CornNuts: Ranch flavor

Although I’ve had many corn-based snacks in my time, I’ve only had corn kernel snacks more recently. I’m not sure how I missed out, but I’ve been enjoying the concentrated corn flavor in general. Here’s the low-down on a ranch-flavored version of the popular CornNuts that I tried recently.

Taste
3 out of 5
The corn flavor of CornNuts in general is very strong, and they really overwhelmed the ranch flavor. If you sucked on them a bit you could taste it, but that’s not really my preferred way of eating snacks. Otherwise the flavor was fine.
Texture
4 out of 5
These were nice and crunchy, but that’s par for the course with corn kernel snacks. Good, but nothing unusual.
Healthiness
5 out of 5
About 132 calories per 1 oz serving, so a better than average.
Overall (not an average)
3 out of 5
These aren’t that special as far as corn kernel snacks go, and the ranch flavor was hard to taste. So despite the higher marks for texture and number of calories, this earns an average score overall.
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San Carlo: Passione Mediterranea

My previous post was about ketchup-flavored chips, but I had another bag of San Carlos chips on hand to provide another nice point of comparison. The San Carlos mustard-flavored chips were fantastic, so I was quite looking forward to these. They’re called “Passione Mediterranea” flavor, which I think we can safely assume means “Mediterranean passion”, and apparently “pomodorini di stagione” means “seasonal cherry tomatoes”. I’ve had “ketchup-flavored” chips before, but “tomato-flavored” was definitely something new. Here’s how they went down.

Taste
4 out of 5
These tasted great. Definitely not as salty or acidic as the ketchup-flavored chips from my previous post, but nice tomato flavor with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is similarly subtle as the mustard-flavored San Carlo chips, and similarly satisfying. As a matter of taste I prefer those, but these were quite enjoyable.
Texture
5 out of 5
As before, the chip is not too thin and not too thick. Substantial, but not greasy.
Healthiness
4 out of 5
As before, about 140 calories per 1 oz serving, so a bit better than the average.
Overall (not an average)
4 out of 5
Two great San Carlos chips in a row. This is making me want to visit Italy! I’m looking forward to the two other flavors I have on hand to try.
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Krach-itos: Ketchup flavor

Since I just blogged about two mustard-flavored chips, it seemed appropriate to review some ketchup-flavored chips next. Ketchup-flavored chips are fairly foreign to the US, but seem to be fairly common in other countries including Canada (these were from Argentina). I’m not sure why the company “Krach-itos” has a hyphen in its name, but in any case here’s the review.

Taste
2 out of 5
It may partly just be that these were ketchup-flavored, which I’m not used to, and they may have gotten a little beaten up during travel, but I found these to be overly salty and a bit too acidic. They do taste like ketchup, though. Much as I like ketchup on veggie burgers and fries, the appeal of ketchup-flavored chip is still somewhat lost on me.
Texture
2 out of 5
The texture was also subpar. Like a Ruffles chip, but thinner and greasier as a consequence.
Healthiness
3 out of 5
About 158 calories per 1 oz serving, so pretty much average.
Overall (not an average)
2 out of 5
These were novel, but I didn’t particularly enjoy them. It will be interesting to try some other ketchup-flavored chips to compare, but for now I’ve definitely had my fill.
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Kettle Chips: Honey Dijon

My last post was about some great mustard chips from Italy, so I thought it would be good timing to showcase some great mustard-flavored chips available stateside. I’m a fan of Kettle Chips in general, and their honey mustard flavored chips are pretty good. Here’s the breakdown:

Taste
5 out of 5
These are a solid honey mustard flavored chip. These have a more robust flavor than the San Carlo chips, but these have a good balance: not too sweet, and the mustard flavor is strong but not overpowering.
Texture
4 out of 5
Kettle chips are cut quite thick, but are nice and substantial. They tend to feel a bit on the greasy side, though, which is why I’m docking this a point.
Healthiness
3 out of 5
150 calories per 1 oz serving, so these are exactly average
Overall (not an average)
4 out of 5
Kettle chips are consistently great, and this is probably among my favorite flavors of theirs. An easy recommendation if you’re looking for a mustard-flavored chip.
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San Carlo: Fior di Senape (i.e. Mustard flavor)

