Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Goat Cheese & Espelette Pepper Potato Chips

Brets© Chips Saveur Chèvre & piment d'Espelette

One of the many overseas brands that is being carried by World Market, Brets© is part of Altho, a company located in France that specializes in gourmet potato chips. Started in 1991 by Alain Glon who had formed partnerships with farmers, by 1995 the company founded family-owned Altho located in central Brittany. Starting with only 16 employees and an annual production of 800 tons of chips, the company has since grown to 240 employees throughout the year (noting up to 400 during their high season) with an annual output of 20,000 tons of chips. Among the flavors they offer their customer are Goat Cheese & Espelette Pepper, Braised Chicken, Marine (oyster), Butter Caramel, Salt & Vinegar, Garlic & Rosemary, Original, Natural, Bolognaise, and Pizza to just to name a few.

The Artist -
While wandering one of the local World Market stores with Jerry and a friend of ours, I had spotted the bag of Brets© chips and was curious as to what the flavor would be like. I am familiar with the creamy yet robust earthy flavor of goat cheese so it did seem fitting that the French company had paired it with Espelette pepper. Bringing home a bag and opening it up, my nose was greeted with the gentle melody of cheese with a hint of spice. However, flavor was a little bit on the disappointing side. It is perhaps due to the possibility of the original recipe being altered to 'appeal to American tastes' but the flavors weren't as spectacular as I would have imagined. Mind you that alone, the cheese flavoring was light and quite easy on the pallet with just a faint hint of spice from the peppers. Also the chips themselves were crisp and had a delightful crunch to them when taking a bite. However, when used to goat cheese being bold along with the tangy sweetness of peppers, the flavoring on the chips is a bit lack luster. I'm sure that in France, the chips are perhaps much more attention grabbing so as I suggested before it could just be an Americanization of the recipe. Other then that bit of conflict with personal taste, the chips are actually quite enjoyable. 

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