Chip flavors vie for your vote

Southeastern Michiganders are loyal to their Better Made brand potato chips, but when the regional favorite is unavailable, the sinfully salty taste of Lay’s is a good substitute.

To celebrate Lay’s 75th anniversary, the “Do Us a Flavor” campaign was launched asking folks all around the country to send in suggestions for the next chip flavor. The top three flavors were then sold in stores, prompting customers to vote for their favorite.

Which of the three contenders will emerge victorious in the battle of the chips? Will it be Lay’s take on soul food mainstay Chicken and Waffles? Will the Thai hot sauce-inspired Sriracha leave a spicy impression? Or will the Cheesy Garlic Bread take it all?

Chicken and Waffles: Of all of the flavors, this is the one I’d heard the most buzz about. The chips themselves are brownish in color and smell slightly sweet. The flavor takes a bit of getting used to. Have you ever spilled maple syrup on barbeque chips? That’s a good approximation of the taste.

There was a definite syrup flavor, but aside from a bit of barely-noticeable spiciness, the chicken flavor wasn’t very distinctive. Although the taste seemed to get a little better with every chip, I was still fairly disappointed by the almost sickeningly-sweet flavor. After a few scrunch-nosed nibbles at the chips though, my friend decided they were actually pretty good and devoured the entire bag. These chips are certainly a love-it-or-hate-it deal.

Sriracha: After the sweetness of the Chicken and Waffles flavor, the Sriracha was a welcome guest to my taste buds. Upon ripping open the bag, I was greeted by a strong peppery smell and the sight of fiery red potato chips. The first bite was heaven—a strong, hot kick of spicy flavor.

Unfortunately, Sriracha had the opposite effect of the Chicken and Waffles. While the Chicken and
Waffles seemed to grow on me after a few bites, the more I ate the Sriracha, the more I wanted to claw my own tongue out—not like I could even feel my tongue at that point. This stuff is hot. If you dig really spicy stuff, these chips should be the next thing on your to-eat list. If you’re only a casual fan of the spice, Sriracha might be a little iffy.

Cheesy Garlic Bread: Here’s a confession—I love garlic bread. It’s probably my favorite kind of bread, which is a big deal considering I love pretty much all things bread. Since garlic bread has a huge piece of my bread-loving heart, I had very high hopes for the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips.

Sadly, those hopes came crashing down after the very first bite. The plain yellow chips have a sort of burnt flavor and a bland cheesiness that doesn’t quite compare to the standard cheesy snack foods like Cheetos or Cheez-Its. I couldn’t take more than a few chips.

The verdict: In my opinion, none of these picks are winners. That being said, taste is a pretty subjective thing—fans of spiciness might get a kick out of Sriracha and fans of sweetness might find their fix with Chicken and Waffles, but I’m still trying to think of a demographic that might actually enjoy the Cheesy Garlic Bread. There’s no harm in giving them each a try, but I think I’ll stick with my good old-fashioned Classic or Barbeque flavors.

Do you like any of the new flavors? Let us know in the comments section online.

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