Hot Stuff: The Real Jalapeño Chips ~ No Potatoes!
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Stowe, Vermont is almost as far from Mexico as it gets on this continent; yet, it is the home of the jalapeño chip. Not the jalapeño-flavored potato chip, but real jalapeños, sliced and fried into crisp chips.
It’s hot stuff—but not too hot to be enjoyed by most of us. If nibbling a bagful is too spicy for you, then try them as a:
- Garnish. Use a few jalapeño chips to garnish an appetizer, soup, salad or main.
- Crust. Crumble the chips into a coating for chicken or fish.
- Dip. For dipping, go hot with salsa or go cool with a yogurt-based dip.
The inspiration to make “real” jalapeño chips came to Doehne “Deano” Duckworth, chef and owner of The Cactus Café in Stowe, who uses all kinds of hot chiles in his dishes. “It occurred to me,” says Chef Deano, “that everyone was trying to make their potato chips taste like jalapeños. Why not just use a real jalapeño!”
It took a lot of trial and error, but the results rock. The original jalapeño chips proved so popular that there is now an expanded line:
- Original (Sea Salt)
We like all three, but in general are partial to the Sea Salt.
“The jalapeño chips are at what we call a medium heat level, although each batch is a little different depending on mother nature.” says Chef Deano.
The chips are produced by hand in small batches at The Cactus Café, and use the freshest jalapeños available (shipped daily from Texas and New Mexico). They have won Scovie Awards (for hot and spicy foods) each year: in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
You can buy the jalapeño chips in individual flavors or combination packs at DeanosJalapenos.com and Amazon.com.
Alas, for vegans and people with severe wheat allergies, the product contains milk solids and is made in a facility where wheat is present.
Everyone else: Come and get ‘em.
— Karen Hochman
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