REVIEW: Everything Bagel Pringles

Last week, a strange mustachioed man sprinted up to me and asked if I could name Pringles’ newest flavor. I, being the eastern United States’ preeminent Pringles historian, replied to this definitely real person, “Hasn’t Pringles done everything?”

Without pause, the astonished and not made-up man’s eyes went wide with fear. He muttered under his breath, “How did you know?” Then he dropped a fresh can of new Everything Bagel Pringles at my feet and ran away in hysterics.

Not gonna lie (absolutely gonna lie, I am clearly lying); it was pretty weird. I didn’t even get any money, but hey, I got some Everything Bagel Pringles. Score.

I love Pringles and jump at any chance to review new varieties. I’ve actually been on a run of only reviewing “ring” based snacks, so it was nice to break away from that with these Pringles that are based on… bread shaped like a ring. Oh, man.

Wait a minute, pRINGles! “Ring” is right there in the name. I’m stuck in a ring-shaped loop!

Meh, whatever. At least I have snacks.

I didn’t know what to expect from these. There are a lot of elements to cover – cream cheese, onion, garlic, the various superfluous seeds, and even the bagel flavor itself. Can a chip do all that justice?

Yes and no. They’re really good, but “everything bagel” is a bit of a stretch. Also, Pringles aren’t chips, they’re crisps. You shoulda known that. I was just testing ya.

They smell like Sour Cream and Onion, which is fine, as those are my favorite OG Pringles. The flavor profile hits on onion and garlic, but they’re pretty mild. Cream cheese is the strongest flavor. I guess that’s appropriate to real life because my request of “just a little cream cheese” is always interpreted as “three pounds of cream cheese.” Sesame and poppy seeds barely have flavor as it is, so they brought nothing to the table.

These could have just been called “Cream Cheese and Chive,” but they probably need the “bagel” to move cans. Pringles don’t taste like bagels, though.

If I were to really pinpoint the flavor, I could think of one very specific food that is apparently called “Gournay Cheese.” My mother used to buy a little wheel of garlic and herb cream cheese-like spread made by a brand called Boursin around the holidays. I absolutely loved it on Wheat Thins. That’s what these Pringles taste like, almost to a T. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I implore you to try it. If you do know, just imagine these are flavored after that and not an everything bagel.

I was gonna nitpick the appearance because these crisps look boring. They barely even sprinkled them with poppies, but ya know what? You can keep ’em. Poppy seeds taste like nothing and only exist to get stuck in your teeth.

These are definitely worth a try, even if they taste more like Gournay Cheese Spread on Wheat Thins. Maybe if I guessed that, the totally real man wouldn’t have run away from me.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 5.5 oz
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (14 crisps) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Queso Cheese Potato Chips

Do you like a “Groundhog Day” movie premise as much as I do? You know, the movies centered around a character who relives the same day over and over again. You’d think once they’d done the Bill Murray classic, it would be ironic and un-original to make it again. Yet, we still have fantastic films like “Edge of Tomorrow” (the action version), “Happy Death Day” (the thriller version), “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” (the romcom version), and of course “Palm Springs” (the Andy Samberg version). All of these movies are pretty great in their own unique twist of a classic theme. In much the same way, I come to you today with a review of Flamin’ Hot Queso Cheese Ruffles. Sure, you’ve probably had a really similar chip, but now these also exist.

They have the same distinct color found on other Flamin’ Hot line extensions. The flavor is overwhelmingly cheesy and balanced very well with the heat from the pepper. In fact, I’d almost say these don’t quite live up to the spiciness of other Flamin’ Hot varieties launched recently, but I think that’s a good thing in this case. It makes them much more addictive.

I was curious how these differed from the Flamin’ Hot Cheddar Sour Cream Ruffles (the LeBron bag) currently on shelves and could only dig up one or two minor discrepancies. First, the ingredient lines between this and the LeBron version are nearly identical. Apart from a few items being in different sequential order, the Queso chips have a few extra spices (onion and garlic powder) and no sour cream or butter. If you’re thinking that difference doesn’t sound enormous, I agree with you. These chips taste A LOT like the standard Flamin’ Hot Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles, but these are much more cheese-forward and the heat packs less of a punch.

The second difference is that these have the lil’ smiley guy in the corner, designating them as a Sabritas item (also owned by Frito-Lay and largely distributed in Mexico). I don’t think this necessarily makes a difference except to possibly justify why such a similar chip could launch with a different balance of cheese and heat.

