March 22, 2014

Maple Bacon chips

Good news: I'm back after an extended gastromalaise that kept me from reviewing anything for the better part of nine months.

Better news: Maple Bacon Kettle Brand Chips snapped me out of said extended malaise.

The best news: The kettle chips are just a warm-up for the new Mount Everest of cheap food reviewing, which comes out later this week. That would be Taco Bell's upcoming Waffle Taco, which I'm anticipating as eagerly as anything in my storied fast-food-reviewing history.

Taco Bell is scheduled to bring the Waffle Taco out Thursday, and I'll have something on it as soon as possible. In the meantime, let's talk about these Maple Bacon Kettle Brand Chips, which I decided to pick up last week when I learned March 14 was National Potato Chip Day.

This photo had to be cropped aggressively because my messy fingers found their way into the picture.

Kettle Brand chips have been on my radar for a while now. Not only did they seemingly manage to co-opt the copyright for the best name in potato chips, they're using it to roll out fascinating flavor after fascinating flavor. There's Spicy Thai, Sweet and Salty, and even Cheddar Beer.

Kettle's website says the company works to pioneer "bold, unique flavors that people really seem to love." It also says the company started selling chips out of a van, which really gets my motor going.

It was tough to decide whether to try Maple Bacon or Cheddar Beer, but one bite told me I'd made the right choice. Maple Bacon starts out with this sugary punch that never devolves into too much syrupy sweetness. Then the bacon undertones start to creep in. They grow stronger and stronger as you eat on, but that maple is just powerful enough to make sure the meat doesn't hog the scene.

This is a dangerous combination. There's no other way to put it. You could finish the entire bag in one sitting. I managed to stretch it to three, but only after exhausing far too much willpower.

Required willpower is one of the few drawbacks to these chips. Another is that they get your fingers messy. Good luck doing anything other than eat them while you're eating them.

Those aren't terrible drawbacks for potato chips, though. So I have some great news for Kettle Brand chips. Their Maple Bacon variety gets five out of five sporks.

And I'm ready for the Waffle Taco.

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