The kettle chips market is certainly tough to crack, thanks to Kettle Brand's overarching dominance (we're pretty smitten with the brand's Spicy Thai and Cheddar Beer varieties). Nonetheless, we were excited to sample two flavors from a new contender. While the novel flavor combinations may have drawn us in (Tuscan Style Garlic and Herbs and Sicilian Style Asiago and Tomato) we were most intrigued by the choice of frying oil in Olive Coast kettle cooked potato chips. Keeping with their Mediterranean flavor theme, these snacks are made with olive oil, rather than the more common sunflower and safflower oils.
See whether olive-oil-fried kettle chips are worth the hype when you read more.
The promise for Olive Coast Tuscan Style Herb and Garlic Kettle Cooked Potato Chips: "Made with 100 percent olive oil and delicious ingredients like savory herbs and garlic — it's a flavor inspired by the sun-soaked shores of Tuscany."
What our tasters thought: These were very popular in our office, thanks to a well-balanced garlic, thyme, and rosemary flavor profile that was reminiscent of herbed mashed or roasted potatoes. Tasters appreciated that they could actually taste the olive oil, and one even proclaimed these chips are "the closest to Tuscany I'll get for a while."
What YumSugar thought: We thought these had a perfect salt level and enjoyed the grassy herbal flavors; these chips would be a surefire winner for rosemary lovers.
Tasters' rating average:
The promise for Olive Coast Sicilian Style Tomato and Asiago Kettle Cooked Potato Chips: "Made with 100 percent olive oil and flavors evoking plump, ripe tomatoes and rich aged cheeses — it's a flavor inspired by the Authentic cuisine of Sicily, a place where the mountains meet the sea."
What our tasters thought: While many tasters appreciated the tingling spice that adds a "nice kick" to the flavor profile, most found the tomato flavor to be weak and somewhat artificial, "not very well-rounded," and reminiscent of "a dried Italian herb mix."
What YumSugar thought: We appreciated the novelty factor of this flavor and enjoyed the savory-sweet combination of sun-dried tomato and garlic, but wished the Asiago flavor was a bit sharper. We were also disappointed that the olive oil wasn't more prominent, especially in a product that promotes its use so heavily. We couldn't tell the difference between these and kettle chips fried in other more commonplace oils.
Tasters' rating average:
We loved the pungent and earthy herbal flavor of the Tuscan Style Herb and Garlic variety, and will surely be picking up a second bag soon. While we wished both varieties had a slightly more prominent olive oil flavor, we applaud its use and enjoyed the excellent crunch and perfect thickness of these chips.