REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Southern Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's - Southern Biscuits and GravyAnd that’s a wrap!  The final new flavor from  Lay’s 2015 ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest is in the books…or more accurately, in our stomachs!!  Did we save the best for last??  You will just have to keep on reading below to find out…

We must say, we quite enjoyed every single flavor this season!  Bravo Lay’s, bravo!  And 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 up: Southern Biscuits & Gravy

Submitted by: Hailey Green of Noblesville, Indiana

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

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

It was a little over a year ago when we wrote the following: “Bisuits & Gravy!  Really?!  How is it possible that this has not been attempted before?  The combination seems like a no-brainer to work with potato chips, but can it be executed correctly? Let’s just say…WOW!  Really wow!”  Those very excited words were in reference to Larry The Cable Guy’s delicious Biscuits & Gravy Tater Chips.  What’s that you say?  Biscuits & Gravy have been done before in potato chip form, and we never tried them?!  To that we say yes, and unfortunately, Larry’s lip-smacking Tater Chips are pretty hard to come by these days (especially outside of the midwest), but luckily for you Lay’s potato chips can be found practically anywhere the sun shines, and their ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rendition of this classic southern dish is pretty darn delicious as well!

Let’s try and break the iconic chicken and biscuit layers of flavor down: Creamy, fatty, rich mouth feel – CHECK!  Distinct herb-y breakfast sausage aroma – CHECK!  Slight tangy underlying dairy presence – CHECK!  Good dash of throat tickling black pepper – CHECK!!  Lay’s Southern Biscuits and Gravy chips do seem to touch on all of the flavor prerequisites, and yet we’re more than sure if we were asked to do a blind taste test of these chips, and had no idea of the flavor ahead of time, we would not have pinpointed that these were biscuits and gravy!  Probably our most favorite flavor aspect of these chips were the herbs from the sausage.  There simply is no mistaking that classical herb combination of lots of sage, with a dash of thyme and rosemary, all mixed into some crumbled pork sausage.  Breakfast here we come!!

So, how did Lay’s do compared to Larry the Cable Guy?  Well, we would have to tip our hat to Larry for two reasons.  One, his biscuits and gravy chips are the original; and the original always gets point simply for being the original!  And two, his potato chips themselves are just better than Lay’s classic potato chips.  A little bit more hearty, skin-on, and lots of real potato flavor.  Now, if we were judging strictly off of flavor-seasoning then we think Lay’s would have pulled ahead in that one.  Regardless, Lay’s has created some great tasting chips here, and we are all better for it!

So, there you have it, the fourth and final ‘Do Us A Flavor’ flavor down.  2015 is easily ‘Do Us A Flavor’s’ best line-up ever (and 2014 is even more easily their worst line-up ever!!)!!

Chip Review’s All-time Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rankings:

1. Chicken & Waffle

2. New York Reuben

3. Greektown Gyro

tie 4. Cheesy Garlic Bread

tie 4. Southern Biscuits & Gravy

6. West Coast Truffle Fries

7. Cappuccino

8. Sriracha

9. Wasabi Ginger

10. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

11. Mango Salsa

Still to taste: None! We’re done!!  Who’s ready for 2016’s finalists?!  What will the flavors be next year?!  Make sure to tell us your predictions or ideas below!

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!!

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – West Coast Truffle Fries Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's Wavy - West Coast Truffle FriesSummer 2015 is officially here!  Do you know what we mean by that?  THEY’RE BAAACK!!!!!

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.

So far, we have reviewed Lay’s Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips, and Lay’s New York Reuben chips, and we must say that Lay’s has far, far exceeded our expectations thus far!  Let’s see how Lay’s does with replicating the somewhat classic fried potato, truffle and cheese combo!

Next up: West Coast Truffle Fries

Submitted by: Angie Fu of Irvine, California

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 5

Chip Review’s excitement for this flavor level (scale: 1 – 10): 3

While maybe only 10 – 15 years ago truffle fries were a delicious delicacy found only every once in a while on some great gastropub’s menu, today they are just about as common, or mandatory, of a menu item as burgers and beer!!  Seriously, we feel confident that we could walk into any new gastropub that we have never tried before, take a seat at the bar, ask for a Two Hearted Ale, and some truffle fries, and both would be set down in front of us shortly thereafter.  They are the safe potato chip choice.  We think Celebuzz summed them up best when they said that they are the “Chip equivalent of: Taylor Swift…created for mass appeal.”  In other words, Lay’s West Coast Truffle Fries are what we would call, the least original flavor from this year’s line-up. Does that necessarily make them bad in any way?  No, it just means that they are missing that exotic chip flavor wow factor, and must rely more on execution and flavor accuracy.  So, how did Lay’s do?

