Are you a french fry lover or a potato chip fan?
Either way, one of the newest addition to Trader Joe's chip aisle is here to rock your world — or at least your snack time. "A chip crunch in a fun fry shape," says the packaging on Spud Crunchies, which come in a 4-ounce, four serving (yeah, right) bag. The product first began appearing in stores in late September, according to a Trader Joe's spokesperson, and was announced on the Trader Joe's website on Dec. 29. Since then, the internet has gone kinda nuts for this snack.
It's worth mentioning that several commenters online noted a similarity between Spud Crunchies and a popular Japanese potato snack:
But even if these snacks are a knock-off, the love for them is very strong.
With all the hype, we had to give those bad boys a try so we headed to our local Trader Joe's, where — thank goodness — there were still several bags on the shelf, despite shortage reports.
Our take: For starters, it's probably not a mistake that the bag is not resealable, despite the fact that it supposedly contains four servings. "I could eat these well beyond stomachache," said one of our tasters, an avid lover of french fries.
Yes, TJ's has managed to create a snack that breaks down the walls between chip lovers and fry freaks — as long as there are plenty of Spud Crunchies to go around. The Trader Joe's website describes Spud Crunchies as a "fresher, lighter, airier take on those coveted, extra-crunchy fries" that you'd find at the bottom of a carton of fast food fries. That's fairly accurate, except the Spud Crunchies taste better at room temperature than your typical fast food fry. We suspect that has to do with the fact that they are crunchy all the way through like a chip — there's no soft, moist center like there is in a fry.
We also liked the salt-to-surface area ratio of the chip in fry form — they're salty but not insanely so.
About that salt: Spud Crunchies contain 65 milligrams of sodium per a 1-ounce serving (3 percent of the recommended daily value), but it's still slightly less than the 105 milligrams in the same size serving of Trader Joe's Sea Salt Ridge Cut Potato Chips. Spud Crunchies have slightly more fat than the chips (9 grams in fries and 8 in the chips) and more saturated fat. There's nothing weird in the ingredient list: They're made from just potatoes, expeller-pressed canola oil and salt.
Of course, they're not exactly health food. But if you're looking for a new treat to scratch that itch for fries and chips, Spud Crunchies could be your new, dangerously delicious friend.