Testing 1, 2, 3: Barnana's Acapulco Lime Plantain Chips fall flat with panel

As a rule, I have heroic self control when snacking on pretzels, popcorn or peanuts.

With potato chips, it’s totally different.  That’s why I only eat them with groups when fear of embarrassing myself keeps me from overindulging.

And that is why I never ever stock them at home where I am accountable only to myself.

So, when I spied Barnana’s Acapulco Lime Plantain Chips, I was intrigued. The package boasted healthy buzzwords like no sugar, gluten-free, paleo friendly, non-GMO and organic. Why not give them a try?

Better yet, why not get my taste testers in on the trial.

That’s how I came to be at Wooster’s L.C Boles golf course just in time to snag three golfers before their 5:30 league hit the links.

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Cami Bohrer
Cami Bohrer

Tasters' sniff test detects too much oil in plantain chips

David Barnett, Scott Friedhoff and James Ratleff gave the plantain chip packaging high marks.  Barnett went for the tropical orange and lime colors, Friedhoff found it clever and creative as did Ratleff, though Ratleff did think the monkey swinging from the letter “n” was a bit much.

Upon opening the package, the guys gave the contents a serious inhale.  Oily, oily, oily appeared on each of their reviews.


Not one of the guys were eager to continue the tasting based on aroma.  Being good sports, they agreed to give the chips a second chance.

The crunch factor, highly touted in promotional blurbs, wasn’t up to Barnett’s and Ratleff’s hopes, though Friedhoff found the plantain chip texture appealing.

“The crunch is nice," he said. "I like the full, thick feel unlike light chips.”

As an aside, these chips, by their plantain nature, are destined for density.  Though similar to bananas, the plantain differs in several ways.  It is larger and starchier and is best cooked before eaten. The plantain is also slightly higher in calories and carbs than bananas, and that count climbs when cooked.

Back to our test panel.  Would they buy these chips at $2.98 for a 5-ounce bag?

No! No! No!

Not much of a surprise coming from Barnett who declares himself a “potato chip” man, through and through.

Ratleff found the taste “green and stale.”

Friedhoff did say he would consider buying them if he saw a nutritional advantage. “But I see no health benefits,” he said.

On that topic, an article by PlantBasedFAQs, reads, “As it turns out, plantain chips vs. potato chips are a matchup too close to call. The nutritional disparity between the two is negligible, and in the end, they are both processed snack foods that should be consumed in moderation.”

There went my hopes for a super-healthy chip. Since I wasn’t crazy about the plantain chip texture, I won’t put them in my pantry. As for flavor, I was extremely disappointed in the insignificant lime aspect, as were my gentlemen testers.

But, what would a young person think of the plantain chips?

As I reviewed these evaluations, I realized that all three testers as well as myself are definitely on the mature side of adulthood. What would a young person think?

My 14-year-old grandson Gavin just happened to be visiting, so I sat him down with a plantain chip sampling and evaluation form. He came up with a 7 out of 10 positive rating.

“I like these because they have more salt than regular potato chips,” he said. As for buying a bag himself, his answer was an unmistakable “no.” He informed me that every penny he gets goes toward Xbox gaming, not food!

For today’s quote, I paraphrased English socialite and fashion designer Daphne Guinness’ thoughts.

“Life is full of banana (plantain) skins. You slip, you carry on.”

Would you and a couple of friends like to attain fame (no fortune) as a taste tester for this column? Email camboh49@gmail.com

This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Taste test: Barnana's plantain chips a whiff with panel of golfers