When it comes to my Don’t Blink traditions, you have my Thursday Rundowns, my top ten blog posts of the year, and then my reflective end of year posts. You also have one other sure thing tradition: my annual review of the Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor potato chips.
Since 2013, I have reviewed the wacky and creative line of chips inspired by the suggestions of the American people. Today will be my fifth time giving my expertise on whether Lay’s hit the mark (such as its Brazilian Picanha chips in 2016) or totally bombed (like the Wasabi Ginger chips in 2014). This year, the company only released three flavors, a relatively good thing. I get to cut back on the calories and also write a little less. So, without further ado, I give you my annual review of the Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor potato chips.
Fried Green Tomato – These wavy chips didn’t have much of a smell. They didn’t pack a bold taste either. However, they weren’t completely flavorless. The Fried Green Tomato chips did have a mild taste. Sometimes mild is good. A chip with great texture and a subtle, pleasant mild taste is a winner. But the Fried Green Tomato mild taste is not pleasant. To me, it screams pure vinegar. There is a slight tomato taste thrown in that can be traced in the aftertaste but to me the chip is forgettable if not outright disgusting.
Crispy Taco – Whereas the Fried Green Tomato chips lacked a bold flavor, the Crispy Taco flavor was the exact opposite. I ate the first chip out of the bag and it reminded me exactly of homemade tacos at my parents’ house growing up. It had a distinctive, authentic taste. Each chip thereafter packed the flavor punch as well. Some pieces had hints of spice mixed in as well. To me, it was almost as if Lay’s took original potato chips and then ripped open a taco mix and poured it all over them. I thought they tasted great.
Everything Bagel (with cream cheese) – I was a little intrigued to see how these chips would taste. Would they taste like a Panera bagel, or, like it specifically says in its name, would it have an overbearing cream cheese palate? Well, after eating the whole bag to try to identify what the chips tasted like I can confidently say this: they don’t taste like bagel and they don’t taste like cream cheese. In my opinion, they kind of tasted like nothing. My wife tried to help me identify any trace of a flavor and she said that perhaps there was a faint sour cream and onion characteristic to them. Flavorless or not, the Everything Bagel chips are kettle cooked and that always adds points in my book.
My Rankings (from favorite to least favorite)
Everything Bagel (with cream cheese)
Fried Green Tomato
Regrettably, this is probably the weakest #DoUsAFlavor class produced by Lay’s. If not for Crispy Taco, this year would be a complete disaster. I look forward to next year’s flavors when perhaps Sloan can sample them with me. Don’t Blink.