Taste Test: The Ruffles Ultimate Line, Which You Must Never Eat, EverS

Do not eat the Ruffles Ultimate chips and dips. Do not eat them. Don't ever eat them. Ever. They are awful, disgusting, hateful garbage; if they were a prank, no sane person in full possession of his or her faculties would ever fall for them. Don't eat them. Never eat them. Not ever. Never. Eat them not. Be not an eater of them.

This shit is not food. By this I do not mean this ain't how they made food back in my day—I am not saying that, for example, Ruffles Ultimate Beef N Cheese dip is not food in the way that your crotchety great-uncle with the immaculate blue military ballcap permaglued to his Silver Fox hair insists to all within earshot that rap (more like crap!) isn't music, because it is different from what he knows and as a white man of a certain age he feels this entitles him to define it for everyone else who ever lived—but rather that by my generally very generous understanding, food is that which by its consumption provides chemical energy for the performance of certain vital life-functions, whereas this Ruffles Ultimate bullshit not only hastens you toward the yawning grave but does things to your digestion and mood and overall sense of well-being that make you yearn for your eventual death. It is anti-life. It is life-repellant. If your life were a little guy who lived in your chest and if you for some reason were to ingest Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon dip on a Ruffles Ultimate Sweet & Smokin' BBQ chip, he would pack up his tiny little possessions in a tiny little suitcase and he would punch his way out of your fucking sternum and go in search of an entirely different body to inhabit. He would give your dead body two tiny little middle fingers as he departed. You would deserve it.

Food is sustenance. It is nutritive. Ruffles Ultimate is to food what chewing gum is to food: not. Not food. Un-food.

How did these bad, bad, bad, bad things come into being? You picture some Frito-Lay marketing twerp cruising Twitter on his phone in a cab in the wee hours, follicle-deep into the twitching mania of some sleazy designer drug binge, and stumbling across fucking @DadBoner and being too fucking waxed to realize it's not only a pretend guy, but one pretend guy and not an entire goddamn market cross-section of guys. Fucking forty-something guys in American flag cutoff tees and mirrored wraparound shades ordering boneless wings with their pizza so they can use the pizza slices as sandwich bread in which to encase the boneless wings and dipping the whole vile sandwich in ranch and honey mustard dip and washing it down with Lime-A-Ritas as they watch greased-up MMA dipshits wail on each other. These people are not real. They cannot—must not—be real. Who the fuck wants "Beef N Cheese" dip? Who the fuck goes out into the night in search of a safety-cone-orange chip dip with perfectly cubic hunks of rubbery fake meat suspended in it? Anyone? Anyone? Because I've still fucking got some. I've still fucking got some, and it's in the trash but what the fuck difference does that make because it was trash to begin with and will always be trash and there is trash in my digestive system and I want to die.

Still not convinced? Still thinking you might like to friggin' ride the lightning with some Ruffles Ultimate shit? It'll be ironic! you're thinking: We'll dress like truckers and have a Ruffles Ultimate party and watch fucking Honey Boo-Boo or whatever the fuck and we'll take cutesy Instagram pictures of ourselves holding Ruffles Ultimate chips with Ruffles Ultimate dip on them and we'll post them online and make fetish objects of the worst stereotypes of provincial red-state 'Murricans! Fine. Let's break it down.


Ruffles Ultimate Tangy Honey Mustard Chips: These do not taste like mustard. They also do not taste like honey. They taste like sugar and vinegar. They are the color of Big Bird's asshole and taste like sugar and vinegar and are cloying and gross. The bag promises "HARDERCORE RIDGES FOR HARDCORE DIPS" with arrows connecting this stupid chip with a jar of Ruffles Ultimate dip, as though what you are looking for in your chips and dip is hardcoreness (or hardercoreness, for chrissakes), as opposed to, say, a snack food for your cookout that happens not to taste like being barfed on by Satan. The bag for the Tangy Honey Mustard variety of Ruffles Ultimate chips suggests pairing them with the "Barbeque"-flavored variety of dip; my local store happened to be out of that variety, but, like, oh no, I had the wrong flavor-pairing of Ruffles Ultimate chips and dip, frankly, isn't the lingering discomfort I've taken away from the experience. It's more, oh God, I just ate garbage and now have eaten garbage and am now a garbage eater. Thanks for the suggestion, Ruffles Ultimate Sommelier, but I think we both know that the appropriate pairing for my Ruffles Ultimate Tangy Honey Mustard chips is the toilet.

Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon Dip: This shit is white. It's not my business to tell a bacon-flavored dip what color it should be, but in the great rainbow of colors available for a bacon-flavored dip, white seems like a poor choice. Especially white with flecks of green and brown in it. It looks like congealed bacon grease, which is not something I would ever want to penetrate with a chip unless the congealed bacon grease came to life and was oozing across a countertop to try to eat my face and I happened not to have anything handy to fend it off with except for some chips. In which case, I certainly would like to think I'd have the restraint not to eat the chips with which I'd just stabbed the vivified bacon grease that had just now been hunting my face. I'm not ruling out the possibility that Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon Dip would come to life and ooze across the countertop to feast upon my face, but if that is its plan, even if that is its plan, it could have disguised itself better.

It doesn't taste like bacon. It is weirdly and unidentifiably and unpleasantly tangy; just you try to eat some of it without reflexively checking the jar to make sure its sell-by date didn't lapse during the Bush administration. There is nothing remotely pleasant about Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon Dip, except for the relief you feel when you return it to the garbage.

Ruffles Ultimate Beef N Cheese Dip: The back of the jar of this stuff instructs you to heat it in a microwave-safe container, presumably so that it can more faithfully replicate the familiar experience of eating real, freshly cooked, homemade cubes of pulverized cow sphincter suspended in gloopy Velveeta. What the fuck is "beef 'n' cheese"? Why does it have to be a dip? "Well, jeez, I really like cheese dip, but tonight I'm definitely in the mood for something with unsightly brown wads of chewy mystery meat floating in it—if only there were a product out there that combined the two!" said no one who ever fucking lived, shaking his non-existent fists at the sky in the Dimension of Utter Chaos. You scoop this heinous orange goo into a bowl, you nuke it for a minute, and then you sort of idly spoon it around a little bit, watching the brown meat-cubes appear through the orange murk and then roll out of sight again; you can't help but picture, as you do this, some put-upon supervisor in a Frito-Lay factory somewhere rounding a corner to find his hulking man-child brother gleefully using his entire naked, hairy leg to stir a can of Alpo dog food into a vat of what was supposed to be packaged as Tostitos-branded queso dip, and just fucking shrugging his shoulders and moving on with his shitty day, because who gives a shit anyway.

Appetizing as that image most assuredly is, don't eat Ruffles Ultimate Beef N Cheese Dip. It does not taste like cheese. It does not taste like beef. It tastes like being very sad all the time.

Ruffles Ultimate Sweet & Smokin' BBQ Chips: These actually taste kind of not bad. GARBAGE THEY ARE GARBAGE I TELL YOU.


Look. Don't eat Ruffles Ultimate chips and dips. Don't eat them. If you eat them despite the warnings you have received here today, then I am just a guy who went to the store and bought some Ruffles Ultimate chips and dips and took them home and ate them—rather than the brave explorer whose venture into the unknown served to warn the populace away from certain doom (or at least one hell of a case of the trots)—and frankly, I don't think I can live with knowing that about myself. Don't eat these things. Do not eat them. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Never eat them. Never never never. No no no no no.

The Foodspin archive: Chicken thighs | Popeye's biscuits | Salad | Candy corn Oreos | Chili |Red Bull Total Zero | French toast | Sriracha | Halloween candy | Emergency food | Nachos |Meatloaf | Thanksgiving side dishes | MacGyver Thanksgiving | Eating strategies | Leftovers | Mac and cheese | Weird Santa candies | Pot roast | Bean dip | Shrimp linguine | Go-Gurt |Chicken soup | Lobster tails | Pulled pork | Pasta with anchovies | Sausage and peppers | Bacon, eggs, and toast | Indoor steak | Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos | Chicken breasts | Baked Ziti | Quiche | Pimento cheese sandwich | Potato salad | Popeyes Rip'n Chick'n | Crab cakes | Mother's Day brunch | Cheeseburgers | Uncrustables | Peach cobbler | Alfredo sauce | Kebabs | Soft-shell crabs

Albert Burneko is an eating enthusiast and father of two. His work can be found destroying everything of value in his crumbling home. Peevishly correct his foolishness at albertburneko@gmail.com. You can find lots more Foodspin at foodspin.deadspin.com.

Image by Jim Cooke.