Apparently, the french fries are doing just fine. At least the New York Times says so. I find the NYT a pretty reliable source (I think most people do unless you're in alternative news camp :P). The internet is up in arms because apparently there have been some weather-related crop shortages with the potatoes used for fries - no word on the potatoes used for chips and other very important potato products. Should you fret over something that none of us control? Of course not. Cheeeeeeel.
I always thought that the borderline burnt chips or burnt fries of the bunch were a result of overcooking. Apparently not. And yes, in case you didn't know - potatoes are gluten free. They've always been. That's why they are the gluten-free snack of my choice. :P
Love the simple ingredients -sorry it's not allergen free. These babies are fried in peanut oil, which makes things extra delicious.
1) Let me reiterate - these chips are DANGEROUS. Dangerously good. The cashier (a new one I've never seen at my go-to store) reassured me that these are really good (but I normally don't believe employees that say things are really really good...for various reasons). I was skeptical, but she was right.
2) Some of you are going to think that you're just eating some burnt potato chips. I assure you, these are not overcooked. Think of this analogously to brown butter (which I actually happen to not like that much). Sort of. This is a different variety of potato that caramelized during the cooking process, so it carries a richer, more robust and complex flavor than a standard, original potato chip. Which makes them more interesting than a regular potato chips. Which means you don't get sick of them quickly or at all. Which makes them very very dangerous because when do you put them down???
3) Kettle cooked chips are hands down the best. These are no exception.
4) They are salted to perfection.
5) Trader Joe's is not the first retailer to sell this kind of product. But they used some groovy font on their clean, modern retro packaging and have managed to make us care about things we normally wouldn't care about. $2.29 for a 7 oz bag.
5b) Why TJ's didn't release this during the summer barbecue season is beyond me. I mean...can you imagine these chips with a nice juicy burger? YES.
6) I guess the question comes down to this - if you could only have one, which would you choose? Five Guys chips or Five Guys chips? Fries or kettle-cooked chips?
7) I'm down to try different flavors of this dark russet chip variety. Moaaaaarrrrr please.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Dark Russet Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips. The Five Guys chip. Hold me back y'all. 8.5 out of 10. Mantou Joe repurchase? To my detriment, yes.