Photographs by Adam Kuban
With artisan potato chips showing the same detailed preparation and ingredient experimentation as micro-brews and independent wineries, it was only natural that Serious Eats would hold a tasting. While eating 11 varieties of chips is not something we’d recommend (two of our five tasters bowed out after the ninth round), the chance to examine what makes a potato chip great is worth the sodium intake.
The chips were graded on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most desirable) in nine categories that encompassed taste, texture, and smell. The five types of Kettle Chips were part of the third-annual People’s Choice Passport to Flavor campaign (all limited-edition releases). Island Jerk was selected by the public in 2007 as a permanent addition to the Kettle line-up. The other six flavors were from Anchor O’Reilly’s Chip of the Month Club, which ships its customers six bags monthly from three or four independent chip producers.
The chips are reviewed in the order they were tasted. Water and Diet Coke were applied liberally between rounds.
Kettle Chips Island Jerk | kettlefoods.com
Verdict: Try these out at a party.
Seyfert’s Curlie Potato Chips | troyers.com
Verdict: Smack on something else.
Kettle Chips Aztec Chocolate | kettlefoods.com
Verdict: Chocolate is not good on potato chips.
Kettle Classics Salt & Vinegar | kettleclassics.com
Verdict: Solid flavor, solid chip.
Kettle Chips Royal Indian Curry | kettlefoods.com
Verdict: Indian food lovers, rejoicethis is your chip.
Route 11 Sour Cream & Chive | rt11.com
Verdict: A turkey sandwich’s best friend.
Kettle Chips Dragon Five Spice | kettlefoods.com
Verdict: Don’t unleash the dragon.
Sylvia’s Honey Barbecue | soulfulsnacks.com
Verdict: Summer picnic treat.
Poore Brothers Desert Mesquite Barbeque | poorebrothers.com
Verdict: Leave them behind on the trail.
Sylvia’s Lemon Pepper | soulfulsnacks.com
Verdict: Could be onion dip’s new pal.
Kettle Chips Twisted Chili Lime | kettlefoods.com
Tagline: "A rare archipelago of tastes" These chips evoked taste comparisons to the curry chips, and ultimately, “some were chili and some were lime.” Jalapeno, tomato, and cumin flavors were hiding underneath these crunchy chips.
Verdict: Mild people’s spicy chips.
For more on potato chips at Serious Eats ...
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