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'Chip-Faced' on Serious Eats
So how are the two new chip flavors from Kettle Brand? It was time to pick up a bag of the Maple Bacon and the Sweet & Salty and get chip-faced.
In the northeastern corner of South Dakota sits a small city called Clark. Amongst fertile potato fields and prized hunting grounds, there are 12 dedicated people in Clark making some of the best potato chips I've ever tasted, under a brand called Dakota Style. They've been doing God's chip work since 1985 but I tried them for the first time this past weekend. And I'm very upset about the lost time.
This column began earlier this year with Nacho Doritos. Since then, we've discussed the faulty geometry of Pringles, why British and Irish chips are so brilliant, and many other topics in the world of chips. But these are the best chips of 2012. The good news is that they'll still be available in 2013 so if you missed any, you can right that wrong.
Keogh's and Tyrrell's both provide a lot more information than your average chipmaker. Tyrrell's lists the potato variety used and the town in which is was grown. Impressed? Yeah I was too, until I looked at the back of a bag of Koegh's and saw that in addition to spud variety, they also list the field (!) in which the potatoes were grown and the employee who cooked the darn things. My three bags were cooked by Kevin, Peter, and Darren, respectively.
Their new Ruffles Ultimate "feature [the] deepest Ruffles Ridges ever to load up with bold real-food dips made with favorite "man" foods and flavors". That's right, chips with deep ridges plus dips made of foods for men! Let's fist bump and check 'em out.
The Angry Bird chips from Korea are the kind of chip where you take your first bite and self-righteously think, "Well (ahem) I won't be eating any more of these—they're simply not flavorful enough," and then proceed to hoover half the bag.
Barbecue Sauce. Sour Cream and Onion. Salt and Vinegar. Ketchup. All in one chip. Again, a bad idea on paper. In practice? Pretty awesome.
Doritos Jacked are the clumsy, overeager, chubby younger brother of the Doritos family. But what does this thicker chip really mean in terms of eating qualities? It was time to perform some tests to find out.
In compiling this guide, I found that chip makers use a wide range of flavoring agents and acids to create unique chips. Learn more about the innerworkings of each of your favorite S&V chip brands.
If you're like me, tasting a Lay's BLT for the first time left you reeling from a mix of raw emotions. I had questions. Should I be angry? Was it something I said? Wait, is Lay's mad at me? When my head finally stopped spinning, I took pause and reflected on all of the times that I'd hit a bump in the road or a low point and Lay's chips had been there for me. So I decided to fix them.
One brand of chip that's been rolling off friends' and friends of friends' tongues for months now is Popchips. Outside of these "pssst, you gotta check out"-recommendations, I wasn't completely oblivious to the brand, having maneuvered around their free-standing displays from time to time in order to access the Utz or snag a bag of Munchies, but now that I'm a chip czar for Serious Eats, I first do "research".
If you're reading this post you're probably trying to get chip-faced, and what you really need to know is which soda is going to make your Cool Ranch Doritos (CRD) taste best. Last week I ripped a page from a real wine sommelier's playbook and set about discovering just that. We went to the store and bought a lot of soda. A lot.
When it comes to potato chips, we Americans have historically held a pretty straightforward approach: take various chip dips (nacho cheese, Ranch, sour cream and onion, etc.) and turn them into chip-coating powders. However, there's also a strong case for the British approach. And here's where we discover the true brilliance of British crisps: the flavors are so savory and unctuous that after getting chip-faced on a whole bag, you might actually convince yourself that you ate real food.
Eating Pringles as a kid was the best. But many years ago, something changed. It wasn't a dreaded recipe adjustment or that my own tastes matured (lord knows they didn't), but rather that I simply outgrew Pringles...literally. For decades now I've been unable to fit my hand inside the tube. And I know I'm not the only one with this problem given that the diameter of the opening is a piddly 2 ¾ inches.
I don't love Nacho Cheese Doritos because my late grandfather used to sneak them to me under the pew during tedious Sunday sermons (he didn't). And I don't crave their cheesy crunch because my grade school crush, Bridget McElroy, sported an ever present orange film of "cheese" under her fingernails (thoughshe probably did). They taste like heaven because their creator, Frito-Lay, designs them to. Today we're focusing on the science behind that cheesy seasoning.