Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper Chips

This is the part where I’m supposed to say hey, hello, hi. I introduce a thing with playful banter and we have a good time while I do my best to use my wordsmithing abilities and either make you laugh or make you… cry? I don’t… I— didn’t have a good time this go around, not with these chips, and I tried. I really, really tried. I slotted these into my calorie count for the day, and I finished the whole bag in an attempt to find something nice to say about them, and I came up with nil.

To preface, I’m a heatseeker, firecracker, tongue torturer kind of eater. If it’s hot, I want hotter. I use a habanero hot sauce with the pained expression of a man in a backwards hat on its label as sauce of choice. Tabasco is little more than a, “yeah that’ll do” sauce for homefries and eggs. I order Thai and Indian “hot” when I eat out. A packet of chips labelled Haunted Ghost Pepper seemed like I just had to eat them.

These chips aren’t good.

They take an odd amount of pressure to bite through and into, and the texture combined with the amount of spice mix on each chip makes them taste and feel like a harder, ground corn version of pork rinds. On the looks side, these could be cousins of the Dorito. They look like large, grown-up sized triangles of childhood favorites Cool Ranch and Nacho Cheese. But if the seasoning on those were made of salt, and fire.

Oh, I did come up with a positive. These are a sniffly, runny nose creeping heat, my favorite kind, and a sign of good flavor: but with that said, there’s so much spice mix coating each huge chip that that the amount of salt in my mouth at any one point made my tongue want to revolt. As a home cook, I do not regularly ingest large amounts of salt outside of deli meats, so everything is saltier to me. I looked at the back of the bag. 18% daily value or 420erryday mg of sodium in them. Big no.

Midway through eating these, I had to dust my body off. On top of that, the chips were so hard to break through, I started closing my eyes in fear of blasting myself in the ocular cavities with ghost pepper dust. I took precaution in eating them, using a pair of chopsticks to bring them to my face at the beginning and transitioning to using a paper towel when they proved too hard to steadily keep a grip on and bite at the same time. The plate I ate over was L I T T E R E D in spice mix.

These aren’t something I would have bought to satisfy a snack craving, and I bought them solely out of curiosity and had them with a meal. I would have bought my regular bag of salt and vinegar kettle cooked Lays for that.

Their only saving grace is their heat. Yes, the chips are hot, but not devastatingly so for somebody like me looking for that satisfaction. They’re enjoyable for what the give, but having to ingest that level of heat in this way? Let’s just say: it was an experience.

After noticing that these chips from Paqui are born and Austin, Texas-bred, I’m even more disappointed. These are a pretentious take on a spicy chip, with an overly hard, stale-tasting tortilla chip and salty, salty, dusty spice mix. They’re hot, yes, but like the ground corn tortilla chip that hot spice dust lays upon, a hard pass.

Found at Walgreens.

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