On a recent trip into the local Super Target, I made a beeline for the snack aisle. Being a single gal with no one else to please, not only do I stick to easily munchable things to keep me satisfied throughout the day, but I also like to treat myself to new things.
Archer Farms, a Target line of snack foods, holds a royal spot on the grocery shelves. From cookies to crackers to chips, the line had all kinds of different flavors as well as some of the old stand-by regulars that other brands carry. While they’re quite a bit more expensive than any generics, I decided to try a couple to see if they were worth the price.
My first pick of an Archer Farms snack was an 8.5 oz bag of Maple Barbecue potato chips for $1.99. Having always been a fan of BBQ chips in general, I was curious to see what the flavor would be when the manufacturers threw maple flavor into the mix. Artificially flavored, these kettle cooked chips are both cholesterol and trans-fat free.
Not one to look at nutritional information (though I probably should), the statistics don’t sound too bad for these chips when eaten in moderation. A serving of about 15 chips is 140 calories and 9 grams of fat, one of those being saturated. Carb count stands at 15 grams, sodium at 150 mg, and protein at a whopping 2 grams. But come on…chips weren’t made to be healthy.
Taste wise, I really enjoyed them. Being kettle cooked, they’re crispier than your regular brand of chips. The BBQ flavor comes through strong while the maple makes for a strange blend of hickory and sweet mesquite. At times you taste an essence close to maple syrup. At others, you just get a mild sweetness and more BBQ. I haven’t eaten a lot of kettle cooked chips in my time, so the extreme crispiness was a bit hard to get used to. Some of the chips had a slightly burnt taste to them. I didn’t mind this, but it might not suit the palate of everyone.
I found them addicting. When bought in moderation, I think they’re well worth the price tag. Quality taste is always worth a little extra.
The second snack item from Archer Farms that I decided to try was the Parmesan Herb Baked Pita Chips. I pondered this one for a bit before buying them. A six ounce bag of these guys cost $2.49. This may be a nod to the fact that pita chips are supposed to be healthier than potato chips. For me, it was a curiosity splurge.
Touted on the packaging as being all natural, the pita chips have 110 calories per 1 oz. serving. They only have 5 grams of fat, none of it saturated. They are cholesterol and trans fat free. They have 3 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbs. The big shocker for me was the sodium content. Figuring that pita chips in any form would be healthier than potato chips on all counts, I was surprised to find that one serving contains 270 mg of sodium, no doubt from the flavorings used for this particular brand.
My first bite was overpowering. The herb flavor was definitely more pronounced than the parmesan flavor. I prefer it the other way around. As is the norm with flavor distribution in packaged products, subsequent tastes didn’t yield such a strong ratio. The flavor got better once I got used to it, though when I came back later for another taste, that initial shock was there again. Maybe my taste buds just aren’t used to something so strong.
If you’re big on textures, these chips can be very off putting. Grainy and rough, biting into one of these was like biting into a piece of wood that turned to sawdust in my mouth. I’ve had pita chips before that have had a smoother texture. While I managed to get used to the texture, it never actually became a pleasant chewing experience for me.
Unlike their potato chip companions, I highly doubt if I will ever buy this brand again. Not only did they not sit well with my own palate, but I’d rather buy a loaf of pita bread for $1.50 than to pay almost twice that for something I find so unsatisfying.
My half and half foray into finding satisfying snacks will likely lead me to try other Archway Farms products. Who knows? Somewhere I might find a new favorite. Give them a try yourself, and if you find one you really like, let me know.