Friday, August 15, 2014

Zapp's Potato Chips

It wasn't until I moved to California that I encountered Zapp's potato chips, although they originate from New Orleans.

They make kettle chips, fried in peanut oil rather than standard vegetable oil, and don't wash off the starch, which they say gives them a more unique potato flavor.  All their chips do not use preservatives or MSG, and are gluten-free.  The company started out independent, but is now owned by the same parent company as Utz and Dirty Chips, both of which seem more standard "kettle" style to me than Zapp's.

Anyway, you know I like to try a lot of chips.  Zapp's stands out from the pack, primarily because their flavors are all ... interesting, mostly Cajun inspired.  Their top seller is "Spicy Cajun Crawtators" and the very first flavor I tried is called "Voodoo".  They go a bit overboard with making special Limited Edition flavors, that always sound intriguing, but I think are limited for a reason.  You don't generally want to try them more than once, but how do you NOT give Smoked Bacon and Cheddar chips at least one try?
This flavor has some history, or so they say.  "Voodoo flavor is a result of an accident.  An employee was moving a pallet of spices off the top shelf and dropped it.  While cleaning up, someone stuck their finger into the mixture of about 5 flavors and pronounced it great."

They were a good kettle style, but the flavor really didn't do it for me.  Sorta sweet.  And a bit onion-y.  Definitely not my thing.
Bar-B-Que Ranch Chips.
These sounded awful ... bar-b-que and ranch in one?  But, I liked them more than I expected.  It was like a ranch, but more flavorful.  My favorite of all of their chips, and I easily finished this bag.

Limited Edition Flavors

Creole Onion Kettle Chips.
Again, decent kettle style chip, but the flavor wasn't that interesting.  Didn't get any "creole" spicing, it certainly wasn't spicy.  It did have slight onion flavor.  But overall, not interesting at all.
Limited Edition Honey Mustard.
I like honey mustard.  I like kettle chips.  But, it turns out, I don't like honey mustard kettle chips.

They were good, thin, crisp chips. And they did truly taste like honey mustard.  Which ... just totally didn't work for me.
Limited Edition Cheddar & Smoked Bacon Chips.
And again, same classic kettle style.  Nice and crispy.

But, that is expected for Zapp's.  What I didn't know what to expect was what cheddar and bacon chip would actually taste like.  I bought these solely based on how ridiculous the flavor idea sounded to me.  The answer ... well, they taste like bacon.  For real.  Ojan took one bite, and proclaimed, "it really does taste like bacon! I'm surprised!".  The bacon flavor was intense, especially on the finish.  You were left with a very strong bacon flavor, lingering long after the chip was gone.  And, quite honestly, long after you wanted the flavor to be gone.

I didn't pick up on much cheddar flavor, although, honestly, I'm not really sure I wanted to taste bacon and cheese.  I know they go together as hamburger toppings, but somehow, they don't sound great together in a chip.

These reminded me of chicarrones, in the crispy, porky, sort of way.  Very similar flavor, although obviously more subtle in the chips due to the potato aspect.  I thought they were interesting, but only in a research sort of way, not because I wanted more.

Ojan however liked them, saying they were "kinda addictive".  He had been craving bacon only a few hours prior to eating these, and declared that the chips had indeed satisfied his bacon craving.
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