I came late in life to balsamic vinegar, but I’ve grown to adore it. I’m also a long-time fan of salt and vinegar chips, something we used to get on Hot Dog Day at my Winnipeg elementary school, along with honey-glazed donuts and steamed hot dogs smeared with ketchup and mustard. (Is such a thing still allowed at schools, or has it been outlawed?)
And so, adult me loves the idea of subbing out plain old white vinegar for balsamic vinegar in the classic chip flavouring. I’m hoping for some sweetness in these to balance out the vinegar’s sour.
The Pitch: General feel-good statements about Miss Vickie’s chips – “At Miss Vickie’s, we crafted this recipe to bring you the flavour of a less hurried time,” etc. – but nothing about this specific flavour. Maybe they assume the flavour name is self-explanatory. (Mind you, that’s never stopped chip makers from waxing poetic in the past. Remember the surfing onions?)
The Look: A nice range of autumn colours – browns, tans and oranges – that help it to stand out compared to other Miss Vickie’s flavours. The chips themselves look like other Miss Vickie’s chips: golden and curly. There’s nothing visual to give away their taste.
The Taste: Good. I don’t know that I’d say it tastes like balsamic vinegar, but it certainly tastes like sweet onion with a sour twang. The oil is also noticeable, which I wasn’t expecting. “Balsamic vinegar solids” is listed way down in the ingredients list. I’ll say a flavour note in here reminds me slightly of balsamic vinegar, but the sweet onion is where the action is.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $4.19 for a 220-gram bag at Calgary Co-op.
Value for cash money: OK.
Availability: Widespread in Calgary. Not as easy to find as other Miss Vickie’s flavours, but they’re spreading.
Nutrition?: Per 28 chips (50 grams): 260 calories, 15 grams of fat, 340 mg of sodium, 2 grams of fibre, 3 grams of protein. Also, 20% daily value of vitamin C, and 6% daily value of iron.
The verdict: Good, though not really balsamicy (not a word, I know) enough.
What happened to these chips? Now they make our tongue feel raw. Something has changed.
We don’t buy them anymore.