I was recently in the States and sampled last year's winner of Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest - Cheesy Garlic Bread. I enjoy garlic bread and enjoy it even more with melted cheese. So when I saw them in the local Pick 'N Save, I was intrigued. That intrigue turned to satisfaction with the first few chips but then took a quick turn to mediocre when I got further into the bag. Potato chip fatigue set in. The flavor was lost on me. I didn't make it through the bag.
A similar contest from Walkers (Lay's in the US) is ending this week. The 6 finalists to choose from are Pulled Pork, Sizzling Steak Fajita, Chip Shop Chicken Curry, Cheesy Beans on Toast, Hot Dog and Ranch Raccoon. Yes, RACCOON.
My thoughts on the finalists:
Chip Shop Chicken Curry
Pouring curry sauce over chips is heaven for some and so it's transition to potato chip makes sense. The chicken was a bit lost as the flavor was too subtle and needed an extra kick of spice. There are Indian spiced potato chips that do it better.
Sizzling Steak Fajita
Now THIS mimicked the exact mix of spices, vegetables and smell found in a fajita. It tasted fresh and complex. You could almost imagine the sizzling. If there is a pursuit to make the perfect fajita potato chip, it can stop now. We have a winner.
You can really taste the meat of the hot dog. The seasoning was good as the onion and smokiness were present. But this was smothered in too much tomato ketchup. It really needed some mustard.
NO. Just no. I have no idea what raccoon is supposed to taste like but this is easily the worst potato chip I have ever tasted. It was wrong. The smell was awful and the sour cream seasoning tasted off. Was this a joke?
The smokiness is there with a weak BBQ sauce but in a blind taste test I wouldn't have guessed it was pulled pork. Instead, it is generic meat flavour. Not a bad taste but it doesn't capture the greatness of pulled pork.
Cheesy Beans on Toast
Nice idea, poor execution. I've had my fair share of beans on toast with grated cheese in my childhood, student days and now. It was the one I was looking forward to the most. The beans go missing as the cheese dominates. This cheese is not exciting and my tastebuds got bored quickly.
So Sizzling Steak Fajita is a clear winner! The voting closes on the 17th of October and so we will see who the people elect as their winner. If Ranch Raccoon is chosen, the troll of potato chips wins.
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