Friday, November 11, 2016

French Fry Diary 724: Lay's Passport to Flavor

Last week we got to hear what friend, FFD contributor, and guest blogger Bryan F. Irrera thought of Lay's Passport to Flavor potato chips, now here's my take.

In recent years, Lay's has made a name for exotic flavors in potato chips with their Do Us A Flavor contests both in the United States and Canada, as well as overseas. Now they've brought four new flavors to the US each with a specific international flair as part of their Passport to Flavor contest. I was lucky enough to find all four at Walgreens this past weekend, and here's what we thought.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken - While I've never actually had Szechuan chicken (I lean toward sweet and sour or General Tso myself), I understand it's got that hot and spicy vibe going on with just a touch of sweetness. The ingredients include actual Szechuan pepper and promise "the tongue tingling sensation of mala," and no, I have no idea what mala is.

Opening the bag revealed potato chips with seasonings of various colors. As always, The Bride tried them first. I'm no fool. She thought they tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, and that they were very spicy. I would definitely go with the latter, but unlike other 'meat' chips I couldn't detect any chicken. These weren't bad, unlike some of the other flavors, I had more than one. Have a beverage nearby because there will be a hot aftertaste.

Greek Tzatziki - I have encountered Tzatziki once before in chip form when I reviewed the Do Us A Flavor flavor Greektown Gyro, and I was not a fan. Tzatziki has that yogurt and cucumber vibe that just doesn't appeal to me, so I was hesitant to try these.

The smell at first when opening the bag was a bit off-putting, almost as if something had gone bad. These wavy chips did not taste as bad as I thought they would, but I definitely wouldn't try them again. The Bride thought they were okay, and again that they tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, noting the cucumber and yogurt.

Brazilian Picanha - This one is another meat chip, this one manifesting the flavor of Brazilian steakhouses, steak and chimichurri sauce. One I like and one I don't. I wonder how these will go. Picanha, by the way, is the finest cut of Brazilian steak, skewer-grilled with salt to lock in the flavor.

They smelled pretty good when I opened the bag, and these chips were big and had green seasoning on them. I'm not a big fan of chimichurri sauce but I assume that's what that was. The Bride thought they were just all right, rather unenthused by these chips. I got the steak right away, and kinda liked these a bit. I could get used to these.

Indian Tikka Masala - Despite what many folks might think, this catastrophically picky eater does occasionally try exotic foods, among them, I've enjoyed chicken tikka masala at Indian restaurants in the past. I have actually been looking forward to trying this one, and as fate would have it, so had The Bride, so we saved this one for last.

Upon opening the bag, a spicy aroma filled our nostrils. The Bride declared these kettle cooked chips the best of the lot after trying one and taking more for later. That said, she mentioned that they still weren't as good as the Do Us A Flavors from previous years. I thought they weren't bad, definitely tasting like what they were supposed to. I agree with The Bride, these were the best of the bunch.

What did you folks think?

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