Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fresh Finds Sriracha Honey Kettle Cooked Gourmet Potato Chips (Big Lots)

Give them a shot, and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
I’m going to be honest here: I didn’t want to try these.  It was the last flavor that I had yet to try from Fresh Finds’ gourmet potato chip line, (besides the “standard” sea salt and other boring flavors), and even though the others were good, I was more or less terrified to buy a bag of these.  In fact, after much hesitation, I forced myself to pick this bag up, but also purchased a bag of their amazing Aged White Cheddar & Sour Cream chips to use as backup, in case these were bad.



For starters, everyone suddenly has sriracha fever, but “sriracha” these days essentially means something tomato-y and spicy, as companies flock to throw together something that they can call by that name simply to meet the demand of the market.  In other words, the “sriracha” taste companies often use isn’t very good, nor is it very authentic, and this is why I wasn’t too excited to get them.  But at the same time, I like a good edible challenge, and after walking around the store a couple of times and dwelling on the concept, I softened up and began to embrace the idea.  Besides, for $1.90, it’s not like I’d be out a whole lot if they didn’t live up to my mediocre expectations.

As with Fresh Finds Jalapeno Popper chips, I feel like these also are so named simply to cash in on the sriracha craze.  Again, the taste doesn’t remind me of sriracha sauce all that much, though there is a solid bit of heat that comes through.  If I hadn’t read the bag, and you just delivered these to me blind, I’d probably label them “sweet chili chips”, or something of the sort.  But you know what?  For all my opinions of the chip name, all that matters is the flavor, and once again Fresh Finds has come through—I’m honestly leaning toward naming them my current favorite chip brand, which is high praise coming from a store typically associated with closeouts and discontinued items.

It’s common sense how this combo is supposed to work—the spicy of the sriracha mixes with the sweetness of the honey to provide a counter-balanced taste—but there are a lot of ways this can go wrong, the most obvious of which is if one flavor overpowers the other. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.  It isn’t too sweet, with the honey playing a supporting role, allowing the “sriracha” to remain front and center, yet the sweetness still punches through.

These aren’t nearly as addicting to me as the Aged White Cheddar and Sour Cream chips, but this is a fantastic chip that’s very hard to put down.  The $1.90 price tag hints at something much more generic than what you get, which is a fairly original, very tasty snack.  If you come across these at your local Big Lots, ignore the voices in your head telling you this combination is “weird”, and give them a shot. Chances are, you’ll thank me later.

Overall: 7.5/10. These are pretty darn tasty.  Again, the flavor name seems to be a little exaggerated—sweet chili would have probably been more on point—but then again, they were probably just trying to cash in on the sriracha craze (that’s Marketing 101).  But regardless of the name, the taste is fantastic, with just the right amount of heat counterbalanced with a slight bit of honey that’s noticeable, but not excessive.  I’ve got to hand it to Big Lots…their Fresh Finds chip line provide excellent value for the money (each bag is only $1.90), as well as surprisingly delicious, and sometimes even unique, flavors. Give them a shot if you haven’t already.

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