Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Kettle Sweet Potato Chips

After seeing Red Rock's attempt at raising the bar on gourmet, with their new Corn Chips, this is what gourmet really is.  And it is so left-field, I never even thought it possible... and don't expect it to be around for long.
Kettle Chips, the pioneer of slow cooked potato chips (which took Red Rock Deli a couple years to get the texture right when they started competing), have tested the water with Sweet Potato - something that has more of a pumpkin consistency than potato... and has recently been tested by McCain's in the Hot Chips market.
Sweet potato is a bit of an acquired taste and texture, while the colour itself puts off kids (and grown ups) that are adverse to vegetables... seeing (processed) potatoes as junk food, not a (healthy) vegetable.

And then there is the price.  These two small packs were $4 each, which is more than what most big/regular packs cost. So it isn't something people would consume as a regular snack... more for a dinner party, with slightly fancy dishes or finger food for the guests.

The texture is different to the slow cooked potato chips, like the difference in the actual vegetables themselves when cooked or roasted.  The sweet potato chips were a crunchier, less drier, texture, reminding me of cooked off-cuts of short-crust pastry.  The chips were lightly salted, but the salt doesn't stick to the chips well, as I only realised they had salt when I got to the bottom quarter of the packet and started tasting increasing levels of saltiness... culminating in some very salty fragments & crumbs at the bottom.

Now comes the interesting bit - the second pack that included with the sweet potato chips, beetroot chips and white sweet potato chips. This was a surprise to me, because I thought it might have just been beetroot flavouring or something else odd (I didn't take much notice of the details at the store, as I just grabbed both and went to the checkout).  I didn't realise until I opened the pack that it was a mix of three chips inside... making a nice colouring and flavour variation. (a bit like the CCs Flavour-Smash chips)
These had similar textures to the Orange Sweet Potato, due to the slow-cooking process, but the flavours are different (as expected).  The Beetroot has a bit of a bite, but not as much as you'd think, so are quite easy to eat normally.  The white Sweet Potato is almost flavourless.

Kinda looks like a bowl of potpourri that you might find on a coffee table in a fancy home.

The one drawback is how much more fragile these chips are compared to the regular potato slow-cooked chips, so crumble very easily.  You will end up having a lot of fragments and crumbs in the bottom of the bag (probably another reason why these are only in small packs), so be careful with the packs when you grab or transport them.

Both are recommended, to try out, but if $8 is too much, buy the multi-pack, for a sampling of all three at once.

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