Snack Review: Dandy’s Shrimp Chips
I like shrimp. I like chips. Do I like shrimp chips?
Few questions are as paramount as this one to a college student on his first day of summer break, as the paradox of whether sea food and snack food could “go together” hit me with all the force of Bubba Gump’s fishing boat. It wasn’t the first time I had seen a product like Dandy’s Original Flavored Shrimp Chips in the ethnic aisle of my local grocery store, but perhaps spurred on by some vague impulse to live dangerously on my summer break, I actually nagged a bag this time and set out to test the waters.
Oh man, is this review getting cheesy or what?
Dandy’s Shrimp Chips are basically fried and puffed versions of tapioca flour loaded with MSG and shrimp flavor. Actually, they contain real shrimp (at least if you believe the ingredient declaration), which wasn’t too much of a surprise considering that they did taste like shrimp. Therein lies the paradox of a shrimp flavored snack however, as shrimp — at least to my taste buds — don’t have much of a discernible taste. There is a dull meaty flavor that comes through with a slightly musky presence of the glutamate element, but the other familiar flavors that so often define chips (salty, sweet, oily) are either nonexistent or so subtle they aren’t even worth mentioning.
Texturally, the chips reminded me quite a bit of microwavable pork rinds. They have a hollow, double-take crunch because of their puffed nature. It’s not repulsive or even unwelcome, it’s just different and takes some getting used to. Personally, I find it interesting, although the solid crunch of an actual kettle potato chip will never be surpassed in my book. With little flavor on their own and an odd texture, there was only one way to get through the rest of the bag:
Here in Maryland we work under the impression that Old Bay works on everything. That’s because it does, and it worked wonders on these chips. The salt of the seasoning really helped to accentuate the glutamate flavor of the chips, while the black pepper and celery seed in the seasoning gave the chips additional complexity and a savory sense that didn’t come across as muted or half-baked (or is that fried?) Even the natural yet subtle flavor of the corn oil seemed to come out with the Old Bay, and before I knew it the bag was empty.
I like shrimp with Old Bay. I like chips with Old Bay. Guess it should have hit me that I would have liked shrimp chips with Old Bay. My suggestion; try this traditional Asian snack food out, but be sure to bring your favorite condiment along. That, and live dangerously.
Pros: Walking around the grocery store with a sophisticated swagger. Actually tastes like shrimp. Pretty good with Old Bay. Only 1 gram of saturated fat per 25 chips. Getting to flaunt to your friends that you’ve tried chips made from shrimp.
Cons: Living with the stigma of being “that kid.” Actually tastes like shrimp (in that, you know, if hardly tastes like anything at all.) Texture can take some getting use to. Salty without actually tasting salty in a yummy, blood-pressure raising sorta way.
Overall GrubGrade: 7.25 (Decent)
More Info: Editor’s Note: Dandy’s does not have a website.
Dandy's Shrimp Chips
Serving Size: 25 chips
Total Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 290 mg
Total Carbs: 16 grams
Protein: 1 gram