The Dark-Herr, The Better


I truly adore Michael Pollan. I pretty much take his words as gospel. His new “for dummies” type book, Food Rules, breaks down his complex narratives of our broken food systems into succinct guidelines. His rules make sense. They are easy to understand and to follow. This one is particularly relevant to our I want it now culture:

#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. The french fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes — and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them — chances are good it won’t be every day. [HuffPo]

But the idea of making a potato chip better than Herr’s is just a fucking lie. They make the best chips in the world and it wouldn’t be fair to attempt replication at home when they are already out there on shelves across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

I recently spotted an enviable collection of Herr’s chips at a Philly-themed hoagie shop in DC, Taylor. My eyes widened at their floor to ceiling display, noticing the new (and I find misguided) direction of Herr’s: kettle chips. Kettle chips have too much of a bite for me. Too crunchy, too much time in the oil.

I asked the dude behind the cash register about the many new flavors and he pointed out a recent failure: Herr’s Dark Russet Kettle Chips. He said they tasted straight burnt. I bought them instantly.

My mom is a very, very plain eater. No condiments: no butter, hot sauce, ketchup, mustard or mayo. Nothing. Her flavor enhancer: burnt. She likes everything burnt. She even likes her scrambled eggs to turn brown. I knew these would be the chips for her. I was right.

I tried them with her. They tasted burnt. And she loved them. I cannot recommend them to chip lovers, but if you know someone that digs burnt, this is the snack.

And in more chip news, I recently spotted a new take on the ripple:


Just guessing, but I bet they have the same feel as Ruffles brand chips. But I’m hoping to taste test these two over the summer. There’s a WaWa right around the corner from my Jersey Shore condo and this will be the perfect drunk activity. But probably not as cool as this.

You may also like


  • dad gansie April 14, 2010  

    are pollars rules anywhere on line???

    yea, those chips were tasty, still have a few left

    Gansie….. thought farmers markets were your fav store…was drug it still wawa??

  • erica April 14, 2010  

    i like eggs brown, too. i want to try Herr’s, we don’t have them here (in portland, or)! but we have Tim’s Cascade chips, so it’s fair.

  • gansie April 14, 2010  

    wanna do a trade? i’ll send you my favorite flavor of Herr’s and you can send me your fav flavor of Tim’s?
    (ps – i only like plain chips so, um, send me plain or ruffle chips)

  • Missy April 15, 2010  

    I love Herr. I was recently excited to try a Red Hot version at WaWa when I was in Jersey. They’re not quite Snyder’s BBQ but they’re great!

  • Pingback: Fried Eggs and Potato Chips | Endless Simmer August 2, 2010  
  • Pingback: Hangover Pizza January 22, 2011  

Leave a comment