Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hot Chicks Disperse

Some sad news for all of you spicy snackz fans...the trifecta of hot chicks eating spicy chips has dispersed around the country and soon, around the world. Not to fear though! Though the 3-person supreme court of all things spicy is no longer in session, we're now bringing you three times the spicy snacks. Now scattered around the map, we can scour the stores in three different cities bringing you the best and spiciest snacks around.

So stay tuned for our individual posts - you can even let us know who your favorite blogger is...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Snack #25- Miss Vickies Hand-Picked Jalapeno All Natural Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Miss Vickies Hand-Picked Jalapeno All Natural Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

These are nice and crunchy, a good classic kettle chip. The flavor is basic jalapeno but a really nice flavor overall. The jalapeno is subtle enough not to overpower the chip and everything works well together. The bag claims that the jalapenos are picked by hand when they are perfectly ripe, which if true could explain why the jalapeno flavor is better in these chips than in some other chips we've tried. They are not all that spicy, but have a little kick. The really nice part of this chip is just how crunchy it is, they might be the crunchiest chips we have had yet.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10

Bottom Line: Super crunchy, good flavor.

Snack #24- Mirch Masala Tikha Ganthia (Hot)

Mirch Masala Tikha Ganthia (Hot)

WOW. These are SO spicy. Spicisoni and I went to a local Indian specialty store and asked the man for the spiciest snacks they had, and this is what we were handed. He claimed they would be very spicy, and he was not lying. They have almost like a cold burn, that takes over your entire mouth and leaves you gasping for breath. It is a really strong turmeric flavor that induces a lot of interesting facial expressions. The texture is like wet chalk, they are not crispy at all but very, very chalky and almost smushy, which may be a result of being made of chickpea flour. They are hard to eat, both because they are so hot and because the texture is so strange. It should be noted, however, that one of our friends did like these and was not turned off by the texture.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 10/10

Bottom Line: HOT HOT HOT...and strange.

Snack #23- Doritos Fiery Habanero flavored Tortilla Chips

Doritos Fiery Habanero flavored Tortilla Chips

These Doritos taste like spicy nacho cheese. They have a strong tomato flavor, almost like salsa, and are a little sour, possibly from the sour cream in the ingredients. They taste similar to normal Doritos but are definitely spicier. We don't taste a strong pepper flavor, more of the other flavors enhanced by the spices. And although there were five cheeses in these Doritos, we didn't really taste any of them specifically.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10

Bottom Line: Very spicy Doritos.

Snack #22- Lay's Flamin' Hot flavored Potato Chips

Lay's Flamin' Hot flavored Potato Chips

These chips have some bright red seasoning on them, and they start out pretty hot. They build up heat pretty quickly as well, and the back of your mouth will start burning. In terms of an actual flavor, it seems like they are just hot and spicy, no distinguishable flavor. The texture is light and crisp, a nice thin potato chip. The flavor is not as sweet as some others, probably because there is no barbeque aspect to the flavor.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10

Bottom Line: Pretty hot, a little barbeque.

Snack #21- Better Made Special Red Hot! Barbeque flavored Potato Chips

Better Made Special Red Hot! Barbeque flavored Potato Chips

For some reason, these chips taste like vinegar. They don't have any vinegar in the ingredients, but the flavor comes through anyway. In general these chips don't have too much spice, it's very manageable. They also don't have a whole lot of flavor, they taste like they have a little barbeque seasoning, a little sweet. They just smell so much like vinegar, it is a little disconcerting. But the texture is pretty light and crispy, a nice chip.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5/10
Bottom Line: Pretty basic chip, smells like vinegar

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snack #20- Frito Lay Hot Peanuts

Frito Lay Hot Peanuts

These have a fairly different flavor than the other peanuts we just tested, meaning they have an actual flavor. They taste slightly spicy and have a little more heat. They taste more seasoned than just regular peanuts and have a pretty strong peanut flavoras well. But basically we didn't really want to test spicy peanuts so we don't have a lot to say about them. They are pretty bland, especially compared to all the other snacks we have tasted.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2/10
Bottom Line: Basic peanuts with a little spice

Snack #19- Kar's Blazin' Hot Peanuts

Kar's Blazin' Hot Peanuts

These initially tasted just like regular peanuts. They seemed to have no spicy flavor whatsoever, but if you eat a bunch of them they start to build up a very slight kick in the back of the throat. Basically they don't taste like anything more than peanuts though. And definitely not "blazin' hot".

