Specially Selected Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary Kettle Chips (Aldi)

An open bag of Specially Selected Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary Kettle Chips, from Aldi
Pretty decent for an occasional change of pace.

I needed a nice chip for my lunch (just about every single day at work, I eat a sandwich and chips), and was going to settle for one of the more usual flavors that Aldi has, when I opted to wait and see if they had any eye-catching ones as Special Buys.  I was about at the end of the aisle, running out of potential space to find something, when something caught my eye: Specially Selected Kettle Chips.  They were available in two flavors: Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary, or Parmesan and Pancetta.  I had the parmesan version in my hand, but my mind flashed back to all the meat-flavor potato chips I’ve had, which are sadly plentiful, and after enduring a slight shudder, I opted for the balsamic and rosemary.

I was even more amped when my wife told me that she tried one as she was packing my lunch, and that they were very good.  We tend to agree on foods, so if she likes something, there’s a really good chance that I will, too—part of the many positives to being together with someone for so long is you really learn to adapt to their lifestyles, and vice versa.  I enjoy things that I never did before I met her, and some of my favorite things have rubbed off on her.

I must say that I had totally forgotten exactly what the flavors were in the chip I bought.  I knew rosemary was in there, but I couldn’t remember with certainty what the other one was.  I took a bite.  There was some rosemary and then…holy hell, there was a ridiculous tartness that tasted a lot like vinegar, which, as it turns out, is what it was.  I always thought that balsamic vinegar was a little weaker, and even a tad bit sweeter, than regular vinegar, but maybe I’m just thinking of balsamic glaze.

Anyway, the first few chips took me some time to adapt to.  A day later, I’m still not entirely sure what I think about them.  They have grown on me somewhat, to the point that I like them, but I’m certainly not crazy about them, and I’m not sure about the prospects of me ever buying them again.  On the flipside, my wife loves them, despite disliking rosemary, but she does love salt and vinegar chips, which these remind me of a lot.  The flavor is different enough to set itself apart from those, but have flavor profiles similar enough to widely appeal to fans of salt and vinegar chips.

Overall: 6/10.  The thinking man’s salt and vinegar chip, Specially Selected’s Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary have enough subtle flavor differences to stand on their own, but also have a similar enough flavor profile that they really won’t appeal to those that don’t enjoy salt and vinegar chips.  I grew to like these, but I definitely don’t love them, and I really don’t think I’ll ever pick these up again.  But for $1.79 per bag, there’s not a lot of monetary investment required to give these a shot to see if they will appeal to you.