I must begin this review with some qualifications: 1) I really like spicy foods, 2) I have a really high spice tolerance, and 3) I don’t believe that “hotter” is always better. There’s nothing I hate more than when food is unnecessarily spicy with no unique or inspired flavors to go along with it. Anyone can apply pepper spray onto some wings, make you sign a waiver, and market “the hottest wings in town.” It drives me nuts. Let me tell you a story…
One football Sunday a few years back, I went out for some beers with friends. By dinner time, I had a healthy buzz going (I was hammered). We sat down at a restaurant, and I was too lazy (drunk) to bother reading the menu. “Just give me an order of wings,” I said to no one in particular. Our waiter overheard me and asked which sauce I wanted, and I proudly responded “The hottest one you have.” Normally this is a safe bet for me, as most restaurants scale it back to satisfy the majority of patrons.
But this waiter laughed and walked away. He returned with the hottest wings I’d ever encountered – wings covered in a ghost pepper sauce called “African Voodoo Juice.” The blood rushed to my face, I broke out into a flop sweat, and my heavy IPA provided no relief. But the flavors were SO MASTERFUL that I ate every single wing, mouth ablaze and tears a’rollin. When I finished, I promptly threw up. These were the greatest wings I had ever eaten in my life.
Since that day, I respect the hell out of the ghost pepper and I actively seek it out. Trader Joe’s Ghost Pepper Potato Chips are lattice cut, kettle cooked chips sprinkled with a ghost pepper seasoning. They’re a thick, sturdy waffle chip and I’m quite pleased with their texture. They’re speckled with a green herb – the ingredient list reveals parsley. But nobody cares about any of this. All you want to know is how hot these are.
Initially, I got nothing. But I know how this works. I have to sit here like a little bitch and wait for the heat to creep up on me. As far as flavor, Trader’s Joe’s Ghost Pepper Potato Chips have a well-balanced mix of black pepper, garlic, and herbs. The flavor profile has a slight Mediterranean vibe, heavily influenced by the cumin in the seasoning. It’s tasty, if not a little familiar.
The heat starts to build and I can feel the blood rushing to my face, but it dissipates fairly harmlessly if I eat these slowly. The heat does linger on your tongue, and it amplifies as you continue to cram these suckers into your face. With my tolerance, I feel these struck the right point. My nose wanted to run, and the sweat almost formed, but neither came to fruition. This allowed me to snack on a decent amount before growing tired of them, which I eventually did. I enjoyed the flavors achieved here, but the experience isn’t something worthy of a lengthy snack session.
I again caution you that I have a very high spice tolerance. I found them spicy enough to warrant the name, but it wasn’t overkill for me. I can only pray that these ghost pepper chips don’t haunt my butthole when all is said and done. I’m very interested in hearing what our readers think of the spice level here. But that will be impossible because you’re not even reading this, nobody is going to comment, and nobody cares about my blog.
How Hard I Threw Up After Eating Those Wings Rating: 7.5 out of 10
How Many Unique Readers We Get Each Week Rating: 3 out of the entire universe.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10