REVIEW: Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips

Herr's Sloppy Joe Potato Chips

I sometimes wonder if potato chip companies aren’t all guided by a collusion of meat company executives in a brilliant attempt to subvert the ideas of vegetarianism and tempt the herbavorically inclined among us to the joys of being a carnivore.

A far fetched conspiracy theory?

Perhaps, but perusing the Walmart chip aisle lends credence to my claim. There’s Chicken Barbecue chips. Baby Back Rib Chips. The proverbial [your favorite cheese here] and bacon chips, and, I’d be remiss not to point out, some horribly mediocre attempt at making chips into a BLT.

At some point one has to wonder if God had wanted fried potatoes to taste like meat, he’d have made them, well, actually meat. Come to think of it, maybe those chip companies are secretly plotting to turn us carnivores against meat by designing crappy “meaty” potato chips.

Which brings me to curious case of Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips. The All-American staple of thriftiness, the Sloppy Joe technically contains meat. Technically, because underneath all that gloopy “stuff” the lunch lady served to you in the fourth grade, was, I’m told, the denatured proteins of something that either went “moo” or “cluck.” I can’t remember the last time I had a Sloppy Joe, but I’m sure it was sometime during my less epicurean days of meat consumption. I’m also quite convinced it may have involved copious amounts of a canned sauce that rhymes with “Damn This!” If there’s one thing I am positively certain of, though, it’s that said Sloppy Joe tasted damn good, as in “damn my future pretentious affinity for paninis and designer burgers, I want some good old American loose meat!”

Given my more recent excursions into the world of meat flavored chips, I didn’t have the highest hopes for these. Right out of the bag, the aroma seemed to promise the kind of mediocre onion powder and salt infused taste one expects from a chip of wacky flavor designs, although the first bite revealed a tomato paste like sweetness combined with an altogether “mmm” quality one only finds in Woochestireshire sauce. Instantly I’m hooked, suddenly recognized a certain spicy sweetness.

Herr's Sloppy Joe Potato Chips Closeup

The chips themselves are much more oily than Lay’s chips, while the coating is positively dumped onto some chips. What ensues is a flavor and mouthfeel with the simple yet proven flavor notes of sweet, salty, acidic, and dare I say even a bit meaty, while also managing to convey the kind of sloppy and oily mess that a fourth grade fat camper can’t help but smile about. I especially liked the tomato powder element, and detected hints of cumin and some vaguely defined herb that probably works its way into any number of Sloppy Joe’s.

And the potato?

Hardly tasted it at all, but I’m not complaining. After all, I may not recall my last Sloppy Joe that clearly, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a potato thrown in there somewhere.

As a potato chip connoisseur, I’m a bit ashamed to admit how much I like these. There’s a great snackability element, and no pretentious “all natural” claims that hinder the enjoyment of a good junk food session parked in front of the NHL playoffs. Herr’s clearly put some thought into these, and judging by an ingredient list which features tamarind and Woochestireshire sauce, it’s apparent that the Pennsylvania-based snack company didn’t just dump a bunch of salt and dextrose on some oily chips.

A few minor complaints, including only being able to find these at Walmart and a less than optimal ridgy crunch, but nothing to the extent that would make me throw caution to the wind when plowing through an entire bag.

Healthy? Maybe not.

But considering this dastardly chip company’s collusion to subvert the influence of actual meat in my life, I might as well get my kicks where I can.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce (about 13 chips) – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 2 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat,  0 milligrams of cholesterol, 279 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.) 

Item: Herr’s Sloppy Joe Potato Chips
Price: $2.58 (on sale)
Size: 10 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Defies reason by tasting like an actual Sloppy Joe. Enjoyable mix of sweet, salty, and spicy, with a zippidy-do-da tang of Woochestireshire sauce. Better than Lay’s BLT chips. Possibly better for you than an actual Sloppy Joe, provided you don’t eat the whole bag.
Cons: Dastardly chip company collisions. Actually sloppy. More “ground turkey” sweetness than beefy richness. Only available at Walmart?  Correctly pronouncing and spelling “Woochestireshire”

REVIEW: SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic

SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten happiness from SunChips, or sunshine from them, if you will. Potato chips have made me happy (and heavy), but never SunChips.

