Saturday, October 8, 2011

Monoprix Tortillas Enroulées

          The first chips I bought in France were Tomato-Basil chips, but since then it’s been a long dry haul in the category of Italian-inspired seasoning, until the other day my favorite half-elf snagged a small bag of them for a picnic out on the Buttes de Chaumont.
            Those familiar with my earlier review of the Tortillas Enroulee Fromage should recognize the format; basically a Nacho corn tortilla round wrapped into a cylinder evocative of those cute little cookies you get with your coffee.  (Incidentally, in addition to being known as pirouettes, these cookies are also apparently called ‘cigarettes’, which I guess would sound sweet and delicious only to a Parisian- the air is fresh indoors here, I swear.)  The rolled tortilla chip format might sound gimmicky, but it’s actually crunches very pleasingly in the mouth, and is still usable with thicker dips like guacamole or cheese dip.  They seemed like exactly the sort of thing that would go well with tomato-basil flavoring.
Cigarette smoke from philosophy students
and fashion models makes up 20% of Paris's
atmosphere. Unfortunately, all the coffee
does not also contribute to the odor.
            Unfortunately, I must report with a heavy heart that if this is a tomato flavoring, it is a very sad and watery tomato.  Or maybe canned tomatoes, tasting more of tin and iron than juicy vegetable.  The rods are sweet, kind of like a sun-dried tomato, but it is a sickly half-hearted kind of sweet lacking in panache or self-confidence, and there’s a weird sort of celery-salt like flavor that I imagine is supposed to be like basil, but I assure you, rarely anything good can come of celery salt.  It’s a kind of generic vegetably mashup with a sweet element on top, a sort of feebler V8.
            I wouldn’t say they were inedible, because you still have the basic sweet and salty to carry you through, but the vegetable flavor tastes just a little off, like blood in your mouth (maybe it’s the iron from that canned tomato flavor!).  They certainly don’t taste like tomato, (though to be fair, ‘tomato powder’ is listed on the ingredients list right after sugar and salt), but worse is that it just doesn’t taste good.  Still, the fundamentally satisfying crunchiness of the underlying rolled-up-tortilla chips save these from being a total waste, but anyone looking for a good tomato flavored chip should look elsewhere, and anyone intrigued by tortilla cigarettes/pirouettes/whatevers should probably buy the cheese-flavored variety.
Blood flavored tomato chips?  And I
they don't even need to be stalked and

Stars: 1½/4
Spiciness Rating: None

- Basic rolled-over corn tortilla round format is fun to crunch in your mouth
- Flavoring at least manages to offer a semi-adequate salty-sweet balance

- Flavoring is still awful in most respects, failing to taste like actual tomato-basil, sun dried tomatoes, or good in any respect

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