“Betcha can't eat just one.” December 13, 2019 9:31 AM   Subscribe

End of another long week, let's carve out a space to talk about something other than politics for those that need that space. Let's talk about potato chips, crisps, crackers, etc. What is your favorite chip-like product? What are your go to flavours? Do you prefer ruffles/ridges? Are you a Pringles fan? Which is superior Lays or Doritos? Do you have another brand from another part of the world that those of us here in N. America are missing out on? Do you like your chips spicy, salty, sweet? Or a combination of all of them? Have you gone out of your way to order a specific chip or flavour from another part of the world? Let's talk chips. As always, be kind to yourself and others.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 9:31 AM (105 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Here in Canada, people seem to really enjoy Ketchup and All-Dress flavoured Lays potato chips. I'm ok with All-Dress, but the Ketchup flavour is something that boggles my mind. For those wondering what all-dressed chips taste like, this is the specific flavour definition: combines the potato chip flavours of barbecue, ketchup, sour cream and onion, and salt and vinegar.

My personal preference changes depending on the company:
Doritos: Cool Ranch
Lays: Jalapeno
Pringles: Sour Cream & Onion.

I lean more towards spicy flavour combinations with my chips.
posted by Fizz at 9:39 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

While I'm a Cool Ranch originalist, I will confess to being rather smitten with Sonic Sour Cream Doritos. They come and go from the shelves, which I imagine is some heinous marketing psychology manipulation, but, well...chips, man.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:39 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Miss Vickie's Salt & Vinegar, but not in the individual serving bags -- by which I mean, the smallest bags, because really, everything can be an individual serving bag if you try hard enough.

Something about something in their manufacturing process means that the small bags you get next to the chocolate bars at the corner store never have the eye-searing, tongue-peeling acidity of the same product from a grocery store sized bag, or better yet, a Costco-sized party bag. It baffles me, honestly, but I'm never not disappointed when I buy a small bag.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:46 AM on December 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

I have to confess to being a Cheetos fan -- the puffy kind, not the crunchy kind. I feel like they're sort of the ne plus ultra of bad-for-you-food, so I always want to go incognito when I buy them. It's bad enough how everyone judges you for what's in your cart at the grocery store, but Cheetos??? Eh, I keep buying them anyway.

Other than that, All-Dressed Ruffles are the best thing ever. And they're not easy to find in the US!
posted by holborne at 9:48 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm not often in a ketchup chip mood, but when the mood strikes? Old Dutch ketchup.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:48 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Grandma Utz potato chips, produced in the "snack food capital of the world". Kettle-cooked in lard. Gives it a unique crunch and flavor. I had to tell a vegatarian Grandma Utz fan the bad news recently about the lard. She was crushed.
posted by hhc5 at 9:59 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh god i'm back on keto and doing well and why did i click into here oh crap
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:09 AM on December 13, 2019 [13 favorites]

So much Canadian representation in the chip thread. This doesn't surprise me.

When I moved to Canada I had to try ketchup and dill pickle Lays right away, and I have found that the best way to enjoy them is together, in the same bite.

If I choose my own though I'm likely to go tortilla with dip. Or some sort of snack cracker. I have made it a habit to bring Cheez-Its back when I visit the States as they are coveted here. I have two packets right now I haven't touched.
posted by wellred at 10:10 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I grew up in a place where the local potato chips were something of a legend. People who moved away would have big cans of Jones chips shipped to them. They were the wavy potato chips meant for dipping, much less greasy than Lay's or Ruffles, with the perfect amount of salt, if you like a really salty chip. My dad used to spend his rare Saturdays at home laying on the couch watching sports in his underwear, crunching his way through a bag of Jone's and a container of French onion dip, washed down with a cold RC cola, which my brother and I clamored to share. He tells me that "the kids" who inherited the factory changed the recipe (probably cheaper oil) and they aren't nearly as good now. They eat Balrich now but they are not quite like Jones' back in the day. Here in the Chicago area the closest I've found is Jay's, which are pretty good. I still eat them with onion dip.

My other favorite chip is Doritos, nacho cheese flavor. They are so good. Every time I eat them I can't help thinking about what I've read about "hyper flavored" foods that are meant to overstimulate our brain's reward system and get us hooked. These must be a supreme example, and my brain performs as expected.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:15 AM on December 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

Like hhc5, I’m here for Grandma Utz’s, dipped in sour cream. They taste like my childhood for some reason (probably because I grew up in eastern PA, where they cook everything in lard anyway), and the hard crunch with the creamy sour cream is just perfect in my mouth. I’m consciously trying to eat more plant-based, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I will never give up my once-a-year lard chips.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2019

you can have my flamin hot cheetos when you pry them from my bright red hands
posted by dismas at 10:28 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sweet Maui Onion chips - I get them at World Market
Munchos are great but are plain potato flavor
posted by soelo at 10:30 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

The most time I've ever spent in Canada is 3-4 days on a work trip. This was long enough for me to fall madly in love with Hickory Sticks. Salty, smoky, crunchy, so good. It's probably a good thing that they're not readily available here, although one day I'll probably break down and order a case online.

