Category Archives: Product Review

Bailey’s Almande Review

This product review was written 20.06.12, while COVID lock down restrictions were just beginning to ease. Please excuse any reference/joke that’s no longer relevant.


This is the last post of 2020!

As per last year, I will be taking the last half of December, and first half of January off from posting.

Posting will resume on January 15th, which will be the 1st Throw Away Fic of the new year!

I hope you all enjoy your holiday festivities, and get some much needed rest after what a crazy year this has been.

I’ll see you guys in the new year!


Now that we’ve made it to the end of the year, I thought it fitting to make the last product review a celebratory one. Because let’s be honest, 2020 was not what anyone expected, and we definitely deserve to have a (socially-distanced) party.

And what better way to say ‘party’ than to booze-it-up?

I’ve never had ‘real’ Baileys before, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this. Some of the Youtube reviews I saw said it just tasted like almond milk. I figured how bad could it be?

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Baileys Almond is 13% alcohol, which is way above my usual 5-7% Smirnoff Ice and Blackflys. I tried it by itself initially, to see if it really needed to be added to something else. Immediately, I tasted regular almond milk, but when I swallowed, I got that familiar burn-in-your-throat ‘this is alcohol’ taste. It was a lot stronger than what I was expecting.

To actually drink it, I mixed it 2 shots of it into a regular cup (500ml) of Silk Chocolate Almond, and after mixing it with the drink, that burning alcohol taste completely disappeared. It just tasted like a regular glass of Silk.

Buzz wise, it was pretty good but it did end up giving me a headache. (Maybe I just drank it too fast/have a low tolerance?)

All in all, I would say that if you like almond milk, you’ll definitely enjoy it, and if you need a boozy vegan creamer, I think this would work pretty well.

They don’t make small bottles of it, though, which kind of sucks, because the 750ml bottle is $33, so if you don’t end up liking it, you’ll be stuck with a lot.

Or at least, you’ll have to throw another party so you’re not stuck with it.


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Gardein Chick’N Scallopini Review

I don’t know what a ‘scallopini’ is supposed to be, honestly I think a better name would’ve been a ‘cutlet’ (like their breaded turk’y cutlets) so this review may not be the most accurate.

Call that a disclaimer or warning, whatever floats your boat, but yeah. If I miss something that has to do with it being called a scallopini I apologize in advanced.

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I want to start this review off by saying there’s only four that comes in a bag, similar to the Chick’N Burgers.

Also similar to the Chick’N Burgers and nuggets (and tenders) is the flavour of the chick’n minus the breading. They’re also similar in size to the cutlets which I like. They’re not too small or too big. They’re roughly the size of a chicken breast (I think) albeit they’re not nearly as thick as a non-vegan breast. They’re actually about the size of my palm, which is about 3in x 3in. (Yes, I did just measure that)

They’re a good texture too. They’re not too squishy like some tofu nuggets I’ve had, they have a good bite to them, and you have to put some pressure to the knife if you want to cut them.

The first way I tried one was just pan fried (no oil) and I topped it with some Daiya shreds and put it on a sandwich.

My dad even tried a piece and said he liked it!

Taste-wise there’s not really anything new – if you like their other chick’n products, you’ll probably like this too. Also, the texture is pretty much the same as all their other chicken products. It’s that firm-soft texture that uncooked meat has. (If you remember that)

I think the best way to cook these is in a pan. I think the instructions on the back say to cook them in the oven, but that just takes way too long. Why would I put them in the oven and wait 20 minutes, when I could pan fry and have them done in 10? Also, if it’s a tad under-cooked, it’s still fine, because it’s not actually raw meat, so you don’t need to worry about getting sick. (I’m not a doctor, so don’t quote me on that)

One of the things I’ve actually noticed since going vegan is that most of the premade stuff takes so much less time to cook, it’s insane! That’s definitely another bonus of these, and a lot of the other Gardein products, too.

All in all, these are pretty much their Chick’N burgers, if they were naked instead of being breaded. I like them a lot, and similar to the Chick’N Burgers, I wish they put more than 4 in one bag!


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Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs Review

These things are amazing!

