If you haven't heard the news, this summer Lay's is celebrating local cuisine across America with fun, regionally-inspired potato chip flavors including Cajun Spice, Chile Con Queso, Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice, Deep Dish Pizza, Fried Pickles with Ranch, New England Lobster Roll, Pimento Cheese, and Thai Sweet Chili.
In the spirit of true investigative journalism, our entire office sampled these eight brand-new, limited-edition flavors (kicking off a delicious-yet-sodium-induced Thirsty Thursday). In lieu of a full-staff road trip, these "Tastes of America" flavors transported us to our favorite state fairs, pizzerias, garden parties, food trucks, docks, and lobster shacks across the country. (And now we all think that we are chip sommeliers.)
Here are our very candid thoughts on just how tasty these chip flavors are.
"These taste kinda like a spicy barbecue sauce."
"I could eat 20 pounds of this."
"These don't have the kick that I would expect."
"These taste exactly like Tony's Creole seasoning."
"These are reminiscent of taco seasoning."
"I think I like them?"
"They're kind of lacking, but a good excuse to eat more of the ones that I do like."
"Mmmm. These taste exactly as described."
"They don't taste like crab. They taste like Old Bay, which is a good thing."
"This is kind of barbecue adjacent. Sweet and tomato-y."
"These taste as heavy as a deep dish pizza."
"Woah, these strangely taste like pizza. It's a unique chip."
"This tastes like a pizza bagel or Combos. Or ketchup ... "
"I'm disappointed. These kind of taste like nothing."
"There is not even a hint of ranch. They just taste fried."
"I need these to be more briny I was excited for these, but they're not pickle-y enough."
"There's a ghost of the flavor."
"They're kind of a sour cream and onion chip meets a celery chip."
"I'm happy that lobster roll does not taste like lobster."
"This is like the buttered bread of the lobster roll."
"The flavors are right but the timing is off."
"These taste like a less herbaceous version of sour cream and onion."
"These have a suspicion of Cool Ranch."
"Are these sour cream and cheddar just rebranded?"
"These taste like upgraded salt and vinegar."
"I love them — they taste like an amazing dipping sauce."
"After eating all the other ones, these are definitely the best."
And the winners are ...
After the taste test, two clear favorites emerged (based on initial exclamatory remarks and then subsequent more nuanced criticisms). After this highly scientific method of evaluation, Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice and Thai Sweet Chili are the two flavors worth checking out.
Do you have a favorite?