REVIEW: Hot Diggity Dog Pringles

Hot Diggity Dog Pringles

Hot Diggity Dog is the all-time greatest Pringles…

…name.

It’s the only Pringles flavor that I would want as my catchphrase if I was a Hanna-Barbara cartoon character. There’s a lonely picnic basket under that tree? Hot Diggity Dog! You came up with a new sprocket for Spacely Space Sprockets? Hot Diggity Dog! Time to punch out at the quarry? Hot Diggity Dog! Scooby Snacks? Hot Diggity Dog!

I love hot dogs. If I could eat them every single day without medical concern, I would. Of course, I’d get sick of them at some point and then switch to hamburgers, but I’d probably come back to hot dogs once I got sick of hamburgers. So having hot dog-flavored Pringles does excite me.

Now if you expect these potato crisps to taste like a hot dog with all the fixings — ketchup, mustard, and relish — please lower your expectations. If you have expectations that it’s going to taste like what’s on the packaging — a hot dog with mustard — then you will be pleased.

Opening the can releases a yellow mustard scent that, if you inhale too much of it, will tickle your nose. There’s also a porky aroma **sniffles** mixed in with the mustard. **sniffles** It’s really nice.

**Sniffles**

Give me a second. Still tickling.

**Sniffles**

Okay, I’m good.

As for their flavor…Oh. My. Dog. The yellow mustard flavor dominates, but they also have a salty and meaty flavor that’s similar to those hot dogs that have ingredients labels I avoid reading. I swear there’s even a slight bun flavor that pops up every so often. Eating through a can of Hot Diggity Dog Pringles is like having having $21 at Costco and eating their $1.50 hot dogs until the money runs out…or until you throw up.

Hot Diggity Dog Pringles 2

The food scientists behind this flavor did a wonderful job. Even the aftertaste that lingers tastes like a hot dog with mustard. My taste buds are so confused right now. They’re probably thinking, “Something crunchy that taste like a hot dog? What is going on? Are we in the future?”

With that said, I can understand if there are some of you out there who think this processed meat-flavored crunchy snack is absolutely gross. And I guess writing “processed meat-flavored crunchy snack” does make it sound unappealing, but I really love these.

The hot dog with mustard flavor is so spot on that I’ve had thoughts of having a hot dog-flavored Pringles eating competition, pretending I’m either Joey Chestnut, Takeru Kobayashi, or Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, and then swallowing as many Hot Diggity Dog Pringles I can in 10 minutes.

Hot Diggity Dog is the all-time greatest Pringles name. And it’s also one of my all-time greatest Pringles.

Disclosure: I received these from the PR firm that represents Pringles. Receiving a free sample did not affect my review in any way. A glowing review probably looks like I’m in the pocket of Julius Pringles, but I assure you I’m not. So let me say something bad about Julius Pringles. He looks like a murderer in a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz. – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 190 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Hot Diggity Dog Pringles
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 5.96 oz. can
Purchased at: Received from PR firm (available at Walgreens)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Spot on hot dog and mustard flavor. Makes me want to pretend to be a competitive eater. Best Pringles name of all-time.
Cons: I imagine there are many people who won’t like the processed meat flavor. Comes in smaller can than regular Pringles. As of this posting, exclusive to Walgreens.

REVIEW: Limited Time Only Salted Caramel Pringles

Limited Time Only Salted Caramel Pringles

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s time for a man with furry facial hair who’s wearing red to deliver something that will make your holidays brighter. I’m not talking about Santa. Nor am I talking about the Target pharmacy cashier who started growing his “playoff beard” early and is handing you the cold medication that makes you loopy.

I’m talking about the red bowtie-wearing Pringles guy, Julius Pringles. Or as I like to call him, J.P. Yup, we as tight as a Pringles can around my hand as I try to grab the crisps at the bottom.

It’s that time of year when J.P. brings out the sweet Pringles flavors. There’s been Pumpkin Pie Spice, White Chocolate Peppermint, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Cinnamon & Sugar, and Pecan Pie. I’ve tried a number of them and my thoughts range from yum to “my holidays are slightly less brighter now.”

J.P.’s latest is Salted Caramel Pringles. It’s a flavor that was bound to happen since salted caramel, sea salt caramel, salt caramel, sea salted caramel, and all their ilk have made their way onto every snack known to human*.

*probably not accurate

Limited Time Only Salted Caramel Pringles 2

After pulling back the lid, I smelled a odd, sweet aroma. It was also familiar. The sea salt caramel seasoning is either transparent or potato crisp colored because these potato crisps look like plain old Pringles.

