440: Jalapeno Chips
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04
and I'm mom.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:08
And this is spelled bout Zara we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any and today we are talking about jalapeno chips.
And we have had a very slow start today this who knows what's gonna happen with this show? We are struggling today.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:23
Oh, I think we have a considerable amount of lag. It's like every time I want to say something, it's like I'm putting it I'm writing it in an old fashioned letter with a fountain pen. I'm sealing it with a wax seal. I'm dropping it into an old timey cast iron mailbox. And that I will be hearing back from you at some point in the future and maybe you'll laugh
I don't know what's happened to my Wi Fi Matthew. Everything
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:46
was so good there for the first two months of lockdown. And now everything is so slow. It's okay. Like I love the Victorian tradition of of writing letters about absolutely nothing, which is it was sort of prefigured spelled milk is prefigured a word.
You know, I think this is just going to encourage us to slow down. This is like the anti Twitter right? Right to podcast with a bit of a lag here. It's gonna encourage us to really think about what we want to say and not just rant and put dumb podcasts out into the world.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:22
That's true. Well, we'll just go with the flow like we always do. We're two of the most laid back people on the internet.
Yeah, we are not at all like stressed out anxious people. Definitely not.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:36
No, we we'd like to we'd like to like kick back with a bag of chips. And for 20.
Unknown Speaker 1:41
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:42
Yeah, or 20. It's a it's a holiday that's all about chips. To this episode is about jalapeno chips. And did you come up with this topic?
I did, because I have been eating jalapeno chips pretty much daily for the past two to three months, I think Well, I was doing this before we were in lockdown. So you know, three to four months maybe. And this is a habit that actually started for me last year. But it sounds
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:13
like we're going down memory
lane if we are. So the first time I really remember buying jalapeno chips was when I was writing my next book the fixed stars which is coming out in August, I was staying at the home of an acquaintance on Whidbey Island trying to get away to write this book and I needed more snack food than usual because writing is like 70% snacking and 30% writing which is yes,
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:41
Thomas Edison said
yes, yes. So I think what I was buying groceries to take up to Whidbey I like bought some stuff I don't usually buy and I bought a bag of jalapeno potato chips. I think I bought Tim's cascade brand Halloween Good call. Yeah. Anyway, and I took them up there. And each evening as I was cooking dinner, I would pour myself a glass of wine and a little bowl of jalapeno chips and wine into the bowl. Crush them up a little bit and stir it. I love a good wine soaked soggy potato chip. Who doesn't?
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:20
Actually that sounds like a chip flavor you would get in Britain wine soaked.
It does doesn't it? Anyway, but what I remember most fondly about my jalapeno chip eating during this writing retreat is that one night I think I discovered so the woman whose house I was staying at was very kind and she was like eat and drink whatever you find there. And I discovered that I had all the makings of Manhattan and so
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:49
when she got back her liquor cabinet was completely destroyed.
Yes. And so anyway, I made myself a Manhattan, how to Manhattan with my bowl of jalapeno chips. I think this is kind of a weird combination. I think they would have gone better with like Margarita or beer. But anyway, I had my good to me my bowl of jalapeno chips and I went and sat in this big arm chair in her office in front of like, like a little wood stove and I read a book during my cocktail hour and it was one of the best moments of adulthood.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:24
For me. This sounds like what would happen if an overly sophisticated like a precocious child ran away like like a mixed up files of Mrs. bazley frankweiler situation like they would later be found sitting in a big overstuffed chair drinking a Manhattan that they had shaken themselves and and eating jalapeno chips
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:46
stead reading a book what were you reading? Sorry,
I think I was reading I think I might have been reading I mean this is not like fodder for for humor. Although this book was really funny. The Rachel Cusk book is about like new Parenthood is called a little I we have so many listeners right now know what book I'm talking about. Anyway. Kudos No,
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:13
I think I should get a lot of credit for coming up with with a title of a Rachel Cusk book, I think a plus there. Anyway, I
cited this book actually and my mom, I don't know the name of it, but whatever.
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:25
Did you cite the chips? Also?
Unknown Speaker 5:27
I didn't I should
have thanked the chips in the acknowledgement I in the acknowledgments I should have so many of them
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:34
anyway. Yeah, if it's not too late, you can cut me out of the acknowledgments and replace me with chips.
