Friday, December 31, 2010

Snack #141- New York Style Risotto Chips Spicy Marinara Flavor

New York Style Risotto Chips Spicy Marinara Flavor

Risotto chips are something new that I’ve never seen before- the latest craze following all the bagel chips and pita chips. These have the texture of thin SunChips but they taste a little more like rice and a little less like a typical corn chip. The seasoning is supposed to taste like “fresh tomato with a kick” but I have to say that they don’t really taste like much. They have a little tomato powder thrown on with a bit of salsa flavor. In fact, these taste way more like a burrito than like a plate of risotto and marinara. Too much pepper, bean, and paprika flavoring and not enough fresh tomato taste. But then again, I haven’t had too many spicy marinara sauces in my life so maybe they all taste like spicy salsa and I just don’t know it. In any case, I think these would be good for dipping in hummus or something but the spice, and overall flavor, is lacking.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1.5/10
Bottom Line: Salsa flavored chips made out of rice…

Buy them here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Snack #140 - Doritos 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin' Habanero

At long last we found the third degree, and man are they HOT! After trying first degree and second degree, which were pretty hot themselves, we couldn't wait to try the spiciest of them all. I was immediately struck by the bright red color of the chips, like the color of the "flamin'"products that Lays makes.

The heat hits you immediately. My tongue lit up and a moment later the back of my throat was burning too. And the heat only intensified as I kept eating. Luckily, it was the kind of spice that a glass of water quickly washed away. When you can taste anything but the heat, they chips are pretty much like regular Doritos, which is great, if you're into that sort of thing.

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

Bottom Line: a mouth scorching Dorito

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Snack #139- Parlee Farms Spicy Cheese Nuggets

Parlee Farms Spicy Cheese Nuggets

These nuggets come from a local farm in northeastern Massachusetts that also grows a variety of pick-your-own crops including fall favorites apples and pumpkins. I was not expecting a spicy snack to show up at a farmstand but it isn’t the first time these treats have appeared in unexpected locations! They are basically little cheese curls with an extra flavorful coating. They taste a little smoky with onion and blue cheese flavors underneath the spice. Not the hottest snack we’ve had but certainly well developed flavors, particularly for a cheese puff.

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

Bottom Line: Not super spicy but pretty tasty cheese nuggets

Snack #138- Utz Baked Pub Fries Red Hot Corn & Potato Snack

Utz Baked Pub Fries Red Hot Corn & Potato Snack

I really wish snack manufacturers would stop trying to reproduce french fries. I’m sorry, but they just cannot be put into a bag and sold on the shelf at the convenience store. They will ALWAYS end up with the texture of styrofoam. And these are no exception. They have a weird sweet taste that may be the combination of corn and potato and while they are pretty spicy, I have no desire to eat them because of the nasty texture. The two main ingredients are ‘degermed yellow corn meal’ and ‘dehydrated potato granules’. The heat is mostly a kick of paprika which at least mostly hides the flavor of the ‘fries’.

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

Bottom Line: Paprika flavored styrofoam

Snack #137- Takis Fuego Hot Chili Pepper & Lime Flavored Corn Snack

Takis Fuego Hot Chili Pepper & Lime Flavored Corn Snack

This label says ‘corn snack’ but these look more like rolled up tortilla chips coated in red powder. And strangely enough, that’s exactly what they taste like. The mysterious red powder is indefinable but also quite spicy. The heat mostly hits the back of the throat where it burns down the throat. There is also a lot of lime flavor in these and I was surprised because usually lime flavor is really acidic but the flavoring in these is milder. In fact the overall taste of these is better than I expected and not as disgusting as many chili lime flavored snacks.

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

Bottom Line: Chili lime tortilla chips.

Snack #136- Tosty Papiolas Hot & Spicy Chile Jalapeño Potato Chips

Tosty Papiolas Hot & Spicy Chile Jalapeño Potato Chips

I recently took a trip back to Costa Rica, and these might be the spiciest chips ever to come out of the entire country, although that isn’t saying much. They are a little stale (I waited a while to taste them because I was dreading the lack of spice) but they are standard crispy ruffle potato chips. The flavoring is extremely inconsistently spread over the chips and sometimes tastes pretty sweet but other times it is just straight spicy. It’s hard to discern actual ingredients in the flavoring and it almost like they managed to harness the heat of a pepper without any of the actual pepper flavor. They also seem to be lacking in salt which is unusual for a potato chip although they do have lemon flavor added which is bizarre. Overall they have a fair amount of heat but the overall effect is not particularly satisfying.

