[ UPDATE 03/06/2013 ] I finally found the Sriracha at my local Kroger grocery store. Discussing with my local coworkers, Publix has been a hit or miss on the flavors (sometimes they only carry some). The Kroger in Franklin off of Mallory Lane has all three (with a special going on for Lay’s Chips, two for $5). Essentially saving you $1.79 off the retail price.
Sriracha ($4.29 a bag):
Hands down, Sriracha (in my opinion) is the best new flavor chip. It’s everything the other two finalist flavors weren’t. It’s unique enough that separates it from the rest of the Lay’s chip lineup but it’s bold enough with the right amount of flavoring. Not too vinegary, not too spicy, and just a tad bit sweet. The flavor (for those not familiar with Sriracha sauce) is similar to a sweeter version of American brand Texas Pete or Louisiana Hot sauces. The origins of this sauce is from Si Racha, Thailand. The spiciness isn’t overbearing at all, even for those sensitive to spicy foods. While the name Sriracha is might not be familiar to most people, the brand of Sriracha considered the most popular is by Huy Fong Foods.
[ Original Review ]
Hello. For you longtime readers, you know that I’m quite thorough in my reviews and they can get sometimes long. If you’ve been reading my Twitter & Facebook pages, I decided to start another “category” of reviews specific to snacks & other food-related items that are just quick reviews that I’m calling “microblogs”. These “microblogs” are just basically short & to the point. Hopefully these will allow me to write about something quickly with short turnaround. Without further ado…
Today I’m writing about the 2013 Lay’s Flavor Finalist Chips. Similar in vein to the PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew “readers choice” contests in years past, Lays created a contest where new chip flavors were submitted by fans. Three of the submitted flavors become “finalists” and fans would vote on the flavor to become a regular Lay’s potato chip flavor. These flavors are Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Sriracha, which were available nationwide on February 12. Unfortunately, Sriracha was not available at the time of this review and we (Nashville) didn’t get them until earlier this week.
Chicken & Waffles ($4.29 a bag):
I’m a fan of Chicken & Waffles (the real thing). Like the movie Ratatouille, there’s something about the combining flavors from different foods. Salty & savory fried chicken with the sweet flavors of waffles & syrup go together very nicely. Although I guess it’s an acquired taste. I expected these flavors from the chip but unfortunately I was left disappointed. The chip’s flavor is just too subtle and there is almost no savoriness to it. The first taste that registers is the sweetness of the chip, but it’s not all that sweet. When I think of sweet chips, I think of BBQ. The sweetness here is very faint. The next taste that follows is saltiness with spices, but even that is more faint. Both those flavors disappear within seconds of chewing the chip and all you’re left with is a husk of a fried potato in your mouth with almost no flavoring. What’s the point? Lastly, the flavor I was looking forward to was barely even there: chicken. The ingredients on the bag say there is “chicken flavor” but it’s way down the list. Personally, I think Lay’s did a better job at capturing the essence of meat with their BLT flavored potato chip flavor. Of course, the champion of “meat flavored” chips goes to Herr’s… but that’s another story.
Cheesy Garlic Bread ($4.29 a bag):
Everyone loves Cheesy Garlic Bread. It’s that guilty pleasure that tastes so good but is so very bad for you. One piece is enough to give you a heart attack. Warm toasted bread, creamy butter, garlic, loaded with cheese. As one would hope, I expected these essences in the chip. Unfortunately, this one was lacking. The flavor is much more apparent than that of Chicken & Waffles. From instantly opening the bag, you smell the garlic reminiscent of popping open a bottle of garlic powder. The taste however, is flipped and the first bite delivers a powerful cheesy flavor. But these chips remind me all too much of another cheese-flavored chip Lay’s creates: Cheddar and Sour Cream. With the absence of the sour cream is the garlic powder. In terms of flavoring, this is better than Chicken & Waffles but it’s too similar to Cheddar and Sour Cream (hence the average rating).