REVIEW: Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips

Herr's Sloppy Joe Potato Chips

I sometimes wonder if potato chip companies aren’t all guided by a collusion of meat company executives in a brilliant attempt to subvert the ideas of vegetarianism and tempt the herbavorically inclined among us to the joys of being a carnivore.

A far fetched conspiracy theory?

Perhaps, but perusing the Walmart chip aisle lends credence to my claim. There’s Chicken Barbecue chips. Baby Back Rib Chips. The proverbial [your favorite cheese here] and bacon chips, and, I’d be remiss not to point out, some horribly mediocre attempt at making chips into a BLT.

At some point one has to wonder if God had wanted fried potatoes to taste like meat, he’d have made them, well, actually meat. Come to think of it, maybe those chip companies are secretly plotting to turn us carnivores against meat by designing crappy “meaty” potato chips.

Which brings me to curious case of Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips. The All-American staple of thriftiness, the Sloppy Joe technically contains meat. Technically, because underneath all that gloopy “stuff” the lunch lady served to you in the fourth grade, was, I’m told, the denatured proteins of something that either went “moo” or “cluck.” I can’t remember the last time I had a Sloppy Joe, but I’m sure it was sometime during my less epicurean days of meat consumption. I’m also quite convinced it may have involved copious amounts of a canned sauce that rhymes with “Damn This!” If there’s one thing I am positively certain of, though, it’s that said Sloppy Joe tasted damn good, as in “damn my future pretentious affinity for paninis and designer burgers, I want some good old American loose meat!”

Given my more recent excursions into the world of meat flavored chips, I didn’t have the highest hopes for these. Right out of the bag, the aroma seemed to promise the kind of mediocre onion powder and salt infused taste one expects from a chip of wacky flavor designs, although the first bite revealed a tomato paste like sweetness combined with an altogether “mmm” quality one only finds in Woochestireshire sauce. Instantly I’m hooked, suddenly recognized a certain spicy sweetness.

Herr's Sloppy Joe Potato Chips Closeup

The chips themselves are much more oily than Lay’s chips, while the coating is positively dumped onto some chips. What ensues is a flavor and mouthfeel with the simple yet proven flavor notes of sweet, salty, acidic, and dare I say even a bit meaty, while also managing to convey the kind of sloppy and oily mess that a fourth grade fat camper can’t help but smile about. I especially liked the tomato powder element, and detected hints of cumin and some vaguely defined herb that probably works its way into any number of Sloppy Joe’s.

And the potato?

Hardly tasted it at all, but I’m not complaining. After all, I may not recall my last Sloppy Joe that clearly, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a potato thrown in there somewhere.
As a potato chip connoisseur, I’m a bit ashamed to admit how much I like these. There’s a great snackability element, and no pretentious “all natural” claims that hinder the enjoyment of a good junk food session parked in front of the NHL playoffs. Herr’s clearly put some thought into these, and judging by an ingredient list which features tamarind and Woochestireshire sauce, it’s apparent that the Pennsylvania-based snack company didn’t just dump a bunch of salt and dextrose on some oily chips.

A few minor complaints, including only being able to find these at Walmart and a less than optimal ridgy crunch, but nothing to the extent that would make me throw caution to the wind when plowing through an entire bag.

Healthy? Maybe not.

But considering this dastardly chip company’s collusion to subvert the influence of actual meat in my life, I might as well get my kicks where I can.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce (about 13 chips) – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 2 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat,  0 milligrams of cholesterol, 279 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.) 

Item: Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips
Price: $2.58 (on sale)
Size: 10 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Defies reason by tasting like an actual Sloppy Joe. Enjoyable mix of sweet, salty, and spicy, with a zippidy-do-da tang of Woochestireshire sauce. Better than Lay’s BLT chips. Possibly better for you than an actual Sloppy Joe, provided you don’t eat the whole bag.
Cons: Dastardly chip company collisions. Actually sloppy. More “ground turkey” sweetness than beefy richness. Only available at Walmart?  Correctly pronouncing and spelling “Woochestireshire”

REVIEW: Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto Potato Chips

The potato chip is the kingpin in the world of greasy, salty, and lip smacking-good snack foods that are currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since there’s a “War on Childhood Obesity.” Of course, our friends on Capitol Hill are trying to put an end to delicious snacks in schools, because the fat kid is now the morbidly obese kid who had a special about him on TLC, as well as a tear-jerking episode on Dr. Phil.

Herr’s (and some of the potato chip big boys) is trying to shed the stigma of the standard potato chip. The stereotypical scene of an overweight man, wearing a tight undershirt with several unidentified stains, sitting on an equally stained couch with one hand on the remote and the other in his jumbo-sized bag of potato chips comes to mind when thinking about the classic snack food, but slap the word “natural” on them, you’re speaking to an entirely different demographic.

Besides having a name longer than the line at the Cheesecake Factory, Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto is a very crunchy, tasty snack. If you’re a fan of kettle cooked chips (being a native New Englander I was practically raised on Cape Cod Chips, and I didn’t turn into the fat kid, so you can suck it health food lobbyists), and live in an area where Herr’s is available I suggest you pick up a bag of any of their kettle chips, because they are all good, but the Sundried Tomato Pesto are exceptionally good; like slap your momma and say “Wham Bam Thank Ya Ma’am” good (I suggest you do NOT do that to your mother and I suggest you don’t “word” her either, because she will think you’re lame, especially if you’re still wearing Zubaz and have your eyebrows trimmed like Vanilla Ice circa 1991).

The chips are perfectly crunchy, but not like chomping on glass like how some brands of kettle chips are. There’s not really a sundried tomato taste to them, which I personally didn’t mind since I did buy them for the pesto aspect, and I was very pleased with the pesto flavor they provided.

Like all bags of snacks, half of the bag was pumped with air, which left me with less chips than desired, but the amount was perfect to pair alongside a nice sandwich on herb bread.

Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto may not be as exotic as some of the flavors Kettle Chips pops out with, like Yogurt & Green Onion, but they hold their own, and since they are natural, they don’t have to hide from the feds.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce (about 13 chips) – 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 2% iron.)

Item: Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto Potato Chips
Price: 99 cents
Size: 2.125 oz (60.2 g)
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Kettle cooked, but doesn’t feel like chewing on glass. No preservatives. Nice herb taste. Low in saturated fat compared to other chips. A mother making fun of her 35-year-old son who still wears Zubaz. TLC shows that have nothing to do with Jon, Kate or the number eight.
Cons: Small size. The new generation not knowing the word moderation. Not available in all areas. People who still say “Word to your mother” in serious conversations. Can’t taste tomato in them. Vanilla Ice’s facial grooming habits in the early 90’s.