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!!

Kickin' Chicken Taco Pringles: The Money Shot

Kickin’ Chicken Taco Pringles: The Money Shot

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:

kickinchicken-01

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…

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

Kickin' Chicken Taco Pringles

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.

Kickin' Chicken Taco Pringles

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

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.

Sincerely,

Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 22 Comments

  1. Jeni says:

    I’m no good with sports – I cheer for whichever team has the ball, which is apparently a no-no.

  2. Dr. Stanley Goodspeed says:

    What idiot would pick Baylor that high?

  3. Tina Huang says:

    Rock. Chalk.

  4. Meredith says:

    There are some fantastic burger food trucks here in L.A.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Meredith – too true – after I posted I realized I prob pissed off all the good burger trucks out there!!! Which is your favorite?

  5. Jamie says:

    I was skeptical but Pringles nailed it, these are a new favorite!

  6. ibagoalie says:

    YES, YES, YES…I second the lobster roll idea!!!! I’ve only had lobster rolls a couple of times, but would eat them every day if I lived in Maine.

  7. C. says:

    Note of cynicism here. This all reminds me of the JFG anecdote (last year?) about riding on the train and overhearing two guys conversing with ‘a mere pretense of having followed some NFL playoff game the night before’. They weren’t convincing to JFG that they were true pigskin fans.

    Well. NCAA. I haven’t hear any guy anywhere in this whole country, (in real life or on-line) breathe so much as a word about ‘college hoops’ since 12 months ago. Now all of a sudden we’re all about ‘choosing our brackets’ again, just like that, as soon as the buzz comes back around, with football just one month out of the sports headlines; immediately as we hear this year’s bandwagon rev its engine again and all the same old advertisements and commercials start screaming the same old phrases and slogans. Now, we can’t get enough basketball talk, huh? As if it’s been on our minds all year. Well I’m sorry, but I just I don’t buy it. I call bogus!

    Not specifically JFG, mind– but just guys everywhere. Show me one true follower of college ball anywhere. I don’t believe it. Every dude I work with talks of nothing else but his XBOX for almost the whole year around.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @C: Oh, I’ll make no secret I don’t watch college basketball all season. But it is what it is – in football, you’re talking one-day-a-week commitment (or two), in college basketball, you’re talking over a thousand games. But I hear you – outside of a few MD and GTown games, I haven’t watched much.

      That being said, ever since conference play started, I’ve watched almost every single conference game – even AU v Colgate yesterday. FLY EAGLES FLY!

  8. Shorneys says:

    Old Bay on crab, maybe, but not on lobster, fool.

  9. Spicy. Taco-y. Chicken-y.

    Not bad.

  10. Peep says:

    Kind of a disappointment! Pringles’ Kickin’ Chicken Taco tastes okay for my taste buds, but there is an after taste that tingles in my mouth. First, it tastes like a spicy taco (Which is great! Right?)… However, once you swallow the chip down your throat, it tastes as if you licked a bare foot. (Don’t ask me how a bare foot tastes like; I’m just saying it tastes like a foot, as reference that it tastes disgusting.) It’s okay I guess. It really just depends on whether or not you like it!

  11. Technosquid says:

    I only picked these up based on the two consecutive episodes you chose them as your Nosh of the Week. The flavor on these was so good, I didn’t even mind that they were Pringles! That’s a horrible back-handed compliment, I know. I’m more of a kettle or terra chip kind of guy, so I never would have tried them. Until they start putting a flavor this good on a less processed chip, I’ll probably be thinking about them every time I hit the store. Thanks for the tip!

  12. DragonXero says:

    I have to agree with everything on this review. These are delicious, possibly the best new Pringles flavor I’ve ever tried. The cheeseburger ones just taste like ketchup to me, but these seriously taste like some good chicken tacos. A little bit of bite to make the tongue tingle, plenty of chili powder and onion, some garlic in the background, and somehow, they even made it taste like chicken. I get the bean taste mostly in the aftertaste, and while I generally hate beans, the flavor isn’t what I dislike. It’s the texture, so this was perfectly fine.

    This ain’t your normal Taco Bell-flavored taco stuff. This is full-on taco truck chicken tacos. I just wish they’d gone with beef for an even better flavor, but it’s still tasty.

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