Hey, it’s the day after Easter! For some of you dear readers, you may have just finished the holiday tradition of Lent. Whether you abstained from meat on Fridays, gave it up altogether, or just cut out red meat, you can now continue your carnivorous ways.
I figure today seemed like the perfect day to review something I’ve been holding onto for a while. Back in December, I received a bag of chips from a generous friend of mine, who works at a place that apparently considers rib-flavored potato chips a perfectly normal selection for their break room vending machine. Having had some harrying encounters with meat-flavored non-meat items around that same time, I was justifiably nervous, but I reviewed them anyway, and found them to be quite enjoyable, and also free of any creepy meat flavor.
In the process of that review, I took a look at Herr’s website, and found some wacky flavors that I would’ve loved to have gotten my hands on. Unfortunately, I’d never seen Herr’s in my area. A little while back, I found myself outside my normal grocery/convenience store zone, and decided to check out the local Basha’s. To my surprise, they carried Herr’s! I was disappointed that they didn’t have Creamy Dill Pickle flavor, but they did have Kansas City Prime Steak, which I consider a mighty fine consolation prize.
I’ve always been curious about the name of these potato chips. I get the Prime part; in terms of USDA beef grading, Prime is the highest grade a piece of meat can get, and Prime steaks are usually only sold in hotels and restaurants. Prime means quality. But why Kansas City? I didn’t care enough to research before, but now that I’m writing about these chips, I have to. For you. You’re welcome.
According to Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge and my primary care physician, Kansas City (the Missouri one, not the Kansas one, mind you) is famous for its steaks and, more specifically, the Kansas City Strip Steak. The strip steak is the cut of beef where T-bones and Porterhouses come from, just so you know. Deliciousness.
Kansas City became famous for its steaks due to the creation of the Kansas City Stockyards, which were built to give livestock owners better prices for their stock. At the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange, the headquarters of the Stockyards, livestock was sold at auction, which gave owners a chance at getting more money for their cattle. Previously, cattle owners west of Kansas City had to concede to whatever price the railroad was offering.
In the heyday year of 1923, 1,194,527 cattle (45% of the gross cattle sold) were purchased by local packing houses and markets, making Kansas City the place to get fresh, delicious steak. Built in 1871, the Stockyards flourished well into the 1940s. Unfortunately, the Great Flood of 1951 devastated the Stockyards, and they never really recovered, finally closing in 1991.
And now you know why Herr’s chose to call their steak-flavored potato chips Kansas City Prime. I just went all educational on yo’ ass. Take it. LIKE IT.
Back to the chips! From the mouth of Herr Herr: “Take a bite of this unique flavor sensation, Kansas City Prime Steak Potato Chips. Herr’s takes the finest potatoes and cooks them in pure vegetable oil to a golden crispy crunch. We then top them with the flavor of thick and juicy steak. It’s hard to find this bold flavor outside of your favorite steakhouse.”
“Unique flavor sensation” sounds like a phrase I would use to trick someone into eating something nasty. It’s the equivalent of setting your friend up on a blind date and telling him “she has a great personality”! I can read between the lines, here. I’m also pretty sure you won’t be finding this “bold flavor” inside OR outside of your favorite steakhouse.
I just noticed that the picture on the bag is actually a “serving suggestion”. So you’re supposed to serve these steak-flavored chips with…steak? How very meta. I have a feeling that if you served Kansas City Prime chips with a delicious Porterhouse straight from the grill, the chips are going to pale in comparison to the real thing. I enjoy potato chips, but I enjoy a juicy slab of meat a hell of a lot more.
All of that said, I actually have some high hopes for these chips. From my experience with their rib-flavored chips, I know that Herr’s has not yet figured out the dark magic that Frito-Lay uses to make their meat-flavored chips, so I’m not worried about that. I’m hoping for a chip flavored with a dry steak rub, which, in my opinion, would be awesome. Let’s see how Kansas City Prime these chips actually are.
The first impression I got from these chips was holy balls these chips are salty. That’s a bold statement coming from a salt vampire like myself. I would go so far as to call them excessively salty. The second impression was holy balls these chips are garlicky. It took a few mouthfuls before I could detect the more subtle flavors in the seasoning. Namely, that it tastes like they tossed the chips in a combination of beef ramen seasoning and garlic powder. There’s definitely a beefy taste, but it’s artificial, like you’re sucking on a cube of beef bullion.
This may not seem like a ringing endorsement for Kansas City Prime, but I found myself rather enjoying the chips. This probably puts me in the minority; I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t want to get intimate with a bag full of chip that taste like beefy garlic salt. I don’t even know how many I could eat before I reached the limit of my admittedly high sodium tolerance, but I could see myself having a handful or two here and there. I also like the texture of Herr’s chips; they’re thick and deliver a nice crunch, but not so thick that shards of potato pierce your gums like shrapnel every time you take a bite.
That said, as a reviewer, I have to be objective, and in the end, not only do Herr’s Kansas City Prime Steak Flavor Artificially Flavored Potato Chips taste nothing like steak, they’re also too salty and remind me of being poor and having 17 cent ramen for dinner. On the plus side, there’s enough garlic in them to ensure that nobody will kiss you for the rest of the day, so if your boyfriend has severe halitosis and you’re too nice to break it to him, these chips will assist you nicely.