I love Cheetos, and I like the new Lays Poppables - they're sorta like a puffed-up Pringle. I also like the time of the year when it's the Flavor Contest for ...I forgot the brand, but I love trying new flavors of potato chips and appreciate the creativity of the flavor chemists.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 10:42 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Ahem Sparky Buttons come visit
posted by wellred at 10:48 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I miss very few food items since going vegan, but I totally miss shrimp chips, specifically the kind that come as hard little colored discs that you have to fry up yourself.

Try Krupuk Bawang! Delicious and fun to say.
posted by zamboni at 10:55 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

A chip story! I grew up in Finneytown, a suburb of Cincinnati heavily populated by Proctor & Gamble employees. They are not my favorite chip now as an adult, but I was a test kid for Pringles before they were released to the market in 1967. Man, those things were addictive. We kept begging for them but they weren't available yet so somebody's dad sneaked unlabeled cans home from the lab to distribute around the neighborhood. Pringles are named after Pringle Drive, a street in Finneytown. Ten years later, our high school AP chemistry teacher, who worked for P&G over summer breaks, told our class that he spent one summer trying to isolate a flavor molecule from another popular local chip and make it stick to Pringles. He was unsuccessful and that's why Pringles don't taste quite like other potato chips. That story may be apocryphal but it's a fun local legend.
posted by rekrap at 10:56 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Someday the Indian snack mix bhuja is going to gain the popularity it deserves where I live, in the U.S. I love Deep Hot Mix and nearly everything made by Mirch Masala.

Also from India, if you like Cheetos, try Kurkure - they're made by PepsiCo India and are extruded puffs like Cheetos, but with a rice/corn base and Indian flavors. They're fantastic.

Virginia's Route 11 Chesapeake Crab chips, flavored with an Old Bay-like seasoning, are the best potato chips.

I rarely get to enjoy any of these, as I have to limit my salt very strictly, plus it means an online order or sending el_lupino on a long errand.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Potato chips are really my only snack weakness, none more so than salt-and-vinegar flavor. My husband likes them too (although probably not quite so much as I do), so on the rare occasions we buy them, we have to get two bags so as not to have to share.

I like plenty of other flavors too, including cheddar-and-sour-cream, dill pickle, and plain (especially with dip). BBQ is probably the only flavor of potato chip I really don't like. Zapp's chips are great, especially the crawtater and cajun dill flavors, but they're hard to find in larger bags where I live.

It's always so much fun to try new chip flavors when traveling internationally. There was one I got in Amsterdam a couple of years ago called Patatje Joppie ("French Fries with Joppiesaus") that I really loved. Unfortunately, I have just learned that Lay's plans to replace it with a new flavor, as yet to be determined. :( That same wikipedia article informs me that there is a "Cucumber and Goats" flavor available in Belgium. Not sure what to think about that.

I always get suckered into trying the Lay's design-a-flavor competitors here in the US as well. There was one a couple years ago that was mango something... Chutney? Salsa? It was surprisingly good. The cappucino ones were the only ones I ever had to throw away. One of the worst food items I've ever put in my mouth.

Corn chips are ok, but way, way down the list compared to potato chips.
posted by slenderloris at 11:10 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Even better, the burnt ones. I don't mean the box of well-done or extra toasty or whatever they call them that you can buy, I'm talking the three or four burnt Cheez-its you get in every box of regular Cheez-its. Oh man, that's the stuff.

Red wine and Cheez-its. I'm tellin' ya. Give it a shot.
posted by bondcliff at 11:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]

Salt and pepper kettle chips all day!

Though I was recently introduced to Magic Masala chips, and I have no argument with them.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2019

Also, has anyone ever tried The Whole Shabang? They taste-tested them on the Doughboys podcast and they sounded delicious, but I couldn't rationalize purchasing them.
posted by slenderloris at 11:13 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shrimp chips Shrimp chips Shrimp chips, preferably the baked Calbee ones but I will happily try any and all types.

When I was a kid there was one store in town that carried them and they cost so much more then any other chips that I rarely bought them. But now I can find them all over the place! In such small ways the world improves.
posted by lepus at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Since I try to avoid certain carbs, and I really miss a good "crunch" I've found Plantain Chips (savory, not sweet) my favorites are Inka brand and Trader Joe's Jerk style (for the spice). My other spicy go to is Pork Rinds. I'm partial to the 4505 brand Classic chili and salt.
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:21 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Damn, sitting here with a bag of Lay's Classic; trying my best to wipe the f-ing grease and residual chip debris from my hands after every grubful into my mouf.

Won't somebody think of the QWERTYs!
posted by buzzman at 11:21 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Wavy Lays, without a doubt.
posted by lyssabee at 11:46 AM on December 13, 2019

Red wine and Cheez-its. I'm tellin' ya. Give it a shot.

I finally had to ban Cheez-its from the house because I was in danger of evolving into a Cheez-its-based life form.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:47 AM on December 13, 2019 [10 favorites]

Pro tip: the best way to eat chips is with chopsticks. I discovered this in college and I never looked back.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:53 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]

I like most chips, but where it's really at is the Smartfood white cheddar popcorn. Any sized bag is a single serving bag. I'm super proud when I manage to leave, like, a cup of popcorn in the bottom of the bag because hey! Didn't eat the whole bag!
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:59 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just...I don't even like Ritz-style crackers, they feel funny on my teeth, but my spouse bought a couple of boxes the other day and I can't stop sneaking them from the cabinet. They're not for me! Not for snacking! I risk being in big trouble! For something I don't even like! Why can't I stop? WHY?
posted by mittens at 12:14 PM on December 13, 2019 [10 favorites]

Hard to go wrong with Nacho Cheese Doritos.

