REVIEW: Lay’s – Passport to Flavor – Brazilian Picanha (Steak & Chimichurri Sauce)

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's - Brazilian PicanhaHello chip fans! Time for round 2 of Lay’s 2016 ‘Do Us a Flavor‘ competition!!  Wait…..oh yeah we forgot again – sorry about that, we can’t seem to get it through our chip lovin’ brains that Lay’s has forgone their annual summer – create a flavor / win a million – competition for a little more universal promotion! 

Although Lay’s may not be promoting their new ‘Passport to Flavor‘ chips as having any relation to this year’s Summer Olympics, it is pretty obvious that they are latching onto those worldwide publicity coat tails by 1) of course including a flavor from the host country Brazil, and by 2) including a very worldly diverse inclusion of countries.  And while Lay’s may not necessarily be offering us a flavor competition this time, we’re pretty sure they know that we will compare, and pit, the four flavors against one another – and we will definitely be handing out some flavor medals!

Last week we reviewed Lay’s Wavy Greek Tzatziki, and we were deliciously enthralled.  Still left to taste are Kettle Cooked Indian Tikka Masala, and Chinese Szechuan Chicken.  Next up are 2016 Olympic host country’s classic dish – Brazilian Picanha (aka Steak & Chimichurri Sauce).

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating for Picanha (scale: 1 – 10): 6

Chip Review’s excitement for this Picanha flavor (scale: 1 – 10): 9

Chip Review’s rating of bag design and color (scale: 1 – 10): 8

The only reason we did not rate Lay’s flavor creativity a bit higher for these is because we have actually tried quite a few different steak/beef flavored chips, in fact, the last ones we tasted actually included chimichurri sauce as well.  Still, we were very intrigued, and impressed, by Lay’s decision to specify a certain Brazilian treasured cut of meat.  According to Google, Picanha is a cut of beef popular in Brazil. In the U.S. it is little known, but referred to as the rump cover, rump cap or coulotte. North American butchers generally divide it into other cuts like the rump, the round and the loin (Wikipedia).  We’ve never encountered the Picanha before, but based on what Marvo over at The Impulsive Buy says in his review of the chips, it is an extremely delicious cut of meat.

What we are familiar with is steak (typically skirt, or strip, or ribeye or…), and we do pair it with some delicious chimichurri sauce every so often. We have always associated chimichurri sauce more so with Argentinian cuisine than Brazilian, but maybe Lay’s knows something we do not.  Either way, for any of you possibly unfamiliar with what chimichurri sauce is, it is an uncooked, semi-chunky, herbal loaded, sauce served atop, or for dipping with, steak.  The sauce recipes vary, but usually contain the following: parsely, garlic, oregano, vinegar and oil – sometimes red chili flakes.

To say that we had high expectations for this flavor maybe a grave understatement. The reasoning for said lofty expectations have everything to do with the last time that Lay’s released a new chip flavor based on a meaty iconic Brazilian dish in their – Copa de los Sabores (Flavor Cup) – Feijoada flavored potato chips – which are easily some of Lay’s greatest chips of all-time!  Well, these new chips certainly do not compare to those chips, and they won’t be making Chip Review’s Top 5 – Meat Flavored Chips of all-time, but they are pretty darn tasty in their own right.

The muddled, slightly smoke-laden seasoning pairs well with the fried potato chip.  We were able to eat through this entire bag without any problem.  The seasoning is un-aggressively well balanced, with just a touch of those fresh, herb-y, chimichurri notes of oregano and parsley, and a decent smattering of garlic. But in the end, we were kind of hoping for more of a tangy chimichurri punch.  We appreciate the chips’ beefiness, that aspect is very well done.  So, if you are a fan of meat flavored chips, these could very well suit your fancy.

In our opinion, this flavor should have been paired with Lay’s kettle cooked potato chips.

So there you have it, all four ‘Passport to Flavor’ chips eaten and reviewed.  We were pretty pleased with this new flavor line-up.  Here is how we would hand out the ‘Passport to Flavor’ medals:

Gold – Chinese Szechuan Chicken

Silver – Greek Tzatziki

Bronze – Brazilian Picanha (Steak & Chimichurri Sauce)

What’s after Bronze? – Indian Tikka Masala

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

Chips discovered at Walmart; Hodgkins, Illinois

Lay’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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