Friday, June 10, 2011

Cape Cod Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno

           Jalapeno chips are a growing sub-genre of flavors in this day and age, and Cape Cod’s Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno is a generally solid offering.  Many Kettle-cooked chips deliver excellent texture but end up being very stingy when it comes to providing adequate flavoring- fortunately, Cape Cod’s chips generally deliver enough flavor with each bite, though they do suffer from not necessarily having of each kind of spice on every chip.
Every chip-wright should seek to make
their chips as bubbly and crunchy looking
as a Mon Calamari Star Cruiser.  Only
the space going fishmen can tell you if
it's a trap or not.
            The individual crisps are well textured rounds between 1-2 inches in diameter and relatively thick, often wrapped into pleasantly complex shapes that would do a Mon Calamari Star Cruiser proud.  They are coated with a pleasant but not over-strong sweet seasoning, with additional notes of onion, garlic, green pepper, and jalapeno.  In terms of spiciness, the chips build up to a moderate burn in the mouth over time, but are generally pretty mild individually.  For all that jalapenos are fondly renowned for their spiciness, chip manufacturers are curiously reluctant to make their jalapeno-flavored products anywhere near as hot as the real thing.  This is probably more in agreement with the average consumer’s palate, though, and the heat with these chips does manage to be adequate.
Note found inside the Matilda tank: Must
resist urge to waltz ahead on a maniacal
rampage, leaving the supporting infantry
in the dust who would otherwise save
me from all the hidden anti-tank guns.
When all of the different flavors come together on a particular chip- the sweet, the spicy, and the onion/garlicky- these chips are excellent.  Those seasonings are team awesome, a force of heroes, an unstoppable ass-kicking machine in spice-form that when working in concert, will conquer your tongue like a master of french kissing.  But therein lies the major flaw in this otherwise commendable product: the different flavors are scattered throughout the bag, and any given chip may only boast one or two of the spices out of the group.  Like a Leroy Jenkins style raiding fiasco, or the British expeditionary force defending France in 1940, the various elements too often fail to work together, instead doing their own thing on each individual chip.  Tellingly, the best chips I had were at the bottom of the bag, where the spices had accumulated and made each of the remaining morsels a complete, satisfying experience compared to the more random offering of many of the chips on the top.
The girls at Hot Chick Eatin' Spicy Chips
wrote a love letter to these crisps, as well
as offering this salacious image of the
crinkly-cut crispy delicacies.
            I still enjoyed this bag, and I do think anyone interested in Jalapeno chips should consider giving them a try, though their relative mildness in terms of spiciness may be a turn off for a dedicated spice maniac.  My eulogy for this deceased, ex-bag of chips: there were a good variety of flavors, and when they did come together, these chips more than satisfied.

Stars: 2½/4
Spiciness Rating: Moderate

- Lovely diversity of well-realized and authentic seasonings
- Very thick and crunchy crinkly-cut kettle style chips

- Flavorings not applied densely enough to really come together in a consistent fashion

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