I’m not entirely sure if they’re supposed to be a straight up replacement for Cheeto’s or something, but I know these are definitely worth trying/buying all the time!

The bag they come in is somewhat small, which I don’t like, but that’s pretty much the only thing I don’t like about these!

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The puffs themselves are pretty big in size, and have a great amount of cheese-y dust on them, that gives them a great flavour. It doesn’t taste like nooch to me, which is good news for all you nooch haters.

They do get pretty dusty, so make sure you have some napkins handy, because that dust gets pretty much everywhere. Also, be sure to have water, because they will dry out your mouth. But, they’re delicious, so it’s definitely an okay trade off!

They have a good crunch to them, too. Again, I’m not sure how the crunch of other puffs compare, but these have a great one-bite crunch to them. It actually kind of reminds me of the consistency/crunchiness of Corn Pops. They have an initial hard crunch, and then almost basically dissolve in your mouth.

There’s really not too much more I can say about these, other than I hope you run out and buy them, because they’re awesome!

This Vegan Rob’s company makes a few different kinds of puffs, not just these Cheddar ones, but I’ve only tried these and the beet ones, and those were…. Well, they tasted like beets, and as someone who doesn’t like beets I did not like them. (They were given to me as a gift, btw) So, I can’t personally recommend checking out their other flavours, because I haven’t yet, but I definitely recommend trying out these Cheddar Puffs, and supporting this company!


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Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders Review

These are some of the very first things from Gardein I ever tried.

I’m not gonna lie, like most of the other chick’n Gardein products, you probably already know what these taste like, so if you like those, you’ll like these.

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One thing I actually don’t like about these, is the fact they only come 10 to a bag. I know from personal experience you can fit 20 into the bag. And, while 20 did slightly overfill the bag, you could definitely put more than 10. Even 15 would be better. I really don’t understand the obsession with vegan companies not making foods in family sizes.

I don’t know about other people, but I don’t want to go shopping every week, and like to buy the biggest quantity of something I can, so I’m not constantly running out to the store for supplies. (And, in light of COVID happening, I think it’s more important than ever to buy things in bulk to limit your amount of outings)

Aside from the lack of food, these are as I said above, not very spectacular. But that’s okay! I actually really enjoy these, they’re pretty fast to make in a pan, and can be eaten by themselves as nuggets, or you can add them to other dishes, like pastas or rice.

The 7 grain breading on them is pretty good, too. While I can’t really describe it – I don’t actually taste 7 different grains, for example – but I can say it’s definitely different than the breading on the Mandarin Orange Nuggets. One thing I can tell you though, is that this breading is way more crumby than the other. It’s not really a big deal, but even after washing my hands I still feel like the crumbs are on me, so be wary of that.

As for the innerds – as I said, it tastes the same as their other faux chicken products. The texture is a bit tougher than the nuggets, though. It’s closer to the texture of the faux chick’n burgers.

Another thing I’d like to mention, I recently noticed that the Gardein bags have changed texture, they don’t feel quite so ‘plastic-y’ anymore. So I did some recon, and discovered they changed their bags to be made out of ____ which is awesome, because this means that while they still come in packaging, they’re more recyclable, and – as someone who recently started getting into the zero waste lifestyle – this is awesome! So while I try to move away from pre-packaged foods, I will still continue to support Gardein.

I feel like the Beyond Burger (and Impossible Burger and the like) are more of the flashy/Instagram-y side of veganism, trying to seem interesting and enticing – while Gardein is more like an old friend who’s always there.

If you haven’t tried their products yet, please go out and support them!


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Breyers Non-Dairy Vanilla Peanut Butter Ice Cream Review

I am very saddened to be posting this review in lieu of the annual Vegandale Festival review. Unfortunately, this year the corona virus caused all kinds of havoc and due to safety concerns, the festival was cancelled/postponed until next year.

This is the first year pretty much since I went vegan where I wasn’t able to attend the festival. Yes, I’m bummed but the show must go on, so please accept this still summer-y review of Breyers Non-Dairy Vanilla Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

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This is actually the second Breyers non-dairy ice cream I’ve tried, but I apparently didn’t post the Cookies and Crème review I did, so I’m gonna be doing this backwards. That review will come some time next year, (most likely in the summer).