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Pretty much just regular old peanuts.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Snack #18- Mike-sell's Groovy Good 'n Hot flavored Potato Chips

Mike-sell's Groovy Good 'n Hot flavored Potato Chips

Hot!! These are seriously hot, and delicious. Mike-sell's seems to be a great brand overall, they never lie on their bags and always follow through on their claims. Good 'n Hot...our thoughts exactly. They burn the tongue, make the eyes water, and you just don't want to stop. They have a very distinct chili powder flavor, and are slightly sweet. Very light and crispy chip, especially compared to all the kettle chips we've been eating recently. Overall very satisfying for a spicy chip lover.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 8/10

Bottom Line: Good 'n Hot, the name took the words right out of our mouth

Snack #17- Cheetos Cracker Trax Spicy Cheddar flavored Baked Snack Crackers

Cheetos Cracker Trax Spicy Cheddar flavored Baked Snack Crackers

New! These crackers have never been seen before, and unfortunately should NEVER be seen again. They smell like butthole. Sorry to be gross and imprecise, but honestly we didn't even want to put them in our mouths. Finally we managed to try one. Unfortunately the taste is no better than the smell. They have a nasty fake cheese flavor. There is a slight spice/pepper flavor but really there is no heat. No kick, no burn, nothing. The texture is like a buttery cracker, similar to the triangle and squiggly crackers that come in Chex Mix. Gross.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0/10 (the first 0 we've given!)

Bottom Line: Nasty.

Snack #16- Better Made Special Hot 'N Spicy flavored Corn Chips

Better Made Special Hot 'N Spicy flavored Corn Chips

At first we didn't think these corn chips were very spicy, but as we continued to eat them they start building up some heat. The flavor is a good corn flavor, similar to Fritos, and the spicy flavor is pretty basic and hot. We have actually spent some time looking for a spicy corn chip, because we though a spicy Frito must exist, but to this point we haven't found it. But if you want a spicy corn chip, this is a good choice.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Pretty crunchy and pretty spicy

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snack #15- D.W. Mikesell Kettle Cooked Potato Chips Hoppin' Hot Habanero

D.W. Mikesell Kettle Cooked Potato Chips Hoppin' Hot Habanero

These chips are DELICIOUS! In terms of spiciness, they give a little tingle but are not hot. However, they do have a really nice flavor that is relatively subtle. The heat builds a little over time but never really burns the mouth. The texture is extremely crispy, not too thick or too thin. The flavor is a really nice mix of habanero and garlic. This bag is hard to put down once it's been opened, unfortunately. Really gives new meaning to the phrase "you can't eat just one".

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10

Bottom Line: Very tasty, crispy chip with a little kick

Snack #14- Pringles Extreme Kickin' Cheddar Potato Crisps

Pringles Extreme Kickin' Cheddar Flavored Potato Crisps

Ew. These "crisps" (as they are smushed and reformed potatoes, not sliced ones as normal chips are) smell like poison and taste like bad fake cheese. The have the normal texture of Pringles, but the bright orange "cheese" color is a little off-putting. The jalapeno flavor is a little metallic, almost like the lining of the tube rubbed off onto the chips. They are actually somewhat spicy, and give a little kick. There is definitely a distinct jalapeno flavor, but overall the flavor is pretty gross.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Artificial cheese flavor with a definite jalapeno kick.

Spicy Snacks Round 3

Well, at this point it might be a good idea for us to mention that we went on a binge and collected 12 more types of spicy snacks to test. None of us is particularly interested in testing the spicy peanuts we bought for round 2 so we are putting those on the back burner to work on the pile of new potato chips and hot fries that we picked up. It was a whirlwind tour of Ann Arbor, with stops at a bunch of Indian and Mediterranean stores, a few party stores, and two Krogers. All in all it was very successful and as our members will be graduating from the University of Michigan next week we felt pressure to finish searching in Ann Arbor before we all move back out of the state. In any case, here is the picture of our mext round, and hopefully this week we will work our way through these fine snacks and will have ratings up for everyone to see. Suggestions are always welcome if it seems we have missed and important snacks in Michigan before we head back to the east coast. Thanks and happy snacking!

