REVIEW: Ruffles Molten Hot Wings and Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese

Ruffles Molten Hot Wings and Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese

Frito-Lay introduced two new Ruffles flavors in late January, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

(What’s that? They probably chose to release it then to coincide with the Super Bowl? Well, I didn’t get around to writing this review until after the Super Bowl, so… just… play along, ok? The sooner you accept the conceit, the sooner I’ll wrap up my customarily self-indulgent introductory paragraphs and get to the actual reviewing. Cool? Cool.)

Ahem. And good thing, too – I was hoping there’d be fun new snacks to go with the beer and pizza at my annual Valentine’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 wouldn’t describe it as particularly hot and certainly not as “molten.”

I’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” wouldn’t be a bad name at all. It’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 don’t know who “we” are and what “biz” I’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 Valentine’s Day party you’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. I’m not sure if “uncreative potato chip bag design” is a legitimate complaint or if I’m just Exhibit A of Louis CK’s “Everything is Amazing and Nobody’s Happy” syndrome. (See here. I’m definitely Exhibit A, aren’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 Valentine’s Day-related eating, drinking, gambling, and commercial watching, and C) Now we all know that I’m capable of dragging out a semi-nonsensical joke through an entire review!

Happy Valentine’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. Valentine’s Day parties. Beer and pizza at Valentine’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.

6 thoughts to “REVIEW: Ruffles Molten Hot Wings and Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese”

  1. I completely agree on the package design… I had to take a double glance as I walked by it in the grocery story.

  2. If you’ve never tried Chili Cheese Fritos, you should give them a shot. It’s basically the corn chip version of Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese.

    Also, great Louis CK reference. I’d never seen that clip before but it was great. He’s my favoritest comic ever.

    1. I will definitely have to pick up a bag next time I’m at the store. And yes, Louis CK is incredible – he is probably my second favorite comic ever, behind Mitch Hedberg.

  3. The Chili Cheese Ruffles are my favorite new chip in a while. I’m a big fan of the Chili Cheese Fritos, and the Ruffles don’t disappoint.

    The packaging might not be beautiful, but it stood out from the rest of the Ruffles bags and caught my attention. So I guess it did the job in that regard.

  4. I’m trying these “Molten” wing chips now. Blech. All vinegar. Not even remotely hot. Trainwreck of a chip. I’m probably throwing them out.

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