My once fond and loving feelings for Ruffles have slowly been dying out. The original style are arguably the best, highest quality regular potato chips out there. Their sour cream n' onion are solid, and their cheddar and sour cream are glorious and a surefire classic in my book. But then they made KC Masterpiece (later becoming "Authentic Barbecue") for awhile and discontinued them where I live. Then they created one of my favorite chips ever, The Works, and discontinued them entirely. I still cry myself to sleep most nights, mourning my loss.
What followed was years of the same 3 (or 4, wherever you live in the US) flavors. I got to try "All Dressed" when I was in Canada, but basically there were no new flavors for years. Then this summer, someone at Ruffles clearly lost their mind, and in addition to a "vote for the new flavor" contest, they created a short list of either fairly gross flavors or decent ones that mostly disappeared nearly as fast as they appeared. We have reviewed them all. Actually, that's not true- we didn't review "double fisted cheeseburger" but they were about as good as the amount of time they lasted on the shelves (not sure if that makes sense, but you get the idea).
So, based on the last year, when I saw a new bag at the store with a giant slab of meat on it, I was prepared for the worst. Seriously, Ruffles? You're making MORE chips that taste like meat? Didn't you learn your lesson before? UGHKK.
Boy, was I wrong.
These chips are AWESOME. They aren't meat chips- they're just BBQ, and excellent BBQ at that. They taste a lot like their Authentic Barbecue (at least how I remember them), but with an extra smokiness. They describe it as "lip smakin' dry-rub style BBQ," meaning that I guess the best way to imagine the flavor is if all that crunchy BBQ rub on the ribs in the picture on the bag was rubbed on chips instead of ribs, then that's the flavor you're getting.
Even though that sentence was atrocious, I think that may be a fairly accurate representation of these chips. They're sweet and tangy like the best BBQ chips, but there's an extra smokiness and spice- a real kick- that other chips don't have as much. And they definitely give you a good mouthburn after awhile.
We haven't seen these in NH yet (I got them at a Hannaford in Maine), but if you see a bag, buy 4. Buy them for your friends and an extra bag for you. I destroyed a bag without even trying and immediately wanted more. I got a bag each for the other fatguyfoodbloggers, and they both made the face that can only be made when a fat guy finds a new favorite. And, based on Ruffles' track record lately (and the fact that I follow them on facebook and they never said a word about these chips even existing- what's with that?), I can only assume these will be extremely limited edition. Buy a ton so Ruffles will see the appeal and make more!
I really hope these stick around, they're excellent. Until then, I'm sorry if I knock you over and steal bags out of your shopping cart when you finally find them. I hope you understand.
everyone wants some