Tagged: Do Us a Flavor

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Mango Salsa Potato Chips

Rating: ©©-1/4 chips (tolerable)

Lay's Wavy - Mango SalsaBy now we’re sure that most of you, if not all of you, are well aware of Lay’s all new 2014 ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest.  Just about every one and their mother’s mother have chimed in with their own thoughts or reviews on these unique flavors.  Similar to last year’s wildly popular flavor contest, Lay’s is once again offering up the chance for one lucky individual to win a million dollars for creating an all new potato chip flavor, and for the general population declaring it the tastiest!  This year Lay’s has offered up four flavor finalists rather than just three, and you can stay tuned for our future reviews of: Cappuccino – yep, that’s right Cappuccino, and Bacon Mac & Cheese!  A slight variation from Lay’s this time allowed the flavor creators the liberty of choosing what style of Lay’s potato chips they would like to use as their delivery medium between traditional, kettle cooked and wavy.

As humungous chip fanatics and consumers and reviewers, we cannot begin to tell you how giddy we get each time a contest such as this is released.  We love this stuff!!  And usually, as soon as we hear about this sort of thing we run out to as many different stores as it takes, and we hunt those new chips down!  Unfortunately, this time around Lay’s forgot to check our schedule and released their new chips just as we left the country for two weeks!!  So, in other words, we had to idly sit back and watch as review after review hit the web for the past two weeks.  Well, we are now back stateside, we have the four flavors in our possession, and we are ready to toss in our two cents!

Next up: Wavy Mango Salsa

Submitted by: Julia from Sacramento, CA

Chip Review flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 8

Chip Review’s excitement level (scale: 1 – 10): 8

Fresh, orangy-yellow, sweet, tropical, juicy, all adjectives we like to describe our favorite fruit ever!  That’s right, those dark green and red skinned orbs called mango are practically perfect (if only we could bite right through their skin!!).  And, of course we love pineapples, and raspberries, and certainly strawberries – when they are in season.  Oh, and we love bananas too!  OK, so mangoes make our fruit short list at the very least.

You know what, we have also found that we love mango flavored chips (or at least some of them).  We’re not kidding around here, some of the best chips that we have ever tried were mango flavored, but……that being said some of them were also the worst!  So, where do Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Mango Salsa chips fall?  Unfortunately, it’s in the latter.  Our initial reaction to them was yuck!  A very surprised, and disappointed, YUCK!  These taste nothing like any of the amazing mango flavored chips that we have had.  Instead, they tasted like a fake mango flavored candy. You know how green apple, and watermelon, and grape flavored candies taste nothing like the real thing?  Well, these taste like a sugary candy representation of real mango.  In other words, they taste fake!

We thought for sure that these would be our favorites, but alas, that does not appear to be the case.  How to describe their off-putting flavor?  The first flavor character is a powerfully sweet citrus fruity note, followed directly by a tangy, sour tinge.  While we would typically appreciate the sweet and sour juxtaposition, this combo seemed off from the get go!  And, we are pretty certain that we know why.  Mango salsa is not meant to be served with potato chips.  In fact, that goes for any and all salsas.  Salsa was born to mingle with corn tortilla chips.  Salsa does not jive with potato chips.  Also, these are just too sweet!  Sort of one strong note, with a couple of supporting ingredients like garlic and onion, and without any heat to speak of.  Disappointing.

Well, two flavors down, two to go, and it looks like this is anybody’s flavor game!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

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REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Wasabi Ginger Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips (notable)

Lay's - Wasabi GingerBy now we’re sure that most of you, if not all of you, are well aware of Lay’s all new 2014 ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest.  Just about every one and their mother has chimed in with their own thoughts or reviews on these unique flavors.  Similar to last year’s wildly popular flavor contest, Lay’s is once again offering up the chance for one lucky individual to win a million dollars for creating an all new potato chip flavor, and for the general population deeming it the best!  This year Lay’s has offered up four flavor finalists instead of three, and you can stay tuned for our future reviews of: Cappuccino – yep, that’s right Cappuccino, Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Mango Salsa!  Also, this time Lay’s has allowed the flavor creators the liberty of choosing what style of Lay’s potato chips they would like to use as their delivery medium.

