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Ohio’s Own: Ballreich’s Potato Chips

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Ohio’s Own: Ballreich’s Potato Chips
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Ballreich’s Potato Chips aren’t just rippled, they’re “marcelled”.

Spellcheck doesn’t like marcelled. It keeps trying to make it something ridiculous: “mar celled”. Look up the word “marcelled” on Google, and the first couple of matches are from the Ballreich’s website itself. Online dictionaries define “marcell” as a wavy hairstyle, popular in the 1920s. The people at Ballreich’s concur; the term is used as a reference to the wavy, zig-zag pattern of the chips. They were described as “marcelled” when the company first opened its Tiffin, Ohio doors in the 1920s.

Ballreich’s marcells all its chips* in variations such as sweet potato, regular, and barbecue. The chips are priced fairly, as $2.49 buys a big bag, which is about the same price paid for chips without local charm.

During taste testing, the plain old regular flavored Ballreich potato chips were the table favorite. Open the bag, and you’re hit with a pure, fried potato aroma. The chips are crisp and salty, not too greasy. It’s easy to start eating, difficult to stop.

The reviews for the sweet potato chips were mixed. One taster lauded the chewiness of the sweet potato chips -they are more substantial than your regular potato chip — which is either a pro or a con, depending on your palate. And they are a little sweeter, and a little more nutritious — the side of the bag says one serving provides 13% of the RDA of vitamin A. So, if you eat the whole bag…


The reviews for the barbecue chips were even more mixed. That is to say, there’s something nice about not having to share a big bag of potato chips with anyone. The other tasters were immune to the charms of a barbecue chip that has savory flavor features without the tangy sweetness. It’s almost like dry-rub flavor.

More for me.

You can find Ballreich’s chips at local gourmet grocers, or online at www.ballreich.com.

*Exception: there are some un-marcelled “Flat Fantastic” chips on the company website.

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