Sunday, March 13, 2011

Best Baked Chips

The resident females in my house just plain like to nibble. This behavior is mitigated through rules governing acceptable hours of engagement (not prior to 11am; not in the hour preceding any anticipated meal; not after dinner; not when we might incur a lecture from the resident Snack Policeman).

Snacks fall into two categories: sweet or salty. We are currently in possession of a dwindling supply that began with no less than 14 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. (Some, to be fair, will be gifted to a lucky relative with a March birthday.) I don't take it for granted that we have been lucky enough to elude the diseases - cancer, obesity, diabetes - that preclude cookie noshing. You can't do much to a cookie to make it healthier and still taste like like something you'd care to consume. But chips differ in this regard. And awhile back that determined I would only purchase baked chips.

Not long ago most baked chips were akin to munching a thin salty bit of nothing. Flavor was indicated on the package but not so much contained within. But chips have improved. Trader Joe's makes a remarkably good baked tortilla chip. Ditto for their Baked Salt and Vinegar chips (which may or may not be produced on the same line as Kettle Chips Baked Salt and Vinegar potato chips, which are equally good and often available at TJ and regularly at Whole Foods). But our all time fave is presently WF's 365 house brand of Sour Cream and Onion baked potato chips. They are super yum. I've been tucking them into my daughter's lunch boxes in those waxed paper bags I didn't invent fast enough. The BBQ ones are pretty good, too. But we like the SC&O ones better.

The simple fact is that while cookies might make the world a better place, chips are a second class snack. Love them, I do, but they usually contain far too much salt and a unhealthy dose of overheated, overused oil. It's really the overusing of the oil that gets me. And you're not going to suffer that when eating baked chips. If you purchase chips, consider replacing them with any of these.

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