Friday, May 23, 2008

Snack #35- Herr’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips Jalapeno Flavored

Herr’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips Jalapeno Flavored

These chips immediately have a really strong flavor, sort of sweet and oniony but also definitely jalapeno. They are also very, very salty, which actually detracts from the other tasty spices on these chips. In fact the second ingredient after potatoes in these chips is salt. They are kettle cooked but they are not as thick as some kettle styles, just a little thicker than normal chips. They are very crunchy, though, as would be expected from a kettle chip. Overall the heat of these chips is seriously lacking though, I know there must be some sort of balance of flavors to make a good chip but if they had replaced some of the salt with more jalapeno seasoning I think they could have been spicier and more delicious. The heat is never really there, it doesn’t build up and it’s pretty much just a little tingle.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2/10

Bottom Line: Salty and delicious but not hot.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Snack #34 - Pringles Spicy Guacamole

Dear sweet lord! These chips are GREEN! Once I got over the horrendous pea soup color of these chips I delved in, and was pretty unsurprised to find lots of guac flavor, not so much spice. Guacamole isn't supposed to be spicy and neither are these chips. That being said, they're pretty tasty. They really capture the onion and garlic flavor of guacamole nicely and I would actually kind of like them if it wasn't for that horrific color. If I wanted to eat something green, I would have a salad - chips should avoid vegetable-like colors at all costs.
Rating on the Spice-o-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Tasty, but green?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Snack #33 - Pringles Extreme Blazin' Buffalo Wing

So "blazin'" must be the new adjective of choice for spicy snacks because while perusing the snack isle at the grocery store the other day I caught at least four new snacks all described as blazin'. These Pringles were definitely not blazin'. In fact, after forcing myself to eat more chips than anyone should have to, I had little more than a spicy tingle. They do however capture the taste of a buffalo wing, pretty vinegary right of the bat with a nice hot sauce aftertaste....none of the burn though.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2.5/10
Bottom Line: If you want the taste of buffalo wings, eat some buffalo wings

Monday, May 12, 2008

Snack #32- Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Chips Buffalo Bleu

Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Chips Buffalo Bleu

These chips were slightly disappointing, mostly because they don’t seem to have a strong flavor at all. The package says “BRAZEN spice mellowed by bleu cheese”, but it is hard to detect much spice or bleu cheese in them. On some of the chips there is a slight taste of chili, which is the claim the bag makes, but I do not taste any bleu cheese and they definitely wouldn’t be considered a spicy snack. Every once in a while a chip comes around with more flavoring and maybe they could be considered mildly spicy. The texture is nice and crunchy though, in general I like Kettle brand but they often seem to make bold claims that their chips can’t stand up to.

Rating: 0.5/10

Bottom Line: Not spicy, not tangy, not very flavored at all.

Snack #31- “Dirty” All Natural Potato Chips Jalapeño Heat

“Dirty” All Natural Potato Chips Jalapeño Heat

These chips initially have no distinct flavor, they taste like a regular potato chip for a second. Then there is a slight sweet taste, not in a barbeque way but in a sort of chemically spicy way. There is a distinct air of jalapeno, but I wouldn’t say a flavor. It is more of a hot aftertaste that creeps up after the chip has been eaten, just heat without a flavor. They are definitely classic kettle chips although not as greasy as some other kinds. The dirty aspect means they are more uneven and natural than some other types of chips. They have a pleasantly short ingredient list which means they are not packed with artificial flavors but also reveals why they are weak in the heat and taste. In general they are not very flavorful and overall sort of bland except for the heat.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2.5/10

Bottom Line: Pretty bland kettle chip with a slightly heated aftertaste

Friday, May 9, 2008

Snack #30- Herr's Jalapeno Potato Chips

Herr's Jalapeno Potato Chips

When I opened the bag of these, at first I thought they were just regular potato chips because there is little discernable seasoning on the outside. But when I thought about it, that is a nice change from the typical barbecue red and orange artificial seasoning on most of the spicy chip varieties. This chip is not hiding behind a color, instead it is just packing in the flavor. They definitely taste like jalapeno and green bell pepper with a hint of onion, which I assume are the flavors in the little green specks on the chips. They also really taste like potato chips with a light seasoning, which is good. I've decided it is nice when a chip tastes like a potato chip with spices added, not like a crispy piece of spice. Ridged potato chips are also always good for flavors because they can have more flavor into each chip. These chips are not the crunchiest I've ever had, they are a little thicker than regular potato chips. They also unfortunately are not very spicy. They have a really strong jalapeno flavor, but the heat is fairly subtle. These chips also come in the convenient one serving size, which must be a feature of the Herr's company and really prevents extreme intake of spicy chips.

