Sunday, November 8, 2009

Delish Taste Test: The Elegant Dinner Party

One of the perks of being friends with a snarky consumer blogger is they'll show up to a dinner party, armed with pharmacy-brand snack chips and beg you to try them.

Today's review is of Duane's Creamy Ranch Soy Crisps. I really wanted to review these on my own and not subject others to my ridiculous hobby. But every time I opened up the cabinet and saw the bag, I wrinkled my face (even more) and quickly grabbed something else. Remember that scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure when there's a fire at the pet store and he keeps avoiding saving the snakes because of his complete disdain for the slimy things? Yeah, that.

Can someone tell me who the hell is their packager? I mean, I get the Statue of Liberty branding and even the phallus-shaped salt shaker on the baked chips, but a chick in a soy crisp skirt? Is she someone's niece who needed something for her portfolio? I'm totally picturing this poor girl sitting down at an agency with this moment of elegance: 'This is my commercial look. I'm giving a kind of hey-bite-my-skirt vibe.'

On to the testing. The victims today are all six of us dinner guests and hosts. I've told them before they partake that they should be honest and not feel compelled to hate them, as is trend with this blog.

Their reactions were interesting.

Mike: (sniffs bag) Smells like peanuts at my grandparents' house.

Ernio: There IS a weird cardboard smell...I'm very afraid.

Joe: (turning the crisp over) Now, where does the 'creamy' part come in? I'm not tasting any ranch here. I have to have another to figure this out. Oh wait, there's an herb.

Claire: (scrunched up face)

Greg: Not bad. I'm not a big rice cake fan, but this is ok, they all taste like cardboard.

Claire: My mouth was sealed shut.

Mike: This tastes like off-brand puffed rice cereal with salt and ranch flavoring. Made my body hair fall out.

Joe: (checks bag) Maybe they're already expired?

We tried them again, this time dipping them into actual ranch dressing. While I believe anything that serves as a vehicle for cream-based dip gets an automatic pass, this was definitely pushing it.

Final vote: Duane Reade 1, IHDR 5

Star rating for the hell of it: 1 star out of a possible 5.


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