I do enjoy SunChips, but it’s just that they aren’t as gratifying and addictive as regular potato chips. I don’t know, maybe fried potato has a certain place in my heart…probably the clogged part.

Although there was a time when I regularly bought SunChips, but I did so more for the bag than the snack inside. It was when they came in those compostable bags that everyone complained about because they were too loud. I’d use them to get off the phone with someone I didn’t want to talk to anymore by touching the bag to create static noises and telling the caller, “You’re breaking up. I’ll call you later.”

I thought after eating SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic, SunChips would bring me happiness because I love garlic, but these don’t quite do it for me.

This isn’t the first SunChips 6 Grain Medley flavor. The line was originally a Target exclusive and came in two flavors — Onion & Thyme and Parmesan & Herb.

So what are the six grains found in these chips?

You’ll find corn, wheat, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa. All these grains provide 21 grams of whole grain goodness per one ounce serving. However, it’s mostly corn, wheat, and oats, which are three of the first four ingredients listed. As for brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, they make up three of the last four ingredients listed.

SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic Moneyshot

As for the chip’s garlic flavor, I was hoping for something strong enough to ward off Twilight fans who are on Team Edward and make it uncomfortable for someone to have a conversation with me in a Fiat 500, but it had a disappointing garlic flavor. Actually, I wouldn’t really consider it garlic. The three different cheeses (cheddar, Romano, and Parmesan), spices, and roasted garlic on the chips created a flavor that tastes more like ranch seasoning. Also, the chips aren’t heavily seasoned. I expected to have a lot of powdery goodness on my fingers to suck off, like with many other Frito-Lay snacks (Doritos and Cheetos), but my fingertips were just lightly dusted with seasoning.

The SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic was disappointing, and I don’t ever see myself craving them, unless my body evolves into a baby making machine. Then, I could experience pregnancy cravings that may involve me wanting these SunChips, and other weird foods to crave, like pork rinds, mustard, pickles, and mustard pickle sandwiches.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/about 15 chips – 140 calories, 60 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic:
Junk Food Guy

Item: SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic
Price: $2.99 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Crunchy. Not horrible. 21 grams of whole grains per 1 ounce serving. No artificial flavors. No preservative. Getting to eat something called quinoa.
Cons: Weak garlic flavor that tasted more like ranch. Too lightly seasoned. Not addictive, like potato chips. Doesn’t come in noisy compostable bag. Having a conversation with a garlic lover in a Fiat 500.

REVIEW: Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles

Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles

So you’re hosting a fall harvest barbecue with a backwoods gourmet theme heavily influence by your lack of funds and the fact that you ran over a wild animal on your way home from work last night. Frankly, this sounds a bit questionable, but lord knows, I’ve got no room to judge.

Anyway, the meal is shaping up to be a disaster (big shock there). With your first guests set to shuffle over from their neighboring trailers in about fifteen minutes, your found opossum entree still isn’t done (at least, it doesn’t look done – but I’m no opossum roasting expert) and your multi-layer Jell-O jiggler hors d’oeuvres aren’t setting nearly as fast as you’d hoped. You don’t have nearly enough time left to whip up your beloved cheese puff casserole! Whatever will you do for a side dish?

Well, lucky for you, you’ve got me, and a local Walmart. Simply send a significant other/friend/child out for some limited edition Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles and you’ll already be halfway to neighborhood acclaim. Seeing as you’ve prepared no other sides, I’d recommend, oh, roughly 1/3 bag per person.

“But Nichol,” I assume you’re asking, “I can’t just serve them bagged. That’s not gourmet! And the only bowl I have big enough for the five bags of chips you estimate I’ll need has snowmen and dancing Santas all over it!”

Holy crap! Chill out! I’ve got you covered. Quit interrupting.

Do you have construction paper? No? Well, quick – call the person you sent out for chips and have them pick some up. I’ll wait.

Okay? Okay. Now, what you want to do next is come up with an appropriate replacement theme for the bowl. You’ve already got the Fall thing going, so let’s work with that. Now’s the time to get creative. I recommend covering Frosty and St. Nick’s faces with lots and lots of paper leaves. If, however, you wish to take things a bit further, maybe shift forward a few weeks with your décor, you could also craft zombie parts for the Santas, so that they appear to be hunting down the poor snowmen, or vice versa.

