[3-Pack Review] Lay’s 2017 Do Us a Flavor Chips

Fans of savory foods, I have let you down.

Snack Cellar has been on an absolute tear of sweet cereals, cookies, and ice creams for months now. Review after review, with not a salty food in the bunch! Well, that’s assuming you don’t count Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites, I suppose.

So tonight, I’ll make it up to all of you/punish myself by eating three flavors of potato chips in one sitting. You might call it potato chip masochism, I call it–yeah, actually that sounds about right.

Lay’s is back with another Do Us a Flavor promotion, where fans come up with ideas for new flavors and select the one that will receive an extended run on shelves. Basically, Lay’s dangles $1 million in front of America’s nose and gets a ton of free ideas in the process. Some of those ideas are actually pretty awesome, like this one which I can only assume was submitted by legendary rapper Eminem:

(Photo courtesy of lays.com via spoonuniversity.com)

Maybe next year, Em. Without further ado, let’s check out the 2017 Do Us a Flavor Finalists.

Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese (Kettle Cooked)

Yikes. From the appearance and smell of these chips, they seem to be missing…everything. Lay’s Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese chips lack the poppy seed-covered appearance of their namesake bagels, and don’t have the rich, savory aroma either.

The taste is missing a lot, too. It’s a combination of potato, light sour cream, and onion. There’s nothing that captures the doughy flavor of a bagel, or the variety of spices that makes up “everything.” These chips taste less like a brand new flavor innovation and more like a slight downgrade of Lay’s existing Sour Cream and Onion chips.

Crispy Taco

When Lay’s announced the 2017 Do Us a Flavor semifinalists, I immediately squealed with glee and said that Crispy Taco was my favorite to win to the contest. Then, the guy sitting next to me on the bus asked me to settle down and stop yelling about potato chips.

Good news, guy on the bus: these Crispy Taco potato chips are just as good as I hoped they would be. Lay’s could have just gone the lazy route by tossing some taco seasoning on some potatoes and called it a day. Instead, the chip morphs through a huge range of flavors, from zesty spices to cheddar cheese to–I can’t believe I’m typing this–shredded iceberg lettuce. All of the recognizable flavors of a crunchy taco are present here. Lay’s nailed this one.

Fried Green Tomato (Wavy)

As a native Minnesotan, I have to admit that fried green tomatoes, a Southern favorite, are not a familiar food for me. What better time to reacquaint myself with the dish than in a potato chip review?

Lay’s Fried Green Tomato chips lead with an impressively accurate sour tomato flavor, and build to a complex mix of onion, garlic, and vinegar. There’s a definite kick to these chips, but it’s softened by the sweet brown sugar and heftiness of the wavy chip. In my opinion, there might actually be too much going on here, but it’s still an impressive representation of fried green tomatoes.

I’ve got to give Lay’s credit for its 2017 Do Us a Flavor finalists. Everything Bagel is pretty underwhelming, but Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato definitely deliver. If I had to pick one (by voting here), it would be Crispy Taco.

Oh, and Eminem, if you’re reading this, I’ll be rooting for you next year. #TeamMomsSpaghetti

How Much It Cost and Where I Bought It: $2.50 each at Target
Just the (Nutrition) Facts:

Serving size—about 18 chips for Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese; about 15 chips for Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato

Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese: 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Crispy Taco: 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Fried Green Tomato: 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 2 grams of protein.

In a Nutshell: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese is a miss, but Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato are winners. Talking about potato chips with strangers on the bus. #TeamMomsSpaghetti.
Overall Score: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese: 6 out of 10

Crispy Taco: 9 out of 10

Fried Green Tomato: 8 out of 10

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