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

Bottom Line: Some heat but not a lot of flavor.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Snack #135 - Smart Fries Jalapeño Trio

These are gross! These packing peanut-like straws are crunchy, but for lack of a better description, taste like poison. Really, everything from the smell when I opened the bag, to the taste when they first hit my tongue - poison-y. Sorry I can't be more precise. The flavor is theoretically Jalapeño Trio - not really sure how you get more than one flavor of jalapeño in a single snack, but that's ok. Looking at the ingredients there is jalapeño flavor in addition to red and green pepper, so I suppose it's really more of a "pepper" trio. If you can stand to get through a few of these - which I did because I'm a responsible reviewer - a pretty nice heat builds up. My lips and tongue are definitely feeling it as I write this.

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

Bottom Line: Ew.

Maybe you'll want to try another flavor, or are feeling masochistic. If so, check out the full smart fries offerings at the Hot Chicks' Store:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Snack #134- Planters Trail Mix Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks

Planters Trail Mix Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks

Ok so I tasted all the components of this mix (which includes seasoned peanuts, cornnuts, Cajun sesame sticks and corn sticks, and red chile crescents) and here are my comments on these crunchy morsels:

Seasoned peanuts: The peanuts are roasted and actually pretty sweet in flavor but are covered with spicy seasoning which just gives them a little kick. They are a pretty nice addition to this mix because everything else is just salty with more salt added.

CORNNUTS: First off- I’m not sure when ‘CORNNUTS’ became a word but according to this packaging they are a special variety of nut and one that should written in all caps at all times. These cornnuts are pretty standard and not super flavorful. Highly crunchy with good corn flavor but only with a hint of the salty spice that covers the rest of the mix.

Cajun sesame sticks: SO SALTY. Wow these taste like eating a little stick of SALT. I can’t really taste any sesame and the Cajun seasonings are definitely lost in the salt. It’s almost hard to tell whether they have any spice on them or if the reaction in my mouth is from the salt.

Cajun corn sticks: These are crunchier and the flavors are more balanced- they have some heat but also taste like a classic corn snack (think denser Frito).

Red Chile Crescents: These are by far the yummiest snack in this mix. I happen to be a huge fan of Japanese rice crackers and these are definitely modeled off the little orange crescents in basic rice cracker mixes. They are really smooth on the outside so the spice on them sticks right to your tongue when you eat them and they are super crunchy.

Overall effect: A full mouthful of these snacks is pretty fiery, but the crunchier snacks are overwhelmed by the mushier ones (peanuts and sesame sticks) so the texture is not very appealing. It’s hard to pick out specific flavors and I don’t think this snack really comes across as Cajun flavored. They are totally overseasoned and although salt is good in trail mix if you’re out in the wild I think these are too much.

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

Bottom Line: Some good, some mushy, all salty

HEY spicy snack fans! Also- check out our brand new special customized spicy snack Amazon store! A heat lover's haven for all things can buy this trail mix (if you dare) and many of our actual favorite spicy snacks online!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Snack #133- Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips

Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips

So these Doritos are weird because there is NO nacho cheese involved in them. They are sweet but I think that the sweet flavoring kind of clashes with the tortilla chip- or maybe with the corn base it’s all just too sweet. I think a spicy sweet chili potato chip might be more successful. These aren’t bad, but I just don’t find them to be very successful. They also aren’t spicy and don’t really taste that much like sweet chili sauce, which is usually really yummy. They mostly taste like a tortilla chip dipped in soy sauce and sugar with a little heat in the aftertaste.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Soy sauce flavored tortilla chips.

