I've always taken issue with the handling of the whole Humpty Dumpty tragedy. First, someone foolishly leaves a perfectly good (free-range?) egg on a wall and it (not surprisingly) rolls off. Okay, so we've obviously got a negligent egg owner to blame but, hey, we all make mistakes. We drop our smartphones in the toilet; we forget our best friends' weddings; we accidentally sit on our sisters' newborn babies. These things happen, and it's okay.
What's not okay? Sending in loads of clumsy, big-hooved horses to try and put things back together again. It's a bad idea on paper and it's a bad idea in practice. Luckily, there's a different Humpty Dumpty tale. And it looks like this:
Barbecue Sauce. Sour Cream and Onion. Salt and Vinegar. Ketchup. All in one chip. Again, a bad idea on paper. In practice? Pretty awesome.
Considering that there's some substantial flavor crossover in Humpty Dumpty All Dressed chips (namely tomato, vinegar, and sugar) it's not surprising that it's a bit tricky to pull out each type of chip. That said, there's a distinct transition from the barbecue/tomato/vinegar camp to a decidedly sour cream and onion chip. They're as addictive as any chip out there (thanks msg and torula yeast) and truly unique.
Haven't ever experienced an All Dressed chip? Don't feel too bad, most Americans outside of the northern border states probably haven't. That's because All Dressed chips are basically Canada's everything bagel. And for some reason, we don't get to have Canada's everything bagel. Even though I'm pretty sure they get to have our everything bagel.
I got my Humpty Dumptys when my roommate and his girlfriend went to Maine (where the company was based before moving north of the border) and I've never seen them outside of that beautiful state's lines. Ruffles, a Frito-Lay brand, also makes an incredibly popular All Dressed chip for the Canadian market, but simply refuses to sell it down here. I haven't been able to get my hands on a bag but, if they are anything like the Humpty Dumpty version, I suspect they're worth fighting for. At least 1,890 people would agree with that and have signed the following online petition to bring the chips stateside. Perhaps the chip-faced masses can pump up the numbers...
Beyond All Dressed, Humpty Dumpty makes a couple other unique chips that I feel obligated to share:
Let me preface the following critique with the fact that I was born and raised on the mean streets of New England and openly count lobsters and clams among my best friends. These chips are not good for eating with your mouth.
The Lobster Bisque Chips (which has awesome South Parked lobster graphics on it) tastes mainly of aged seafood broth and forgotten cheddar cheese. Oh, and they're kind of sweet.
The Sour Cream and Clam easily trump the bisque chips, offering some tangy balance to a surprisingly accurate clam flavor. A good thing?
Any All Dressed fans out there?
About the author: Dan is an associate editor of Cook's Illustrated and an on-screen test cook for America's Test Kitchen. Dan cut his culinary teeth as a young apprentice in rural Hungary, and has the paprika-stained gut to prove it. He likes food, he likes science, and he likes you. Follow him on Twitter @testcook.