Friday, January 16, 2015

French Fry Diary 641: Trader Joe's South African Style Potato Chips

A recent trip to Trader Joe's I discovered something new in the snack section, a mysterious black bag of potato chips I had never seen before. Officially titled Trader Joe's Potato Chips with South African Style Seasoning, the package promised 'classic potato chips with an exotic smoked flavor.' Well, I'm down with that, into the cart and home they went.

A glance at the ingredients and the back of the bag hype revealed they weren't all that far off from standard barbecue chips. They had paprika, chili powder, garlic, sea salt for a little extra something different, and then things got interesting as they also had seasonings like basil and parsley. This seasoning mix is usually used in fish or poultry when grilled, called in Afikaans, the braai, as barbecues are a social custom in South Africa, much like it is here. How exotic it actually is, I guess we'll find out in the tasting.

Upon opening the bag a not unpleasant aroma rushed out, not unlike barbecue flavor potato chips with maybe some (surprise) basil and parsley thrown in. The actual taste is quite different. I expected a barbecue chip but that doesn't quite come across. It's a big thin crisp chip but the flavor is overpowered by the basil, parsley, and paprika, with just a slight after burn. These are excellent dipping chips for cold dips like ice cream.

These are good chips with a big unique taste, and certainly more palatable than many of the Do Us A Flavor contestants the last two years. Interesting, tasty, and even a bit addictive, these South African potato chips are definitely worth trying.

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