Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Sweet Potato ChipsPosted: October 14, 2011
Another sweet and salty chip, but do these rather more sanely presented chips have anything on the milk chocolate potato chips?
I am, in no uncertain terms, a sweet potato lover, the oranger the better I say, but I’m an old school sweet potato lover. Give me ‘em whole and baked or smushed into Thanksgiving casserole and I’ll eat until I’m sick and all dieting resolutions have been obliterated. While I do enjoy sweet potato fries, I have to wonder if we need to sweet potato-ify everything once made from the common Idaho.
I was ready to abandon this idea when I bought Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Sweet Potato Chips. It was the “ridge-cut” modifier in particular that caught my attention. Ridge-cutting is, and has always been, the domain of Ruffles (and Ruffle’s knock-offs). A ridge-cut (or crinkle-cut, in more proper kitchen nomenclature) potato chip is saying one thing to me – this is some serious snacky junk food. Ridge-cut chips are not bought to be rationally portioned out, they are bought to cram into your gob in handfuls while sitting in a darkened room, illuminated only by the flickering pale light of a TV screen playing a show designed to insult your intelligence. Also for picnics.
To achive this sort of status, however, a junk food needs to be straight forward and unengaging – not to challenge your taste buds, but to allow your body to slip steadily toward a sort of waking coma. What’s so strange about the sweet potato chip is that it doesn’t allow you to do this. The mild sweetness of the potato mingles strangely with the mild saltiness of the chip. Neither one is particularly forceful, and they allow the natural flavors of the sweet potato to come out. To me this was a disadvantage.
The chip had a strangely confused taste- leading my taste buds partly down one path, then partly down another. The overall effect was that it never really took me anywhere, not clashing, but not quite in harmony either. Because of the flavor mixture, I couldn’t find a dip or condiment that would suit them. Too sweet for ranch or salsa, too salty for a desert dip, it felt like these things were just meant to be eaten plain, but without a single strong taste to suck me in I couldn’t imagine snacking on them over a nice salty chip like Ruffles.
I know there is a lot of love for sweet potato products out there, but this product failed to win me over. It seemed to me it would have been a better product if it had been salt-free, letting the natural sweetness of the potato speak for itself.
Would I Recommend Them: No.
Would I Buy Them Again: I can’t think of a reason why.
Final Synopsis: A novel approach, but fails to do anything better than your average potato chip.