Review: Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles (Food Truck Flavors) & I LOVE MARCH (& My Alternative March Madness Pool)
Junk Food Nation, I forgot to mention this Monday, BUT IT’S MARCH! March is, by far, one of my favorite months of the year, something I’ve documented consistently in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The reasons are usually very simple: Shamrock Shakes, Sundress Season, and SPORTS. Sundress Season in DC is based on a simple formula: the # of degrees equals the % of skin you let the sun hit. Sundress Season in DC has been put on hold, however, BECAUSE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANOTHER ICE STORM TOMORROW. We get it, Winter. You’re still here. Stupid Smarch weather.
So, instead, let’s talk about SPORTS. There’s the obvious appeal of Conference Tournaments and March Madness. MLB Spring Training is in full swing, as are the second halves of both the NBA and NHL seasons. You have NFL Combines and trades (HHHUUUULLOOOOOOOO LEASEAN MCCOY). It’s a sports bonanza! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH*
(*Me, as I go running around my living room with excitement.)
This year, my buddies and I are doing a different sort of NCAA Basketball pool than a traditional March Madness bracket. Those are all well and good, but let’s face it – only buying in during the big tournament means you don’t EVER pay attention to Conference tournament runs, and the bracket game is about as satisfying as playing the lottery. One team gets upset and ¼ of your bracket is ruined. Or, worse yet, because of the increasing scoring system by round, someone wins your entire pool because they chose all #1s, totally negating early round correct picks. (That doesn’t mean I won’t do one this year, however. Give me 50K, Yahoo.)
Instead, my two friends and I are participating in a game based on one I heard on 106.7 The Fan’s Sport Junkies Radio Show. We drafted 33 teams a piece over the weekend like a quasi-fantasy roster. Through both the conference tournaments and March Madness, if your team wins a game, you get one (1) point. And that’s it – highest point total at the end March Madness wins. Simple game, but in a lot of ways, a much more fun game if you’re a sports fanatic like we are. Makes every single game, even in the smaller conference tournaments, worth something. Since only 68 teams make the tournament, and we drafted 99 total teams, you have to figure out which teams you think can still rack you up points in conference play even if they don’t make the Big Dance. And it keeps you in the game during all rounds of March Madness – if you have a good field of teams, you can still rack up points even if upsets happen here or there. When the average team might net you three (3) points total over the course of March play, a team like UCONN last year netted EIGHT by themselves. So money.
Alright, I know this is all getting sports geeky, but if you’re a fan like me, March is the best, and this game I’ve described has you stoked. I think everyone should play this sort of college basketball fantasy game from now on. And if you’re interested, here is how our picks looked (CMON VILLANOVA. Don’t let me down like you do EVERY SINGLE YEAR).
Are you excited about March Madness? And who do you root for? And are you one of those people who picks their bracket based on the pretty animals/colors? Let me know in the comments below.
Today’s junk food: Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles!!
So, I think I saw a picture of these Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back last year over on The Impulsive Buy. But then I never saw them. Anywhere. ANYWHERE. WTH, Pringles??? I was especially distraught since I am a big fan of food trucks and tacos. I mean, Kogi BBQ is the one place I HAVE to eat at whenever I go to LA to visit Actor Sis. Food truck tacos are my WHEELHOUSE.
But then Doctor Sis found these for me at Harris Teeter, and here we are. BTW, I spotted the other Food Truck flavor at Walgreens:
Cheesburger?? LAME, Pringles. First of all, food trucks in general have progressed to the point where they are serving awesome multi-ethnic food all the time. It’s rare (at least here in DC) to see someone get a burger from a food truck when there are better food truck options and better burger sources. So I didn’t buy these – especially since I’m sure they tasted just like the Cheeseburger flavor they had before (which was good, BTW – just not new).
But let’s get back to the Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles…
The resident Latina in my house, the Junk Food Gal, crinkled her nose when she saw these. “Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles?” she said. And I understood where she was coming from – when we go for tacos, we aim for pork, beef, or more exotic cuts like lengua. Chicken ranks low on the taco list, but I acknowledge that usually at a taco cart, the chicken is seasoned up the most over the pulled pork or barbacoa, which is probably why Pringles opted for this flavor.
Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles follows the long line of great chips whose flavoring is conveniently hidden in the “natural and artificial flavor” listing. Smooth, Pringles.
When I opened up this can and sniffed, I caught the distinct smell of taco seasoning, with an emphasis on the cumin. Smelled…pretty good actually. I tried to close my eyes and imagine whether this is how a chicken taco would smell straight off the food truck in one of those paper trays…but I just got the spices. MAAAYBE a hint of chicken? I think I was reaching though.
When I placed one of these Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles in my mouth, FLAVOR EXPLOSION. My eyes lit up and I immediately looked at the JFGal, muttering through crumbs “Oh, these are good.”
Usually when I eat a Pringle, unless the flavor is super bold, the distinct potato-y flavor of a Pringle tends to mute the overall flavor – but not here. They definitely went BOLD with the seasoning. The general first flavors I got were meaty, bean-y, and taco seasoning-y. The flavor, to me, DISTINCTLY tasted like pulled chicken that have been slow cooking with taco seasoning (I’ve done this a bunch myself in a slow cooker). The way the cumin and Coriander sat on top of the meat flavor was just REALLY well done. I mean, I really thought the flavor of taco chicken meat was SPOT ON. My only complaint is that it lacked the fatty chicken fat extra component that I remember Stax and Walker’s having.
There’s some heat to these, but not much – I wouldn’t consider these spicy. The flavor ends with a tiny bit of tang to round out the savory note of the taco seasoning, so there’s a good balance of flavors here. It doesn’t just pound you over the head with cumin. Overall, the reason I liked these so much was because you could immediately tell they were thinking of food truck, and not, say, Taco Bell tacos. There was no sour cream-iness to these; the main stars were meat and spice.
GOOD JOB, Pringles. Next food truck flavor for you: LOBSTER ROLL PRINGLES. WITH OLD BAY. DO IT.
PURCHASED AT: Harris Teeter
COST: $1.50 on sale
Junk Food Guy