This ice cream is hard for me to describe, because most of the ice creams I’ve had in my life are ‘hard’. Like, the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy line – how you have to chip away at them to get them out of the container? Like that. This ice cream however, is a lot softer, and doesn’t ‘chip’ – you can actually scoop it right out of the freezer without breaking your wrist. I would say maybe the best word to describe the consistency is ‘smooth’ and ‘softer’ than the others. (Or, dare I say… creamier?)

Another thing I like about this ice cream is how big the container is.

Seriously.

This ice cream comes in a 1,660ml container, which is over 3x the size of the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy ice creams (500ml). Also, the Breyers was $5.98 at the Real Canadian Superstore, while Ben and Jerry’s is $7.28. At other stores though, (Loblaws, Metro and Shopper’s), the Ben and Jerry’s is usually around $9.98.

So not only is it 3x the size, but it’s also cheaper.

The size alone makes this ice cream a must try for me, but the flavour itself is great, too. The ice cream is basic ‘smooth’ vanilla, and it has bits of peanut butter throughout. The peanut butter is in these sort-of-weird drizzled lines. They’re not in chunked pieces like they are in the Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter ice cream. It’s actually kind of hard to explain. It looked like they drizzled liquid peanut butter and layered it in with the ice cream, allowing the ice cream to freeze it. I’m not sure if that’s actually how they get it in there, but that’s what it looks like. The peanut butter parts of the ice cream were ‘hard’. I’m tempted to akin it to peanut brittle, but they’re not that hard. And when I say ‘hard’ I don’t mean ‘crunchy’, I mean like how ice is hard – it’s like that.

Because of this, you have to be careful when excavating the peanut butter parts out of the ice cream. Too much strength, and you risk flinging ice cream all over yourself. (I totally don’t know this from first-hand experience) Not that the hardness of the peanut butter is jarring (… no pun intended?) – it melts as soon as it hits your tongue – but it is something to watch out for. I feel like, not that they need a warning on the label, but if people were at least aware of that going in, it might up their experience.

All in all, this ice cream is definitely decent for the price and size that it is, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d definitely recommend that you do, if for no other reason than to laugh at the comparison of size.


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Chao Creamy Original Cheese Slices Review

*This post was written 20.04.15, when the corona virus lock-down was in full swing. Please excuse any references/jokes that are no longer applicable.*

We’re officially into summer now, but who says quarantine means you can’t have a barbeque? You can have your very own self-isolated BBQ party, and one of the best things? You wont’ have to worry about your vegan patty sharing the grill! (Also, anytime you randomly smell BBQ on the breeze is a good time. Sooo, if not for yourself, do it for your neighbours!)

One of the best things about a BBQ-ed burger? The cheese. But just because you’re vegan (or veg-curious), doesn’t mean you need to eat a naked burger! There are tons of vegan cheese options available, and today I’m gonna be reviewing one of the best candidates for a burger topper: Chao Creamy Original.

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Now, to be fair, I haven’t actually tested this cheese on a burger, but I did try their Tomato Cayenne cheese on one, and that was pretty good, so I imagine this one would lend itself well, too.

I personally tried this cheese on a homemade naan pizza (posted on my Instagram), and cold out of the fridge. Because if it doesn’t pass the Alone Test, is it really worth it?

I’m happy to report this cheese definitely passed! My brother even tried it, and said ‘if I didn’t know this was vegan cheese, I wouldn’t be able to tell’. (He mixed it into a scrambled egg sandwich, though)

It has a very soft consistency, even to the touch. I felt I had to be gentle with it. This cheese is made out of tofu, but doesn’t have that typical ‘tofu’ taste. Straight out of the fridge, it actually doesn’t really have much of any taste, kind of like tap water. You know it has a taste, but it’s not very distinctive. Which is great, because that means it’ll blend in to whatever you make with it, instead of it overpowering the dish. Especially on a burger, the cheese should be in the supportive role to the patty, not the other way around.

This cheese also melts pretty well.