My latest obsession is the Honey Mustard Mix from Costco - pretzel pieces, sesame sticks, seasoned almonds, honey roasted almonds, crunchy chickpeas. I bought two extra bags for an upcoming poker weekend but may forget to pack them...
posted by Twicketface at 12:24 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Once upon a time, local grocers carried a brand of potato chip called Gibbles whose slogan was Nibble with Gibbles. Their red-hot chips were my platonic ideal of a spicy chip. They went out of business for a while and they never exist at my local stores, but they now sell online and I have from time to time splurged and paid an embarrassing amount to have them shipped to my house.
posted by Lame_username at 12:25 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Fresh tortilla chips at my local Tex-Mex place (Chuy's, for those who also have one nearby) fall firmly into the "I could eat these until I literally die" column.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:28 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

My favorite easily-accessible chip is Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream. I will eat a Cheddar Sunchip with enjoyment but the Ruffle is the leader.

Harder to find are Cheetos Cheddar Jalapeno, but they are so good because a) the cheddar is cheddary b) the jalapeno is not some kind of death-stunt hot, it's just a bit warm, and c) the jalapeno flavor is truly a nice fruity pepper flavor, like a seeded jalapeno.

Also yes, the shatteringly thin-crisp fresh-fried tortilla chips you can get at a good Tex-Mex place. For many many years, Chili's also made their chips that way, and their queso was really good, and I went and had some after some years' absence and no no no no no, both the chips and the queso were an abomination.

If you're ever in San Diego, there's a local chain called Miguel's that makes the good chips and unspeakably delicious white sauce dip.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:41 PM on December 13, 2019

I have to admit, when it comes to chips I prefer plain to fancy flavors and I prefer very specific plain brands.

Doritos: Cool Ranch or GTFO.

Kettle Brand Himalayan Salt Krinkle Cut. I have only found these at Costco and I look for EXCUSES to buy these chips, as the bag is so large they either go stale or I eat the entire bag, which is bad for me. So they end up being a standard to bring to all our friend's parties.

Cape Code Original: this is my goto when I cannot justify Kettle Krinkle Cut. I eat these accompanied with a rare roast beef sandwich and kalamata olives.

Chip Alternative: Synder of Hanover Hard Pretzels. I lived on these suckers in college.

Crackers: One of my favorite combinations to eat was Triscuits Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil with Market District Herb Brie. Giant Eagle discontinued the herb brie, so I resigned myself to Savouritz Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil and ordinary Brie instead.

Lame_username I remember that slogan!

And I had to ban Cheez-Its from the house, I could eat an entire box in one sitting.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

i'll eat pretty much any kind of chip you give me, but i go wild for the kettle cooked jalapeno ones that give me INSTANT stomach cramps. they're truly a treat
posted by gaybobbie at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love all snacking crisps intently, including everything in this thread. I wasn't even mad at the bag of calamari tzatziki potato chips I ran across in Canada. Except... I hate Doritos. I think I just wasn't introduced to them as a child and missed the learning window. I love Juanita's flavored tortilla chips, I love cheese powder in general and jalapeno Cheetos and cheddary potato chips, I like Takis and flavored Fritos, but I don't view Doritos as food at all, really.
posted by momus_window at 12:55 PM on December 13, 2019

I love potato chips, but I dislike kettle-cooked (whatever that is). They have all the potato removed!

Hot Cheetos (and friends) are the IPA of crunchy snacks.

The best chips ever made were Pringles Corn Chips (not this), which haven't been made in the US in like 10-15 years. It's like a disappointing test-market experience.
posted by rhizome at 12:57 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

In no particular order of preference:

Cape Cod Kettle Chips
Chex Mix
Doritos (Nacho or Ranch)
Lays (original)
Wise CheezDoodles
Pringles (original)
Bugles (original and caramel)
posted by briank at 1:12 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I almost forgot! ONE time, at a random gas station, I found a bag of waffle cut chips that were aged cheddar and black pepper flavored. I don't remember who made them but they were amazing. Of course, I have never seen them again.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:16 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shrimp chips. Old school style that look like colorful thin, glass hard candies that then get fried up in a wokful of peanut oil. Puffs up to a spongy airy shape in pastel colors.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 1:24 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

How to eat: a crisp sandwich

Worth it just for the photo of perfectly arranged crisps between two slices of pillowy white bread.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:26 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Better Made or GTFO.
posted by praemunire at 1:36 PM on December 13, 2019

Jalapeño Cheetos oh god I had to start rationing myself to one single-serving bag a week, (usually picked up on my way home and scarfed down before dinner).
Also Miss Vickie’s kettle cooked black pepper (and some kind of cheese? Asiago?), preferably with or inside a tuna sandwich.
posted by janepanic at 2:10 PM on December 13, 2019

Given snack food's less-than-healthy (and far-too-addictive...I'm lookin' at you, Habanero Bacon tortilla chips) properties, I try to avoid even bringing them into the house. Fortunately I've found an acceptable and at least somewhat healthier alternative in the mixed dried vegetable chips sold in the bulk foods section of my local grocery store. Sometimes I'll even throw in a few dried plantain chips for variety. They're crunchy, pretty tasty, and not too salty, and a handful is satisfying - I'm not left with cravings to go back for more.

