Last time I reviewed the flavor finalist that I was least excited about (which you can read here) so, instead turning my posts into a count down of least to best, I decided to jump right to my favorite of the four, the Wasabi Ginger kettle chips.
I want to say that this was the flavor I was most excited for, which is true, but all four flavors have left me really underwhelmed. This just feels like it’s the most interesting of the four.
This mini bag is the same as the other flavors I bought at Wawa, which holds about 3 servings, and the only difference in design is that the color scheme has shifted to a lovely wasabi-green color. (That and the obvious flavor-related photo change.)
Those of you who have been following this blog for the last few months have noticed that I have been obsessing over wasabi and banana flavored snacks. (They’re separate flavor obsessions! Combining those two would be absolutely awful.) I’ve eaten tons of wasabi-coated seaweed snacks, pea crackers, and other wasabi flavored things that have never lasted long enough for me to photograph and review. With that being said, I may have burned out my taste buds. It takes a pretty powerful wasabi-punch, like eating a big blob of the real deal, to give me that familiar burning sensation that clears my nasal passages. (It works better than any cold medicine I’ve ever had!)
I opened the bag, and the kettle chips had that familiar salted potato aroma, but there was a bold ginger scent as well. After a few whiffs I was able to detect a faintly spicy wasabi aroma, but it was incredibly weak when compared to the snacks that I’ve been eating.
The chips themselves are coated with herby green flakes, and visually they look exactly like sour cream and onion kettle chips. I bet if you put these out at a party side-by-side there’d be no way to tell them apart. (Visually, after one bite and you’d know something was off.)
Now, this flavor is meant to appeal to the general American consumer, so I went into this knowing that the wasabi flavoring was going to be weak at best, but it was barely there at all! Considering that wasabi is the first flavor mentioned in the name, it’s the last ingredient on the list!
To be honest, these chips are way more ginger than wasabi, which is very disappointing as far as my wasabi addiction goes, but they have this nice umami flavor that I found rather addicting.
Umami might be a new term for some of you, but it’s become quite popular in the culinary world. Although most of the formal definitions online market it as a meaty flavor, I think of it as a taste that satisfies sweet, salty, and savory receptors on your tongue. Basically it’s the casserole of the flavor world because it has a little bit of everything, and that’s what this chip has.
There are hints of salty soy sauce, sweet ginger, and a very mild spiciness from the tiny hint of wasabi that becomes slightly stronger as you consume more of the chips. (It gets slightly stronger, but no where near what I would consider truly spicy.) The best way I can describe this flavoring would have to be take-out sushi flavored kettle chips. You get a little hint of everything that accompanies a container of take-out sushi, but there’s absolutely no fishiness.
If you like the sauces and sides that accompany sushi, this chip has all of those flavors and a satisfying kettle chip crunch. This was easily my favorite out of the four which, when looking at it’s competition doesn’t say all that much, and I hope it wins, but I really wish the wasabi was more bold. If these were just a bit spicier I think they would be absolutely perfect for sushi lovers everywhere.