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It doesn’t stretch like cow cheese does, but it doesn’t puddle melt either, like some other vegan cheeses. The flavour also gets more intense when it’s cooked, so if you want to really taste it, I’d definitely recommend cooking/melting it.

When it’s been melted, and then cooled off, it has a slight rubbery consistency, and the whole piece of cooled-melted cheese will slide right off whatever it’s on, so it’s definitely best to eat it when it’s still warm, but not burn-your-mouth hot.

A down side to this cheese is the price. It comes in a pack of 10 slices, which is good, but it being $9+ (both at Vegan Supply and Good Rebel), it makes it one of the more expensive cheeses. Comparatively, a 10 pack of Earth Island ( that’s Follow Your Heart, to you Americans) slices is $7.95 (at Good Rebel), or even $6.99 at Loblaws! (I checked their online store, and didn’t see a result for Chao)

I know I basically complain about this every time, but it still pisses me off! We’re supposed to be wanting more people to go vegan, right? So why are the vegan substitutes so much more expensive? I understand that perhaps they’re not as big as others, and vegans shouldn’t rely on the pre-made packaged stuff as much, but damn! How can we expect people to even begin to give it a chance with such steep prices?

A pack of 22 Kraft cheese slices is $4.49 (at Loblaws), and that’s for double the amount! And yes, I realize they probably (definitely) aren’t on the same quality line, but just… you see what I mean, right?

This cheese is pretty awesome, but many people won’t know or give it a chance because of the price, and I think that sucks! Give it the due it deserves!

I’d recommend going out and trying this cheese, if you can find it. It’s pretty good, and especially if you don’t like the overwhelming taste of Daiya, or the potato-y taste of Earth Island, you’ll definitely like this one.

And, being in self isolation is probably the best time to try new foods, just in case they don’t agree with you.


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Tofurky Italian Sausage Review

Alright, now that the terrible weather is finally gone, chances are you’ll probably find yourself at a BBQ/summer cook-out of some sort over the next few months. You’ll most likely need to either bring a faux meat with you, or tell the host which brand you’d like. I recommend telling them not to worry, and that you’re fine to bring my own, but if they’re insistent, well Tofurky is one of the easier faux meat products to find/remember the name of.

You could always make your own, but if you don’t have time for that/don’t want to turn the stove/oven on in the hot temps, well, I don’t blame you. Sometimes it’s just faster/easier to grab something from a store. That’s why having some faux options are great.

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These Italian Sausages are great. They come 4 to a pack, (which, for 5.99 [Metro] isn’t bad at all) and are a pretty good ‘average’ length. I’ve seen a few other brands where their sausages are stubbier/not as long as ‘normal’ ones, which, I don’t understand – I mean, is it really that much extra work to make them a regular size?

But anyway, they have a nice smoky, taste, especially if cooked on a BBQ, and even if you leave them a bit longer than normal in a frying pan.

They have a good bite to them, too – they don’t quite ‘explode’ like non-vegan sausages that are in a casing, but they aaalmost do. I can’t say how close to ‘real’ meat they are, since I don’t really remember, but they’re definitely good.

I think that’s a good way to go into a lot of the premade vegan foods – if you don’t think ‘this will be a perfect replica’ and think of it more as it’s own thing, I think more people would like them. The taste isn’t really comparable, but they’re definitely good. They have that kind of generic spiced tofu taste you come to be familiar with if you eat a lot of the premade foods. And they have what I believe is tomato pieces (or possibly bell pepper) pieces in them. You can see them when you bite into them. They have flecks of what I assume are basil (since, they’re ‘Italian’ flavour) in them, too, though I can’t really pick it out as a flavour.

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(The original packaging!)

They’re not too firm when they are raw – akin to a moist cake consistency – which makes cutting them sometimes a pain, as they may just squish down instead of being cut into pieces.

The sausages are also covered in a slime-y (ish) liquid. I’m not entirely sure what it is, it’s about the same consistency as oil, but it’s a red/orange-y colour. I don’t know if that has any of the flavour in it, but beware if you use them on a charcuterie board or as hors d’oeuvres. Also, if you wanted to just cut them directly on the counter, just be sure to wipe up after so it doesn’t stain.

