They’re lime and jalapeno-flavored Ruffles, of course, and the output of the first-ever “Chip Deal” between NBA All-Star Anthony Davis and Snack Food Company All-Star, Ruffles.
Why didn’t they name this a “partnerCHIP”? Talk about a missed opportunity.
Do I imagine, in my blind optimistic ignorance, Anthony Davis in a lab coat tasting chips and giving feedback like, “No, not enough lime. Season it more!”? Of course, I do. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Let’s assume that’s how these were made and pray that Ruffles will eventually release that B-roll footage as a media play.
How are they?
I have definitely taken down an entire bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips in my youth (also by Frito Lay), so I was hopeful the citrus flavor would hold up in this version.
The chips appear evenly seasoned with “Lime and Jalapeno seasoning” that includes visible green flecks, which I’m assuming are dehydrated jalapenos and spices. I was also impressed with how remarkably accurate the front of pack picture was. I had several chips inside my bag that looked identical in seasoning coverage.
The upfront flavor is exactly what lime-chip lovers would expect, bright, fresh, clean citrus flavor that makes your mouth water but also leaves you wanting another chip indefinitely forever. Mmmm…delicious addiction.
The jalapeno flavor tastes like peppers, not just heat, which is something not all “hot” chips get right. The lime flavor passes to the pepper flavor for the assist and leaves you with a lingering natural heat. Perfect.
Is there anything else you need to know?
This release came with three exclusive bag designs, and a sneaker called the Ruffles Ridge Tops. Ruffles has teased in several press releases that we can expect to see more from the A.D./Ruffles Chip Deal, and I have to say, they’re off to a solid start.
These chips are a slam dunk. Yes, I heard your eyes roll just now. But, unless you hate lime-flavored things, these are worth a try. They’re nicely balanced and aren’t artificial tasting at all. Anthony Davis signed his name to a good one here.
Purchased Price: 2/$5 special Size: 8.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (14 chips/28g) 150 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
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.
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.
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.
As an ice chewer, I am all about crunchy goodness. So, Ruffles “new” Double Crunch chips are right in my wheelhouse.
The “new” is in quotes because Ruffles launched very crunchy chips a couple of times before with Ultimate and Deep Ridged lines. It even secured two U.S. patents for the “chip’s ornamental design,” and 24+ prototypes were created to land on this specific crunchy form that incidentally looks like the chevron design on Charlie Brown’s shirt.
Full disclosure, I haven’t tried the previous iterations. But, I see it as it as a blank slate!
This version even leans into the same “2x” claim but instead of saying “Ridges 2x As Deep,” it reads “2x The Crunch.” The fine print indicates that it’s only versus original Ruffles, so that’s kind of disappointing.
But, it is dang crunchy though. It’s so much so that you probably don’t want to eat this in class or work cubicle because someone will side-eye you for being too noisy. The chip itself is very kettle chip-like down to the smell (slight stale oil eau de parfum), which makes sense because that’s how it’s cooked as noted on the back panel. I don’t smell either the Zesty Cheddar or Hot Wings seasoning. Take that at face value based on your own preferences! I don’t mind either way.
The Zesty Cheddar is basically like a saltier Cheddar & Sour Cream. I was so surprised by the saltiness that I immediately went to check the nutrition facts but learned that both flavors have the same amount of sodium. Unless the salt was supposed to be the zesty part, I didn’t get a kick either. Disappointing.
On the flipside, I enjoyed the Hot Wings variety! It’s like a true buffalo wing flavor dancing on my taste buds with a touch of tanginess followed by this creaminess that I can only describe as eating a side of celery with ranch. I don’t know if my mind was playing tricks on me because it tasted so similar to actual wings that I imagined the actual eating experience with sides and all. I didn’t find it THAT spicy but could see folks finding this a bit on the spicier side.
These Ruffles do indeed have some crunchy r-r-r-ridges, but not quite consistent flavors!
Purchased Price: $3.00 each Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 (Zesty Cheddar) Rating: 8 out of 10 (Hot Wings) Nutrition Facts: (about 10 chips) Zesty Cheddar – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Hot Wings – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Ah yes, mozzarella and marinara – the Italian M&M’s.
Actually, in my case, it’s “mutzadel and madanada.” I make no apologies for the way I pronounce these words.
Not to further sound like a stereotype but I’ve probably eaten mozzarella and marinara more than any food in my lifetime. Between pizza, Sunday sauce* dinners, mozz sticks, fresh mozzarella balls, meatball subs, etc. I was practically raised on ’em. If I had my own food pyramid, mozzarella and marinara based foods would have a section and said section would probably be right beside potato chips. (I never said I had the healthiest diet.)