In either case, that’s not a problem you’ve got on your hands so much as a fantastic crafting opportunity.

“But what about the chips themselves?” You now say because you’re just horribly whiny and out of sorts today. “What makes them classy? And shouldn’t I opt for more of a variety?”

First off, no. Just these. Don’t confuse your guests with five thousand similar looking lesser chip varieties. They deserve better.

Second, these chips happen to be a limited edition, fan-chosen, Walmart exclusive. If that’s not enough for your crowd of snobbish rednecks, tell them this: Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles are a one-of-a-kind treat, occupying a blurry middle ground somewhere between Funyuns and their comparatively mundane Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles cousins.

Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles Closeup

They are the mellow, potato chip equivalent to French’s French Fried Onions, by which I mean the oniony notes are vivid, sweet, and unmistakably Vidalia-like, and the chips taste very much deep fried in some batter you won’t recognize but will wish you could replicate. They offer just a hint of completely unnecessary brown sugar (which I assume is supposed to lend a caramelized taste) and subtle buttermilk undertones. The coating is light, sidestepping both the weird film Funyuns leave behind in one’s mouth and the heaviness one feels by one’s second or third handful of sour cream and onion chips.

The flavor pairs wonderfully with a nice peppery Saison. What? I lost you all there? Fine. These chips pair decently with any cheap beer devoid of fruity elements, wheat, and most other adjectives. Is that what you want to hear? Honestly, why do I even try with you?

Basically, if your guests enjoy onion rings, they will enjoy these chips. And if they are the kind of crowd that enjoys opossum, I’m just going to stereotypically assume they’re onion ring fans. Or at least fans of fried things, which is close enough.

Oh, and I should probably mention that the layers of flavor flatten out to nothing but semi-fake onion as you keep shoveling the Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles into your gullet. Make sure to periodically offer up more beer and opossum parts to avoid potential party-killing monotony.

Good Luck!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/ about 11 chips- 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% calcium, 8% Vitamin B6, 10% vitamin C, 4% thiamin, 2% phosphorous, 4% magnesium, and 2% iron.)

Item: Beer Battered Onion Rings Ruffles
Price: $2.98 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: No Funyuns film. DIY re-holiday-ification. Buttermilk. Jell-O hors d’oeuvres. Vidalia sweetness. Good addition to the existing faux-fried onion flavor family. Zombie Santas.
Cons: Found opossum entrees. Attempt at caramelized flavor lends a weird barbeque-like edge. Jell-O refusing to cooperate. Descends into an oniony borefest after a few minutes.

REVIEW: SunChips Jalapeno Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks

SunChips Jalapeño Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks Bag

In the large, often nepotistic and incestuous (both words I used to win the 6th grade regional spelling bee) world of Frito-Lay, SunChips is the hippy that chained itself to a tree to prevent loggers from cutting down the local forest. SunChips got pepper-sprayed for protesting animal testing. SunChips likes to play hacky sack.

SunChips also created a chip bag that biodegrades, which is obviously cool and very environmentally friendly. However, people didn’t like it, because it was too loud. Really. Too loud. I’m far from a treehugger, but seriously people, don’t be assholes. It’s a bag that dissolves in 14 weeks. Deal with the crinkling. Not to be deterred, SunChips created a quieter bag, because SunChips is determined to save the planet, despite all those audio-sensitive butt-horns. Unfortunately, only specially-marked bags of Original flavor are biodegradable, so my bag of Jalapeño Jack SunChips will be hanging around the landfill for a while.

SunChips Jalapeño Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks All Natural

Do not despair, however; these chips are good for you! Made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives and no artificial flavors, Jalapeño Jack also contains no MSG, 0 grams of trans fat, and 18 grams of Whole Grain! It’s like a Whole Foods store in a bag!

Ehhh, not so fast there, buddy. I always thought SunChips were a healthier alternative to other chips, but I stumbled across an interesting comparison – Jalapeño Jack SunChips just baaaarely edge out Tostitos Artisan Recipes chips in calories and fat, actually contain more sodium, and contain just one gram more of dietary fiber. Now, granted, nutritionally they blow away the greasier chips, but I hold SunChips to a higher standard, and I found it surprising that Tostitos could go toe-to-toe with Frito-Lay’s “healthy” chips.