Unknown Speaker 5:40
I'll do that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:41
So my my memory lane I don't remember when I first bought jalapeno chips, but it was definitely a while ago, it was probably in the 90s. And I want to say like you said, we should do jalapeno chips. And I was like, that sounds great. Like we we definitely need to do a snack food episode. I love jalapeno chips. Let's do it. And then you said why don't you research jalapeno chips? I'm like, Okay, you know what the hardest thing in the world to research is jalapeno chips. Yeah, I could not find when they were introduced. Well, I mean, like they're not considered like a separate, you know, semantically they are not a separate category from potato chips in general. And they're trying to figure out like, what are the search terms that returned like jalapeno potato chips? Like, I went to the kettle chips website? Did they say when they are out jalapeno chips were introduced? No. So I ended up on Google Books. And what I found was that the first mention in a book or printed matter that Google has indexed of jalapeno chips, is in the in 1974. They were mentioned in a short story and an issue of writers for a magazine. I couldn't find the author.
Well, Matthew, I think this is this is really good. This is deeper research than we usually do.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:53
Okay, they didn't become popular till like the late 80s, early 90s. Like I think along with my guess and is really just a guess is that probably like along with the rise of the jalapeno popper and Tex Mex food in general. Hmm.
Unknown Speaker 7:08
I think that I mean, I seem to remember in our childhood that while there were flavored chips, I mean, certainly like Nacho Doritos Cool Ranch Doritos. I don't remember anything near the varieties of flavored potato chips that we have now. I mean, there was sour cream and onion or whatever.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:30
Yeah, but there was cheddar and sour cream ruffles, which are still a favorite of mine.
Mm hmm. But it would make sense
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:37
to eat chips throughout this episode. By the way,
it would make sense to me if jalapeno potato chips had really like gotten a foothold as the number of different flavored potato chip varieties increased. And people were we have it's interesting to see like which ones become classics and
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:56
which ones don't. Is it very interesting. No, probably not.
Well, like like kettle has so many sort of niche variety there's like Korean barbecue there was
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:08
I love the kettle Korean barbecue. It's sweet It's salty, it's spicy. It's great.
Unknown Speaker 8:12
haven't tried it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:15
The kettle chips chili viraday those are also very good
These are so specific. I wouldn't think to buy them
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:21
and one of my all time favorite chips was the kettle chips cheddar beer flavor which was discontinued in like the mid 2000s I think and and occasionally comes back as a special edition like that is that that is so mean I think when when they bring back one of my favorite chip flavors for a limited time only.
I can't picture it cheddar beer is it like isn't there a type of you know, like it would show up on like crudity platters and like cheese cube platters. It was like cheddar cheese that was shot through with like, dark beer or something. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:55
like Porter or something. Yes.
I've always had those on the cheese platter with the cheese cubes. Yeah, I don't
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:04
even like the the veiny the veiny cheese cubes. Wow, that's a different thing because it's fried.
Unknown Speaker 9:11
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:12
I love a good veiny cheese cube.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:15
But when I was a kid, do you remember the the Jay Leno commercials for jumping jack cheese flavored Doritos? I don't think so. I don't I don't remember like whether whether there was like a specific bit to the commercials. It was just like Jay Leno eating chips, I think because Jay Leno was very big at the time, and I thought he was great. And so they with great fanfare Doritos introduced new jumpin jack cheese flavor, and I thought they were a delicious chip. They were around for a few years and I was like, Okay, this is like a new member of the Dorito family along with the nacho cheese, the Cool Ranch and I think taco flavor, and then like later taco flavor and jumpin jack cheese both got done. discontinued unceremoniously and occasionally they'll come back but like i i think those should be part of the lineup for good.
I'm having such an interesting experience listening to you talk about this not because what you're saying is interesting, but because because it like I noticed how willing you are to try new food products like if I think about like your personality type as a whole, I wouldn't think that you would be like an early adopter of things. But you are consistently you are an early adopter of show. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:36
I think I think like
technology. Here we are out in the future. We live on Mars now because Matthew suggested it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:44
We live on Mars with Taylor Kitsch. Like in that movie, Tim Reagan's goes to Mars.
I missed that movie.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:51
I think it was I think it's one of the biggest flops of all the time. This is a real movie I'm talking about nobody saw it.
I wish it was called Tim Reagan's goes to Mars.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:01
Well, then then people might have seen the movie.
Yeah, I would have
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:04
Yeah, like Tim, Tim Riggins and Matt Harrison. Take over Mars. And like, sign
me up. Do they have Do they? Do they wind up getting together? Because they're like, Are you kidding?
Unknown Speaker 11:15
Oh my god. I'm
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:18
entire planet to themselves. Probably. There's some like hot Martians also, I don't know.
God is there like, like Tim Reagan's on Matt Sarris and action and vice. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:28
for sure. Oh, that's, that's the whole point of the movie. Okay. But they make but they make you wait to like 90 minutes into the movie.
