Chip Challenge: Crunch Crunch Crunch

by Scott Lydon

We've eaten British Kit Kats We've eaten Easter eggs. But today we're taking on the staple of snack foods that every human being must eat at one time or another: THE NOBLE POTATO CHIP!



Don't they look great? Sure are a lot better than those other snooty flavors a bunch of fancy-pants comedians reviewed. No, we're not jealous they did it first. We never even WANTED to review those chips. We wanted to review THESE chips from the START!

And after the jump, we will. See you inside.

Our eatin' team was well prepped for today's challenge. Jason Toon skipped lunch to be ready, and our department head even stopped by to see why were making so much noise… and then joined in! Had we known, we would have used the fine china and maybe washed our hands first.

At exactly one-thirty PM, the bags were ripped open, and the taste test was on.



Contestant One was Ruffles Ultimate: Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch. Strangely enough, that wouldn't be the longest name of the day. As you can see from the photo above, this chip was crunchy with just a teeny dash of spice, and there was a small debate if the ruffles would qualify as frequency or amplitude. But the chip itself was well received. 9/10.



Contestant Two was the Lay's Tapatio (with a hint of Limon!) and the first of our dramatic revelations. Writer Sam admitted he did NOT like Lay's! Had we known his clear bias, we NEVER would have let him in.

The judges thought the fruity lime blast was a nice addition to the spice, but thought the overall chip was too light. Jason mentioned that there was no way he could eat a whole bag of these, but no one was sure if that was a positive or a negative. 7/10.



Our fourth contestant a the marketing blitz of slogans and flavors. Doritos: Jacked: Ranch Dipped Hot Wings. Before today, no other chip needed to be cross-categorized. The big complaint were that these chips were super big, and impossible to eat in one bite. Even still, there were no complaints about the flavor, and conversation shifted to fond memories of awkward situations at childhood parties where Dorito fingers caused embarrassment. And that's gotta count for something, right? 7/10.



We did try to be fair by inviting Popchips to the party, but their Thai Sweet Chili Potato… well, the consensus was that this chip was just overreaching, and had some flavors nobody could identify, and not enough of them. But hey, all natural, right? Maybe they'll come back next year with their Salt and Vinegar a-game and sweep the whole thing. But not today. And not with this flavor. 5/10.



The controversial Lay's BLT was our penultimate challenger, but carried with it a very mixed reaction. Dave, the vegetarian, abstained. Jason, the mostly-vegetarian, said it was lacking in the LT flavor. Everyone agreed there was an overwhelming taste of bacon, but not real bacon, potato chip bacon. Overall, the clash didn't carry all the judges, but those who did enjoy it said they'd eat it again. 6.5/10.



And lastly, the Kettle Brand Fully Loaded Baked Potato. Smokey, cheesey, maybe hints of scallions, and- well, one of the judges spat hers in the trash can. A few of the judges liked this one, thanks to the crunchy firm slices, but those who hated it hated it. Much like the Popchips, a good idea with a not-so-good flavor. But come back next year, Kettle. You've got a future ahead of you. 5/10.

The winner, surprisingly, was the Ruffles Ultimate: Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch! In it's honor, the bag was consumed and then sent to a bronzing facility where it will be turned into a small trophy. And remember to keep an eye on the blog. The next time we get hungry, we'll share it!