Judging the #PassportToFlavor Lay’s Potato Chips

Although the name has changed, the game is the same: Lay’s still enjoys making crazy potato chip flavors. For the past three years, the company held a contest where fans could submit flavor ideas for chips. Titled #DoUsAFlavor, Lay’s selected the recommendations of several potato chip eating fans and transformed their snack fantasies into reality. I bought into this crazy promotion and tried all the #DoUsAFlavor varieties myself, even going as far as to review each year’s lineup in this blog (2013, 2014, and 2015).

Over the years I have enjoyed experimenting with and writing about the Lay's #DoUsAFlavor promotion.

Over the years I have enjoyed experimenting with and writing about the Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor promotion.

This year, Lay’s added a “Wavy” wrinkle to the format. Instead of #DoUsAFlavor, it is now #PassportToFlavor. Gone are the fan submitted comfort food flavors and in are company-created elaborate international flavors. Say goodbye to flavors like Chicken & Waffles or Bacon Macaroni & Cheese and say hello to selections such as Indian Tikka Masala or Greek Tzatziki.

Yes, it is quite the transition. At first I was a little hesitant to follow through on my custom and taste the four new flavors. Usually if I don’t know what something is and can’t pronounce it, I will usually shy away from it. But I am glad I didn’t break my blogging tradition because this was the best class of new potato chips that Lay’s has produced. Here are my reviews of each flavor.

I couldn't pass up trying the new Lay's potato chips. The flavors this time around were a little more exotic.

I couldn’t pass up trying the new Lay’s potato chips. The flavors this time around were a little more exotic.

Greek Tzatziki – I was afraid of trying this flavor the most. The combination that was printed on the bag of “dill, garlic, and unique spices with yogurt” didn’t exactly sound appetizing to me. However, they tasted much, much better than what I expected. The initial taste was a sweet, pleasant one. I was then hit with the dill flavoring. However, it didn’t taste that bad. You could also taste the garlic as well but it was more faint than the dill. Although I generally prefer strong flavor, I didn’t mind the mildness of this chip. The Greek Tzatziki comes in the Wavy (ruffles) style and that scored immediate points with me because that is the texture that I prefer.

The Greek Tzatziki chip was much better than what I had expected.

The Greek Tzatziki chip was much better than what I had expected.

Brazilian Picanha – Ding ding ding! We have a winner! If you don’t know what Brazilian Picanha is, you will know after you eat one of these chips. This flavor takes after its predecessors of Garlic Cheesy Bread and Biscuits & Gravy in that it tastes exactly like what it is named after. I kid you not, these chips taste exactly like a steak coming right off the grill. You can smell it, you can taste it, and then you can savor it because the flavor stays with you. Besides the great flavor packed into each chip, the snack is also very well-seasoned and is salted just right. The description on the bag of what Picanha is (“the finest cut of Brazilian steak”) should alone sell a lot of this flavor but rest assured that it isn’t false advertising…the chip fits the bill.

My favorite chip of the #PassportToFlavor series was Brazilian Picanha.

My favorite chip of the #PassportToFlavor series was Brazilian Picanha.

Indian Tikka Masala – This chip might not have the best flavor, but it definitely packs the most flavor. You don’t just taste seasonings with this chip, you taste actual spice. By far this flavor tasted the most ethnic to me. It had a curry taste to it and it just gave you the feeling that it actually came from the Middle East as opposed to the Lay’s headquarters in Texas. If you want something that will give your taste buds a bold, distinguished experience this chip is for you.

If you want a chip with strong flavor and an international taste, the Indian Masala option is for you.

If you want a chip with strong flavor and an international taste, the Indian Masala option is for you.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken – Out of the four #PassportToFlavor options, this was the one I was looking forward to the most. I was envisioning that each chip would taste like the Chinese takeout I love so much. However, they didn’t really taste like anything. However, whereas the Greek Tzatziki flavor was satisfying with a mild taste, this flavor wasn’t. You can detect a Szechuan flavor lingering around after you eat a few and there is a slight kick at the end, but I was expecting more. The chemical taste that plagued other chips in the #DoUsAFlavor series is evident in this selection as well.

The Chinese Szechuan Chicken was the disappointment out of the #PassportToFlavor series.

The Chinese Szechuan Chicken was the disappointment out of the #PassportToFlavor series.

**

My Rankings (from favorite to least favorite)
Brazilian Picanha
Indian Tikka Masala
Greek Tzatziki
Chinese Szechuan Chicken

**

I can say that three out of the four chip flavors in the #PassportToFlavor series taste pretty good and are acceptable to serve at your next party. If you want to try all four options, your best bet is to go to your local Subway store and buy the mini bags. Please let me know if I nailed this review. Don’t Blink.

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