They always anyway, but yeah, you're an early adopter of like chip flavors, all kinds of things.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:41
Right. And like that adventuresome spirit Really? spills over into a lot of areas of my life chips. Technology pretty much ends right there. Technology.
Yeah, okay. It occurs to me that I have never had jalapeno chips. When I think of jalapeno chips. I think of potato chips. I have never had other types of jalapeno flavored chips have do they make them?
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:07
Oh, they do. So our favorite I think both of us love one eat is tortilla chips. Yes. One guy. Yeah. When he does makes a jalapeno tortilla chip and they also make something called a chili opinio flavor and I don't really know how they're different, but they're both tasty.
So you've tried them? Oh, yeah, I've
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:22
tried them. There's jalapeno Fritos, which I don't know if I think those are a current product. Okay, and they're good. And they're not as good as I think like jalapeno and potato chips really have an affinity for some reason. Even though like if you have like a jalapeno heavy salsa, you'd be dipping tortilla chips.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:39
There's toast Tito's hint of jalapeno flavor.
I think when I have jalapeno chips, I want them really jalapeno. Yeah, I don't want no hint. Right? No, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:47
haven't had exactly the same talk is like hint of jalapeno. Like you know we're not gonna we're not gonna like bother you by putting much flavor in these.
Well, but that didn't they start with a hint of lime. Isn't that a Tostitos product? Like toast? Yes, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:01
think they did. And then they started hinting at other things. Yeah,
when I was a kid, the brand of tortilla chips that my mom always bought was Tostitos. The, you know, they were round. Do you remember that?
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:12
Yes. I think we were a Tostitos family. Also, I think that was like, by far the dominant brand of tortilla chips when we were kids, at least probably on the west coast. Okay. Well, and maybe in Oklahoma, you weren't on the west coast. You weren't.
But it occurs to me that Yeah, growing up, I think I really like for me tortilla chips, equaled round Tostitos.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:35
And now we've gotten so far from jalapeno potato chips. We're talking about unflavored round tortilla chips. Do you listen to us for a minute? Oh,
God, so Okay, hold on. So how is it that that it came to be jalapeno chips and not like like it's jalapenos are sort of the most popular chili pepper for Tex Mex kind of stuff, right like Serrano chili peppers are just yeah, has they don't have the same social currency shall we say social capital?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:05
That's right. They don't like if you try and if you try and like go into a store and pay with Serrano's they'll like point to a sign on the counter. It says we will not exchange Serrano's for jalapenos at this store. No I love Serrano chilies like I on the one hand. I love jalapenos and like I've often said like if you if you put the word jalapeno or peanut butter on your product packaging, I will buy your product no matter what it is. But like if you put Serato on there, I might even jump that much faster because I love Serrano chilies I made a homemade Pico dig IO the other day with some chopped up Serrano's it was terrific.
Unknown Speaker 14:42
I never even think of it. I think I just never I never think about the difference. Have we done an episode where we tasted like jalapeno versus Serrano so that I can learn I think
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:52
we did a green chili episode but I don't know. It was a long time ago and I don't know what we did and we should revisit it,
but I also feel like when you say green chili like that is a whole That to me is a separate category from jalapeno and Serrano. I think of like hatch chilies immediately. Yeah. And like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:13
poblano chilies me. Yes.
Yes. I think of like bigger chilies.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:17
Okay, any right? Yeah. So we'll we'll do a jalapeno versus Serato episode.
Great. Okay, but Matthew, do you tend to buy jalapeno chips on a regular basis now? Like I do fairly regular. So
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:29
I Well, I wanted to ask you like, where do it sounds like jalapeno chips rank high in your pantheon of a flavored potato chip?
Oh, right. I think for me there at the top, like if it tells you anything yesterday, I did one of one of my like, you know, giant grocery runs. And now that that so for a while earlier in the pandemic, there was a sign on the chip pile at my grocery store that said, like, please only like limit yourself to one bag per type. And her type. Well, like I think that it wasn't like you could only get one bag of chips, but you weren't supposed to like buy out all of one particular flavor or one. All right. Okay. So now that sign is in there, so I'm that person yesterday who came out of the grocery store with three bags of kettle jalapeno chips. Oh, yeah. And one bag of kettle crinkle cut salt and pepper, which is June.
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:31
Those are great. Yeah. Jen loves those. Oh, strike me as like a Primo party champ. Like if you if you take a big punch ball and you open one of those big bags of the kettle crinkle. Cut salt and pepper chips and dump them into the Punchbowl. A party will just form around the ball which is why at the current time allowed to do that.
