My parents were introduced to Uncle Rays, somewhat ironically through my uncle Rick (get it? Uncle Ray/Uncle Rick? Eh? Get it?). Visiting family-in-law in Detroit, he got a potato chip that, according to my parental units, was so hot he couldn't eat them. My parents were given some to try, and they said they were quite spicy. Well, they found the brand at a surplus store in Southwestern Ontario and they picked up two kinds for me. One was the Hot, the other Jalapeno (still haven't opened that bag yet). On a quick side note, Uncle Ray's has been invading Ontario in a number of stores these days.
Uncle Ray's is a brand out of Detroit Michigan. I like Detroit because it also gave us the brand of cola Faygo, a favourite of my high school crew back in the day.
From Uncle Ray's Website:
"Uncle Ray started in business in 1965 out of the back seat of his 1961 Dodge Dart. A self made man who never went to college, Ray made and sold chip dips, popcorn and shrimp cocktail sauce to local bars and store in the Detroit area. In the early hours of the morning, Ray would be busy making his concoctions in his small apartment kitchen - and during the day, he would be out on the road selling his product."
But Ray wasn't just out founding potato chip companies. He had some skeleton's in his closet he had to confess to:
Interesting that a potato chip maker would encourage self-control. Lay's potato chips slogan is "Bet you can't eat just one!" - what a difference.
I looked at the ingredients to see what kind of heat I might be dealing with. It's not until the middle that we come across 'paprika', which is not spicy. Then we get to 'spices' and 'spice extractives' - what the heck are they? What spices are we talking about? At least the natural smoke flavour is real . . .
I opened the bag, and half way down laid the red speckled chips. The smell was . . . red peppery. So how hot were these going to be?
They look pretty spicy sitting in that bowl, in front of that bag with flames on them, don't they? All 150g of them all.
The size of chip overall was average to your big brand names. The above chip is one of the big ones. The spicy seasoning is pretty evenly distributed across both sides of the chip. Some brands will have just a faint sprinkling, but Ray's seems to believe in going bold.
The chips themselves are not of what I would consider a high quality. Like that of a no name brand. Yes they are crisp when you bite into them, but too light, like they skimped on the potato.
The heat of the wings does hit you pretty quick. Bold spicy is a fairly accurate description. The sting is there for a moment, and there is a bit of a heat after taste. It is a peppery heat, so if you are a chili head, you might get a cough in the back of the throat, but that's about it. But the more chips you eat at once will increase the heat level in one's mouth.
Now when describing the flavour, think of your average BBQ chip. That's what these chips are, intense BBQ chips.
FINAL VERDICT: Well, they are not the hottest chips out there, but for the average person, they will pack a punch. The chip itself isn't the best, and I think I would only eat them for the burn. More novelty than delicious, I dare those of you who order mild wings to try these out.
Uncle Ray's HOT potato chips