Review: Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips, The Nosh Show Ep.52: Sweet Asian Buns, & MLB OPENING DAY SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS (2015 Predictions)
Junk Food Nation, it is a BEAUTIFUL Monday morning here in the nation’s capital. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the subway is…well, the birds are chirping. And that chirping sound is Twitter exploding because today is MLB OPENING DAY! Baseball is back, and today there are games all day long from 100pm until the last first pitch starting at 1000pm EST.
Per tradition, I’m giving you my MLB predictions below, AFTER the junk food review. I do this because it’s a long block of text, and I know not all of you out there care. BUT I DO. I WANT MY BASEBALL ACUMEN ON RECORD. Plus, I want YOUR thoughts on my predictions, or maybe predictions of your OWN in the comments below.
Second topic: tonight is also the men’s NCAA basketball championship game between Wisconsin and Duke. I don’t think I’ve ever been so genuinely excited to watch a championship game. Because I’ve watched a TON of Conference play and almost all of the tournament, I feel invested, and a tiny bit validated – I told my buddy Mike early on that a team like Notre Dame and Wisconsin could upset Kentucky. And boom goes the dynamite.
Turning to the Junk Food Nation Bracket Pool, over on Yahoo, an interesting development…your boy the JFG sits tied for 5th place, but if the Badgers take down Duke, I’ll rocket to first place. NO I DIDN’T CHEAT. Actually, if Wisconsin wins, I’ll rocket to the top of a bunch of the pools I’m in. I’m conflicted however – because the JFGal has DUKE in all of HER pools. And if Duke wins, she’ll win a TON OF CASH (Damnit, why did I join free pools with no prize??? Dumb.) So would I rather have Wisconsin win and have supreme bragging rights, or have Duke win so the JFGal can pay the mortgage this month? Hmm. What would you want?
Topic #3 before the junk food review: EPISODE 52 OF THE NOSH SHOW IS HERE!
For the uninitiated, The Nosh Show is a podcast started by Marvo from The Impulsive Buy, featuring Ryan from GrubGrade, Dubba from On Second Scoop, and, of course, me, your friendly neighborhood Junk Food Guy. And today marks the release of The Nosh Show, Episode 52: Sweet Asian Buns:
This week, we “talk about Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum, Baskin-Robbins’ new Creme Brulee ice cream, Skippy Peanut Butter with Salted Caramel, the Kit Kat Sandwich, and more. Plus, we quickly discuss our favorite Starburst flavors” You can listen embedded here:
Today’s junk food: Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips!!
I found these Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips at my local Harris Teeter, and I was completely unaware that Guinness Beer made chips / lent out their brand to chip companies. They are, apparently, a new thing – Foodbeast covered them a while back. Beer flavored chips? Or chili flavored beer chips? Hmmm. These are intriguing.
BURTS is apparently the actual brand of these Guinness Rich Chili Potato Chips, NOT Guinness. Never heard of Burts, and I know all the UK folk out there want to kill me right now. They look good though – a thick cut kettle chip, I guess?
Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips contain Barley Malt Extract Powder, which is sort of exciting. I am a little confused – the UK version of these is apparently called RICH BEEF CHILLI, and this does not have “beef” in the name or the ingredients. Vegan beer chips? Dunno. I do like the use of sunflower oil, however.
When I opened up this bag of Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips, stuck my nose in and inhaled, I smelled…a tiny bit of sweetness? A meaty smell, although more vegetarian? I can’t explain it…this sort of smelled like a pot of stewed lentils? Is that the most bizarre description I can give these chips?
The appearance of the chips was nice – these were thick cut, with a kettle cooked look to them. Each chip was heavily dusted with brown powder. Was it powdered Guinness? I don’t think so.
I popped a bunch of these Guinness Rich Chili Burts Potato Chips into my mouth and chewed, and they…well, they didn’t REALLY taste like beer at all! *disappointed face* Then again, I’m not sure what I expected.
Let me start by saying these didn’t taste BAD – in fact, objectively, if you didn’t tell me what these chips were named, I’d say these tasted pretty good! There was a general savoriness to the chip – I picked up a darker smoky flavor that was sort of meaty. I got definite notes of onion and the tang/sweetness of the tomato powder. There was the subtle but deep flavor of jalapeno chilis, but more like the flavor you get when you blister jalapenos over a flame. Spice wise, not much – a TINY TINY bit of tingle. Small bit of paprika.
If this sounds like an awful description, it’s because these chips are a tough one to describe. In a lot of ways, they tasted a LOT like plenty of other potato chips I’ve had from the UK – they all seem to have this dark smoky semi-meaty flavor as the base flavor. Was there a beer taste? You know, I did catch a subtle flavor of beer in there – it reminded me of how you can taste that beer bitterness when you eat beer cheese. that same bitterness was noticeable here.
