Monday, June 30, 2008

Snack #50: Snyder's of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing

I really hoped that the Hot Chicks Eatin' Spicy Chips could celebrate their 50th snack tested with a truly excellent hot snack...unfortunately it was not to be. Instead I got some lackluster pretzel crumbles from Snyders. Instead of HOT wing, I got mild wing, which really translated to ketchup and vinegar flavor with no real heat at all. The pretzels are nice and crunchy which I learned last time I tested a Snyder's product, but this time there was no tastiness to back it up.

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

Bottom Line: Very salty, not very delicious.

Snack #49: Pringles Select Jalapeño Ranch

From the new line of "luxury" Pringles potato chips comes the jalapeño ranch flavor, and over all, these were pretty tasty of the line luxury chips as they advertise them, perhaps not, but enjoyable nonetheless. Despite their unassuming white color, these bad boys packed a little punch. After a few there was a definite heat building in the back of my throat. Additionally, the ranch half of the flavor description nicely balanced the jalapeño heat with a creamy flavor with good garlic and onion flavor.

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

Bottom Line: No need for milk, but nice jalapeno ranch flavor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snack #48: Hot Potatoes' Spicy Bloody Mary Potato Chips

I had high hopes for these chips. Clever packaging, interesting flavor idea, but ultimately was a little disappointed. Instead of a spicy kick of Bloody Mary as promised, I got little more than a smoky tomato flavor with little or no discernible heat. In fact, I was pretty grossed out by the flavor at first. It grew on me after a while, but I really had to work at it. The same company had other flavors like Margarita which, while not spicy, sounded exciting, but after the Bloody Mary debacle, I think I'll hold off on testing those out.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0/10

Bottom Line: If you're looking for a Bloody Mary drink one and eat a bag of chips later.

Snack #47: Boulder Canyon Jalapeño Cheddar Potato Chips

First impression: the bag is more than half empty. And while I appreciate that this left a lot of the chips intact, it also meant there weren't very many of them to start with. Onto the flavor... While ostensibly jalapeño flavored, they smelled and tasted overwhelmingly of bacon. Tasty, but not the spicy, cheesy taste I was hoping for. After a while they did build a slight heat in the back of my throat, but nothing too exciting. And as I've come to except and love from kettle cooked chips, these chips had a nice crunch to them.

***I'm sure you're wondering what these chips look like...none of the usual up-close snapshots? As it turns out, spicy chips are a thing to be guarded, and before I could snap a photo, an unnamed chip thief finished the bag...

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

Bottom Line: Very crunchy, bacon flavored chip

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Snack #45- Rumba Maní Japonés Picante (Spicy Japanese Peanuts)

Rumba Maní Japonés Picante (Spicy Japanese Peanuts)

So these snacks are peanuts with a hard coating of something brown and presumably Japanese flavored. Upon first eating them, they tasted like peanut coated peanuts, and it was hard to distinguish any real flavoring in the coating. But, as one astute rater discovered, when they are sucked on before being chewed, it is possible to find the spicy flavor. It is spiciness without much flavor, though. And the heat starts coming in and seems as if it will continue to get very hot, but then fades back out after a few seconds. The ingredients say they have soy sauce in them, so maybe they are just coated in some crispy, somewhat sugary coating and then dipped in soy sauce at the very end. They are sweet and salty at the same time, it may even be that the coating is a mixture of sugar and soy sauce as they are both in the ingredients. These snacks were made in Costa Rica, which provides more support for the lack of true spicy snacks in Central America. Overall I have been fairly disappointed by most snacks’ claims to be hot, it is still fun to test them but they don’t compete with the caliber of snacks I am used to testing. Hopefully if I do some traveling around Costa Rica I can search for spicier snacks.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0/10 (1/10 if sucked on)
Bottom Line: Sugar and soy sauce covered peanuts. Subtle flavors.

Snack #46- Jack’s Bolitas Vaqueras (Spicy Cheese Balls)

Jack’s Bolitas Vaqueras (Spicy Cheese Balls)

These snacks taste weird and are weird in concept as well. They are large cheese balls, too large to be effectively seasoned from the outside. The inner portion of the cheese ball is very disappointing because it has a stale, Styrofoam taste and texture. It actually really feels like you are eating Styrofoam when you bite into the center of them. The minimal flavor on the outside is not even reminiscent of barbeque, ketchup, or cheese, which are the three main flavor components claimed in the ingredients. They are NOT spicy. No inkling of spice or heat or anything remotely similar. They don’t really taste good at all…just like old cheese puffs with all the seasoning licked off. So far it seems that Costa Rica will not be a great location for the continuation of the spicy snackz tradition. L.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0/10
Bottom Line: Someone colored Styrofoam balls orange and put them in this package. Lies lies lies.

