When I think of the most influential food and beverage spokespersons, the Jolly Green Giant falls somewhere between a mild-mannered if not over-the-hill personality like the Quaker Oats guy and…wait..was that the bad guy in Jack and the Beanstalk?
Needless to say, the Jolly Green Giant’s effectiveness in introducing children to the merits of a high-fiber, omnivorous diet have been negligible. I guess he lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. But it’s not all his fault. The Jolly Green Giant just doesn’t have as much to work with.
Even so, you can’t blame it all on frozen peas alone. It’s not like his image inspires confidence. I mean, if the diet he’s pushing means sprouting into a nine-foot tall, green freak of nature whose wardrobe consist only of a toga made out of leafs, then I am never, never eating anything natural again. I tend to think most kids with a vegetable aversion would feel the same.
The new Zesty Cheddar Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips and Sea Salt Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips are the Jolly Green Giant’s attempts to make kids (and adults) eat their veggies. Neither, as of yet, has a taco named in honor of them, and judging from their only ho-hum taste, I think we’re safe from a Green Giant/Taco Bell collaboration for now.
Not that either flavor is horrible. One’s actually pretty good.
First up is the Sea Salt Sweet Potato chips, which have a Sun Chip feel going for them, minus the typical Sun Chips ridges. They have a decent sweet potato flavor – less flavor than Utz’s Sweet Potato Chips but more than Garden of Eatin’s Sweet Potato Tortilla chips — and get a thumbs up for a non-cloying whole grain sweetness. But while the initial flavor is mellow and wholesome, there’s something off-putting on the backend.
At first, after shoving a bunch of the chips in my mouth, I didn’t notice it. But for a few of the apparently more under-seasoned chips there is definitely an almost hempy whole grain aftertaste that’s bitter and a little repulsive. Thankfully it didn’t seem to linger too long, but I can’t see it doing much for parents trying to get their kids to like vegetables. In any case, the chips are undersalted as a batch, and don’t take advantage of the kind of spices that make the luxurious, but useful sweet potatoes the Ferrari of the vegetable world. (By the way, turnips are the Ford Windstar minivan of the vegetable world.)
The Zesty Cheddar Roasted Vegetable Chips are better. Instead of looking like Sun Chips, these have an almost Doritos-like quality to them, complete with a chemical-lab inspiring orange hue of seasoning powder that, thanks to their lickable quality and my habit of multitasking, has now made its way into every crevasse of my computer’s keyboard.
The price I pay for you people.
The crunch is a bit lighter than Doritos, but the seasoning powder gives the chip a tasty spectrum of sweet, salty, and a complex roasted flavor that reminds me a bit of Garden Salsa Sun Chips. It’s none too piquant, but I didn’t exactly expect that. I did enjoy the caramelized and hearty back notes that seemed to mirror the taste one might get from a long-simmered tortilla soup. The only downside is that long list of ingredients, which contains two separate references to partially hydrogenated oil, still doesn’t add enough of a noticeable cheddar flavor.
Even though the Sweet Potato Chips weren’t horrible and the Roasted Vegetable Chips were pretty good, I can’t see the chips doing much for the Green Giant’s street cred. I mean sure, eating them will dispel the myth that you yourself could end up a nine-foot tall chlorophyll-addict, but the flavors just don’t stack up when compared to Sun Chips or Doritos. So unless the Jolly Green Giant has got a backup plan for ice cream or pizza, then I don’t think the cause of converting kids to vegetables will be advancing very far under his guidance anytime soon.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – Zesty Cheddar Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Multigrain Sweet Potato with Sea Salt – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)
Other Green Giant Chip reviews:
I Ate A Pie
Item: Green Giant Sea Salt Mulitgrain Sweet Potato Chips & Zesty Cheddar Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips
Purchased Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Weis Markets
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Sweet Potato Multigrain with Sea Salt)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Zesty Cheddar Roasted Veggie Tortilla)
Pros: 30-40 percent less fat than standard potato chips. Whole grains and vegetables. Multigrain Sweet Potato chips have decent sweet potato flavor. Roasted Veggie chips actually taste like roasted veggies but look like Doritos. Not getting my hopes up to inevitably be let down by a taco flavor inspired by the chips.
Cons: Weird, hempy aftertaste in the Sweet Potato chips. Needs more salt. Roasted Veggies chips lack hearty crunch. Partially hydrogenated oils. Not as good as Doritos or Sun Chips.