That might make me sound like a goody-two-shoes, but I'm not really. Like many people I wage a constant struggle with extra weight, couch potato tendencies, and a diet that could use improvement, so I'm happy for this small victory!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:20 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've lost my overseas connection to buy me paprika Jumpys so now I'm hoarding my last few packages because nothing in the States is comparable. They are delicious pockets of crunchiness that are addictive and I will eat a whole bag by myself in one sitting with no regrets (except for the inability to easily purchase more!).

I also really love paprika flavored chips/crisps in general, and am sad that's a flavor that's never caught on in the US.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:29 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Other than that, All-Dressed Ruffles are the best thing ever. And they're not easy to find in the US!

So I didn't know about all-dressed at all until a few years ago, visiting family and friends on the east coast, and camping in Maine they had traditional snacks, including notably all-dressed chips. Which if you don't know what people are talking about in the first place is a tricky thing to parse out of excitable hollering at the campground, hey are you going into town, drop by Reny's and pick up a couple more bags of aldriss, get some more alders, we're gonna need more algiers.

Turns out they're really good! I understand the shouting now.

When Secretariat and I were up in Vancouver earlier this year for heeeraldo and smasuch's wedding the two things we brought back across the border were local Canadian craft beer and like ten bags of chips, including some ketchup and at least one bag of all-dressed that may not have technically made it back to Oregon.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:49 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Bugles and Munchos. Fight me.
posted by Splunge at 3:02 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

bondcliff special happening over here right now
posted by wellred at 3:08 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

The best chips I have ever had were the Terra Yukon Gold Salt & Pepper, which they no longer make. I had to check again just now to make sure they aren't available in some remote corner of the world, but no. I think about them all. the. time.
posted by Sibrax at 3:11 PM on December 13, 2019

I'm not often in a ketchup chip mood, but when the mood strikes?

That is my stock answer when they ask me why I am going to Canada, if I'm just on a day trip "Ketchup chips."

I have a lot of weird chip type things I love, though I'm not much of a chip eater anymore. I like Fritos with tuna sandwiches. I like those Taco Bell things that have Fritos in them. I grew up in an era of Bugles (still around) and Corn Diggers (RIP MY FAVE) and have had a hard time acclimating to new chips. Nowadays if I am eating chips that I bought myself it's probably just BBQ pork rinds from the liquor store since that are salty, have actual protein and I don't care about the ick factor particularly.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:18 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Wait. You can buy well-done Cheez-its? I don't even know that I'd want them, but I kind of like knowing they exist.
posted by veggieboy at 3:19 PM on December 13, 2019

So here's a thing I forgot to mention... pork cracklings, aka crispy pork rinds with a little strip of fried fat attached. Something about the crispy-creamy texture of that fat is completely addictive to me. I will eat a thousand calories worth in a sitting (not that hard, due to the fat.) I swear to god they make my chest hurt though, which I suspect is impossible and probably all in my head but who knows. I would probably still eat them anyway, but the only place I knew where to get them was the gas station by my work, and they've since changed brands. The new chicharrones are literally as hard as rocks and I damn near broke a tooth, I don't know how anyone actually eats them. So that is probably the only thing standing between me and a heart attack at my desk at work.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:24 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love people talking about the Canadian chip flavors- Ketchup, all-dressed and the famous hickory sticks. We take our chips seriously and consume A LOT of them....but people like all kinds of modern flavors now and think I'm crazy for buying Ketchup chips when I'm back. They remind people of elementary school- that's the whole point!!!!
posted by bquarters at 3:43 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Utz sour cream and onion ripples fan for life!
posted by sallybrown at 4:05 PM on December 13, 2019

pork cracklings, aka crispy pork rinds with a little strip of fried fat attached

I've started making cracklings when I butcher animals and it's a wonderful snack. Pork takes a little bit of extra work (you have to boil the skins for a while before roasting or smoking them), but birds are easy - salt and pepper, place on a tray with some parchment, lay another sheet of parchment on top, and press another sheet pan on top to keep them from curling. 425 degree oven until brown and crispy, maybe 45 minutes. I tend to trim all the skin and fat off my carcasses before making stock anyway so I don't have to skim as much fat later, so why not crisp them up and eat them?

I tried Takis recently, and I think I prefer a regular tortilla chip or Dorito more. The Taki was too thick, and they got stale really quickly. The super spicy habanero flavor was great, though.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:21 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

All Dressed Ruffles or plain Lays, nothing in between. But lately, for my snack cravings, I've been on an intense Tim Tams kick. Before that, it was LU Pim's, which is a Jaffa Cakes knockoff. I like them a bit better than actual Jaffa Cakes, which is good because Pim's are half the price and I can buy multiple boxes at a time at Stop and Shop, where there are never more than two packages of Jaffa Cakes, if they're even in stock, in the tiny bit of shelving allotted to British/Irish food. (Which is still more space than the pitiful Jewish section. I have to drive half an hour into Massachusetts whenever I get an urge for chocolate covered halvah. Mmm, chocolate covered halvah...)

