You didn't realize tomorrow is National French Fry Day, did you? How come you always forget the yearly nationwide celebration of fried potato sticks, but a major corporation like Frito-Lay preps ahead of time, rolling out a brand-new Ruffles product to coincide with the holiday?
Oh don't give me that commercial holiday bullshit. Tomorrow is an earnest celebration of the fried potato, and all Frito-Lay wants to do is praise them like it should, with the release of Ruffles Crispy Fries, the *reads press release* "first-ever fry-shaped snacks sliced from real potatoes."
I researched it, and that claim is actually true. Most traditional fry-shaped snacks that aren't actually French fries are actually shaped from potato-heavy dough. They are to the French fry what the Chicken McNugget is to common decency — an abomination.
What Ruffles has done is slice potatoes into fries and — I don't know, really. Perhaps they are dehydrated somehow? They're the sort of French fries the astronauts would eat?
Whatever the end result is crispy potato strips that, without touching them, can easily be mistaken for real French fries.
A quick glance at the ingredients on the back of the plain variety bag indicates that they contain potatoes, vegetable oil and salt — that's all. The cheese variety has about 30 more ingredients and 20 more calories a bag, so if you're looking for a healthy snack YOU SHOULD NOT BE BUYING CRISPS.
The back of a bag of Ruffles Crispy Fries suggests the product is the answer to an age-old conundrum — potato chips or fries? Long have snackologists po...fries. Every damn time, fries. Chips are wonderful if you're in the mood for them, but the only way they'd win that fight is if they slipped between your teeth and sliced open your gums.
But the marketing angle is sound. These taste and feel like the halfway point between chips and fries. Pop a handful in your mouth and suck on the for a few moments, and it's pretty much as if you'd just stuffed your gob with pre-chewed French fries. Or French fries you yourself chewed, if that makes you feel better.
I have prepared a short video featuring the product.
Oh, and the bag suggests microwaving them for 30 seconds if you prefer your fries hot.Another excellent suggestion from bag. Bag never steers you wrong.
While I appreciate Frito-Lay's earnest attempt to honor the French fry, I have to say that these Crispy Fries are no substitute for the real thing. If anything they just make me crave the real thing, smothered in gravy and melted cheese.
At least Frito-Lay took the extra effort to work up a visual tribute to this product's inspiration — an obvious work of love, and not marketing. Take that, you skeptics.
Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.