Monday, March 30, 2015

French Fry Diary 656: Passover Potato Chips

A strange thing happens around this time every year. Shop-Rite starts carrying lots of off-brand potato chips (and potato sticks), one that even I, regarded as a chip expert by some, have never heard of. It's because of Passover, and like the sweeter tasting yellow cap Coca-Cola, there is extra need for kosher potato chips.

Herr's and other major brands offer kosher or parve potato chips, but as I said, Shop-Rite brings in more specialty items during this time of year. They are usually placed in one special section of the store, the Shop-Rite I visited in Cherry Hill had a larger than usual area. I plucked a couple samples from the display to try, and review of appropriate.

First up is Kettle Chips BBQ from Manischewitz, the king of kosher products, best known for their wine, matzo, and even potato latkes. These chips are pretty good on the healthy scale, with no transfats, no cholesterol, no preservatives, and no artificial flavors. The chips are thin with a nice crunch, heavy seasoned but with a mild smoke flavor.

Bloom's is a company that specializes in kosher products. They "search the globe to bring you the best," including cakes, candies, chocolate syrup, potato stix, potato chips, and potato snack fries. I chose one of the last bunch, Bloom's Bar-B-Q Fries.

After tasting these flat French fry shaped potato strips, I'm glad I opted for the barbecue flavor, because otherwise these flat (in more ways than one) things would have been flavorless. I did not like these. At all.

Next up are the Diddles, no seriously, that's what they're called. These potato snacks made from potato flakes are imported from Israel and distributed by the Paskesz Candy Co. I picked up the Diddles B-B-Q Potato Snacks. Yes, they're called Diddles. These are hollow cylinders similar in texture to flavorless cheese puffs and not in a good way. They did not smell good when I opened the bag and did not taste much better. Ick. Seriously if you told me these were made of styrofoam, I'd be inclined to believe you.

Lastly I tried the Lieber's offering. After Diddles, I was hopeful that this last bag would be more, oh I don't know, conventional. Referred to as simply Lieber's Ripple Potato Chips and being made from only potatoes, cottonseed oil, and salt, these looked like exactly what I needed.

These chips were quite nicely thick with good ridges, perfect dipping chips. There were a bit salty however, and while I like salt, especially on potato chips, this was a bit much. Also, there were a lot of black spots and burnt edges, things you don't usually see anymore in the big brand names. All in all, a decent chip, except for the salt.

So we have a weak two out of four for this selection of Passover potato snacks. Perhaps I selected badly. Any recommendations for next time?

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