Food Junk food

Review: Jamaican Jerk Chicken potato chips

Jamaican Jerk Chicken potato chips from President's Choice, with a bottle of Red Stripe for good measure.

I love wacky potato chip flavours, and this Jamaican Jerk Chicken flavour from President’s Choice intrigued the hell out of me.

The Look: The big white President’s Choice bag shows a delicious looking plate of Caribbean food, including beans, a scotch bonnet pepper, a salad, and two well-grilled pieces of jerk chicken. There’s also a three-pepper “Hot – Piquant” label near the bottom of the packaging. Hot, eh? We’ll see about that.

The Pitch: “Seasoned with a blend of Jamaican-style spices, these crunchy rippled chips are a tasty take on the fiery flavours of an island favourite.” Doesn’t say a lot, does it? Both “fiery” and “Jamaican-style” are in the mouth of the beholder, so there’s not much to go on. I know what jerk chicken is supposed to taste like, but to most people in Alberta, “jerk” is the neighbour who keeps letting his dog piddle on your lawn.

The Texture: Rippled chips with a generous dose of seasoning. Crunchy and heavy, but not like kettle chips. The potato chips themselves are fairly pedestrian – it’s the seasoning that aims for gourmet.

The Taste: Kind of like jerk, I suppose, with some taco seasoning thrown in for some reason. I think I’m getting some dusty allspice/clove and smoky garlic, but the taste you’ll notice most is the heat. Between the salt and the spice, you’re going to need much liquid refreshment.

The Heat: Yes, these are pretty hot. They’re spicier than most other chips I’ve tried. The heat builds as you eat more chips, so don’t get carried away. Don’t touch your eyes (or other sensitive body parts) after eating these unless you’ve given your hands a good scrub down with soap and water. (And even then, be careful. It’s harder to scrub away hot pepper than you’d think.)

Pairs With: A bottle of Red Stripe, naturally. And plenty of water.

All those ripples trap the ample "jerk" flavouring. They're nice and thick, with a good crunch.

RATINGS AND DETAILS

Cost: $1.66 for a 235-gram bag at Superstore.

Value for cash money: Insanely good.

Availability: Superstore.

Nutrition?: Per 50 grams (about 18 chip): 260 calories (eek!), 14 grams of fat (eek!), 300 mg of sodium (eek!), 2 grams of fibre (adequate!), and 4 grams of protein (yay!). Go easy on these.

MSG!: Yes, according to the ingredients panel, there’s monosodium glutamate in these here chips.

The verdict: They’re not exactly a jerk-chicken replica, but they’re a nice change of pace.

3 Comments

  1. *drool*I see potato chips may yet become a regular part of my snacking menu. I had been eating the Shoppers Drug Mart Brown Rice chips(five flavours I think, the curry being a fav.,*sigh*but they’re getting harder to find). Or tortilla chips-the Guacachips are an off’n’on favourite, corn chips with a guacamole coating baked-in …London Drugs, though they’re made stateside). And higher on my list of snackables (although I really need to restock)are the more ethnic, like Casava chips from Tienda Latina, 99th & Argyll. But the item I really Need to get a variety of are the east indian snack mixes or namkeens I think is the word. I Usually get those at Fruiticana or one of the groceries along 34th avenue-or that general area).

    • Iain Ilich

      Ahh! Guacachips are delish, aren’t they? For chip snacking, I keep coming back to Kettle chips. I miss their Spicy Thai flavour, which dropped off the flavour radar a while back.

      Having spent many young years in Winnipeg, I have a soft spot for Old Dutch ketchup chips, as previously seen on NEAROF! I imagine I’ll be eating plenty of these while cheering on the Jets this fall. 🙂

      Also, I finally tried a second flavour from Hardbite — Salt and Vinegar. I liked it a lot.

      In other words, I imagine there’ll never be a shortage of chip-related posts on NEAROF!

  2. I neglected to post the website of the snack maker that got me hooked on east indian snacks http://www.haldirams.com & of course click on ‘Namkeens’… for a year or so(96-97?)I could’ve sworn I must’ve been a Punjabi or something in a past life lol(reincarnation right;-)). Fruiticana makes their own snack mix, I’ll have to try that.

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