Google Tag

Search This Blog

Monday, February 10, 2020

Trader Joe's Dark Russet Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

During our RV travels, few states stood out to Sonia and me like Idaho did. Other than a friendly acquaintance I'd met in Los Angeles and one childhood friends' sister relocating to the Boise area, neither of us had ever even known anyone from the state. 

Between the two of us, Sonia and I have either passed through or visited 40 of the 50 states at this point—and we've spent at least a week in 35 of them. I've even been a resident of five different states thus far.  Idaho would definitely be at the very top of our underrated states list, with the Boise area in particular standing out as probably the most livable city in America that we've visited.

Over the weekend, not even thinking about the fact we were eating these dark russet chips at the time, a recommended video from a channel we frequently visit started auto-playing on YouTube. It was about a woman with a very unique house just outside Boise. 

As the wife and I debated the pros and cons of living in a giant potato, we recollected our 2019 adventures out west, and it suddenly occurred to me that these chips might very well be from the great state of Idaho. Although there's no official info on the packaging asserting that the potatoes within are, in fact, sourced from the Gem State, apparently "Russet potatoes" are synonymous with "Idaho potatoes" according to Wikipedia.

Whether they're from ID or not, they're pretty good. I've never been a plain potato chip kinda guy, but these darker kettle-cooked chips are a bit more interesting than their pale cousins. There's more richness and earthiness in chips like these. The peanut oil lends an essence I'd almost describe as "buttery." 

There's just a tad more saltiness than I'd care for, but I'd probably go ahead and say that about the vast majority of—not just potato chips—but chips in general, including things like tortilla and pita, as well. Still, they didn't go completely overboard, and Sonia would say the salt level is just about perfect. 

I've had other brands of dark russet chips, most notably Utz and Herr's. It's been a hot minute, but I'd say this Trader Joe's offering is on par with either of those classic makes of potato chips. At $2.29 for the bag, it's a comparable price point, if not a little cheaper, and I love the fact there are only three ingredients. 

As the bag itself points out, these chips are great for dunking in stuff like spinach dip or for simply snacking straight out of the bag. Trader Joe's Dark Russet Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips will get four stars each from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. My family went through eight bags of these chips over the holiday season. I hope they stick around awhile.

  2. I moved to NYC a couple of years ago. I love the city, but there are some real everyday negatives that wear you down. At some point I'm sure I will want to be in a less exciting, more livable town. I'm very drawn to the PNW, though I've never even visited. Especially OR. Just looks so beautiful and green. But then there's all that rain...
    Is there a perfect place to live that's also affordable and has great weather? I fear this an impossible dream. But now I'm intrigued about Boise. I never hear anything about it. I think literally the only thing I know about Boise is that Aaron Paul is from there. And the potatoes, I guess. Any other places you particularly like as potential settle down spots?

    1. The PNW is truly beautiful. We didn't find Portland or Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia to be particularly livable. We loved Spokane, though, and thought it had most of the advantages of a bigger city with very few of the disadvantages. Our mail forwarding service is based in Sioux Falls, SD, and we like it there a lot, too, although it's on the small side (pop. 200K). Las Cruces, NM and DFW, TX were both great areas, but we're not big on super hot summers...I could go on and on :)

    2. Another vote for Spokane! I love it here.

    3. Also, Spokane is very close to Idaho, just to tie everything all together :) Couer d'Alene is very nice, too.

    4. Great point! There is truly unmatched beauty nearby, without as much rain, all while still getting that city feel.

    5. You should give Tacoma another chance. Less crime than Spokane/Seattle. Great food, water views, huge parks, cool art scene. I live on the border of Tacoma and University Place, about 1.3 miles from a TJ's :)

  3. I'm a New Yorker as well, & while I do love it here, I don't have a family yet or stuff like that to make it more of a barrier. I visited Asheville last summer & completely fell in love. I definitely feel like it has the best of everything I like: beautiful surrounding natural mountains & waterfalls, lots of culture, (visual art, live music), great food, affordability, temperate weather, & progressive politics.

  4. Hey thanks for the replies, folks! There are so many places I have yet to explore, and regret that it's only possible to live in one place at a time. Unless you're on the road, of course. Another dream... 🙂


You Might Like: