Prepare yourself for a massive snack post. So many snacks on the blog lately!
It all started with this salsa. I sampled it with the same sweet potato tortilla chips in the store last month and didn't think much of it. Food always tastes better on an empty stomach. I ended up getting it because it was essentially pumpkin in an acceptable format. Non-pumpkin spice pumpkin automatically climbs up the rankings in my book.
What a pleasant sampling of the autumn harvest- apple and butternut squash! So healthy!
Pumpkin takes the top spot in the ingredient list, which is a-okay because there isn't any pumpkin spice to defile this salsa! I know I'm drinking some pumpkin spice hater-ade, but deep down I don't actually hate pumpkin spice as much as I say I do. You can't really taste the pumpkin, but it does add a big of creaminess/thickness to the texture. Then again, so does the butternut squash. I tasted the butternut squash chunks, which blended nicely into the salsa. Not much apple action going on but it probably works with the honey for a hint of sweetness. As for spice level, it's probably on the more medium side of a medium-hot. Spicier than a medium but not exceedingly hot. I actually quite like this. It's a bit sweeter than a comparable normal salsa and chock full of autumn produce, which when cleverly disguised as a salsa is easily acceptable even for the pickiest eaters. Maybe. And it is darn good with a baked potato. $2.99 per jar, which I have repurchased.
Anyway, I happened to be in the mood for chips and salsa (which reminds me of high school Spanish, see 2:48), so I picked up the sweet potato tortilla chips.
Actually, I had these last year. Quite good, but never repurchased until now. I have no idea why.
That familiar crunch. The recognizable chip flavor. But there's something more here. Something slightly sweet, creatively complementing the subtle saltiness. It's sweet potato, the superstar of these decidedly different tortilla chips - perhaps their orange gave them away? These chips are made with white corn and as much sweet potato as we could include (18%) before the chips' integrity failed- bet you didn't know chips could have integrity.
These chips went quite well with the harvest salsa. An ever-so-slight-sweetness (but not really. It's a tortilla chip). The sweet potato flavor here is obviously more subtle than say sweet potato fries, but still quite good in tortilla chip form since it doesn't taste particularly healthy. Sweet potato is healthy; therefore sweet potato tortilla chips can practically be a vegetable right?
And then along came these chips. I did a double take when I saw this in the Fearless Flyer. Thought it was a typo at first - wait don't you mean sweet potato tortilla chips? Apparently pumpkin can take tortilla chip form too. Oh boy.
I was moderately excited for this until I saw cinnamon and nutmeg plastered across the package. How. Did I miss that?
Prime culprits here - pumpkin puree and pumpkin seed. With some cornmeal, cinnamon, and nutmeg thrown in for good measure.
The picture is making them look more orange than they actually are. In contrast to the sweet potato chips, these are a tan-ish, burnt orange color that is almost brown in person. Alone, the pumpkin tortilla chips taste "healthy," almost like [better tasting] cardboard with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. A thought it was weird because he has a natural aversion to gingerbread/cinnamon/nutmeg-type things. The nutmeg isn't overwhelming or anything, but you can't deny its presence. The added cornmeal contributes to the "healthy taste." I am glad, however, that I tried it with a few other things before forming my final opinion. It too paired well with the salsa, except the nutmeg added an additional layer of warmth, which was surprisingly pleasant. Same thing with feta cheese. And hummus. And with pumpkin spice speculoos (that combo though, not as good). This might even work well with Indian food. If anyone tries that, let me know how that goes!
Above: Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
Above: Pumpkin Tortilla Chips.
In a blind taste test, A chose the sweet potato chips over the pumpkin chips, as did I. The sweet potato chips are oiler, a little saltier, and generally taste more like a junky tortilla chip exactly the way I like it. Plus, the sweet potato chips are available year round whereas the pumpkin chips are seasonal and will exit the shelves in a few weeks. Both cost $1.99 per bag, so I'd probably be inclined to repurchase both.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Fall Harvest Salsa. All the best fall produce in a spicy-ish salsa. 7 out of 10.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Salty. Crunchy. Healthy but not really. Yes. 8 out of 10.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips. Like a sweater you put on over your clothes for an added layer of interest but mostly for warmth. Must be dipped in something. 6 out of 10.