Poore Brothers Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Potato Chips (Dollar Tree)

A stock image of Poore Brothers Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Potato Chips
This is a rather "Poore" example of a jalapeno chip.

A couple weeks back I went to Tennessee with my wife to visit the good ol' in-laws, who just recently moved there. Most of the trip consisted of the usual: bickering over what to do and where to go. Thankfully, for a very small window, my wife agreed to accompany me on a quick trip out, just the two of us (she's attached to her parents at the hip). The point of the trip was kind of depressing—aside from a bookstore I had never heard of, we just hit up Big Lots and Dollar Tree, two places we have within a mile of our own homes—but I wanted to see just how different the inventory was between states.

To my surprise, Big Lots' inventory seemed to be the most consistent from Ohio to Tennessee, at least in the few aisles that I went down. I thought, with the nature of closeouts, that inventory would vary widely, but it was pretty much exactly the things that we had at our store. Of course, any corporation is going to keep their stores as similar as possible, to ensure a smooth and consistent customer experience no matter where you go, but there are bound to be some slight variances.

On the Dollar Tree side, they offered quite a few different snacks that I'm not used to seeing in Ohio stores, and one of them was Poore Brothers brand chips. I had never heard of them before, but some quick research (reading the back of the package) reveals that they are distributed by Inventure Foods, who also make the TGI-Friday's brand of packaged snacks. Getting a 5 oz. bag of chips for $1 didn't seem like a bad deal to me...most full-size chip bags are around 8 oz., or so, so for $2 you would have all that, with a couple ounces extra.

Even just this bag is pretty large, with way more than I could ever eat in one sitting. After taking a bite, I had to double-check to make sure these were kettle chips—they might be slightly crunchier than a typical potato chip, but if I hadn't read that, I would have just assumed they were regular potato chips. I guarantee this isn't what most people will be expecting when they take a bite. But can a solid taste overcome the less-than-ideal texture?

Once again, I had to check the packaging to make sure that I didn't miss some information—this time, I wanted to see if the flavor was actually “Jalapeno Onion”. It's not. The onion flavor is really strong, though, frequently overwhelming the actual jalapeno—on some bites, the mild heat that comes through is the only reminder that you're even eating a jalapeno chip. At first, I actually liked the combination, but the more chips I downed, the more and more pronounced the onion powder became. Same with the salt, which also seems to build-up the farther into the bag you get. By the end, I just felt kind of sick and overwhelmed from the whole combination.

I'll give it that it's the most unique jalapeno chip I've ever had, as most tend to be pretty boring and focus entirely on the titular pepper, so I appreciate what they seemed to be trying to do, but it's unfortunately also the worst one I've had (though, to be fair, I've only had three or four kinds as it's not my favorite flavor to begin with). Price is good, but the taste just didn't do anything for me.

Overall: 5/10. For a five-ounce bag, the $1 price tag is pretty good. The chips are supposedly kettle, but I had to double-check the bag after digging in, because these aren't nearly as crunchy as most such chips I've had...they might be slightly crunchier than a standard chip, but I'm not even sure about that. The taste is kind of unique at first, with jalapeno blending in with onion powder to deliver a one-two punch (the few jalapeno chips I've had all tend to focus on the pepper, with very little added flavors), but after downing a few, the onion powder started to overwhelm everything else and all I could taste was that, and salt. As expected, the jalapeno does make an appearance, in the form of some mild heat, but doesn't provide much added flavor. An okay chip, but now I'm not so upset our Dollar Tree's don't carry this brand.