As much as I love all the foods mentioned, I’m not an elitist snob about it. I still enjoy chain pizza, string cheese, or your run of the mill fast food mozzarella stick. For all these reasons, I felt like I would be a great judge for Ruffles’ Mozzarella ‘N Marinara chips.
Right out of the gate, these chips nail the smell. I got all the elements I wanted –- tomato sauce, cheesy tanginess, and a bit of onion and garlic. It was a good start.
The taste absolutely delivered on that smell.
There’s a tangy flavor that for a split second that actually reminded me of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. The cheddar quickly morphed into a milder mozzarella flavor. That flavor is definitely more along the lines of a Polly-O/Sargento/Belgioioso store-bought cheese, but like I said, I like em all. Oh, and cheddar is listed in the ingredients if you’re wondering.
The tomato sauce flavor rides the line perfectly. It doesn’t overpower the mozz in any way and actually takes a backseat to what I assume are Italian breadcrumb flavors. Even though these aren’t technically called, “mozzarella stick,” they taste like ’em to me. The Italian style herbs, garlic, onion, and parsley flavors you expect from the fried outer coating are all there.
The aftertaste is distinctly that of a mozzarella stick dipped in a cup of marinara. The flavors are perfect, but if I have one complaint it’s that I could have used even more of it.
I don’t normally want my chips saturated in finger-painting flavor dust, but I could’ve used even more of a coating. This is a very minor nitpick.
While mozzarella sticks are obviously an opposing texture, the ridged Ruffles were the best choice for this flavor. Regular Lay’s style chips would have been too flimsy and greasy. Plus, as a dumb child who choked on mozzarella sticks on numerous occasions, these are much safer to eat!
I’m struggling to find many other complaints. Besides wanting a tad more flavor, I did get a little agita after eating about four servings of these, but you gotta expect a little agita after eating mutzadel and madanada.
These were exactly as advertised for me. Cheddar and Sour Cream are in my pantheon of great chips, and I loved the All Dressed variety, but these might be my new favorite Ruffles.
(Nutrition Facts – about 11 chips – 150 calories 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $4.29 Size: 8.5 oz. bag Purchased at: Stop & Shop Rating: 9 out of 10 Pros: Extra crispy mozzarella sticks. One of the better flavor translations Frito Lay has done. Not as big a choking risk as real mozzarella sticks. Reminds me of all my childhood favorites. Cons: A little agita. Could probably use more flavor dust. *I don’t wanna hear your crazy “gravy” arguments.
I have to admit I went into this review with a small bias, as “Flamin’ Hot” is a very familiar Frito-Lay flavor for me. I am a big Flamin’ Hot Cheetos fan, being second only to Tapatio Doritos on my spicy chip tier list. What? Don’t tell me you don’t have a spicy chip tier list!
Based on the friendly flame mascot and smoldery font that is identical to the branding from Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, I assumed I was in for standard Ruffles blasted with the same atomic red seasoning.
Upon opening the bag that is exactly what I discovered. My chips were in good shape, with most of them whole. This was a good sign for a delicious, evil experiment I had planned for them.
The chips themselves pack the standard Flamin’ Hot heat (not too over the top, but a little much for spicy wimps). The distribution of dust was a little light for my liking, but I’m a bit of a spice fiend, so most will probably find them quite balanced.
So how does this tried and true seasoning fair on crispy, fried potatoes? Oh my, Chester Cheetah better watch out. The Ruffles are probably on about equal footing with Cheetos as vessels for Flamin’ Hot dust. Things get interesting, however, when you consider the versatility of Ruffles.
The one shortcoming of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is they’re a bit one-dimensional. It’s a straightforward chili powder type of spice without much variety or depth. However, with their sturdy ridges and wide surface area, Ruffles are tailor-made to combat this problem because you can dip them. Remember that delicious, evil experiment I mentioned earlier?
When I was at the grocery store picking up these bad boys, I realized that many of the tried and true potato chip flavors all had something in common: sour cream. Through all the promotional and crazy flavors Lay’s ships out, I can remember Cheddar & Sour Cream and Sour Cream & Onion even since I was little. Even plain Ruffles beg to be dunked in french onion dip.
Let’s just say I did a dollop of Daisy with these suckers, and the bag quickly grew lighter. The combination felt natural and right. The sour cream cut through the somewhat bland spice to create a cool balance. Maybe Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and sour cream would be just as good, but that just doesn’t sit quite as well in my head. Ruffles have ridges for a reason!
(Nutrition Facts – 11 chips – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 323 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.50 Size: 8/5 oz. bag Purchased at: Albertson’s Rating: 8 out of 10 Pros: Classic Flamin’ Hot flavor translates well. A new contender for the top of my spicy chip tier list. Dippability. Cons: Chips themselves are a bit one dimensional. Getting greasy red smears on my notebook.
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.)
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.