Sunday, May 27, 2012
Ruffles Ultimate: Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch Chips & Smokehouse Bacon Dip
Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch Potato Chips
Made By: Frito-Lay, Inc.
160 calories per 1 oz. serving (pictured)
The first thing I notice about the chips once I open the bag is that the shape is a little different than regular Ruffles chips; instead of the tiny "ridges" that everyone is familiar with, the shape and texture is very similar to Wavy Lay's chips, except the "waves" are a bit more angular. I guess the sharp corners make them more edgy and cool or something. The flavor is really quite nice! The trend in novelty chip flavors recently had been to just make things extra spicy and call them "extreme," so I was kind of expecting something along those lines. Instead, these are just mildly to moderately spicy, and the main flavor note is a fairly good rendition of the 'green' flavor of a jalapeño pepper. I am pleasantly surprised! :)
Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon Dip
Made By: Frito-Lay, Inc.
70 calories per 2 tbsp. serving
I'm just going to get straight to the verdict and say that the dip is another pleasant surprise! In this case, the "Ultimate" factor seems to be the thickness of the dip; it is really rather thick, and loaded down with a generous amount of real bacon bits. The sauce is very creamy, and seems to be somewhere between a sour cream and an alfredo-style flavor. I actually had to warm up to it, but I think that's because of what I didn't taste more than what I did--my 'usual' is a Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix in sour cream, and I think I was used to the tartness of the buttermilk and sour cream, which is really not present in this dip. After I got used to the flavor, though, I started really liking it on most things I tried it with, especially raw veggies like snap peas and baby carrots. Even my sweetie, who is not really a big dipper, told me she enjoyed this. I really only bought this because the potato chip bag told me to, but out of the two products, this one is the one that stands out to me--I don't feel like I would have to have more of the chips once the bag is gone, but I've already purchased another jar of this dip for when the first one runs out. :D
And finally, of course, I had to try the two of them together! I would have to say the bag was right--they do pair together very well! The flavors seem to combine to make something new; the creamy base of the dip seems to mute the jalapeño pepper flavor a bit, which lets the underlying ranch flavor of the chip come through more. The result is a nice balance of creamy ranch and bacon, with the jalapeño becoming the undertone. So I guess the bottom line is, if you do get the chips to try, go ahead and get the dip to go with them and you shouldn't regret it. And if the chips don't sound like your kind of thing, the dip is really good anyway.