Saturday, November 12, 2011

French Fry Diary 300: Wise BBQ Potato Chips

There are few that come close. Herr's are everyday good, and rule with the different with their honey barbeque and baby back ribs flavors. Michael Season's honey barbeque are healthy good and darned hard to get except by mail - do they have them in any local stores? But truth be told, Wise is the king of the barbeque potato chip.

Now I'm not a big fan of the Wise regular chips as I find them too thin, and are often spotty and greasy. This, happily, is not a problem that their BBQ variety has. Now this might sound stupid, but I like these chips so much that I remember when I first had them. I was… very young, and my enabling big sister had gotten a bag at one of the local neighborhood stores, Valenti's. The bag was white cellophane, about the size of a $3.99 bag today with the old trademark Wise owl on it and a price tag of thirty-nine cents. I was smitten. Wise BBQ Flavored Potato Chips are among my absolute favorites.

Some folks say that pretzels are what you dip in ice cream, that it is a natural match, so much so that they make cones out of pretzels. Now I'm not going to say they should start making potato chip ice cream cones, but darn it, chips are much better for dipping in ice cream in my opinion. And the best are the Wise BBQ chips, the hot and cold, sweet and salty contrast is terrific.

Even my old cat Badger thought so. He loved ice cream and Wise BBQ chips. Many times I would have a bowl of ice cream on the table, open a bag of chips, then get up to get something - didn't matter what - and Badger would hop up on the table and start lapping up ice cream, and then invariably stick his head in the bag of chips. When I would come back, he'd know he'd been caught and run - unfortunately the bag would be stuck on his head. He'd leave a trail of chips around the house before getting out of the bag. Man, I loved that cat, my buddy for seventeen years, but wow, he took a lot of ice cream and especially Wise BBQ chips from me.

And I know that Bobby Flay is famous for this now with his Crunchburger at his Burger Palace franchise, but I was doing this decades ago. For an extra crunch, and flavor, I put Wise BBQ potato chips on top of and under my burgers. I also use crushed Wise BBQ potato chips as a fried chicken coating much the way Planet Hollywood used to use Cap'n Crunch for their World Famous Chicken Crunch - and again, I think I was doing it before them. I also sometimes use Frosted Flakes, but that's a completely different story - and favorite fried food.

The Honey BBQ Flavored Potato Chips from Wise came out just a few years ago and quickly became a favorite of mine. They are sweet, and have just the right amount of honey. Sometimes I like a bit more, and when I do, I go for the Herr's Honey Barbeque, but far more often it's Wise. Even if you just lick the seasoning off these, it's good. Although these aren't as good on hamburgers as the regular BBQ, these are equally good for dipping, especially in ice cream. Whereas sometimes the regular BBQ get hot and you need liquid refreshment just to go on, these go down smooth and sweet.

Speaking of sweet, the Sweet Heat BBQ Flavored Potato Chips from Wise just came out, as you can see from the pic, they are brand spanking new. These chips seem innocent at first, with just more visible seasoning than the two types above. They're tasty and sweet, and just as addictive - you will have eaten at least a half-dozen before your mouth catches fire. Yeah, these are hot, but it's a good hot, similar to Lay's Tangy Carolina BBQ potato chips. And that's a good thing. These chips would be very good for dipping into ice cream, because the cold might put out the fire.

Now it should be noted that I can't really have most of Wise's various BBQ chips all that often because of the salt content and especially the MSG. Hey, Wise, isn’t it about time you start trying to make these without MSG? Please? I'll be your best friend...

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