In a smart marketing move, the chips-making folks at the Maryland-based Snikiddy Snacks have introduced a line of chips called ... yes, Eat Your Vegetables. The claim: "(The chips) offer bona-fide nutritional benefits - a full serving of vegetables in each ounce (around 13 chips)."
The press release says EYV chips are made from "a unique blend including sweet potatoes, carrots and navy beans." The chips are available in three flavors - Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, and Jalepeno Ranch.
We looked at the ingredients list on the bag of the Jalepeno Ranch flavor. In part, it read: "Dried potatoes, navy beans, rice flour, potato starch, carrot, sweet potato, onion powder, green bell pepper powder, jalepeno pepper powder, paprika extract."
The price is $3.49 to $3.99 per 4.5-ounce bag, at area supermarkets and Toys R Us. Information: (866) 892-6365, www.snikiddy.com.
Meanwhile, we passed around bags of Jalepeno Ranch and Sour Cream & Onion, and got back these responses from our tasters, beginning with my own impressions:
"Just about any chips are OK with me. I don't eat many kinds, or many of them when I do. Except for Crunchy Cheetos, which are made of seasoned and fried cornmeal and appear to be a card-carrying member of the Food Pyramind. Or is that corn on the cob? Anyway, maybe it's the notion that there's actual multi-vegetable content in Eat Your Vegetables chips that kept my interest - despite the salt overdose."
"I took them to my writing group, where they won the day. I personally liked the Jalepeno Ranch chips the best of the two, but everyone thought they were too spicy. I liked the kick they provided. It's not a bad way to get your veggie content."
"Those are some tasty chips! The Jalepeno Ranch are addictive and very spicy, not for the faint of heart. Kind of an oily feel to the chips, though."
"The Jalepeno Ranch had a little bit of kick, but I didn't taste much that reminded me of a jalepeno pepper. Sour Cream & Onion were more along the line as advertised, at least taste-wise. I thought they were more flavorful overall. Given the choice, I'd take the Sour Cream & Onion every time."
"Very tasty. I liked both flavors, the Sour Cream & Onion somewhat more than the Jalepeno Ranch. Both were a bit too salty for my taste (and cholesterol levels), but I'd buy them if they're really better for you than conventional chips."
"The Jalepeno Ranch made a bigger impression - fairly spicy. They would probably go well with a Corona beer and slice of lime. However, they're so salty I wouldn't want to eat too many. The other one (Sour Cream & Onion) tasted run-of-the-mill after that."
"Even as a salt lover, I was struck by the excessive amount of salt in both versions of the chips. Too much of a good thing. My other negative: The chips lacked a certain crisp crunch. They kind of crumbled when I bit into them. That said, the Jalepeno Ranch flavor rocked. There's a great five-second delay before the spiciness kicks in, and I liked that. The Sour Cream & Onion were OK."
"The aftertaste of these chips is not worth the purported 'full serving of vegetables in every ounce.' I'll be chugging Listerine later."