I ate spectacularly well during my last trip to New Orleans, but how could I not? Fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House. A muffaletta at Central Grocery and Cochon Butcher. A soft shell crab Po' Boy at Parasol's. And, if I'm being completely honest, I need to include a bag of Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips. How could a simple bag of chips be so good? Well, I'm not completely sure. All I can say is that my wife and I finished an entire bag of the chips after we'd already eaten an incredible dinner at Sylvain.
Zapp's is kind of vague about the exact flavors, only mentioning on its website that the flavor was the "result of an accident," when "an employee was moving a pallet of spices off the top shelf, and dropped it." Fortunately, Kenji also fell under the Voodoo spell, and I think his description is spot on:
It starts off with the vinegary nose of a salt and vinegar chip before settling down with the smoky sweetness of sweet barbecue sauce. There's a sharp, fresh, jalapeño-like finish, and perhaps a touch of that Old Bay aroma that lingers after you've made it about halfway through the bag.
Sounds great, right? But what does this have to do with eating in Chicago? Well, I've been trying to track down a bag of the chips since I returned, which I thought would be easy because Zapp's chips are sold at every Potbelly in town. But the couple I checked had never heard of the Voodoo flavor, and I eventually gave up the search. That is, until I was waiting for my food the other day at Bon Bon Sandwiches, only to look over and see Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips staring back at me. Now, why the Vietnamese cafe was stocking the chips is beyond me, but who really cares? Go check them out.
Oh, and if anyone else knows where to find the flavor, please let me know!
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.