Another new country makes its debut on this blog: chips from Italy! Based on its website it seems like San Carlo is a king among snack companies: the site is meticulously organized by type of chip, with each type also being given a mini-poem extolling its virtues (and apparently they even have a separate category for “kids’ chips”!). Anyway, my sister was so kind as to mail me four different varieties for me to sample, and the first one up was the mustard flavor. (Be sure to check out this awesome promo video for the chip as well.)

Taste
5 out of 5
I’m a fan of mustard (or honey mustard) chips, and these are definitely a level above the rest. Flavorful without being too subtle or too overpowering. Not too salty, not too greasy, and not too sweet. Pretty much top of the line taste.
Texture
5 out of 5
Almost as thin as a Lay’s chip, but much more substantial. Great crunch.
Healthiness
4 out of 5
At 140 calories per 1 oz serving, this is actually a bit better than the average.
Overall (not an average)
5 out of 5
These chips are pretty awesome and gets top marks. A chip that I won’t soon forget. I’m looking forward to trying out the other three flavors!
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Pehuamar: Palitos Salados

More South American chips, this time from Argentina. According to Google translate “palitos” means “sticks”, and “salados” means “salted”. These are indeed salty stick-shaped comestibles, so I think we can trust Google translate this time. 😉 Here’s how they went down.

Taste
4 out of 5
Apparently these are made out of wheat flour and vegetable oil and not much else. These actually tasted much more like what we in America would call a “cracker” rather than a “chip”, so despite their chip-like appearance it’s probably a bit of a stretch to include it on this site. But what the heck, they were quite tasty so I thought I’d go for it anyway. Although the ingredients say “vegetable oil”, these tasted quite like the olive oil crackers you might get at Whole Foods.
Texture
4 out of 5
Since these are so small, there’s more surface area to cracker so more salt and oil than an equal amount of crackers would be, giving it a more chip-like texture. Sort of an odd hybrid in terms of the texture, but I had no complaints.
Healthiness
3 out of 5
A 25g serving is 127 kCal, so that works out to 144 calories per 1 oz serving, which is just about average.
Overall (not an average)
4 out of 5
Despite its resistance to being able to be definitively classified, this chip/cracker hybrid was wholly enjoyable. Not quite worth the trek to Argentina to get them, but if I ever visit there I’ll know to keep a look out for them.
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Cornbits (aka Elotitos): Hot flavor

Next up, some chips from El Salvador by way of Texas. These are called “Cornbits”, and the package says they’re “cheese covered spicy fried corn”. I happened to have the “hot” flavor, although they really weren’t hot at all. Here’s how they went down.

Taste
4 out of 5
As I mentioned, these were supposed to be “hot” flavored, but the taste was reminiscent of regular nacho-flavored Doritos, so they weren’t that spicy at all. Still, since I’m a fan of Doritos these got a definite thumbs up from me.
Texture
4 out of 5
I don’t eat a lot of corn kernel snacks, but these are pretty typical in terms of the texture. A little greasy and the powder wasn’t as coated onto the kernels as normal, but no major complaints.
Healthiness
4 out of 5
They have a serving listed at 14g, which is about half of an ounce. So for a 1 oz serving, this is just 138 calories, which is a bit better than the average. One ounce is about 92 pieces of corn, which seems pretty generous for one serving (even though it’s probably not really, haha).
Overall (not an average)
4 out of 5
It’s too bad these are only available around Texas, because I would definitely get these again. It comes in a cute little package, and it’s a more compact way of getting your Doritos craving. Although they taste like Doritos, they do have a distinct taste (they’re perhaps a bit sweeter and less spicy), and they provide a nice alternative.
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