Frito-Lay introduced two new Ruffles flavors in late January, just in time for Valentineâ€™s Day!
(Whatâ€™s that? They probably chose to release it then to coincide with the Super Bowl? Well, I didnâ€™t get around to writing this review until after the Super Bowl, soâ€¦ justâ€¦ play along, ok? The sooner you accept the conceit, the sooner Iâ€™ll wrap up my customarily self-indulgent introductory paragraphs and get to the actual reviewing. Cool? Cool.)
Ahem. And good thing, too â€“ I was hoping thereâ€™d be fun new snacks to go with the beer and pizza at my annual Valentineâ€™s Day party!
The first Ruffles Molten Hot Wing potato chip tasted overwhelmingly like vinegar, so much so that I momentarily thought I had somehow bought a mislabeled bag of Salt & Vinegar chips. But once my mouth grew acclimated to the vinegar, the hot sauce flavor began to shine through, and each additional chip increased my overall enjoyment of the chip-eating experience. They had the same great ridges and crunchiness as regular Ruffles do, and the aftertaste had a nice smokiness, though I wouldnâ€™t describe it as particularly hot and certainly not as “molten.”
Iâ€™m totally willing to overlook the initial vinegar blast because I love Salt & Vinegar chips anyway, so that means my one issue with these chips is the name. I was expecting something significantly spicier out of a “Molten Hot” product, but all I got was, as mentioned, a nice smokiness. Actually, “Ruffles Nice & Smoky Buffalo Wings” wouldnâ€™t be a bad name at all. Itâ€™s kind of catchy in its own right and it would better manage consumer expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver, as we say in the biz. (Note: I donâ€™t know who “we” are and what “biz” Iâ€™m talking about.) If Ruffles actually used my new product name, I would probably tack two points onto the score for this review. Your move, Frito-Lay.
The flavor profile of the Loaded Chili & Cheese was similarly sequential: first came the taste of cheese, then came the taste of chili. Both tastes of the Loaded Chili & Cheese were less intense than those of the Molten Hot Wings, but the LC&C did have the added bonus of tinges of onion and garlic which play well with the chili and cheese powders. As expected, these chips also had the distinctive texture of classic Ruffles. I wish I could say more about this product, but I think the vinegar and hot sauce had dulled my palate by the time I got to the second round of chips. But hey, at least now you know the Loaded Chili & Cheese would still be pretty good even after you slightly burn your mouth on a slice of pizza at whatever Valentineâ€™s Day party youâ€™re going to.
Before wrapping up, I should mention that the packaging of these new flavors leaves something to be desired. Unlike with Doritos, where the cost of designing the flashy bags probably rivals the cost of developing the new flavors themselves, the Ruffles bags look like they were hastily mocked up by a crappy Photoshop artist under deadline. Iâ€™m not sure if “uncreative potato chip bag design” is a legitimate complaint or if Iâ€™m just Exhibit A of Louis CKâ€™s “Everything is Amazing and Nobodyâ€™s Happy” syndrome. (See here. Iâ€™m definitely Exhibit A, arenâ€™t I?) But I guess my point is, when you go to the supermarket snack aisle, make sure to pay attention for these new flavors because otherwise the packaging may very well fail to catch your eye.
In conclusion, A) You should try both of these new flavors, B) I hope you have fun with all your Valentineâ€™s Day-related eating, drinking, gambling, and commercial watching, and C) Now we all know that Iâ€™m capable of dragging out a semi-nonsensical joke through an entire review!
Happy Valentineâ€™s Day!
(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – Ruffles Molten Hot Wings – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 360 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of protein. Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 220 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Ruffles Molten Hot Wings and Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese
Price: $3.99 each
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: Super Foodtown
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Molten Hot Wings)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Loaded Chili & Cheese)
Pros: For MHW, strong vinegar taste and nice smoky aftertaste. For LC&C, all the flavors work well together. Both have classic Ruffles ridges and crunchiness. Valentineâ€™s Day parties. Beer and pizza at Valentineâ€™s Day parties. Louis CK. “Ruffles Nice & Smokey Buffalo Wings.”
Cons: Neither tastes particularly spicy. Packaging is uncreative. Misleadingly-named products. “The biz.” People who say “the biz.” Burning your mouth on pizza. Forgetting to review new potato chips flavors before the Super Bowl.