Chip scorecard (all scores out of 10):
Flavor accuracy: ???
Flavor quality: 8
Bag quality: Either 0 or 10, hard to say
Overall: Does anything matter?
As this chip review site is nothing more than a post modern art project putting front and center the mind, my mind, of a chip-obsessed person who thinks weirdly, I love the strange and unpredictable nature of the snack industry.
Perhaps I met my match this week. I was in dire need of a bag of tortilla chips (who hasn’t been there before, am I right?) so I walked two blocks to a nearby corner store. While they had the regular assortment of Ruffles, Doritos, and Lays, their specifically-tortilla-chip selection was as close to zero as one can imagine, but there was one bag sitting alone on the shelf.
Clear plastic, stuffed full of greasy tortilla chips, with little specks of salt sticking to the bag. There was simply no label, no ingredients listing, no nutritional facts, not even a UPC label. I was reminded of either Soviet Russia or hipster “unlabeled” brands looking at this mystery bag, and it created more questions than it answered:
Where did it come from?
Who made it?
Is it any good?
How much was it going to cost?
Which brings me to the next strange part of this deal. When I approached the counter, I had no idea what I was about to pay for this anonymous bag of tortilla chips. Could they be free? 99 cents? $450 dollars? Impossible to tell.
The man at the corner shop register looked at the bag in the way a retail employee might while thinking, “Hmm, I didn’t know we carried this.” He typed in $4.49, what seemed to be randomly selected, but still likely based on the slightly-inflated retail pricing of more established bags of chips. I had cash to avoid the “Under $5 surcharge of 50 cents,” which was fitting considering the anonymous details of this chip transaction.
The walk home created an unlikely-to-realize excitement, but I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I had stumbled onto some fantastic new line of tortilla chips. While I enjoy Juanita’s and Josefina’s (despite the controversy), I’m always on the hunt for something better.
But soon, this excitement turned to worry.
What if this was a one-time score? What if I fall in love with this new mysterious product only to return and find that they’re gone, forever? Or even worse, what if they’re like… poisoned or something? The ‘what if’ questions swirled until I got home, opened up a small container of fresh pico de gallo, and tried a mystery chip.
And after all that, do you know what I decided?
That they’re pretty good. Not great, not bad, just good. Would I buy them again? Sure, I guess.