Serious Eats

Taste Test: Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas

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[Photos: Robyn Lee]

Here's my stance on potato chips, Sun Chips, Chee-tos, and just about anything else in that snack category: I could take or leave the chip or chip-like snack. What I'm really after is the flavor powder. Whether barbecue, ranch, wasabi, salt and vinegar, fake cheese, or just about anything else. My favorite part of eating such snacks is licking my fingers in between bites. If it were socially acceptable, I'd be content with just a bag o' powder to lick, maybe Fun Dip style.

But since that's a little weird, I'm disposed to like just about any snack of the flavor-on-something persuasion, especially when it's at least a little bit healthier than potatoes in oil. So recently, I'm all about these Saffron Road crunchy chickpea snacks.

Ever roasted chickpeas in the oven? If so, you'll be acquainted with their appealing, nutty crunch. My favorite flavor were the Bombay Spice, which have the smoky-spicy-sweet flavor action of a barbecue potato chip, but heavy on the cumin and paprika.

Falafel are tasty enough, but don't really say falafel to me—more like garlic powder and, weirdly enough, black beans. (For some reason, it's on their ingredient list.)

And the wasabi? They've got a good heat balance, neither kill-your-nasal-passages nor barely-there. The hint of horseradish is a little unusual, but works pretty well. A more-than-satisfactory alternative to wasabi peas.

Anyone tried Saffron Road chickpeas? Or are there other crunchy chickpea snacks you favor?

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