Raw chips and crackers are a tricky product. Mostly because they don’t

Raw chips and crackers are a tricky product. Mostly because they don’t often taste very good. Let me preface with the fact that raw chips don’t even really exist. They’re very elusive, while their raw counterparts are ubiquitous, showing up at just about every health food store in the city. It’s unfortunate, really, as most raw crackers currently taking up space on shelves tend to be somewhat crumbly and soft, like the soggy tenants of a box of Triscuits that got wet, dried out, then sprinkled with herbs. You expect crackers to taste a little bland, but chips – chips are expected to be crunchy, salty, savory and fatty. You know, like something that’s been fried in oil. Thus, you can probably imagine how hard it is to duplicate that with raw products. It seems that a company out of Austin, TX, has inched closer to that goal. Not the prettiest girl in school, but one of the smartest!Daily Juice Foods has come out with a new (at least new to me) chip that manages not to taste like a piece of herb-scented cardboard. These crispy kale chips (which come in Kool Ranch, Zesty Nacho and Bombay Curry) are nothing more than dried kale mixed with a raw dressing created from a blend of raw vegetables, nuts, juices, herbs and spices. Kale, if you didn’t already know, is full of anti-oxidants, phyto nutrients and carotenoids as well as a bunch of other vitamins, so this is a great healthy alternative to your standard chip.Being totally curious about what Kool Ranch raw kale tasted like, I purchased a bag. You can’t really taste the kale, but you can taste the dressing. These small little dried leaves have a very powerful, strong flavor similar to Cool Ranch, but better. In fact, if I didn’t see the label, I would assume this was a Parmesan flavored snack; the seasoning is very creamy and rich tasting, even though it contains no dairy. As for the oily, fried component of a traditional chip, the raw food executives have yet to figure out how to transition that texture and taste to an uncooked snack. As with most raw foods, this product is a little on the spendy side. A two-ounce bag (200 calories) is $5.99 at the Roosevelt Whole Foods where these were purchased. Another downside: there are only a handful of large pieces of kale, the rest are basically crumbs, which make these chips challenging to eat. I licked the remnants off of a plate, but I can see how tedious it would be to eat these messy chips in a car, while walking, etc. These chips are not a mainstay in my kitchen, not because I don’t love them, but because I inhale an entire bag in one sitting, making the $6 price tag hard to swallow.