I have a weakness for greasy potato chips. I’m well aware that they are one of the worst foods to eat, being high in calories and fat without being very filling. My will power simply isn’t strong enough to avoid them most of the time. In an effort to balance my desire for taste with my concern for staying healthy, I’ve sought after a healthier alternative to the deep fried potato crisps. The staff at FBWorld is aware of my personal predicament. Thus, I was selected to write about the samples of Pirate Brand snacks we received.

There are four snacking options these pirate people have to offer: their Pirate’s Booty, which are puffed rice and corn; their Potato Flyers, which are baked potato chips; their Smart Puffs, which are puffed cornmeal; and their Original Tings, which are crunchy corn sticks. Earlier this week, I sat down with a few other staff members to taste through the selections.

Pirate’s Booty: When they say puffed rice and corn, they really mean it. These are very light, almost fluffy morsels. Out of the six flavor varieties, the white cheddar were the unanimous favorite. The light crunch and subtle cheddar flavor were a nice combination. The Barbeque, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and New York Pizza flavors were all alright, but did not have the same balance between texture and flavor that the cheddar puffs did. As for the Sour Cream & Onion, along with the Veggie, our tasters weren’t big fans. Neither one’s flavor hit the mark nor did the flavoring couple well with the light fluffy texture of the puffs.

Smart Puffs: All our tasters thoroughly enjoyed these. Slightly crisper than the Pirate’s Booty snacks and seasoned with Wisconsin cheddar, the robust flavor of the cheese matched well with the crunchier texture. After the official tasting concluded, all of us grabbed a handful of these to return to our desks with.

Potato Flyers: Of the three varieties offered, we enjoyed the Salt and Vinegar the most. The crunchy texture and light zip of vinegar meshed quite well. Our second favorite was the original chips. Their light salt and garlic seasoning was a good combo, but we found it to be a bit understated. All of us agreed that adding some dip for flavor would be a good move, as long as you’re willing to sacrifice the notion of being healthy. The Barbequed chips tasted alright, but all of us agreed, we preferred the flavor of Lays Baked chips, especially since they are comparable in calories and fat.

Original Tings: These crunchy corn sticks aren’t made with any cheese, yet they reminded us of cheetos. Since they only have one gram of fat per serving, the corn sticks get a plus in that column. The fact that they are quite tasty makes it harder to cut back on the calories, though, since it’s tough to stop munching. If you have more will power than I do, I’d recommend trying a bag.

By Michael Perkins