Lay’s Potato Chips … you damn bastards, you’re at it again.
The new flavors for the annual Lay’s Potato Chip Do Us A Flavor competition are hitting the shelves. But, if you’re not insane like me, you probably don’t want to go out and buy four bags of potato chips that you may or may not like … just to try them. That’s where I come in. I spent the money so you don’t have to. I’m here to review the good, the bad and the ugly of these new flavor bombs.
If you were around last year, you know I had some choice opinions about some of their dubious flavor choices. The article spends no less than four paragraphs exclaiming about the horror that was the Cappuccino potato chip. Then it declares that the Bacon Mac & Cheese potato chip would win (cuz ’Merica) and that the actual well-thought out and nicely executed flavor of Wasabi and Soy Sauce would be overlooked … both of which happened.
This year, nothing was a stand-out violation of all of my senses like that Cappuccino chips. (Thanks again, Chad Scott!) There are: Rueben, Gyro, Truffle Fries and Biscuits and Gravy. Then, they re-released the Bacon Mac & Cheese Chips that won the contest last year … which essentially taste like cheddar chips with bacon powder on them.
Now let’s talk about the competition itself. I am not sure if it was like this last year, as I did not attempt to give them any flavor ideas last year … this year, however, I did. The gimmick was set up as a flavor representing a geographic location. So I offered up some Philly and Cleveland inspired shit because that’s what I know. (And no, I did not suggest cheesesteak.) The reason I point this out is because each flavor is assigned a location on the bag. There’s the SOUTHERN Biscuits and Gravy, the WEST COAST Truffle Fries, the NEW YORK Rueben and the … um … GREEKTOWN Gyro. Greektown? Really? I mean, there’s a Greektown in Detroit. Maybe in other cities. But I kind of feel like maybe it’s referring to the Detroit one. But the thing is … I DON’T KNOW. How about we use something that’s marketable and well known. Or explain it. Or just call it the DETROIT Gyro. Or wherever it’s supposed to be from. It just seemed forced and phoned in. That’s all I have on that. Let’s get to some reviews, shall we?
The Greektown Gyro Chips by James Wagner
Well … they taste meaty. Followed by a dairy-ish after taste. So they’ve got that going for them. It tasted more like the seasoning on the meat then the actual meat and I guess maybe the dairy flavor was a tzatziki attempt. I wasn’t a fan. Least favorite ones, but not by like … a wide margin.
The New York Rueben Chips by Jeff Solensky
Oh man. You definitely get the corned beef flavor. I didn’t get much else though. They were pretty much corned beef chips. I should say, full disclosure, I LOVE corned beef. I had corned beef specials served at my wedding. I am not one to poo-poo this idea. But I couldn’t do it. I had maybe three … to make sure I really got the flavor. But I just didn’t like them. I don’t think it was a successful execution. Or maybe corned beef wasn’t meant to be served in potato form. (Though I could go for some corned beef latkes right about now.)
The West Coast Truffle Fries Chips by Angie Fu
These were good chips. Truffle oil? Maybe. Barely. A little bit. Mostly they just tasted like a slightly gussied up version of sour cream and onion. Not that that’s a bad thing. I ate the most of these ones. They were nice … tasted like chips. Novel idea, right?
The Southern Biscuit and Gravy Chips by Haley Green
Even though I ate more of the Truffle Fries, I think these were my favorite. I say this because they actually tasted like biscuits and gravy … and in a way that didn’t make you want to vom. Pretty successful. I enjoyed them, I thought they were accurate … accurate potato chips. I just didn’t really want to eat them. I still have a practically full bag at home. (Yes, they were my favorite!) Anyone want them?
Go back and look at my old article. I gave a my list of top 20 flavors they should have used this year. They didn’t go for any of them … though I did suggest Sauerkraut … which is ON a rueben. But I’m still holding out for bologna-banana sandwich for next year.
Or pumpkin spice … ‘cause I’m a white girl.
Sorry, I’m going home now.
Taking into account that it’s a POTATO CHIP and not a miracle flavor vehicle, what flavors do you want to see show up next year?
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.