Oh, right, chips. Kid Ruki and her dad are both into spicy chips lately. I'm proud to say that the kid can eat more Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper chips than her dad. I think my husband has been buying them specifically to try to win a Carolina Reaper chip for the One Chip Challenge. But between you and me, the candles aren't going to be the only thing on fire this Hanukkah. ;)
posted by Ruki at 4:24 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was going to say Utz, but no love for Wise?

I wear top dentures, but I don't wear them at home, so crunchy things are often a challenge for me. I can't crunch on almonds, my prior favorite. I can do pickles, or Ritz with peanut butter, even popcorn or Saltines.

Plain Wise potato chips are just right for me, I can crunch them and eat them without slicing my gums. You don't realize how much you miss crunchy things until you lose your real teeth. There's no baby carrots, no nuts, no biting into an apple. You can't crunch ice. So a little bit of crunchy potato chip is very satisfying, and my vote goes for Wise.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:06 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Twenty-five years ago, when I was a young stoner, Doritos started making these thin restaurant-style chips and I can't remember what they called the flavor but it was slightly spicier than normal Doritos but not flamin hot mouth torture spicy and they were fucking delicious. With a can of ice cold Mountain Dew? *chef's kiss*

They stopped making them after a couple years and I've missed them every day since then.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:09 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

My personal favorite potato chips are salt and vinegar, which I generally can't have due to food allergies. Sour cream and onion are good too. I lean more toward non-potato chips. But first, more about potato chips!

One of the great things about traveling around the world is seeing the dominant chip flavors in each nation. Canada's been covered, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the New Zealand fascination with chicken chips. (Does that packaging seem tantamount to avian cannibalism? Perhaps!)

Australia seems to have moved on from pushing the envelope on Tim Tam flavor combinations to chips. On the shelf at Cole's: glazed ham flavour, vintage cheddar caramelized onion and rosemary, beef and mustard, turkey and gravy, feta oregano,

In Japan, under_petticoat_rule had "parmesan" flavored chips that he described as being more "vomit-flavored."

The downside about traveling the world is that the two types of chips I love more than any other are generally unavailable outside of North America (except, strangely, in Bangkok).

Chip number one: pita chips, preferably the fried version one buys at the Middle Eastern booth at the farmers' market, though the ones at Trader Joe's are pretty good too. (The farmers' market ones may be exclusively a CA thing, I can't remember seeing them in Oregon or WA farmers' markets.)

Chip number two: BEANITOS. I am allergic to corn, and these are tortilla chips made of beans and rice. I don't remember what corn chips tasted like enough to compare but they definitely scratch the itch. Love the Nacho flavor, the Pico de Gallo, and the salted, but nothing beats "Hint of Lime." I can eat an entire bag of those in one sitting by myself (which I can't say about most chips).

The other thing I adore are roasted seasoned chickpeas. Yes, I can make these at home but there's something about the convenience of buying them in the shop as well as the fabulous spice blends some people come up with.

Nthing the people above who lauded the Indian snacks. There is this one snack that I have that "I can't stop eating it but it feels weird in my mouth" thing about. They're these fried chickpea flour things that are extruded into...sort of short star-shaped noodles? It's not sev, it's something else. If there is a bag of those in front of me they will be gone before you can tell me what they are.

Trader Joe's also had a papadum chip I loved for a hot minute, but then they vanished. Perhaps I'm from the zip code that is the death knell for new products?
posted by rednikki at 5:29 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Juanita's tortilla chips. Any other kind of chip I'm kind of "whatever" on, they're fine, I'll eat some and be content.

I have trouble not eating the whole bag of Juanita's.
posted by curious nu at 5:39 PM on December 13, 2019

I respect others' beliefs.
But I just do not understand all of these answers that are anything other than Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili.
posted by D.Billy at 5:53 PM on December 13, 2019

Salsitas corn chips. "The salsa is in the chip!" They're pretty spicy.

When I was a kid I liked Clam Crisps. I do not think they exist any more.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:58 PM on December 13, 2019

1. Nacho Doritos dipped in whipped cream cheese. Camping. With day drinking.
2. Salty potato chips with French onion dip. Ideally homemade dip but TJs version is the best second choice.
posted by purenitrous at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

The ultimate crunchy/salty/spicy love of my snacking life: green chile pistachios oh my GAWD.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:19 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I scoffed at the turkey & stuffing chips from Trader Joe's and then one year I tried them and I was hooked. There's still one unopened bag in the pantry, which I will try to avoid opening for as long as I can.
posted by mogget at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2019

Camping. With day drinking.

Heck, that makes anything taste better!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:55 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love to make my own:
Slice large, raw potatoes very thin. Lay slices on a plate, coated with olive oil, sprinkle salt and spices, microwave for a few minutes until just crispy right.
You may need to experiment a few times until you get the exact time it takes, usually 3 minutes, than add 2, maybe 2 more.
To recap:
Microwave chips - less than 10 minutes preparation, hot and crispy, fresh, cheap & healthy.
posted by growabrain at 8:38 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm a chipoholic! My go to is Doritos Nacho Cheese or Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion. Ruffles sour cream and bacon is pretty nifty as well. Sometimes I just have to have Bits and Bites, though. Popcorn, made on the stove in a pot but it's a love/hate relationship as the corn gets into my gums and teeth.

And sometimes I just want to make my own chips: thinly sliced on a mandolin or food processor, dropped in some salted water for half an hour (but I usually can't wait that long) then into a small pot filled with vegetable oil. Small batches and keeping an eye on them for the perfect "done-ness". Always a hit because they're always delicious.

