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Publication: Syracuse New Times
Author: Oppedisano, Lorna
Date published: November 3, 2010
Language: English
PMID: 58875
ISSN: 0893844X
Journal code: SYNT

Think fall in Central New York. One thing comes to mind: Apples! Apple cider, apple juice, apple picking, candied apples, caramel apples, apple pie, apple bread, apple wine, apple vodka, apple jam, apple jelly, apple crisp, apple cobbler, apple tarts, apple pancakes, Apple computers.

And now there are apple chips.

Seneca Foods started making Seneca Apple Chips in 1994, according to Kathy Sheldon, vice president of category management for the corporation based in Marion, outside Rochester. Seneca's chips were the first of its kind to hit the market. The chips are made from fresh apples grown in Yakima, Wash., "the heart of apple country," according to their website. Hmmmm, we thought Central New York enjoyed that designation.

Seneca Apple Chips come in a variety of flavors: Original, Cinnamon, Caramel, Granny Smith, Sour Apple, Golden Delicious and Apple Pie a la Mode, as well as limited- time flavors Gingerbread and Candy Cane. Some of these flavors can be found at Wegmans. All flavors are available to order on Seneca's website, www.senecasnacks. com, where tou have to buy in bulk-12, 2.5-ounce bags for $12.75.

Upon opening a bag of Seneca Apple Chips and peeking in, there is no question as to whether these chips are made from fresh apples-the core, red skin and sometimes even stem are still there. The aroma that wafts out is a cross between an apple and potato chip.

Seneca keeps it simple with ingredients. The chips are made from apples, canola, sunflower and/or safflower oil, corn syrup, citric acid and ascorbic acid. According to Sheldon, to make the apple chips, Seneca Foods uses a vacuum-frying process that results in less fat absorption. A serving of Seneca Apple Chips has 11 percent-that is to say, 7 grams-of an individual's daily value of total fat, and 5 percent- 1 gram-of the daily intake of saturated fat. A serving also holds 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. The chips are low in sodium-1 percent of the daily intake-and contain no cholesterol or trans fat.

Healthier than potato chips, Seneca Apple Chips are a good alternative for kids' snacks. While eating healthy, kids can appreciate the novelty of chips made from something unique rather than the average potato chip. Billy, what did you bring for lunch today? Your lunch has Pringles? Well, mine has apple chips. Just try to top that, you wienie! What a cool kid.

That being said, the taste of Seneca Apple Chips leaves a little to be desired. For someone who is a fan of sweeter apples, the Original Seneca Apple Chips are a little sour. The taste of the apple chips is, however, as unique as the concept. It has layers. Layer 1: a little bitter. Nothing a Sour Patch Kid expert couldn't handle, but a little sour nonetheless. Layer 2: more apple-y. Think the taste of a cooked apple. Third and final layer: apple aftertaste. Minutes after eating an apple chip, the apple taste still lingers, which is more than one can say about the actual fruit.

The best aspect of Seneca Apple Chips is the idea. Using a healthy alternative to potatoes or corn to make chips is unique and beneficial idea. The worst thing about apple chips is what the chips must aspire to: apples. As we Central New Yorkers know firsthand, when it comes to apples, there is no beating the real deal.

-Lorna Oppedisano

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