When I saw these “Latke Crisps” on the shelf at the corner grocery, I immediately grabbed a bag. Who doesn’t love latkes?
It wasn’t until I got home that a couple of things about the crisps really sunk in. First, they’re made by a company called Thou Shall Snackwhat would have been wrong with “Shalt,” really? And second, they’re baked.
The defining characteristic of latkes, both culinarily and symbolically, is that they’re fried. That’s why they’re so good. That’s why you wear machine-washable clothes and leave your coat in the car when you go to a Hanukkah party, unless you want to smell like a Hanukkah party for three weeks. And the whole point of eating food fried in oil is to recall that miraculously long-burning oil.
So I was skeptical that these crisps would taste anything like latkes. And in fact, they tasted pretty much like every other baked potato crisp on the market, but saltier. Maybe with a hint of onion (I tried the “Original Flavor”), but really, all you taste is salt. These things are egregiously, tongue-searingly salty, with 490mg of sodium per serving (compare Baked Lay’s at 170mg) and an ingredient list that includes both “sea salt” and “salt.” I got through less than half of a single-serving bag.
Ironically, none of the latkes I’ve ever had have been especially salty.
I just submitted an “Other” vote to their “Help Us Decide Our Next Flavor of Latke Crisps” poll: “Unsalted.”