REVIEW: Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables

Lay s Salt  Vinegar Poppables

To determine whether you’ll love Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables, you have to ask yourself three simple questions.

  1. Do you like salt and vinegar potato chips?
  2. Do you enjoy the crispy texture of Lay’s Poppables?
  3. If it was discontinued, would you send a tear-jerking email to Frito-Lay about how there’s now a hole in your heart that could only be filled with Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Poppables?

If you said “yes” to all three questions, I now pronounce you husband and life snack or wife and life snack. You may now eat your life snack.

Well, actually, if you said “yes” to the first two questions, then you’ll probably end up enjoying this salty and tangy version of the airy potato snack. It has the same flavor you’d taste with Lay’s original and Kettle Cooked Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips, and the same satisfying crispiness as all the other Lay’s Poppables.

It’s exactly what I expected, and I LOVED them.

Yes, past tense.

That deep affection from eating the first few handfuls blinded me from realizing something disheartening about Poppables — there’s not much of it in the bag.

When I mindlessly eat regular or Kettle Cooked salt and vinegar potato chips, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, I can look into the bag after munching for a while and see that I’ve put a noticeable dent into what’s there. But there’s still a lot left.

Lay s Salt  Vinegar Poppables 1

With these Poppables, I did the same mindless eating, and when I checked to see how much was left, I was shocked that three-fourths of the bag was gone.

I guess I never paid attention to how much is stuffed inside. A regular bag of Kettle Cooked has eight ounces, and standard Lay’s has 7.75. Poppables has just five.

So that made me ask myself, “How much do I like Poppables’ crispiness?” Is it enough for me to overlook the fact that I can get more salty and tangy munching satisfaction with its crunchier chip cousins?

I took a hard look at myself in a mirror and thought I didn’t truly LOVE Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables. I really like them, and I’d take them over any other Poppables variety, but if they ever go away, I won’t be writing a sad email to Frito-Lay. I’ll move on and chomp Lay’s Kettle Cooked Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips.

Purchased Price: $5.89*
Size: 5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 28 pieces) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón

Doritos Flamin Hot Limon

Nowadays, if you throw a Doritos chip while blindfolded in the chip aisle ninja star-style, there’s an excellent chance it’ll hit a snack that has “Flamin’ Hot” blazed across its packaging. That’s because Frito-Lay has been in the giving mood with the seasoning over the past couple of years. It has found its way onto Ruffles, popcorn, pretzels, and more.

Last year, some of that love got us Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho. This year, we have Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón, a new spicy chip to chomp on while watching football, binge-watching something on Netflix, or Googling to find out if “limón” is Spanish for lemon or lime.

With Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón, there’s no confusion whether it’s lemon or lime, thanks to the green color that takes up most of the top half of the chip’s bag and the lime wedge image sitting at the bottom of the bag that might secretly wish it was at the top of a Corona bottle.

Full disclosure, I didn’t fully enjoy the previously mentioned Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho. Its cheesiness didn’t help make it stand out from other Flamin’ Hot products. If it flamed out and disappeared to the depths of hell, I wouldn’t care. But I feel a lot different towards this citrus-flavored version.

Doritos Flamin Hot Limo?n Closeup

While they appear spicy, nothing about the chip’s look or smell gives away that there’s a bit of lime. But its sweet and tangy flavor is noticeable with every chew. It’s as potent as the Flamin’ Hot seasoning. Actually, it might be even more so because the citrus seems to temper the spiciness, making these chips a little easier to eat than other Flamin’ Hot products. But, for the heat-adverse, they’re still quite spicy.

Oh, there are a couple of cheeses listed in the ingredients, but they get lost among the bombardment of pepper, spice, and lime. And I don’t care because, with the way they are, these chips are my favorite snack of the year. Yes, I’m writing this in the first half of January, but I’ve been enjoying every moment with them.

Although, I have to admit I like them a little less than I did when I first tried them. That happened because my curiosity got the best of me. I wondered in the back of my head, “Didn’t Frito-Lay already have something like this?”

That, of course, led me to the internet, which took me to Doritos Flamas, a spicy, lime-flavored chip under Frito-Lay’s Mexican Sabritas brand. That led me to a review of those chips, written by a former TIB writer who, on his blog, described them as tasting like a very spicy lime Froot Loop. I haven’t tried Doritos Flamas, so I can’t make a comparison. But when I read that description of it, it made my tongue and brain think in unison, “Oh, this does too. That’s super weird.”

But even with that nugget of slight buzzkill stuck in my head, this combination of lime and Flamin’ Hot seasoning is extremely tasty.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way. Although, it totally seems like it. But I assure you it did not.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 9 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Received from Doritos
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles’ Double Crunch lineup has been quite promising so far, albeit a tad derivative. The chips live up to their name by delivering a satisfying crunch and seem to have extra coatings of their respective flavors. The cheddar and buffalo wing varieties are tasty, but not that original.

Ruffles has ramped up the flavor library of the Double Crunch line with the “new” Sweet & Smoky BBQ. They appear to be similar to the old Ruffles Ultimate Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ, but I don’t remember what those taste like, so I can’t say for certain.

