Saturday, October 24, 2015

Horseradish Cheddar Krinkle-Cut Kettle Chips (Aldi)


Wow. "The Two D's": different, and delicious.
I have a not-sure-if-I-like-it-or-hate-it relationship with horseradish.  I’m seriously not sure how I feel about it.  On the one hand, I like its bite, but on the honor, its flavor can be very hit or miss for me.  Sure, if any ingredient is misused, it can cause problems in a recipe, but with such an aggressive, in-your-face flavor such as horseradish, the line between success and failure is often razor thin.

With that in mind, I purchased Clancy’s Horseradish Cheddar Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips for my lunch at work a couple of weeks ago.  Why would I buy something I’m not sure I’d like?  If this is your first time here, I’ve reviewed chips that tasted (supposedly) like hamburgers and hot wings, for goodness sakes…clearly, I enjoy (if that is the right term) testing the limits of my taste buds. 

Even though these were purchased for my lunch, I admittedly was so curious about the taste, that I dipped into the bag right when I got home.  But that was about a week ago; since then, I’ve had a chance to experience them even more in depth, and I have got to say:  The taste has really grown on me.

From the outset, there was one thing I appreciated:  Every chip is generously covered in both cheddar AND horseradish.  A big complaint for me concerning Aldi-brand chips, as I’m sure long-time readers (do I have any?) have grown accustomed to hearing about, is the inconsistency between batches; from bag to bag, you don’t know what you’re going to get.  I’ve purchased barbecue chips, for example, where every chip is red, and covered in powder, while others just have a slight dashing, like it was just thrown in as an afterthought.  It really makes it hard to rate these when that’s the case.

But these…these chips are absolutely coated, so that was a big plus.  Or was it?  For not knowing whether or not I like horseradish, these were probably not the smartest chips to try; about three seconds after you put on in your mouth, your tongue will burn.  It’s not a lasting feeling--it goes away about the time you swallow your chip--but it’s unmistakably there, and along with it is an intense horseradish flavor.  Seriously, it’s almost brutal how much horseradish there is.

At first, I wasn’t really sure how I felt.  On the one hand, the flavor was pretty good--thanks largely to a generous helping of cheddar, too, which offsets the heat and provides a cooler flavor--but the sheer amount of the other stuff was almost too much to bear, so I put the bag away.  I ate it for lunch the next day, to similarly mixed feelings.  Then I packed it in my lunch the next day, and my mouth started watering early in the morning just thinking about it.  That’s right, my friends:  in the span of about three days, I went from being completely undecided, to actually looking forward to eating them.  I can’t really think of another product off the top of my head that had this kind of effect on me.

Bottom line?  I love these things.  They’re unlike any chip I’ve ever had…well, let me clarify that a little bit:  They’re unlike any GOOD chip I’ve ever had.  This isn’t the typical “let’s load it up on cheddar and throw in a tad bit of horseradish so we can still make it appeal to the masses” that most “mainstream” chip manufacturers would settle for; this is “we threw in a boatload of horseradish, and added in a touch of cheddar and if you don’t like that then don’t go anywhere near this f-ing bag.”

Overall: 8.5/10.  Horseradish isn’t exactly a “friendly” flavor, but these chips are loaded to the gills with the stuff, to the point that you’ll get a slight burn on your tongue as soon as you put them in your mouth.  Thankfully, they’re also softened up, and evened out, a bit by a generous helping of cheddar cheese.  At first, I wasn’t sure if the combination worked, but after my mouth started watering just thinking about them a few days later, I knew they had won me over.  Each chip is LOADED with so much of each ingredient that it’s almost absurd, but it somehow works.  If you like to try new things, and don’t mind horseradish, you should definitely scope these out.

6 comments:

  1. I don't really care for horseradish either, but these chips don't sound too bad. I'll have to pick up a bag on my next trip to Aldi.

    As for Clancy's party mix, I don't care for the cheddar flavor (like you, I'm not a big fan) or the BOLD flavor (can't say for sure if I've ever seen it in store yet) but the traditional is a staple in our cupboard. Like many of ALDI products, its just as good as the name brand but at a fraction of the cost

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    1. You should, and I'd be real anxious to hear what you have to say about it. Since posting this, I bought, and ate, two additional bags (after they dropped to $.99 each) and would gladly buy more. Not too often I stumble on something THAT good anywhere!

      I'll have to review the original, too. I've had it, many times, and agree with you that it's very, very good. I just haven't reviewed it yet. A good idea for a future review!

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  2. Great flavor very close to chex mix but one downfall the bag rips every time I open it! They need more durable bags

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    1. Yeah, you know what? I noticed that too. But it's not just limited to Clancy's, nor is it limited to Aldi: I've noticed a lot of different Chex Mix knockoffs have skimpy bags. Same with the packaging to a lot of cheese curls.

      I agree more durable bags are needed, but wonder just how much they would drive up the price since so many companies seem content to skimp in this area.

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  3. I just tried the Clancy horseradish and cheddar. They are not bad but I bought my first small bag to try a couple weeks ago and it was a different brand. It was Grippos brand and they were very good. I wasn't sure at first whether I would like them but once you get to eating them you can't put them down.

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    1. My wife swears by Grippos! So do a lot of other people. I tried their BBQ, and I didn't understand the obsession, but I'd gladly try their horseradish cheddar, if I ever stumble on them!

      I never really look for them, so maybe I'm mistaken, but it seems like the only place I see Grippos around me are convenience stores and vending machines. Not that I'm insinuating anything about the quality of the product, just that those aren't typically places I go to buy snacks.

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