User Suggested: Mama Zuma’s Revenge Route 11 Habanero Potato Chips
Junk Food Nation, I recently received this email:
“I would be very interested to hear your views on Mama Zuma’s Revenge Habanero chips. I know the package warns that its going to be hot, but I have never come close to having another junk food that burned like that. It was almost unpleasant. But I’ve bought them again. Am I stupid?”
Well, let’s find out how stupid you (and I) are! (Let’s find out how stupid I are. Yep, that sums it up). Presenting… Route 11’s Mama Zuma’s Revenge Habanero Potato Chips!
Route 11 chips have been spotted in sandwich shops and diners across America. Their chip flavor gallery boasts some pretty interesting choices, including Chesapeake Crab and yes, Mama Zuma’s Revenge Habanero. I found these on the shelf at a random sandwich shop near my office. Not only did the buxom cartoon lass jump out at me, but I think the shelf was singed a little bit by the potential fire of this chips.
The design elements of this snack bag are great. Mama Zuma, depicted here, carrying a Route 11 flag, and a flaming habanero pepper. Wearing a bunch of hot peppers like a grenade belt is kinda hot (get it, HOT? EH? EH? No? Ok, then).
Please note the cacti which are on fire, and the little random dude to the right hand side right above the Gluten Free sign. Who is that???
And the story of Mama Zuma herself. Nice – I gotta admit, this wacky description is EXACTLY the type of thing I want to read on the back of a bag. No boring story about the history of the company or something – gimme some fiction and make me excited to eat these chips, or in this case, burn the hell out of my mouth.
BTW, who is the person over at Route 11 chips thinking this shit up? I want that job. No seriously, I want that job. No seriously.
Habanero powder and paprika extract – sounds like a party! A party that needs to be doused with 1000 buckets of milk. Yikes. The upside: peppers were not the first ingredient.
I opened the bag and sniffed – didn’t smell like much. Just potato and a little spice, but almost more of a BBQ chip smell? Smoky, rather. A smoky spicy smell. Smelled quite nice, actually.
The chips themselves were nice and almost kettle cooked – semi-translucent and doused with red powder and pepper flakes. Love the red, exactly how these chips should be. Red red red. Time for a bite, glass of milk, ready.
First bite – sort of spicy. Second chew of same bite…ok, that’s spicy. Third chew — WOOOOO that’s a spicy meatball! Fourth chew….WOW, cough cough that’s definitely spicy! Burning…but not TOO much. Now that’s some kick!
Really, the chips tasted like peppers and smoke…a little tang as well. I really liked the chips – they were one of the first Junk Foods on this site that promised HOT and delivered. The burn was definitely enough to make you cough, but as long as you ate the chips methodically and not too fast, you can really savor the tongue numbing tingle they give.
Were they too hot? Not for me, but I’m a masochist. Good flavor, powerful spice, and a nice crunch. All in all, I think a VERY successful chip. Route 11, I salute you.
Sincerely, Junk Food Guy