Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pringles Xtreme Exploding Cheese & Chili

          As if acknowledging the regular inadequacy of the seasoning on many Pringle’s chips, the Pringle’s XTREME series sets out to show that they can cover their crisps with enough seasoning if they really want to.  As far as this particular variant is concerned, I can assure you that they have succeeded in rectifying this habitual shortcoming, (though my experience with the XTREME Ragin’ Cajun chips was far different) and the crisps are not lacking for strong flavors.
            Unfortunately, I’m not sure I entirely understand what they’re trying to do here- the flavoring says they are cheese and chili, and by chili, the illustrations on the canister make clear they mean chili peppers, not chili soup.  Unfortunately, while melted cheese on top of a bowl of chili is a very natural combination, I don’t feel that eating straight cheese with straight chili peppers is something any of us is likely to have done- (queer ones, on the other hand…) 
This is what you will find if you Google 'Gay Chili';
it mustbe tough when your country is one spelling
error away from being Tex Mex cuisine. Question:
is the police officer a pretty boy or a butch womyn,
and tell me those are not bedroom eyes...
“Jalapeno Poppers” I can hear you suggesting, but though the peppers on the box may be green, they flavor is not specifically that of jalapeno.  In fact, the only sense that it is ‘chili flavored’ is that it’s spicy, although the spiciness seems eerily concentrated on the tip of the tongue, rather than being distributed more naturally along its length as you would from an organic seasoning.  Still, the chips are fairly piquant, so I won’t complain too much about it.
            If the chips are a little thin on the “spicy pepper” side of things, that mostly leaves the cheese flavor, which at least isn’t subtle in announcing itself.  Unfortunately, it does hit you over the head with its saltiness and doesn’t taste like any particular type of cheese, so I’m not that impressed, but at least it’s an improvement over more half-hearted flavorings. The main ingredient in the ‘chili-cheese flavoring’: MSG.  No, really, look at it yourself, it’s the first ingredient listed!  Though after you get through the first three or four chemicals after the MSG, you do find it also includes garlic and onion powder, and some generic cheese and chili powder.
The second time  I had these chips, a pack of ghouls
had just emerged from a secret door in the  pyramid
 to ambush my sleeping comrades.  We  survived, minus
 significant chunks of our  mortal flesh.
 The chips did not.
            So you may have gotten that I’m not a big fan of them, but I shouldn’t exaggerate: if you want an unsubtle salty and spicy cheese flavor, you can definitely find it here, and there’s not a hint of the lack of seasoning problems afflicting many other types of Pringles.  However, the flavors just didn’t come together for me in an evocative way: I just couldn’t figure out what they were supposed to taste like, but clearly it was not anything natural.  However, the drunken girls in the kitchen last Friday night gobbled them right up, so maybe there are times when subtlety is unnecessary.

Stars:  2
Spiciness: Moderate

- The flavoring is strong and well spread across the crisps
- Chips are genuinely spicy

- The spiciness is somewhat unnatural seeming, like the ingredients themselves
- Cheese flavoring is too salty

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