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Uncle Ray's Potato Chips in Toronto?

Wahooty Apr 9, 2009 12:42 PM

My labmate discovered these chips out of Detroit and loves them. Does anyone know if you can get them here?

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  1. duckdown RE: Wahooty Apr 9, 2009 12:48 PM

    hmm, what makes them different from other chips? just curious

    4 Replies
    1. re: duckdown
      Wahooty RE: duckdown Apr 9, 2009 01:04 PM

      It's apparently the "Hot" flavor she's after - she says that when they say "Hot" they MEAN hot. Apparently the flavoring is quite heavy on them and her whole family went nuts for them. One of those things that someone found once in an Asian grocery store somewhere, and they've been looking all over for them with no success. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here if anybody knew anything about them. :)

      1. re: Wahooty
        Wahooty RE: Wahooty Apr 9, 2009 08:51 PM

        Okay, talk about instant gratification - when I saw the label online, I thought it looked familiar, and it turns out I can get them at a bulk food place near my house that tends to carry an interesting assortment of non-bulk goods, including a limited selection of Uncle Ray's chips. So duckdown, to answer your question, the flavor in question is actually pretty tasty. The "Hot Chips" come across kind of like a spicy, much less sweet BBQ potato chip. There's some smoked pepper flavor, and just a little bit of sugar. And, of course, some MSG and other things to make them tastier than they should be, and by the end of the bag there's a surprising amount of lingering burn. I wouldn't go out of my way for them, but if you see them around, I'd give them a try. Wouldn't bother with the other flavors - I also picked up some kosher dill ones that just taste like dill pickle chips but less vinegary and a touch sweet.

        However, this being said, my source only seems to have the "Hot" ones in single-serving bags, so if anyone knows where larger bags can be found, I'd still love to know. Her family is in Missisauga, so west end is a plus, but I'm in Scarborough and they're willing to travel, so anything is fair game. I'm worried that my source could dry up at any time...

        1. re: Wahooty
          distra RE: Wahooty Apr 10, 2009 05:08 PM

          There's a convenience store at the Northeast corner of King and Tecumseth that carries them. They have a size that's not exactly large, but more like a medium.

          1. re: distra
            Bisquites RE: distra Jul 2, 2009 01:30 PM

            Also the Sak's at Queen W and Wilson Park Road caries a good variety of them... strange Biblical references and morality lessons printed on the bag, but the hot chips are pretty hot, and good.

    2. s
      starbucksfan RE: Wahooty Jul 2, 2009 01:49 PM

      I buy these all the time at Almost Perfect- they have a location in Downsview- I go to the one in Whitby all the time. The chips are fantastic- and at the best price I've seen- .99ยข. I haven't tried the HOT but the Dill pickle are to die for....

      1. s
        Sarg5 RE: Wahooty Jul 2, 2009 03:11 PM

        I think these are available in the smoke shop at Bay and Charles. (NWcorner)

        1. s
          simplepieman RE: Wahooty Jul 2, 2009 04:11 PM

          The "Kitchen Table" convenience store in the lower level of Atrium On Bay got in a huge shipment of them recently, but they're down to a few stray bags of plain and dill pickle.

          The "Hot" ones were insanely hot, for me anyhow. I didn't enjoy them at all. The "Jalapeno" flavour had a spicy/sweet thing happening which was pretty nice.

          1. s
            szw RE: Wahooty Jul 2, 2009 04:40 PM

            Shouldn't be too difficult to find. I never knew they were anything special but I've seen them at a small local chinese grocery store on the Danforth.

            1 Reply
            1. re: szw
              Pincus RE: szw Jul 11, 2009 08:03 PM

              Yeah I got some at the store just west of the 7-11 by Donlands. The hot ones were insanely hot, but i liked them. Sour cream and onion were nothing special. But the best thing was that I wasn't paying 7-11 prices. That and the life lessons...

            2. a
              Aislyn RE: Wahooty Jul 3, 2009 09:34 AM

              Believe it or not, I have seen (and purchased them) at several of the Home Hardware stores! The HOT BBQ is outragious! I love hot and spicy foods and they will burn your face off! LOL

              1. j
                jgloverwork RE: Wahooty Jul 6, 2009 08:53 AM

                We bought a variety of these last week while at a cottage in Haliburton at the local grocery store (I believe it was part of the loblaws chain).

                Piquante - agree with the other posters. these could be the spiciest chips i have ever eaten
                Jalapeno - best of the bunch. spicy, but not overwhelming
                BBQ & Ketchup - both had way too much flavouring. couldn't eat more than a couple without being turned off.
                Dill - good

                However, our favourite part of the experience was the "Uncle Ray's Life Lessons" that appear on the back of each package. Ever wonder if stealing is wrong? Need to learn the proper way to woo a quality wife like Ray's 'Myrna'? Want to know if the way to straighten out your pitiful life is to enlist to serve on a ship of war?