-The Hot Chicks eatin' the Spicy Chips

Snack #13 Chester's Fries Flamin' Hot Flavor

Chester's Fries Flamin' Hot Flavor

Neither of the two testers of these hot fries had ever tasted hot fries before, so the texture was very unexpected. The texture is like a thin cheese puff, airy and crispy. But since we haven't had any other hot fries so we don't know if this is the normal texture for them. In any case we liked the texture, it was something slightly different and new for us. We thought they would taste like the Flamin' Hot Cheetos since they are made by the same company, but they aren't nearly as spicy. But they are still pretty spicy, with a definite kick. They have sort of a tomato flavor, but no defined pepper flavor.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Hot and crunchy.

Snack #12- Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Flavored Extra Crunchy Potato Chips

Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Flavored Extra Crunchy Potato Chips

These chips have a very nice texture, not as greasy as some kettle cooked varieties and not too thick either, overall a really nice kettle chip. The flavor is a good jalapeno flavor, not as spicy as some but with a pretty nice heat. In general they taste like a spicy jalapeno but the heat does not last long in the mouth. Personally these are one of my favorites that we have tested so far, the texture is just really nice for a potato chip.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4.5/10
Bottom Line: Nice crunchy chip, good jalapeno flavor.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And now for something completely different...

Today while taking a break from burning our mouths and ruining our diets with spicy snack foods, one of our team members decided to eat some actual food. What happened next can only be described as a perfect example of the care and consideration that goes into today's marketing strategies. Seen below is a picture of a can of vegetable soup. Read the label closely.

Meijer Organics Vegetable Soup. Blend of organic corn, potatoes, and...geen beans. GEEN BEANS???? Are we kidding here? This is not a small oversight. A number of people designed, accepted, typed, printed, and glued this label. And yet...we are left with a glaring typo. How many cans were printed like this? How was this possible put on the shelf with such an obvious mistake? One can only wonder what else is overlooked, when the writing on the label is so carelessly handled. Meijer is a large company. They should have people to catch this sort of thing. Pathetic.

Snack #11- Better Made Special Sizzlin' Hot! Flavored Cheese Crunchy

Better Made Special Sizzlin' Hot! Flavored Cheese Crunchy

This crunchy is an interesting one. First, the spicy flavor actually overwhelms the crunchy flavor, so they basically just taste like spicy air. They definitely have some burn, and also some cumulative heat, which seems to happen with crunchies sometimes, similar to the Cheetos Flamin' Hot. The flavor of the actual crunchy, when you get past the initial spicy flavor, is slightly cheesy; a pretty typical nacho cheese flavor. They are airier than the other crunchies we've tested so far, more like a cheese puff in the shape of crunchy.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10

Bottom Line: Spicy, airy crunchy.

Snack #10- Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Baked Snack Crackers

Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Baked Snack Crackers

Nice essence of green pepper Tabasco sauce, but overall not hot. The smell of these Cheez-Its is actually hotter than the flavor of the cracker. They have the classic Cheez-It taste and the Tabasco flavor is a great compliment, but there is nothing that could be called hot in these. They are definitely delicious as green peppery Cheez-Its though.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10

Bottom Line: Delicious Cheez-It, but not hot.

Snack #9- Chex Mix Hot 'n Spicy

Chex Mix Hot 'n Spicy

This mix is not so spicy. It seems we forgot to take a picture of the actual mix, but it had white and wheat chex, triangle crackers, pretzels, squiggly crackers, and dark bagel chips (pumpernickel? rye? whatever.). In general, it seems that pretzels and crackers don't pick up seasoning very well, so in this mix they detract from the overall spiciness. The triangle crackers were buttery instead of spicy. The Chex were the spiciest part of the mix, probably because they have the most surface area to grab the spicy bits. The white Chex also seemed hotter than the wheat ones, maybe because the wheat flavor is stronger than the white flavor. When a bunch of Chex are eaten without the rest of the mix they can build some heat, but with the whole mix there is only a subtle spice.

