I Traveled All the Way to Mexico for the Perfect Flavor of Ruffles Potato Chips

published Apr 8, 2024
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Ruffles Queso Cheese Potato Chips
Credit: Su-Jit Lin

The first time I tried these potato chips was with my best friend, Hanorah, at Unico 20.87, an upscale all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. We were celebrating her conscious jump into motherhood. Sharing a king-size bed in a swim-up suite (the latter being a strong argument against a balcony room with two doubles), the scene was set for a good old-fashioned girls’ sleepover. 

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

And what slumber party is complete without late-night chats and plenty of snacks? The fully stocked minibar was packed with goodies, as if by the greatest class mom ever. One brightly colored bag stood out, and would quickly become an all-time favorite (along with these near-perfect chips): Ruffles queso potato chips.

It didn’t take long before those crisp, stark white sheets were scattered with errant orange crumbs. 

Over the next decade, if I couldn’t make it to the grocery store in Mexico during my frequent work trips, I would use my per diem to buy a couple of overpriced bags at the airport, happily forgoing a meal to bring these home. But a few years ago, I stopped doing this. I moved to Atlanta and was overjoyed to find the loud green-and-blue bags had made their way slightly north to the U.S. South.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

What’s So Great About Ruffles Queso Flavored Chips?

These queso potato chips combine everything I love about Ruffles — the deep ridges, the loud yet forgiving crunch, the unabashed use of MSG in high-fidelity seasonings — with an extra powerful play of savory and sour flavors. The mildly golden potato base has an unmistakable flavor and texture, although they retain a little more oil than the stateside flavors. This helps the seasoning cling to the ridges more.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

These chips are full of brightness (and I’m not talking about the orange coloring). The tangy, sour tastes of lime and rich sour cream is the first thing that hits, before revealing a sharp cheese flavor. It’s deep and funky with a peppery bite, and paprika that adds a distinctly smoky dimension. Towards the end, the lime somehow comes back around to refresh. Although even with that citrus the finish is spicy, but subtly so.

No wonder this chip is the number-one flavor by Sabritas’, the Mexican division of Frito-Lay’s (which is owned by Pepsico). 

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

What’s the Best Way to Serve Ruffles Queso Flavored Chips?

For me, it’s all about enjoying a big bowl of chips on my lap while I sit in front of the TV as my dog stares at me with eyes full of hope. They don’t need any doctoring — the overall flavor profile is truly unlike any other potato chip available in the U.S. and part of why the bag’s original branding has remained intact.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

If you do want to make a meal out of these chips, go ahead and turn them into nachos. They will get soggy faster than most tortilla chips, so a little creative deconstruction isn’t a bad idea. I add taco-seasoned meat to cheese dips, like Gordo’s or Tostitos Salsa Con Queso and dunk away. 

Refried beans, sour cream, and some sliced scallions are other natural companions, or try saucy SOMOS Peacadillo for big meatless flavor. They’re also great toppers when broken up and scattered across the salads, like Taylor Farms Salsa Ranch Chopped Kit.

Buy: Ruffles Queso Potato Chips, $3.98 for 8 ounces at Walmart

What’s your favorite potato chip flavor? Tell us about it in the comments below.