It took me long enough but I finally achieved something that took me six months to do: Try all three of the fan invented Lay’s potato chips. I am sure most of you know what I am talking about. About a year ago, Lay’s asked via social media for its fans to submit new flavor ideas for potato chips. After countless suggestions from America and lots of scrutiny from the company to narrow down the field, three flavors emerged: Cheesy Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles, and Sriracha. All three chip flavors would be available on a trial basis and fans would vote for their favorite flavor. The chip with the most votes would become a permanent flavor. I got way more excited than anyone should over an announcement about potato chips and I couldn’t wait to buy a bag of each and do some serious snacking.
However, my initial plan got a little delayed. Believe me, I wanted to chow down on each flavor sooner than later but it was as if it was not meant to be. I simply could never find them on the shelves. One particular day I went to four different places to try to find them, only to be disappointed. About five months ago I did get my hand on a bag of the Sriracha chips. However, it took until this past week for me to try the Cheesy Garlic Bread ones. When my girlfriend brought the chips over and it said on the bag that the Cheesy Garlic Bread snack won the fan voted competition, I just assumed that the non-victorious other two flavors were discontinued and I would never get to try the Chicken & Waffles chips, the one snack that I was really hoping to try.
Imagine my sheer excitement and surprise when I walked into Safeway after work on Friday and I saw a display with ALL three flavors abundantly stacked right in front of my eyes AND on sale! I grabbed the Chicken & Waffle bag and pretty much sped home to try them.
For this post I want to quickly rank and review the three different flavored chips. I can definitely say that the actual taste of the chips contrasted completely with my initial judgments on the ones I thought I would like best before trying them. Starting with the best chip and ending with the worst chip, here we go!
#1: Cheesy Garlic Bread – I completely understand why America voted this chip its favorite. The Cheesy Garlic Bread chip was very flavorful and enjoyable to eat. It also was by far the one flavor out of the three that tasted like its natural flavor. No lie here, eating a Cheesy Garlic Bread chip tasted exactly like a piece of garlic bread right out of the basket.
#2: Sriracha – Naturally the Sriracha chips appealed to me because there is no other condiment in this world that I love as much as Sriracha. Maybe because of my undying devotion to the condiment I put higher expectations on the chips than I should have. With that said, I was not blown away by the Sriracha snack. I have two main issues with them: 1. They totally whiffed on getting the Sriracha flavor in the chips. I did not recognize the taste that I crave so much, not even to a small degree. To me, they just had a generic Doritos taste to them. 2. There was absolutely no heat to the chips. Even if the makers couldn’t capture the distinctive Sriracha flavor, I would have hoped that they would have made the chips spicy just because that is what Sriracha is all about. Nope. They are completely mild. I will take Tim’s Cascade Jalapeno chips over Lay’s Sriracha chips any day.
#3: Chicken & Waffles – Out of the three flavors I looked at this one and said “What a great idea! These should be fun to eat.” It took me forever to finally get my hands on a bag but let me say this, the wait was definitely not worth it. I was expecting to taste either chicken, waffles, or maple syrup but I couldn’t taste any of them. To me, the chips tasted like Top Ramen. The flavor to me was borderline repulsive and completely disappointing.
I don’t know how much longer the Sriracha & Waffles chips will be available, but if you do happen to find yourself in front of a display with all three flavors like I did on Friday, remember this: Buy the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips for a nice taste bud experience. If you want an average chip that is not very distinctive in flavor, give the Sriracha chips a try. Completely avoid the Chicken & Waffles chips.
Even though I didn’t enjoy each chip flavor, kudos to Lay’s for creating such a fun promotion. I got excited about the new products and my excitement translated into a purchase of each different flavor. Now pass me that bag of Cheesy Garlic Bread chips. Don’t Blink.