Serious Eats

Glenny's American Fries, Ketchup Flavor

20080910-americanfries-bag.jpgGlenny's, maker of Soy Crisps, also makes American Fries, snacks that "have the great potato taste of French Fries but are baked and have 70% less fat than potato chips!" Available in ketchup, yellow cheddar, and sea salt flavors, they're "krinkle cut for crispy flavor."

I'm not entirely sure what makes these snacks "American"—is it the ketchup flavor? The cheddar? Or were they just afraid to call them "French" fries and wise enough to not call them "Freedom" fries? It's clever marketing, using the Old Glory in the background to rouse up patriotic sentiments of a nation. Somehow, America = fries + ketchup! Or, worse: America = dry, starchy, baked potato matter that stinks of ketchup.

The unmistakable ketchup odor assaults you when you open the bag, and you fear the worst. The ketchup flavor isn't as bad as the odor, but they stray very far from anything remotely delicious. If I have to say something nice: they don't taste nearly as bad as they smell. Glenny's also gets credit for not messing around by adding junk like MSG or HFCS.

20080910-americanfries-fries.jpg

The main ingredient is "potatoes"—parentheses inform that they're actually made of delicious-sounding elements such as potato flakes, potato granules, and potato starch. And it sure tastes like it—the texture is awful: dry, granulated, and starchy. Two hours later and I'm still tasting ketchup. Make it stop.

Also, a bag this size really should contain more than 1.2 ounces of potato products. Not only is it gross, it's not even a good value. At $1.79 for a bag, that's $23.87 per pound! Shameful.

Verdict: Don't.

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