Chip on Chips, The Reckoning

You’ve waited long enough, here it is, a new lineup of chips that have passed these lips and made this keyboard unspeakably greasy. Strap in for more of my hot takes on fried snack foods you almost certainly eat straight out of the bag. If you haven’t read my reviews before I can get you up to speed, I love potato chips. I hate phony claims and dubious marketing. I believe chips are an acceptable drug if you’re in shape and a possibly unhealthy food addiction if you’re not. I myself am strung out on potato chips, especially the good ones but I  play it like I merely enjoy them. I think people should enjoy them for the indulgence they are, If anybody should be ashamed, it’s greedy chip manufacturers for turning a legal high into a crass profit grab that potentially makes us as a population less healthy and less happy. What I want are chips that deliver taste, crunch, and satisfaction. Especially if I’m going all out consuming all those calories and dropping the Oxford comma. Otherwise I’m getting fat for nothing.

Rusty’s Island Chips

Let’s talk about the most obvious thing going on with these chips, the packaging. I’m not talking about the color scheme, that’s pretty whack, no I’m talking about the transparency. Let’s face it, I usually actually see the chips I’m eating for a fleeting moment before I stuff a handful of them down my maw. With Rusty’s you can choose a bag that looks good and leave a lame bag behind. Now you might think in the cutthroat potato chip game you’d be taking an awful risk of people seeing your bag with all the busted chips on the bottom and passing on to a different brand. That would be a fair assumption to make of Rusty’s chips, except you don’t see many busted chips or crumbs in this transparent bag with the whack colors on it.

Rusty’s Island Chips… TO DEATH

These potato chips don’t look any different than other kettle chips. The difference becomes apparent when you start crunching Rusty’s Island Chips.  Somehow Rusty’s have engineered fried potatoes into matrices of extreme durability. I’m not gonna lie I love a crunchy chip but I think Rusty’s is going for some kind of record. A wooden hammer might not be able to pulverize these chips without taking serious damage. Something you can’t see when peering through the transparent packaging but it explains why there are so few crumbs on the bottom of the bag. Now I’m willing to admit to being the novice here. Perhaps strengthening your teeth is an essential part of potato chip enjoyment that I’ve been missing out on all these years. Frequent readers of my reviews know I shun dips, perhaps these chips need to be softened with a tangy chip sauce. The chips are tasty, with an earthy, satisfying flavor. It’s just that if you created a hardness/crunchiness scale for chips you would have to put Rusty’s at one end on the extreme margin, like an outlier. Perhaps people have been making chips in this fashion on Rusty’s Island for generations. It certainly makes Rusty’s Island Chips stand out. Hard to say whether I’ll go for it again but if I do at least I’ll know I consented to it this time.


1OZ Contains:

5g Fat

2g Protein

130 Calories.

Kettle Brand Avocado Oil Chips

All right Kettle Brand, calm down please. I get it, you’re thrilled to be offering avocado oil chips with, let me just put on my reading glasses here, Himalayan Salt? Are you guys fucking with us? The avocado oil is pretty cool I get it, it’s healthier supposedly, tastier most likely and a natural source of the kinds of oils you’d need to be a bear to get in your diet naturally. You know, because of the salmon, assuming there are any salmon left in the world although not for long it would appear. In part, perhaps, because the good folks at Kettle want you to believe that your salt has to come from an elevation of 12,000 feet and then mined, trucked, packaged and shipped to their plant at unspeakable environmental cost where they add this pink, rare-earth salt to your avocado oil chips and suddenly you’re one with Annapurna go fuck yourselves Kettle.

What are you trying to say Kettle®?

I honestly don’t know what the value of Himalayan salt is, I missed the Coachella tent that had the pamphlet about how Himalayan salt is tastier, earthier or contains nanograms of desirable configurations of minerals you can’t get from salt of other parts of the Earth. I’m not ready to Google it either because either way including Himalayan salt in your package of Avocado oil chips makes the whole enterprise look crass and makes us look like idiots. If you want to compare Kettle Brand avocado oil chips with Good Health Natural Foods’ avocado oil chips Kettle loses, big time. The chips are not as tasty, crispy, crunchy, or flavorful. Kettle’s avocado oil chips taste a little better than their regular chips, but not by much. I think it’s the Himalayan Salt that’s pissing me off. It’s like they’re saying yeah we have avocado chips but screaming WITH PINK HIMALAYAN SALT.  In a more libertarian world I imagine Kettle Brand making health claims like: “Himalayan salt when combined with Avocado oil creates a symbiotic synthesis with salt with immeasurable health benefits and the oil from a plant that’s packed with megafauna nutrients that makes these chips cure all your cancers. That’s probably unfair to the good folks at Kettle, but not as unfair as these cynical chips. Sorry Kettle, you should have tried to beat Good Health Natural Foods chips on the merits, not some weird claim about the salt coming from the roof of the world. If it does anything for the flavor of these chips it is pure placebo. In a six ounce bag you get .69 grams of sodium so I’m guessing there’s 420 milligrams of other Himalayan minerals that provide dubious health benefits..

