Monday, December 2, 2013

Clancy's Baked Cheddar and Sour Cream Ripples


A picture of a bag of this stuff, cowardly stolen from the internet.
In the world of chips, I much prefer the fatty, greasy, fried potatoes as opposed to the lighter, “healthier” baked options.  But for the sake of variety, I like to switch things up every now and again, which is what lead me to Clancy’s Baked Cheddar and Sour Cream Ripples potato chips.  Since ripples are my favorite style of chip, and cheddar and sour cream is my favorite flavor, I thought ‘What could go wrong’?  Hindsight is 20/20...

I was first off-put by the smell, which I guess is pretty much what you would expect out of a product that somehow has fifty ingredients--it pretty much smells like a factory.  There’s nary a hint of cheddar, or sour cream in the scent profile, which is never a good thing when that’s the flavor of chip you’re about to eat.  It just smells…processed.  Bitter.  Take your pick; it’s anything but inviting.  But hey, there are plenty of things that smell terrible that still taste good, so this is just a small knock…right?

Thankfully the looks put my fears at ease, at least temporarily.  A lot of the chips are absolutely covered in cheese powder, which is something I was not at all expecting.  Far too often baked chips skimp out on the flavor, giving you a light sprinkle of flavoring in an effort to once again remind you that you’re eating something semi-healthy.  One thing you can say:  Clancy’s is definitely generous with the cheese…it’s all over the place!  Now with a rejuvenated interest in the processed product, I hunkered down and took a bite…

The chips have a satisfying crunch, which is about the only positive thing I have to say about the taste aspect.  And don’t think that I’m holding these to the standards of a normal greasy, fried chip; I have had some very good baked chips in my day, even from Clancy themselves.  Like Alexander’s bad day, these are terrible, horrible, and no good.  The cheese powder does give you a flavor that slightly resembles cheese, but I had a hard time detecting even the slightest bit of sour cream, unless that was the nasty, processed aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for far too long.  Speaking of taste, for this being a ‘potato’ chip, I couldn’t even detect the slightest bit of potato, as the chip base tastes more akin to a cracker, than a chip.

I packed these for my lunch at work all week, and whereas I usually have no problems sticking to what I packed, I kept trying to find excuses to buy food rather than force these things down my throat.  About a quarter of the bag ended up in the trash, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t finish a bag of chips.  They single-handedly took the fun out of lunch, and that is the first time I’ve ever had anything like that happen.  In case you can’t tell, this is something I will never buy again, and if you’re in the market for baked chips, I strongly advise you to find an alternative.

Overall: 2/10.  The chips do get some marks because of value (a full-sized bag goes for under $2), and the chips are absolutely smothered in cheese powder, but those are about the only positives I can even dig up.  If the scent doesn’t turn you off, the flavor will, which tastes pretty much as you’d expect from potato chips made in a factory; there’s nary the taste of sour cream to be found, and the chip itself tastes more like a cracker.  One of the few Aldi products I can say with utter certainty that I will never buy again, so I highly recommend you look elsewhere, too.

10 comments:

  1. I'm not at all a fan of baked potato chips so these chips wouldn't be on my radar, although I do like a bag of Lays cheddar and sour cream potato chips once in awhile. They're so expensive though, I don't get them very often ( last time I got them I think I paid $2.50 for a regular size bag "on sale" ). Its a shame I can't seem to find this flavor in a generic brand. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough LOL.

    While we're on the subject of chips/crackers, do yourself a favor and stay away with the Aldi brand of Cheez-Its (i think the box states "cheddar snack crackers" like other generic brands of cheezits). The worst thing I have ever tasted, never again. It was so bland, that I would have been better off eating saltines as they had no cheese or seasoning flavor whatsoever.

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  2. Really man? I actually love their Cheez-It knockoffs! That's another good idea for one to review. While I definitely agree they don't taste exactly like Cheez-Its, I thought they were close enough. I'll have to try them again, though, as sometimes the recipes do change.

    And I haven't forgotten about your chip suggestions...honestly, we've only been to Aldi once in the last month, so I'll definitely be scooping some up some time this month.

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  3. We love the gouda cheese bites at my house. I bought them last year when they were clearanced out and my husband said BUY MORE! Of course they were gone. When I saw them again this year I stocked up. And of course, they are on clearance again and I bought even more.

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    1. They were pretty tasty. I didn't even think of looking for them again on clearance! They're already so cheap regular price, they had to be under a buck on clearance! Not a bad plan.

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  4. I have to disagree on the chip or rather crisp review. Clancy's Baked Ripples which is a knock off of Lay's Baked Ruffles. Yes, you cannot compare these to greasy chips which are usually 10 to 16 grams of fat in one of those single sized bags. Compare these to Baked Lays, which is the leading manufacturer of Baked Chips/ Baked Ruffles for about twice the price. Clancy's does cartwheels over them. I think they taste great for a super low fat chip. And I also tried the Original Ripples which they do not have to often, only 1.5 grams of fat per serving . These were good too.

    So granted there are chemicals in all these chips but if you don't want all the fat, these, IMO are a much better option on both taste and value compared to Lays. Pair the originals with a low fat french onion dip and you get to satisfy your potato chip craving without clogging your arteries.

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    1. Fair enough. I will admit I haven't had the Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Lay's to compare them to, so it's very possible Clancy's version is head and shoulders above them, especially for value. I was just shocked at how far off the Clancy's version was from the "full flavor" taste I'm used to, especially considering I love their barbecue and Southwest Ranch baked chips and feel those stack up pretty well against even regular potato chips.

      So that was the angle I was coming from. But I see where it might be unfair to Clancy's.

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  5. Brenda...Rutland Vermont.April 24, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    The Gouda cheese chip bites are the bomb..omg I'm to addicted ..only bad thing I can say is the bags are way to small...THINK BIGGER PEOPLE! These would be great at parties. YUMMY

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    1. I agree. The bags are pretty small, but so are the chips, so I guess it evens out. They're also inexpensive, too, so I can't complain about the size too much, but I agree that I'd be more than down for a larger bag!

      They also offer Emmentaler Cheese Bites (as you can see pictured, lol) which are also very good.

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  6. Problem is finding the products to buy and enjoy!
    Why not sale them on the internet????

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    1. If you're suggesting I should try selling the items I review online, I don't have the time, or the want, to really do something like that. Besides, in a lot of cases, the cost of shipping a product would remove any value it has, to the point that you'd even be better off buying the national brand. It'd be a cool idea in a perfect world, but logistically I don't think it makes much sense from my standpoint.

      However, I've seen a lot of things that I've reviewed for sale on Amazon, and sometimes even eBay. As I mentioned already, with shipping, the costs are greatly exaggerated, but if you don't have an Aldi/Dollar Tree/Big Lots near you, it might be your only chance to try the products. Just a thought.

      Thanks for your comment!

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