Remember when I said they smelled familiar? Well, there’s a reason for that. These Salted Caramel Pringles taste somewhat similar to Pecan Pie Pringles.

They taste similar because they have the same butteriness, which is the dominant flavor in both. The two flavors have a pancakes and maple syrup vibe to them, although less so with the Salted Caramel Pringles, which also have a light burst of salt. I guess sweet butteriness with some salt equates to salted caramel. These crisps also did leave my fingers smelling like eau de pancakes et syrup.

Yes, I’m smelling my fingers right now.

I liked the Pecan Pie Pringles, and since they taste like them, I also enjoyed Salted Caramel Pringles. But I’m disappointed they taste so similar. It’s as if J.P. regifted Pecan Pie Pringles.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/15 crisps – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Limited Time Only Salted Caramel Pringles
Purchased Price: $7.98*
Size: 5.96 oz
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Pecan Pie Pringles. Being tight with J.P. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Cons: Tastes like Pecan Pie Pringles. I keep smelling my fingers. If you think other sweet Pringles flavors are odd, this one won’t change your mind.

*Had to buy them from eBay because I wasn’t able to find them here. So I had to pay three times what they really cost to try them.

REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips

Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips

“We’ve all heard of Thanksgiving leftovers, but Thanksgiving pre-ftovers?” No laughs. I exit the room. I come back in, trying to make a better entrance. “Guys, if Trader Joe’s keeps this up, we’re going to have to rename Thanksgiving Christmas.” I exit the room. I enter again. “You know what they call three strikes in a row in bowling? A turkey. You know what they call four strikes in a row? Obama’s labor policy. That one’s for you, Uncle Jeff!” No laughs. I exit the room, fill my pockets with rocks and march into the ocean.

At least I died after getting to try Trader Joe’s attempt at a Thanksgiving cornucopia shoved into a snack, the Turkey Stuffing and Seasoned Kettle Chips. What it made me realize is that Thanksgiving is about dull, comforting tastes that feature varying textures, and that a subtle flavor with a light description of the product can possibly induce taste hallucinations.

Opening the bag, a waft of powdered mashed potatoes enters the air. Upon first bite, it tastes a little like powdered mashed potatoes, and maybe a hint of sage. It kind of looks like it’s dusted with powdered mashed potatoes.

We’re going to take a timeout from this review for a reassessment: Of course it tastes like potatoes, you dope. It’s a potato chip. And 80 percent of all the stuffing you’ve eaten has been dried and pre-mixed from a plastic bag, which is like the cousin of the powdered mash potato.

Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips 2

Let’s read the packaging. “These thickly cut, kettle cooked chips are tossed in a seasoning that tastes like a traditional American Thanksgiving meal—first you taste the turkey, then comes the stuffing, and if you close your eyes, you’ll swear you can taste the creamy gravy, too.”

On a second taste a muted stuffing flavor appears. It’s good. Was it always there or was I eating the words on the back of the bag? Does it matter? Nibbling on one at a time, I even catch some dark meat turkey flavor, but only a whisper of umami. Eating the chips by the handful, the overriding flavor is stuffing seasoning before sodium overload makes it all taste like other non-Thanksgiving kettle chips. The aftertaste has a black pepper hum that resembles the outline of a gravy, that lends a tail of personality that elevates the final product.

The chip itself has a slight grit, which is not unpleasant but highlights the main difference between this and a real Thanksgiving dinner. There is no celery snap, no meat gristle, no butter gooey bread crumbs. A potato chip is a potato chip. A potato chip is not a Thanksgiving meal. Are all the flavors there? Sure. I caught them, whether they were real or not. And they serve as a pleasant nostalgia, priming the pump for all the other garbage food on the holiday table.

At best this chip has hints of just about all the main meal touchstones of a Thanksgiving dinner, which is pretty amazing. And even at its worst, it’s a decent kettle chip with sage flavoring. It would have been nice to have a little more kick in there at some point, like cranberries, maybe, or something acidic? But we must dance with the date we came with. And that date is racist Uncle Jeff and a crispy stuffing. Maybe slap them on the leftovers sandwich you’re eating in line for Best Buy at 4 a.m. Oh, that’s right, no Black Friday for me. I’m dead! What a blessing.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz. – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Trader Joe’s Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: Trader Joe’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Stuffing flavors, turkey flavors, possibly present and enjoyable.
Cons: A tad dull. Could just be powdered mashed potatoes flavor.

REVIEW: Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos (Japan)

Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos (Japan)

Over the past year we’ve seen a lot of products with movie tie-ins. But it seems most of them have come from three movies — Frozen, Star Wars, and Minions. Sorry, Avengers: Age of Ultron and whatever DreamWorks Animation movies that came out this year.

