Rating: ©©©©© chips (“A” list)
Alright, we have reached the culmination of this southern hemisphere tour de chips! Lucky for you, and even more lucky for us, we saved the best for last!
If you are a regular around these parts then you know that we’ve already reviewed Lay’s Ensalada Chilena (deliciously simple), España Chorizo Iberico (tangy and funky), and Peru Pollo a la Brasa (lackluster) flavored chips, and in our opinion they have completely blown away Lay’s U.S.A. in the new, limited edition flavor field! This is how it should be done!! South American Style!!!
You may have already read the following, but for those of you who have not:
Wouldn’t you know it, Chip Review leaves the country right as Lay’s U.S. released this year’s four new ‘Do Us a Flavor’ chips. So, we missed all of the initial hub-bub, and our own ‘Do Us a Flavor’ reviews were a little behind on the ball, but everything worked out in the end, because while most of your were struggling through weird flavors like cappuccino, we were busy devouring four delicious limited edition Lay’s Chile Copa de los Sabores! Aka – World Cup inspired flavors! That’s right, in honor of 2014’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Lay’s Chile decided to release four unique flavors highlighting traditional dishes from
four, scratch that three, South American countries, plus Spain?? *On a side note: we just wonder why Lay’s Chile opted to include Spain, a European country, rather than stick with their South American siblings, and include a country such as Argentina, who of course exudes World Cup soccer, and who’s grilled steak with chimichurri sauce, would have fit right in with this flavor line-up?? Is there some sort of underlying rivalry between the two…?! Or, are are they simply honoring their Latin American roots by including Spain? The world may never know!
Sort of fitting that Brasil was our flavor winners among Lay’s Copa de los Sabores flavor line-up because they were also the soccer, excuse us futbol, team that made it the furthest in this year’s World Cup! Brasil – really good at soccer, and even better at chip flavors!!
So, what exactly is feijoada? Well, for those of you who somehow unfamiliar with this delicious Brazilian staple (shame on you), let’s just call it the most comforting-comfort food there ever was! You know that favorite winter dish that only your grandma, (who just so happens to live far far away), makes only once a year when you finally come to visit? Now imagine just how comforting that dish is to you, multiply that comfort by three, and you may begin to understand the delicious contentment that feijoada provides. Feijoada reminds us of home, even if it was never made in any of our homes growing up.
More technically, feijoada is a thick black bean stew cooked at a very low temp, for a very long time, with various cheap cuts of pork and beef. The rich and hearty Brazilian stew that we are familiar with is often accompanied by rice (to soak up all the delicious stew juice), julienned collard greens (adding some freshness and crunchy texture), farofa (toasted flour – think very finely ground bread crumbs, toasted with butter and bacon, providing some salty, nutty, and additional porky notes), and lastly, orange slices (for some acidity, and of course to help cut through all of that richness!). Sounds complex, sounds like a lot, and it is, but amidst everything that is going on, feijoida is completely harmonious!
So, how well did Lay’s do with replicating feijoada’s vast array of flavors? Did we really taste layers of rich black beans, stewed with pork and beef with sides of greens, rice, toasted flour and oranges? The simple answer is NO, but do these potato chips taste absolutely unique and delicious? YES! Yes they do!!! Not only were these easily the best among the four Copa de los Sabores, but they are also the best chips that we have ever had from Chile, and even among the best Lay’s that we have tasted ever! The seasoning included an amazing array and interplay of flavors. Everything from a slightly smoky meat flavor, to some tangy sour acidic notes, and even a touch of some bitter vegetal notes. And while the chips may not have perfectly represented Brasil’s national dish, they were a delicious and complex attempt.
Viva las papas fritas!!
As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.
Chips discovered at Lider Express; Santiago, Chile
Chip Ratings Scale:
© – return to sender
©© – tolerable
©©© – notable
©©©© – lip-smacking
©©©©© – “A” list