Friday, May 21, 2010

Sahale Snacks: Barbeque Almonds with Mild Chipotle & Ranch

Nut mixes are just awesome. They are crunchy, they are salty, and they go well with beer. And if you are really tasteless, they have an entire set of built in dirty jokes (not that I would ever tell such jokes, of course).

Today was a nut mix kinda day, so I reached into my stash and grabbed this bag of Sahale Snacks Barbecue Almonds with Mild Chipotle + Ranch.

You know, I have a love for all things hot and spicy. And I do in fact like chipotle peppers. But -- much as with jalapeño a few years back (and to be fair, chipotles are in fact smoked, dried jalapeños) -- chipotle has become one of those trendy, hipster food flavors. And since it's had it's heyday, maybe it's time to do something fresh and stop using it as the go-to "hot" ingredient in everything. The only thing that could make this any more whitebread and predictable would be if they paired it with ranch flavor...

...Oh, wait!

Don't get me wrong: I know this sounds pretty harsh. And yes, I do like ranch dressing (though not to the point of those who practically drink it with dinner). It's just that the two flavors are at this point predictable, and honestly boring. No, it does not mean this can't be a good mix -- it just means that it's going to have to work extra hard to impress me. Maybe if it did some hard core parkour, that would help. (And dammit, that has had its heyday too!) C'mon, Sahale, bring it on!

The smell of the nuts...who doesn't like to smell nuts? (Insert snickering of thirteen-year-old boys here) It's sort of a spicy, oily smell, not bad. The nuts themselves are whole, which is always good, and they are completely encrusted in the spice mixture.

The nuts are very crunchy. Gotta love that! The taste is mostly smokey, with a teeny bit of heat. I can't say I actually tasted the ranch at all -- at least not in that full-on "where's the lettuce," super-strong, powdered flavor sort of way that most ranch items end up with.

Same with the chipotle. There's a bit of heat, but there's not much flavor that's really identifiable as chipotle.

So what did it taste like? Honestly, it tastes like they'd opened up some of those foil flavor envelopes that come inside Ramen packages -- any Ramen flavor -- and rolled the almonds in that. I'll admit that doesn't sound very good, but it does have an interesting, salty addictiveness. It reminded me a lot of Cratz snacks, actually.

It's hard to rate this snack, because while I don't think it tasted anything like the flavors it's supposed to, it actually does taste fairly good. Since I can only in good conscience rate based on what the product is supposed to be, that is how I will do it -- but I did like them more than the actual number reflects.


Sample from company


140 calories per 1/4 cup.


Contains nuts. Processed at a factory that also processes peanuts.


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