in bold no less! I really don’t know how to react to this, other then with “oh well”. But I guess if your looking to go out of your way to get some potato chips with MSG, than check out the chips from Barcel.

Potato Chip Review – Better Made – Rainbow Old Fashioned Dark Potato Chips

Have you ever opened up a bag of chips and noticed a couple of dark chips in the bag?
Now think, what if you bought a bag of chips and it was nothing but all of those dark chips. Well that is what you get with Better Made Rainbow Old Fashioned Dark Potato Chips.

As you are probably well aware, I’m basically game for trying any flavor (e.g. shrimp chips) or type of chips/crisps (e.g. Hawaiian taro chips). But after I read the back to the bag to find out what these Rainbow chips were all about. I have to tell you, I started to have second thoughts about what I just got myself into. But seeing how I had already bought the bag by the time I found out what these chips were all out, it was too late to back out.

So what did I think of these chips? To be honest, I’m on the fence with these chips, since it’s such a unique flavor. But calling it a flavor doesn’t really do these chips justice. Since you really can’t call it a burnt taste, since technically the chips aren’t burnt, it’s only due to the potatoes high sugar content that they darken while cooking. They are just slightly sweet from the caramelization during frying, but it isn’t the traditional kind of sugar sweetness that you would think of from maybe a brown sugar or white sugar. The only way I can describe the taste of these chips is that they are a complex taste not meant for kids, when you think that all they started with was just potatoes, salt and cottonseed oil.

Would I get another bag of these chips: maybe (leaning toward yes.) There is something about these chips that almost makes them the anti-chips of traditional plain chips, which is a tough concept to wrap your head around. Since traditional plain potato chips are paper thin, pretty salty, light yellow in color and slightly oily. While these chips are the exact opposite in that they are close to kettle cut thickness, not salty, dark brown and not really oily. In conclusion if you are at a Busch’s or Hiller’s Market in Metro Detroit go and pick yourself up a bag, and get ready to push the limits on the concept of what you think a potato chip should taste like. Nuff said.

Better Made – What are Rainbow Chips?

Potato Chip Review – Lay’s – Garden Tomato & Basil

All I can say is: BORING. I will give Frito Lay the benefit of the doubt, in that they didn’t recycle one of their other flavors to make these chips. But their really wasn’t anything exciting about this flavor. More or less it tasted like tomato soup with a hint of basil, with the ironic part being that on the back of the bag is a recipe for making tomato basil soup.

For some reason I thought that these chips were going to taste more like a caprese salad, which is usually what I think of when I see tomatoes and basil put together. But instead I got a mouthful of crunchy tomato basil soup. Overall I’m indifferent to this favor. Would I get them again, maybe. But I can tell you that I won’t be going out of my way to get a bag of these chips.

Potato Chip Review – Better Made – Red Hot Barbeque

After a number of years, I finally got to do a head to head comparison of Better Made’s Red Hot Barbeque verse their regular Barbeque chips. At first I liked the regular barbeque chips from Better Made more. But after trying the Red Hots, I can now say that I’m a Red Hot Barbeque convert.

The thing is, its not that the Red Hots are that much hotter than the regular BBQ chips from Better Made. But with the addition of paprika and smoke flavor in the Red Hot’s, it really adds something different to these chips that you don’t get with Better Made’s regular barbeque chips.

Though I wouldn’t necessarily have these chips all the time, since I can only take so much barbeque chips. But if I still lived in Michigan, every couple of months I’d place these chips into the rotation to mix things up. But since I’m not in Michigan anymore, I’ll just have to settle for picking up a bag whenever I’m back in the state.

Potato Chip Review – Lay’s – Munchies – Flamin’ Hot

These chips were one of those impulse buys when I was at the local bodega getting dried chilies for my “4th Place Chili.” Honestly, I had pretty low expectations when it came to this Lay’s Munchies blend. But it turns out that I was pleasantly surprised with the flavors coming out of the bag of this Munchies blend.

With a label of Flamin’ Hot, I was expecting nothing but heat and no flavor. But really the only hot component was the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (review coming soon), and a lot of the flavor was coming from the Baja Picante Sunchips and the Salsa Doritos. The plain Rold Gold Tiny Twists were a nice intermission from all the other flavors going on in the mix. If anything the only thing that I would change, would be to maybe substitute the plain Rold Golds from maybe cheddar flavored Rold Golds.

The pretzel swap really isn’t a deal breaker for me, though I do wish that they would have added just a little bit more pretzels to the mix. I took care of this small issue with a handful of mini pretzel twists that I brought back from Michigan with me a few weekends back.

Overall, I would totally get this mix again, even though they are a bit on the pricey side with an 8 ounce bag for $2.50. But getting it every once in a while would be a nice little treat to add to the “chips rotation”.

Tidal wave of potato chip posts

Get ready for a large dump of potato chip posts over the next week or so, since I’ve got about five that are almost ready to post and at least another seven to ten that are in the hopper waiting to be completed. So bear with me while I finally clear out the hopper and get all these posts out of the way.