Yes, yeah, no. So we we just pour them into small bowls and that's allowed right now
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:56
that is that is allowed? Yes. The bowl a bowl that can can attract like one or two family members. Okay, so my my pantheon of flavored chips. I would put jalapeno maybe third or fourth. What? Yeah, okay, that's true. Tell me your list. Number one chicken and waffles. Now just kidding. Like I rarely buy like I'm always tempted to buy those like, you know, we came up with three new flavors that were invented by some of our chip fans have promotions. There. They've never really delivered for me. Number one, sour cream and onion for sure. Number two, salt and vinegar. Number three, jalapeno.
Okay, for me jalapeno number one right at the top. But that said I'm also not really a chip Dipper. I think that if I were someone who whenever I opened a bag of chips I also took like a tub of dip out of the fridge. I think I might go for a different flavor because I just what I love about these is they are so perfect on their own. They don't leave a funny taste in my mouth. Like sometimes the vinegar, salt and vinegar ones do or the ones with sort of oniony kind of stuff going on do Oh yeah, those
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:07
will definitely like do funky things to your mouth.
Even though I okay so I really think the beverage to drink with the jalapeno chip is either probably just a beer. Any kind of beer frankly probably a light colored beer or a margarita though I haven't tried it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:24
You know what I think goes well with a with a jalapeno chip is a lemon lime soda such as a Sprite. Oh, I haven't tried that. Very tasty. I have some squirt in the fridge right now and I think I'm gonna pour myself a glass of squirt to go with my jalapeno chips. Okay, do it. What are you right now?
Yeah, do it and I'm just going to vamp the listeners are gonna you vamp vamp for a minute
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:45
I'll let you know when I'm back with squirt. Okay.
So everybody, here is my only complaint about jalapeno chips and it's not really about jalapeno chips. But so the normal size of kettle chip bag. What I just dropped my bag is five ounces. Alright, five ounces is is the size of this bag I've got in front of me and I am here to report that in our household where both ash and I eat these. We go through one bag of jalapeno kettle chips in like 36 hours and it is just dumb. This has been a really scintillating vamp I've done but anyway, recently I was at a different grocery store and I found the sharing side as well. opinio kettle chips. I was just boring the listeners with my rants about the size of Oh, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:43
can't wait to hear this. I didn't hear any of it. So it
was very boring. But anyway, I was saying that ash and I go through so my local grocery store only carries the five ounce size of kettle jalapeno.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:58
We know that size but that's like The regular size bag, right? It is the
regular size bag. But let's say I have a small bowl of them while I'm cooking dinner. Let's say ash has a handful of them with their sandwich at lunchtime, we will go through one bag of these in 36 to 48 hours at that rate.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17
Yeah, no, I know what you mean. I'm trying to think of if a bag of chips has ever lasted more than 48 hours in my house. I mean, I don't think so.
No, what I was going to say is that, especially in these like weird days lately, where you know, the days are so similar, right, and the days are just very long. Sometimes when I look at the clock, and I discover that it's like four o'clock, maybe almost five o'clock, I get so excited not only because the day is almost done, but because it is almost time for me to pour myself a bowl of jalapeno chips and a glass of wine. And it really I feel like they don't even go that well together. But it's like become like a Pavlovian response for me. Now I just want my jalapeno chips and my glass of wine even though they aren't a natural pair.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:06
I mean, if they're not a natural pair, why did Elizabeth David write that book? A bowl of jalapeno chips and a glass of wine? Oh, yes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:14
that's a classic of food writing.
It is. It is definitely not an omelet. Nope.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:20
deaf guy that was the that was her next book, actually, definitely not an omelet. It was it was a collection of like 18 essays that got like progressively more profane about how much she hated off flex. is a very strange move, but I respected it.
I wonder how many of our listeners are gonna enjoy that that little joke? Or how many of them will be like, what the hell is Matthew talking about?
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:44
They'll be there'll be like three. If you if you are familiar with the Elizabeth David book and omelet and a glass of wine and you got that joke. Even if you didn't like the joke, please get in touch contact. It's built out podcast.com just to say I hear you. Okay, so she wrote the one. Definitely not an omelette, which was which was just about how she didn't hate omelets. And then and then she just started like writing books about how other foods that she hated. Like, what other than the potato? Let's bury it for good. And, and then she went on to she wrote this long book, it was like over 400 pages about the Doritos Locos taco from Taco Bell. And and why she thought it was a bad idea. And it was 25 years before that product was introduced.
Great Matthew, do you want to just do the rest of the show by yourself talking about fictional Elizabeth David books?
