Here’s something new: some lucky reader is going to win a free bag of Boulder Canyon Chips today! That’s one of the ways were celebrating National Potato Chip Day. They’ve got a good product and I’m happy they wanted to extend me this offer. More details on this later in the post.
I was getting ready to celebrate Potato Chip Day and frankly excited for it. I love a good potato chip. It would be my choice of chip on any occasion. I go simple with your standard regular salted chip. Lola, being a true Rhode Islander, opts for the salt and vinegar kind, but likes a nice sour cream and onion too. Me, I’m original all the way. While I was getting ready for the holiday, the chips from Boulder Canyon kind of came across my bow. A friend put me in touch with the company and they were enthusiastic about my blog and quest, so, nice folks that they are, they sent me a complimentary bag of chips. My plan for Potato Chip Day was to give them a taste.
The history of the company is kind of interesting as they compare themselves to being like a craft brewer, just in the potato chip industry. The company began in 1994 in Boulder, CO by two brothers, Don and Jay Poore, who believed that customers would pay a little more for a product that was just made better. They studied the process and the ingredients and what the came up with was a better chip. Real food ingredients always makes a difference and their ingredient list is pretty simple. The other innovation they stood behind was the production of the chip which combined using a thicker cut chip, cooking it at slightly higher temperature, using lighter cooking oils and a shorter frying time. That was their kettle cooking. It cost a bit more, but the quality was better. It was small batch cooking using premium ingredients with the goal of creating the best tasting chips. Pretty simple. They were confident that potato chip enthusiasts would pay the extra for a better product, and they were right. The company grew from there and today offers a whole line of natural ingredient chips and snack foods as well as riced vegetables. They still hold true to their mission of great food with the best natural ingredients.
They sent me a bag of their newest product which were potato chips with Himalayan Pink Salt. The Himalayan salt intrigued me because I was familiar with this kind of salt as a natural healer. Lola’s sister Katie has a few Himalayan salt lamps around her house to help fill her ions with goodness and positive energy. She is a fan of the power this mineral provides, so that’s why I was familiar with it. Even though I knew those lamps were made of salt, I was surprised to see that kind of salt used in food preparation, although why wouldn’t it be used for that? I felt like these chips would bring me good energy, so I was excited. The rice bran oil was an interesting addition too as most commercially produced chips are cooked in vegetable or soy oil. The rice bran oil would give the chip a smoother finish and also a crispier bite.
I popped open the bag mid-afternoon after being stuck inside for most of the day thanks to Winter Storm Stella which ended up delivering more rain in these parts than snow. I just opened the bag and snacked on them. No dips, no extras – just a straight up taste test. You know what? These were really great chips. Honestly. They were crispy like you’d expect a kettle chip to be, but not too crispy so that you tear the roof of your mouth open. The most intriguing part to me was the real potato flavor. I’m used to the commercially produced chips that have a vague hint of having been a potato, but the Boulder Canyon chips had a great potato taste. It took me by surprise. I didn’t know that could be achieved commercially. They Himalayan salt was nice and subtle too. Not overly salty so that you needed to gulp down a glass of water, but a nice gentle kiss to each chip to give it a tinge of flavor. The chips looked good too. Often with the other kettle chip brands the chips look hard and twisted. These chips looked like regular chips bit you could tell they were going to be nice and crispy. If you look closely at the chip, you can see the tiny bubbles cooked across the face of the chip which is a product of their cooking process and really makes it a delicious and unique product.
An honest opinion as a potato chip fan and as someone who spends a lot of time writing about food: these chips are great. Really. It surprised me. I figured they would be great quality, but I didn’t really think they’d affect me. They did. I suggest picking up some of their products if you happen to see them in the store. You won’t be disappointed. I think I’ll petition the folks at Clements Market to bring them in too. It’s worth spreading the news about.
Now the giveaway: Want to win a free bag of chips? Just comment on my Facebook page under this post and I’ll enter you to win (or if you don’t do that Facebook thing, you can just comment on this post). All entries must be received by 2 pm on Friday (March 17). I’ll pick the winner then.
If you were on social media today, you probably saw all the yammering about it being National Pi Day which is a day Big Pie has hijacked so more pies could be sold. Typical of Big Pie to take over a day while Potato Chip Day has to fight for its own celebration. This day is not supposed to be about pie the food, it’s about pi the number and mathematical constant. You know, that 3.14 thing. I will admit that someone was pretty smart to make Pi Day on March 14 and a day to celebrate pie (it literally was someone smart, a physicist actually). So I do understand all the hoopla around it, it’s just that it seems we’re always celebrating pie. Can’t we just give a day to potato chips and be happy?
There was pressure to celebrate the pie part of this day, so thanks to some internet searching, I found the perfect compromise: Potato Chip Pie. You heard me. I found the recipe on a website called Oh Bite It.com and it was pretty easy too. You start by making a little mixture of eggs, sour cream, light cream and butter and mixing that all together. Then you take some potato chips and dip them in the mixture for a few minutes. You take the chips out and put them in a pie dish then cover that layer with a layer of cheese. Then you do it again. Another layer of soaked chips covered in cheese. I had some mixture left over, so I carefully poured that into the pie dish too making sure it didn’t spill out. I figured that couldn’t hurt. It then cooks for about 25 minutes. When it comes out, the cheese covered top is nice and browned.
I was skeptical on how this would taste. I was thinking it would give you that feeling of having eaten too many chips with dip at a party. But oh no my friends, this was something else. Something special. Lola tried it first and she was speechless. It comes together like you are making potatoes au gratin or something similar. It’s just layers of chips held together by the egg mixture which kind of binds it all together and then combines with the gloriousness of cheese. Honestly, it was really that good. So simple too. And, best of all, it was the complete celebration of Potato Chip Day and Pi Day. I ate 3.14 pieces.
Now that’s how you celebrate a day. The overlords of holiday creation have to rethink this whole day because potato chips deserve their own unique day. I was worried that their importance in the world would be hidden in the shadows of pie. It’s always pie. Thankfully, I had some friends in the chip industry introduce a great new product to me today, and I am happy to share that discovery with you. That made me forget about the Big Pie pressures of today. The chip people showed me how using natural ingredients and some good ol’ TLC is how you make great food. That’s something you should know for Potato Chip Day, for Pie Day and for just any old day. In the end, I gave into Big Pie, but not without a happy compromise. The end result was my new favorite side dish. (Coincidentally, because I was using a 9″ pie plate, using pi, I calculated the area of the pie plate to be 63.62″ – now that’s celebrating). That’s a pretty nice day of celebration. Yeah, I can do with more days filled with chips and pies.
Next Up: National Pears Helene Day