|Roquefort, the Batman of blue cheeses,|
exclusively grown from its very own
mutant bacteria in the moist caves of
the village of Roquefort, France.
Most Americans are familiar with ‘Blue cheese’ from its use in salad dressing and the occasional ritzy hamburger sauce, but of course it has many other applications, (just try it spread llike butter on bread, it’s great!) While we Americans have been quick to dip Buffalo wings in some bleu, I hadn’t really seen blue cheese chips until I found a bag on the store shelves by Vico, and I asked myself, “why did it take so long?” As cheese flavorings are so ubiquitous on the crisps, it’s wonder they took so long to go from cheddar orange to blue- the movie industry has long realized it’s a hot combo.
Vico decided to keep it classy and not use any artificial colorants, which I have to admit is slightly disappointing but probably prudent, so you will be looking at plain blonde-yellow chips upon tearing open the bag. Vico has consistently impressed me with their crisps, and these ones were enormous and full of delicious air bubbles. Staring at the bisected half of one of the chips, I felt I was beholding the desiccated husk of a pint-sized whale, so expansive and bulbous with air bubbles were the chip’s proportions. Like other Vico products, they proved to be extra hard and crunchy.
|On second thought, that metaphor may|
not be as tasty looking as it sounded...
But what of the flavor? I would characterize it as cunning in its mimickery- yet sadly insufficient. One bite of the blond crisps will unleash the familiar salty aromas of blue cheese- oh yes!- mixed with a milder creamy aroma, but then there is no follow through, the taste does not last. So though the experience is evocative, the flavoring has not been applied in sufficient quantities to make it linger memorably.
|Roquefort is not the only French blue|
cheese- the above pictured Bleu
d'Auvergne has a butterier texture,
and incorporates rye-bread mold
for a mellower flavor.
Overall, I would still recommend giving these a try because the blue cheese flavor is cool and unique and deserves to be expanded upon; as it was, I was tasting about 2/3 potato chip to 1/3 blue cheese, a proportion which must be improved. Vico should still be commended for shoring up this obvious void in France’s national chip portfolio, and we can only hope they and others will continue to refine the concept to more ambitious and assertive ends. Plus: anyone interested in making some Camembert chips?
- Gets the salty flavor of blue cheese nearly right
- Large crunchy chips with delightfully bulging air bubbles
- Flavoring lacking necessary density and intensity, does not dominate over the potato-chip flavor