Would you pay twice as much for a vegetable chip made from a vegetable other than a potato? Looks like Canadian chip maker Hardbite is betting you will.
The Pitch: From the back of the bag: “Not your mama’s parsnips. We know, parsnips have a bad rap – and it’s your mom’s fault. But this cream-coloured, carrot look-alike just got a whole lot cooler. We’ve cooked up a light crunchy snack that takes this sweet, under-appreciated vegetable and makes it something to write home about. So eat your parsnips, your mom will love it.”
The Look: It’s a pretty package with lots of earthy green and bold typography. A beautiful photo of dirt-speckled parsnips evokes the fresh-from-the-soil vision they’re aiming for. When you open the bag, it’s abundantly clear just how little is in the package you paid a premium for. The chips are oily and brownish in appearance, and in the bag I got, a whole lot of them had been reduced to tiny pieces. This is annoying, and it makes them less presentable when you’re entertaining guests.
The Taste: Sweet and oily, with a definite carrot/parsnip flavour instead of potato. A little like a salted chip crossed with glazed carrots from a Thanksgiving dinner. Texture is crunchy, but also mooshy. It feels very different than a potato chip in your mouth, in that the crunch isn’t as dramatic and it disintegrates quickly. They clearly absorb a lot of oil during cooking, as the oil is a very noticeable part of the taste. The more you eat, the more you pick up on a pronounced bitterness in the chips.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $5.29 for a 150 gram bag at Calgary Co-op.
Value for cash money: Not good. The regular Hardbite chips were on a 2 for $5 sale directly next to the parsnip chips, nicely emphasizing how overpriced these are.
Nutrition?: Per 20 chips (40 grams): 170 calories, 18 grams of fat, 150 mg of sodium, 1 gram of fibre, 0.2 grams of protein.
Made by: Christina. Thanks, Christina!
The verdict: They’re different from regular chips, and I don’t mind the flavour. It really is an odd hybrid, best enjoyed in moderation. The stumbling point for me is the price. For the same cost as a regular bag of chips, I could see picking these up on a rare occasion when I wanted something different on the snack table. But at over five bucks per bag, it’s just not worth it.