Buy them here:

Snack #132- T.G.I. Friday’s Jalapeño Cheddar Potato Skins Snack Chips

T.G.I. Friday’s Jalapeño Cheddar Potato Skins Snack Chips

Ew. So these are actually supposed to look like dehydrated potato skins- meaning somehow the backside is a darker shade of brown to mimic the potato skin and the other side is the lighter potato mush. The packaging says it is made from real potatoes and real potato skins and the best way I can interpret that is that two bubbling pots of potato and potato skin mush were spread out Pringle-style and slapped together. These snacks taste like the worst Pringles ever and the flavoring doesn’t really help. The powdery cheddar flavor and weak jalapeño flavor aren’t appealing enough to make me want to eat these.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 2/10
Bottom Line: Worst texture ever with artificial flavors.

Buy them here:

Snack #131- 7 Select Kettle Style Potato Chips Spicy Jalapeño

7 Select Kettle Style Potato Chips Spicy Jalapeño

These potato chips are pretty crunchy but not as salty as a typical potato chip. They have a lot of sweetness to them which is a little overwhelming. The dehydrated onion is a powerful flavor and really the main flavor you get when you eat these. They have pretty decent heat though they aren’t super spicy, but for a snack they are the kind of thing you can sit down and eat a bag of without burning your tastebuds out. They should just be a little more salty and maybe hold back on the onion a little bit. Overall a tasty snack though and definitely has some heat but not lasting heat.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10

Bottom Line: Really sweet onion flavor.

Snack #130 - Terra Crinkles Jalapeño Chili

Spotted a brand new chip from the good people at Terra - Jalapeño Chili - described as having the "zing of jalapeño and chili peppers." These were some tasty chips, but for our spicy snack purposes, really brought more of a hint of jalapeño and chili peppers than a real ZING. The taste was predominantly chili powder, with some nice garlic and onion flavor. The chips themselves, thick cut blue potatoes (has anyone ever seen a BLUE potato? outside of these chips?), had some flavor of their own (the bag describes it as "nutty," but that wouldn't really be my adjective of choice, more just a robust potato flavor). I only wish that the chips had been fried a little longer. Maybe I've just gotten used to the intense crunch of the kettle cooked chips that are popping up everywhere, but these weren't quite crunchy enough for my taste.

On a somewhat related side note, I wish it was not the case that the more you spend on a bag of chips, generally, the less chips that bag will contain. Clocking in at $3.99 at your neighborhood Wholefoods, these Terra chips were barely 1/3 full.

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

Bottom Line: no ZING but plenty of good flavor

Friday, August 20, 2010

Snack #129 - Popchips Jalapeño Potato

A new flavor from Popchips! I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this today. Generally I really enjoy Popchips - they're light and crunchy and vaguely healthier than regular chips since they are "popped" (whatever that means...) rather than fried. Compared to the other Popchips flavors, these were a pretty big disappointment. When I opened the bag, a vaguely Indian scent wafted out, which was unexpected but not altogether unwelcome. However, the flavor was overwhelmingly tomato-y. "Tomato?" you ask, "But these are jalapeño flavored!" Indeed they are, but I learned today that according to Popchips, the first ingredient in its "jalapeño seasoning" is tomato powder. Now, I don't really know what tomato powder is, but I do know that it tastes pretty gross, and not at all spicy [Disclaimer: I HATE tomatoes]. Maybe if you like tomatoes, you will really enjoy this chip, but regardless of whether or not I like tomatoes, when I open a bag of jalapeño flavored chips, I would like to taste some jalapeño, not tomato sauce with a kick. As far as spiciness goes, there was a little heat that never really built up in intensity, but lingered on the palate for a while.

