Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Word "Vegan" Appears on New Jalapeño Pop Chips

Two things.

Thing #1
I've been eating a lot of Popchips since I discovered them about a year ago.  For those of you who don't know, they're a relatively low-calorie baked potato snack food.  They're like a cross between Pringles potato chips and rice cakes.  They come in many flavors, three of which list no animal ingredients on their packages: Original, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Salt & Pepper.  So I have always assumed that those flavors were vegan, and I have eaten copious amounts thereof.  I suppose I shouled have e-mailed them for re-assurance, but now, I don't have to! It seems that Popchips have begun using the word "vegan" in the nutritional information of eligible products.

Thing #2
Popchips have released a new flavor,  Jalapeño Potato.  (Yes, I think that "potato" is redundant.)  I was initially thrilled to see them at my corner store, but assumed that any flavor that radical would be needlessly tainted by whey or milk or lactose, as is common among snack foods.  So I grabbed a bag for the habitual ingredients scan and that's when I saw the word "vegan."  Amazing.  But not as amazing as what they taste like.  I'll just repeat what my friend Robin said when she had a fistful: "That's the best flavor of any food ever."

Interestingly, this flavor does not yet appear on their Web site.  They could be testing regional markets, or they could have a lazy Web team.  Here's hoping they're indeed a permanent addition to their product line.

Monday, September 27, 2010

VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, OR

I'm wrapping up my fourth and final day in Portland, Oregon.  This city is a vegan paradise. Did you know that vegan cupcake and cookie trees line the streets?  You just lean over as you pass by them on your Municipal Unicorn, and pluck the sweets of your choice from eagerly generous branches.

I've eaten so much good vegan food I can't keep track of it all. If I were a serious blogger, I would have had a panic attack trying to document all of the superlative vegan experiences I've had in such a short span of time.  So I only focused on a couple, one of which is VooDoo Doughnuts.

There are two locations in Portland.  The original location downtown, and the predictably named VooDoo Doughnuts Too! across the river, to the east.  My companions (renowned and prolific vegan bloggers Isa, Amy, and John) and I visited the latter location, which looks like a reclaimed pancake house sporting an Appalachian living room out front.

Beside the order counter is a dessert carrousel displaying all of the day's available doughnuts.  Everything on the top shelf is vegan, and there's a lot of stuff on the top shelf.  I ordered the Grape Ape, mostly for aesthetic reasons.  Something about that purple, crystalized frosting called to me, drowning out Isa's criticism of my taste.

It was tangy. Appropriately so, as I learned later from Amy that it's sprinkled with grape Tang crystals.  It was like eating grape candy on a doughnut, an experience which partially validated Isa's warnings. But the fluffy magical doughnut foundation was excellent, sound enough to support even the most audacious of frosting abominations.
John, Isa, and Amy look on with varying degrees of credulity.

While this is an excellent doughnut, and its deliciousness is fresh in my palate's memory, I'm not sure if it ousts the Vegan Bake Sale Doughnut I had a few months ago.  I'll have to find another one of those quickly to make the final decision.