Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips (lip-smacking)
Lay’s all new ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest is back! Can we just put it out there that we really appreciate and love that Lay’s has made this an annual tradition! As humungous chip fanatics and consumers (just like you!), we cannot begin to tell you how giddy we get each time this contest comes around. Who would have thought that just two short years ago (when Lay’s brought us the likes of Cheesy Garlic Bread, Sriracha, and of course our personal favorite, CHICKEN & WAFFLE!!), that this contest would become a THING? And in 2015, that THING, would be giving us the likes of Greektown Gyro, West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and New York Reuben?!?
In case there are any of you out there who are still unfamiliar with this contest. Lay’s is once again offering up the chance for one lucky individual to win a million smackers (ONE MILLION DOLLAR$$) for creating an all new potato chip flavor. We’re assuming that there were thousands of flavors submitted, and Lay’s has narrowed it down to four finalists. Now it is time for us to vote on the best of those four! This year Lay’s has once again allowed the flavor creators to pair each of their unique flavors with a specific style of chip, ensuring the best delivery medium for the flavor. Let’s get down to business.
Last week we reviewed Lay’s Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips, and we must say they were fantastic! Let’s see how Lay’s does with replicating the classic deli sammy!!
Next up: New York Reuben
Submitted by: Jeff Solensky of DuBois, PA
Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 10!
Chip Review’s excitement for this flavor level (scale: 1 – 10): 10!
Anyone who would not include the Reuben sandwich on a list of the top 5 most iconic American sandwiches of all time would be crazy in our books! Plain and simple, the Reuben is a tried and true classic!! C-L-A-double-S-IC!! And yet, as far as our research tells us, this traditional Americana sandwich has never ever gotten the chip flavor treatment! UNTIL NOW!! Thank you Lay’s, and thank you Jeff Solensky!
What is a Reuben exactly (do we even have to explain this…yes? no?…we’re sure you all know already….)? Either way, a Reuben is a grilled sandwich, served on rye bread, filled with a combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing (we have included links to descriptions of these ingredients in case you require definition on any of these as well). The classic sandwich combines flavor notes of earthy rye, and salty, and sour, and creamy, and meaty, and marries them into one deliciously cohesive sandwich!
So, how did Lay’s do in replicating this classic sandwich into potato chip form?! Absolutely amazing! Anyone who tries to tell you that these chips do not smell and taste exactly like a real Reuben sandwich are either trying to pull one over on you (in an obvious attempt to hoard all of the available market supply), or they are not of right mind!! Either way you crunch it, do not believe them, and go out and give these chips a try for yourself. Even if you do not love Reuben sandwiches (huh? really??), we assume that you have at least tried a Reuben in your lifetime, and you owe it to yourself to taste Lay’s amazing chips for their flavor accuracy!
We tore open the red lined Lay’s bag and with one whiff, instantaneous thoughts of Reuben sandwiches flooded our minds and taste buds! We could taste those flavors, even before actually tasting those flavors! How did they do it!? *Quick side note, prior to even popping one chip into our mouths we were wishing that Lay’s, or Jeff, (or whoever) had decided to use Lay’s Kettle Cooked style of chips for the canvas to this flavor. The hearty, extra crunchy potato chips would embrace the multi-layered flavor storm more successfully than Lay’s traditional, thin cut potato chips; but that’s just our opinion. Plain and simple, every single Chip Review taster who tossed these into their chip chomping cavities, confirmed without an ounce of doubt that these chips taste like Reubens!
Hold on tight! As we attempt to take you through the roller coaster of flavors that these chips travel on. The very first thing that we tasted, and it set the pace for our palettes for the rest of flavor experience, was the backbone of the Reuben – that’s right the rye bread (or maybe it’s the caraway seeds that flavor rye bread, either way). RYE!! Brilliant! Have you ever heard of rye flavored potato chips!?! Didn’t think so! Neither have we! And it is fantastic! Next up was a note of dill pickle – obviously meant to represent the classic pairing of Reuben with pickle. Then we got some of those tangy sour notes representing the sauerkraut. Man, these chips were really coming together! Lastly, add in a few of those creamy, zippy, mustard-citrus-tomato-spicy notes on the tail end, and we’ve got ourselves a Reuben sandwich!! But wait, did we mention anything about the meat? Did Lay’s even attempt to replicate the bright red slices of corned beef? Maybe some of those pickled-meat flavor notes are in there, but really, when you eat a Reuben do you taste very much of the meat?? No, you taste all of those supporting characters; the meat is predominantly there for texture and fatty mouth feel, and no matter what Lay’s does to these chips they won’t be able to replicate that!! And there you have it, New York Reuben flavors potato chips! Fantastic!!
Again, we must say that our initial thought that these chips would work best using Lay’s Kettle Cooked version was confirmed. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the only thing holding these chips back from us proclaiming them “A” list, and the best Lay’s chips of all-time (surpassing their ‘Do Us A Flavor’ brethren Chicken & Waffle), is the fact that this savory flavor deserves a sturdier potato chip. Beyond that one specific complaint, these chips are perfect. And we must admit that when we tasted Lay’s Greektown Gyro flavor last week, and we mentioned that Lay’s other ‘Do Us A Flavor’ flavors had their work cut out for them, we were thinking that we had probably already tasted the best that Lay’s had to offer from their 2015 line-up. Well, we are thrilled to say that we were wrong!! Our vote currently goes to Reuben for sheer flavor magic!! (*Note that some of our Chip Reviewers, although recognizing the brilliance of the Reuben seasoning, actually preferred the bold Gyro flavored, thicker cut kettle cooked potato chips!).
This may be a little premature but we’re going on the record books and saying that 2015 is ‘Do Us A Flavor’s’ best line-up yet!!
Chip Review’s All-time Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rankings:
9. Mango Salsa
Still to taste: West Coast Truffle Fries and Southern Biscuits and Gravy!! Stay tuned for reviews of these other flavors very soon.
As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.
Chips ordered online from Walmart
Voting ends October 18th, so make sure you go to the link below, and let Lay’s know which flavor should stick around for longer than a minute!!
Chip Ratings Scale:
© – return to sender
©© – tolerable
©©© – notable
©©©© – lip-smacking
©©©©© – “A” list