The ridges on the chips are more pronounced than those on standard Ruffles. The chips are generously covered in a welcoming burnt-orange dust. They appear to be as heavily seasoned as their cheddar and buffalo wing counterparts.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Bag

The aroma wafting from the bag is that of typical BBQ chips, but with a little hint of vinegar and a more pronounced spice. Vinegar isn’t listed on the ingredients list, so it could very well be a trick of my imagination. Regardless, it’s very inviting.

The flavor profile hits hard with brown sugar, onion, and paprika at the onset. As I chew, hints of molasses, tomato and garlic start to shine through. They’ve got more of a kick to them than standard BBQ chips. I don’t taste any actual vinegar on the chips themselves. Upon looking at the ingredients, that all checks out. The proprietary BBQ seasoning has sugar, salt, brown sugar, paprika, spices, molasses, onion powder, tomato powder, garlic, honey, and delicious, magnificent MSG. There’s nothing new or original here; it’s like every BBQ chip I’ve ever had, just done a little bit better.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Closeup

While the crunch is not as pronounced as it is on a kettle-cooked chip, it still delivers a rewarding bite every time.

I find myself losing control and shoveling more of these chips into my mouth. I’m typing this review with one hand, so I don’t get magical BBQ dust on the keyboard from my chip fingers.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ are definitely good enough to become a staple in my rotation, but I feel like they won’t be around long. Ruffles’ website makes no mention of the product, so I assume it’s a limited offering. They’re definitely worth your time if you enjoy BBQ chip, so give ‘em a shot before they’re gone.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (10 chips) 140 calories; 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Lay’s Popppables Creamy Jalapeno

Lay's Poppables Creamy Jalapeno

What are Lay’s Poppables Creamy Jalapeno?

The latest flavor in Frito-Lay’s Poppables line is Creamy Jalapeno. While I’ve loved every variety thus far, I can’t decide if the random “Creamy” in the name sounds appetizing or gross.

How are they?

I’ll end the short-lived suspense. Lay’s Poppables Creamy Jalapeno are anything but gross. In fact, I’m ready to admit I’m a full-on Poppables fanboy. These things are delicious.

I love the shape of these. It provides for an excellent airy crisp unlike basically everything on the market right now. The shape of these are like giant potato Chex in a way.

Lay's Poppables Creamy Jalapeno 2

The jalapeno flavor is the standard you’d expect from Frito Lay, which is a good thing. If you’ve had the jalapeno chips or Fritos, there’s not much deviation from that flavor, although the “creamy” element does provide a nice counterbalance. Plus, the potato flavor seems slightly more pronounced than a normal chip for some reason, and it all just marries together perfectly. There’s really a bit of “creaminess” at play here.

The spice level is manageable, and dare I say “pleasant” in its afterburn.

Is there anything else I need to know?

I don’t necessarily know what to attribute the “creaminess” to, but “creamy jalapeno powder,” sour cream, and yogurt powder are ingredients. I’m thrown off because Frito-Lay usually makes it a point to show a dollop (the worst word in the English language) of sour cream or something on the bag itself.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I loved the smell of these. It reminded me of unwrapping an Italian sub (or “hero,” or whatever weird name you call a sandwich).

Conclusion:

I’m just a big fan of Poppables, and I think Creamy Jalapeno is the best flavor so far. There’s a bigger bag than the one I purchased, and I’m kicking myself for not getting it.

I assume this snack line is doing well, so all I can hope is that Frito-Lay parlays the success into a reboot of Dorito’s 3Ds, which I’ve been clamoring for since they disappeared over a decade ago.

Purchased Price: $1.48
Size: 2 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Crispy Taco Potato Chips

Lay s Crispy Taco Potato Chips

First off, let me address the large potato chip in the room. Or seven potato chips, actually.

Lay’s decided to reveal the ten semi-finalists before announcing the top three and my taste buds were bouncing off the walls of my mouth with the imminent possibilities.

Smoked Gouda and Honey? Interesting, but still sounds yummy. Toasted Ravioli? Now you’re talking, Lay’s! Bring ‘em on! However, this new information soon turned to dread when the ten were whittled down to three.

This is it? The best you could do? Where’s the really off the wall flavor, like Cappuccino? Are you telling me Avocado Toast didn’t make it??? But it’s so trendy right now!!!

I was thoroughly disappointed. But, of course, I had to try the finalists.

Crispy Taco was the one I was the least excited about because it was probably just some of taco seasoning on a chip. Wow, how innovative Lay’s (here is exactly where I would be sending a side-eye emoji if I was texting my BFF). After opened the bag I got a big whiff of, yep, taco seasoning, just as I had suspected. The chips themselves are intensely covered with an red/orange color and a plethora of seasoning.

Lay s Crispy Taco Potato Chips 2

My first few bites were pretty uneventful. I only tasted taco seasoning. However, I was eating these with a friend who mentioned biting into a head of lettuce. I was very perplexed. But then, as I put another few in my mouth and focused, it hit me.

