The Hungover Gourmet

 

Snack Chips, Crackers and Crisps –
Reviews by The Hungover Gourmet

I love snacks. That fact should be pretty obvious. You don't get to be universally known as "The Hungover Gourmet" without at least a little snacking jones.

During the extensive research and promotional tour for THG #6 we bought, sampled, enjoyed and spit out more than our fair share of snack chips, crackers, crisps, puffed things and stuff that was rumored to be edible.

In the spirit of sharing, here's a roundup – which we'll continue to update – of some of the items we've tried lately...

Have a snack review you'd like to share? Send it to us – with a scan or digital photo of the bag if possible – and we'll add it to the list!

Photo Name & Description Rating
Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Sundried Tomato & Basil Wheat Thins
I have been accused of over-hyping these crackers, so take my raves with a grain of salt. Or better yet, take them on a Sundried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thin with a slice of pepperoni and a sliver of cheese. I like swiss. I only found out about these babies because my father-in-law didn't like them and was trying to push them off on me. Thanks Fran. (Posted 3/23/06)
Four Stars
Plocky's Caribbean Bean Black Beans & Rice All Natural Corn Tortilla Chips
After the ugly Natty Boh and Red Bean & Rice incident I can attest that I might actually like the black bean chips even more. They're substantial, hold up to heaping helpings of salsa and sour cream, and the "all natural" quality makes you feel like you're not simply gorging yourself on some chemical-laced monstrosity. Frankly, I can't even eat the Tostito's Tortilla Chips with Lime after becoming fascinated with these babies. (Posted 3/23/06)
Four Stars
Plockys red Plocky's Louisiana Peppa Red Beans & Rice All Natural Corn Tortilla Chips
We bought these Plocky's chips while on one of our recent Wegmans excursions largely because they were "all natural" and seemed fairly reasonable at 2/$5. Who knew we were finding our latest snack obsession? Admittedly, I was rather drunk on no food and 87 Natty Bohs when I first tried the Red Bean and Rice chips, but my rating is backed up by Chris' sober and no-less enthusiastic rave as well as my own follow-up tastings. (Posted 3/23/06)
Four Stars
Previous Snack Reviews...
Nong Shim Shrimp Cracker
Deceptive snack that looks like a french fry but has the same gross, airy texture as Funyuns. Also has the same funky aroma as Baltimore's Inner Harbor at low tide on a hot summer day. In a word... heinous.

Instant Snack
My first reaction to this was "I'm not tryin' it." And this from a man who willingly ate something called Monkfish Liver. Is it a snack? Is it a breakfast cereal? All I know is, despite what the label said it was not hot. Nor was it good.

Eat Smart Chedd-Airs
While these look suspiciously like the packing peanuts I use to ship ebay purchases, I kinda enjoy their cheddary flavor and the initial CRUNCH they produce. What I don't like is they way they get kinda slimy if you let them sit on your tongue. Kinda like low fat cheese puffs (without the orange powder) they get high marks just because they're low-fat and edible.

Korean Cracker
Once again proving that she is much, much smarter than me, my wife refused to eat these – a decision based simply on the creepy octopus on the package wrapper. These leap-frog those snacks in the heinous category and go right to f-ing gross.

Utz Crab-Flavored Potato Chips
Totally addictive. Nice, crisp chips with just the right amount of Old Bay Seasoning. I could eat five bags of these right now.

Utz Red Hot Flavored Potato Chips
I like hot, but if you're gonna give me hot give me some flavor to go along with it. These things taste, well, I don't know how to describe it other than "fake." They're just hot. Not an enjoyable snacking experience.

Utz Carolina Style Bar-B-Q Flavored Potato Chips
These are the opposite side of the coin from the Utz Crab Flavored Chips mentioned above. The same flat, thin and crunchy chips, but the flavoring is bland for something that's supposed to be Bar-B-Q.


Crab


Hot & BBQ


Newman's Own Pretzels Hot Salt & Pepper Rounds
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a huge Paul Newman fan. THE STING, HARPER, BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID. 'Nuff said. He's also a nice guy based on the opinions of people I know who have met the man. That said, these are dry, kinda gross and have little "hot" bite to them. And while we're being honest, I really bought them because "Pa" Newman has devil horns on the front of the package.

Cheetos Crunchy Flaming Hot
Cheetos have always ranked low on my snack chart, way behind Bugles, Fritos, Doritos, etc. These are good but I'm not crazy about the color and I'm not going to go out of my way to have 'em.

Baken-Ets Hot'N'Spicy Fried Pork Skins
As a pork skin lover, I simply can't be impartial about these envelope-pushing microwavable snackies. It's like they took a rice cake and put fat all over it. They stink up the joint when you make 'em and they're kinda creepy, but I sorta dug 'em.

Herr's Heinz Ketchup Flavored Chips
I knew we were in trouble when we opened the bag and almost got knocked over by the rush of ketchup odor that burst out. It was like the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK when the ghosts turn mean and kill all the Nazis. Except it was ketchup. There's really nothing good about these and it was the first use of the paper towel to the tongue.

Yukon Gold Yogurt & Green Onion Chips
Thick chips that, yes, taste like creamy yogurt and green onion. As a sour cream and onion lover that's not necessarily a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Chris likes 'em but not enough to have more.

Rush Gourmet Jalapeno Flavored Fresh Potato Chips
Don't know what Rush Gourmet means, but everything else in the name is 100% accurate. These rippled, flavorful, spicy chips taste like they just came out of the fryer. Good, good, good. I've only found them at the White Trash Wal-Mart but I need more.

TGI Friday's Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins Snack Chips
Yet another checkout aisle impulse purchase, this time at Target. Completely uneventful eating experience, with just the faintest traces of cheddar and/or bacon flavor. Hardly the "big" cheddar and bacon taste the package promised. Perhaps I don't have enough crazy crap on my walls to truly enjoy these.

Two Cops Instant Snack
Easily the best packaging of any snack we've tried. Imagine MIAMI VICE if the two leads were played by an ear of corn and a piece of rice. Yeah, you'd watch that show, too. The snacks look like giant Crispix (a cereal I enjoy) and taste like lemon cake mix. In all, great packaging and a taste experience that didn't make me want to vomit like most of the other Korean snacks we tried.

Michael Season's Honey Barbecue Potato Chips
Thick chips filled with intense, but not overpowering flavor. The only drawback is that I have to go to the hippie-infested, touchy-feely Whole Foods grocery store to find these.

Michael Season's Chili Picante Potato Chips
After being wowed by their Honey Barbecue Potato Chips (see above) we were ready for another bold flavor experience. Unfortunately, these stray far from flavor country, making for a disappointing snack.


Honey BBQ


Chili


Nong Shin Cuttlefish Flavored Snack
Just smelling the contents of this bag caused my gag reflex to kick in, and that's never a good sign. Have that gross, airy Funyun-esque "flavor" that makes me ill.

Nong Shim Octopus Flavored Tako Chips
While the smell isn't as disturbing as the aforementioned Cuttlefish snacks, these have a fishy aftertase that is grim, Grim, GRIM! Let's put it this way... of all the snacks we had, these were the ones our dog loved the most.

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