I know I’ve been on a bit of a potato chip thing lately, so please forgive me. I just happen to really like chips, and the more curious the flavour the better.
Hardbite chips, a product of Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada, were recommended to me by commenter (and wonderful uncle) Peter, who left a note on one of my last chip reviews. I checked out the Hardbite website, and the most intriguing, oddball flavour they make is Creamy Coconut and Curry Oriental. I like chips, and I like coconut curry, so it seemed like a good fit.
The Look: A lime green bag that explains the many virtues of Hardbite chips. My bag was made by someone named Christina. (Thanks, Christina!)
The Pitch: It’s all sorts of interesting. On the front: “100% Artisan Chips. Trans Fat Free. Cholesterol Free.” On the back: “Wrap your teeth around the original Hardbite Chips. Rugged dippin’ chips. Not some flimsy imitation. The perfect chips to satisfy all your physical and emotional cravings. Our chips are made with unfettered free range potatoes sliced, spiced and kettle cooked for that incredible big bite taste.” Free range potatoes? Nice. Also, the bag mentions Himalayan crystallized salt. These are quirky chips.
The Texture: True to the Hardbite name, they’ve got a beautiful crunchy texture that takes some work to chew through. A hefty crunch ensures they don’t go quietly into that good belly. Not too oily.
The Taste: It’s not a bad flavour, but it lacks the punch or nuanced spice I’d expect from a curry chip. It’s not spicy-hot, and it reminds me of the generic bags labelled “curry powder” you find in supermarket spice aisles. There’s not much creamy and hardly any coconut.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $2.99 for a 150-gram bag at Planet Organic.
Value for cash money: Good.
Availability: Not always the easiest to find, but check organic/health shops. There’s a long list of stores on the Hardbite website to help you track some down.
Nutrition?: Per 20 chips (40 grams): 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 130 mg of sodium, 530 mg of potassium, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein. Some vitamin C and a bit of iron, too. Basic ingredients, and no MSG added.
The verdict: The base chips tasted great, so I think I’ll have to try another flavour before I write these off. When you’re aiming your chips at a health-minded audience that probably includes a lot of vegetarians, you’re aiming your chips at people who know what a real curry should taste like. Season accordingly.
Hmm, just may have to try those. Although hardly any coconut? And kind of a generic curry flavour? Well if I liked the subtle coconut curry of the Theo(from Seattle)milk chocolate coconut curry bar-that Kerstin carries, I should probably give ’em a try!
http://www.theochocolate.com (& click on ‘Shop Theo’, then ‘Fantasy Flavors’)
Sweet! That chocolate bar sounds amazing! And Kerstin’s carries it, you say? I’ll clearly have to make a visit in the next couple of weeks.
But yeah, these chips were both great (the chips) and so-so (the flavour). The coconut curry idea has so much potential, which made it even more tragic that the Hardbite flavouring was so bland. I’ll have to try another one of their flavours. I’m a sucker for BBQ chips, so that might be my next Hardbite attempt.
I really don’t think that bar would work with dark chocolate. But something about the combination of milk & the toasted coconut just seems like a comfortable pairing(kind of a creamy/texture thing, if you know what I mean).
I suggest trying their All Natural Chips a product whose life expectancy in our household can be measured in minutes. 🙂
I wonder what “kettle cooked” means? Are the regular potatoe chips deep fried? I think I would like an alternative to those deep fried tasting banana chips that seem to be the only type available. Maybe kettle boiling them would be an improvement! Or just dehydrating them. Seen any packages of kettle cooked or simply dehydrated banana chips? Not too much variety available in Bella Coola but I’d stock up whenever i make it out.
Hmmm. Near as I can tell from wikipedia, the kettle cooking process just means that they’re cooked in individual batches, rather than in a long, continuous frying line. They’re still oily and delicious, but the taste/texture is a bit different.