Thursday, February 08, 2007

Eating: Flavored potato chips

Why do you ride? Personally, I ride to enjoy the scenery, ride to enjoy passing fit-looking people on super-expensive bikes, and, of course, ride to EAT.

I love to try new food. Chocolate covered bugs? Check. Pickled kimchee? Check. (I'll skip the balut though.)

So when I saw the online offer for Kettle brand's Passport to Flavor pack, I had to proceed.

Soon enough, the tasty chips in their cute bags (and CD and fancy chip clip and flyer and postcards) arrived on my doorstep, and I dug in with both hands.

These chips are worth riding extra miles for. Here's my review, and by the way, I'm ordering several more packs for friends.

1. Azteca Chocolate

Dagoba chocolate-dusted yumminess. They seemed to be greasier than the other packs, so score them down for that, but I was licking the inside of the bag, if that gives you any idea. I bet this would be good with dipping chocolate. The other flavors were savory-sweet but this was sweet with a bit of savory (red chili and cinnamon - sounds Skyline Chili-esque, huh?.)

2. Dragon 5 Spice

The spices are exotic-y: anise, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel and ginger. I couldn't taste the black pepper so well, but I wouldn't be able to eat a bunch of these in one sitting, but the taste was interesting. My husband, on the other hand, LOVED these.

3. Island Jerk

This chip does a good job at capturing the essence of Jamaican BBQ, but despite the greatness of flavors, I'm just not a BBQ chip person - well, I've gotta be in the right mood. Really well done, just not my cup of tea.

4. Twisted Chile Lime

The taste was like an upscale Fritos brand flavor, but props to the flavor engineer - it was more of a symptom of the flavor rather than the excellent engineering/balancing of the flavors. (I remember being thrilled when Fritos chili cheese flavor came out a few years ago.) Perhaps I'm spoiled because chili that isn't either Texas Chili with beans and stewed tomatoes or Skyline Chili to me is CRAP.

5. Royal Indian Curry

Some other blogger suggested these would pair nicely with raita. That's a swell idea and perhaps I'd like them more if I was dipping to diffuse the sweet-tart flavor. The same blogger also discussed how this seems very British, as Brits are always creating masala or curry flavored snacks. But, unlike the other blogger, was not a fan of this flavor. I happen to enjoy curry flavored items and I'm a huge fan of Indian food, but my bag of chips was too overpowering. I needed more subtlety.