But hey! 18 grams of Whole Grains! Let’s see Tostitos beat THAT! (They could actually beat that I have no idea.)

Okay, now that I’ve blown your mind and shattered your worldview about the nutritional integrity of SunChips, let’s get to the chips themselves. I have to admit, I’ve had SunChips once, maybe twice, many years ago. I’ve never been a consciously healthy eater (shocking!), so when I’m in the chip aisle, there’s about 200 other chips I’d rather buy than SunChips. I have a very vague memory of what they taste like. I’ll take this as an advantage, as I can come to the table with a fresh palate.

SunChips Jalapeño Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks Chips

From the mouth of SunChips: “Jalapeño Jack flavored SunChips are just the right balance of tongue-tingling Jalapeño with the creamy smooth taste of Monterey Jack cheese. Our newest creation is for bold snackers who like a chip with a little kick.”

One point to SunChips for actually utilizing the diacritical tilde. I go into an unrealistic rage whenever I see someone use the word jalapeno. I worked for a company owned by Spaniards for four years, and alt+0241 comes as naturally to me as using the shift button instead of caps lock when I’m yelling at someone on the Internet. Make the extra effort, people. It will give grammar spergs one less twitch of the eye.

Where was I? Oh, right, the chips! I actually didn’t think jalapeño would be a good fit with so much whole grain. Not sure why; they just didn’t seem like a good fit. I also figured the flavors would be pretty subtle. Of the few SunChips I’ve had, they were all Original flavor, but it just seemed to me that SunChips would go the muted route.

I was pleased to find I was wrong on at least one of these points. When I opened the bag, I was greeted with a very strong but pleasant spicy cheese smell. The cheese came through more in the smell than the taste, however. There was a nice hint of cheese when the chip hit my tongue, but it was quickly overshadowed by the wheat flavor of the chip itself and the Jalapeño flavor powder. They claim the cheese to be Monterey Jack, but really, let’s be honest, there’s pretty much two cheese flavors in the chip world – “nacho” and “generic cheese flavor that can be passed off as pretty much any other cheese”. At least, that’s how I feel. Perhaps my palate isn’t refined enough to distinguish between different cheese powders.

The Jalapeño heat built as I went along, with the height of the heat being just right. It definitely wasn’t bashful, but it didn’t hit you over the head, either. I enjoyed the wheat flavor, too, but I’m not sure the two should have joined forces. It wasn’t disgusting, or even disconcerting; I just feel like the two flavors were fighting for dominance over my taste buds, instead of holding hands and being friends.

I didn’t not like SunChips Jalapeño Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks, but they didn’t exactly wow me. The hint of cheese is tasty, but quickly disappears, and the Jalapeño and wheat don’t mesh as well as say, Jalapeño and tortilla fit together. With so many other chip options out there, I’ll probably never buy these again, but if they were offered to me as a free snack, I wouldn’t turn them down. For die-hard SunChip fans, they might be worth a try.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/about 15 chips – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 2% iron, 6% vitamin E, 2% niacin, 4% phosphorus, 2% magnesium.)

Item: SunChips Jalapeño Jack Flavored Multigrain Snacks
Price: $2.49 (on sale; reg. $3.79)
Size: 10.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Jalapeño has just the right of heat. Diacritical tildes. All-natural ingredients with 18 grams of Whole Grains. Hippies getting pepper sprayed. Hint of cheese was good.
Cons: Jalapeño and wheat didn’t go together that well. Hacky sacks. Not enough cheese flavor. Jalapeno. SunChips not as healthy as you’d think.

REVIEW: Tostitos Artisan Recipes Tortilla Chips (Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean)

Tostitos Artisan Recipes Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean

Poor Tostitos. They’re like the pink Corvette of the Barbie world: oh, sure, little girls play with the Corvette all the time, but only when Barbie’s having a Thelma & Louise-esque adventure with her best friend Teresa or Barbie, Trichelle, Chandra, and Zahara (what is with these names?) are going on a shopping trip. Otherwise, the Corvette stays parked off to the side, lonely and forgotten. The only little girls who play with the Corvette alone are the ones that may grow up wearing flannel shirts and favoring mullets.