Overall? Meh. Like I said, these weren’t bad, but they certainly didn’t taste like Guinness, and they didn’t have a flavor that made me want to rush right out and buy another bag. Next time…pass.
PURCHASED AT: Harris Teeter, Park Potomac, Maryland
COST: $3.00 on sale
BASEBALL PREDICTION TIME!
Thanks for sticking around, Sport fan subset of Junk Food Nation! No dilly dally, let’s get right to the Junk Food Guy Predictions:
AL EAST: ORIOLES. Are the O’s gonna score 112 more runs than they give up like last year? If Crush Davis can get back to form, maybe, but I’m not betting on it. Still, Machado is a year better and while Wieters is already injured, I think their offense will be fine. That bullpen is still strong, but can Tillman/Chen/Norris repeat last year’s success? I don’t know…but they’ll be better than Toronto. Honestly, I would’ve put Toronto first had Marcus Stroman not gone down – he would’ve been the biggest difference maker in that Canadian rotation. The offense of Toronto is undeniable. But it won’t matter if they give up almost 700 runs like last year. Yanks third, only because I think their offense can’t get any worse than last year. Plus, if Nova and Pineda can maintain their health and if Eovaldi surprises, then this could be a balanced team. Lots of IFs – I;ll say they win more than 80 games this year, but not many over. Boston is a hot pick for everyone right now, with everyone buzzing about Big Panda and Hanley and all the prospects. That rotation is a bit of a mess, though. We all know it. I mean, even Red Sox fans don’t love Clay Buchholz. They could easily flip flop between 3rd and 4th with the Yanks…as far as the Rays, they will finish last. They scored the least number of runs last year in the AL, and their lineup looks even worse now.
1-Orioles, 2-Blue Jays, 3-Yankees, 4-Red Sox, 5-Rays
AL CENTRAL: TIGERS. Why do I bother picking otherwise? Same spiel: great hitting, great pitching. Lost Scherzer and Porcello, still have David Price. Plus, Anthony Gose will be awesome – mark it. The Indians will make the leap to second place, however – I think the Brantley/Kluber breakouts were not flukes, and if Carlos Carrasco goes 25 games, watch out. This rotation will be scary, too – don’t sleep on a more mature Zach McAllister. The Royals finish third (yes, I remember they made the World Series). Their bullpen is still SICK – but the loss of James Shields is gonna hurt them, I’m TELLING YA NOW. I have no faith in Yordano Ventura. In fourth, give me the White Sox. Their offense last year was fine – and this year it could be better with their young guys maturing – but the White Sox main problem was giving up the second most runs in the AL. So what’d they do? Added Samardzjia. Added Robertson. That’ll help, but it won’t get them past the Royals. Twinkies in last again – sorry Minnesota – as a former Phil Hughes watcher, I still can’t buy him as your “ace.” Hope you win more than 70 this year, though.
1-Tigers, 2-Indians, 3-Royals, 4-ChiSox, 5-Twins
AL WEST: MARINERS. I think the M’s make the leap this year. Call is uncertainty with the LAAAAAA or the Oakland A’s, but I think this team is ready to take a step forward offensively (adding Nelson Cruz) that will help match how few runs they gave up (best in the AL). And if Taijuan Walker is as good as advertised, pencil in a playoff trip. The Angels are good, but I’m still not crazy about that rotation. Looks like they WILL have Josh Hamilton (even though they hate him). Trout is amazing, and people forget how great Garrett Richards was before he was injured. They’ll press Seattle. I have Oakland third, but I honestly don’t know how. Look, I’m a fan of small ball and advanced metrics, but I still have a hard time believing in a lineup that has Ike Davis, Billy Burns, and Sam Fuld as starters. Sorry. Still – Beane usually has SOME magic going on, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I like Houston to stay ahead of the Rangers in the Texas battle, only because the Gattis addition is huge, and everyone else in their lineup is one more year older (including George Springer). Still, they could easily be edged by Texas, who gets Derek Holland back. Who knows? Maybe Prince and Beltre slug their way to a crown? I doubt it.
1-Mariners, 2-Angels, 3-Athletics, 4-Astros, 5-Rangers
AL Wildcard 1: BLUE JAYS – That offense is too good. Too bad they’ll lose in the one-game playoff to…
AL Wildcard 2: INDIANS – This is the year, I AM TELLING YOU. Never say I wasn’t on your side, Cleveland.
ALCS: TIGERS & MARINERS – Tigers make is back, and I’m a true believer in Seattle this year. I could see Cleveland here, but I just think in short series playoffs, these teams are the most top-heavy. In the Seattle v. Cleveland side-by-side, the rotations are similar, so to me it’s who you like better between Cano-Cruz-Seager and Brantley-Santana-Moss. Hm, and Cleveland still have Kipnis, Gomes, Chisenhall, Swisher…yikes. Maybe I’ll regret picking Seattle over Cleveland.
