01 October 2012

Product Review: Plentils by Enjoy Life Foods

After I reviewed Enjoy Life’s Chocolate for Baking a couple of months ago, their PR department wrote and asked me to review their latest release: a snack chip called Plentils.

I agreed immediately since I love chips and love their chocolate. Soon I received 4 bags in the mail, one of each flavor. The bags promised crispy chips made from lentils. Excellent concept.

But at first I was miffed because two of the four flavors contained lactic acid, which I have always associated with milk and milk by-products. I thought that they’d forgotten I was vegan and had just randomly sent all the flavors. So I emailed them immediately. Alina in marketing assured me that the lactic acid they use comes from sugar. Since I’d never heard of this, I asked her to explain how that was done. I also wanted to know the purpose of adding it in the first place.

After checking with Quality Assurance, she sent this reply “Lactic acid is produced as natural L-Lactic acid, created via the fermentation of sugars, and can be found in many dairy-free and/or vegan foods. Most commercially used lactic acid is fermented from carbohydrates, such as cornstarch, potatoes or molasses, and thus dairy-free. It is used for preservation, acidification and flavor enhancement.” Interesting. But more importantly, I could try the chips!

I opened the Garlic and Parmesan flavor first. Now, if you ever ate Bugles before you went vegan, you’ll understand the weird déjà vu moment I had when took the first bite. And while I was thinking about Bugles, Walt said, “Remember those yellow horn shaped things that came in a box?” Yeah, weird. Bugles are such a distinct flavor that, even though I had only eaten them once or twice as a kid, I remembered the flavor. A minute later these thoughts were followed by the realization that I hadn’t for a moment stopped eating them. Plentils are addictive to say the least.

Normally, for a review, I would have opened and tasted all four bags at once, but from the first bite, it was evident that if I did that, Walt and I would be eating four bags of Plentils for dinner. Not that I’m against such a meal in theory, but all that salt promised severe bloating the next day, followed by me smacking myself in the forehead repeatedly and saying “What was I thinking?!” So, over the next couple of days, we tried the Dill and Sour Cream, Light Sea Salt, and Margherita Pizza flavors. All were delicious but the favorite at this house is the Margherita Pizza.

Sadly, I accidently left one of the bags partly open and it went stale. One of the greatest features of Plentils is that they are super crunchy. Very VERY crunchy! I love that in a chip. Spongy or limp chips beg the question “What’s the point?” So once my sad little bag got stale, the crunch factor was gone and they went into a baggie for snacks for the bird. The great news is she loves them too!

Plentils can be found on the Enjoy Life Foods website and at many supermarkets and health food stores across the country, including many Super Targets and Whole Foods.

Fianna MacGregor | Blog | Blog | Twitter | Email New York City Fianna has been vegan for 36 years. She is currently working on a second M.A. in Human Rights from NYU. When she isn’t veganizing every cookbook she can get her hands on, she’s working her urban farm in New York City. She also writes extensively on veganism, running and green living. Her newest project is to trace everything she buys to find out if it’s cruelty-free (both animal and human) and eco-friendly. Fianna and her fiancé are animal rescuers of dogs, cats and birds.

Photo credit: Enjoy Life Disclaimer: Samples were provided by the Enjoy Life Foods for review