So my sister and I finally got around to tasting the rest of the chips:
Island Jerk, which is the winner for the 2007 People's Choice, is good. It's definitely a chip that you could eat with a nice burger or a bowl of New England clam chowder. A BBQ hit, essentially. The thyme is pretty much awesome and the cumin gives it this kind of meaty undertone. The flavor is not too intense (for a Kettle chip). I mean, there's lots of flavor, for sure, but it's not like tears coming out of your eyes flavor (like some of the other chips in this pack.) It's a flavor that you could handle eating large quantities of due to your absent minding shoveling of them into your mouth. I understand why and how this flavor would win. It's kind of "middle of the road" especially when compared to Dragon 5 Spice. Apparently there was a three way tie between Dragon 5 Spice, Island Jerk, and Chili Lime. Out of those three, it's easy to see why they picked Island Jerk.
Royal Indian Curry really tastes like curry! It's excellent. I think anyone who is a fan of Indian spices would like this chip. It tastes just like a nice curry dish but not any one in particular. However, it's mild, not hot. And so mild in fact that this is probably the least tongue punishing of all the chips. The other ones are like, flavor 'splosion in the mouth, but this one is a little more calm. It's definitely a tumeric type Indian flavor, rather than the coriander seed/cumin kind of flavor. I could eat lots and lots of this. Maybe with some garlic naan or even peshwari naan. Mmm. Damn it. Now I wants me some Indian food. Even though I think Indian food is very trendy right now (picking up where sushi left off) The flavors are not as familiar to the general Kettle Chip buying public. Even though this is easily of one of my top favorites, if I were to guess, this wouldn't rank in the top three for the general public, unfortunately.
Dragon 5 Spice. Okay, so this is K’s FAV. I can see why! It is DELICIOUS despite the thinly veiled almost racist comments on the front. "Confucious Says Yum." Uh…someone in their marketing department needs to be fired. I mean, this is kind of like selling chocolate crosses, right? Okay, this is not about marketing faux pas, it's about chips. And yummy chips to boot. I definitely think this is the MOST flavorful of them all. I can even handle this intense flavor a lot better than the Chili Lime. Not that the Chili Lime wasn't good, it was just SO strong. And it's wasn't even the heat. It was more the…pepper and lime or something. Anyway, the flavor here is really strong too, but it's a familiar taste so I really like it. Also it's not a sharp flavor, it's just an intense flavor with more rounded edges. When I was young my family would go to NYC to have Chinese food with the rest of my extended family. We would always get these particular crispy pork and roasted duck dishes that came with this special dipping sauce that was essentially just a dry rub of salt and spices that would bring out the flavor and juices of the meat you dipped into it. And this chip tastes like it was sprinkled with the same dry rub, which is to say, it's yum yum. The anise is the flavor that is most powerful here. If it was in directly competition with Island Jerk and Chili Lime, I would guess that this flavor might alienate customers (not eveyone likes anise or even Chinese food) so I can see how it would lose out to those two. And then Chili Lime just isn't that innovative, so Island Jerk wins!
Here is my final Kettle Chip ranking:
1. Aztec Chocolate: I am totally in love with this flavor. Mmmm. Fiery chocolate. Delish and very addictive.
2. Indian Curry: It's a really good snacking chip with it's mild spices and pleasant taste.
3. Dragon 5 Spice: This is the chip I would I want if I wanted to be smacked in the face with a spicy flavor sensation.
4. Island Jerk: Good all around chip, like I said. I love the thyme and cumin.
5. Chili Lime: After eating a few of these your tongue kind of hurts. They are slightly too strong and the flavor is not novel. It's nice to taste one or two. (These were definitely my sister's favorite.)
My sister's ranking would probably be something like this:
1. Chili Lime
2. Indian Curry
3. Island Jerk
4. Dragon 5 Spice
5. Aztec Chocolate
(We are totally completely different people. As in, sometimes I wonder how we could possibly be related. And then I remember it's because we have the same parents.)
Basically, I want to order 10 bags of Aztec Chocolate chips. Too bad it's basically insane to spend so much for potato chips. I mean, they aren't even a real food.
I have been giving small samples to my cupcake making friend and she was sad that we never got to hold a proper chip tasting party so she ordered the other party pack–the one with the dirty martini flavor chips OMG–and we are going to try again to have a chip tasting party. I cannot wait for them. MMMM. Dirty martini AND a bloody mary flavor. It's like their flavor master was alcoholic or something. My friend's top picks were the Indian Curry and the Chocolate. She LOVES Indian food so that makes sense.
Taste testing is fun! (Even if the rest of the country didn't agree with me.)