Snack #44- Diana Maíz Chino Picante (Spicy Chinese Corn)

Diana Maíz Chino Picante (Spicy Chinese Corn)

These snacks are very confusing. The title of spicy Chinese corn would indicate some sort of Asian seasoning or maybe some soy sauce, but none of that is to be found in the ingredients. The bag also says that they are flavored with barbecue and chile picante, so that would seem like they should be more barbeque than oriental in flavor. We decided to call them weird, yummy, nasty snacks. They are like little mini cheese curls, with a nice light crispy texture that cakes into your teeth when you eat them. They are spicier than the other two Diana snacks we tested, they build up a little more when a few are eaten. The flavor overall is sweet tomato barbeque, a combination of tomato powder and sweet red pepper flavors. The flavor can be a little sickeningly sweet if really focused on, but they are fairly pleasant to snack on, especially because of their convenient small size, which is unusual for a puffed corn snack.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Sweet barbeque fluffy little corn snacks

Snack #43- Diana Elotitos (Cheese and Hot Sauce Flavored Fried Corn)

Diana Elotitos (Cheese and Hot Sauce Flavored Fried Corn)

These snacks are like corn nuts, and they are SUPER crunchy. Pretty much the most appetizing part of them is the super hard texture, although some testers thought they might break teeth on them. They don’t have a lot of flavor, it is pretty hard to discern the flavor of the cheese or the hot sauce. They also claim to have tomato, onion, garlic, and hot chili pepper flavorings but those are not very apparent either. They also don’t have much heat at all, although when about 10 or so are eaten there is mild heat felt in the back of the throat. They just taste slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and slightly like hot sauce. But the subtle flavoring and hard crunch is pretty fun for a snack overall. Some of the testers love it and some are turned off by how hard they are.

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

Bottom Line: Very hard, very crunchy, mild flavor and basically no spice.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Snack #42- Diana Jalapeños Tortillas Chips

Diana Jalapeños Tortillas Chips

These tortilla chips taste like a combination between unseasoned tortilla chips and Doritos. They have a pretty natural tasting cheddar flavor as well as a very distinguishable jalapeño flavor. They are very crunchy for tortilla chips, a little thicker than typical North American ones, a hearty yellow tortilla chip. The flavor overall is very pleasing, but there is one distinct problem with these chips: they are not spicy at all. There is just no heat to the jalapeno flavor, which is disappointing for a spicy snack blog. But they are still pretty delicious, the flavoring is lighter than chips like Doritos but they can still be eaten alone as a flavorful snack without a dip. The Diana brand is made in El Salvador so it will be interesting to if spicy snacks from different areas of Central America have different heat levels or typical spice ingredients.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0/10
Bottom Line: Tasty cheddar jalapeño tortilla chips but absolutely no heat.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Snack #41- Jack’s Twisters Fiery Hot Cheez Curls

Jack’s Twisters Fiery Hot Cheez Curls

So I have moved on from Ann Arbor and decided to take the plunge and move to Costa Rica for a year. I will be studying capuchin monkeys in a dry jungle in the Guanacaste region but on my days off I plan to scour the local supermarkets and pulperias. So here is my first entry from Central America, and hopefully we can expand the Spicy Snackz fanbase into the rest of the Americas! These snacks are labeled as “cheez curls pepper and cheese”, and that is pretty much what they taste like. They look a lot like Cheetos and also taste similar, but not as cheesy. In general they have less flavoring on the outside and therefore don’t make your hands as orange as Cheetos do. They taste somewhat cheesy and somewhat peppery, but neither flavor is very strong. The ingredients include cayenne pepper, which is pretty much what the pepper flavor is like. There is a cumulative heat when a few are eaten, which builds up in the back of the throat. Overall, not as spicy as I expected from Central America, but they are a Costa Rica company and Costa Rica seems to be less interested in spicy foods than other countries around here. And in a side note, the house cat here seems to enjoy them as well.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10
Bottom Line: Light, crunchy Cheeto-like pepper-flavored crunchies

PS Check out the Spicy Caption Contest below!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot and Spicy Caption Contest!

WIN a party pack of our favorite gourmet spicy chips!
To Enter:
  • Come up with a funny caption for this extra spicy cartoon and leave it as a comment for this post. The Hot Chicks will review them all and pick our favorite.