Ratings on the Spice-O-Meter:
Chex: 4/10
Mix: 2/10

Bottom Line: Moderately spiced Chex with mild Mix.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snack #8- Munchies Flamin' Hot Snack Mix

Munchies Flamin' Hot Snack Mix

Composed of Cheetos Flamin' Hot Flavored Snacks, Sunchips Baja Picante Flavored Multigrain Snacks, Doritos Salsa Flavored Tortilla Chips, and Rold Gold Classic Tiny Twists Pretzels. First we rated each component individually:

Flamin' Hot Cheetos- Strong tabasco flavor, nice kick in the beginning, with hot hot heat building afterwards

Baja Picante Sunchips- A little sweet with a tomato flavor, lots of Sunchip flavor, not hot

Salsa Doritos- Tastes like a basic Dorito flavor, but a little spicier and with tomato flavor

Pretzel- Essence of spice

Overall the mix was not so hot, the pieces tasted more like the original flavor with the exception of the Cheetos which are very spicy. When eaten like a mix, the other pieces counteract the spice of the Cheetos, but alone the Cheetos build strong cumulative heat. The Doritos and Sun Chips have a little spice but only the Cheetos have real heat. The pretzels have no additional spice flavor added.

Ratings on the Spice-O-Meter:

  • Cheetos: 6.5
  • Doritos: 3
  • Sunchips: 2
  • Pretzels: 1

Bottom Line: The Cheetos are HOT!

Spicy Snacks Round 2!

So yesterday we went all out and tested 7 varieties of spicy snacks, mostly spicy chips. In retrospect that could have been a little hasty. By the end of the testing we were not feeling so well and our mouths were not happy. So this round, we decided we are going to space it out over the next few days so we can spend more time on each individual snack and test it more thoroughly. Today we picked up 9 more tasty variations on the spicy snack to report back on. By the end of the week we may not be able to taste anymore, so enjoy our recommendations while they last!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Snack #7- Cape Cod Jalapeno and Aged Cheddar Old Fashioned Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Cape Cod Jalapeno and Aged Cheddar Old Fashioned Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

This chip initially has a medium jalapeno flavor, which is subsequently followed by the cheese flavor. It is very interesting that the pepper flavor comes through before the cheddar flavor, because usually it seems that the spice comes after the other flavors in the mix. The afterburn is not too hot, but there is a slow accumulating burn, especially when an entire bag is eaten in one sitting. This has happened on multiple occasions, and they are especially deadly when the entire bag is consumed while walking two blocks home after a night at the bar. Just a little warning for late night chip connoisseurs everywhere (and if you have not experienced the late night spicy chip- you are missing out and we recommend it highly). The texture is lighter and crispier than other kettle chips; they are thinner and the crunch is softer. The cheddar flavor is appetizing and the slight heat is subtle enough not to overpower the cheese flavor.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5.5
Bottom Line: Overall a good combination of cheese and jalapeno.

Snack #6- Krunchers Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Krunchers Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Disappointing. No initial spiciness, tasted like a salty potato chip. The aftertaste had a slight jalapeno flavor but the flavor was mostly just a salty regular unflavored potato chip. The texture was super crunchy. Pretty lame. But on a side note, the bag was so full! Most chip bags have a measly 1/3 or so full with just a lot of air, but these chips were really packed in. Too bad they weren't more satisfying.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1.5/10
Bottom Line: A full bag of salt, not heat.

Snack #5- Trader Joe's Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies

Trader Joe's Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies

A slightly different snack, more of a Cheeto than a chip, airy and crunchy. The flavor on these little nuggets is very oniony and pretty mild. There is really no afterburn, more of a slight pepper taste. They are slightly sweet because of the onion flavor with some added cheesiness. They taste fairly mild overall, not so much kick, but pretty yummy. Tasted like an organic Funyun.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Not spicy, but tasty.

Snack #4- Mama Zuma's Revenge Habanero Potato Chips

Mama Zuma's Revenge Habanero Potato Chips

These chips= hella spicy. Initially, a strong barbeque flavor matched with some strong heat, which is unusual for the initial flavor of a spicy chip. When eaten in succession, there is an intense cumulative buildup of heat, which can be sweat inducing and definitely leaves a lasting burny feeling on the tongue. They have a crispy kettle cook with a hard crunch. The flavor overall is a strong peppery barbeque flavor, slightly different because of the habanero flavor as opposed to the normal jalapeno flavor.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 9/10. The hottest yet.
Bottom Line: you'll feel this one for a long time.