Book and Snack Pairing: Kettle Chips with Vinegar

My plan for this Book and Snack Pairing post series is to taste snacks (two new and one old favorite) and pair them with romances (two recent first time reads and one old favorite). The romances reflect my reading habits, so they tend contemporary, and are a mix of pairings. I am marking the ones with no sex with ***.

(As a general heads up, this post discusses food in detail.)

Of course, with any tasting project, we all bring our own specificity to it. In my case, some relevant things for this post:

  • I’m autistic, so texture and mouthfeel are very important to me, and I am super sensitized sensorily due to autistic burnout, so intense flavors are likely more intense and often overwhelming for me.
  • I’m diabetic, so one of the things that influences my choice and experience of snacks is how they impact my blood sugar.
  • I don’t generally enjoy things with a lot of heat, for a bunch of reasons. Some of which are about my health conditions, some are about my personal taste and experience of that kind of intense flavor, and some are about culture. (I was raised by a Midwestern white Jewish parent who mostly flavored things with salt, pepper, and garlic, and that has impacted my palate.)

This post is focused on kettle chips with a flavor that’s got at least a hint of vinegar!

New-to-Me Snack #1

Kettle brand salt and vinegar

Why did I pick this snack?

I am iffy on salt and vinegar chips; sometimes I like them, sometimes not. I’ve never tried Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar potato chips, so I thought I would try them out. And I definitely needed one of these chips to be salt and vinegar, given the vinegar theme.

The taste experience?

The strongest scent is vinegar. They have a nice crunch, as usual for Kettle brand chips, very satisfying. The vinegar is a light touch, the salt a heavier one, which works well I think. The vinegar is stronger in the aftertaste.

Verdict?

These are the best salt and vinegar potato chips I’ve had. They aren’t an everyday fave for me, but hit the spot when this is the flavor I am wanting.

What book would I pair it with?

Lord of the AbyssLord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh!

I could not put this paranormal m/f romance down, was enthralled pretty much immediately, even though stories that include this level of trauma and these kinds of mystical creatures are not generally my thing. I had mixed feelings about the disability representation but found this semi-reverse Beauty and the Beast retelling so compelling, the writing was just lovely and I fell super hard for these characters and so much of the worldbuilding.

(Rep: Disabled heroine with PTSD. Fijian woman author.)

New-to-Me Snack #2

Deep River New York Spicy Dill Pickle kettle chip

Why did I pick this snack?

I have been missing full sour dill pickles. I have been wanting to try pickle flavored chips for a while and was thwarted the last time I tried to get them, so I am very excited to try Deep River New York Spicy Dill Pickle kettle chips!

The taste experience?

It’s my first time trying Deep River chips of any flavor. These smell mostly like dill with a slight hint of vinegar. They are a bit chewier than Kettle brand kettle chips, and thicker too, which gives them more of a potato taste. The dill is the strongest flavor, and garlic, then there is a kick and just a bit of vinegar. The kick is more than mild, but not super intense, and it lingers, which is not unlike the experience of eating full sour pickles. These impact my blood sugar more than the Kettle brand chips do. It says all natural ingredients on the bag, and they taste like it.

Verdict?

These are definitely closer to the experience of eating pickles than I expected! I like them. A bit too much kick for me for an everyday chip, but really tasty and definitely something I will eat more of. Plus I want to try out more Deep River varieties.

What book would I pair it with?

his cocky valetHis Cocky Valet by Cole McCade!

I loved this D/s age gap contemporary m/m romance with a dominant valet and a young man he works for who suddenly has a ton of responsibility he has no clue how to shoulder. The D/s was gorgeous and resonant and extremely hot. There was a lot of angst and grief in this story, and I felt so deeply for the characters; it was a lot to hold. Not an everyday read, but a really wonderful one that I adored, and will definitely be rereading.

(Rep: Older gay man MC. Biracial Japanese American gay MC. Native AmeriBlAsian POC demibisexual queer man author.)

 

Old Fave Snack

Lays Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ potato chips
Why did I pick this snack?

Lays Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ potato chips are one of my all time fave bbq chips ever, and I was craving them.

The taste experience?

These smell mostly like mesquite, with just a bit of vinegar. The crunch is great. I love how smoky these are. Just a hint of sweetness, a small hint of vinegar. A slight kick underneath that comes out more in the aftertaste. These are hard to stop eating once I have started. Low glycemic index too.

Verdict?

These are still really wonderful, so satisfying in pretty much every way, and the kind of chip that I can really count on to hit it out of the park every time.

What book would I pair it with?

 

Coffee Boy by Austin ChantCoffee Boy by Austin Chant!

I really love this book. It’s an boss/employee m/m romance with a non-passing trans man MC who just graduated college and is doing an internship for a political candidate and grappling with not passing on the job, and that experience at work resonates so much with my own. Recently, I finished an m/m romance with a trans man lead that I’d generously say was meh, and wanted to read one I knew I could count on for stellar trans rep. So of course I reread Coffee Boy, and it hit the spot perfectly. I actually think I loved it even more this time than the other two times I’ve read this book!

(Rep: Queer trans man MC. Bisexual man MC. Queer trans man author.)

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