As humungous chip fanatics and consumers and reviewers, we cannot begin to tell you how giddy we get each time a contest such as this is released.  We love this stuff!!  And usually, as soon as we hear about this sort of thing we run out to as many different stores as it takes, and we hunt those new chips down!  Unfortunately, this time around Lay’s forgot to check our schedule and released their new chips just as we left the country for two weeks!!  So, in other words, we had to idly sit back and watch as review after review hit the web for the past two weeks.  Well, we are now back stateside, we have the four flavors in our possession, and we are ready to toss in our two cents!

First up: Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger

Submitted by: Meneko Spigner McBeth

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 7

Chip Review’s excitement level (scale: 1 – 10): 6

Initial reaction, these have no scent to them at all.  Seriously, we had to do a double take to make sure that there really were even any chips in the bag.  In our opinion, the wasabi ginger flavor seems like a perfect fit for the kettle cooked variation of Lay’s potato chips.  Bold flavors, paired with robust, thick and crunchy kettle cooked chips.  We really like the idea of the wasabi ginger combination too.  It is a classic flavor pairing and yet one that we have not seen combined with chips.  We have tried plenty of wasabi flavored chips, and a few ginger flavored chips, but never the two together…. Wait!!  Hold on here! We stand corrected, our records do show that we have actually tried the combination before a couple of times.  In fact, even on a kettle cooked potato chip once before – go figure!

Right off the bat we do taste the distinct wasabi flavor, but it certainly did not encompass the level of spicy, nasal heat that we are used to with wasabi.  For those of you out there familiar with wasabi, you know what we mean.  That practically unbearable wasabi nasal burn that despite only lasting for a short passing moment, can bring the toughest person to tears.  Yep, none of that hear, only a slight touch of heat.  As for the ginger half of the duo, well, there really isn’t any, or possibly the wasabi completely overwhelms it.  Either way, we couldn’t taste any.  Pity, we would have really liked to have tasted that slightly pickled, sharp, aromatic ginger flavor on these chips.  We did notice that soy sauce is included among the ingredients, and we should at least note that it added a welcomed, salty, umami depth to the chips.  It didn’t make up for the absence of ginger, but it did add something at least.

Overall the chips weren’t really bad by any means, just a little bit of a let down.  We had rather high hopes for them, and honestly thought that this flavor combo would be an easy slam dunk for Lay’s to execute.  Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.  Hopefully the other three flavors impress us a bit more, because if these end up being the best of the bunch, then we wouldn’t be happy!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

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Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas…

#1

Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

Chippers 007

Original Review Here

Chip Review’s: Numero uno!  1st Place – gold medal!  Top Chip!  And the award goes to….

NOT (the actual winner of Lay’s Do Us a Flavor contest) Cheesy Garlic Bread!  What? Seriously U. S. of A. potato chip lovers?  You choose the safe, comforting and not very original flavor of cheese and garlic, over the one of a kind, unique, sweet-salty-savory combo of chicken and waffle?!?  Our disappointment sees no boundaries.  Some people will argue our decision, some people certainly hate these chips, and some people may even think that we are crazy, but to us here at Chip Review no single chip tasted quite as good this year!  The most controversial and talked about chips that we encountered this year vanished from our lives just as quickly as they appeared.  We can only hope that for one reason or another, one day (sooner rather than later), Lay’s decides to do us all a real flavor favor and re-release the best chips of twenty-thirteen!

Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas…

#25

Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

Chippers 009

Original Review Here

The eventual winner of Lay’s amazingly popular ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest.  The chips were definitely the most accurate rendition among the three flavor finalists.  So accurate in fact that we often served these chips with spaghetti & meatballs for dinner!

REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Sriracha Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips (notable)

Chippers 005

Comments:

At long last, the finalists for Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest have finally arrived!!! To chip fanatics such as us it seems like forever ago that Lay’s first announced the chance at a million dollars for creating a new potato chip flavor for them. We know that you are probably wondering if we submitted any flavor ideas to Lay’s, and the answer to that is, “of course!” Exactly how Lay’s had the nerve to pass on our ideas for Korean BBQ with Orange Zest, or Huevos Rancheros flavored potato chips, we’re not sure…

Actually, we do know how, and it’s because Lay’s opted for a trio of more main stream, or at least u(sa)niversally palatable, flavors; albeit, relatively creative ones, that if executed effectively, could result in some genre stretching surprises, and highlights, within the industry!!