Wasabi peas....so good.

Damn, I think I'm hungry.
posted by ashbury at 9:26 PM on December 13, 2019

I feel sad because none of you know the glory that is Japanese potato chip technology, yet pretty excited that I’ve got them all to myself. For one thing, there are few standard flavors, usually salt, nori/seaweed (yuck), and chicken consommé. The glorious part is the nigh on constant innovation, and non stop release of new flavors every couple of months. I mean, sure, sour cream and onion is wonderful, and I love it, but:

Sour Cream and Jalapeño

Sour cream and BACON

Those are just some of the most wonderful chips. We’ve also had gyoza/potsticker chips that managed to cover every single aspect of the flavor, from the lightly crisped wrapper, the juicy pork and scallions in the filling, the soy sauce, vinegar and chili mixture you dip it in, everything. One of the most perfect snack experiences of my life.

Currently, they’re doing a series on chips flavored like local snacks from all 47 prefectures, and they’re all frighteningly accurate.

That’s not to say there haven’t been awful missteps, like the orange juice flavored chips. It’s better just to not speak of them.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:43 PM on December 13, 2019 [10 favorites]

I look forward to reading these threads. In addition to being a nice break from politics, problem solving, and death notices, Mefites offer great stories and ideas for desert island essentials, favorite podcasts, and our shared love of coffee. I don’t usually chime in because my idea, experience, or recommendation has already been made by another Mefite – which is okay because I enjoy knowing I have something in common with this community. But tonight, I perused the list of favorite chips and crackers, and didn’t see mine listed – and my favorite is truly delicious. So now I feel obligated to share it, because withholding this info would unfair to those of you who might never consider trying it without a recommendation and to those of you who are thus far disappointed because our favorite isn’t listed. Anywho, the best salty crunchy flavorful snack IMO is the Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuit.
posted by kbar1 at 9:58 PM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]

I used to love Chicken in a Biskit crackers more than anything when I was younger. They're just not the same in our post-trans-fats world.

I can eat a whole box of Cheez-its in one sitting.

I consider a pack of saltines and a jar of chunky blue cheese dressing to be a viable dinner.

My all-time fave is homemade Chex party mix from the original recipe. The ready-made stuff is just a pale imitation (why don't they use their own original recipe?!?).

Barbecue potato chips with sour cream are delish (dipped in real sour cream, not "sour cream" flavored chips).

I miss the old Taco flavored Doritos, but I guess you can get those now sometimes.

Later perhaps I will tell the tale of my ill-fated attempt to make homemade Cheetos...
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:09 PM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]

It took me long time to warm up chips here. But now i’m addicted to vintage cheddar & onion and honey soy chicken.

But when we fly to North America, I get a big bag of Cheetohs. mr icing doesn’t get salty crunchy orange food (no NZ analog), but he’s getting there.
posted by lemon_icing at 3:17 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I bought a box of Chicken in a Biskit at some point since I also loved them as a child, and they were the saltiest value-engineered flavor of blah that I have ever had as an adult, like the powder was just the powder from Chicken Noodle Lipton Cup-a-Soup. Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup? Lipton Cup-a-Soup, Chicken Noodle?

I also can eat a pound of Cheez-Its without thinking about it. If you want to put a little love into your gorging, the homemade Cheez-Its recipe at Food Wishes is super easy and can be made in a hour start to finish after about your third try.
posted by rhizome at 4:17 AM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Pea crisps! The things that Trader Joe’s calls Contemplate Inner Peas. I’m also really into Trader Joe’s crispy okra snacks lately. Just a tiny hint of slime!
posted by moonmilk at 4:56 AM on December 14, 2019

Many things I like listed here already (Gibble hell yeah!) but Vegetable Thins crackers were a thing I had as a kid at a family party that I misidentified as Sociables (good but vastly inferior to Vegetable Thins) and had started to believe I had dreamed them until I encountered them again years later.

They are still the best cracker, to me, so I don’t buy them very often, to avoid burning myself out on them as I have done with so many things, like playing a song on repeat for hours.

I also really like garlic flavored bagel chips, and I miss making popcorn at home in a wok. I used to add salt or spices to the oil before putting the kernels in, and I once had a horrifying experience with hot-pepper-flavored steam.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:23 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

My all-time fave is homemade Chex party mix from the original recipe. The ready-made stuff is just a pale imitation (why don't they use their own original recipe?!?).

I agree that the homemade is much better. I suspect the store-bought isn't made with that recipe because it wouldn't have much of a shelf-life with all those natural ingredients, and because the nutrition label would be scary.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:38 AM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

When I was a kid, I loved these crisps called potato puffs, I don't think they make them anymore. They were these tiny sort of pillow-shaped hollow crispy potato shells which had the most satisfying texture to bite into.

My current favourites are Monster Munch (pickled onion-flavour extruded corn puff type thing in the shape of a monster paw) and salt and vinegar Chipsticks (extruded corn thing in the shape of a stick), which are both amazing. They must only be available in the UK, otherwise surely someone else would have mentioned them by now.
posted by AllShoesNoSocks at 7:43 AM on December 14, 2019

I used to love Chicken in a Biskit crackers more than anything when I was younger. They're just not the same in our post-trans-fats world.