Bonus Prize:

  • Bloggers - Blog about this contest and leave us the link on your comment, or add us to your sidebar and let us know it's there to be eligible.
  • Non Bloggers (or bloggers) subscribe to our mailing list/RSS feed.
  • Contest ends July 30, 2008.

Good luck spicy fans!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Snack #40- New York Style Pita Chips Spicy Three Pepper

New York Style Pita Chips Spicy Three Pepper

If you like pepper, and you like refried beans, then you will like these pita chips. They basically taste like spicy refried beans, which makes sense because they actually have pinto beans in the spice mix. They are moderately spicy, with a spice that hits you in the beginning and stays in your mouth for a little while after you eat them. The heat also builds up and overall the flavor is pretty strong. They actually have a fairly bean-y flavor, which seems like it could compliment hummus well. It's a pretty unusual taste, similar to the other pita chips tested, but unlike all the potato chip flavors tested. They are similar to a pita chip, fairly thick and crunchy, but actually they seem to be more like a cracker than actually made of pita bread. The flavor of the pita, if it exists, is overwhelmed by the other spices.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5.5/10

Bottom Line: Tasty southwestern spices in a crunchy baked chip

Snack #39- Andy Capp's Hot Fries

Andy Capp's Hot Fries

These chips are a light and crispy potato and corn snack. They don't taste spicy when first eaten, but they definitely have a cumulative heat that begins building after about 6 or 8 fries are eaten. Personally, I don't love these snacks because the flavors and colors are a little artificial, but other tasters enjoy them a lot and eat them quickly to build the heat in their throat. They don't have a strong flavor overall, after looking at the ingredients there are subtle hints of mustard and tomato, which appear to be some of the main spice components. They don't really taste like paprika, which is the spice listed on the back. They are slightly sweet but not really with any barbeque flavor.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10 (after eating a handful)

Bottom Line: Crispy sticks of subtle heat.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Snack #38- Eden Wasabi Chips

Eden Wasabi Chips

Well, these are technically potato chips but they are very light and crispy, almost like a rice snack instead of potato. The wasabi flavor hits your mouth right away, sending a little burny sensation up your nose and down your throat. Beyond the initial sting, however, they don’t maintain a lot of heat, which seems to be a characteristic of wasabi flavorings. By the time you have swallowed the chip the wasabi flavor is gone. They basically taste like wasabi and soy sauce in a salty crisp. The essence of the many vegetable flavors is present but no real vegetable flavor can be detected.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10 (strong initial spice but weak overall)
Bottom Line: All in all, very light and crispy with subtle flavor.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Snack #37- Mo’pleez Indian Snacks Aloo Lachha Potato Sticks

Mo’pleez Indian Snacks Aloo Lachha Potato Sticks

From our experiences with Indian spicy snacks, they tend to have very different flavors from most typical American spicy snacks. These spicy potato sticks were no exception. The ingredients show that the main spice in these is red chili, along with an unidentified spice mix. They smell like a sort of dry spice heat mix, and taste pretty much as such. They definitely taste like they are flavored with chili, though a little different than other chili flavored snacks. They are somewhat difficult to explain, but regardless they do pack in some heat. They are classic potato sticks, little sticks of greasy potato goodness. For a typical barbeque/jalapeno chip fan, however, they may be a surprising taste that may not be as pleasing to the palate, if you can even find these in a store.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 5/10
Bottom Line: Unusually flavored spicy potato sticks

Snack #36- Stacy's Texarkana Hot flavored Baked Pita Chips

Stacy’s Texarkana Hot Baked Pita Chips

So I have not seen spicy pita chips before, and I had no idea what flavors to expect from them. Usually pita chips make me think of something vaguely Middle Eastern, so I was surprised to see this variety, “Texarkana Hot”. The bag claims that they have flavors of tomato, garlic, and lemon…which are certainly what they smell like. They smell faintly spicy and definitely like tomato, in fact it seems like there are some herb seasonings like cilantro in them too, based on the smell. The ingredients do not reveal which spices are used, just that there are indeed spices in these chips. When eaten, however, they taste basically like hot chili powder with a faint tomato flavor. I think possibly the chili flavor overpowers the other, more subtle ingredients like the lemon. They taste like they could be chips covered with a hot barbeque spice mix, it is pretty easy to imagine a piece of chicken with the flavors from these chips. The pita chip itself is very crunchy but the spice overpowers the taste of the pita. They are fairly hot overall but the heat does not build up with consumption.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Hot chili powder flavored “healthy” baked pita chip