These are the Willy Wonka of potato chips! As in, instead of a three-course meal in one piece of chewing gum, these are potato chips that embody an entire crispy taco with all the toppings. Once you start chewing you get a little bit of the lettuce flavor then it morphs to the creaminess of some sour cream. I swear there were also tiny hints of cheese and tomato. The end of the bite turns into the common taco seasoning but you also get the meaty, ground beef flavor as well. There also seemed to be a bit of a corn taste representing the shell at the very, very end.

Lay s Crispy Taco Potato Chips 3

The more I ate these chips the more I liked them as it seemed like each time I would notice a new component in the flavor profile. The flavor is intense though, so I could only eat so many before it was too much to handle. I was also slightly concerned about succumbing to Violet Beauregarde’s fate and perhaps transforming into the world’s largest crispy taco that would have to be carted off somewhere for processing.

Even though my fingers are still crossed for Avocado Toast, these were fun and tasty. I’m sorry for suspecting they were made with just a simple seasoning packet, Lay’s.

I’ll never doubt you again!

(Nutrition Facts – about 15 chips – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.48
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Willy Wonka’s chewing gum in taco-flavored chip form. Multiple layers of flavor. Not judging a potato chip by its boring flavor name. Eating new chips with friends.
Cons: Lay’s pulling back the curtain on some of the Do Us a Flavor Competition while crushing dreams at the same time. Big flavor that is sometimes overpowering. Turning into a giant taco that can’t be simply juiced like a blueberry. RIP Avocado Toast. Not having emojis when you desperately need them.

REVIEW: Spicy Jalapeño Fritos

Spicy Jalapeno Fritos

Long live Fritos.

To misquote the legendary Braveheart, William Wallace:

“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our FRITOS!”

Now you might be thinking that only the brave of heart would dare try the new Spicy Jalapeño Fritos. Well, let me tell you something, cowardly sirs and madams, you’d be doing yourselves a disservice with that thought process.

When a new flavor of Fritos corn chips hits shelves, I hit the ground running. They might not drop with the frequency of their flashy brother Lay’s, but they’ve kept me quite happy over the years.

So with the assurance that Fritos have always been good to me, I grabbed their “newest” flavor with a ferocity that nearly popped the bag. I put “newest” in quotes because there have been Jalapeño Fritos varieties in the past, but these are new to me.

Spicy Jalapeno Fritos 2

After intentionally popping the bag, I was hit with a smell reminiscent of Taco Supreme Doritos. Remember those delicious bad boys?

The corn chips looked standard. They had a light coating of flavor dust, but that was almost undetectable to the naked eye.

The taste was distinctly jalapeño. They’re spicy, but not crazy spicy. I’m not one of those hot sauce aficionados who likes to marathon sweat when I eat, so I can imagine these being pretty tame to all you Spiceboys and Spicegirls. Whether your Taco Bell sauce is Mild or Diablo, I think they pack enough punch for all to enjoy, so spice up your life.

Spicy Jalapeno Fritos 3

I got down about half a bag and had to stop, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I can easily get lost in a bag of Fritos and polish it off in one sitting, so having to pace myself didn’t bother me one bit.

As I say that, it would be remiss of me not to mention the fact regular Fritos are super oily. They’re amazing, but they’re so oily there’s almost a layer of moisture on each chip. Despite being addictive, after awhile Fritos usually give me the dreaded agita. Spicy Jalapeño took care of that problem.

Spicy Jalapeno Fritos 4

The powdery coating and the spiciness of the jalapeño seemed to neutralize the usual oiliness of Fritos. I’m sure this isn’t actually the case, but I think this also affected the crunch. The bag I bought was perfection.

I’d confidently go on record saying these were the freshest Fritos I’d ever had.

I guess I should try to give you a gauge on the spiciness. I had no clue they even made Flamin’ Hot Fritos, so I unfortunately cannot compare it to those. Taking flavor out of the equation, I would say these were about on par with Spicy Nacho Doritos. I always enjoyed those, but could never eat as many as the originals. That’s where I landed with these.

The aftertaste will actually trick your brain into thinking you just had some Doritos. The good thing is it doesn’t linger very long. I wasn’t feeling any burn a few minutes later.

Again, I’m no Spicehead, so keep that in mind. Sure, I like jalapeño in my burritos, but I don’t get too adventurous beyond that. That’s a perfect level of spice for people like me, but they’re not exactly setting the Scoville Scale ablaze.

I have no problem saying these are my new favorite Fritos. Chili Cheese used to stand alone, but hi ho the derry-o, we have a new leader in the pack. Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a “Limited Edition” slapped on the bag, so these might be around for good. Get on it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz. – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 9.25 oz. bag
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Great jalapeño flavor. Spot on spice level for me. No usual Frito oiliness. No agita. Ideal crunch. Scoops variety next? These would make for a great walking taco. Spice Girls reunion?!
Cons: Spice bordered on overwhelming after awhile. Powder fingers. My inability to commit to a 10 score. My unawareness to Flamin’ Hot Fritos. Taco Supreme Doritos aren’t on my shelves anymore.