Here it is copied and pasted from the source.

Calories 780 Sodium 690 mg
Total Fat 36 g Potassium 2,520 mg
Saturated 6 g Total Carbs 102 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 6 g
Monounsaturated 24 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 12 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Potato Chips

If you’re ever in a Trader Joe’s and you’re looking for chips you’ll be glad you write a potato chip blog. So guys, guess where I was last week? In a Trader Joe’s up in Petaluma. I figured I’d play their game and buy the only brand of chips in the store. So here we go, bag open, easy peas. I love it. Dig in, these chips are good. Very nice. Right crisp, good earthy flavor, a clean and not greasy finish, a solid bag . I’m going to be talking some shit about Trader Joe’s so I hope everybody understands Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Potato Chips is definitely a winner in the snack game. They’re a tiny slip away from the Good Health Natural Foods’, who crush it by the way, but guess what you’re in Trader Joe’s so you’re getting these chips.

If the company store had Kettle Chips

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Trader Joe’s had a good-looking bag of kettle chips a Salt and Pepper variety but of course one peek at the label and sure enough it has onion and garlic powder and some sort of brewer’s yeast. Salt and pepper chips are amazing, they’re quite good when done right. All you have to do to do it right is not include ingredients other than salt or pepper. That’s so easy even Trader Joe’s could pull it off. We’ve already established Trader Joe’s baseline chip is really good. But in a shop the size of a Trader Joe’s and with only one brand of literally everything you don’t get to choose. Trader Joe’s made or contracted out to be made some really good chips. But putting onion and garlic in a bag labeled Salt and Pepper, that’s weak. It says you don’t have confidence in the taste of your chips which is weird because you’ve got good chips cooked in olive oil. Why you’d dust them with a bunch of flavor-masking ingredients like yeast and garlic is a profound mystery Bottom line I wouldn’t go out of my way for these chips like I would Good Health Natural Foods or Deep River, but if I’m dragged into a Trader Joe’s just know that I’ll be OK, so long as they didn’t sell out of their original Olive Oil Potato Chips.

Nutritionally speaking each ounce of these chips contain:

Fat 7g

Protein 2g

Calories 140


You open this bag you expect a dixieland band jump out and start playing. Zapp’s is New Orleans’ brand of potato chips and judging by the taste the folks down there in crescent city actually have it pretty good down there with regards to kettle chips. Crime, corruption, Katrina-related gentrification and racism, not so much, but goddamn these kettle chips would be almost worth it. I think there’s an earthiness to these chips, kinda like every so often you’d get a chip in a bag of Lay’s that would taste a bit different and your first thought would be like oh man this chip has a totally different vibe than the rest of the bag but after you finish eating the bag you’re thinking man that one chip was pretty good I wish there were more. Zapp’s is like a bag of those chips in a really good way.

Zapp’s is a reminder that New Orleans is where the good food is at.

Zapp’s feels like an appropriate chip for a city like New Orleans–although let’s face it there really isn’t another city like New Orleans–a city with a reputation for good food, excellent drink, profound party conversation and endless indulgence. Yeah you right Chip, where do I score a bag? How I did it was I went to Ike’s. Ike’s makes sandwiches that get featured on cable tv so they must know something about what chips they’re pairing with it. But Zapp’s are not ubiquitous around these here parts. You can order them online from their website. I don’t know if it’s worth the effort. I don’t know if having these chips easy to get from a lot of different corner stores would somehow diminish Zapp’s. Like you gotta find them and that makes them good. Maybe just being in New Orleans is what it takes. If you’re on the fence between say, visiting Miami and visiting New Orleans I’d say go to New Orleans because of Zapp’s. It got me thinking maybe San Francisco needs its own brand of kettle chip. Good Health Natural Foods would be a clear choice but they’re based out of North Carolina. Zapp’s is nice to have on your radar though. I’m sure I’ll pick up another bag as soon as I see one, they’re easy to spot just hard to find. So be on the lookout for Zapp’s. Maybe they’ll hear about Chip on Chips and send me some bags. I’d definitely enjoy them. @kliksf on twitter guys *holds hand up like it’s a phone and mouths the words “tweet me”

One ounce of these chips here gots:

8 grams of fat.

17 grams of carbohydrates

2 grams of protein.

1 gram of fiber.

That’s all my body can handle for now. If want to see how your favorite chips stand up to the greats feel free to point me in the direction of some good chips. My only caveat, they can only be flavored with salt and/or pepper. But if you’re hip some small brand that’s killing it, or hey maybe you even have come chips in the game. Hit me up. As long as you’re talking about honest chips, I think you’ll like what I have to say. Until next time, keep snacking and try to get some exercise.