I haven’t tried their other flavours of sausages yet, but even still, these are my favourites. They just taste very familiar… though that may be because I’m Italian.

If you haven’t tried these yet, what are you waiting for?


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Hellmans’ Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread Review

I don’t know why, but for some reason, almost no one I know in my adult life liked/grew up eating Miracle Whip. They all liked mayo. Let me tell you: mayo is straight up gross. All it does is taste like eggs. Who wants every sandwich they make to taste like eggs?

Needless to say, I was pretty hell-bent on finding a vegan alternative to Miracle Whip, and not just a vegan mayo. I even found one, that had unfortunately been discontinued. I thought I was doomed to using salad dressing for all my deli sandwiches… which is fine, but you can’t exactly put ketchup on a breaded chick’n burger. It just doesn’t taste right!

That’s why I was over the moon when I discovered Hellmans’ Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread.

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This stuff is literally an exact replica of Miracle Whip, which I’m not sure if it’s because it came from the same company, or just because Miracle Whip isn’t exactly that hard to get right, but I am so glad I discovered this!

There used to be another egg-free dressing from the No Name brand, but I hadn’t had it in a while as they ended up changing the recipe and thus it was no longer suitable. I hate when companies do that, by the way. There was no reason to change the formula!

Anyway… this stuff does everything I expect a good Miracle Whip sub to do: lends itself awesomely to cold-cut sandwiches, chicken burgers, and even makes great pasta salad!

The only thing I don’t like about this product is the name. Having to memorize exactly this title to get it to show up search results and to ask about it kinda sucks. No one knows it as ‘Hellmans Vegan Spread’, when that would’ve been a much better name. (Or, pretty much anything with ‘vegan’ in the title)

Another good thing about this product, is that it’s actually comparably priced when matched with similar items. For example, at Loblaws, the Vegan Spread is listed as $5.99 for the 710ml container – which is the exact same price as the 710ml of the Extra Creamy Mayo. (‘Regular’ mayo didn’t come in a 710ml, it was only listed as a 445ml [which was $4.79] or an 890ml which was $5.99)

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It’s so awesome to see it’s not $8 or even $10 for this product, unlike most other vegan subs that are out there. And I understand, Hellmans may be able to give us a lower price because they aren’t just selling vegan products (which is a smaller market), but it saddens me whenever I see vegan products listed well above the ‘regular’ items next to it – how can we expect more people to try going vegan when all the subs are priced so much more expensively? And again, I understand the basis of a (good) vegan diet shouldn’t be these subs, but still.

The taste of this product is very similar to what I remember Miracle Whip being. It’s light, tangy, and perhaps most importantly: doesn’t taste like eggs!

It was a breath of fresh air after forcing myself to eat Veganaise. I’m definitely a fan, and would like to personally thank Hellmans for making such an amazing vegan substitute! (And beg them to please never, ever discontinue this product)


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Subways’ Beyond Meatball Marinara Sandwich Review

I got to try this sandwich back in February (it was actually during my birthday week) and I’m glad to say I loved it!

I had to do some other shopping before I was able to sit down and eat it, so the sandwich was a bit smushed when I finally got home and was ready to dig in. (This is also why I’m using the official picture)

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First thing I want to say, was while I was ordering, I wasn’t too excited to try it. The Subway I went to was pretty small and busy (I inadvertently went there around the lunch rush) so I felt very rushed.

Unlike when I tried the Beyond Burger at A&W, it was slower and I was able to ask some questions before completing the order. I had asked an employee specifically about their marinara, and while he didn’t seem sure, I was able to check the website when I got home, and am happy to report the marinara is vegan!

I told them to hold the cheese (obviously), and then for veggies, I got: lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, green peppers and tomatoes. I had some Daiya Smoked Gouda at home that I added as well.

The sandwich itself was pretty substantial. I got a footlong, and I’m happy to report they gave me 9 meatballs. (5 on one half, and 4 on the other) I’m not sure how many were ‘supposed’ to be placed in there, but the worker didn’t count them out either. He just took a scoop of the meatballs (covered in marinara sauce) and rolled them out onto the bread.

