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Jones Barbecue Potato Stix (Big Lots)

I was out looking for a cheap snack at Big Lots, and saw a bag of flavored potato sticks for a dollar. I am a huge fan of Aldi’s Deutsche Kuche branded potato sticks, which proved to me that they can have flavor and not be boring, so I was actually looking forward to enjoying a more standard chip flavor, ported over to the little sticks.

There’s a lot of seasoning throughout the bag, which also happens to be its biggest fault: These things are WAY too salty. To the extent that a mere 1 oz. serving (in a 4.5 oz. bag) is 20% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Now, of course, you have to factor in that an ounce of potato sticks go much farther than an ounce of, say, potato chips (where a couple of chips would basically be a serving), but that’s still a lot within a relatively small serving size.

The flipside to this is that the overly sodiumized taste is also a plus: They were so salty, I couldn’t even eat more than an ounce if I really wanted to. There is a barbecue flavor in there somewhere, because you can taste it in the background, but the rest is just so overwhelming that going through a bag of these just simply isn’t enjoyable. But I’m a weirdo, and sometimes simply just want something to shove in my mouth at infrequent intervals while, say, watching a movie, and so these weren’t as repulsive to me as they probably should have been.

At the same time, however, they simply aren’t very good. A quick scan of the ingredients list reveals a barbecue seasoning that’s great on paper (complete with sugar, paprika, and onion and garlic powders), and if they would cut back a bit on the salt (listed fairly high on the list as both an ingredient in the potato sticks themselves, and again pretty high as an ingredient in the barbecue seasoning), I could see these being a tasty little snack.

But just a small handful makes me feel like I’m going to succumb to high blood pressure at any moment, and that’s not usually a positive trait in any food. If you’re in the mood for a decent, budget-friendly snack, and have a ridiculously high tolerance for sodium, these could fit the bill. But if you require some actual flavor in it, too, then keep on looking.

Overall: 4.5/10. Overly, overly salty. As in, that’s just about all you can taste, with some slight barbecue flavor sneaking up, briefly, in the background. Still, the $1 asking price (for a 4.5 oz. bag) makes them more attractive than they should be, and they do make perfect little snacks for the monthly occasions when I crave something with a little bit of crunch. On the upside, the extreme saltiness also forces me to put them away after only a couple small handfuls. Even with these pluses, it will be a long time before I get these again, if I ever do.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Mike

    The problem with potato sticks, they are usually hit or miss flavor-wise. There's usually something about them where all the flavor seasoning ends up at the bottom of the container instead of on the product itself. I've never tried the Deutsche Kuche brand from Aldi but I actually like a lot of the selections from that line so I'll have to keep an eye out for them next time I'm there. As for snack items at Big Lots, I find they're a good place to start to look for inexpensive snacks-some discontinued however.

  2. atom

    Yeah, the fact many are discontinued is the biggest problem…hell, even Big Lots own brand (Fresh Finds) seem to be inconsistently stocked, at least at my local store. That's a shame, because their chips are actually pretty good (review forthcoming).

    But I still shop there, because of the reason you stated: it's cheap. Also love going there for energy drinks, which are overpriced at supermarkets (like everything else), but can be consistently had for under $1.

  3. Unknown

    I really like the Sour Cream & Onion ones. I was buying them from the Big Lots near mty house. I havent seen them there latley though. I sincerly hope that they werent discontinued:(

  4. atom

    I could swear I saw them at my local one not too long ago, but I'll have to see the next time I go. That's the downside with Big Lots…you never know what's part of their permanent inventory, and what's just a "closeout".

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