Lucky # 7. Mickey Mantle status. This could and should be 2 posts. 1 for the fried taters, and another for the grand introduction to Whole Foods. My organic/local/slow foods/artisanal cherry has been popped. I thought WF was some crunchy cooperative patchouli scented wierdo fest. Boy was I wrong. This place is an epicurean wonder land. The prepared foods alone would take me a month to conquer. OK, maybe a week. I am ashamed that a man of my stature in the food game is a Whole Foods newbie. It's what I get for judging. And hating. 4 bags were acquired from WF and 2 were purchased at the market across from 21 Mercer, based on the recommendation of some big dog in the sneaker game, gate keeper status. Sneakers and potato chips have more in common than you think. Think about it.
You can check out the previous 6 "Stack (Potato) Chips..." installments here: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, and Vol. 6.
Herr's Kettle Cooked Boardwalk Salt & Vinegar
I'll admit, Herr's isn't on my radar. Chip snob? Maybe. Major bite and acidity. A good chip, light and easy to eat. Fairly addictive. Not as thick and crunchy as other "kettle" chips, though more substantial than a bag of Lay's. A little lip swelling after a decent sitting. The vinegar and salt do not play. Never saw chips on a boardwalk, only salt water taffy, but I won't question it. Heavy with the ingredients- lactose, barley flour, sodium diacetate, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). Cooked in vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed or soybean). 8.5 oz bag, $3.49.
365 Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Cooked
365 is Whole Food's in-house brand. This is the salt & vinegar chip for beginner's. No bite whatsoever. Sweet in fact. Seems like a milder, less acidic cider vinegar. There's a lingering taste that I can't describe- sweet, floral? Something I'm not accustomed to in the pantheon of chipology. Not offensive, just different. 8.5 oz bag, $3.50.
Kettle Brand Jalapeno
Like all Kettle Brand product, a really nice chip. Always crunchy, bite-sized, and packed with flavor. Jalapeno is a newer flavor extension as noted by the red chile ablaze on the bag. A darker chip specked with tiny pieces of parsley, it packs some heat. Nothing unbearable, but if squeamish to some fire, I'd suggest you stay away. Nice blend of salt, spice and sweet. OD on ingredients, however Kettle brand utilizes "wind power, solar power, green building and biodiesel" thus maintaining a small carbon footprint. That's what I'm talking about. 5 oz. bag, $2.50-$3.
Tyrrell's Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt
I had read about these in a foodie mag (hate foodies) so when I saw these on the WF shelf you know I snatched them with the quickness. Does that make me a foodie? Ugh, fuck me. Anyway, these are made in the UK, Herefordshire to be more specific. Similar to the afore mentioned 365 sea salt & vinegar chip, these are very mild, and sweet. A darker potato, these are very dry, i.e. less oil than most chips. Great salt distribution. The first bite gives off sweet followed by a back of tongue saltiness. Listen, it's what I'm feeling. (I imagine a pause is necessary since the words, salt, sweet, tongue, feeling etc. were used) The bag doesn't advertise "kettle cooked" but reads "hand cooked." Thinner than typical kettle cooked, but just as crunchy. Sunflower oil with a variety of other ingredients including vinegar powders, sugar and lemon powders. 5.3 oz. bag, $3.50.
Boulder Canyon Totally Natural
I like my chips just as I like my women, totally natural. Ahh, the lovely Boulder Canyon. They're like that girl that you were really serious with and then things end. You see her years later and it just feels good- things are just where you left off. And then you wonder why it even ended. But there's no need for any serious talk, just enjoy the moment. These chips are great. Quality is unparalleled. Flavorful- the potato is always the star of the show- earthy and salty. Crazy crunch. Very rich, to the point that I get a little heartburn after too many. Heart burn, heart ache? Same shit- see the comparison? 5 0z. bag, $3.
365 Organic Classic Potato Salt & Pepper
Forgive me for this purchase. Not kettle cooked. What was I thinking? Mad brittle and too light, color and feel. But it's organic. Do enjoy the heavy amount of pepper, organic pepper that is. Fuck that, take 2 and pass. 5 oz. bag, $3.