Friday, April 14, 2017

Dang

I can't believe I've never reviewed Dang before.  I don't know how this is possible, as Dang makes one of my absolute favorite snack foods.  But somehow, I never wrote a review, I think because I discovered Dang long before I started blogging (although ... the company has only been around since 2012, but I discovered them very early on, as they are based in San Francisco).

Anyway, Dang.  The product I first tried, and became obsessed with, is the original coconut chips.  I've tried several different brands of coconut chips over the years, and I never thought that coconut chips would be a thing I'd rave about, but I tell you, these things are amazing, and highly addictive.

I'm not the only one who finds them incredible.  They are apparently "the highest rated food ever tested by the Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon. "  If you care, they are non-GMO, gluten-free, and all that jazz.

Dang now makes coconut chips in a variety of flavors, plus onion chips (also in a bunch of flavors), and, more recently "sticky rice chips", that I'd love to get my hands on.

Anyway, I adore Dang products, and highly, highly recommend.

Coconut Chips

"We toast whole Thai coconut slices to perfection for a naturally sweet flavor and a delightfully satisfying crunch. With as much fiber and less sugar than a medium apple, they’re a deliciously convenient way for everyone in the family to get their fruit fix. 
Made from the nutrient-packed copra, or meat of the coconut, our toasted coconut chips are a delicious snack and versatile topping. 
We sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal and yogurt. With a classic sweet, nutty flavor they go with everything so don’t be shy about putting them on your smoothies, granola or even ice cream."
Dang makes coconut chips in a slew of flavors now, ranging from the simple lightly salted, to spicy chili lime, to decadent chocolate.  For a while they had a savory bacon flavor too, but sadly it was discontinued before I could try it.

All have very few ingredients, really, just the coconut and seasonings.  They provide recommendations for how to use each flavor, aka, to add to salads, to top cakes, to mix with popcorn.  They also have recipes using different varieties of the chips, but really, I can't imagine being able to have the self-restraint required to actually use a bag in a recipe, rather than just devour it on the spot.
Original Recipe.
"Our most popular flavor - crunch into an explosion of buttery coconut flavor with a caramelized sweet finish."

The "original recipe" is pretty simple.  3 ingredients.  Coconut, cane sugar, salt (the lightly salted flavor is just coconut and salt).  These really are just shreds of coconut, toasted.  They shouldn't be that good.  But they are.

The pieces of coconut come assorted sizes, all larger than the kind of toasted shredded coconut you normally see for baking.  These are meant to be a snack.  And they are crazy crispy and crunchy.  And sweet.  And delicious.

They sound simple, they are simple, but dang, they are good.  (See what I did there?)

I do enjoy these right out of the bag, but, I discovered that I like them much, much more if I throw them in the freezer.  You can throw a whole bag in un-opened, or you can dump them into a jar or freezer safe bag if you please, it really doesn't matter.  Once frozen, they get even crispier, and even more addicting.  I also discovered that I love to mix them with caramel corn (also frozen for extra crispiness), and they make a great combination.

I adore these.
Caramel Sea Salt.
"Our Caramel Sea Salt has a slightly more buttery and nutty finish than our original recipe giving it a more caramelized flavor."

I didn't think coconut chips could really get any better than the Dang original flavor.  I didn't think they needed improving on.  And then I tried the caramel sea salt flavor.

At first glance, the ingredients look the same: coconut, sugar, salt.  But, the cane sugar is replaced with coconut sugar, and the generic salt is replaced by sea salt.  Even though these taste slightly more sugary, they actually have 1 gram less sugar per serving.

The flavor of these is a bit more complex, a bit more interesting.  I liked then even at room temperature.  I can't tell you how they taste when frozen, because, uh, I ate the entire bag in about 3 seconds.  I even pulled out a jar to freeze them in, but, alas, I devoured them before I got a chance.  Oops.

I really liked this variety, even more than the original, and I'd gladly get them again.

Onion Chips

"These unique chips are crispy slices of savory goodness made from real, whole onions (never corn meal). With four times the fiber of regular potato chips, you’ll love them on salads, burgers, soups, cheese plates—or just straight from the bag."
Dang introduced onion chips long after the coconut chips.  I'll admit I was a bit skeptical, but, I love onion rings, so, why not?

Onion chips are available in 4 flavors: simple sea salt, slightly amped up salt-n-pepper, spicy chipotle garlic, and smokey applewood bbq.  I was only able to try the sea salt.  The ingredient list for all is again fairly simple, onions, canola oil, and tapioca dextrin, plus the seasoning of choice.
Sea Salt.
"Why mess with one of the world’s most popular vegetables? Pure sea salt sprinkled over crispy, caramelized onion slices."

These were ... ok.  They were like light, airy, puffed onions.  Great onion flavor, in a light chip.  They reminded me of a fluffier, healthier, not as crunchy, version of French's fried onions.  The problem?  I adore French's fries onions.

I didn't find these nearly as addicting as the coconut chips, or even a can of French's fried onions (oh, come on, we've all been there, just eating them from the can  .... right?)

They did make a great salad topper though, and I loved the crunch, flavor, and saltiness they brought to my salad.  They were also pretty good dipped in different dips and sauces, rather than chips or crackers.  I think they'd work well added to the top of a casserole too.  But as a pure snack food? They didn't quite do it for me.
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