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Backlog Bistro | Illegal Chips

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Snacks, they make the world go round don’t they? Well, maybe not but they definitely make the world a better place! One thing I can say with complete certainty however, is that a snack-less world is not one I want to be a part of, that’s for sure! 

We are big fans of all things Good Mythical Morning here in the Backlog Odyssey household. And if you aren’t starting your day off with a little slice of Rhett and Link or especially Josh in this case, we heartily recommend you rethink your morning routine! Or your afternoon or evening routine, you do you but put more GMM in it! So, naturally once the announcement hit the internet-verse that Mythical Chef Josh was releasing a limited lineup of chip flavors there was no doubt that we needed to procure each of these undoubtedly odd taste sensations and maybe even talk a little about them while we’re at it. So, hang on tight to that weird, mismatched plastic bowl you always put your snacks in and get ready to take a walk on the wrong side of the law with Illegal chips.

Before we start let me assure you that although these chips have some wild sounding flavors none of them actually contain any of those ingredients. That would be illegal… hence the name. And though arguably the Casu Marzu DOES technically contain casu seasoning, that’s just a flavoring agent. Actually both the fugu and horsemeat chips are vegan, while the casu marzu is vegetarian and all of the flavors are kosher certified.

The particular box we ordered came with a bag of each flavor and then one extra bag of one of the flavors. Our extra one was fugu so that’s what we tried first. Fugu for those of you not in the know is pufferfish or blowfish. Once it has been culinarily prepared it is referred to as fugu. Blowfish is illegal for the most obvious reasons. I think it’s safe to say that most people know that it is highly poisonous if not prepared by only specially licensed chefs, usually only in Japan, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.

My immediate worry with these would be that they would taste like fish, but much to my surprise they don’t at all. In fact, all my Canadian compatriots will be excited to know that they taste amazingly similar to the underrated national favorite, fries and gravy flavored chips. Which I’m now realizing probably sounds like a weird flavor in and of itself to non Canadians, but they are indeed delicious I swear. You can trust me, I’m Canadian. Sorry not sorry. Anyway, they are uniquely savory, just like these fugu chips. The extra neat little surprise that comes with the fugu flavor is after you eat a few you can feel a very distinct tingly/numbing sensation on your tongue. Eating blowfish isn’t just popular because it’s a delicacy afterall, but there is also a reportedly particular mouthfeel that goes along with it from the trace amounts of tetrodotoxin that come through in the meat. In this case the very clever use of Szechuan peppercorns copies that sensation nicely.

Horse meat seemed like the most innocuous of the illegal flavors, though only in the fact that I actually KNEW what a horse was and it required no research beforehand to know what I was getting my taste buds into, unlike with the fugu and casu marzu. Though I did look into why exactly horse meat is illegal in the U.S. other than the moral implications of “don’t eat your pets”. Apparently the big taboo comes from the fact that horses are potentially highly drugged animals, that can then in turn make their meat toxic to humans. Since it’s too hard for Uncle Sam to regulate which horses are being used for meat there is just a nationwide ban. Friendship is magic as they say so My Little Pony meat is off the menu. 

Not being a monster and all, I have no clue what horse meat tastes like, but before tasting these chips I would have guessed “beef-ish?”. And I wasn’t entirely wrong, though it is a much more discernible flavor. Think the cheapest cut of steak dipped in the cheapest red wine. There is an odd sourness with an earthy/iron like aftertaste. If I were to compare it to a more common chip flavor I guess I’d have to harken back to my Canadian roots once again and say they kind of taste like Ketchup chips, but missing the sweetness and with a bit of beef bouillon added in for kicks. Not my favorite of the bunch, but flavor preference is subjective so dive into a bag of these with an open mind.

The final forbidden flavor is that of Casu Marzu. What is that you might ask? Well the short story is maggot cheese. The long, and decidedly worse, story is a big ole wheel of pecorino gets a hole drilled in it, flies lay their eggs in it, and then those larvae will digest the cheese fats over the course of several months, and then that mushy bad boy is all ready for consumption! Oh and the best part? The larvae still have to be alive during munchy time or the cheese is considered no good! And those little suckers are resilient as all get out too which is why it is illegal in the first place. Nobody wants a belly full of cheese AND maggots amirite? 

However, if curiosity is still getting the better of you and Casu Marzu is something you’d still like to experience then these chips are probably the best place to do it. Flavor-wise they are probably the most aggressively cheese flavored anything I’ve ever eaten before. And as a cheese flavored snack aficionado that’s saying something. The other flavor that’s really on the front lines at first blush honestly reminded me of eating whole sunflower seeds. And not the seed necessarily but the taste of the shells. It’s a really earthy, woody flavor that I’m going to guess is what’s mimicking what our industrious maggot buddies would taste like. So, if I were to compare this chip to a more recognizable chip flavor, I’d have to say a sour cream and cheddar chip with a hint of sunflower seed shell.

I think all things being said, half the battle of enjoying these chips is getting past the flavors they are supposed to be mimicking. Handing someone a chip and saying, “Taste this cheese chip!” will undoubtedly get a much more mild reaction than when you hand someone the same chip and mention that they are instead maggot cheese flavored. Since we really like trying new things, buying these chips was an easy decision and even though not every flavor was a banger, it was an experience that was worth every penny regardless for us.

The MSCHF store is currently sold out of the mixed boxes but individual bags can still be purchased at sayweee.com if you are interested in taking the plunge yourself. Be sure and let us know if you do try them! You can drop us a line anytime on Twitter @backlogodyssey on chip flavors, video game packaging, your dog’s new haircut, or anything else your heart desires!