It’s that time of year again. The pools are closing, the schools are opening, and the temperature is dropping. We’re mourning the end of summer, and need something to look forward to. Luckily, Lays chips have given us a reason to love fall, with their 2nd annual “Do Us a Flavor” contest!
They’ve rolled out 4 new flavors, and you get to decide which will stay on the market. I’m here to help you make the best choice.
The Contenders: Bacon Mac & Cheese, Wasabi Ginger, Mango Salsa, and Cappuccino.
Which will win… the Champion-chip?
You probably have a lot of questions right now. Here are some I wrote down before starting my research…
How can potato chips capture the creamy texture of mac n’ cheese?
Could I substitute my morning coffee with cappuccino chips? Will this save me money on k-cups?
If I eat enough wasabi ginger chips, will it clear my sinuses?
Is dipping mango salsa chips in mango salsa a good idea?
Okay, let’s get started. This is going to be superlative-style. The first award goes to…
Cappuccino! For “Most Surprisingly Good.”
I expected them to be disgusting, and they were actually pretty tasty. They taste like something you’d order at Starbucks when you’re 17. You’re past the “Frappuccino” phase, but not ready to move on to real coffee. If you liked the chicken and waffles chips last year, you’ll like these.
Alright, the next award goes to…
Mango Salsa, with “Most Confusing.”
There’s a picture of my dog, Bunny, because she’s usually confused.
I could not figure these chips out. The first one was disgusting, and I almost stopped eating immediately. But then I remembered salt and vinegar chips; the first one is gross and shocks your tongue, but then they get better and better. The manga salsa chips did get better, but I still can’t figure them out. I asked my family for help:
Sister: They taste like shit. (she only ate one)
Mom: They’re great! A wonderful combo of sweet and savory, reminds me of the pineapple habanero at Dominos.
Dad: it was good… but… it was sweet… and not mango-y? I don’t know what to say.
So there you go. These have the least flavor, but they’re wavy-lays style, which I dig. They’re not meant to be dipped in salsa, and if you don’t try them at all, you won’t be missing out.
Next we have the award for “Michigan Approved,” which goes to Bacon Mac & Cheese!
People in Michigan take their mac n’ cheese seriously. In the South, it’s considered a side dish. In Michigan, you order it as an entrée, and they put crazy things in it, like peppers, tomatoes, and assorted meats. I bought these at Walgreens in East Lansing, and the cashier nodded and smiled when he rang them up.
Me: You like the bacon mac & cheese?
Him: Oh yeah, they’re the best.
Me: Are you from Michigan?
Him: Born and raised.
Me: So, as a Michigander, you approve of these chips?
Him: as a beer drinking, football watching Yooper (northern Michigan), I fully approve.
So there you have it! The “creamy” texture is captured as fully as it can be in chip form. They taste like sour cream and cheddar chips mixed with bacon bits. They’d be better with more flavor powder.
And the award of “Best Overall” goes to…
Wasabi Ginger. They’re true to their name, delicious, and have a satisfying crunch. They manage to balance the wasabi with ginger in a way where neither is overpowering, and all the flavors come through. I hope that sushi chefs will incorporate these into their recipes someday. They won’t make your nose burn (I shoved a whole handful in my mouth and only felt a slight tingle), but they will make your taste buds happy.
I’m officially submitting my vote for wasabi ginger, and so are my dad and sister. My mom is voting for mango salsa.
Now you can go out and try them all! Voting ends on October 18th, and the winner will join Cheesy Garlic Bread as a permanent flavor.