Thanks to the shape and color of Minions and their love of bananas, it’s been easy for companies to produce fun products. One that comes to mind are the Tic Tacs with Minions faces printed on them. Another are Twinkies that can be decorated to look like Minions. And then there are these Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos from Japan.

Their bright yellow color instantly makes me think of Minions, but it’s a bit disappointing they’re crunchy Cheetos and not Cheetos Puffs. And it’s even more disappointing they’re not Cheetos Puffs shaped like Minions with their faces printed on them. Come on, Japan! You can make soccer playing robots, but not Minions-shaped Cheetos. You’re slipping!

What’s also disappointing about these Cheetos from Japan are how they don’t have much of a banana flavor. There was a banana aroma that came out of the bag when I first opened it, but subsequent openings produced a strong cinnamon smell.

Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos (Japan) 2

Instead of banana, their flavor reminds me of churros, which is still awesome, but not the flavor I was hoping for. The snack also has a slight butteriness to them that’s similar to what I experienced with the Cinnamon Sugar Sweetos released earlier this year. So if you had those, you have a general idea of what these Cheetos taste like.

The Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos are tasty, but the lack of banana flavor drove me…bananas. I’m sorry. That was horrible. But not horrible enough for me to use my arrow keys to erase it from the internet.

There is hope though. The Minions movie made a BILLION dollars worldwide, so there’s a BILLION percent chance there will be a sequel. And when there’s a sequel and more money to be made, there might be another version of this snack that’ll be Cheetos Puffs shaped like Minions with their faces printed on them that are banana-flavored.

(Nutrition Facts – 75 grams – 418 kcal, 24.8 grams of fat, 194 milligrams of sodium, 45.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 3.6 grams of protein.)

Item: Minions Cinnamon Banana Cheetos (Japan)
Purchased Price: $6.98 (includes shipping)
Size: 75 gram bag
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Tastes like churros. Bright yellow like Minions.
Cons: Doesn’t have banana flavor. Could’ve looked like more like Minions. Can’t remember what the last DreamWorks Animation movie was.

REVIEW: Ruffles Limited Time Only All Dressed Potato Chips

Ruffles Limited Time Only All Dressed Potato Chips

Update: These chips are now a regular flavor in the U.S.

This is the Canadian citizenship test. It’s two questions.

Question 1: Who is the best rapper?

a. Jay-Z
b. Notorious B.I.G.
c. Eminem
d. Drake

Question 2: Please describe, in 500 words or less, the flavor of Ruffles All Dressed.

In short, they are delicious.

I’d heard about Canada’s Ruffles All Dressed years before I got to taste them, little rumblings here and there about how great they were. While I never made it over the border to give them a try, Frito-Lay has finally decided to bring them to the United States (or ‘Murica, if you are an unfunny person) for a limited time.

All Dressed is not just a Ruffles flavor. Other chips also feature this taste and their recipes may differ. But overall, All Dressed usually displays elements of barbecue, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, and ketchup. (“Ketchup” flavor is a whole other Canada thing entirely, which I have eaten and is unique but too ketchup-y.)

Ruffles Limited Time Only All Dressed Potato Chips 4

The Ruffles All Dressed bag from Canada features pictures of a halved onion, a white vinegar dispenser and maybe a tomato, but it might actually be a red bell pepper. The Ruffles All Dressed bag from America—stamped with a maple leaf—has a picture of an open bottle of barbecue sauce, some off-color vinegar in a carafe and a spilled jar of paprika. This marketing difference exists because Americans hate vegetables and love spilling condiments. It’s a bit vague what elements are exactly featured in this version of the chip.

Actually, it’s pretty apparent. It’s a bunch of chemicals. But I can say I love those chemicals so much.

The introduction is a tangy hit. It’s not as sharp as a cheese chip, more rounded like a blunt spear of ketchup. Then vinegar-flavored flecks dance on the tongue and send up acidic flares, which eventually dip into a smooth taste not unlike the Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream.

Ruffles Limited Time Only All Dressed Potato Chips 3

The flavors are nuanced with a light touch and many dimensions are present, which makes the chip extremely easy to eat. As my mouth adapted to each taste, new corners appeared and others disappeared. Some chips had the mouth cloud of a barbecue chip, others had the pleasantly harsh spank of a salt and vinegar. Handful after handful, a prevalent aftertaste emerges —- light ketchup, a sweet-savory tomato hug. The flavors interplay well and complement each other like no other potato chip I’ve had. All Dressed is optimized for consumption. I obliged.

