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Mar 19, 2012 04:09 PM

Potato Chip Afficionado

Want to know your favorite potato chip brand and/or flavor. Do any local restaurants make homemade potato chips? They are my secret passion. I love potato chips with whipped cream cheese--better then any sourcream dips.

I think that Eagle, Lays and Martin's have the best chips. Eagle has the russett ones that are dark and crunchy. Utz's and Mrs. Ihries' don't stand up to those brands I mentioned.

I love the vinegar flavors/ barbeque//cheesey/even the Old Bay--but the best are the plain chips. I also love sweet potato chips. There are so many brands and varieties. FoiGras

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  1. I grew up in MN where I was hooked on Dill Pickle chips, I know Old Dutch was the main brand that made them, but haven't been able to find them here. I settle for Kettle chips, Sea Salt & Vinegar.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mdpilam

      Route 11 chips, based in the Shenandoah Valley of VA, makes Dill Pickle chips among their many excellent flavors.

      1. re: Bob W

        Snyder's of Hanover had a long run of flavored chips (they still have dill pickle and buffalo wing) including pepperoni pizza and grilled steak. We did a road trip through several European countries recently and I made an effort to try as many flavors as I could find. Paprika was a favorite as was dill and the big winner was smoked gouda and onion. They had a chicken flavor also, but nobody bit.

        1. re: ferret

          Snyder's is our go-to for flavored pretzels, like the honey mustard & onion and cheddar cheese pretzel pieces.

          1. re: ferret

            I had the chicken flavored ones in the UK. They were actually pretty tasty, even despite that fakey, Lipton Chicken Soup tasting kind of flavoring they use.

            1. re: ferret

              I had the chicken flavored potato chips in Moldova a few years ago. They tasted like they had been dusted with chicken bouillon granules. I used to like steak and onion flavored potato chips except they seemed overly salty. I don't remember which brand they were. I know they were not Herr's or Snyder's. I also like an occasional ketchup flavored potato chip but they are not in every grocery store chip aisle around here.

              1. re: John E.

                No ketchup chips in every chip aisle!! GASP!! Where I live, even crummy little stores have multiple brands of ketchup chips. It's a standard here. I wonder if there's a standard where you are that is uncommon here.

                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  When I have been to northern Ontario (that's due north of Minnesota) for fishing trips I have noticed Old Dutch (based in the Twin Cities) Ketchup chips. Alas, they are not standard in Minnesota.

        2. I share your passion -- but not for Lays. I would take Utz any day over Lays. I was lucky enough to grow up with the Charles Chip man. Yum.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Teddybear

            I mentioned Lays, but should clarify. I don't care for their regular chips, just the kettle cooked ones.

            I'd all but forgotten about Charles Chips. Do they still exist? Didn't they also have those large pretzels?

            Years ago I purchased a potato chip maker machine from Hammacher Schlemmer. It was compact--actually cut the potato--then the slices went into the hot oil--the finished chips were shot out of the side of the machine ready to be salted or flavored. It was so great. I used to make sweet potato chips in addition to the regular chips. It was easy to operate and clean. Unfortunately, I lost the machine during a household move. It was a novelty and fun--just like the bread machines. But, there are so many great potato chips available along with artisanal breads in the grocery stores, why bother making those items? FoiGras

            1. re: FoiGras

              After not seeing them for years, I just bought a bag of Charles Chips at The Fresh Market today. I grew up on them as as well- the friend I was with when I saw them couldn't believe they would bring them to your house like the milk man. Will report back when I open the bag.. I still have one or 2 of those cans around somewhere!

              1. re: FoiGras

                Charles Chips are available on their website again. You can read the history of why they disappeared for so many years. Also, The Vermont Country Store, which has their own website as well, also sells them, but only the pretzels and plain chips. The barbeque and waffle chips are available on the Charles Chips website. :)

                1. re: LSNwndrlnd

                  The Fresh Market seems to carry the regular and the Barbecue flavor all the time, now. They are not exactly as I remember them, but they are very good.

                  Thanks for the info.

              2. re: Teddybear

                I grew up on Charles' chips too. We always had a big yellow can of chips in the kitchen. They were great! To this day, I can't have a sandwich without chips. Potato chips are definitely my weakness. I like Utz and Wachussetts brands (probably local) preferably ripple

                1. re: Teddybear

                  Utz is the best, IMO, and Miss Vicky's for kettle chips and flavors.

                2. How great was the Charles Chip Man? My parents used to welcome him into the house (we lived in Florida) for a drink when he made his delivery stop. But back to the original post, my new favorite is Zapp's Voodoo. I like many of their flavors, but the "accidental" Voodoo just has so much going on . . . and it all works together. They can be hard to find, but are worth it. I was actually at the UTZ Factory Store in PA a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to find them selling Zapp's stuff.

                  1. I love potato chips! One of my big weaknesses. :)
                    I think the Cape Cod chips are the best - even the 40% reduced fat are delicious - in fact, better than the regular (and no weird fat substitutes). Also, the Billy Goat Chip Company, based in St. Louis, had amazing chips. They actually carry them in small 3 oz. bags at Chinatown Coffee Company. Highly recommend - especially the "Kicker" flavor - sort-of spicy!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: erinnf

                      +1 on Cape Cod Chips. They are my favorite for dipping. I do hold a grudge that they discontinued my favorite, Firecracker Barbecue. Instead of the god awful sweet barbecue flavor favored by Lay's and the like, these were tangy and spicy.

                      I am partial to kettle cooked chips. I much prefer the thicker chip and nice crunch. I won't even touch plain old Lay's and that variety. Too wimpy and half the bag is potato shards.

                      Kettle Chips salt and pepper variety is pretty fantastic. Deep River potato chips are also quite good.

                      1. re: mels

                        The Kettle ripple-cut salt & pepper (with just a hint of lemon) are pretty much the best standard chip out there.

                        1. re: mels

                          The Cape Cod 40% less fat are my favorites as well. The regular ones are just too greasy for me.

                          1. re: kengk

                            Those are great -- one of the only "light" or lower-fat products that can stand up to the original version in any category.

                          2. re: mels

                            +2 on Cape Cod chips. They are damn tasty.
                            I try not to buy potato chips because they're so additive to me. The combination of starch and salt makes it hard for me to stop eating and I can practically eat a whole bag in one sitting.

                            Ditto on the kettle cooked chips. Better texture, flavor and crunch.
                            In addition to the standard chips, salt and vinegar is also fantastic.

                            My DH had a friend in college who went to work at a potato chip factory and quit after a day. She couldn't eat chips for years afterwards (if ever?).

                        2. Alas, the best ever potato chip is now hard to get. I too grew up with Charles Chips in the can. They will always be the best for me. BIg chips perfectly cooked and salted. Indescribably delicious with chocolate milk. They now have new owners who are trying to rebuild the brand. Now out of Lancaster Pa. I wish them the best.