My name’s Danny Palumbo, and I’m from Pennsylvania—home of Herr’s, Utz, Snyder’s, Wise, Middleswarth, Martin’s, Gibble’s, and many more. In short, this is where chips live, baby. And although I no longer live in the Keystone state, I still have a profound admiration for all things potato chips. In this column I will be reviewing some of the best the country has to offer. Welcome to Chip Country.
I’ve never been big on Pringles. When it comes to potato chips, I tend to value a distinct potato flavor above all else, and Pringles just don’t have it. How could they? They’re made with dehydrated potatoes, degerminated yellow corn flour, corn starch, and other miscellaneous binders and fillers. “Once you pop you can’t stop” applies because whenever I start eating Pringles I keep trying to get the weird, musty flavor of them out of my mouth with more Pringles, hoping that the chips will eventually beat my palate into submission.
That said, they do come in some pretty good junk food-y flavors: Pizza delights my adolescent self, Ranch is dope, and the Cheddar & Sour Cream deliciously masks the dehydrated potato flavor. But there’s another canister chip out there doing Pringles better than Pringles—and these superior snacks come from the unfortunately named Good Crisp Company.
The Good Crisp Company makes a better potato chip
I’m not big on “health”-oriented brands selling “no guilt” snacks, but The Good Crisp Co. (which hit the scene in 2017) just makes a damn good, poppable, stacked-in-a-can chip that’s free of artificial ingredients and big on simple flavor. On its website, the company’s origin story reads:
G’day Matt here. Back in Australia, I created my favorite canister snacks without the top allergens and artificial ingredients so I could enjoy them with my 3 daughters. Turns out we weren’t the only [sic] wanting healthier snacks that also tasted good, so I made it my official job to share these products with as many families as I could. I bring to you, The Good Crisp Company.
It’s hard to be upset with such a wholesome message, and what Matt created was actually something quite wonderful.
The ingredients list in the original potato crisps is as follows: Dehydrated potatoes, palm oil, tapioca starch, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Simple and straightforward. Though, comparing the nutritional facts here to Pringles, I actually think the difference in fat and salt is negligible. There isn’t that much of a health advantage to Good Crisp chips; they’re still an amalgamation of dehydrated potatoes fried in oil and can only be so good for you. The Good Crisp Company shouts “healthier” and “guilt free,” but that’s mostly it. It’s mostly shouting.
Why Good Crisp beats Pringles
Despite the dubious branding, Good Crisp’s salt flavor is great, and these chips don’t have that off-putting, hard-to-place “can taste” of Pringles, either. There’s something fresher about these. They’re light, crispy, simple, and do indeed have less of a processed flavor.
Again, the short ingredients list plays to The Good Crisp Company’s strength. I’m all about dehydrated potatoes, but when you bog them down with all the starches, binders, and fillers that Pringles uses in its product, the chips end up tasting weirdly miscellaneous and like nothing at all.
For some odd reason, we’ve been stuck with only one option of canned chips for decades because nobody’s come close to making something better. The Good Crisp Company, while goofy as hell from its name to its health-conscious rhetoric, is nonetheless doing its part to improve upon the concept. And while plenty of companies have tried to get in on the canister chip game—Lay’s Stax come to mind—an Australian dude named Matt may have bested them all.