Honestly, when he did that, it looked kind of gross. Just splatted on the bread… But I’m glad my first impression was wrong because it was actually pretty good!

Aside from the mess, the taste was good. The Beyond Meatballs tasted similar to the A&W Beyond Meat Burger, (which didn’t surprise me because it’s the same company) and they weren’t too big or too small either. They’re about the size of a loonie, which I think is a good meatball size. I believe they’re the same size as the Gardein Meatballs, too. I’m glad they weren’t too small, like almost every other pre-packaged vegan food is. They had what I’m going to call the ‘typical’ Beyond Meat taste.

A friend tried one of the meatballs and they said ‘you could fool a meat-eater with that. Seriously.’ I personally can tell it’s not real meat, but maybe that’s because I don’t eat it anymore? My palate is now fine-tuned to veggies!

The marinara sauce was a little on the herb-y side, and it kind of reminded me of the Roads’ End Savoury Herb gravy. Y’know how some herb-y heavy sauces have that ‘light’ taste? It was like that. They also put way too much sauce on my sandwich, it leaked out all over the plate. But that’s the risk you take when getting a meatball marinara, I guess.

I’d definitely recommend adding your own vegan cheese to it, as the Daiya cheeses’ smoke-y flavour lent itself well to the over-all taste. I’d definitely get this again, but I wouldn’t put cucumbers on it. It’s not that it was bad, but it was definitely one of my least favourite parts.

The sandwich itself was $11-something, and the combo with drinks and chips I got it for $16. That’s actually a pretty good price for a vegan sandwich. Especially because of how filling it is – not in that I’m-so-full-I-can’t-move-and-feel-gross way, but in a highly satisfied way. It’s pretty bang for your buck, if you ask me.

If you want something non-saucy, the website and posters do say there is a non-marinara meatball version, though I didn’t see it out in the trays. (Though this might have been more because I was rushed and am too short to see over the counter)

So the Beyond Meatball Marinara, have you tried it? What’d you think? Let me know in the comments below!


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Que Pasa Nacho Chips Review

I first discovered these chips in April last year, thanks to Eamon and Bec and HotforFoods’ Youtube channels. (I recommend checking out these guys, btw, they’re both awesome!) They each had videos that were only a few days apart featuring this snack, so I took it as a sign that I should try them.

And boy, am I glad that I did. They are awesome!

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They’re like vegan nacho Doritos. Or at least, they’re what I imagine nacho Doritos taste like, as I’ve never had them myself. The only kinds of Doritos I’ve had are the Sweet Chili Heat and Ketchup ones. Those two are great flavours as well, but I’m always down for discovering a new vegan snack.

They’re smaller in size to Doritos, though they’re still the classic tortilla chip shape. They’re pretty cheese-y as well, and not in a nooch-y way. I’m not sure what they use for the vegan nacho flavour, but it’s really good. It actually tastes a bit similar to the Skinny Pop White Cheddar popcorn. (Which I also recommend)

Now, these chips do have a bit of a kick to them, so if you’re sensitive to spicy food, or can’t handle spicy food, I recommend not eating the whole bag at once. (Trust me, it does not make for a happy stomach) The fact that they’re spicy is one of the only bad things about them. If they were not spicy cheese-y chips I’d definitely get them more often.

Another bad thing about them? I can barely find them anywhere!

I was able to find them at No Frills when I posted the pic to Instagram, but since then? I haven’t been able to find them.

Seriously, I don’t know if they’re getting discontinued, or if other vegans are just beating me to the punch, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on them since.

The size of the bag is another thing I don’t really like. They are similar in size to Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs. That kind of bigger-than-single-size-but-not-big-enough-for-family-size bag that I hate. Either make them small enough for one person, or as big as regular chip bags! (Preferably the latter)

It sucks that they’re so hard to find though, because they’re one of the best vegan snacks I’ve tried.

…. Maybe they’re just hating on Canadians?

I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: You find them in a store? You buy 3 bags.

Do you know of a store that has a secret stash of these chips? Let me know in the comments below!


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