First of all, just like with the New York Reuben flavor, we feel as though Lay’s, or Angie, or whoever’s decision it was, have once again chosen the wrong chip for the flavor.  Lay’s Wavy potato chips are probably our most favorite of their styles!  They are fun, and crunchy, and rugged and WAVY!  Truffles on the other hand, are classical, high end, delicate, and sophisticated ingredients that deserve a classic chip – aka Lay’s traditional potato chips.  We just feel like the two would have been a more natural pairing.

As for the seasoning, well, like many people on the interwebs have already been indicating, the chips’ truffle-ness is on the subtle side.  They do not encompass a very powerful truffle aroma, and you really have to crunch a handful of chips to actually distinguish that undeniably unique, funky-earthy flavor…  BUT!!  Let it be known that we actually appreciate their subtlety, as it is likely the result of Lay’s decision to use real black truffles (albeit, a very miniscule amount), as opposed to the easy out – otherwise known as truffle oil (For some reason, back in the ’90s, truffle oil became an acceptable—even desirable—ingredient for chefs to use. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of real truffles (which vary year to year, but generally run in the thousands-of-dollars-per-ounce range), it seemed like an easy way to add some truffle aroma to an otherwise boring dish.  Problem is, truffle oil isn’t even made from truffles. It’s made from an organic compound called 2,4-Dithiapentane—derived either naturally or from a petroleum base—mixed together with olive oil.”) Serious Eats

Getting back on track, we’ve tasted, and reviewed, a handful of truffle flavored snacks (predominantly popcorn) over the years, and we are happy to say that these Lay’s are among some of the best!  Not the most truffle-y, but just overall a tasty chip.  The chips succeed on hitting all of the necessary flavor notes: a little garlicky, a dash of salty cheese – parmesan or romano, parsley for color, and a touch of the earthy truffle.  The combination of course works, and delivers a very savory chip.  Probably our most favorite aspect of these chips were the inclusion of DUCK FAT!!!  That’s right, fat rendered from that annoyingly voiced Donald character! In fact, believe it or not, but our most favorite variation of truffle fries are fried in duck fat, and actually come from a place called Duck Fat Tavern!!

Overall, Lay’s Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries are a lip-smacking addition to the ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Alumni team.  If they would have been released with last years group we would have declared them our favorites, but it just so happens that they are competing against some really stellar flavors this year!  That’s just how the chip crunches.  There you have it, another ‘Do Us A Flavor’ flavor down, only one to go.  So, unless Lay’s Southern Biscuits and Gravy are an abomination (and from what we’ve heard, they are not), it is official 2015 is ‘Do Us A Flavor’s’ best line-up ever!

Chip Review’s All-time Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rankings:

1. Chicken & Waffle

2. New York Reuben

3. Greektown Gyro

4. Cheesy Garlic Bread

5. West Coast Truffle Fries

6. Cappuccino

7. Sriracha

8. Wasabi Ginger

9. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

10. Mango Salsa

Still to taste: Southern Biscuits and Gravy!!  Stay tuned for our review 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!!

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – New York Reuben Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's - New York ReubenSummer 2015 is officially here!  Do you know what we mean by that?  THEY’RE BAAACK!!!!!

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:

1. Chicken & Waffle

2. New York Reuben

3. Greektown Gyro

4. Cheesy Garlic Bread

5. Cappuccino

6. Sriracha

7. Wasabi Ginger

8. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

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!!

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Greektown Gyro Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's Do Us - Greektown GyroSummer 2015 is officially here!  Do you know what we mean by that?  THEY’RE BAAACK!!!!!

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 we would be seeing 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.

First up: Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro

Submitted by: James Wagner of Wichita Falls, TX

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

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

Well, well, well, look at what we stumbled upon during a recent visit to the big blue store.  And by stumbled upon we of course mean that we made a specific trip to our local Walmart hoping to spot any of the new ‘Do Us A Flavor’ chips, and the only ones we found were these Greektown Gyro flavored kettle chips.  But, that being said, what a deliciously unique flavor to start out with!!  Seriously, in our opinion these have set the flavor bar extremely high, and those other flavors will have to really step up their game if they hope to steal our vote away from these!

