Friday, August 13, 2010 at 7:13 a.m.
Potato chips aren't exactly considered exotic fare in America, but when we saw our favorite brand, Archer Farms, was offering Macaroni & Cheese, General Tso, and Greek-Inspired versions, we had to give 'em a go. After all, the brand's traditional and Salt & Vinegar-flavored chips have long been favorites, mostly for the dense, salty crunch each lovely morsel provides. Perhaps you recall this is the brand Target carries.
Over the years, Archer Farms has brought mouthloads of joy stemming from not only their bizarre creations, like Dill Pickle Cashews, but also just some fresh and original stuff that's tough to find anywhere else, like sugar-free peach soda.
But we digress. Let's get back to the chips, all of which, by the way, were ridged.
We first dug into the General Tsos because, heck, they seemed the most unusual. Winner, winner chicken dinner! These chips had a slight golden-brown hue and little green flecks, so they looked really appealing, and the first bite was really fun. First comes a sugary sensation (compliments of brown sugar) followed by tanginess from soy sauce and then a spicy warmth. This would be a fun accompaniment to any Asian-inspired meal, and we suspect they'd go great with a bottle of Tsingtao
Here's how we ranked these:
As for the Macaroni & Cheese versions, skip 'em. They're way too salty and, there's no "mac" and little "cheese" flavor. In retrospect, we wondered how macaroni would be translated into a flavor, but now we know that it was sheer make-believe. A unicorn of the snack world. Surprisingly, we also missed that toxic yellow-orange color of the Ruffles variety.
The Greek-inspired versions were by far the most outlandish. Though their light-brown color and the peppery dusting on each chip was nice to look at, the fishy smell that wafted from the bag was totally unappetizing. And the flavor tasted less like cheese than vinegar.
Its packaging states the chips are "seasoned with feta cheese and kalamata olives," which sounded promising until a glance over the ingredient list assured us that neither was actually inside the bag. Hmmm. How cheddar cheese and olive oil became feta and kalamata will forever remain a mystery to us. Another conundrum was the question that couldn't leave our minds: How the heck do we get rid of this awful aftertaste?
Here's how we ranked these chips:
Are we still fans of Archer Farms? Hell yeah. Kudos to them for at least giving us something new to try. But as to who should eat these chips, well... maybe someone who is fallen into a Lay's-induced chip funk and can't eat their way out?