Trader Joe’s is the rare American grocer to adopt the British obsession with offbeat potato chip flavors. Recent years have seen TJ’s introduce something called South African style (smoked paprika and garlic powder), Sriracha, ghost pepper, honey butter, among other flavors more appreciated outside the U.S. I’ve always applauded the company’s stance to push consumers beyond our sour cream/barbecue/salt-and-vinegar comfort zone.
Their latest offering carries on their streak of chip experimentation in time for Thanksgiving: turkey and stuffing flavor. Recoil all you want, but accept that most savory seasonings will taste decent on a crispy potato chip. And TJ’s turkey and stuffing chip, even if it doesn’t wholly replicate the flavor of Thanksgiving, evokes just enough to be truthful in its advertising. More importantly, it’s pretty tasty.
Most prominent is its herbaceousness—sage and thyme most prominent. There’s also something meaty in the flavoring, as if the chips were dusted with a crushed-up bouillon cube. Naturally, the chip plays the role of potatoes, and so the herb-starch-meat trifecta helps bring to mind the Thanksgiving table. (One taste tester also thought there were notes of parmesan-garlic.) What ultimately makes this a success is the kettle-style chips, fried to a blistering crunch. These chips feel thick and substantial—the three bags I sampled contained a greater-than-usual ratio of foldovers-to-flats.
It’s a potato chip that works on all counts. Other unconventional flavors may taste good but feel like a forced mash-up. Turkey and stuffing in chip form feels altogether novel, homey, and familiar.