We Eat It So You Don't Have To: Lay's Newest Novelty Chips

Categories: Taste Test

Photo by Ryan Cady
Chips delirium has obviously taken hold

Look, I wanna start off by apologizing, because this article might come off as a little uninspired. There might be an underlying sense of boredom to some sections, and again, let me apologize - if you feel that, know that it's simply there because potato chips are dumb.

There, I said it.

Think about it. They're just malnourished French fries. Like, name a thing that you could do with chips, like a way that you could eat them or how you could serve them in which French fries would not be better. You can't. Because chips are just these sad little crunchy things, where if you put enough of them in your mouth you're like, "Okay, this kind of tastes like fries, I guess."

Okay, I'll get off the pulpit - this isn't an article about why potato chips are totally inferior to fries (although they are), and I don't hate potato chips. They taste good, just not as good, and I'm just going to get to the review now because I keep repeating myself.

So Lay's came out with some more zany new flavors. The last batch (Chicken and Waffles, Garlic Cheese Bread, and Sriracha) was a rousing success, so based on that process, Lay's once again turned to the Internet to create a new series of exciting fried potato novelties. This round, you can go into your local grocery store and pick up a bag of Cheddar Bacon Mac 'n Cheese, Mango Salsa, Cappuccino, or Wasabi Ginger potato chips.

I'm just gonna be honest with y'all, they're nothing to write home about.

Cheddar Bacon Mac 'n Cheese is good, okay? Like, if it was the same price as regular Lay's, and I for some reason decided that I wanted chips instead of fries (I can't imagine why, but okay), I would buy them. The flavor is nothing really particularly combative, and they're definitely the kind of chip you can keep munching on. I imagine they'd also taste really good as a garnish on top of an actual batch of bacon mac 'n cheese - throw that in your recipe books.

Mango Salsa was actually the flavor I was most excited for. Lay's attached the flavor to their "Wavy" style chips, and when one opens the bag a pretty zesty smell wafts out. Unfortunately, the zest stops there. Again, concept-wise, I was cool with it - I like Mango Salsa, especially when you amp up the spice with habaneros. This was about as amped down as salsa could get; the chips basically tasted like crispy mild La Victoria salsa wrapped in layers of Fruit Roll-up. There's this overwhelming fruitiness to them, and the salsa innards are so mild, it's not worth the suffix. In my opinion, they were just "Mango" chips, and not worth the buy.

I'll come back to Cappuccino, but we can talk about Wasabi Ginger for now. Lay's was smart to slap this flavor on their Kettle Cooked line, so there's already a douchey artisan feel before I even opened the bag. I was pretty skeptical about these - I don't mind wasabi specifically, but horseradish overall can be a pretty overpowering flavor that's usually not for me. One bite in, these guys became a close second to the mac 'n cheese. The ginger flavor is very subtle (probably too subtle), and the wasabi is actually much creamier than I expected. In fact, Lay's could probably go stronger on both flavors and increase the wasabi kick - I could see it going well with the saltiness and thick consistency of the kettle chips.

Now the Cappuccino.

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