Apr 30, 2022 • 10M

Sampling the iconic snack of Canada in Memphis

A Snack Stack expert investigation

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Doug Mack / Snack Stack
A bite-sized newsletter about snacks around the world, with three new snacks every week. Flavored with curiosity.
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Hello, Snackers. Welcome to the first audio edition of Snack Stack.

I’m in Memphis for a travel writing conference and I've been eating a LOT of barbecue (recommendation: Elwood's Shack, in the parking lot of a Lowe’s big-box store) and fried chicken (Gus's lives up to the hype).

Also on the menu: ketchup chips, a Canadian delicacy brought down from Québec by my friend Pamela MacNaughtan. She thought it would be fun to do a tasting with some other travel writers—and she was, of course, correct.

And so it was that on Friday, we convened a panel of experts/friends at a table tucked under the long escalators inside the soaring lobby of our conference Sheraton. In attendance:

Pamela MacNaughten, freelancer and creator of Urban Guide Québec

Kae Lani Palmisano, Emmy-Winning TV Host of WHYY’s ‘Check, Please!”

Joseph Hernandez, Deputy Food Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer

Jason Cochran, Editor in Chief of Frommers.com

We've covered the history of ketchup chips previously on Snack Stack, and you'll hear a summary in the recording. But the main goal this time was simply to taste a few varieties and compare notes.

We tried four flavors of ketchup chips (Yum Yum, Old Dutch, Lay’s, and Miss Vickie's), one ketchup cracker (Crispers), and one bag of limited edition ketchup Cheetos, which came in a maple leaf shape and packaging that featured Chester Cheetah in a red bucket hat with a white maple leaf because CANADA.

Listen to our conversation to find out what we thought of the various snacks and hear some tasting notes.

(Also: Annemarie Dooling of McClatchy newspapers joined us late and decreed the last entry in our taste test—you’ll see—to be her favorite.)

Happy snacking!

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If you’re new here (welcome!), this is the weekly free post for Snack Stack, a newsletter that explores the history of snacks and other topics connecting food and culture (like microwave nachos and parenting or what it means to be a great food city). If you enjoy this, please share it and subscribe. Thanks so much.