In this fraught era, munching on potato chips isn't just a guilty pleasure—it's practically a patriotic duty. In neighboring Idaho, the loss of the restaurant market resulted in a tater surplus. One farmer dumped 70,000 spuds and marked the pile "Free." Many have rotted. It's a travesty, and a call for us to uphold our end of the Ore-Ida bargain.
Fortunately, we have Kettle Chips. The Salem-based snack manufacturer rose to the occasion last month, debuting a new Farmstand Ranch flavor. It's actually a normcore choice by Kettle standards—the company launched maple bacon, red curry and dill pickle flavors before giving us a ranch chip.
The key to a good ranch dressing is onions. If they aren't an aggressive part of the flavor profile, the condiment turns into a sugar bomb. Kettle's ranch powder has a heavy onion bouquet, complemented by generous parsley flakes.
The result is a much fresher tang than you get from a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, which taste mostly like preservatives. I confess I've always found Kettle's rough-hewn chips a bit of a chore to eat—like chewing through pine bark—but the result here was a pleasant surprise. The vegetative sourcing makes the otherwise corny "Farmstand" branding ring true.
Get some. Think of the potato farmers. Recommended.