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

Bottom Line: A decent tomato chip if you're into that sort of thing

Buy them here:
Popchips Jalapeno Potato, 3- Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Snack #128- Deep River Snacks Jalapeño & Cheddar Baked Fries

Deep River Snacks Jalapeño & Cheddar Baked Fries

This is a unique idea for a snack; instead of a standard chip, a fluffy French fry shape. Unfortunately, the texture of these ends up a little too much like packing peanuts for my liking. They are similar to a cheese curl but a little bit firmer and crunchier. They are made of corn and potatoes and are completely gluten-free, which is also a plus for any wheat free diets, and the base ingredients can’t really be tasted through the flavorings on these snacks anyway. The flavor of these is fairly indistinct. They have a good bit of heat to them but not really a specific jalapeño flavor. They taste more like onion powder with a lot of salt and a little spice powder added. The cheese flavor is also pretty unappetizing; it’s way more like a fake cheese powder flavor than any natural cheddar flavor. The fries are all natural so I guess they have real cheese but it’s one of those really sweet nacho cheese flavors. I generally really enjoy jalapeño flavored potato snacks so I was pretty bummed that these tasted so artificial.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Unsuccessful attempt at natural cheese puffs.

Buy them here:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Snack #127 - Deep Fried Jalapeno Chips

Pictured above, you will see one of the tastiest spicy snacks I have had the privilege to eat in quite some time. If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, Georgia - you MUST go to Fox Brothers BBQ.

These deep fried pickled jalapeno chips were just the right blend of tangy, crunchy, and spicy. And let me tell you, they got pretty spicy, a definite heat build-up. Nothing a cool dip of ranch couldn't fix though. I literally cannot say enough about these little morsels of goodness. You'll have to try them for yourself.

And the barbecue was really delicious too.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10
Bottom Line: reason enough to go to Atlanta

Hot Chick Telepathy

In a weird moment of Hot Chicks Eatin' Spicy Chips telepathy, I signed on to review Lay's Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Wings only to find that my fellow blogger had just beaten me to it. Weird!?

A big ditto to everything posted below. With the additional observation that after bags upon bags of kettle style potato chips, eating a bag of good old fashioned Lay's was like eating a bag of soggy chips.

And chicken fat?! I had fortunately not noticed that when I was tasting the chips.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Snack #126- Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Wing Flavored Potato Chips

Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Wing Flavored Potato Chips

These chips are definitely sweet and spicy but the sweet flavor is super sweet and tastes like a mouthful of sugar (perhaps brown sugar). They are pretty standard potato chips, very thin and crunchy but with more seasoning than typical chips- almost more like Doritos or Cheetos because they leave orange residue on your hands. It is actually difficult to taste the potato chip underneath all the seasoning. The ingredient list reads like a recipe for buffalo wings, all the way down to the added ‘chicken fat’. Gross. They do taste like a buffalo wing but the flavor is unnatural packed onto a potato chip. And they are not spicy enough.

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

Bottom Line: Chicken fat potato chips.

Snack #125- Corn Nuts Chorizo Chipotle Flavored Crunchy Corn Snack

Corn Nuts Chorizo Chipotle Flavored Crunchy Corn Snack

These corn nuts are sneaky little devils. The first two of them tasted like normal Corn Nuts with a little spicy edge but once I had about 10 of them my mouth was burning! They have a slightly dry, bitter flavor that tasted like straight paprika was sprinkled on top of them (and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case). Corn Nuts are generally pretty crunchy and taste slightly like corn although the artificial flavors tend to overwhelm most natural corn flavors.
Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Spicy, artificial flavored corn nuggets.

Buy them here:

Snack #124-Corn Nuts Chips Hot Sauce & Limon Flavored Crunchy Corn Chips

Corn Nuts Chips Hot Sauce & Limon Flavored Crunchy Corn Chips

These are TINY! I was so surprised when I opened the bag and discovered that these chips are seriously the size of dimes. I guess the idea was to keep them the same size as a Corn Nut but I think they are too small. Also they taste exactly like those lime flavored tortilla chips…nothing new or unique about them except their unfortunately small size. The lime flavor isn’t particularly good either, and the ‘hot sauce’ flavor tastes like when you eat something that is too hot and slightly singe your mouth. These are really bitter and not pleasing to the taste buds in the least.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Very small and pretty nasty.
Buy them here:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Snack #123- Barcel Churritos Chile and Lime Flavored Corn Snacks

Barcel Churritos Chile and Lime Flavored Corn Snacks
So these snacks came from Texas, where they were imported from a manufacturer in Mexico. That being said, it is pretty disappointing that these aren't spicier. The lime flavor comes through but is somewhat overwhelming and the chile flavor is not exciting enough. The texture of these is a little disappointing as well; the corn is heavy and not crunchy. If they are claiming these snacks are more spicy now than before, I'm glad I didn't rate them before!