As you’ve probably already read, Chip Review was extremely impressed with the Chicken & Waffle flavored potato chips, and more than surprised, and pleased, with the Cheesy Garlic Bread flavored potato chips.

When we first heard what the three flavor finalists were we figured that these Sriracha flavored potato chips were the shoe in for our favorites, for a handful of reasons.  First of all, it’s a well known fact that we here at Chip Review like hot and spicy flavored potato chips, and we are also huge fans of Huy Fong’s Sriracha Chili Sauce.  Lastly, it seemed like Lay’s should easily be able to successfully execute this flavor onto their potato chips.

We’re sure that we won’t be the only ones to do this, but we felt that it was crucial, in the name of good quality detective work, or reviewing, that we did a taste test comparison between these Lay’s Flavor Finalists and the real thing (potato chips with Sriracha sauce squirted on them).  So, we went to our pantry, grabbed our favorite green capped bottle of Huy Fong’s Sriracha Sauce, and liberally dosed some original salted potato chips to do the comparison.

First, the positives of Lay’s Sriracha flavored potato chips: Just like with each of the other two ‘flavor finalists’ these potato chips are large, unbroken, and definitely thicker, and more natural looking, and tasting, than traditional Lay’s potato chips.  The bright orange seasoning coating each of these chips quickly evokes thoughts of the hot and spicy Thai chili flavored chips we are about to consume.  The chili and garlic flavor aspects of Sriracha hot sauce are definitely present, and pretty spot on to the real thing.  The chips are decent, and tasty, and definitely above average.

Now, the negatives: Plain and simple, these do not taste like Huy Fong’s Sriracha Chili Sauce to us.  The vinegary nasal zing we love about Sriracha (and most hot sauces for that matter), has been replaced with a sourness from the use of sour cream rather than vinegar.  Next, we have a big problem with the inclusion of cheddar and swiss cheeses among the ingredients??  Why they are there is beyond us?  Maybe it’s to round out the flavor, or add some richness and depth to the chips, or maybe even cover up for something, but to us it simply takes away from these chips actually tasting like Sriracha.  Lastly, these chips are missing a lot of the spicy punch that the actual Sriracha hot sauce usually provides.  We expected a lot more heat from these, but alas, another chip that barks louder than it actually bites.

We think Gut Check has hit it right on they nail when they say, that you may just have to add Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce to these chips!!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

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REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Chippers 009

Comments:

At long last, the finalists for Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest have finally arrived!!! To chip fanatics such as us it seems like forever ago that Lay’s first announced the chance at a million dollars for creating a new potato chip flavor for them. We know that you are probably wondering if we submitted any flavor ideas to Lay’s, and the answer to that is, “of course!” Exactly how Lay’s had the nerve to pass on our ideas for Peanut Butter & Bacon, or Poutine flavored potato chips, we’re not sure…

Actually, we do know how, and it’s because Lay’s opted for a trio of more main stream, or at least u(sa)niversally palatable, flavors; albeit, relatively creative ones, that if executed effectively, could result in some genre stretching surprises, and highlights, within the industry!!

As you’ve probably already read, we were most excited to try the Chicken & Waffle flavored potato chips, simply because the flavor combo was definitely the most original, and most out-there (we wondered if it could actually be done?).  We figured that the Sriracha flavored potato chips were the shoe in for our favorites, because it’s a proven fact that we here at Chip Review like hot flavored potato chips, we are also huge fans of Sriracha Chili Sauce, and it seemed like the easiest flavor to successfully execute.  Lastly, to be completely honest, we were definitely the least excited to try these Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips.  How original, and how much of a stretch are garlic cheese flavored potato chips?  In fact, who hasn’t tried some type of garlic & cheese variation of chips before (Parmesan & Garlic anyone)?

We are happy to reveal that Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips are really good!  A nearly flawless example of the flavor description.  In fact, so spot-on that we’re willing to bet that a large percentage of people could identify, and actually name the flavor, in a blind taste test.

Similar to the Chicken & Waffle chips, the appearance of these Cheesy Garlic Bread chips is appealing right off the bat.  The chips are large, unbroken, and definitely thicker, and more naturally rustic than traditional Lay’s potato chips.  The inside of the bag glows with warmth from the golden sun color of the chips.  The chips could probably use a bit more color contrast, maybe a pop of green from some minced herbs scattered throughout (similar to the herbs covering the cheesy garlic bread on the front of the bag).

