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August 12, 2004

{     Rt. 11 Potato Chips - Limited Edition Patsy Cline Tin     }    

Sarah Cohen, the president of Rt. 11 Potato Chips, has two great passions- the music of Patsy Cline and delicous micro-batch potato chips. Her company has been winning awards and gracing gourmet palates for more than 10 years with its unique chip offerings. When Sarah recently had a chance to combine her love of Patsy with her love of chips, the results proved to be something spectacular. The tin is beautiful, featuring monotone metallic prints of Patsy culled from photos taken throughout her career, and a reproduction signature to set it all off. It has a very pop-art meets cowgirl-cool feel, tasteful yet still lots of fun. Most importantly however, you should know that part of the proceeds of the sale of these tins go to fund the establishment of a Patsy Cline museum in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. While that makes this a very noble endeavor unto its own, don't overlook the fact that the giant tin you receive is full of some of the most incredible tasting hand cooked potato chips ever produced on the planet. I was lucky enough to sample a variety of Rt. 11 products recently (see below) and it's left me spoiled for life. Their freshness, quality and crunch have ruined me for mass-produced potato chips. I tried to eat a handful of Lay's the other day, but it was like drinking Thunderbird and trying to pretend it's Kristal- once you've tasted the best, you just don't want the rest. The Patsy Cline tin is available filled with any flavor of Rt. 11 chips you desire, and I have meticulously and scientifically sampled each variety with my team of experts on hand to provide additional feedback. Barbecue Quotes: "Not overly tangy." -Marc "Spicy, but not overpowering." -Tom Synopsis: Very smoky and sweet- this is a Southern BBQ feel, so you get a brown sugar sweetness counterbalanced by a strong smoked flavor. Yukon Gold Quote: "Awesome crunch." -Mike Synopsis: These are grown seasonally, and are only available from Rt.11 between the months of June and December. As with all Rt. 11 chips, these are 100% organic. They don't overpower the natural golden potato flavor with an excess of salt or by cooking it in a strongly flavored oil, so what you get here is a potato purist's dream. Sour Cream and Chive Quote: "The chive could be more present." -Jerri Synopsis: Favoring subtlety over strength, this flavor relies heavily on the cool smoothness and light tang of sour cream for its taste. The bonus- No stinky chive breath. Chesapeake Crab Quotes: "It's like swallowing a bit of the ocean, nice and salty" -Marc "Tastes like the breath of crabs" -Katie Synopsis: It's not that these taste like crab, it's that they taste like the seasoning you flavor crab with. Kind of an Old Bay flavor, and the saltiness works perfect when you munch on these with a beer in your hand. Garlic and Herb Quote: "Wow!" -John D. Synopsis: These are straight-up vampire killers! Guaranteed to repel undead bloodsuckers, the garlic flavor is powerful and resonates throughout every bite. The freshness and pungency of the herbs and garlic is unlike anything I've ever tasted on a chip before. Dill Pickle Quote: "Straight out of the deli pickle jar." -Alan Synopsis: Skip the pickle on the side and grab a fistful of these with your next deli sandwich. Great crunch, and just tangy enough with a full-on smooth dill flavor. Lightly Salted Quote: "Classic." -John D. Synopsis: This is the O.G. potato chip experience. Like all Rt.11 chips, these are kettle-cooked for crunch, and you can taste the full flavor of the potato they were sliced from. Salt and Vinegar Quote: "They make me pucker and drool at the same time." -Autumn Synopsis: Salt and vinegar is a British tradition, but Rt.11 gets is just right here. Tangy, but not to a fault, these chips are another great match for your favorite sandwich. Sweet Potato Chips Quote: "More. Need more." -Alan Synopsis: These come in two flavors- lightly salted and cinnamon and sugar. We test drove the lightly salted, and found them to elevate a Thanksgiving-only tradition to something that needs to be a year-round snack. Excellent- I reccomend them alongside a Cuban, or just straight outta the bag. Taro Chips Quote: "The Taro Root is the most underappreciated tuber." -Jesse Synopsis: Things took a turn for the exotic here. For those who don't know, the Taro Root is popular throughout the rest of the world in chip form, and is also the main ingredient in traditional Hawaiian poi. These were a favorite amongst our team for their firm crispiness, rich flavor and because they look so strange with their white flesh and purple flecks. Mixed Vegetable Chips Quotes: "These have less salt yet more flavor" -Jerri "The only way I'd eat a beet" -Barbara "Yucca- who knew?" -Marc Synopsis: These were the standout favorite of all the flavors. So unique, and with such variety of taste and texture in each bag, they prompted such never-before heard phrases as: "These beets are delicous!" and "Have you tried the parsnips? You have to try the parsnips!" Everybody was talking about them and this bag disappeared very quickly. For the record, they are a mixture of sweet potato, taro root, purple potato, beet, parsnip and sometimes yucca. Mama Zuma's Revenge Green Chile Enchilada Quotes: "These aren't hot." -Tom "Very mild, subtle flavor." -John D. Synopsis: Mama Zuma's are an imprint of Rt.11, featuring two distinctly different Southwest-inspired flavors and red-hot bag art featuring a Jane Russel-looking Latina pin-up. This is the shy one of the two, offering a faint green chile flavor to a mixture of cheese and bean seasoning. Mama Zuma's Revenge Habanero Quotes: "Whoooo! You got a match? Gets rid of all the bacteria." -Gene "Where's the Tobasco sauce? Put some on there- it'll cool them off. These take the "ice" out of iced tea." -Tom "Too hot." -Brenda Synopsis: These little bastards have won several "hot chips" contests because they pack maximum flavor alongside maximum heat. These were the most talked-about flavor, as we dared each other to eat more of them. One chip can have you feeling the burn for several minutes, and I actually had to spoon yogurt onto my tongue after I finished off the bag, just to cool off a bit. Incredible.

     » Rt.11 Official Website (click on "Order Here" for pricing and ordering info)
     » Order the Patsy Cline tin from Amazon Gourmet Foods (sweet potato flavor only)


I was down south and tasted your sweet potato chips. They were the best I ever had. I bought enough for the whole bus load of people. You now have a fan club. You will be hearing from me with orders. Thanks for a pleasant experience.

Posted by: amelia nappa at May 18, 2007 10:22 PM

I was down south and tasted your sweet potato chips. They were the best I ever had. I bought enough for the whole bus load of people. You now have a fan club. You will be hearing from me with orders. Thanks for a pleasant experience.

Posted by: amelia nappa at May 18, 2007 10:22 PM
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