The only downside of this chip is what all Ruffles suffer from: The mealy, warm mush that ends every mouthful. Also they aren’t as crispy as I have come to expect from a “good” potato chip. But it’s unclear whether this flavor would reign on a Kettle Brand or a Cape Cod. The oily, ridged, soft body of a Ruffle thrusts the flavors into center stage, unobstructed by mountain ranges of crunch. I ate half a bag in a day and then another half a bag during that same day. So a full bag. If these leave America, so will I. And if this happens during a draft, then All Dressed will still be the number one reason.

I hope this chip is the same as the one I had heard legend about and not some tweaked American version. Because if it is this same fabled mutant flavor, I can agree with my Canadian brothers and sisters and people who have visited and smuggled back cheap pharmaceuticals. I am casting my vote for Ruffles All Dressed for Prime Minister.

(The correct answer to question one is, strangely, “b.” Canada recognize.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Ruffles Limited Time Only All Dressed Potato Chips
Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Tasty flavors with lots of dimensions. Easy to eat so many.
Cons: That hot, mealy Ruffles mush that sits in your mouth after a few bites.

REVIEW: Pringles Exclusive Flavor Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

Pringles Exclusive Flavor Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

It’s been some time since I hung with Julius Pringles. I missed him. That mustachioed egg man may have gone through image makeovers throughout the years, but his tennis ball can-packed product has remained the same – kinda boring, kinda cardboardy, but undoubtedly addictive.

Pringles has had an Oreo-like run of flavors, but none really jumped out at me until I saw they had turned my favorite free mall food court sample into a chip — Bourbon Barbecue Chicken.

I’ve never walked though my mall’s food court without a friendly peddler offering me a free bite of bourbon chicken. Sometimes the sample even convinces me to buy a plate, so why not try the chip version?

So, did Pringles nail the flavor?

No, they basically re-purposed their BBQ flavor.

Pringles Exclusive Flavor Bourbon Barbecue Chicken 3

Once you pop, you get the familiar BBQ Pringles smell. Once you bite in, you get an instant vinegary/soy sauce-like tang which turns into a smoky BBQ flavor. It’s a pretty intense initial flavor, but it fades quickly. It’s actually weird; they’re like Gobstopper chips – multiple flavors in layers. Once the chip’s coating dissipates, it’s just a BBQ Pringle.

Pringles claims that once I pop I won’t be able to stop. But I stopped. I had to; in fear I wouldn’t have any water left in my body. These have a little spicy kick to them. That coupled with the fact they are really salty leaves you with almost immediate dry mouth. One can say I only ate about 2 fingers worth of these Bourbon baked beauties, Sinatra-style.

Pringles Exclusive Flavor Bourbon Barbecue Chicken 2

I initially thought the word “chicken” seemed completely unnecessary. You’d never know these were chicken flavored as you’re eating them, but about three minutes after I ate that handful of “crisps,” my mouth tasted like I had eaten BBQ chicken. It brought back memories of hanging by my friend’s pool and eating a chicken leg from the grill. So that aftertaste was spot on as far as the “chicken” goes.

As far as “bourbon” flavor? I mean, I’ve had BBQ sauces that were made from whiskey, and it’s never really been pronounced. I tried to convince myself that I did get a very quick taste of bourbon when I was eating these, but if I did it was just for a split second.

They don’t taste like the aforementioned bourbon chicken from the mall food court, which was disappointing. To be fair though, I haven’t had it in a while. I even bypassed the free sample the last time I was there. That’s what we call self control, ladies and gentlemen.

I guess I’d say these are slightly better than regular BBQ Pringles if only for that brief difference on first taste, and the chicken-y aftertaste. If I’m being honest, BBQ is not the Pringles I’d usually go for. I’ve always preferred their sour cream and onion. Is that a controversial opinion? I have to live up to my “badboy” image.

So, if you’re in the mood for a BBQ Pringle, but aren’t near a Target, you can make do with the old standard. If you’re feeling extra rowdy, pair them with a nice glass of bourbon because… well, you don’t need an excuse for that. You work hard.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates,1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Pringles Exclusive Flavor Bourbon Barbecue Chicken
Purchased Price: $1.33
Size: 6 oz. can
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Intense initial flavor, good Pringle crisp, Chicken aftertaste, Julius Pringles’ modern makeover, Summer BBQ déjà-vu, Free samples, My badboy image.
Cons: Not much difference from plain BBQ, People who say “Tar-jhey,” Dehydrating, Not really knowing the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey… because Sinatra drank Whiskey.