25 Chips to Christmas – 2016….

On the first day of Chips to Christmas our true love gave to us……

#25

Lay’s – Passport to Flavor: Greek Tzatziki – and – Chinese Szechuan Chicken – and – Brazilian Picanha (Steak & Chimichurri Sauce)

Lay's Wavy - Greek TzatzikiLay's - Chinese Szechuan ChickenLay's - Brazilian Picanha

Original Reviews Here and Here and Here

Normally this time of your year we are telling you all about some delicious new ‘Do Us a Flavor‘ that Lay’s released during the calendar year…..but not this year.  This year Lay’s opted for a new promotion coinciding with the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.  The result was a worldly array of new and unique potato chip flavors.

REVIEW: Lay’s – Passport to Flavor – Chinese Szechuan Chicken

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's - Chinese Szechuan ChickenAlright chip fans, like we so often do, we’ve done it again, we’ve saved the best for last! 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know, we are pretty late to the Chinese Szechuan Chicken flavored potato chip review ball!  For the most part everyone else has danced their last dance.  But, the very last song is playing, and luckily for us, that song happens to be our most favorite so we are going to get down like there’s no tomorrow.

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating for Szechuan Chicken (scale: 1 – 10): 8

Chip Review’s excitement for this Szechuan Chicken flavor (scale: 1 – 10): 10

Chip Review’s rating of bag design and color (scale: 1 – 10): 7

For whatever reason we here at Chip Review appear to be in the minority on this flavor.  All of the other “big boy” reviewers have already chimed in, and overall they just don’t seem to really enjoy these.  So, let’s take a look at some of these other reviews and try to understand why they may not love these, and whether we have anything to say about that or not.

First up, The Impulsive Buy’s review

They were spicy, sweet, and unusual to the point where I’m not sure if I liked them.

All of those adjectives have a little something to do with why we actually like them so much!  They are a touch sweet, they do bring some heat, and there are certainly some unusual flavors in there that we haven’t necessarily tasted on other chips (which is why we love them so much).  Although The Impulsive Buy calls them adventurous and spicy, the review also mentions that these are their least favorites of the four flavors.   TIB also posed the question – “what’s wok flavor?”  Well, we are pretty sure that Lay’s is referring to “Wok Hei”, aka “the breath of the wok”, which is the flavor or essence imparted by the wok when cooking over very high heat. The characteristic flavor is due to the the Maillard reactions caused between the high heat and sugar, in the end, the charring of the ingredients.  Shout out to In on Thai’s extremely WOK HEI-FUL Spicy BBQ Pork Fried Rice!!

And, Junk Food Guy’s review

I’m more offended by this: The white takeout container????

SALT BOMB. After eating a good bit of the bag, my stomach definitely started to feel sour. These are FINE, but I won’t be eating them again. A little too sodium packed for me, overwhelming normal chip balance. Nope. 

Offended by the white takeout container, really??  Come’on Junk Food Guy, we value your opinion very much, but we cannot agree with that statement.  In fact, our three most favorite Chinese restaurants in the Chicago area all still utilize these “classically iconic” take out containers.  We can agree with JFG’s assessment that they are salty, because they most definitely are, but we never got to the point of feeling like they were too salty.  And regarding the overall chip and flavor balance, well, we can also agree that they are very well balanced, but that is part of what we loved about them.  They kept us intrigued, perplexed, and were something new for our chip loving mouths to enjoy.

Lastly,  Junk Banter’s review

I think I’ve submitted every single Chinese dish as a Lay’s Do Us A Flavor submission in the past. Chinese food is awesome, but sometimes I am too lazy to pick up a phone and have someone bring me food. Lay’s Chinese Szechuan Chicken fulfills my dream of having Chinese food that I can eat from a bag with my hands.

We too can reiterate the statement that we’ve submitted so many different Chinese dishes as possible flavors for the Do Us a Flavor competition each year.  That being said, never has one of those submissions been Szechuan Chicken.  Overall, we agree with most of Junk Banter’s review of these chips, accept where as Junk Banter feels like this seasoning, doesn’t jive with the potato chips, we feel like it does.  The seasoning may not work as well as other classic matches, but we just love that we are tasting these flavors on fried potato chips!

Rich, foreign, exotic, flavors.  Our most favorite aspect of these chips is that they do in fact contain Szechuan peppercorns.  We actually got some of that undeniable mouth numbing characteristics of these unique peppercorns.

So there you have it, all four ‘Passport to Flavor’ chips eaten and reviewed.  We were pretty pleased with this new flavor line-up.  But, how about next time Lay’s just goes ahead and releases four new Chinese food flavors!  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)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Doritos Royal – Tandoori Chicken (Japan)

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Doritos Royal - Tandoori ChickenDoritos Royal = Rich Taste Tortilla Chips….. Okay, we can buy into that.

A few weeks ago we told you that just for the heck of it we recently ordered a variety of unique flavored Japanese Doritos and Cheetos from eBay.  First review was of Doritos Black Pepper flavor – which were decent enough.  Next up is the classic Indian dish of Tandoori Chicken, getting the Doritos Royal treatment.

Now, this is a unique flavor for Doritos, and one that we’re guessing many U.S. palettes have never laid their lips on.

