FOOD: Dutch Crunch – Bistro Blend

bistro blend 01

Old Dutch Foods is a snack manufacturer, primarily known for their brands of potato chips. They only tend to distribute in the northern United States and Canada. Dutch Crunch is Old Dutch’s brand of kettle chips, and our preferred brand of potato chips with an unparalleled Salt & Vinegar flavor.

If you’re eating locally in the Midwest, you’ve probably encountered a plate of Old Dutch branded chips. They’re unmistakeable: they have a fresh potato flavor, are always way too salty. and are soaked in oil that covers your fingertips as you eat.

It sounds kind of awful when you put it like that, but it’s a typical comfort food for the Midwesterner. Whether the chips are tucked into a roast beef and mayo sandwich, used to scoop out Old Dutch-branded french onion dip, or just eaten on their own: it’s a distinctive mark of the region, as you can’t find them anywhere else in the United States of America.

We’ll bring the distinctive flavor of a Midwestern Bistro to the rest of America after the jump.

When we opened the bag, we were instantly greeted with a blast of funky garlic smell. This bag was so funky we expected George Clinton to climb out of it. Seriously, these chips smelled so much like garlic that all the vampires in our house shriveled up and died.

bistro blend 02

We’ll be vacuuming the ashes out for weeks.

The flavor is spicy, garlicky, and salty. That’s about it. The bag bravely boasts ‘garden flavors’, so we expected more adventurous flavors, like rosemary or sage. Quite a few potato chips on the market are now striving to emulate the fresh tastes of homegrown herbs. This isn’t even close; it’s mostly garlic powder and cayenne. We thought this was supposed to taste like a fancy French bistro!

It’s very similar to their Jalapeño & Cheddar flavor, with the only quantifiable differences being the spice proportions and the lack of cheese. If we were served them side by side, we’re not sure we’d know which one was which. We’re not even sure we would prefer the Bistro Blend, as the Jalapeño & Cheddar flavor has a bit more balance thanks to the cheese.

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We can’t say that we’ve ever encountered this titular bistro blend in our life. Maybe we’re not cultured in cuisine enough, but when we’ve encountered Old Dutch chips in restaurant settings, it’s almost always been their plain-flavored rippled variety. We’ll admit that we’re not the kind to dine in “bistros” in the first place, but the only restaurant that has served Old Dutch chips in was a low-down hamburger bar where french fries cost extra.

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This was a disappointing flavor. We were hoping to get a complex blend of herbs and spices that would tantalize our tongues with something that approached “fancy”. Instead, we got an atomic bomb of salt. Seriously, why are these so salty? The same brand of Salt and Vinegar chips aren’t as mouth-burningly salty as these! Was this a fluke?

3 out of 5 – Worth Trying (Wouldn’t Get It Again)

These chips aren’t bad. In fact, they’re pretty dang good, but the overpowering saltiness and garlic flavors made it difficult to eat more than a few at a time. If this bag of chips was a little more balanced with the salt, and had more flavors other than overwhelming garlic, this would’ve been a real winner. As it is, it’s too much in too little places.

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