Review: Dutch Gourmet Premium Thick Cut Potato Chips
One of the things we take pride in here at GrubGrade is our dedication to challenging those who choose to use terms like “Artisan”, “Fresh” or “Homestyle, so when someone doubles down and asserts that their product is “Gourmet Premium”; well, they’re just asking for it. Such is the case with the latest offering from Old Dutch featured in one of those cardboard all-in-one shipping box/display cases taking up valuable real estate at my local convenience store. Of course, I can hear the maniacal laugh of the marketing executive now who scoffs at my flippant discussion of both their overzealous product description and invasive product placement, because, ugh… I bought their product. And, of course, I didn’t just buy their product, I bought two bags of their product, because they were on sale at 2 for $6. Well, I guess we’ll see if I was a sucker or if those wooden shoe-wearing, windmill inventing, speed skate dominating, VanDerWhozens can fry a decent potato.
One of the other things about this product that caused me to stop and ponder were the flavor offerings. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera along, nor did I write down all of the choices, but suffice to say there were several, including plain. The two flavors that caught my eye and found their way to the checkout counter with me were Szechwan and Slow Cooked Ribs. Now maybe it’s just because I like to hear my buddy Larry say “Szechwan” in his distinctive, yet untraceable accent that got me to pick this flavor, but I’d like to think it’s because I actually like what I’ll generically call Chinese food, especially with a Szechwan style spice. The Slow Cooked Ribs label just seemed like a fancy name for BBQ flavored chips (which I usually enjoy), but I thought maybe this flavor would add a certain refinement to the typical; maybe like a Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce or something of that ilk.
I find the need to split this review into two sections. Well, actually 3, but I think you’ll be able to keep up. First, I’ll put the “Gourmet Premium” test to the potato chip itself; setting aside the flavor dust component for the time being. The ripple cut chips were substantial in both size and thickness. I would say it was fair to call them “Thick Cut” on the package.
I’d also say, that there were very few small chips and far fewer broken chips than in your typical bag. Maybe the thickness of these things helps hold them together or maybe it’s that the factory is only a few miles away from my gas station, but if you were to say that having more large, unbroken chips in your bag than small broken ones helps these chips earn the “Premium” label, I’d listen to that argument. To earn the “Gourmet” label, in my book, your product better taste good. So, are these chips “Gourmet”? I’d say yes. You can tell that the potatoes used are the pick of the litter and they have a pure potato flavor with a nice salt and oil balance.
Now, as I mentioned, I’m breaking this review into two parts (actually 3). The second part of this review is in regards to the flavoring. This is where the hype of the “Premium Gourmet” label let me down. We’ll start with the Szechwan. I guess, I was expecting two things out of this flavor. One would be that there would be a little kick and secondly, that it would bring me back to the days of Larry and me scrounging up a few bucks to hit the Szechuan Express for a college dorm room feast with some of those magical taste/smell memory triggers. Unfortunately, there was only a distant, vague picture in my head of my college pal ordering the 4 star heat level while I chickened out with the level 2; these chips came in somewhere below a 1.
Secondly, for the third part of my review, I’ll offer my opinion on the Slow Cooked Rib flavor. On second thought, it’s very difficult to offer an opinion on a flavor that’s just not there. I’ve stated before, that I’m a fan of subtle flavor on chips. I really would love it if Doritos made a Cool Ranch flavor with like half the coating, but these chips just fall so far short of the flavor recognition threshold that I really can’t say I liked or disliked their flavors. I actually mixed these chips up in a bowl and tried to pick out which one was which by eating them one at a time, but honestly could not.
So, Premium Gourmet? Yes and no.
Pros: Good quality, integrity of chip and pure potato flavor.
Cons: Fancy flavors fall flat.
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.00/10
Price: 2 for $6 on sale