Flavor wise, these chips have a certain level of delicious, fatty, richness to them, and we’re guessing that comes from the use of five different cheeses, as well as, cream among the ingredients.  The five cheese blend – Cheddar, Parmesan, Swiss, Monterey Jack and Gouda – most definitely adds a lovely depth to the chips, and places them among the cheesiest we have ever tasted.  The garlic is upfront and powerful.  You will undoubtedly be tasting garlic for hours after consuming these chips (so vampires beware).  Together, the garlic and cheese combine to create the American household comfort food staple that we all know and love!

Have we mentioned how pleased we are with this ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest so far?!?  This is the best thing to happen to the chip industry since kettle chips became popular!!!  Here’s hoping that Lay’s makes this an annual occurrence!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

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REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

* Updated: 05/05/2013

Rating: ©©©©© chips (“A” list)

Chippers 007

Comments:

At long last, the finalists for Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ contest have finally arrived!!! To chip fanatics such as us it seems like forever ago that Lay’s first announced the chance at a million dollars for creating a new potato chip flavor for them. We know that you are probably wondering if we submitted any flavor ideas to Lay’s, and the answer to that is, “of course!” Exactly how Lay’s had the nerve to pass on our ideas for Anchovy-Garlic, or Black Truffle & Manchego potato chips, we’re not sure…

Actually, we do know how, and it’s because Lay’s opted for a trio of more main stream, or at least u(sa)niversally palatable, flavors; albeit, relatively creative ones, that if executed effectively, could result in some genre stretching surprises, and highlights, within the industry!!

For the record, we here at Chip Review have been huge fans of the wonderful combination of fried chicken and waffles for many years now, and we’ve tried numerous versions of the dish. However, when we asked around, we were surprised at how many people had never actually tasted the soul food staple before. We were even more surprised by people’s reactions, and assessments so far, to Lay’s Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips.

So, in our humble opinion, how well has Lay’s executed the sweet and savory, breakfast-dinner hybrid, flavor-finalist, chicken and waffle combination?!?! Very, very well. And, how well does the flavor concept translate onto potato chips??? We think, extremely well!!  These chips definitely rank among the best chips we have tasted so far in 2013, and we wouldn’t be very surprised if they ended up on our Top 25 Chips of the year.  However, we should just get it out of the way, and forewarn you – we seem to be in the minority here at Chip Review. Everywhere we looked on the internet, negative reviews for this flavor combination seemed to be popping up. None, more so than the Impulsive Buy’s take….which we can’t disagree with more (and we normally agree with their assessments).

First of all, the appearance of these chips is very appealing. The slightly thicker than normal Lay’s potato chips, are combined with a rich, caramel looking seasoning that had our mouths watering even before crunching a single chip. We thought that the bag smelled of sweet caramel corn, with notes of onion, but others (Impulsive Buy), thought these smelled of mold (to each their own)?!? The sweetness level can seem a bit abrupt, and overwhelming, at first, but once you get into the groove, and settle into what these chips are all about (sweet-salty-savory interplay), the sweetness level subdues a bit.

These chips will most likely be a flavor challenge to many. We are fairly certain that you have never tasted chips such as these before, and here at Chip Review we are so thrilled to be tasting something we honestly never could have imagined we would get to taste in chip format. We can agree slightly with many of the detractors that the chicken flavor level is a relatively minor, but when you really think about it, when chicken is combined with any more powerful flavor, in this case it would be syrup, it always plays second fiddle. To enhance the chicken flavor recognition aspect, garlic and onion seasoning have been added, and they do help with that aspect. Although others have said that there are no herbs present, a few of us at Chip Review could swear that we tasted rosemary hidden somewhere in the background (there are some very small and sparse green specs scattered throughout the chips so….who knows). Our only qualm with these chips and flavor may be their after taste, which reminded us slightly of a bouillon cube.

So, in the end, you may think we (along with Lay’s, and Christina Abu-Judom (the submitter of the flavor) are a bit crazy, and you could be right.  However, in the case of these chips we’re just so elated that a unique chip such as this has been released, and stirs up such buzz, and contemplation, and conversation, that we don’t care if we are in the minority, and we are perfectly fine with having to defend our opinions….

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.

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