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:42
I think I maybe I do.
Okay, go on. Do you have any others?
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:45
No, that's I ran out. I ran out a bit right there. Oh, I had some time to think. When you're when your Wi Fi exploded? Okay. And and that's what I was thinking about?
Yeah, in case the listeners wonder if they noticed I sound any different. I'm now in the living room, and we've gotten guinea pigs.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:04
Oh, yeah, that guinea pigs are great for soundproofing. You've glued them all over the walls of a living room.
They're very free, though. They don't have a lot of density. So I don't really know how it works. But anyway, Okay, what else did we have to say about Oh, so Matthew, have you tried different brands of jalapeno chips?
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:26
So I came up with a list of I think five brands of jalapeno potato chips that I've tried. And these are those brands. Pringles pretty good. Lay's kettle cooked which is what I'm eating today which are good like lays I think always have like a good texture and a good amount of salt. These could definitely have more jalapeno flavor. Okay, kettle kettle, I think is maybe the gold standard for jalapeno chips. I agree with you.
I I remember that my brother David. I remember him like sort of talking about how much he loved kettle jalapeno chips. The last time I saw him, which was before I got into a kettle jalapeno chips.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:04
Was he the one who introduced you to it? Was he a pusher?
I don't think so. I think I think I brought it on myself. But anyway, I remember him talking about how spicy they were like crazy spicy and it even says hot with this like red emblem on the front of the package. But I don't know if I'm like just so used to them that like they just seem normal to me now.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:28
Yeah, there are many mass market chips that are really that spicy even like, you know, like Trader Joe's ghost chili potato chips. not that spicy.
Yeah, I mean, I think June would not want to eat these, but she's tasted them and she was fine. She survived it. Anyway, so yeah, I always buy kettle I also I used to buy remember the first time I think I bought Tim's cascade, which has a slightly different jalapeno flavor, but it's also very spicy.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:56
Yeah, Tim's Tim's cascade are good. And I'm also A fan of the full line of Miss Vickie's chips. I don't see as much. I think they're Canadian. Okay, it might be British, but might be Canadian. And my favorite of theirs is the salt and malt vinegar flavor, but they're jalapeno chips are also very good.
Where do you buy Miss Vickie's in Seattle?
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:19
Oh, that's a good question. Like, I don't have a standard place that I look for them. I think I think they might actually have them at Safeway. Now. It used to be you could barely get them in the US at all. And then they started seeping in.
Okay, I'll have to look for them. Do you think that my sound would be any better if I turned and spoke into the sofa?
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:37
I think it sounds fine. Don't worry about it. I think if you you know how like inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Maybe you just like smash your face up against the side of that dog.
Okay, okay. Yeah, I do. I've got my dog here. You can't see the guinea pigs obviously, because they're on the wall. I'm using them for soundproofing as we
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:59
discuss, right and you the listener can't see them because it's an audio podcast,
as opposed to one of those visual podcasts
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:07
is like when in the early days of podcasting, there was there was like a sense that maybe video podcasting would be a thing I think like before YouTube really took over our lives. And like even like on iTunes there was like, you know, top 10 audio food podcasts, cats top 10 video food podcasts. And then there was like no one no one wants a video podcast because you can't enjoy it like in your car or like at work.
Well. Yeah, not just seems like a like a boring TV show.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:34
It was Yeah, it was like it was a boring TV show.
Yeah. Okay, you know, we're
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:39
something special. We're a boring TV show with no pictures. That is Wait, that sounded like the closing joke right there. I'm Matthew Amster-Burton. Find us online at spelled out podcast calm and facebook.com slash build mcg podcast Find us on Instagram at spelled Belk podcast, our producers Abby sercotel. Molly, tell tell the people about our new podcast that they're tired of hearing about. Yeah,
yeah. So we have a brand new podcast launched on May 18. called dire desires. It is a podcast about life lessons gleaned from erotic thrillers. And of course, it's a comedy podcast. We're not serious about these life lessons. But it is delightful.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:22
I was I was completely this was supposed to be I've been living my life according to the precepts of evidence.
Great. Anyway, we have had so much fun making this podcast and we want to share it with you. And so go listen, you can find dire desires wherever you already find your podcasts and you can check it out also at dire desires podcast calm.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:48
Alright, that's it. Hopefully. Hopefully, this episode is gonna edit together.
I love the closing joke and I love to help panic. Do you seem to take advantage of it and get the hell out of this show?
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:01
All right. Okay, next time. Okay. Bye,
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:10
I'm Matthew. Hey,
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:17
Okay, all right. Bye.