Everyone loves the crunch of a Lay’s potato chip and the orange hue of a Cheeto, but that’s only because most people haven’t tried Amy Hamberry’s dried vegan kale chips.
Leafy greens aren’t an obvious stand-in for Doritos, but Hamberry and her husband have unleashed the same sinful satisfaction without artificial colors, flavors, or the guilt that comes with snacking on stuff that’s made in a laboratory along the Jersey Turnpike.
It’s all about kale, that B-vitamin-packed green leaf.
“I’m not a vegetarian, I’m just into kale,” Hamberry said. “It’s our obsession — but everyone should be eating it.”
Biting a kale chip is a lot like biting into some decedent deep-fried delight. But Hamberry’s crisps are not even cooked — they’re dehydrated for 16 hours and then seasoned with either vegan cheese or spicy miso topping.
Both varieties have an addictive flavor and luxurious texture — plus they’re packed with the nutrients that give kale its reputation as the rich man’s spinach.
You’ll pay through the liver for good health, of course. The price of a three-and-a-half-ounce box — $7.49 — will feel like sending your wallet through a dehydrating machine. (Even with snacks, there’s no free lunch, apparently.)
But high prices haven’t stopped Hamberry’s business from growing out of her home kitchen into her Crown Heights food processing center, which she claims is the largest solar-powered plant in the United States.
“Eventually, we want to be in every health food store in New York City,” she said. “People everywhere want these chips and they don’t want them because they’re vegan. They want them because they taste so good.”
Find Hamberry’s kale chips at Back to the Land [142 Seventh Ave. between Garfield Place and Carroll Street in Park Slope, (718) 768-5654], Union Market [754 Union St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues in Park Slope, (718) 230-5152 and 288 Court St. between Degraw and Douglass streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 709-5100] or online at nynshop.com.