The point I’m trying to make here is that, while other Frito-Lay products like Doritos and Cheetos get flavor makeovers approximately once every six seconds, Tostitos remains stalwart in its commitment to be just a tortilla chip, a vessel for you to dunk into the ten different varieties of Tostitos-branded dips. Oh sure, there’s some variety – you can get them round, multigrain, even with a hint of jalapeño or lime, but Tostitos will never coat your fingers with a thick layer of flavor dust.

However, Tostitos will be naked no more, thanks to their new line of Artisan Recipes. Somebody’s little brother stole the pink Corvette, and now it’s in a demolition derby with a Tonka backhoe and a monster truck named “The Crusher.” Good luck to you, pink Barbie Corvette.

Oh, right, we’re talking about chips, not reliving my childhood. The Artisan Recipes line only has two flavors for now: Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean. I am assuming, depending on their level of success, that more flavors will be forthcoming.

I’ll let Frito-Lay’s press release do the explaining: “Tostitos Artisan Recipes offers tortilla chip fans an exciting new twist on this popular snack. Each flavor is made from high-quality whole-white corn and real ingredients like black beans, garlic and chipotle peppers that are baked in before cooking for a truly one-of-a-kind flavor.”

Ohhh, I get it now! The twist here is that the flavors are baked in. Tostitos is crashing the flavor party with an innovative idea – flavorful chips without the messy fingers. Chips for grown-ups! Or, at least, chips for grown-ups who have enough dignity not to suck the inches of flavor dust off their fingers in public. I don’t fall into that category, but I’ll give these chips a try anyways.

Fire-Roasted Chipotle

Tostitos Artisan Recipes Fire-Roasted Chipotle Chip

Let’s start with the good: Artisan Recipe Tostitos have a great texture. They are thinner and more delicate than regular Tostitos, with a nice, light crunch as you chew them. The tortilla taste is also very pleasant; they taste a lot like regular Tostitos, but with more of a pronounced grain flavor. This is because, unlike regular Tostitos (I consider Restaurant Style to be the de facto standard Tostitos), Artisan Recipes have eight more grains besides the standard whole white corn. Some of those grains include whole rye, barley, and triticale. I had to look up exactly what triticale is. Apparently science wanted to make wheat and rye have a baby, and triticale was the result. I don’t know why this was something that needed to happen, but regardless, it did, and now it’s in my stomach.

All these grains smashed together make a tasty chip, but that’s also a problem – where’s the chipotle? I had to get through chip number three before I could taste a bit of spice and feel any heat building up on the back of my tongue. I kept waiting for the smoky pepper flavor of chipotle to emerge, but it never did. Just a bit of spice and that little touch of heat at the end.

Artisan Recipes’ whole schtick is that the flavor is baked in, but there’s still flavor dust on the chips. It’s definitely more subtle than, say, a Nacho Cheese Dorito, but my fingers definitely had little red flecks on them along with the salt. I can’t call Tostitos a liar, because they never say outright that all the flavor is “baked in”, but they do fail to mention that it’s getting a little support from flavor dust. And yet, even with the backup, the chipotle flavor fails to come through, which is disappointing.

Roasted Garlic & Black Bean

Tostitos Artisan Recipes Roasted Garlic & Black Bean Chip

Predictably, these have the same nice, delicate texture of the Fire-Roasted Chipotle, but unfortunately, they also have the same affliction: lack-of-flavoritis. Those big flecks must be the black bean that’s baked in, but in the ingredients list, they are dried black beans. How could that possibly bring in any flavor?

As for the roasted garlic, I managed to find approximately one out of every four chips that tasted like garlic powder. On some of these chips, you can actually see a faint orange powder, which is curious. In fact, maybe my mouth is just inventing flavors at this point in a desperate attempt at tasting something, but I got more of a really subtle cheese taste on the chips that didn’t taste like garlic powder. Even though I had to work to find the faintly garlic-flavored chips, when I did get one, I really enjoyed it.