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

Bottom Line: Super jalapeno flavor on a ruffly potato chip.

Snack #29- Herr's Habanero Salsa flavored Dippers Tortilla Chips

Herr's Habanero Salsa flavored Dippers Tortilla Chips

At first glance, these chips seem a little unusual because they are oval tortilla chips, which is a shape I have personally never seen before. I didn't know what a "dipper" was, but I think it's just a tortilla chip with seasoning on the outside. These are not really like Doritos at all, they are more like regular tortilla chips, although they are not as crunchy as a lot of unflavored tortilla chips. The flavor is initially very sweet. The sweetness tastes like a combination of tomato and red bell pepper, which would make sense since they claim to be salsa flavored. After the sweetness they give a little kick, but I would not call them really hot at any point. They leave a slight tingle of spice in the mouth and down the throat, but the sweetness is what really lasts. They also came in a cute little one serving pouch which was perfect for testing.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2/10

Bottom Line: Sweet, tomato-flavored basica tortilla chip

Snack #28- Utz Red Hot flavored Potato Chips

Utz Red Hot flavored Potato Chips

After not having spicy chips in a little while, these were a nice bag to return to the job with. They are very thin and crispy with a nice texture, just a really classic potato chip. They initially taste slightly sweet, like a barbeque chip, but get hotter after the initial flavor hits your palate. The one problem with these chips is that they really seem to vary in flavor and hotness. Some are much hotter than others, and the orange spice mix is visibly unevenly distributed over the chips. Most seem to be flavored on one side only. The natural flavor of the potato chip comes through the spices because of the uneven spicing, which is actually pretty nice and unusual. Overall they have a mildly spicy aftertaste, but the texture is really the nicer part of these chips.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3.5/10

Bottom Line: Somewhat spicy, but very crispy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Snack #27- Snyder's of Hanover Jalapeño Pretzel Pieces

When I first opened this bag, I was immediately struck by the general weirdness of the snack. Pretzel refuse sprayed with some sort of weird, cheesy looking powder. However, ever the spicy snack adventurer I delved in, grabbing one of the least crumbly pieces, and to my surprise it was kind of delicious. The pretzels are super crunchy and whatever it is that they're sprayed with has nice flavor - lots of garlic and onion spice, but maybe a little too salty. At first it was more spice-y than spicy, but after a while there was a definite cumulative heat as the jalapeño kicked in. I'm still not quite sure why they would waste this flavor on this pretzel refuse. I'm guessing some marketing genius over at Snyder's figured out a way to sell us poor spicy snack lovers all the broken pretzel crumbles that they couldn't put in the regular bags. All in all, pretty tasty, but definitely not something you want to serve to anyone unless you want them thinking you dumped the bottom of a bunch of old bags of pretzels into a bowl.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5/10

Bottom Line: Good flavor for private consumption only.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Snack #26- Kettle Brand People’s Choice Death Valley Chipotle Potato Chips

Kettle Brand People’s Choice Death Valley Chipotle Potato Chips

Note: these chips are actually the last bag of chips that all three hot chicks were able to test together, a sad, sad day right before graduation where we drowned our sorrows in what turned out to be an interesting bag of chips.

These chips are unusual. They are actually very peppery, but not hot peppers, rather black pepper. They have a little kick in the beginning and get hotter over time but they never get too hot. The heat can be felt in the very back of the throat. These chips almost smell like paprika, thought the package claims that they have jalapeno, habanero, and some other spicy flavors. The cumin and chili pepper flavors really come through as well. Overall an interesting and varied mix of flavors that is a nice departure from the typical spicy barbeque chip.

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

Bottom Line: Very peppery, full of spices, but overall not hot.