AL CHAMPS: MARINERS. It’s an unconventional pick, but I have a feeling about this team. Cano gets back to the World Series. That King Felix / Taijuan Walker combo will be too much to handle. And Joe Nathan bites Detroit in the ass. I can see it now…
NL EAST: NATIONALS. Yeah I’m a bit of homer, but the Nats are just too loaded with talent. I’m penciling them in for 90+ wins with that rotation. After the Nats, however, the rest of the NL East is a mess. I’m giving Miami the nod at 2nd place, because their lineup is surprisingly scary (Gordon-Yelich-Stanton-Morse-Ozuna-Prado is not to be snickered at). I don’t like fat Mat Latos though. I give them the edge over the Mets, only because while the Mets look like they have pieces, that Zack Wheeler injury killed them. If he hadn’t gone down, that rotation would’ve been good enough for 2nd. I know Braves fans think they are selling everything right now, expecting to be the worst in the NL, but they are a young team with a lot of potential, and Freeman is a stud. They certainly won’t be as bad as the Phillies. The lineup and rotation are barely recognizable. Wait, Cole Hamels is STILL there? huh. Interesting (not really).
1-Nationals, 2-Marlins, 3-Mets, 4-Braves, 5-Phillies
NL CENTRAL: CARDINALS. Yes, I know that the Pirates are the sexy pick right now. But when I look at the Cards lineup and rotation, up and down, I just see less question marks or “hopefully”s. Added Heyward and the rotation is extremely talented. They will edge the Pirates again. The Bucs are uber talented, and I really like all of the upside – McCutchen, Polanco, Marte, Harrison, Alvarez, etc. Still, after Cole, can Liriano continue to be solid? Will AJ Burnett return to his former Buc form? Lots of maybes for me. I’l go Reds next, only because I think the Votto-Bruce combo bounces back this year to provide the offense they really didn’t have last year. Plus, with Aroldis Chapman, you’re always in it in the 9th inning. Brewers follow – I don’t love this team – sure, Braun, Gomez, Lucroy are enticing. But the pitching…Garza? Lohse? Ugh. No. And yes, I AM putting the Cubs last again. I know ALL the buzz has been about the Cubs building a champion…and that might come next year. But I’m sorry, adding Jon Lester doesn’t solve that this team gave up 700+ runs last year (3rd in the NL). Yeah, all those young guys are nice. Let’s give em another year.
1-Cards, 2-Pirates, 3-Reds, 4-Brewers, 5-Cubs
NL WEST: DODGERS. Let me just say, everything the Padres have done is blowing my mind. Up and down, however, the Dodgers still have the stronger team, led by Kershaw. Ok fine – the Padres finish second, I’ll give em that. Elite closer in Kimbrel, Tyson Ross is WAAAY better than I realized, and this team will score WAY more than 535 runs with the additions of Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, and Justin Upton. Somehow, the Giants scrape their way to third, although I still look at their lineup (Aoki? Pagan? Joe Panik?) with a crooked eyebrow. I still love Brandon Belt, however, and Posey is an MVP candidate every year. The two teams with home-run parks (Rockies and D-backs) will fight to stay out of the basement. Both teams will CRUSH the ball, and also give up 700+ runs. In the end…I say Rockies 4th, D-backs 5th, only because Colorado will outscore the competition more often.
1-Dodgers, 2-Padres, 3-Giants, 4-Rockies, 5-Diamondbacks
NL Wildcard 1: PIRATES – Just because I didn’t have them winning the NL Central doesnt mean I’m stupid. They easily pick this one up.
NL Wildcard 2: PADRES – GM, you did enough. You did. Congrats on your first playoff spot in a while.
NLCS: NATIONALS & CARDINALS – I can hear you now. HOW ORIGINAL, JFG. Well, I’m sorry – these are the two most talented NL teams, top to bottom. SUE ME. When you’re playing a short series, these teams have the rotations I’m most confident in.
NL CHAMPS: NATIONALS. C’mon, the Nats can’t lose to the Cards AGAIN, can they? CAN THEY? (Oh God, they could. No no no no no.) It won’t happen. That rotation is too strong. They’ll make it happen. I think.
WORLD SERIES: NATIONALS over MARINERS – “YES! DC BRINGS HOME A CHAMPIONSHIP?” I wrote that in quotes because those the same words I said last year. If they eff it up again, I’ll stop picking them to win, I promise, Nats fans. But I just think if the offense can do ANYTHING to manufacture runs, then the pitching will be good enough. IT REALLY OUGHT TO BE GOOD ENOUGH.
Sigh. Oh Nats.
WHAT DO *YOU* THINK? I want to see what your predictions are, in the comments below. You can replicate the same categories I posted, or you can pick and choose. Point is, I want to know what you think. COMMENT BELOW!
Junk Food Guy