So, we all know what gyros are right?  They’re those sandwiches from the local fair that your grand-pappy used to call jai-rows…  Well, in case you are in that boat, or really don’t know what they are, gyros are a traditional Greek sandwich of sorts.  A quick Google search told us that Gyro comes from the Greek word for turn, which would stem from the spinning vertical spit that the higher fat content meat (such as lamb or beef) is sliced from.  This meat is flavored with loads of spices that could include salt, paprika, garlic, oregano, cumin, pepper and chile powder (and many others).  The meat is crammed into a folded pita (sort of taco style), and then splashed with a creamy tzatziki sauce (we’ll explain this later), and topped with tomatoes and some onion.

In our opinion, Lay’s has done as well as any of us could have possibly hoped they could do translating a fatty and flavorful meat sandwich into potato chip form!  Right off the bat there is a strong dash of flavorful herbaceous notes.  These fragrant herbs are certainly familiar to our palettes but tough to accurately distinguish.  Oregano perhaps?  Marjoram, who knows?  Definitely parsley, but is that thyme or dill??  So, we’re not exactly sure on the herbs, but they definitely got our taste buds interested in where these chips were headed!  Next, comes the easily identifiable, and spot on, creamy tzatziki sauce layer of flavor.  That cool and creamy yogurt (sour cream), and cucumber sauce, smooths out the entire equation.  For any of you out there who are also unfamiliar with this staple Greek condiment, probably the easiest way to describe this one to you would be – think sour cream and onion chips, only sub the onion for garlic, and add some flecks of dill.  In other words, this of course pairs perfectly with Lay’s kettle cooked chips!  At the tail end of the chip flavor spectrum comes a final splash of those rich and powerful seasonings associated with gyro meat.  We’re talking cumin, chili powder, garlic, and pepper.  If our taste buds weren’t already dancing, these flavors put them into overdrive!
Plain and simple, these chips are really something.  A amazingly complex marriage of flavors that in our opinion works!  Do they taste like meat at all, not really, but they trick our minds just enough with all of the other flavors that we were perfectly fine with that!  Bravo! Sorry other 2015 Do Us A Flavor flavors!! You’ve got your work cut out for you!

This time around rather than just ranking 2015’s new flavors against each other, we’ve opted to rank every single ‘Do Us A Flavor’ flavor against one another!

Chip Review’s Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rankings:

1. Chicken & Waffle

2. Greektown Gyro

3. Cheesy Garlic Bread

4. Cappuccino

5. Sriracha

6. Wasabi Ginger

7. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

8. Mango Salsa

Still to taste: West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and our personal most excited for: New York Reuben!!  Stay tuned for reviews of these other flavors once we find them.

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

Chips discovered at Walmart; Villa Park, IL

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!!

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips (notable)

Lay's - Do Us a Flavor - Bacon Mac & Cheese duoBy 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 although the flavors sounded really promising, overall we have been less than impressed with every one of them! 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!

Last up: Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

Submitted by: Matt Allen, Dayton, Ohio

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 2

Chip Review’s excitement level (scale: 1 – 10): 2

To be completely honest, we’ve been holding off on writing our review of this final flavor simply because we really don’t have much to say about it.  Quite frankly, we enjoyed all three flavors from Lay’s last contest better than any of these this year!! We wouldn’t even necessarily say that it is due to an overall lack of creativity in flavors, but simply more a lack of execution.  That is, except for this flavor.  This flavor screams unoriginal, and is clearly targeted at the unadventurous, comfort food loving masses!  However, being the professionals that we are, we buckled down, bought a bag and crunched our way through it.

Here’s a thought, what if the chips had been made out of actual macaroni and cheese?  There’s probably no way, but that could have amp’d up their creativity a little bit!  Instead, the chips are simply another bacon and cheese flavored chip on the market.  They are not bad in any way, and they deliver a pretty well balanced bacon and cheese flavor.  Lay’s was actually able to control their smoke level just enough to compliment the cheese seasoning rather than overwhelm it, as is most often the case.  The chips are definitely on the saltier side of things, but we have no problem with that.  Overall, these are perfectly fine chips.  We can’t imagine anyone not liking these.  Personally, we just aren’t looking for fine chips, we want WOW chips!  These are not WOW chips!  None of Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ chips this year have been WOW chips!

