Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Most of us probably take junk food for granted. We want a snack, we see something that is attractive and reasonably priced, we forget the diet we’re supposed to be on, and we go for it, never giving it a second thought after we wash down the last bite (which never tastes half as good as the first bite) with generic soda or under-two-dollar 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor.

Every once in a while, though, there's a product that's so outrageous, but also so satisfying, it has to be called a ttention to. WILDE ‘CHICKEN & WAFFLES’ CHICKEN CHIPS is such an item.

Chicken and waffles go back a long time in American culture. Trumpeter Bunny Berigan released a Dixie-flavored swing instrumental by that name in the 1930’s (it’s worth finding on You Tube), and there is a claim that a Harlem restaurant created the dish in the 1930’s (maybe the Berigan band had a plateful before this recording session). There are also claims that it’s part of Pennsylvania Dutch culture going back to the 1800’s or even the 1600’s, or that it grew out of Soul Food culture of the American South going back a century or two. Whatever the source, it was a kind of taken-for-granted item when I was growing up, though I associated it with both Soul Food and with general Southern cuisine. Like greens or scrapple, it was around if you wanted it.

In the last ten years or so, though, it’s become a kind of chic item served at trendy restaurants catering to rich people, and it’s associated as much or more now with upscale Manhattan or Austin or Silicon Valley (where a glass of the least expensive wine would cost more than most of us would spend on a meal) than it is with some Fish Shack in Natchez, Mississippi, or with a Waffle House-style eatery catering to truckers in East Texas.

You know that something has become the fad of the month/year when you see knock-off products trading on its popularity. Who would have ever expected such a flavor transposed to a chip…and a chip that’s primarily made of chicken! When Lay’s puts out those ridiculous biscuits and gravy-flavored potato chips, or some similar one-off flavor, they essentially spray some coating on a regular potato chip, something to echo the flavor in your mind, so you think it tastes like what’s listed on the bag. That’s not at all what’s happening with these Chicken and Waffle Chips.

These chips seem to be made of ground-up chicken mixed with tapioca flour as a binder, with some maple sugar and a touch of cinnamon to hint at the syrup on the non-existent waffles, and then fried in coconut oil, which adds to the sweetness. They are not lying when they label the item as “chicken chips.” And it literally tastes like someone took battered southern fried chicken, dried it, ground it, pressed the ground meal into a thin chip shape, added some maple sugar, and fried it.

That’s it. You’ll either love it (as I do) or scratch your head and wonder why anyone would bother to create something like this. I got mine at the Sprouts Farmers Market chain here in Texas (kind of like a Whole Foods), where they were around $3.50 a bag, not bad when you consider the primary ingredient is chicken, not potato. Looking up the product online to find a pic for this review, though, I saw that internet vendors are selling the product for much much more, so try to find it at your local market and save.

It’s also the perfect junk food item to eat while reading each essential weekend post here at BLOG TO COMM.

1 comment:

bob f. said...

well, Bill, you know what I'm going to look for the next time I go to my local Sprouts...