Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pasta Chips Review - Guest Post


On an otherwise ordinary day in the The Oh! You Cook! household,  a rather large box magically appeared on our doorstep, courtesy of UPS and Vintage Italia.  Mostly consisting of padding, the box finally yielded its true contents:  6 bags containing 5 different kinds of  Pasta Chips!  These potatoless chips are different than your regular ol' chip-type snack.
They are made from semolina flour,  and (according to the package) half the fat.  theHubby immediately tore into the Garlic Olive Oil version.  He declared it "meh."  I tried a chip and rather liked it.  It has a strong flavor of garlic, so avoid pairing with anything mild because the only thing you will taste is the chip.  BTW, despite theHubby's less than stellar review, he polished off the entire bag.


youngerSon came back from college, so I handed the rest of the chips to him for a more professional review (did I mention that he is a paid film and tv critic?  Check out his latest review along with his new own blog):

I’m not really a “Foodie”, as is the modern colloquialism. I am, according to my parents at least, a vacuum. Taste is only as much of a concern as the speed with which I can slide the contents of my plate down my gizzard. Or, maybe some understanding and appreciation of flavor is what allows me to scarf down what’s put in front of me, and gluttony only serves as a manifestation of what I decide to be the appropriate food, and subsequently the appropriate portion. I guess that’s why I like buffets. In this case there is a little bit of irony to the situation, where I ate no more than two of any flavor of “Pasta Chip” while my Dad wolfed an entire bag before subsequently declaring it a solid “meh”.

What we have here are essentially Pringles with a fancier name and a container which is mostly un-cylindrical. The chip itself is folded to resemble something akin to lasagna, but to me it just looks like a comically large stamp. The bags are colored largely in light pastel colors, with flavors intended to resemble the different kinds of sauces one could theoretically put onto real pasta. Except for the sea salt, that’s just popular with the kids these days. Of course they can’t use the actual sauce so the chips are flavored with a powdered such and such that emulates the flavor as close as it can’t. Unfortunately, this isn’t the Jetsons. We don’t live in the sky, robots don’t clean our houses (with designs that reinforce stereotypical gender roles), and powder can’t accurately recreate the taste of real food. That’s the main problem with these chips.

As Pasta Chips, they are stuck between the fried stuff and the good stuff. They have to appear better than potato chips, but they also have to have more flavor than if you just stuck raw pasta into a puffy bag of air. As such, these things are incredibly unhealthy. Ridiculously so. Even for a chip. And they have to be that way for deciding to make a chip out of something with less flavor than a potato. They look like the healthy choice and they are not.

I describe these as Pringles because of just how similar they wind up being in taste because of the powdered flavor and the sheer amount of fat in these chips. It’s not like I’d think they would taste anything like real pasta, but you’d expect some sort of flavor identifying it against other chips. Blindfolded I would only be able to identify these by texture, which is roughly what pasta would taste like if you didn’t cook it all the way. I assume you were a child at some point in your life. During that time a parent made spaghetti, and before they tipped the box into the boiling pot of water, you ate a raw strand of pasta. In case you haven’t (weirdo), just imagine eating crunchy pasta. It’s not that hard to figure these chips out. If they don’t sound very appetizing… they’re not.

You can’t quite call a chip bad because it’s unhealthy. However, the labeling might make one think that these could be an alternative to saturated fats and oils. These aren’t good for you no matter which way you slice it. I mean, how many words can you really squeeze out of a bag of chips? A bag which is mostly air. I don’t mean that in the, “air pocket to prevent the chips being crushed in transport”, kind of air I mean there is surprisingly little substance to the chips and there are surprisingly few chips per bag. These are the chips for the hipster in your life. They paint themselves as something new and different yet are drawn from the exact same deposits that would turn you away from the chip aisle for fear of high cholesterol. As such I expect Whole Foods will start carrying them any day now.


Full disclosure:Vintage Italia provided several bags of their pasta chips at no cost for us to test and review. We received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed are our own.

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