Saturday, September 22, 2007

Buffalo Chips

I'm always up for trying something new. While trolling for impulse buys in the super market, I recently discovered not just one, but two versions of Buffalo Wing and Blue Cheese chips: Doritos and Kettle Chips.

Doritos Collisions - Hot Wings / Blue Cheese
I really enjoyed these chips. The Doritos philosophy has always been about extreme flavor. They appeal to people who enjoy chips with as much flavor as possible. There are a couple different ways that foods can provide optimal enjoyment:
  • There's the delicately balanced foods that are not too sweet , not too sour, not too spicy, etc... Examples include foods like mac n' cheese, sushi and french fries. These are foods that provide a balanced set of qualities.
  • Then there's the extreme flavors that give you as much as you can handle. This could be spicy foods like lamb vindaloo, or sweet foods like rock candy. The philosophy here is that if people like a little, they'll love a lot. Doritos definitely fall into this category.
These particular Doritos took an interesting approach to the two flavors of Hot Wings and Blue Cheese. The bag was made up of 1/2 Hot Wings flavored chips and 1/2 Blue Cheese flavored chips. I found both flavors to be fairly accurate. While they definitely had the high-sodium punch of a Dorito, you could definitely taste the intended flavors in the chips. As a result, I polished a large bag off almost single-handedly in one day.

One more note about eating Doritos. While eating them one chip at a time will definitely provide you with plenty of flavor, there's a way to squeeze out a little extra. What I like to do is to take a new bag of Doritos and literally crush it into teeny pieces. You then 'drink' it from the bag, rather than eating it one chip at a time. Due to the amount of surface area of the crushed chips, you'll no doubt get an extra jolt of Dorito flavoring. In the case of the Hot Wing / Blue Cheese chips, this has the added advantage of mixing the two flavors together.

Kettle Chips - Buffalo Blue
I should start by saying that Kettle Chips make arguable the best pure potato chip around. Additionally, my favorite chip flavor of all time, Spicy Thai, is produced by Kettle. That being said, these chips don't stack up to the Doritos. It's definitely a good, potato chip, but if you're going to get Kettle brand, you should get the Spicy Thai or Salt and Vinegar.

It should be stated, while both of these chips make a good snack, they're definitely no substitute for real buffalo wings.

-He Said

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sweet 'n Starchy

It's 1998. My wife and I are hiking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I grab a handful from my trail mix. Along with the nuts, raisins, and occasional dried pineapple (yum) there's something else in there... what is it? It's slightly chewy, sweet, and starchy. After a quick review of the ingredients, this yummy thing turns out to be a date.

While the flavor of the date is great, it's the texture that makes it special. The starchy texture spreads out and sticks to your tongue as you enjoy the flavor of date's flesh. After a bit of exploration, I found a few other foods that were also sweet 'n starchy -- and similarly delicious.

Examples include:
  • red bean paste - commonly used in Asian desserts and the sesame seed ball (below) you get at dim sum
  • sticky rice with mango - a dessert you can get at Thai restaurants which includes sticky rice, coconut milk and mangoes
  • this yummy green thing (below) I picked up from a Vietnamese sandwich shop in Boston

Greetings from the Bahamas!

Bahamas - full of turquoise water and all kinds of great fish for the eatin! As my husband and I have been in Little Exuma with friends for the past 6 days, we've eaten Mahi-Mahi, Red Snapper, and Fried Conch (twice). We spent some time in the boat "conching" (snorkeling for them - didn't find any to eat, just horse conch that is used for bait), here's a photo of a conch shell in case you can't place what one looks like. This one measures about 8" top to bottom.

While speeding along on the left hand side of the road passing through Georgetown, we stopped at the SPLASH bar at the Palm Bay Resort in order to partake of their Conch Burgers. The conch in the burger was lightly fried, has the consistency of calamari, with excellent flavor. Topped with tartar sauce, tomato and lettuce on a sesame seed bun, the sandwich was definitely worth the trip.

We also had stopped by Santana's, a roadside cafe along the water for a platter of fried conch, fresh beets, coleslaw and rice! You could either have the conch straight, or with the onion sauce on it. I tried some of each, and both were flavorful with their merits. The Bahamians are great and friendly people who know how to cook.

I spent my birthday here (Sunday 9/16) with some dear friends and amazing carrot cake baked by neighbor Trena, calming beaches, hot sun, rainbows, great food, and amazing thunderstorms. What more can a girl ask for? Off to enjoy the last 2 days... see you back in the states!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Juice Standard

This is a short posting, mainly because of the audacity of a restaurant to serve this swill and charge real money for it. I ordered pineapple juice, and my husband got the grapefruit. When the drinks came, I was completely confused. Where's my pineapple juice? I grabbed the milky one, and it turned out to be grapefruit (which makes you do a spit-take when you expect pineapple). I sipped the cloudy apple juice colored one and low and behold, it was pineapple scented. It was as if someone had taken the juice out of the bottom of the old Dole can, filtered any bits out, and added 2/3rds water. So if you're ever in Littleton MA, don't order the pineapple juice at Ken's American Cafe.