Monday, September 22, 2014

Trader Joe's Ridge Cut Potato Chips With Sea Salt

When it's lunchtime, one of my favorite things to eat alongside a sandwich is baked beans. And the only proper way to eat baked beans is to take a ridged potato chip, dip it in, and munch. (Pringles will do in a pinch if there are no ridged chips, but the risk of all the beans falling off between bowl and mouth is much higher than can be considered ideal.) I have been doing this literally as long as I can remember. I don't suppose I was doing it in infancy, but I honestly can't remember a time when I didn't help myself to baked beans and potato chips with lunch when I could have them.

The gold standard of ridged potato chips is Wavy Lays. Or Ruffles. Rrrrrrrrrrrruffles have rrrrrrrrrrrrrridges, you know. (If you don't remember those commercials, you're too young.) I find them basically indistinguishable in taste, and suspect they're made identically--same factory and all--except for the die used to cut them.

Any brand of chip wanting to be king of my baked-bean hill has to compete against something like 40 years of ingrained habit and preference. Which isn't easy.

So, did TJ's offering manage to knock off the king?

No. Not even close. I did like their plain potato chips, which I tried at the same time, but not these. They were too firm--almost rock-hard--and brittle. Worse, lots of them were stuck together, making them double-thick and twice as hard to bite into. They weren't salty enough. There were too many little ones, not enough big ones. And they plain just didn't taste very good.

Will I buy it again? 

No. The king is still alive. Long live the king.

Nina's View

Bob's description of these is exactly right, which is a significant disappointment. I was hoping for something to compete with the kettle-cooked goodness of other brands *cough*CapeCod*cough*. But no. A significant TJ FAIL.

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