I love their common shelf neighbor, Better Cheddars (soooo salty).
posted by sallybrown at 8:37 AM on December 14, 2019

All right, now that everyone is done guessing, I will give you the definitive answer: the best chips ever made were the Food Should Taste Good Chocolate Tortilla Chips, which inexplicably are no longer on the market. I used to make myself half sick plowing through bag after bag of these. Non, je ne regrette rien!
posted by HotToddy at 9:35 AM on December 14, 2019

I love their common shelf neighbor, Better Cheddars (soooo salty).

Not to cross streams with the subconscious musical cues thread over in the grey, but "New Better Cheddars, with sourdough baked right in. Delicious-tasting Better Cheddars, the San Francisco-style...snack thin." I think having included "delicious-tasting" from the very beginning must explain their longevity.
posted by rhizome at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Can't eat dairy and I miss bacon and horseradish dip with cape cod chips, also Cheezits, Cheetos. My Mom always made dip from cream cheese, chipped beef, horseradish, and it's so good. Potato chips are my weakness, far more than French fries, and salt & vinegar, barbecue, or regular are all welcome. Crunchy, salty is my jam, but I made roasted cauliflower with hot sauce and a little barbecue sauce yesterday and ate the whole thing over the evening. Mmmmmumami.
posted by theora55 at 10:20 AM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I miss bacon and horseradish dip

I forgot about that! We used to eat it with Fritos.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:33 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Cheez-It, obviously. When I was a kid I would dunk them in cream cheese. Pretty messed up. I regret nothing.

Nacho Cheese Doritos: I always think Cool Ranch is actually my fave, but no, it’s really Nacho.

French Onion Sun Chips (usually onion stuff is too much for me, but these...damn).

Terra Chips are more addictive than they should be.

Kettle used to(?) make a cheddar-beer chip, which was everything. Can’t find it around here anymore. Their New York Cheddar is not the same and it only disappoints.

Triscuit Fire-Roasted Tomato, with a thick slice of pepper jack.

Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar, with a beer.
posted by armeowda at 10:59 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh chips! (Or crisps) I love you so...
Kid nostalgia: Tim's Cascade Salt and Vinegar
Teen Nostalgia: TC Jalapeno
UK nostalgia: all the odd holiday varieties with stuffing and whatnot.
Ordered online: Chirps - they are made with crickets. Tried BBQ flavor. Would eat again.
posted by PistachioRoux at 11:47 AM on December 14, 2019

I totally forgot to add my current favorite chip - now that I live in South Florida: Plantain chips!
posted by PistachioRoux at 11:53 AM on December 14, 2019

I was reading through this and feeling lucky that I don't like chips much. Then I came across the mention of wasabi peas. Okay, you got me too.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 11:59 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was going to say Utz, but no love for Wise?

If I had to pick my favorite basic potato chip, it would be Wise. I grew up with them. My mom would buy nothing but Wise, so it was a while before I realized that there were other kinds.
posted by Splunge at 2:17 PM on December 14, 2019

Worcester sauce French fries. French fries being a variety of crisp in this case. Now Worcester not Worcestershire. Best bit is of course the flavour crumbs left at the bottom.
posted by biffa at 2:40 PM on December 14, 2019

Favorite straight up potato chip, a tossup between various Pennsylvania chips: Utz, Martin's and Good's (still cooked in lard).

Favorite corn chips, Late July Organic Sea Salt and Lime Tortilla Chips; the lime is so tasty.

Wild card snack, the pride of North Dakota: Dot's Homestyle Pretzels; super salty coating but I have a hard time stopping myself from binging on them.
posted by gudrun at 3:31 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Regarding ketchup chips, I'm just going to leave this stock photo here:

Colleagues chat over ketchup chips
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:38 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have seen, but did not purchase, Mackies Haggis-flavored chips.
posted by theora55 at 6:11 PM on December 14, 2019

I have seen, but did not purchase, Mackies Haggis-flavored chips.

I have. I did. They're good! If people like cracked black pepper chips/crisps, these would totally be in that wheelhouse.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:14 PM on December 14, 2019

(Disclaimer; I have not read all the comments above, so this may already be covered.)

Back in the day when you opened most any bag of potato chips, there would be some brown ones. Slightly over cooked, not quite burned. They were the BEST! I would ask my parents and siblings for their browned chips, and as they didn't care for them I was a happy camper!

At some point, technology evolved and there were no more brown chips. Just consistent tan cloned chips. Sigh.

But wait! If you too want to experience the wonder of browned chips, dump a pile of plain potato chips on a baking sheet, pop those babies into a 375 degree oven AND WATCH IT CAREFULLY! Seriously, they will go from delicately browning to flaming blackened flakes of char in the blink of an eye!!! You have been warned!

Ice cold beer. Browned (and still warm from the oven takes this to unimaginable tastiness) potato chips=happiness!!

(I grew up near a Lays potato chip factory and as a child got to tour the place during a grade school field trip. The chaos that happened when we were all lined up next to a conveyer belt full of freshly deep fried chips coming out of the hot oil vats was most certainly what instilled in me the love of hot chips.)
posted by LaBellaStella at 6:13 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

My wife doesn't share my love for flavored potato chips, which means she won't touch the Wasabi Ranch or Buffalo Bleu chips when I bring those home. I'm a grown-ass man who knows that regularly making a meal of potato chips is not wise, so I like to use my potato chips as vehicles for getting chicken salad into my mouth.

