Saturday, April 30, 2011

Snack # 162 - Germack Cajun Chili Pepper Castachio Nuts

First of all, I love a good pun, so this snack really had me at "castachio." In case you didn't guess, it's a blend of pistachio's and cashews, which as far as I can tell is about the fanciest blend a person can buy. And these are delish! Sadly, not particularly spicy though. They really have a nice smokey flavor, probably from the paprika I saw in the ingredients. But there wasn't any heat from the chili pepper. Occasionally I got a glimmer of spice, but for the most part just smokey cajun flavor.

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

Bottom Line: a fancy, smokey, tasty treat

Buy them here:
Germack Cajun Chili Pepper Castachio, 6-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 4)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snack #161 - Planters White Hot Wasabi Peanuts

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was that the peanuts were absolutely coated with Wasabi powder. So I expected a VERY spicy snack. Not so. The powder was hot enough to burn the bejeeeesus out of my lips and face and anywhere else outside my mouth that it touched, but the taste was totally lacking. It burned the moment it hit my mouth, and then proceeded to taste like nothing besides a peanut. I thought maybe if I kept eating them, the heat would build up, but it never did. And instead I just ended up with a stomach ache.

Bottom Line: buy those green Wasabi peanuts instead (Wasabi Peanuts)

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

Buy them here:
Planters Wasabi Peanuts

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Snack #160- Doritos Tapatío Tortilla Chips

Doritos Tapatío Tortilla Chips

These Doritos, the final snack in our free sample trilogy, have a nacho cheese base and then a hot sauce flavoring added.  These snacks have by far the most interesting and straight up delicious flavor out of the three Tapatío snacks that we reviewed.  The cheese flavor is prominent and tastes like melted cheddar cheese on nachos and the hot sauce flavor is a nice complement to the creamy cheese flavor.  These chips really taste like nachos covered in hot salsa and although the spiciness of the hot sauce is somewhat dulled by the cheese they still manage to be pretty hot.  Also the nice thing about these chips is the heat is more of a tongue burn and stays in the mouth so the flavors of the chip and the hot sauce meld better than the other two varieties. These are the most well-rounded and by far the most crave-worthy snack of the bunch.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Cheesy nacho goodness with a tasty hot sauce kick

And a big thanks to Frito-Lay for helping us taste their new hot sauce flavor creations!  

Snack #159- Fritos Tapatío Flavored Corn Snacks

Fritos Tapatío Flavored Corn Snacks

This is the second free snack sample sent to us by the nice people at Frito-Lay.  These Fritos are a super curly variety with a basic hot sauce flavoring.  They are light flaky corn chips but denser than the standard Frito because of the extra curliness.  The flavor on these isn’t as complex as the Ruffles and doesn’t quite taste like hot sauce but more like straight pepper heat.  They really taste mostly like a normal Frito until you swallow and then it feels like you just swallowed a pile of dried pepper seeds and has the same face-warming burn as the other Tapatío snacks.  It does allow you to really taste the corn flavor of the Fritos which is nice but the heat is dry and not as pleasant as it could be.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Standard Fritos with a burny finish.

Snack #158- Ruffles Tapatío Limón Flavored Potato Chips

Ruffles Tapatío Limón Flavored Potato Chips

So the Hot Chicks have exciting news to share…we’ve finally hit the big time!  Frito-Lay recently contacted our brand new email account and offered to share with us free samples of some new spicy snack products!  They've partnered with Tapatío hot sauce and added some brand new flavors to the classic Ruffles, Fritos, and Doritos snacks.  These snacks are only available in the central and western U.S. so we are lucky to be able to taste them over here on the east coast!

The first snacks we’re rating are the Ruffles Tapatío Limón, which have Tapatío Limón seasoning and some lime juice.  If you’ve been following the blog, you know that we recently rated Herr’s hot sauce ripple potato chips so we are pleased to be able to offer you a comparison rating now.  These are a standard Ruffle potato chip and are light and crispy.  The first flavor that hits your mouth is the lime seasoning which is light and not too overpowering or sour.  I (Sarah da Spicemaster) am generally NOT a fan of lime seasoning but this is subtle enough to taste limey without making my mouth pucker.  Then the hot sauce flavor hits, and it is HOT.  These hot sauce chips are hotter than the Herr’s variety and the heat lasts longer.  You could get tricked with these- the heat doesn’t hit until you swallow but then it catches hard in the back of your throat and burns long and slow.  We were almost surprised that there wasn’t more prominent labeling proclaiming how spicy these really are because we were definitely expecting a simple lime flavored potato chip.  Overall a good start to the Tapatío tasting.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 7/10
Bottom Line: Limey potato chips with a heavy kick of hot sauce.

