Since I, like all other first-year students, was conned into buying a meal plan and dining dollars [okay, I've never understood why people want a meal plan with "all dining dollars". That's what PennCash is for! But for printing and buying non-food items too!], I decided I might as well spend my dining dollars on food that I can review...so I bought all five flavours of Pirate brand puffs and figured it'd be great to review them all. Judging by the first flavour I've ever tried, the white cheddar one, I had excheesingly high expectations.
I was wrong. I forgot to take a picture of the Barbecue flavoured one, so that's why it's pictured above. I would like to say that it does give a rather sweet barbecue aftertaste, and it is rather tangy, but the seasoning is erratically mixed into the puffs. There were some puffs that were absolutely bland, wheras others were 200% seasoning [which was nice. The whole package should just have a ton more seasoning dumped in!]. There was a nice umami taste, even though the sweet taste was more prevalent.
I also forgot to take a picture of the sour cream and onion flavour, but no matter; it was a boring one anyway.
Veggie. Tastes like super-mild kelp. Super-mild. No hint of parsley, even though it was stated on the package. No hint of anything, whatsoever. Have you ever wondered what a corn puff tastes like without salt and flavouring? Well, you have it right here. I know it looks really pretty and earthy, but I guarantee it tastes bland.
Okay, this one tastes a bit more flavourful than the Veggie one; there IS a hint of onion, but if you're expecting something like the Frito-Lay sour cream and onion-ness, you will be highly disappointed. Again, this is a rather bland flavour and actually tastes kind of sweet rather than savoury.
Now THIS! is the best flavour, by far. It is extremely cheese-flavoured, melts in your mouth [literally], sticks to your teeth with cheesiness, and crunches satisfyingly between your teeth. They are all rod-shaped. They are salty [but not too salty], tangy, and will most likely not make you smart.
This was another disappointment, because I was expecting something like Calbee's pizza flavoured potato chip that is so popular in Hong Kong. This flavour...was a tad sour ["tomato"], a tad sweet [?!], and a tad bland. There was nothing that made it taste like pizza. It was just a crunchy puff with a sweet aftertaste. There was nothing pizza-y: no cheese, no vegetable chunks, no dough, no crusty parts, no mushrooms... nothing.
This is the second best flavour, since the seasoning actually is spread out well, and there are no bland pieces. This is distinct from the Wisconsin Cheddar flavour because it is more sour and tangy, and it's softer in texture and more soluble [yes. More soluble.]. Therefore, it sounds quieter when you, with your saliva encrusted teeth, chew on it. I imagine myself chewing those styrofoam packing peanuts when I eat these, whereas the Wisconsin Cheddar flavour reminds me more of chewing sponge toffee. Fortunately and unfortunately, respectively, I have not done those tasks. So, depending on the texture/tangyness, take your pick. I decided to use the word "respectively" because I wrote a lab report and included it a few times. I haven't been updating much because I've been really busy with schoolwork. I have another exam on Wednesday!
In summary: buy the White Cheddar flavour and the Wisconsin Cheddar flavour, because, well, they actually have a FLAVOUR. Try out the Barbecue if you're in for some sweet, albeit, unevenly-distributed seasoning. Ignore the other 3 flavours because they are just a marketing gimmick [like my meal plan!].