                These packages don't just contain snacks, my friends. They also house a collection of preachy, long-winded essays from a self-important old grump you'll soon regret inviting into your home...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jgloverwork
                  Wahooty RE: jgloverwork Jul 14, 2009 08:23 AM

                  Yes, the essays are becoming my favorite part as well. Here's the story behind them, from the company's website:

                  "Late one night in 1999, Ray woke up from a sound sleep. He had the urge to sit down at his kitchen table and write about his life's memories. He began to write the first three chapters to the many stores you now read of the back of our products.

                  Ray has over 30 chapters of "The Life and Times of Uncle Ray". He felt compelled to send a message to those eating his product. "If someone was ever contemplating suicide, drugs, stealing, or what ever life's troubles bring you, I want you to know that you are not alone". "Everyone has bad days and I want to be there with a message" "

                  Wonder how many lives potato chips have saved?

                2. c
                  cpfan RE: Wahooty Jul 11, 2009 12:35 PM

                  Just saw these today in the Pupo's Grocery Store in Welland. $1/bag. Didn't notice the HOT ones. Just bought standard old ripples. Ummm? Taste? "Standard old ripples". Nothing special, although didn't seem too salty.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cpfan
                    paulcol RE: cpfan Jul 11, 2009 01:03 PM

                    found them in Ajax, at Almost Perfect. Bought the hot and Jalepeno. Although the hot was hot, not as hot as I was expecting. The Jalepeno, didn't t taste like Jalepeno. The chips were 99 cents a bag, but nothing special to me anyways

                  2. p
                    precia RE: Wahooty Jul 13, 2009 08:53 AM

                    I bought a full sized bag of the Hots at the Dollar store (Dollar Saver, maybe? Not Dollarama) on the south west corner of Coxwell and Lower Gerrard last month. That's probably not helpful now, the way stock rotates in those stores, but these chips seem to pop up in the oddest places.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: precia
                      pancake RE: precia Jul 13, 2009 10:28 PM

                      I'm pretty sure these are sold at 7-11 (if they are the chips with the thermometer on the bag that indicates their heat level).

                      1. re: pancake
                        Pincus RE: pancake Jul 14, 2009 07:46 AM

                        I think those are Blake's.

                        1. re: Pincus
                          Pincus RE: Pincus Jul 14, 2009 10:03 AM

                          Er, I mean Blair's. Oops.

                      2. re: precia
                        precia RE: precia Dec 3, 2009 01:07 PM

                        That dollar store has now changed hands/names - either to "My Dollar Store" or "Your Dollar Store" - but still has the chips.

                      3. s
                        simplepieman RE: Wahooty Sep 24, 2009 09:08 AM

                        Fans of Uncle Ray's HOT chips might be interested to know that Blair's Death Rain chips have been spotted in Toronto recently. Not the little bags from 7-11, but the full-size 142g bags. I saw three flavours at St Lawrence Market, on the lower level - Cheddar, Buffalo wings, and of course the XXX Habanero. I've tried all 3 before and I like the buffalo wings, but the cheddar is kinda nasty - every chip is practically drowning in powdered cheez - and the XXX is too insane for me.

                        Anyone seen these anywhere else around town?

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: simplepieman
                          racheljenna RE: simplepieman Sep 25, 2009 07:48 AM

                          I've tried the Blair's Death Rain chips in Buffalo Wings (which was hot, but I could still handle it with a glass of milk in hand), and XXX Habanero where my tongue nearly lost all functional ability for a day. I would never try the XXX again out of fear for my life. With that said, my boyfriend really liked them though.

                          I saw them available at Bulk Barn for about 3 something bucks a full-size bag.

                          1. re: racheljenna
                            simplepieman RE: racheljenna Sep 25, 2009 09:51 AM

                            Bulk Barn gets a lot of mentions on this board for hard-to-find items. I really need to check it out. Thanks for the info!

                            1. re: racheljenna
                              duckdown RE: racheljenna Feb 17, 2010 06:03 PM

                              Are these still at Bulk Barn?

                              Wow, where do I find these? I want to challenge some of my brave beer drinking buddies to eat a handful haha...

                              1. re: duckdown
                                duckdown RE: duckdown Feb 17, 2010 07:35 PM

                                NM, just found them in my local 7-11!

                                Picked up 2 bags of the Habanero and 2 bags of Buffalo Wings

                                Just had a hab chip, theyre pretty hot.. Not as hot as I was expecting though


                                1. re: duckdown
                                  turntablejockey RE: duckdown Feb 17, 2010 08:00 PM

                                  You can get Blair's XXX Habanero chips at Michael-Angelo's at their Mississauga and Markham locations. I've picked up a few bags over the last couple of months at both locations. And they have the Buffalo Wing and/or Cheddar one...not sure exactly because I don't buy those ones.

                                  Anyone know if Blair's is hotter than Uncle Ray's?

