The One Where Frank Eats Artisan Kettle Cooked Red Hot Chili Pepper Chips
BARCEL ARTISAN STYLE KETTLE COOKED DIABLA CHIPS
(red hot chili pepper potato chips)
TASTE: 2/5 | NOVELTY: 1/5 | TOTAL SCORE: 3/10
I’ll admit, for the most part, my knowledge of the Barcel product line begins and ends with the epically brilliant Takis. Spicy as hell, these rolled corn snacks quickly became my obsession when I moved into Bushwick. It seemed every grocery and bodega offered a different array of these mouth-scorching finger-staining treats. Hell, even bad Takis were better than most mass-produced US snacks. So when a recent trip to a new Mexican deli placed a Barcel outlier in my path, I had to check it out.
I mean, if they could make tongue searing corn treats, surely a Barcel kettle chip named “Diabla” and purporting to be “red hot chili pepper” flavor should be a revelation. Right?
First the good. This is a very solid kettle chip. Low on the great scale and high in crunch factor. It hits a perfect line between thin and thick (I think some kettle chips are a bit too thick) and there was a low broken/crumb ratio in the bag. If these had not come from someone like Lays, I’d have given them much higher marks.
But I couldn’t because, well, they are just basically slightly spicy BBQ chips. Again, if this were Lays or some other US snack maker, these would be perfectly acceptable. Decent spice though nowhere near a “red hot chili pepper” level. No major heat builds over the course of eating the bad. No lip tingle. Really, absolutely nothing you’d associate with a company that makes the single greatest spicy bagged corn chip on the planet.
It was worth a try, but I’ll be sticking to my non-artisan Takis from now on.