Monday, November 2, 2009

Snack #105- Deep River Snacks Asian Sweet and Spicy Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Deep River Snacks Asian Sweet and Spicy Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

These snacks taste exactly as the name would suggest- they are sweet and spicy, with an Asian twist. The sweetness hits first when eating these and it comes across as some kind of almost duck sauce flavor, something fruity like an apricot or peachy flavor. Then the spice hits and just adds some heat on top of the fruit. They are nice and crispy but somehow the fruitiness of the sweet flavors makes a weird combination that isn’t fully pleasing to the palate. The ingredients list includes honey, and that is definitely a component of the flavor, but that doesn’t help because somehow the idea of honey-flavored salty potato chips doesn’t quite work for me. Honey, salt, and spice- it works for sweet and sour chicken, but with potato chips it’s a little too much. They aren’t terrible but they strike me as an attempt at a unique flavor that misses the mark a little.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 3/10
Bottom Line: Odd flavor combination.

Snack #104- Doritos Blazin’ Buffalo and Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips

Doritos Blazin’ Buffalo and Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips

These Doritos can be summed up in one word: uninspired. They taste like a mishmash of every other fake nacho cheese and ranch dressing Doritos flavor. There is no distinct ‘buffalo’ flavor and even the ranch flavor is overshadowed by that nasty orange cheese powder. They are mildly spicy, nothing out of the ordinary. It is hard to find anything to say about these chips, really, because they are the most standard flavored tortilla chip you could find. I think the only difference between these and the original Nacho Cheese flavor is the addition of a spicy component. I think we’ve all avoided rating these chips because we knew that they would disappoint, so I bit the bullet and here is the review.

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

Bottom Line: 0/10 on the excitement meter.

Snack #103- Arico Cassava Chips Ginger on Fire

Arico Cassava Chips Ginger on Fire

So these cassava chips are very interesting. They look a lot like potato chips but they have a unique crunch that is a little different from a potato chip; less of a crunch and more of a snap. The flavor is distinctly ginger, very delicious and pretty sweet. One major complaint- WHY are they called Ginger on Fire when they are NOT spicy at ALL?? I tried so hard to will these to be spicy, I ate a lot of them and really savored the flavor, but there is just no hope. They are not even reminiscent of a spicy ginger, they just fall flat. If you realllly suck on them and think hard there is just the barest heat in the back of the mouth. But lack of heat aside, these are delicious if you like sweeter chip flavors.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0.5/10

Bottom Line: Sweet ginger, not spicy.

Snack #102- Gettysburg Pretzel & Snack Co. Hot BBQ Pretzels

Gettysburg Pretzel & Snack Co. Hot BBQ Pretzels

This unique spicy snack was purchased from the general store at a big farm in southeastern PA. They are handmade pretzels that seem to be rolled in BBQ seasoning, although the ingredient list doesn’t list any spices, much less specific spicy ones. They definitely taste like barbeque although a little more bitter than the typical flavor. I think the flavoring is a classic sweet barbeque mixed with some sort of bitter, super spicy pepper like habaƱero. The resulting flavor is initially sweet, and then quickly explodes into a strong heat that burns the whole mouth. And you have to keep on chewing and mashing that flavor into your tongue because these are some HARD pretzels. Something about this flavor also randomly reminds me of black tea…I’m not sure what spice could add that note but it’s interesting. Definitely a surprising heat for something from a farm stand; they are not lying about these being hot BBQ. But unfortunately you probably won’t be able to try these snacks out for yourself if you don’t live in a 200-mile radius of Gettysburg, PA.

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

Bottom Line: SPICY and CRUNCHY.

Snack #101- Cheez-It Baked Snack Mix Extra Hot & Spicy

Cheez-It Baked Snack Mix Extra Hot & Spicy

So this snack is a mix based on the Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its that we rated back in 2008, with the claim that they are now EXTRA hot and spicy. The label says ‘new!’ but they are not too original or exciting. They definitely taste like Tabasco, but aside from the Cheez-Its none of the other snacks really picked up a strong heat. The two pretzel shapes are just a basic salty pretzel with a little dusting of flavoring from the other snacks. The rye bread slices are small, crunchy, and have a very distinct rye flavor which is kind of nice, albeit not so spicy. The ‘crunchy curls’ are by far the worst snack in this mix. They are vaguely Styrofoam-flavored, mildly stale, and really have no discernable flavor. This mix would be better overall if they were not included in it. They also have the tendency to float to the top of the bag because they are lighter than the other snacks which means they are always in the way when you try to grab an actually tasty snack. Overall, the Cheez-Its are the standout in this bag and it would probably be better for a snack craving to just go for the box of Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its and skip the mix.

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

Other snacks- 1/10

Bottom Line: If you want any spice, go for the Cheez-Its alone.