The worst Kettle potato chip flavor I've tried is Moscow Mule. Just, no.
posted by emelenjr at 8:56 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Lime Tostitos.
Spicy Nacho Doritos.
Ketchup potato sticks.
White cheddar cheez its.
Zapp’s Cajun Crawtators.

As long as they don’t taste strongly of vinegar, though, if it’s a chip, I probably love it.
posted by Night_owl at 5:21 PM on December 15, 2019

How to eat: a crisp sandwich

Walkers? Sacrilege! The only proper filling for a crisp sandwich is Tayto Cheese and Onion (the "Free-Stayto" ones, not Northern Irish Tayto.)
posted by scorbet at 8:40 AM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

The chips that were my everything were O'Grady's Au Gratin, which were discontinued years ago. The gimmick was that they were "thick-cut" or whatever they called it, which basically meant that they were the thickness of two or three Ruffles stacked on top of each other. I remember one particular summer, I was at a summer music program in Massachusetts; I'd go to the store, get a bag, and wait until my roommate left to eat them. Best things ever. Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream flavor is close, but not quite (even if I stack them on top of each other).
posted by holborne at 9:30 AM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ah, I just remembered the other best corn chips ever: Granny Goose's Native American-style Corn Chips in the Mylar packaging. I don't know if they simply didn't survive changing market politics or if they didn't sell. I know Granny Goose isn't in business anymore so maybe that's the cause. Anyway, twice as thick as Fritos Scoops, coarse ground corn, just the right amount of salt. So good they took the place of Sun Chips in my life for a time.
posted by rhizome at 1:52 PM on December 16, 2019

Salt and vinegar crisps are my downfall. As other people are with chocolate, so I am with salt and vinegar crisps. I can't keep them in the house; if I buy a six-pack I will eat a six-pack.

On the bright side, the individual packets of crisps in a UK six-pack are a mere 25g each, so that's no worse than eating the whole of one of those gigantic packets of crisps. Proper standalone packets are usually somewhere in the 30-40g range nowadays; when I was a child they were all 25g, but for some reason the standalones grew and the multipack ones didn't.

Standalone packets are frustratingly hard to come by, unless you want Walkers, which are fine but not the best, and especially not a patch on their lost lamented Crinkles brand. My local Co-op has stopped selling anything but gigantic "sharing" bags of the superb sea salt and chardonnay wine vinegar crisps. Similarly, my local Morrisons will sell me a six-pack of Seabrook sea salt and vinegar crisps, but while that increases the odds of getting one of the really good packets (for some reason they're more inconsistent than most), see above comment re the perils of buying a six-pack. Waitrose will sell me a six-pack of Tyrells, or a gigantic bag, but usually won't sell me just one sensibly-sized packet. REAL crisps are incredible, but almost impossible to find other than in pubs. On the other hand, there's a brand quite commonly available that's just inexplicably awful, tastes so strongly of onion that on the two occasions I've bought them (lesson now learned), I've found myself checking the packet repeatedly to see if I bought the wrong flavour.

Pringles are a cruel joke. Salt and black pepper crisps, or oyster and vinegar crisps, are likewise mere exercises in cruelty, just similar enough in name to make one's pattern-matching circuits twitch, and yet so very wrong. Salt and vinegar flavouring on any pre-packaged snack that is not a crisp, e.g. popcorn or anything baked, is just criminal.

The flavouring in salt and vinegar crisps should be fierce enough to bring sweat out under your eyes. The combination of flavour and crunch should be so addictive that any notion of "being full" or "needing something nutritious" or "maybe something leafy and green now?" should go out of the window. If you finish your bag of crisps and you don't immediately want another, someone has palmed you off with a gravely substandard packet.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:40 AM on December 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Keogh's crisps tell you on the back of the packet the variety of potatoes that were used, where they were grown and who cooked them (and have a "Spudnav" on their website). It's a pretty odd experience picking up a packet of crisps in Shanghai, and realising that you recognise the townland name, and therefore probably know the field where the spuds were grown. (A couple of miles from where you grew up.)
posted by scorbet at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I will join all of you who find Cheez-Its irresistible. Insanely so.

Those of you who fall into that category should avert your eyes now, because if you are unable to avoid the call of Cheez-Its in their native form, what I am about to reveal will utterly wreck your life.

All-Cheez-Its "Chex" mix. Remove all the other solid macro ingredients (Chex, pretzels, nuts, whatever) from Chex mix, and use only Cheez-Its. You don't really even need a recipe. Melt some butter, add worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt, add Cheez-Its, toss, bake.

You're welcome and/or I'm sorry.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

ManyLeggedCreature, doesn't your face/mouth get shredded/burned by all the vinegary goodness?
posted by wellred at 11:32 AM on December 17, 2019

Yes. Yes it does.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:42 PM on December 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

All-Cheez-Its "Chex" mix.

I'm not at all opposed to this Extra Savory™ Cheez-Its recipe/proposal, but don't discount the relatively-recent Cheetos-Sun Chip Mix, which is acceptibly addictive and not nearly as salty as the Chex-brand Chex Mix in the bags.
posted by rhizome at 1:27 PM on December 17, 2019

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