Happy Meatless Monday everyone!
I've been doing the whole Meatless Monday thing for a few months, and it's been awesome. I come home from work, make a giant fancy salad, and munch on other healthier items throughout the day. It's super easy, makes me feel like I'm being a lot more healthy, and it takes all the guesswork out of Monday night's dinner. (Plus I tell myself that it balances out all the junk food I eat for reviews, but we all know that's a lie.) I typically go with giant salads for dinner, which I post over on my Instagram account
like the obnoxious food-porn junkie I am, but lately I have been looking for interesting vegetarian snacks to munch on at my 9-5 job, and due to my obsession with vinegar, I just couldn't resist trying these crisps.
Is it just me, or does this bag have a retro-feel to it? The color choices are reminiscent of the Mexican, or Italian, flag and the images to the right have a slightly yellow tinge to them. The overall design isn't bad by any means, I kind of like it, but I feel like whatever issue I have with Trader Joe's retro-but-anachronistic packaging is happening here.
On the back of the packaging there's this little heat scale that doesn't quite make sense to me. From what I've seen online this is the only spicy flavor of these Cracklin's, and there is only one pepper featured on the front of this bag. What is the point of this scale if there aren't varying levels of spiciness available? Am I supposed to rate this with my own spice level, one to three peppers? Am I supposed to use this scale to share my thoughts on it's spiciness on social media? Like some kind of, "How Spicy is it? Let us know:" kind of thing? I can't read the language, so I can only look at context clues, and out of all the possibilities, I think the social media one is the most likely. Can you read this? If so, let me know what all of this means.
I opened the bag, and oh man, these smell deliciously intense, kind of like my favorite American salt & vinegar chips. I can't smell any hint of heat, just the deliciously tangy, and slightly malty, vinegar aroma. Worth noting, there weren't as many "Cracklin'"-s in this bag as I thought. The bag had quite a bit of air inside it, but there was still a healthy portion for the price, so I don't feel like this is really a rip off, just a mild disappointment.
The cracklin' look kind of like fried Sun Chips. The have some ridges, they're a bit puffy, and the have some powdery flavored coating that smells strongly of vinegar. I can't wait anymore, I gotta try these.
I took a bite, and I instantly fell in love.
The bite is light and fluffy, but mildly styrofoam-y, kind of like most fried pork rinds, but it's starchier, which makes sense since it's made with veggies and all. The best way I can describe this addicting texture is if a Sun Chip and a puffy Cheeto had a baby. As for the flavoring, it perfectly suits my snacking preferences.
The vinegar flavoring is a bit stronger than a typical salt and vinegar potato chips, but not as strong as my go-to Boardwalk Style ones. As far as the spiciness goes, eating one of these isn't going to send you running off for a glass of milk, and I am sure those of you heat-seekers who happily munch on ghost peppers would find this spice level boring, but I think it's absolutely perfect for it's snacking purpose. These create a moderate burning sensation on the sides of your tongue that is just enough to keep you coming back for more. As you continue eating, the spices build up and overall these could probably reach a 2-pepper rating max.
I enjoy spicy foods and I love vinegar flavored snacks, so this is the perfect combination for me. It's not overly spicy, it tastes great, and it has a wonderfully light but crispy texture. I love them! These are now a staple snacking item in my pantry, and not just for Meatless Mondays.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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