I am flying solo on this one. My first review on my own. Exciting, isn’t it? Yes.
A little history…I wasn’t familiar with Art’s & Mary’s chips until a while back. Herman told me about them. Art’s & Mary’s is a brand of kettle potato chips. OK. I kind of thought, “Big deal. Another kettle chip.” There are plenty of other brands available. One of the most popular is Lay’s Kettle Cooked. So how good could Art’s and Mary’s be?
Plus, I thought that the whole kettle cooked chip deal might be overdone already. Any self-respecting Fewd Snob likes regular and kettle cooked chips. But haven’t we seen this before? And haven’t we seen it too many times?
The first time I crunched into a bag of Art’s & Mary’s, the answers were very clear. No, we haven’t seen this before. This brand is truly outstanding.
First of all, Art’s & Mary’s are local to our area. They are made in Cheney, KS. They are a staple in all of the Kansas grocery stores. But this review is relevant for all of you wherever you may be. You can order them from the company’s website. You can buy 12 9oz bags for 30 bucks. It’s worth the price. Order at artsandmarys.com.
It’s cool that they are local, but what really sets these chips apart is that they just have a better texture than other kettle chips. Art’s and Mary’s are crispier than Lay’s, for example. Finally, they have some interesting flavors.
That brings us to this review. I stumbled across these chips at a local gas station. The bright color of the bag caught my eye. The colors make it stand out from other chips on the rack. What a great way to bring attention to a bag of chips that aren’t like every other chip. It worked on me, so you can bet it does on other people too. I identified very quickly that these were Art’s & Mary’s, but I had never seen the colors of the bag before. When I read the flavor, I thought that I HAD to try this. And frankly, I was skeptical. Parmesan can either be great as a flavor, or it can really be terrible. There is a fine line between too much and too little with Parmesan flavored noms.
I grabbed a couple of bags thinking I had discovered something new. I was really proud of myself. I got to Herman’s house and announced my discovery as if I had just found gold in California during the gold rush. He then tells me, “Yeah, those have been around.” K. Thanks for killing it for me, guy.
Regardless, they are new to me. So I dug in.
What sets these chips apart more than anything is the texture. They are significantly more crunchy than the competitors’ chips. There aren’t any burned chips in the bags. This is a huge advantage to me. Herman doesn’t mind some burn on chips, but he is out of luck in this case. Quality control seems to be important. There are lots of the chips that are folded over, which gives that extra crunch that is so loved about kettle chips.
With this flavor, there is a lot going on. “Herb Garlic Parmesan” is a lot. By taste, I couldn’t identify what the “herb” is that is listed on the package. There are little visible specs on the chips. So I checked out the ingredients. The herb is parsley. I am not sure this really should be in the title, but these chips are so good that I’ll give ’em a pass. There are certainly tastes of garlic and Parmesan, but I can’t really say that I distinctly taste the two. The overall blend of the flavors is what makes this chip. Together, it is a flavorful mix. It is very hard to put into words, despite that being my job. It isn’t overly strong like you might expect from Parmesan, and yet it isn’t too subtle. And the best part is that these chips don’t stink! The single biggest problem with Parmesan flavored snacks is that sometimes they actually stink! This is what I meant earlier when I said that there must be a subtlety with Parmesan.
These chips would be best eaten as a side-snack, and not with other foods. In other words, I wouldn’t eat these as a side with a sandwich. The flavor would compete with the main meal. These are a snack best enjoyed solo.
If you want something different, pick these up. They would be perfect to munch on anytime you want a snack that doesn’t taste like everything else you’ve had before. Art’s and Mary’s slogan is, “Why eat the ordinary?” This couldn’t be more true.