Best Of 2019

Best Cincinnati-Made Barbecue Chips: Hen of the Woods

First off: This pick is not about Grippo’s barbecue chips, although Grippo’s barbecue chips are in fact delicious. They taste like a summer pool party, come in nostalgic 1960s packaging and have that tongue-coating tang of paprika, heat and MSG. But, if you want something less orange and non-GMO, Hen of the Woods Touch of Smoke-flavored kettle chips are possibly the perfect potato chip. Developed by chefs and made from scratch, each all-natural chip is sliced, sorted and seasoned by Hen of the Woods. Here, apple cider vinegar brings a bright acidic punch to a chip dusted with sea salt, leek, red bell pepper and some hickory smoke, which creates a sort of North Carolina backyard barbecue flavor sans any powder coating or food coloring — looks like a chip; tastes like a touch of smoke. Hen of the Woods chips are now carried in over 100 stores across five states and come in flavors other than Touch of Smoke — Buttermilk & Chive, the original Red Wine Vinegar, Chile Con Queso, Sea Salt, Everything — but why stray from the best? Hen of the Woods, henofthewoodsotr.com.