We’re in the heart of fall, which means everything we review must be pumpkin. I kid, of course. Not everything has to be pumpkin. It just so happens that a lot of the stuff we’ve been reviewing lately is pumpkin. But that’s because most of the limited edition snacks and beverages out now are pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavored. Today’s pumpkin offering is, I think anyway, one of the more unique pumpkin items available this year: pumpkin seed tortilla chips. We found them when we were wandering around Aldi looking for appropriate snacks for our fall party. Unfortunately Simply Nature is an Aldi exclusive brand, so if there isn’t an Aldi store near you you’re going to have to sit this one out. Or have a friend or family member who does have a local Aldi go and buy it for you. Without giving away too much of the review before the “read more” cut, I will say that they’re worth the effort.
Last week I reviewed two of the four 2015 Lay’s Do Us a Flavor finalists: Southern Biscuits and Gravy and Greektown Gryo. The Southern Biscuits and Gravy fared fairly well and the Greektown Gyro…did not. But there are still two more flavors to take into consideration before voting! This week I’ll review New York Reuben and West Coast Truffle Fries.
Yes, it’s that time of year again; when Lay’s hands their development department over to the public and lets us decide what their new flavor will be. Something I noticed the other day while in the chip aisle at the store is that the first two winners of the “Do Us a Flavor” contests were largely cheese based. The 2013 winner was Cheesy Garlic Bread and the 2014 winner was Bacon Mac and Cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but cheese flavored chips have already been around for awhile; sour cream and cheddar is a potato chip staple. Perhaps just out of chance, or perhaps out of conscious effort to not have another cheese chip win, there are no cheese flavored chips in the finals this year. Something that definitely seems like a conscious decision this year was to add location modifiers to the flavor names. This year’s finalists are: Greektown Gyro, West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and New York Reuben. Whether they did this to try and lend some sort of authenticity, to pit places against each other, or just because they thought it sounded good I am unsure.
Since there are 4 chips to review I decided to break this up into two different posts instead of making it one huge one. This week’s post will review the Greektown Gryo and the Southern Biscuits and Gravy.
Tortilla chips are a party snack classic. They’re strong enough to hold up dips of pretty much any kind, but mild enough in flavor to let said dip shine. And yet they also have enough of their own flavor to be yummy eaten on their own. Tortilla chips bought at the store are usually pretty good (though some are better than others. Perhaps we’ll have a snack report comparison about it one of these days), but tortilla chips at Mexican restaurants are usually even better. That’s because most places make their chips fresh from scratch. And is the case with almost all food stuffs, fresher is better.
Making tortilla chips from super scratch involves making tortillas from scratch. While probably awesome, making fresh tortillas is a bit too much work for this particular application. That’s why this is a cheat code; it’s halfway between totally from scratch and straight up store bought.
Luckily, despite soft tortillas from scratch involves multiple ingredients and special equipment, making tortilla chips only requires three ingredients and standard kitchen equipment.
The other day Erik and I were at the grocery store, shopping for supplies for dinner. We were going to make nachos (more on that to come later). As we strolled down the chip aisle we made a horrific discovery: tortilla chips are stupidly expensive. Even on sale they were more than we thought they should be. Wondering what to do, we decided to check out the aisle that had tortillas, thinking maybe we would have to make our own. That was where we found the Mission tortilla chips (they also have rounds and strips, but we chose the triangles).