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Limey corn.

Snack #122- Cape Cod Sweet & Spicy Jalapeño Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Cape Cod Sweet & Spicy Jalapeño Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips
This packaging says the flavor is New! so these should be a new spicy variation of the classic Cape Cod Jalapeño and Aged Cheddar chips (which were the inspiration for this blog, in fact). And these do not disappoint! They are bursting with flavor and somehow manage to evoke a flavor that exactly matches the description. They are certainly spicy with jalapeño flavor but also have sweet notes as well, probably from the onion and green bell pepper seasoning. They have sinus-clearing, tongue-burning heat without overpowering the other flavors in the chip, creating a very well-rounded chip. My only criticism is that the jalapeño flavor is very natural and can get a little bitter in some bites. But the crunchy, sweet, and spiciness of these chips is very satisfying and reminds me why I love testing spicy snacks.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10
Bottom Line: Highly recommended jalapeño potato chip.

Buy them here:
Cape Cod Potato Chips, Kettle Cooked, Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno

Snack #121- Ike & Sam’s Kickin’ Cayenne Kettlecorn

Ike & Sam’s Kickin’ Cayenne Kettlecorn
I was curious to see how the typical sweetness of kettle corn would work with the spice of cayenne. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, mostly because the cayenne was severely lacking in this snack. They definitely tasted like sugar-coated popcorn but the pepper flavor is very subtle. I can see specks of red pepper on the outside of the popcorn but somehow it doesn’t translate; maybe the sweetness of the kettle corn overpowers the spice but I think the recipe could probably kick the heat up a notch without losing that traditional kettle corn taste. I think the spice is fairly unevenly coating the corn as well because some kernels are very sweet and others are more peppery. I also got a few extra browned pieces of corn that added an unpleasant burny taste to the mix. I think the main downfall of this snack is its inconsistency. But if you’re looking for a classic kettle corn snack with a hint of cayenne, these are not a bad option. The sweet flavors make a tasty, albeit definitely not spicy, popped corn snack.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Sweet kettle corn with light dusting of cayenne.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Snack #120- Doritos 2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo

Doritos 2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo

The flavor on these is super buffalo, quite a departure from the 1st Degree Burn Doritos. They are also much spicier, with a burn that hits faster, covers more of the mouth, and lasts longer with just one chip. The ingredients don’t have any spices listed to help understand where the heat comes from but it is certainly a strong mouth burn. It will be interesting to see what the 3rd Degree Burn does to a human mouth! Oh, chemicals.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10

Bottom Line: Hot buffalo flavor.

Snack #119- Doritos 1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeño

Doritos 1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeño

These Doritos are spicy, but the flavor is not really a unique Dorito flavor. They taste like a standard Dorito dipped in jalapeño flavor. I guess for a first level of intensity these are pretty good but the heat could be greater and the flavor could be more distinct. But they have a pretty good throat burn and a little bit of mouth burn when a few are eaten so they do not disappoint as a first degree burn flavor, especially if there are two higher levels of pain to come.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Pretty spicy, somewhat burny.

Snack #118- Cheetos Mighty Zingers Ragin’ Cajun & Tangy Ranch

Cheetos Mighty Zingers Ragin’ Cajun & Tangy Ranch

The two flavors in these Cheetos are pretty distinct and pretty tasty. The milder ones are ranch flavored and the ranch is pretty sweet but only a little tangy. They are super onion flavored though. The ‘Cajun’ zinger tastes more the buffalo flavor than what we think of as classic Cajun flavor. These are mostly just buffalo and blue cheese flavored Cheetos but with a jazzed up name. They are flavorful and crunchy though and the combination goes well together although the Cajun Cheetos overpower the ranch ones in a mouthful. The ranch snacks aren’t spicy but the Cajun ones packed a bit of a tongue punch and induced nose-watering. Overall, these are more exciting than the other Zingers combo we tested and a pretty satisfying snack.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4.5/10

Bottom Line: Tasty hot and cool snack combo.