Amazon doesn't have these chips available for purchase yet, but if you're interested in the hot sauce behind the snacks, check it out here:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snack #157- Samyang Topokki Red Pepper Paste Dipped Snack Korean Hot & Spicy Flavor

Samyang Topokki Red Pepper Paste Dipped Snack Korean Hot & Spicy Flavor

So apparently ‘topokki’ is a Korean street food snack made of sliced rice cake and beef in red sauce.  What comes in this bag looks a lot more like pasta with a very shiny coating so it’s hard to know what this snack actually is supposed to represent.  They are really sweet and almost taste like they should be a dessert type snack with a sugar coating.  We really couldn’t taste the red pepper paste or really anything savory.  The only hint of spicy snack in these is a smoky heat that spikes in the throat briefly after the snack is swallowed but is dull and just tastes weird after eating the overly sweet snack.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0.5/10
Bottom Line: These would be better suited for a sweet snack blog.

Snack #156- Herr’s Hot Sauce Flavored Potato Chips

Herr’s Hot Sauce Flavored Potato Chips

These wide ruffle potato chips are pretty basic in texture and crunch level but the Texas Pete hot sauce adds a definite spicy dimension to their flavor.  The initial flavor is very vinegary but the heat quickly builds and is felt on the back of the tongue and in the throat for a while after eating them.  The ridged texture really allows the hot sauce flavoring to cover the chips although some chips seem to have gotten flavoring only on one side.  Overall these are a nice crunchy potato chip and they have a really tasty hot sauce seasoning.  Definitely a step up from the typical overly sweet and vinegary hot sauce chips and they are pretty spicy too!

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 6/10
Bottom Line: Very good hot sauce potato chips.

Snack #155- Gringo Jack’s Handmade Spiced Flour Tortillas

Gringo Jack’s Handmade Spiced Flour Tortillas

These tortilla chips are definitely unusual in texture- they seem to be very heavily fried but are still super light and flaky.  The quote on the packaging that they are ‘uniquely flaky’ is no lie- they are actually quite impressively flaky and totally fall apart in your mouth.  They have a lot of spice compared to other ‘healthy’ tortilla chips but not really any discernible heat flavors.  The downfall of these chips is the oiliness resulting from the heavy frying which makes them taste like oil and also kills any chance at crispiness.  These chips are flaky but not crunchy in the slightest.  They are an interesting snack with some bitter, lasting heat but the flavoring is very inconsistently dispersed.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 4/10
Bottom Line: Super flaky, somewhat spicy tortilla chips.

Snack #154- Kettle Brand Tias Salsa Picante Tortilla Chips

Kettle Brand Tias Salsa Picante Tortilla Chips

These chips are Kettle Brand’s answer to Doritos.  They are basic corn chips with a heavy load of tomato, onion, and garlic flavors and a mild spice.  They seem thoroughly fried but could definitely be a little crispier and not as chewy.  Overall they are flavorful and provide a natural alternative to the heavily processed Doritos but they aren’t anything particularly spicy or unique.  And they do not really taste like they have salsa picante on them, as the flavor name would suggest.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 1/10
Bottom Line: Standard flavored tortilla chips.

Snack #153- Hippie Chips Haight-Ashberry Jalapeño Baked Potato Chips

Hippie Chips Haight-Ashberry Jalapeño Baked Potato Chips

These gluten-free snacks are made from such delicious ingredients as potato pellets and fruit juice.  The Ashberry pun refers to the inclusion of raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry juice.  The texture of these chips is like a packing peanut that immediately dissolves in your mouth and cakes into your teeth.  They have a distinct sweet flavor but it’s not really fruity and they have a spice component that doesn’t taste like jalapeño.  So overall these are a disappointment and the way they disintegrate upon mouth contact is pretty disgusting.  They almost feel like pop rocks when you let them sit on your tongue because the air bubbles start deflating.  And they are not impressive in the spicy category.

Rating on the Spice-O-Meter: 0.5/10
Bottom Line: Worst communion wafer ever.