Due to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club features weekly "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margarita with salt and Spicy Bloody Mary potato chips
Last year, we tested out beer-flavored chips and found them to be decent and semi-interesting, but nothing super-special. The same company that manufactures the beer-flavored snacks has decided to branch out into other flavor arenas, but with similarly shiny packaging and similarly wacky instructions. They're extreme! How do you know? Because step three is "Swallow (don't forget to chew)." Also, the package says things like "No potatoes were harmed in the making of this product."
But in the quest for virgin chip-flavor territory, no marketing tool is too cheesy. I applaud Beer Chips, LLC for taking the alcohol out of alcoholic beverages, converting that flavor into dust form, and sprinkling it on deep-fried potatoes. And I haven't even tried them yet.
Taste: Here's a Taste Test first: The margarita chips taste like nothing at all—not even like plain potato chips. Imagine a very crunchy chip that just leaves your taste buds with zero to work with. The inside of the bag was coated with salt bits, but the chips themselves didn't even taste of salt. The ingredients list includes "tequila flavor," plus "natural orange and lime oils." They must've gone pretty light on all that, because it was really like eating no flavor at all. Maybe we got a bad batch.
The Spicy Bloody Mary chips, on the other hand, sit at the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. They bash your taste buds with extreme prejudice, piling on the taste like some kind of taste avenger. What is that taste, though? Spicy ketchup. No vodka, no tomato juice, no wacky garnish of shrimp or beef jerky, no celery stalk. Just a heady blast of ketchup. I've got two bags of ketchup-flavored chips on my desk awaiting a future Taste Test, and they were both like, "Fuck it, we give up" when they smelled these. Whatever animal they make ketchup from, they had to kill a lot of 'em to make these chips. The ingredient list seems promising: Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, molasses, horseradish, celery seed, black pepper. But those flavors are simply overpowered by the not-very-good tomato powder and sugar.
Margarita with salt
— "Is this batch screwed up? There's absolutely no flavor at all, much less anything that tastes like a margarita."
— "Devoid of flavor except a hint of lime as an aftertaste. Texture is good if you like kettle chips, but I don't know how they managed to suck all the flavor out of a chip."
— "You can actually feel the salt on the chips on your tongue, and yet the chips don't even taste like SALT. How did they DO that? It's like magic. The magic of nothing."
— "This is what plain Pringles must taste like before any flavoring or salt is added. Generic crunch."
— "It's miraculous, in a way. Have you ever consumed something besides water that has absolutely no flavor? Did somebody wash these or something?"
Spicy Bloody Mary
— "Totally gross. It has a weird ketchup-y taste that doesn't go down easy. I can't eat more than one of these."
— "It's like they took dried ketchup and applied it liberally to the chips. In a bad way."
— "Tomato ketchup-y at first, but the heat builds up over time. Hotter than a BBQ chip."
— "I'm still tasting the chile at this point. Probably too hot."
— "Overwhelmingly, unpleasantly sour, with a strong tomato flavor. Just like a real Bloody Mary. If you're getting way too much action and you want to make sure no one ever kisses you again, you should eat a bag of these while drinking a real Bloody Mary. Guaranteed foul breath for weeks."
— "More like chips and salsa than Bloody Mary. I miss the vodka."
Where to find them: Grocery stores and convenience stores.