                                  1. re: turntablejockey
                                    foodyDudey RE: turntablejockey Feb 17, 2010 10:14 PM

                                    I'd imagine that Blair's is hotter. I've tried the Uncle Rays and they are hot, but I'd expect a Blair's product to be hotter. I found Uncle Ray's at the Weston Bakery Outlet on Logan Ave. (at Eastern Ave)

                                    1. re: foodyDudey
                                      duckdown RE: foodyDudey Feb 17, 2010 11:35 PM

                                      I'd also wager Blair's would be hotter.. Can't call them DEATH RAIN XXX chips without backing it up :)

                                      1. re: duckdown
                                        Pincus RE: duckdown Feb 18, 2010 07:40 AM

                                        Now I'm going to need to do a taste test. Sweet!

                          2. c
                            checkit RE: Wahooty Nov 6, 2009 02:25 PM

                            I think you can find them at any Hasty Market. I've seen them at two Hasty Markets in Etobicoke: Burnhamthorpe & Saturn Rd., and Rathburn & West Mall.

                            You can also find them in Guelph at the Little Short Stop line of convenience stores.

                            1. p
                              Pigman44 RE: Wahooty Nov 6, 2009 08:12 PM

                              You can find them at Grant's Food Mart at Dixie and Bloor in Mississauga. They bring in a large shipment of Uncle Ray's at least once a month and they also always carry the Hot flavour.

                              1. p
                                Pincus RE: Wahooty Nov 7, 2009 07:29 AM

                                I also saw them two weeks ago at the convenience store on the NW corner of Coxwell and Queen.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Pincus
                                  niagara guy RE: Pincus Feb 17, 2010 02:56 PM

                                  Uncle Rays chips are available at all Dollar Club, Bargain Club, Looney Tooney and Dollar Joint stores around Toronto also A1 Variety and A1 Bargain on Lakeshore in Etobicoke.

                                  1. re: niagara guy
                                    taxed2death RE: niagara guy Feb 18, 2010 12:47 PM

                                    Bought Rays at No Frills this past weekend. Wilson at Bathurst.

                                    1. re: taxed2death
                                      Dilligas2000 RE: taxed2death Feb 23, 2010 08:51 AM

                                      Canadian Tire carries Uncle Ray's in the stores where they are selling groceries. The new store in Oakville has them. Bought a bag for $1. Pretty good...especially for the price.

                                      1. re: Dilligas2000
                                        brdallen RE: Dilligas2000 Mar 29, 2010 08:23 PM

                                        kitchen food fair on keele just south of downsview park carries a lot uncle rays flavors, they do not have the hot but i have asked them, if they can stock them. i want to see how hot the chips are. i have tried quite a few flavors (not the hot yet) and they are good chips and for the price it is much better then the lays and ruffles. they need to make a nacho flavor chip

                                2. j
                                  Juxtaposed RE: Wahooty Nov 17, 2010 07:12 AM

                                  There is a little convenience store on Eastern Ave. by Carlaw that has both the small and large bags. They appear to almost always have multiple flavours in stock.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Juxtaposed
                                    LovelyAsia RE: Juxtaposed Nov 25, 2010 02:16 PM

                                    Are you talking about the variety store on the north side one block west of Carlaw?

                                    I saw these chips on the food network and always wanted to try them...

                                  2. JamieK RE: Wahooty Nov 25, 2010 03:52 PM

                                    I didn't try the hot flavoured version the OP was looking for so maybe I'm missing something but I tried the regular Uncle Ray's chips and they were crap. Threw the bag out after one taste.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: JamieK
                                      terrycar RE: JamieK Nov 25, 2010 07:51 PM

                                      Yeah I didn't care for them either, but just so you know, they regularly have them at the Weston bakery outlet store in Etobicoke.

                                      1. re: JamieK
                                        foodyDudey RE: JamieK Nov 26, 2010 07:20 AM

                                        Yes they are complete junk. They even use artificial flavours. The hot flavour was very hot, and not enjoyable in any way. It's something I bought once because it was mentioned here, but never again.

                                        1. re: JamieK
                                          Wahooty RE: JamieK Nov 29, 2010 10:06 AM

                                          When I started this thread, it was on behalf of someone else (who is definitely not a 'hound) that was desperate to find them, and it was only the Hot flavor she wanted. I find them strangely addictive, but that is most likely due to the MSG. I do sometimes crave them, but the other flavors are absolutely nothing more than a generic cheap potato chip and I never bother with them.

                                          1. re: Wahooty
                                            JamieK RE: Wahooty Nov 29, 2010 03:56 PM

                                            Hey, Wahooty, kudoos to you to try to help someone's food craving. Not your fault the product is crap. But seriously, MSG? Why is this even allowed anymore?! There are plenty of other chemicals or additives that are controlled because they are harmful to health. Why not MSG?

                                            1. re: JamieK
                                              Wahooty RE: JamieK Nov 29, 2010 04:40 PM

                                              I won't get into this debate, as someone who has certain ingredient sensitivities but whose palate happens to LOVE MSG. :) But I freely admit that I particularly enjoy chip flavors that use it, and will sometimes read ingredient lists LOOKING for it, because it happens to be what I am craving. Tastes and sensitivities obviously vary, but I respond strongly to glutamates, be they natural or chemically isolated from natural products. :)

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