I had high hopes for Artisan Recipes Tostitos. I was hoping to get some rich flavor from baked-in, authentic ingredients. And, honestly, if they hadn’t had such descriptive, delicious-sounding names, I would have given them high marks for being a light tortilla chip with a good crunch. I risk losing my Processed Foods Only membership card by saying this, but I found the addition of eight extra grains made for a more flavorful tortilla chip. Unfortunately, the chipotle lacked smokiness and had only a mild heat in regards to flavor, the black beans were sadly absent, and the garlic was hit-and-miss. That said, the subtlety of these flavors would add a little extra depth when dunked into a Tostitos-branded dip, but they shot themselves in the foot and made the chips too fragile to support most dips. Tostitos Artisan Recipes are great chips in both texture and tortilla/grain flavor, but don’t expect your taste buds to be lovingly caressed by chipotle, garlic, or black beans.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – Fire-Roasted Chipotle – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 4.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium, 2% iron, 2% thiamin, 2% riboflavin, 2% niacin, 2% vitamin B6, 6% phosphorus, 6% magnesium and 2% zinc. Roasted Garlic & Black Bean – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 4.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium, 2% iron, 2% thiamin, 8% riboflavin, 4% niacin, 4% vitamin B6, 4% phosphorus, 4% magnesium and 2% zinc.)

Item: Tostitos Artisan Recipes Tortilla Chips (Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean)
Price: $3.49 and $2.49 (on sale, regularly $3.99)
Size: 9 ¾ oz. bags
Purchased at: Fry’s Foods and Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Fire-Roasted Chipotle)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Roasted Garlic & Black Bean)
Pros: Good tortilla chip texture. Re-creating Thelma & Louise with Barbies. Lots of healthy, tasty grains. Demolition derbies. Garlic flavor on some chips was delicious. Chipotle delivered a little heat.
Cons: Chips didn’t live up to baked-in flavor promise. Little brothers stealing your Barbie Corvettes. Lack of smoky flavor in Fire-Roasted Chipotle. “Trichelle.” No black bean flavor.

REVIEW: Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto Potato Chips

The potato chip is the kingpin in the world of greasy, salty, and lip smacking-good snack foods that are currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since there’s a “War on Childhood Obesity.” Of course, our friends on Capitol Hill are trying to put an end to delicious snacks in schools, because the fat kid is now the morbidly obese kid who had a special about him on TLC, as well as a tear-jerking episode on Dr. Phil.

Herr’s (and some of the potato chip big boys) is trying to shed the stigma of the standard potato chip. The stereotypical scene of an overweight man, wearing a tight undershirt with several unidentified stains, sitting on an equally stained couch with one hand on the remote and the other in his jumbo-sized bag of potato chips comes to mind when thinking about the classic snack food, but slap the word “natural” on them, you’re speaking to an entirely different demographic.

Besides having a name longer than the line at the Cheesecake Factory, Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto is a very crunchy, tasty snack. If you’re a fan of kettle cooked chips (being a native New Englander I was practically raised on Cape Cod Chips, and I didn’t turn into the fat kid, so you can suck it health food lobbyists), and live in an area where Herr’s is available I suggest you pick up a bag of any of their kettle chips, because they are all good, but the Sundried Tomato Pesto are exceptionally good; like slap your momma and say “Wham Bam Thank Ya Ma’am” good (I suggest you do NOT do that to your mother and I suggest you don’t “word” her either, because she will think you’re lame, especially if you’re still wearing Zubaz and have your eyebrows trimmed like Vanilla Ice circa 1991).

The chips are perfectly crunchy, but not like chomping on glass like how some brands of kettle chips are. There’s not really a sundried tomato taste to them, which I personally didn’t mind since I did buy them for the pesto aspect, and I was very pleased with the pesto flavor they provided.

Like all bags of snacks, half of the bag was pumped with air, which left me with less chips than desired, but the amount was perfect to pair alongside a nice sandwich on herb bread.

Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto may not be as exotic as some of the flavors Kettle Chips pops out with, like Yogurt & Green Onion, but they hold their own, and since they are natural, they don’t have to hide from the feds.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce (about 13 chips) – 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 2% iron.)

Item: Herr’s Natural Kettle Cooked Sundried Tomato Pesto Potato Chips
Price: 99 cents
Size: 2.125 oz (60.2 g)
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Kettle cooked, but doesn’t feel like chewing on glass. No preservatives. Nice herb taste. Low in saturated fat compared to other chips. A mother making fun of her 35-year-old son who still wears Zubaz. TLC shows that have nothing to do with Jon, Kate or the number eight.
Cons: Small size. The new generation not knowing the word moderation. Not available in all areas. People who still say “Word to your mother” in serious conversations. Can’t taste tomato in them. Vanilla Ice’s facial grooming habits in the early 90’s.