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Trader Joe’s Parsnip Chips

Trader Joe's Parnsip Chips

If life gives you parsnips, you make parsnip chips. This is another Trader Joe’s product that, like Avacado’s Number Guacamole, I can’t help but feel existed as a clever name first, and only a product as an after thought. A rhyming snack food that uses an obscure vegetable? How could anyone at TJ’s say no to that? Certainly it’s what I’m always on the look out for.

Ranking: 3 stars 3 star ranking

What it is: “Potato” chips made from a different root vegetable.
Price: $2.99 for a 5.2 oz. bag
Worth it: Yes – sweet and crunchy.

But if a product exists only to serve novelty, can it really be all that good? In this case, the answer is a surprising “Yes!”. Trader Joe’s Parsnip Chips are a wonderfully flavorful, surprisingly sweet, crunch alternative to run-of-the-mill potato chips. It’s a classic case of “Try it, you’ll like it.” But what exactly is a parsnip anyway?

In the wild, the parsnip looks, to the untrained eye, exactly like a big, white carrot. In fact, the parsnip is a close relative to the carrot. Originally native to Eurasia, the parsnip was imported to the Americas by early European settlers in the 1600’s. By the 1800’s, the root vegetable – firmly ensconced in three continents and with a long history of use that extends back to the Roman Empire – was basically forgotten, sidelined as modern agricultural and shipping practices replaced it with other vegetables on an industrial scale. Nowadays, the parsnip is really only encountered by most people in certain niche applications or as the basis of regional traditions.

While the parsnip may not be as popular today as it was in ages past, these parsnip chips make a good case for a comeback. You might not expect a colorless root vegetable to be sweet and flavorful, but these chips are exactly that. Inside the bag, the chips themselves are small, thin and brittle with a tendency to bunch up in clusters – definitely unsuited for dips, but good for general snacking. The frying process has made the parsnip slices curl and brown, more like a plantain chip than a potato chip. However, as soon as you take find that they pack an over-sized taste – long sweet and mellow, with a vaguely carrot-y aftertaste.

I’ve written before about the surprising sweetness of carrots – well it turns out that parsnips are naturally sweeter than even its own close cousin. In fact, in ancient times, before sugar canes or sugar beets were grown, it was parsnips that were used to sweeten meals. It’s this sweetness that is the most notable feature of the parsnip chip, but a very mild sort of sweetness that satisfies without overloading you on sugar. That sweetness, combined with the nuanced, earthy, root vegetable taste, is a real delight.

I was expecting something dry and bland from these chips, but instead I found a wonderful substitution for other “naturally sweet” type chips – in fact I liked these parsnip chip so much better than, for instance, the sweet potato chips you find around. However these chips are far from a healthy alternative – due to the fact that these parsnips have been fried up in a serious amount of oil. With a rather surprising 12 grams of fat per 12 chip  serving, these are some very oily chips.  Expect some greasy fingers after polishing off a bag.

To my taste, I found these parsnip chips more than just a novelty. For a list of ingredients that is nothing more than “parnsips, oil, salt” I was completely surprised by the fullness of flavor – a world away from the one note starchiness of potato chips. If they were healthier I’d be eating them all the time. As it is, I’ll enjoy picking them up a few times a year for an interesting snack that has stands out from a pack of monochrome competitors.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend Them: Yes – these are worth a taste.

Would I Buy Them Again: Not often, but I will.

Final Synopsis: A completely different sort of “potato” chip.

Trader Joe's Parsnip Chip - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Parsnip Chips – Nutrition Facts

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11 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Parsnip Chips”

  1. Cathy says:

    Too bad there’s so much fat/oil in these…..I would like to try, but just can’t see eating that much oil. Oh well……………

  2. Hethr says:

    Yay, you got around to trying the parsnip chips! I hope they keep them around permanently. They are fatty, but that is great for a low carber. It is such a nice feeling to be able to grab a bag of chips to take to an event.

  3. Steve says:

    Can I get them mailed to me

  4. margeburkell says:

    OMG I love the parsnip chips! As a low carb blogger myself I am recommending them whole heartedly!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is a quality control problem with these chips. About one out of two bags has a stale texture and a bitter flavor. When these are not a bad bag, they are wonderful. The rancid ones are terrible, however. We have returned four bags

  6. cjv says:

    Yes parsnip chips are good vegan natural. But it tasted burn and salty. And price us bit expensive. I like very much traders joe market other food arent available depend on location.

  7. SomethingNew30 says:

    Another brand of parsnip chips with similar labels has been outed unfortunately for misprint on carbohydrate listing. They apparently calculated parsnips as raw (containing water) as opposed to fried (like these chips are). Is it possible these are wrongly labeled as well?

  8. karlee says:

    Is the carbohydrate information accurate on this product, this information is very important.

  9. Yahne Adams says:

    Can’t find these chips anymore…..so sad. Loved them. My keto fav.

  10. Yes my Trader Joe’s in Columbia, SC have been out of them for the last four months. Did they discontinue the parsnip chips?

  11. Gkcacc says:

    I spoke to Trader Joe’s today and they said they are seasonal😫


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