Waaay back in November a very cool person posted about her Kettle Chip taste testing which was part of a promotion for their "People's Choice" Passport to Flavor 2006 where you taste 5 candidates for

potato chip mass production and then vote for the one you like the best.  I have to admit, my eyes got really big and my jaw probably slackened a bit because I love food and I love tasting and trying new things.  So obviously I had to quickly hit the Kettle Chip website and order myself a party pack.

The box has been sitting around for a while and I was waiting to taste them

Chili Lime
Aztec Chocolate

with a friend (actually the same friend who is my partner in cupcake making crime).  But she has been busy and I have been anxiously eyeing that bag of Aztec Chocolate with the desire of Wyle E. Coyote.  The real catalyst was my sister, who just got home last week for Spring Break.  Because she is not in Cancun wasting away her life and brain cells, she convinced me to taste test them with her.  (She also forced me to watch 2 episodes of "8th and Ocean" and I thought I was going to have to gouge my eyes out with the free chip clip, but that's another story for another time.)

I think tasting all 5 flavors was going to be too insane for me (it was also post dinner and late at night), so we started with 2 and we'll probably do the rest tonight.  There's still a little left so I'll still be able to compare.  Not to mention the fact that I really don't forget what things taste like and I have a good memory for flavors.  You'd think that this would be a good thing, when it's really not and it's more of a curse because then I CRAVE things and nothing will satisfy the craving unless it's EXACTLY what I want.  My taste buds are so bitchy.  Anyway, I felt I really had to try the Aztec Chocolate and my sister was mostly interested in the Chili Lime.

The Aztec Chocolate was totally awesome.  A certain Aussie friend of mine once let me try some dark chocolate with chili Tim Tams and they were absolutely amazing.  Chocolate with a hint of hot firey chili pepper.  It's really a

killer combo for me, I'm not gonna lie.  If you go to the Kettle website you will find that most people thought this flavor was disgusting.  My sister agrees with them because she only tasted one chip and then refused to taste anymore.  On this point, I can't quite disagree with her because this particular chip requires multiple chips in the mouth and on the tongue before the real flavor comes through.  So you can't just taste one and be done, you have to keep going at it.  The failure here, I think, is technical–the chocolate kind of melts off the chip and then gets stuck all on the bottom of the bag.  This is a problem for hot and hazy 4th of July BBQs–which is the pinnacle meal/party for the insane mindless consuming of high volumes of potato chips.  (I concede a close tie with Superbowl Sunday.)  Honestly though, I can't imagine this kind of chip being eaten under those circumstances.  This is something that would precede a fancy dinner at someone's too cool for school NYC loft.  You would snack on this with an espresso martini or something while talking about how lame the gallery is where you work.  Anyway, this flavor is definitely a winner for me and very addictive.  It's got a great chocolate flavor (not some nasty fake chocolate flavor) and a really good heat from the chilies–not too much, but just right.  It's pretty much fantastic.

The Chili Lime was pretty much what I expected, although really, I didn't expect so much black pepper.  You can see all the black specks on the close up shot I took.  I mean, if it's "chili" lime then wouldn't you expect some…red flakes?  Of oh, I don't know, chili?  But it's cool.  I mean, I like black pepper.  I REALLY liked those short lived "Nantucket" flavored Cape Cod potato chips which were caked in black pepper.  Mmmm.  Those kind of hurt to eat after a while.  What can I say, I'm hardcore.  Sometimes you have to hack the pain to eat something yummy.  My sister liked these a lot.  But she agreed that they weren't anything special.  They tasted pretty good, neither the chili nor the lime flavor was obnoxiously overpowering or anything.  The chips were crispy and crunchy like a good kettle chip should be.  All in all, pretty solid.  But if Kettle Chips is trying to earn new loyal customers with their new flavor, I doubt this one is going to do the job.

Next up: Royal Indian Curry, Dragon 5 Spice, and (spoiler alert!) the winner Island Jerk

They still have party pack left so hurry up and get one while they last.  Also, for those of you who have tried these already and have a favorite, but there's no way in hell that Kettle is going to make them for the hoi poloi, (aka, me and my love Aztec Chocolate) they have this Mix and Match deal where you can basically get the flavor that you like the most before they stop making it!  Or the two pack, which is cheaper if you're hard core in love with one of the flavors.  Oooooo, limited edition food.  Exciting.  There's also another one I want to try where the winner was Tuscan Three Cheese.  I think that was the 2005 edition.  Man, there's one called Dirty Martini.  Mmmm.  Olives.

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