Food & Drink Magazine

Lays Do Us a Flavor Finalist Review 2015

By Sue Lau @zzazzazza

We’ve been down this road before. But we are back, bringing you up close and personal reviews of the latest Lay’s Chip Contest flavors.
Lays Do Us a Flavor Finalists 2015

It was about this time last year that Bill of Potable Pastime and  I delved into the dungeons of depravity to review the Lay’s chips that had been released in August of 2014. I’m sure you will recall the unforgettable flavors of Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese; Wavy Mango Salsa; Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger and Cappuccino. Or not. Some of them were off our radar the next day.  And some of them haunted our dreams, or maybe we just could not brush the tastes from our mouths. And some were simply ok. I can’t really say that any of them were favorites or things we would buy again.

Lay’s Do Us A Flavor 2014 Finalist Reviews

And now we are back with a whole new set of four evil temptresses, ready to tantalize our tastebuds with exquisite pleasure or…we shall see, won’t we?

Up for grabs are these new flavors:

  1. New York Reuben chips  (submitted to Lays by Jeff Solensky)
  2. Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro (submitted to Lays by James Wagner)
  3. Southern Biscuits and Gravy chips (submitted to Lays by Hailey Green)
  4. West Coast Truffle Fries chips (submitted to Lays by Angie Fu)

I include names just in case you might want to know who the guilty parties are. *giggle*

And without further adieu, here we go.

As usual, Bill of Potable Pastime and I will give our impressions of these along with a score from 1, being utterly revolting, to 5, meaning they should make these a part of their regular line-up.

And we won’t be holding any punches. We are doing our comments quietly too, so our opinions won’t affect the other person and we won’t see what the other person thought until it is written down.

New York Reuben Chips

New York Reuben Chips

Reubens. I like a good reuben. In fact, I even have a superb recipe for them. I know this because I know what a superb reuben sandwich tastes like. I’m a bit scared after the cappuccino chips of last year, but does anyone want to live forever?

Sue: These start  with a  little bit of a salt and  vinegar flavor mixed with cheese, and then the meaty flavor starts to come through. I suppose the vinegar flavor is for the kraut, but it is a bit mild really. The meat/cheese flavor is fairly smooth and reminds a bit of the cheddar chips,  with a barest hint of onion, and a little vinegar zip. Not bad, really, but I think for the perfect reuben,  I would go for a  little more cheese punch and  a bit more zip to cover  the kraut end.  I think these are a bit conservative so it won’t offend people who don’t like kraut that much.

Score: 4-

Bill: Wow! These smell like corned beef and rye with caraway seeds. Tastes like the aroma with corned beef and caraway. There’s a slight tang late, reminiscent of Thousand Island dressing. Not getting sauerkraut or Swiss cheese though. 

Score: 3+

Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips

Greektown Gyro Chips

I like a good gyro, with seriously savory beef and lamb mixed with tzatziki sauce along with onion and tomato on beautifully grilled pita bread. That’s a tough act to reproduce in a chip. I have serious doubts here, but they know what they’re doing making chips, right? Right?

Why is it so quiet I could hear a pin drop?

Sue: At first, they seem  like they don’t have a lot of flavor,  just a bit of greasiness to my palate. I’m not getting much  in the  way of meat flavor- it is very faint,  and as far as gyro toppings so (onion, tomato, tzatziki), those are not well done at all. This chip had a lot of promise, but I can’t really say this one  does anything  for me. It’s not vile- just sort of meh, really.

Score: 2

Bill: I note an overall aroma with gyro-like spices, onion, and grilled meat. The flavors are a bit muddled on this one. I’m not getting distinct components shining through the overall affect does not really say “gyro” to me. 

Score: 2

Southern Biscuits and Gravy chips

Southern Biscuits and Gravy Chips

I just might be the Queen of biscuits and gravy in my family, with  it being one of the things I am known for making. It  takes a certain style, a generous hand with the seasoning and the right ingredients. Unfortunately, potatoes are not one of those ingredients.

What happens when we suddenly throw two recipes (biscuits and gravy vs. chips) separated by evolution for 65 million  years back into the cookbook together?

After all, we know that Lays creates potato chips. Lays destroys potato chips. Lays creates potato chip contests. Contests destroy Lays. Contests create new flavors.

McDonald’s french fries inherit the earth?

Let’s find out.

Sue: At first bite, these seem very much to be just like sour cream chips with a hint of green onion, when at last a bit of meaty flavor comes through, but it is not very strong. The flavor profile is actually pretty accurate, although I like gravy with a  bit more black pepper in it. As far as  how the flavor works being in a chip, it’s fairly good, although  it is a bit weird tasting breakfast sausage as part of a potato chip. They actually grow on me as I eat a few. I wouldn’t have these for my morning meal, but as far as chips go, they are pretty good.

Score: 4+

Bill: Aroma brings pork breakfast sausage and gravy. So far, so good. I actually get some biscuit flavor up front, with a sour cream note followed by sausage with black pepper and a hint of sage. This rounds out into more of a gravyish flavor.

Score: 3

West Coast Truffle Fries chips

West Coast Truffle Fries chips

Truffles. Anyone who has ever tasted a truffle knows the sublime flavor these mushroom-like fungi have. They can elevate any dish to haute cuisine.

With perhaps the exception of potato chips. Or can they? Can such a gauche representation of one of the world’s most esteemed flavors work as a snack in a plastic bag?

Will we be awed with the greatness of this idea? Or will we be awfuled? Let’s go see, shall we?

Sue: The flavor in these is not pronounced, but does show up as you crunch the chip.  It’s more apparent after you swallow, as an aftertaste to me. If you eat a bunch, the flavor will be more there in the beginning (from the previous chips), and  while the flavor reminds  of truffle oil, it is a bit too weak to be a perfect flavor for me. Not a bad flavor, just very weak.

Score: 3

Bill: Aroma is intriguing! With some earthy truffle oil. On the flavor, tastes like fries or chips misted with truffle oil. Earthy, with a light herbal note as well. Slightly  oily on the palate, again, like eating truffle oil fries. 

Score: 4

Final Opinion:

Sue: I think after the disaster of flavors from last year, Lay’s is playing it quite a bit more conservatively by keeping the flavors more mundane and not very strong, so as not to offend. While this a better marketing tactic, it also doesn’t make for chips that will last over the tests of time. I thought I might like the gyro flavor the best, but after all is said and done, it is the sausage gravy chips which stand out as being truest to their cause. None of these will ever replace my personal chip favorites out there, but none are revolting like the cappuccino chips of last year. I’d say, give them a try and see if you like them!

Bill: Overall, I enjoyed trying this collection of flavors. I must say I’m impressed with the flavors of the Sausage Biscuits and  Gravy and the Corned Beef in the Reuben. The taste of the gyro didn’t quite match the promise of the aroma for me.  My favorite, the Truffle Fries, had struck me as the most likely flavor to have the best chance to do well,  and it lived up to that expectation. I’d buy everything except maybe the gyro chips again, with the truffle fries chips  being my favorite.

Don’t forget to vote for your personal favorite on the Lay’s website:

Do Us a Flavor

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Lay’s Do Us a Flavor FInalist Review 2014

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Pho Mi Restaurant  Review

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