Product Review: Maple Bacon and Sweet & Salty Kettle Chips! »
Say what you will about the “hipster” movement over the last few years, but there is a silver lining in the black-Levi’s-with-keys-on-a-carabiner-dangling-from-a-belt-loop cloud. So-called “foodies” have been putting bacon on everything, which is pretty disgusting and unfortunate, but it’s provoked vegan and vegan-friendly food chemists to create some more mock-bacon food stuffs. The bacon craze has always been weird to me; even in my non-vegan days, I never understood the infatuation. I’ve even seen Torani, the company that makes sugary syrups for your coffee beverages, add a “bacon” flavor to their lineup. Seriously dudes? Bacon-flavored coffee? But I digress.
Kettle Brand certainly isn’t the first potato chip company to take a crack at bacon flavor, but as a company who is proud to stamp their bags with “GMO-free” labeling and as a company that knows what “vegan” means, I was pretty excited to try their new summer flavors, Maple Bacon and Sweet & Salty.
If you’re one of the many vegans who couldn’t care less about finding a bacon replacement, then these Maple Bacon chips are actually going to be right up your alley. They were incredibly delicious—they just weren’t bacony. At all. They tasted more in line with K.C. Masterpiece BBQ-flavored Lays, but with Kettle Brands’ better chip as the base. Plus, I can guarantee, with no prior research, the fine folks at Lays probably go to the same country clubs as the fine folks at Monsanto. Again, I digress.
After eating the Maple Bacon chips, I became curious as to what the Sweet & Salty were going to taste like, because that name easily could have gone to the bacon chip, and no one would be the wiser. The Sweet & Salty, however, are WAY sweet. Like, almost as sweet as I am (awww, also I’m single, just kidding (no I’m not)). My vegans-of-Instagram pal Chris, aka @dinotheman, said it best: “Imagine chips with a hint of pineapple flavor and [there] you have it.”
These chips should be already on your grocer’s shelves, just in time for summer cookouts, or in my case, dinner. I’ve eaten entire bags of chips in one sitting before and I’m not ashamed to admit it. They’re both a must-try and please let us know what you think! Kettle Brand deserves a Lays-sized display in the chip aisle. Say no to Monsanto. Monsan-no.
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, California. He co-created and contributes to a Rhode Island-based hip-hop website, The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.
Aw, Chips: “Too nice” bobcat kitten doesn’t fear humans enough to live in the wild »
Remember little Chips, the bobcat kitten who was rescued after a fire in the Sierras in August? She was taken to Sierra Wildlife Resuce by firefighters whom she was following around, rubbing against their giant boots. Poor little orphan! Look at how tiny she was!
Now she’s a bigger girl, but she’s also entirely too desensitized to humans to live successfully in the wild. She has to learn how to feed and care for herself, and fear humans, because humans are collectively terrible jerks who will not be kind to a friendly bobcat.
She’s being desensitized with the help of two other rescued bobcats, Tuffy, who was hit by a car, and Sierra, who was abandoned by his mother. The Sacramento Bee reports the trio will be released in the spring. In the meantime, good luck turning into a proper wild animal, Chips! Get mean, you adorable, beautiful fluffball!
Product review: Rhythm Superfoods’ kale chips win; sweet potato chips do OK »
I’m a broken record about my love for bears, but did you know that I also enjoy snacks? I’m talking chips, cookies, and crackers, not so much any sort of healthy food, like fruit (blech) repurposed as snack food. Given the choice, I’ll usually choose the trans fats, the high sugar content, the empty calories.
Rhythm Superfoods provides the best of both worlds: filling my crunchy snacky urge and giving me less gas than Frito-Lay products. Rhythm Superfoods produces raw, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO snacks. To me, a person who grew up on Twinkies and Cheeto dust, that’s not exactly promising.
They sent a nice box with a bag each of Zesty Nacho kale chips and Sea Salt sweet potato chips. I popped open the sweet potato chips first. Although the chips were perfectly seasoned, I think the oil-free quality of the chips made them less than crispy. I don’t enjoy a bendy, chewy chip. I need CRUNCH, motherfuckers!
Although the kale chips were rather crumbled from their trip in the box to me, they saved the day. Crunchy with a cheesy flavor from being smothered in nutritional yeast, I ate the entire bag in one sitting (which is only two servings, sadly). Rhythm rekindled my passion for the kale chip, to be honest. And now we are involved in the most sordid of love affairs: snaxploitation.
Kettle Brand Salsa Picante Tias = JUST LIKE DORITOS BUT EVEN MORE DELICIOUS! »
I totally thought I was original in being like THESE KETTLE BRAND TIAS CHIPS IN SALSA PICANTE ARE VEGAN DORITOS but I’m not. DAMMIT ALL, QUARRYGIRL! WAY TO SCOOP MY LAZY ASS YET AGAIN!
These fuckers deserve a wider audience because DAMN THEY TASTE JUST LIKE DORITOS. Only classier and even more delicious, IF THAT WAS POSSIBLE. I missed Doritos like I miss Costco birthday cakes (you know what’s up! It’s just sugary lard and I gotta have it! Or had to have it, really my arteries thank me, and so do my taste buds, but memories are a powerful thing!) so this shit is heaven-sent. Bust out a bag, some beer, and the season premiere of Breaking Bad (SO GOOD GOD I HATE WALTER WHITE WHAT IS HIS WHITE-ASS PROBLEM) and let all your troubles ease away! Or increase, that show is fucking stressful.
Finally, you can find Kettle Brand Salsa Picante Tias at Whole Foods, Rainbow, Safeway, in my bed, etc.
Here’s a coupon for $1-off the chips at Whole Foods, too! It looks like this:
Just scroll down the page, lazy!
Product review: Lydia’s Kale Krunchies! »
Remember that lecture your mom gave you when you were a kid about how it’s better to pour your servings out into a bowl or individually-portioned baggie before chowing down? Your Mom never tried Lydia’s Kale Krunchies.
A food that we don’t bother pouring into a bowl speaks more to its unspeakable goodness rather than, say, our innate inability to wait until we can get to a proper serving vessel. It’s undeniable that kale chips are a messy endeavor; whether baked or dehydrated, the toppings inevitably cascade off the chunks of shriveled greens onto your face, clothing, and sustainably designed floor, and to avoid spillage should probably be served in a sensible bowl.
Lydia’s kale chips defy sensibility—there’s no logical reason why her curly greens doused in a nuts-and-spices purée should taste so out-of-this-world good, but sweet lord they do. While I have enjoyed various versions of kale chips served by friends, ex-lovers, LA’s Flore Vegan, and the cafe at my raw vegan workplace, the Tree of Life in Patagonia, Ariz., and I can honestly say Lydia’s kale chips are hands-down the best chips around.
My favorite blend is Herbs de Provence— the delicate, herb-infused flavor reminds me of summering in the south of France with my family. That’s right, I’m high class! Now excuse me while I spend 20 minutes scrubbing these kale crumbs from underneath my fingernails. Here’s to low-calorie, ethical, messy cuisine!