30 March 2012

awol science: jalapeno chip taste test

Ever had an amazing chip experience? Like one that you would want to share with the world, shouting from the rooftops your love for thinly sliced potatoes? If not, this post  -- assuming that your taste buds waver on the side of adventurous --may take you there.

One lovely day, my comrades at the library's special collections and I used our lunch time to ascertain which of four common chip brands had the best jalapeno chip. 

The contenders & their sponsors: 

This is Jessica. To the party, she brought some Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips. Jessica confesses that she has a love for spicy food, but had never before tried these Lay's. She likes ambient music, computer games, and is a super fast typist. 

Meet Erica (of streetmanner). It was a conversation with Erica that this whole idea of a chip taste test was conceived. She brought Cape Cod Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno chips. As one could gather from her blog, she loves fashion, plants and tea.
Hi, Lu! Another spicy food enthusiast, Lou brought these Ms. Vickie's variety of jalapeno chips. Besides being a music major and working in the archives, he dapples in creating gluten-free wonders, such as some delicious unleavened Norwegian bread.
And this is me with a bag of my beloved Zapp's, which in my opinion, is best enjoyed with a ham and cheese sandwich with some dijonnaisse. 

The criteria: 

We judged each of the chip brands on their spiciness, flavor, texture, smell and what Erica called, "after-effects." As seen here, we each rated the flavors on a scale from one-to-ten.

The different brands all had something going for them. So instead of awarding an overall "best" to one, we indicated what each type had.

Honorable Mention and Best Fake Flavor

Miss Vickie's had a slight cheesiness to them that set it apart from the rest. As such, and not exactly tasting of the pepper, we decided it had the best artificial flavor.

Most Authentic Jalapeno Flavor

Ever bitten into a jalapeno? Well, you wouldn't have to with a handful of these babies. YUM. My favorite.


Now, I thought the Zapp's were spicier, but the Cape Cods had a sort of tricky spiciness: as the sweetness of cheap lured you into a safe spot, its hot counterpart kicked in gave your tastebuds a jolt. Eat one after the other, and that sneaky, compounding sort of spiciness was a building fire in our mouths.

Best Texture

One word: CRUNCH.

One thing I would recommend when trying four different types of spicy chips (spicy anything, for that matter) is that you would have something to quench the thirst that ensues. Phew.

13 March 2012

biscoff ice cream + espresso

One of the perks of working at a local ice cream shop is creating treats. 

biscoff ice cream

Biscoff ice cream is a Hop Ice Cream creation <3