National Potato Chip Day

11 03 2010

As part of my day job, I’m always flipping through magazines to stay abreast of what’s hot in the media.  This week, while reading the March issue of Better Homes & Gardens, I was alerted to the fact that this Sunday, March 14, is National Potato Chip Day.  Who knew?  I often participate in awareness campaigns, including walks/fundraisers for breast and prostate cancer, but finally this is an awareness day that requires little from me other than sitting on the couch, popping in a DVD and shoveling in a bag of Doritos (though Doritos aren’t technically potato chips).  What could be easier or more fun?

So, this got me to thinking: What are my favorite potato chips?  One mentioned in Better Homes & Gardens is Golden Flake, a staple of southern snack foods.  Being from Mississippi, I’m all too familiar with this brand.  I can remember visiting my father, who is a parts manager for GM, and always finding a few of the large tin canisters – like the ones filled with popcorn that are so popular during the holidays – around the office. These aren’t for the dieter though.  I recall them being a little greasier than your average crisp, with a heavy sprinkling of salt.  Delicious none the less.

If you prefer a healthier option, let me introduce you to my all-time favorite chips – Popchips.  I first saw these chips about a year ago and immediately started telling everyone about them.  Why the excitement?

For starters, these chips aren’t fried or baked.  Just like the name implies, they are popped.  Using the same technology found in popcorn, the creators replaced the corn inside the kernel with potato, so when the kernel explodes, it creates this perfectly round, delicious chip that is a healthy alternative to regular potato chips.  In fact, each serving has 120 calories, with 35 calories from fat.  Not bad.

The chips look a lot like a mini rice cake, but they are packed with flavor.  You can choose from seven flavors including Original, Barbeque, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Parmesan Garlic, and my favorite, Salt & Pepper.  They are a little more than a regular bag of chips, but well worth it.

What do you think?  Are you going to try Popchips?  Add a comment and let us know your favorite chips.

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Quench Your Thirst: Brown Ale 101

7 08 2009

Intent on debunking the myth that hot weather begets light beer, Newcastle Brown Ale offers up Brown Ale 101: While the palates of dark beer lovers don’t change in the summer, restaurants, bars and backyard BBQers forego year-round appreciation of the brown ale for its thin, clear-ale counterparts.

Some myth-busting brown ale factoids for summer beer drinkers:

  • Color: Golden-brown in color, Newcastle is not one but two beers, combining English Pale and Dark Caramel malt in a recipe perfected by Colonel Jim Porter in 1927.
  • emperature: Unlike lagers/pilsners, ales are best enjoyed cool, rather than cold. The ideal temperature for Newcastle Brown Ale is 38F to 42F degrees. Your average refrigerator is between 35F and 38F degrees
  • Calories: Darker beers don’t equal more summer calories. Newcastle Brown Ale weighs in at 140 calories per 12 oz. serving.
  • Food: The robust flavor of brown ales, like Newcastle Brown Ale, allows them to pair well with red meat, fish and chicken – three cornerstones of summer grilling.
  • Smoothness: Bottled with less CO2 than its competitors makes it a smoother option.
Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale