Judging the 2015 #DoUsAFlavor Lay’s Potato Chips

I get excited about the nerdiest things and the #DoUsAFlavor Lay’s potato chips promotion is one of them. Haven’t heard about #DoUsAFlavor? For the third time in as many years, Lay’s has invited potato chip fanatics to come up with a flavor. The company then chooses three or four of them to actually make into a Lay’s branded chip for the general public to consume. America then votes on its favorite and that particular chip becomes a permanent flavor.

I took the challenge last year as well as two years ago. Let’s face it, you don’t need to pull my arm to get me to try potato chips. This year, the offering by Lay’s is strong. The fan submitted flavors chosen by the company includes New York Reuben, Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro, Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy.

Me holding the 2015 #DoUsAFlavor Lay's potato chips.

Me holding the 2015 #DoUsAFlavor Lay’s potato chips.

As has been the case in the past, it took a lot of effort on my part to find all the flavors. I found two out of the four kinds at Target right off the bat only to have my luck slow down. I ventured to a few different stores in hopes of finding truffle fries and biscuits and gravy. With reality setting in that my search might be futile, a miraculous thing happened. While driving in my car listening to ESPN Radio one of the hosts went to read a Subway advertisement. At the conclusion of the ad, he mentioned “Subway, the only restaurant where you can try all four new #DoUsAFlavor potato chip varieties.” I immediately pulled into a Subway and sure enough all four flavors were neatly arranged in front of the counter. Overjoyed I picked up the two bags I needed and skipped to my car.

Okay, time now for my review of each flavored potato chip. As a bonus, I will also offer Sidney’s take on each chip as well because I couldn’t do something so fun without letting her participate.

New York Reuben – Leading off was the New York Reuben flavor. I sampled a chip and was underwhelmed with the lack of flavor. What I picked up from it was a faint tomato sauce taste. The appearance of the chip made it look like it might be packed with flavor but it was the complete opposite. The chips softly left a very mild impression in my mouth. I felt like I could sense a little bit of sweetness but nothing remotely powerful enough to register. Sidney stated that she thought they tasted like rye bread. We weren’t big fans.

The #DoUsAFlavor New York Reuben chips had a slight tomato sauce taste to me.

The #DoUsAFlavor New York Reuben chips had a slight tomato sauce taste to me.

Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro – After the disappointment of the reuben, I hoped that the gyro chips would turn things around. They didn’t. At first I thought the chips tasted extremely weird, almost like plastic. It was kind of like the experience I had with the Wasabi Ginger flavor last year. It just didn’t seem to work. Even though it was tough to do, I started to eat a couple more to really get a gauge of the taste. These additional samples started to bring out a taste that actually registered with my taste buds. It seemed like a flavor I had tried before and disliked. Luckily Sidney was right there to explain exactly what I was thinking. “It tastes like sour cream and onion,” she expressed. Yep! She nailed it. The chips could definitely pass for sour cream and onion. Sidney also added that the snack could claim a loose connection with what gyros actually do taste like. I know it seems contradictory that in describing this chip I went from “plastic” to “sour cream and onion” but the bottom line remains the same…I didn’t like it.

The #DoUsAFlavor Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips had a sour cream and onion flavor.

The #DoUsAFlavor Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips had a sour cream and onion flavor.

 

Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries – The name and image on the bag made me think that perhaps these chips would taste like garlic fries, a savory yet massively unhealthy snack I loved to order in Seattle. But shame on me for thinking that truffle fries and garlic fries are the same thing. Despite my mix-up, these chips were still good! At first bite the flavor isn’t that pronounced but then the aftertaste kicks in. For me, that aftertaste could be described as a combination of well put together seasonings. Sidney said it tasted exactly like loaded fries and reminded her of bar food. After taking a few chips from each of the first two bags I tried, I ate the whole grab bag of the truffle chips. You won’t get a bold taste out of this flavor either but you will get a pleasant one.

The #DoUsAFlavor West Coast Truffle Fries chips had a pleasant, authentic flavor. They are good for snacking.

The #DoUsAFlavor West Coast Truffle Fries chips had a pleasant, authentic flavor. They are good for snacking.

Southern Biscuits and Gravy – I remember two years ago when Lay’s introduced the Chicken & Waffles flavor. I was so excited to get my hands on a bag and try them. The flavor sounded spectacular but it was a complete letdown. The chips tasted like Top Ramen to me. Out of the four flavors introduced this go-around, I was by far most intrigued by Southern Biscuits and Gravy. However, I did keep in the back of my mind the disappointment I experienced the last time my adrenaline started pumping about a breakfast-inspired chip. What would be the verdict this time?

The #DoUsAFlavor Southern Biscuits and Gravy chips were my favorite! They taste exactly like biscuits and gravy.

The #DoUsAFlavor Southern Biscuits and Gravy chips were my favorite! They taste exactly like biscuits and gravy.

I loved the biscuits and gravy flavor! I tried the chip and smiled inside, not wanting to sway Sidney’s opinion until she actually tried one herself. After she had, I exclaimed, “These taste exactly like biscuits and gravy!” I am not kidding you, they really do. That creamy, peppery taste is in each single chip. Out of all the #DoUsAFlavor varieties I have tried over the past couple years, Southern Biscuits and Gravy is my favorite. I couldn’t believe they had so convincingly captured the chip. I ate the remainder of the bag in no time.

Of course though, people have different tastes and I was reminded of that by a co-worker today when I was telling her how great the chips were because they tasted exactly like biscuits and gravy. “Well, that is of course if you like biscuits and gravy,’ she wisely reminded me.

Sidney does not. She dismissed the chip she tried with a disgusted look, almost spitting it out. I couldn’t believe it, they tasted so perfect to me.

**

After we had tried the four flavors, we ranked them. Check out the results:

Me
Southern Biscuits and Gravy
Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries
New York Reuben
Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro

Sidney
Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries
Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro
Southern Biscuits and Gravy
New York Reuben

**

So while we did rank them differently, Sidney and I agree on this: the truffle fries flavor is pretty good and the reuben flavor is pretty bad. This is such a fun blog post to do. I thank Lay’s for doing such a cool and interactive promotion. Please let me know your opinion on the #DoUsAFlavor chips. Now get to snacking. Don’t Blink.

2 thoughts on “Judging the 2015 #DoUsAFlavor Lay’s Potato Chips

  1. And to think, all you had to do was go to Subway in CINO Grille for all four flavors! Glad you had fun with it!

    • It is funny but I didn’t even realize this until the graphics guys brought it up this morning! But yes, I did have fun with it. Classic Brent 🙂