Snack Review: Dirty’s Pesto and Parmesan Potato Chips

Over the years I’ve reviewed a lot of items. Fast food… Cereal… Chewing gum. The list goes on and on, but when I think of the one food item that I’m presumptuous enough to call myself an expert on, it’s potato chips.

Indeed, the list of chip reviews on this website reads like a compendium of fried potato knowledge. My favorites include UTZ, Route 11, and Cape Cod, with the list of brands I’ve yet to try having now been withered to but a few regional brands. One brand I hadn’t tried was Dirty’s. Based out of Louisiana, the chip makers with the rustic-looking bag make 12 different flavors of kettle style chips, many of which are sold in “gourmet” style markets. Being a fiend for anything involving Italian flavors and/or cheese, I paid $1.19 for a 2 oz. bag of their newest flavor, Pesto and Parmesan.

I’m told pesto is an acquired taste, and truth be told, I’m only kind of “meh” when it comes to the classic Italian condiment. Sure, I love basil and garlic, but I don’t care for strong olive oil flavors or pine nuts. As far as texture goes, the chips have a good crunch and moderate seasoning. There’s a welcomed umami taste from the Parmesan cheese, but the chips come across as a little too salty and oily, and there seems to be a buttermilk/ranch type flavor that just doesn’t belong. I’m not getting much in the way of basil flavor despite a slightly green hue, with the predominant flavors falling back on garlic and salt. There is a slight sweetness that does a little to lighten the chip and brighten the flavors, but it doesn’t quite accentuate the herb flavor to where it should be.

I can’t say if there’s a nutty taste here – which probably means there’s not – and despite a really good earthly potato sweetness, the seasoning tends to overwhelm the spud, and only intensifies as I get farther into the bag. The bottom layer of chips in the bag is a disappointment. Saturated in oil and seasoning, they’re salty and messy to eat.

Overall I thought these were good chips, although I can’t say I’d buy them again. Based off of the few thick cut chips I was able to lick the seasoning off of, I will definitely say that Dirty’s seems to have developed a great tasting pure potato flavor accentuated by peanut oil, but the Pesto and Parmesan flavor just wasn’t for me. A little too salty and oily, it’s a chip trying to do too much with a complicated criteria of flavors, although it will fascinate the longstanding inquiry into the tolerable aspects of the ubiquitous green potato chip question.

Pros: Crunchy chips have hint of sweetness and "meaty" flavor. Finger-licking quality. Taking pictures of chips in their natural environment. Crossing another chip maker off the list.

Cons: Not overly herb-y. Too much surface oil. "Dirty" fingers. Too much salt. Begs for a little more relief.

Price: $1.19 for a 2 oz. bag

Overall GrubGrade: 7.00 (Decent)

More Info: Dirtys.com
Nutrition Facts:
Dirt's Pesto and Parmesan Potato Chips (1 oz.)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Sodium: 15%
Total Carbs: 16 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 2 grams

11 comments on “Snack Review: Dirty’s Pesto and Parmesan Potato Chips

  1. Courtney says:

    This brand is all over the place where I live. I never really cared for them to much, a little to oily for my tastes.

  2. Charlotte says:

    Better Made makes “rainbow” chips which are just the burnt, dark brown ones. Thought “Dirty” might be another word for it haha.

    • PlatypusTheConqueror says:

      Better Made is not selling you “the burnt chips”, but yes they are darker than regular chips. The Rainbow variety is a special batch of potatoes with a higher sugar content, it’s not just chips that are cooked to crap. Because of the higher sugar content, more browning happens. The flavor is not at all a burnt flavor, but it is a sharper flavor and a crispier crunch.

  3. SkippyMom says:

    I have never seen “Dirty’s” – and I am with you Adam. I like the ingredients in pesto, just not so much pesto itself.

    Now, can you tell me why the bag is in the plant pot? heehee

  4. Shannon says:

    Well, I am glad that you reviewed these. I was curious as to what you thought of these not the flavor in particular, but the chip. Some people have commented that this flavor tastes like soap. At first, I was impressed with this brand. They had two flavors that I had never seen before in potato chips. Honey Mustard and Garlic & Herb have since been discontinued. When you get right down to it, I have to agree with you. They are crunchy with ample potato flavor, but they are greasy even for a potato chip.

  5. Louise says:

    Hi Adam!
    Happened upon your place after leaving the UTZ website and seeing the your comment you left there.

    Would you believe, I’ve just discovered potato chips and ice cream? (and I’m no spring chicken:) As I was sitting in front of the computer munching on my “cool” snack, I thought I would do a bit of browsing. Nice site, appreciate the review.

    Thanks for sharing…

  6. Meg says:

    I recently moved from the land of “Cape Cod” chips to that of Dirty’s. I have yet to try Dirty’s

  7. Forget Dirty’s you need to try Zapp’s. Hands down best chips around! http://www.zapps.com/ The Voodoo Gumbo Limited Edition are AMAZING!

  8. Nicki says:

    Try the Dirty Salt and Pepper Chips. Best Salt & Pepper chips I’ve ever had

    • Jake S. says:

      I had this kind of chip yesterday as a snack on the way home from a vigorous hike. It was, indeed, both to my mom and I, the best salt and pepper chips we had ever had. Outstanding flavor profile. And they didn’t seem that oily/greasy to us.