Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wai Lana Lime Chili

We now come to the final chapter of what has been my epic odyssey exploring Wai Lana’s line of mysterious Yogi concocted health chips.  The penultimatechapter in this chip-reviewing epic was dark indeed, leaving me in doubt whether the last bag could possibly prevail in the face of the stomach-disturbing past.  But I should call this last review the Return of the Yogi, because this final episode establishes the crisps are back in awesome light-saber slashing form, and finally deliver as many colors of flavor as there were spaceships in the Battle of Endor.  In short, these are the Thai-flavored crisps I was waiting for.
There were alot of ships.  So many
the rebels ran out of colors to name
their squadrons after.

As creepy as it will appear if you are in a public space, I recommend smelling the inside of the bag upon opening.  You may sound like Darth Vader on a bad-breathmask day, but you won’t care because you will be inhaling the heady aromas of curried Thai cooking direct, and without a heat source.  Do remember to exhale, however.

Also, Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet...
As soon as you have been revived by your friends, you may observe that we are once again returning to the by now classic yucca chips made with tapioca flower, softly crunchy, reasonably large, and pleasantly dimpled for maximum saliva pooling pleasure.  The crispy semi-translucent wafers are covered with a gorgeous layer of red and green seasoning flanks, but unlike the Sweet Chili & Lime chips I tried earlier, you can actually taste it all as well.

Praxis- what happens when you exploit
the shit out of your planet.  Historical
note: Star Trek VI was the first movie
to use the 'blast ring' effect that has since
gone into general use and been needlessly
inserted into the Star Wars special edition.
By all petty gods of Lankhmar I swear that these chips are packed full of flavoring, hitting all the buttons at once in a flavor-xplosion the like of which has not been seen since the Klingon moon of Praxis exploded, forcing the Empire to make peace with the Federation.  Seriously, everything found in Thai cuisine has been thrown in here in a bag full of mind-blasting awesomeness: there are large sea-salt grains that deliver a savory shock as startling as pepper, there are rich brown morsels of cane sugar that offer an almost lyrical sweetness, there are multiple stinging spices (pepper among them) that enflame the tongue and sack the back of your throat as thoroughly as the staff responsible for the credits in Monty Python's the Holy Grail, and through it all, lime oil has been used with brilliant effectiveness to grant these chips the tangy aura of a dish full of Thai noodles covered in freshly squeezed lime juice.  A considerable number of supporting spices beyond those I just mentioned are also involved, including shallots and sesame seeds for certain, and what I guess to be curry.
You can practically taste the lime
juice on those noodles, making them
as slippery, sour, and slurpy as sex.

What is most commendable about the flavoring is the way the salt, sugar, and spices hit you in discrete clumps instead of a single homogenous flavor.  While sometimes I find such a distribution a cause for complaint, here it adds piquancy to the experience as you alternate between bites of sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness; the flavors are intense enough to stand on their own and last long enough in the mouth to overlap into the next bite.  The sour lime taste, by contrast, is consistent throughout the chips, and truly lovely (though a likely turn off for the sour-averse.)

These crisps feel like an epic conclusion and fitting reward for my previous exploration of the Wai Lana chips, and by far offer the best flavor-synthesis of those I have tried and the greatest diversity in seasonings I’ve had in a considerable time.  For anyone with a fondness for Thai cooking, or for any combination of intense and flavorful food, Irecommend this specific variety (so similarily labeled to the other flavors I’ve tried!) which shares clear parallels with Kettle Chips’ own opus in Thai-inspired Chips.  The Yogi finally took out the can of whoop-ass and showed what they were made of- spicy, sweet, and sour!

Spiciness Rating: Moderate-to-Spicy

- Crisps are beautiful and agreeable to munch on, and you can actually taste the pretty seasonings on the crisps this time!
- A multitude of flavors and spices as diverse as the alien gangsters in Jabba's Palace
- Genuinenly spicy at times
- Lovely lime-oil flavor the beautiful constent in the curried cavalcade of spices and flavorings

- If you don't appreciate sour or spicy, these are not for you.

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