Thursday, April 16, 2020

Clancy's Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Chips (Aldi)

Some things just shouldn't be translated into chip form.
I’m going to say it for the millionth time: I eat a lot of potato chips. It’s not something I’m proud of, nor is it something I aspire to do. It’s just that, packing four out of my five working days every week, it’s something I can easily just toss in a bag and be on my way. Even better, they can be pretty darn cheap, especially at Aldi, where a typical bag retails for under $2.

This isn't a flavor I'd normally be interested in at all, but sometimes you get sick of all the standard flavors, and just want to try something new. And hey, how else are you going to find out if you like something or not? That was the mindset I was in when I grabbed a bag of Clancy's Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Chips; after all, I really enjoy sweet things, and was interested in how that could be implemented in potato chip form.

These aren’t exaggerating when they call themselves “sweet” chips. The onion taste somewhat reminds me of those “fun onion ring” snacks you can get in the chip aisle, only instead of strong salt, this one amps up the sugar quotient to almost stomach-churning proportions. It’s not that the flavor is bad, it’s just that the sweetness is so overbearing—even to a self-avowed fan of sweet stuff like I am—that I get sick of them, pretty much literally, after I’ve only had a few. I guess the silver lining to this is that the bag of chips has lasted me twice as long as they normally do, but with the trade-off that I virtually dread the thought of having to eat them.

Despite the score and the previous sentence, I actually might—might—get these again (though the more I think about them the more queasy I feel), but it won’t be until the memory of their taste completely leaves my mind. Eating them is not a pleasant affair, and I kept finding other things to pack just so I could avoid including these in my lunch at times. The main thing working in its favor, besides the $1.79 price tag which isn’t bad at all, is that these are pretty different, at least when compared to the overly-salty flavor of many potato chips. But “different” doesn’t always mean good, and this is a shining example of that.

Overall: 3/10. The more I think about these, the sicker I get. It's not that the flavor is really all that bad, just that the “sweet” in the title is not an exaggeration: These things are almost grotesquely so, with an onion flavor that peaks through at the end, though it's not enough and it's already too late. It's almost like it can't decide if it wants to be savory, or a dessert...unfortunately, the onion makes that decision rather forcefully. At $1.79 a bag, the price is pretty much on point, but it's not worth it when the mere thought of them make your stomach churn. It's different from the norm, I'll give it that—in fact, that was the trait that drew me to them in the first place—but also a sobering reminder of what can happen when you voluntarily stray from the norm. Lesson learned.

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