I also decided to try the original Queso Ruffles against the Flamin’ Hot Queso Ruffles. The OG lacks heat and red color but has the same strong savory cheese flavor. I think heat lovers might be slightly let down by the heat offered in the Flamin’ Hot Queso version, but I’ll double down and say again that I prefer this balance. It makes the chips far more enjoyable overall.

If I had to live one day repeatedly, I wouldn’t be upset if it included these chips. I’m docking a point for lack of originality since the formulas look to be nearly a replicate of a chip that already exists, but I can’t deny how tasty these are. Did I already say that? Oh well, déjà vu.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (13 chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Dinamita Sticks (Smoky Chile Queso, Tangy Fiery Lime, and Hot Honey Mustard)

In 1971, Goodmark Foods introduced Andy Capp’s Fries, a “unique alternative to potato chips” that “look like French fries, but crunch like chips.” Named for the English comic strip character — and perhaps peculiarly so, given their namesake’s penchant for drinking, gambling, borrowing money, fighting with his wife, flirting with young barmaids, etc. — Capp’s Fries have gone through several iterations throughout the years including Hot, Salsa, White Cheddar Steak, and Ranch, to name but a few.

Fifty-two years later, and no longer satisfied with its lack of footing in the crunchy snack-stick arena, Doritos is throwing its hat in the ring with three new stick-takes on its Dinamita line -— Smoky Chili Queso, Tangy Fiery Lime, and Hot Honey Mustard. Did the wait pay off? It did.

First, a note about all three Dinamita Sticks — because these are corn instead of potato-based, they run a little denser than those from its alcoholic British comic-strip counterpart. A closer comparison texturally would be Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Fries, another Frito-Lay product. But these are a bit heavier still. Reading the ingredient list tells me that Chester’s employs dried potato in addition to enriched corn meal. The nice thing about the Dinamita Sticks’ density is that they give you a fuller feeling than Andy Capp’s or Chester’s.

Smoky Chili Queso

I don’t know that I detected any smoky, but man, were these ever chili queso, with a pronounced emphasis on the chili. The first second or two is delightfully cheesy, and then comes the heat. And it’s a big heat, like an Arizona sidewalk on the 4th of July. It’s fast and it lasts. While I found the heat level enjoyable, it might be too much if you’re even slightly heat-averse. You have been forewarned.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Tangy Fiery Lime

Full disclosure: I’m not a lime guy. Well, okay, unless it’s in pie form. In which case, sign me up. But I’ve never been big on spicy things with a lime infusion. These things, however? They may have made me a convert. The lime in the TFL Dinamita is strong, but serves as a great complement to a heat that comes across as a bit sweeter than the spicy punch of the SCQ. It takes longer to build, too and is extinguished with each limey pop of a new Dinamita. I was surprised by how much I ended up liking these things.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, <1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Hot Honey Mustard

Did you hear that crack? That was the sound of a home run leaving the bat. THESE THINGS. It’s like a sweeter McDonald’s Hot Mustard nugget sauce, only in crunch form. So. it’s THAT kind of mustard — the sinus-burning, Chinese kind that those of us in the know dip their egg rolls and Rangoons into. There’s a sweet, honey-esque undertone that adds a welcome complexity. While I really found things to enjoy about all three Dinamitas, this one was my favorite.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Purchased at: All were purchased at Walmart
Purchased Price: $3.88 each

REVIEW: Spicy Queso Funyuns

I once played this video game… I don’t remember the exact name, but the object was to find as many golden rings as possible.

This furry blue dude ran around collecting them so that he could eventually buy his freedom from a mad scientist shaped like an egg. His name was “Static” or something. I think it was based on a true story.

Anyway, those golden rings always reminded me of Funyuns. Why? I don’t know. This is clearly a fake story, so just go with it. I mean, come on, who’s never heard of Sarnac the Muskrat?

I’ll say this: if ol’ Sarnac had to collect Spicy Queso Funyuns, he’d probably just end up keeping them all for himself and dealing with the consequences.

Yeah, those exist. In a rare move, Frito Lay has let Funyuns branch out with a new Spicy Queso flavor.

I needed a little ring redemption after my last review of Snyder’s Oktoberfest Rings, and while I liked these a lot, I gotta let you know the bad before the good – they don’t really taste like Funyuns.

