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

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Sour Cream & Onion Chips – Tell us what you think

Sour Cream Onion_ChipReviewPoll

Chip Review’s Top 5 Sour Cream & Onion:

 

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

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Ranch Chips – Tell us what you think

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Chip Review’s Top 5 7 Ranch Flavored Chips:

1. Doritos – Cooler Ranch

2. Snyder’s of Hanover – Buttermilk Ranch Pretzel Pieces

3. Doritos – Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch

4. Vitner’s – Cool Ranch Crunchy Cheese Curls

5. Pringles Tortillas – Southwestern Ranch

runner-up: Cape Cod – Kettle Cooked Farm Stand Ranch Waffle Cut Potato Chips

2nd runner-up: Popcorn Indiana Chip’ins – Jalapeno Ranch Popcorn Chips

Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas – 2013

Well Chip Review readers, that wraps things up for another great year of chip reviewing!

We would like to say that it has been a true pleasure sharing our thoughts with all of you as we chomped our way through hundreds of bags, and countless calories this past year 🙂  Thanks to all of you who follow us each and every day.  We appreciate it, and we wouldn’t be here without each and everyone of you!!  Also, a very special thanks to those snack companies who graciously provided their products for us to review.  It’s a tough job (especially for our waistlines), but someone has got to do it.

Below is our list of the Top 25 Chips we reviewed this year.  Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear it!!

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#1 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Chicken & Waffle Potato Chips

#2 Yamayoshi – Spicy Chili Sour Plum Potato Chips

#3 Ziggy’s Kettle Corn – Sweet & Salty and Happenin’ Jalapeno with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

#4 Paqui Tortilla Chips – Grilled Habanero and Limited Edition Haunted Ghost Pepper

#5 Simply 7 – Jalapeno Lentil Chips

#6 Tyrrell’s – Sweet Chili & Red Pepper Hand Cooked Potato Crisps

#7 Palo Popcorn – White Cheddar Cheese

#8 Gibble’s – Red Hot Home Style Potato Chips

#9 The Original Saratoga Chips – Rosemary Garlic Potato Chips

#10 Angie’s – Sweetly White Cheddar Kettle Corn

#11 Herr’s – Sweet Onion Potato Chips

#12 Lundberg Multigrain Chips – Mojave Jalapeno

#13 Deep River Snacks – Aged Cheddar & Horseradish Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

#14 Mackie’s of Scotland – Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper Flavor Potato Crisps

#15 Chio Flips – Classic Peanut

#16 Lay’s Wavy – Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt Potato Chips

#17 Monster Munch – Flamin’ Hot

#18 Herr’s Kettle Cooked – Russet Potatoes Dark Potato Chips

#19 Yamayoshi – Wasabeef Potato Chips

#20 De-lish-us – Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips

#21 Simply 7 – Creamy Dill Lentil Chips

#22 Barrel O’ Fun – Gardy’s Signature Flavors – Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips

#23 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – Buffalo Wing Puffs

#24 Maebo’s – One-Ton Chips

#25 Lay’s – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

2013 Honorable Mentions

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2013 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2013!

Chip Review’s 25 Chips to Christmas…

#16

Lay’s Wavy – Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt Potato Chips

Lay's Wavy - Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt

Original Review Here

How many different Lay’s garlic flavored potato chips can we shove into one Top 25 chip list you may ask?!?  Well, you will have to stay tuned to find out.  That being said, if we happen to have tasted any other garlic flavored Lay’s potato chips that taste as rich and buttery as these do, then yes, there certainly would be more!

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy – Original Potato Chips Dipped In Milk Chocolate

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Lay's Wavy Chocolate

Comments:

By now just about  everyone, who is anyone, has weighed in on Lay’s newest limited edition sweet and salty creation.  Some love it, others not so much, but the real truth of the matter is, everyone is talking about them, and everyone wants to, or has, tried them!!

Truth be told, we almost didn’t even review these.  We know, we know, they are CHIPS – yes, but it is not like they have been flavored with some simple chocolate powder, they have been dipped into real creamy, milk chocolate and have crossed the savory line over into sweet, dessert-ville!

Everything about these Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips screams capital R-I-C-H!  From their shiny, rich, gold packaging, with the sturdy, thick quality packing to the simple product conception of salty, deep fried starchy, potato slices covered in rich, sweet, creamy milk chocolate.  Even their actual price tag screams rich!  Regularly priced at $3.49, for a bag size that normally sports the cents symbol!!

In the end, the wavy potato  chips are exactly what they aim to be.  They are simple, concise, and executed perfectly.  For those of us that want a salty snack when we reach for our potato chips, they do not fill that crunchy, salty void.  However, if you want something perfectly chocolate-y, a little sweet, a little salty, and a little crispy, well then here you go! Enjoy!!

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

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