Ten Perspectives On Popchips

The popchips people popped by the New Times office last week and left behind a basket of popchips in all 6 flavors. I'd never had a popchip before -- I'm not much of a bagged-snack sort of guy -- but here are ten quick impressions:

1.The sour cream & onion, and sea salt & vinegar, are the two best flavors; the vinegar chips have an especially fetching tang.

2.A cheddar popchip is to a Cheez Doodle what a sausage patty is to a sausage.

3.Salt & pepper was my third favorite, although for some reason it was the first gone -- and therefore didn't make the team photo.

4.The barbecue popchips would probably be great if you like barbecue chips. I don't.

5.I didn't care for the original potato, either. It tastes too

much like a potato chip that didn't quite come out right. Whereas when

flavors are added, I think of them more as circular potato snacks

rather than as failed chips. But, um, maybe that's just me.

6.Never fried; never baked; just 100 calories per bag. This isn't so

much an observation as just repeating what's written on the bag.

7.All flavors taste better when flipped into just about any chippy sort

of dip. Popchips are sturdier than potato chips, and therefore work

better as scoops.

8.They also work great as the base for canapés -- right size, right

thickness, crispy, etc. Did somebody just say "instant cocktail party"?

9.I once interviewed Paul Prudhomme in his K-Paul kitchen in New

Orleans. He explained how using fresh onion and garlic in tandem with

powdered versions of each offered two levels of the same flavor in

every bite. I feel that way about dipping the sour cream & onion popchip into a sour cream & onion dip. Perfect.

10.Four of the six flavors come exactly 18 popchips per .8-ounce bag. If you buy the original potato, however, you will get 19 chips in the bag. The barbecue popchips represent the worst value -- a mere 17 per bag. Plus they make your fingers orange. I'm telling you: Barbecue chips are just trouble.