According to our records these mark our very first tandoori chicken flavored chips of any type.

Tandoori Chicken is a classic Indian dish, that has gained popularity throughout many parts of the world.

Opposed to flavor?  Then stay the heck away from these tortilla chips!!

We’re talking about a combination of garlic, cayenne chili, pepper, ginger, lemon, yogurt, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and paprika.  Plus, Doritos is probably also trying to represent the chicken flavor, using a handful of other ingredients as well….. although, it is fair to say, we can’t really taste anything beyond the bold tandoori seasoning blend!

So, does the flavor work well with corn tortilla chips?  Nope, not really.  We would much rather prefer eating this comforting Indian dish at a candlelit dinner table, next to a crackling fire, on a balmy winter evening; or at the very least on real chicken, with a knife and fork.

Last little thing to make mention of is the Doritos Royal tortilla chip shape.  The edges have been rounded, which sort of makes the chips resemble a bell??  Round edges?  Are these supposed to be child safety shaped or something?  No more injuries to the tops of peoples’ mouths?  Who knows.

Well, there you have it.  Anyone else out there tried them yet?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips purchased from market_tokyo on ebay.

Frito Lay – Doritos Japan Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Old Dutch Ripples Appetizers On The Go – Chicken Artichoke Flatbread

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Old Dutch Ripples Appetizers - Chicken Artichoke FlatbreadWe may have called Old Dutch’s Appetizers On The Go our favorite sort of Appetizers On The Go ( AKA CHIPS, they are so deliciously versatile!), the last time we reviewed them, but that statement does not hold true with this most recent flavor!!

Old Dutch’s Chicken Artichoke Flatbread is salty, salty, – capital S-A-L-T-Y!!  And not in the good, we really love salt, sort of way.

The potato chips have a very distinct spices/herbs aroma – we recognize basil right off the bat.

But, as for the taste – uhhhh…. we do not taste any chicken, artichoke or flatbread (not that we were expecting to actually taste the flatbread).

What we do taste are all of the ingredients that are listed on the back of the bag – tomato powder, onion, garlic and basil.  In other words these chips taste sort of like generic pizza seasoning.

The chips aren’t necessarily bad by any means but they are just some of the least accurately flavor named that we can remember.  Why Old Dutch even decided to call them chicken artichoke is beyond us?!?

Chips discovered at Kwik Trip; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Pringles Exclusive Flavor! – Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Prinlges - Bourbon BBQExtra! Extra! Read all about it!  Another all new Exclusive Flavor from Pringles has hit the store shelves!! And this Exclusive Flavor belongs to…..drum roll please….everyone’s favorite, dollar section near the front doors, Archer Farms selling, giant red bullseye – TARGET!  As far as we know it, this marks Target’s very first Pringles exclusive flavor, right?  The vast majority of Pringles Exclusive Flavors thus far have belonged to Walmart, with one, maybe two flavors being carried elsewhere.  Well, here’s hoping Target’s first is a goodie!

Sorry Marvo, didn’t want to be the ones to burst your high hopes bubble, but these are just…OK.  Not nearly as unique or tasty as Pringles Kickin’ Chicken Taco.  Not necessarily bad in any way, just not very unique or original either.  We are certain that if we wouldn’t have read the flavor name before eating these, there is no way we would have been able to pinpoint anything unique about them, and simply called them BBQ flavored.

Speaking of that Bourbon Barbecue Chicken flavor…when we first saw this flavor we had visions of one of our favorite sticky chicken dishes, from one of our favorite Minnesota chain restaurants – Leeann Chin.  BUT, as it turns out, our idea, or vision, of these Pringles should have been more Kentucky BBQ than American-Chinese carryout!

Well, since we are calling this a review, we better say at least something about the crisps themselves (although, we’re going to be honest, we don’t really have very much to say).  Have you ever tried bbq flavored Pringles?  Well then, you already sort of know what these taste like.  Standard Pringles potato crisps – salty, crunchy, stacked – check.  The seasoning was a little bit darker in color than a standard bbq red.  And the Bourbon Barbecue Chicken flavor was maybe a little bit richer, deeper, and what we can only describe as more caramel-ly…if that makes any sense?!?  We can say that we did sort of, way, way, way at the tail end of the flavor catch a hint of chicken presence.  Again, there is no way to be certain that we would have tasted this chicken flavor note without knowing that it should be there.

Overall, the flavor is pretty good, no real complaints, other than just nothing very unique or original about it.  We’re sort of wishing that Pringles had actually gone more along the lines of our original Leean Chin thoughts of the flavor!

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

Discovered at Target; Hillside, Illinois

Pringles Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

RATING: Pringles Food Truck Flavors – Kickin’ Chicken Taco

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Pringles - Chicken Taco

These are pretty unique crisps, even for Pringles.  Loaded with spices like cumin and coriander, which certainly evoked thoughts of tasty chicken tacos to many of our tasters.  However, if you are one of those (weird) people who do not like cumin or coriander, then you very well not like these!

For an in depth review of these Pringles – check out Junk Food Guy’s site

Discovered at Walgreens; Hillside, Illinois

Pringles Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list