I believe they set out to add a cheese flavor to the iconic flavor, but the onion essence basically gets spiced out. It’s a bit of a bummer, but I suggest approaching these as Funyuns in shape and texture form only. If you’re familiar with Frito Lay’s queso dip, I think these actually tasted like it in crisp form, so there’s some good brand synergy there.

As I crunched on, I started getting flavor vibes of two other snacks – Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and the recent Chili Cheese Doritos 3D’s. If you know Hot Fries, the heat level is slightly below those, but they have very similar textures. The lingering level of spice and cheesiness reminded me of 3Ds, although those leaned more towards a “beefy” chili flavor, so just imagine a Funyun ring that tastes like a spicy cheddar with a pinch of jalapeño. I’ve never tried Flamin’ Hot Funyuns, but I suspect those are slightly hotter overall.

As far as the crunch goes, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve compared Funyuns to Cap’n’ Crunch in the past because they usually tear my palate up. Thankfully, that didn’t happen here because the usual mouth shred paired with a spicy flavor probably would’ve destroyed my tastebuds.

Overall, these are very solid, but I was completely satisfied with a small bag. The flavor is nice, but I wish the typical Funyun flavor was ramped up. I’ve never dipped an onion ring in queso, so who knows, these could be 100% accurate. They’re not an improvement on the originals but a strong spinoff. As far as ring-based snack reviews go, I’m batting .500.

Maybe this will lead to further expansions of the Funyuns brand. Trader Joe’s used to make a Sweet Onion-flavored Funyun knockoff that was elite, and I’d love to see Frito-Lay try that next.

Here’s hoping my next review isn’t ring-based because I don’t feel like doing a bit about watching that one horror movie. It was about a ghost mime coming out of a videotape or something. I think it’s based on a true story.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 2 1/8 oz bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 13 pieces) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Late Night Loaded Taco

Doritos Late Night line is back, inviting us to taste the night with a Loaded Taco flavor in a slick black and purple bag exclusive to Kroger stores. Past offerings in this series include much missed All Nighter Cheeseburger and Tacos at Midnight, which this new edition appears to be a spiritual successor to.

I’m pretty sure I tried Tacos At Midnight, but since a decade has gone by since those bags graced anyone’s beer can-strewn countertops at 2 a.m., I can’t say for sure this is the second coming of that flavor and will judge it on its own merits.

Looking into the Doritos Late Night Loaded Taco bag

Opening the bag, the scent is very reminiscent of what would waft at you from a Taco Bell paper bag, and the flavor is there to match. It’s decidedly “fast food taco” and not “taqueria taco,” and the emphasis is on the loaded part. They taste like the mess that falls out of a haphazardly made Taco Bell item, and as someone who ends up eating those overly sour creamed lettuce shreds, beef bits, and always worthless pieces of tomato, I mean that as a term of endearment and also kind of amazement. See, all the elements you’d expect to taste are here – the crunch like a hard corn shell, taco seasoning, cheese, sour cream, a hint of tomato, but then there’s also…lettuce? Does iceberg lettuce even taste like anything? Apparently, it does, and I’m pretty convinced that slight vegetal note is here, which seems like the kind of achievement Willy Wonka might be proud of. Sure, anyone can make a chip taste like sour cream and paprika, but can they also manage to layer in the suggestion of lettuce? Frito-Lay can.

Doritos Late Night Loaded Taco is lighter than the chip shown on the bag

The next logical step is wondering if you want a chip that I just said tastes like lettuce. I’d be skeptical too, but it turns out it isn’t a bad thing! The iceberg and tomato make subtle appearances, while the predominant flavors are much more in the dairy spectrum, with cream, sour cream, cheddar, butter, and Swiss all getting mentions in the ingredients list. Alongside a classic mix of Americanized-taco spices and sitting on a crunchy corn chip, these really do manage to mimic a fully topped crispy taco surprisingly well. Appearance-wise, the actual chips don’t look much like the very orange one pictured on the front of the bag, but their lighter yellow color reminds me more of taco shells anyway.

Doritos Late Night Loaded Taco bag says "Taste the Night"

Speaking of, would a Doritos Loaded Taco flavored Doritos Locos Taco be too meta or just right for late night? I’ll leave that one up to the fast food gods. In the meantime, enjoy these chips while they last, which, in the case of my bag, was not very long. If you have a Kroger affiliate near you, these chips are worth trying before the neon signs flip off and they disappear into the night.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 9 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s (Kroger)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 11 chips) 140 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.