A time for ice cream cones, days at the beach, and jealousy for all of us who didn’t take that career path known as “public school educator.”
If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ll be embarking on another rite of the All-American summer again this year. And no, I’m not just talking about attempting to fit a triple-double s’more into your piehole.
It’s the road trip, of course!
Whether to your nearest recreational and beachy abode of choice, or just to your buddy’s cabin at the lake, we’re all entitled to venturing out for a little R&R this time of year. Having graduated from backseat “are we there yet?” queries and being forced to hold in a bladder the size of a nine month pregnant woman (it’s OK, we’ve all been there) because of families’ totalitarian pit stop policies, it’s likely you and I will use the power of discretion by stopping for replenishment on these sojourns.
Junk food is a prerequisite, but logistics are not on your side. Take what the Golden Arches have called “Frydration.” Sure, sustaining your vigilance behind the wheel is all the easier with a container of French fries at your side, but from the moment you pull into the drive-through to that first dip of spud into ketchup, your food clock is ticking.
Too much time in the bag and your steaming, already inconsistent fries turn to soggy mush, while any attempt to postpone your trip for a proper chowdown could leave you fighting rush-hour traffic once you hit the road again. And besides, plain fries can be boring. But throw in finger licking, guilty pleasure toppings like cheese and you’re starting to deal with a seriously gross steering wheel.
Thankfully, Ruffles has come up with a cheesy French fry in potato chip guise, and 7-Elevens across America have been given exclusive license to carry them.
Granted, Ruffles new Crispy Fries aren’t the first potato chip/fry hybrid on the market, but unlike brands like Snikiddy, Ruffles isn’t giving me any of this “baked” bullshit. Let’s get one thing straight: the only baking I want to do on my summer vacation is on the beach.
As for my road trip munchies, that sacred territory is reserved for fried and chemically engineered flavors that only heavy hitting brands like Ruffles can come up with. And do they ever with these little guys.
The cheese seasoning is applied very liberally to each side of the fries, and aside from an addictive buttermilk and processed cheddar cheese taste, there’s a nice kick of black pepper and garlic powder that conjures up pleasant memories of T.G.I. Friday’s French fries. I was pleasantly surprised by the authentic French fry vibe, right on down to the skin-on ends of a number of the fries.
I like how they have a crunchy nature, although I do find myself missing the fluffy interior that comes with perfectly fried fries. Considering how many fast food places screw that up, though, makes it easier to forgive and forget.
As for the insides of Ruffles’ Crispy Fries, they’re interesting; at first I was expecting a hollow interior, but instead the insides are filled with hardened fried potato “stuff.” As you chew the fry, you find that potato “stuff” less like a potato chip and more like, dare I say, reconstituted mashed potatoes. I like it. It works. It shouldn’t, but it does, and it’s surprisingly potato-ey on the backend.
I have to admit, these are really good, and it’s not just the hyperbole-laced pep talk from the bag talking (although points for referring to me as “champ”). They’ve got good cheese flavor, a little bit of sweetness, plenty of crunch, and a similar finish to actual fries despite the lack of a fluffy interior.
I even liked that there were some especially crispy and oily fries, which gave off the whole horrible-for-you but oh-so-tasty vibe you get from fast food. If you’re a fan of anything crunchy and cheesy, these are definitely something worth making a detour for during bathroom break stops when you hit the open road this summer.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 bag – 230 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 430 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Other Ruffles Crispy Fries reviews:
Food Junk (Original)
Item: Ruffles Cheese Crispy Fries
Purchased Price: $1.09
Size: 1.4 oz. bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Crispy potato chip texture in French fry guise. Good cheese fry flavor. Surprisingly strong potato taste. Tasty black pepper kick. Mashed potato vibe. Not as messy as actual cheese fries. Being called a “champ.” Not having to be subjected to my father’s totalitarian car rules and bathroom stop criteria any longer.
Cons: Lacks the fluffy interior of perfectly fried French fries. Only available in small bags at 7-Eleven for a limited time. Road trip traffic to get to the beach.