When two perfect chip flavors combine, do we reach the heavens of what chips can be? Or has science gone too far…
Chip scorecard (all scores out of 10):
Flavor accuracy: 7
Flavor quality: 7
Bag quality: 6
It’s hard to mess up a jalapeno chip, which sets a pretty high bar for any chip company hoping to get into the spicy snack game. But Ruffles has been around forever, and for the longest time their flavor portfolio lacked a high quality zesty snack (don’t get us started on their ‘Flamin’ Hot’ line).
So when our local grocery store started carrying Ruffles Jalapeno Ranch, we first though, “what the hell is with that flavor combination?” And then a few seconds later revised our position to be, “oh wow, we have to try these immediately.”
Jalapeno is probably one of our favorite flavors on some of our favorite chips. Tim’s Cascade, Kettle Brand, Miss Vickie’s, if we spend more than five minutes in the chip aisle, it’s likely the paradox of choice will lead us into simply grabbing one of the jalapeno bags of these chips and calling it good.
So ranch, what is that all about? Good question. Is this supposed to be a Doritos Cool Ranch thing or more of a take on the Lay’s Wavy Ranch? Two very distinct tastes. Regardless, it works alright here, more on the Lay’s flavoring, with no resemblance to Cool Ranch. It tasted like a ranch chip should taste, and was the first flavor to hit your mouth.
Here’s the main takeaway on Ruffles Jalapeno Ranch: The first few bites were delicious, the ranch flavor hits first, and maybe two or three seconds later a recognizable spice hits the taste buds. Perhaps a rearranging of the chip’s name to “Ranch Jalapeno” would be appropriate to reflect the cascading flavor’s order. An argument could be made that these aren’t respectably spicy, more of a light pop, but the ranch flavoring does enough to make each bite a satisfying combination.
The aftertaste is a bit rough, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from such a risky taste profile. As with all Ruffles bags, there is too much air, most of the chips resting in the bottom half of an unopened bag. Likely a two-serving bag of chips, maybe three, we did get tired of the taste after a handful of handfuls.