Better luck next year!

Chip Review’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Rankings:

1. Cappuccino

2. Wasabi Ginger

3. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

4. Mango Salsa

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

Vote for your favorite here

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips (notable)

Lay's Do Us A Flavor - CappuccinoBy 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!

Next up: Cappuccino

Submitted by: Chad Scott, Las Vegas

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

Chip Review’s excitement level (scale: 1 – 10): 9

Can we just start out by saying that this year of Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ is looking to be one giant flop to us.  Quite frankly, we enjoyed all three flavors from Lay’s last contest better than any of these so far this year!! And we wouldn’t even necessarily say that it is do to a lack of creativity in flavors, but simply more a lack of execution.  That is until now!

So, that being said, HOLY MOLY, WTF!?!?  These are simply mind boggling!  Although the flavor may not be exactly spot on, these chips do evoke plenty of thoughts of lightly sweetened creamed espresso.  The seasoning is possibly a little too heavy on the cinnamon (do people put cinnamon in cappuccino?), but otherwise it hits the cappuccino marks very well – a little sweet, rich, dark, nutty, roasted, creamy, smooth cappuccino flavors.  The coffee aspect of these chips is the best part, and if these were simply coffee potato chips we may have actually have loved them.  However, the flavor notes that turn us off are the creamy, butter, brown sugar components that translate it to a cappuccino.  Top marks for creativity and accuracy, but it is unanimous that potato chips and cappuccino seasoning are not a match made in heaven.

That’s really about all WE have to say about these.  But, we thought what better way to really show you what people think about these then to share some of the best comments we have read in reference to them:

“I’m sure Mr. Scott means well. But I suspect Lay’s slipped cappuccino chips into the final four for the same reason “American Idol” judges flog the one awful auditioner for viewers to mock. It might also be a shrewd marketing campaign, playing off the idea that negative buzz is buzz all the same.” (Kevin Pang, ChicagoTribune.com)

“My honest take is that these have hints of coffee, but mostly it’s a buttery salty and sweet potato chip. Besides the initial bit of coffee/cinnamon/sugar taste, these mostly taste like a nutty potato chip. Hazelnut? I’m not going to go that far.

Were these tasty? I mean, my mouth didn’t water for them, but they weren’t HORRIBLE. Definitely interesting…but more interesting than tasty. I think anyone who tries these won’t spit them out…but I’m not sure you’ll be reaching for another one.”  (junkfoodguy.com)

I raised a single chip and brought it closer to my nose, taking a moment to harness my senses in that cultured thing coffee people do before they take a sip. Then I remembered I was sitting in my office with a potato chip held up to my nose, and realized how freaking ridiculous I looked. I sampled the seasoning by licking the fried exterior of the spud clean.

Its flavor is maddeningly indescribable. I’m taken aback at first, completely unable to harness dozens of hours of GRE verbal practice tests in assessing what the flavor is.

It’s slightly bitter with an odd sensation from the aftermath of lactic sweetness. It leaves a light roasted coffee flavor hanging on the roof of your mouth. I taste more chips and I’m dumbfounded, searching for a salty-sweet affirmation of what I thought the chips would taste like.“(Adam, TheImpulsiveBuy.com)

And, some of our favorite comments come from a variety of different individuals over at host.madison/entertainment:

Really, supremely not great. It’s kind of like a cheap cinnamon roll dipped in a bad cup of coffee that’s been flavored with the disgusting hazelnut-flavored creamer. As my least favorite of the pack, I could see how it might find a purpose if used as an ingredient in a trying-too-hard dessert.” (Matt Buxton, reporter)

The flavor association of cappuccino offers an interesting creamy sensation to a crunchy chip. But the greasy nature of potato chips doesn’t do well with the overriding cinnamon of this chip.”   (Robbin Wood, reporter)

Cappuccino — Just … no.” (Weston Morrow, reporter)

Chip Review’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Rankings:

1. Cappuccino

2. Wasabi Ginger

3. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

4. Mango Salsa

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

Vote for your favorite here

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

Rating: ©© 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 the ones combined with chiles).  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.

Chip Review’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Rankings:

1. Cappuccino

2. Wasabi Ginger

3. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

4. Mango Salsa

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

Vote for your favorite here

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©©notable

©©©©lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list