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Chip Dip: Gettin' Chippy with it

Posted by Chip / October 6, 2005

chip.jpgWhat’s not to love about Chips? Two hunky guys in uniform, cruising down the California highways on patrol….um, ok, not that Chips. Of course, we’re talking about the delicious salty snack the more refined among us like to call potato chips.

Chips have come a long way in my lifetime. For as long as I can remember, the flavour inventors haven’t stopped refining their trade or experimenting with bold new tastes.

However, only in the last 4 to 5 years have chip varieties really exploded onto the scene with seemingly endless, often bold, and sometimes regionalized new flavours. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that yesteryears’ Pizza, Smokey Bacon, or All Dressed (which, as most of us know, were all the same flavour), can’t hold water against today’s Mesquite BBQ and Applewood Cheddar, Sour Cream and Jalapeno, or even Pepper with a Hint of Lime. Though we still enjoy Doritos classics like Zesty Cheese, we now can choose to curl up on the couch with Spicy Cheese, Smoked BBQ or Pepperjack.

With this first installment of the Chip Dip, I’d like to take you all back to where it all began; the often overlooked or forgotten, but rock steady: Regular. Although it does not come with the same glamour or fanfare, the substance is definitely there. The plain potato chip should not be overlooked. Its versatility is unmatched. Its saltiness cannot be questioned. The only controversy can come from choice of brand in a market with so many players on the scene. Here, we examine the most prevalent choices:

Ruffles
Appearance: Ruffled (for extra dip-grip), Saddle-Type curve
Crunch Factor: High
Saltiness: High
Other: Great when smothered with Valentina hot sauce and freshly squeezed lime.

Lays
Appearance: Smooth, somewhat curvy shape
Crunch Factor: Medium
Saltiness: mmmm, salt…
Other: Try adding to your next cheese sub/sandwich for added delight.

Ms. Vickie’s
Appearance: Ragged, potato-like contours
Crunch Factor: Very High
Saltiness: pass the salt
Other: Use a paper towel at the bottom of the bowl to gather oil/grease for future cooking use.

No Name
Appearance: Flat, smooth chip in non-discreet, see-through plastic bag. Usually available only in bulk.
Crunch Factor: Low (unless you’re lucky), usually transitions to stale, bendy chip within minutes out of the bag.
Other: Sometimes…only sometimes…there’s something irresistible about that somewhat stale tasting chip. Try it, you’ll see.

Humpty Dumpty
Appearance: Smooth, curvy (almost too similar to Lays)
Crunch Factor: Medium
Saltiness: Salty
Other: Poor man’s Lays, with the snazzed up packaging.

Pringles
Appearance: Smooth, perfect Saddle Curve, nest-able, sometimes has trivia on the surface (answers upside down)
Crunch Factor: High, but doesn’t have much girth – so it’s a brief crunch.
Saltiness: Yes
Other: Enjoyed mostly at the country club on the side of a Reuben with a large dill pickle. Packaging allows for easy storage and transport, but c’mon, whose gonna save some for later?

Any of the above are usually available at your friendly neighbourhood dépanneur in Montreal. No Name, of course, is more prevalent in your local supermarché or club price.

There’s no real reason to be a chip snob, but sometimes you just don’t have the patience to choose, or the beer to properly wash it down. You can always fall back on regular. It’s always there ready to dip if the need arises.

Next time on the Chip Dip, we examine the age old question, “The Cheesy: Is it Chip or just Cheese Flavoured Snack?”

Discussion

4 Comments

John Mac / October 6, 2005 at 06:46 pm
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Chip LeBec, you've done me proud, though I will note that Smokey Bacon, as far as I'm concerned, never tasted like Pizza or All Dressed. Furthermore, I will note that Mesquite BBQ and Applewood Cheddar flavour has either been discontinued (perhaps Lays' attempt to reach a more upper class market failed) or is very hard to find.
John Mac / October 6, 2005 at 06:46 pm
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Chip LeBec, you've done me proud, though I will note that Smokey Bacon, as far as I'm concerned, never tasted like Pizza or All Dressed. Furthermore, I will note that Mesquite BBQ and Applewood Cheddar flavour has either been discontinued (perhaps Lays' attempt to reach a more upper class market failed) or is very hard to find.
Kate / October 6, 2005 at 11:01 pm
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Applewood Cheddar?! When was this? That sounds so delectable and amazing... and I've missed it!<br><br>a sidenote: i feel slightly ashamed that my first midnightpoutine post is in the form of a comment on chips, i will make up for this soon.
Kate / October 6, 2005 at 11:01 pm
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Applewood Cheddar?! When was this? That sounds so delectable and amazing... and I've missed it!

a sidenote: i feel slightly ashamed that my first midnightpoutine post is in the form of a comment on chips, i will make up for this soon.

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