Monday, September 10, 2018

Clancy's Buffalo Blue Cheese Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips (Aldi)

If you love buffalo sauce, then these might just be for you.
I have grown to really like blue cheese; for the first quarter of my life, I couldn’t go near the stuff. But through my wife I’ve really grown accustomed to cheeses that I wouldn’t otherwise eat, and now blue cheese has become one of my favorites. Her love of buffalo sauce has not rubbed off on me, however…I’ve never really liked that stuff. It’s not the heat that bothers me so much as the taste…most of them just remind me of cheap hot sauces, and those don’t appeal to me at all. 

So then why would I even waste the time, and money, by getting these? Simple: Chip technology has certainly evolved in the last few years, but it can only go so far. While companies dream up big names and ideas for their chips, you can only be so accurate when you’re dealing with powdered seasonings. For example, a brand of “hot dog” chip I tried tasted like relish and other condiments, with no actual meat flavor to be found. One marketed itself as a bacon cheeseburger slider and tasted more like something you would find in a sewer, missing the mark completely.

Those are bad examples, but there have been some pleasant surprises: One called “jalapeno popper” had no hints of cream cheese to be found anywhere, but did taste like a good jalapeno chip with added cheddar cheese. Alright, so that’s about the one example of an unexpected positive that I can think of off the top of my head, but the point is, I didn’t want to pass up the potential for a new classic simply because I didn’t think it would appeal to me. As the saying goes, “You never know until you try it.” And try them I did.

These chips are absolutely loaded to the gills with powdery seasoning, although a close look at the packaging reveals neither buffalo, nor cheese (of any kind) amongst the ingredients. It’s all “natural flavoring”. The buffalo is pretty spot-on, with the typical kind of buffalo taste that I dislike, but with a background hint of blue cheese that softens the flavor a bit, thus making it slightly more palatable to me. It’s not a bad tasting chip, though I’m pretty disappointed that all of this is accomplished through fake flavors—the Aldi chips I’ve had, and I’ve had many that have cheeses in them—usually at least have one kind of cheese powder, so the fact even the blue is faked is a huge letdown.

Like the other “Krinkle Cut” (their spelling, not mine) chips I’ve had out of Clancy’s line, these are extra crunchy and have a great texture. The price is also in-line with their other offerings, coming in at a very reasonable $1.79 per 8.5 oz. bag, giving you plenty of chippy goodness for the price. Unfortunately, the flavor is nowhere near extraordinary, nor anything of note, and it tends to get old pretty quickly. If you love buffalo, you might want to give these a shot; otherwise, there’s not much here to recommend.

Overall: 5.5/10. Buffalo is certainly the overwhelming taste, and it’s pretty accurate, despite the fact that there’s no actual buffalo or blue cheese in these chips (they’re all made with “natural flavors”, which are anything but). The blue cheese is slightly detectable in the background, and helps to soften the flavor of the buffalo, but I was really hoping for more of a balance between the two. The buffalo does bring a decent amount of heat, and each chip is loaded with seasoning, but as I said earlier, I’m not really a huge fan of buffalo, and with the blue cheese only playing a supporting role, I wasn’t really a big fan of these. The $1.79 price tag is right (per 8.5 oz. package), but it's not something I would personally get again. If you’re a huge fan of buffalo sauce, you’ll probably find more here to like than I did.

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