Guys, Paqui chips are fantastic. The word “paqui” is Aztec and means “to be happy” which accurately describes my mood every time I eat them! I don’t think I can express my enjoyment better than this reviewer on the Paqui website, so I’ll just quote him.
“I came home and my lovely girlfriend said she tried ‘those chips’ and they were ‘pretty good’. I tried the glorious triangles of tastebud pornography and I’m currently leaving her for calling them ‘those chips’.
“Your product is life changing. It would be irresponsible, dare I say an atrocity, to not dedicate your lives to continuing to produce this magnificent flavored corn treat. But I request you manufacture one of those drive-through, bank, vacuum-tube delivery systems directly to my living room.”
Paqui makes five flavors of chips: Nacho Cheese Especial, Wild Wild Ranch, Cool Salsa Verde, Spicy Queso, and Haunted Ghost Pepper. They also make a sixth flavor seasonally—the Carolina Reaper Madness Chip that’s available around Halloween.
If you’re missing Doritos since going gluten free, fret no more. These chips are not just an adequate replacement, they are better in both taste and quality.
Nacho Cheese Especial and Wild Wild Ranch taste wonderfully like Doritos to me (though it’s been many, many years since I’ve had Doritos), but with a little more zing. The chips are light and crispy which I love. I’ve often mourned my gluten free corn chip options because they tend to be thicker and heavier. Not so with Paqui!
The Cool Salsa Verde is my favorite. It’s flavor is fresh and lightweight. The only bad thing about this chip is that it makes my mouth raw if I eat the whole bag (I think it’s the citric acid). But you’re probably not supposed to eat the whole bag in one sitting. *shrugs*
Spicy Queso is true to it’s word. Paqui doesn’t play around when it comes to kick. It’s cheddary and delicious. Basically, if you like the nacho cheese chips but want more heat, these are the chips for you.
Haunted Ghost Pepper is HOT! My husband loves to eat things that taste like burning. He will eat foods that make his nose run due to the heat, and he loves every bite. He got these chips once and ate the whole bag, but won’t buy them again because they’re a little too hot for him. I, on the other hand, ate one chip and tapped out.
The Carolina Reaper Madness Chip is no joke. The carolina reaper is the hottest chili pepper in the world per Guiness World Records coming in at 2,200,000 scoville heat units. Compare it to the jalapeno which comes in at 2,500-8,000 SHU (depending on the specific pepper). So the reaper is 275-880 times hotter than a jalapeno.
Every year Paqui has the #onechipchallenge. The challenge is simply for you to eat a single chip. Last year I bought about 7 chips for my coworkers and I recorded them eating the chips. Yes, I’m too much of a coward to do it myself.
The most immediate response was my cubicle-mate who, one hour later, vomited right next to his desk. Nasty! His stomach was in such turmoil he didn’t even realize he was going to be sick until it happened. Proceed with caution!
Let’s break things down a bit so we understand exactly what we’re getting. First and foremost, Paqui chips are certified gluten free (woohoo)!! They are also certified Kosher which means they comply with Jewish dietary law.
They are nut and soy free which is great news for those of us with multiple food sensitivities. Unfortunately most flavors DO contain dairy, which is a bit of a bummer.
No MSG is a huge win for Paqui chips. MSG is a flavor enhancer added to thousands of processed foods that cause very severe side effects both in the short and long term.
Paqui chips also have no preservatives. Preservatives extend the shelf life of food and include benzoates, nitrites, sorbates, sulfites, etc. These chemicals are are known to cause conditions such as cancer, trigger allergies and asthma, cause brain damage, affect kidney and liver function, cause high blood pressure, change gene expression, cause high cholesterol, etc. (the list is long and frightening)! So no preservatives is outstanding.
Paqui claims no trans-fats in their tortilla chips. Trans-fats are formed when manufacturers turn liquid oil into solid fat to increase the flavor stability and shelf life of foods. Many studies indicate trans-fats contribute to clogged arteries and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke as well as increase your risk of diabetes. So no trans-fats is a plus.
Paqui chips are non-GMO verified. Genetically engineering food causes a blending of animal, virus, plant, and bacteria that wouldn’t naturally occur. A growing body of documentation links GMOs with health problems. So non-GMO is commendable!
NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
Paqui chips have no artificial flavors. Lots of companies use this in their marketing, but it’s truly an empty claim. It means no flavor ingredient is completely synthetic.
That said, all flavors of Paqui chips have “natural flavor” as an ingredient, and natural and artificial flavors aren’t that different. Artificial flavors are created in a laboratory from scratch, while natural flavors must be derived from plant or animal material.
However, natural flavors can, and often do, contain synthetic chemicals. In fact, artificial flavors typcially have less chemicals than natural flavors do. Natural flavors are sometimes comprised of hundreds of chemicals. And ironically, many of these chemicals are binned as artificial if they are not augmenting a naturally derived flavor.
The environmental working group (EWG) has a very informative article on this if you want to learn more. While this isn’t ideal, it isn’t unique to Paqui–the predominance of processed foods have aritificial or natural flavors added.
I give Paqui chips two thumbs up and would absolutely recommend them. They taste heavenly and their texture is perfect.
In terms of quality, Paqui chips are less detrimental to your health than many brands out there. I can’t say they’re healthy, but we’re talking about snack food/junk food so that’s not really surprising. So if you’re in the market for tortilla chips, Paqui does more than many brands to protect your health and their chips are delicious!