9 Best Chip Flavors You’ve Never Heard of Slideshow
June 22, 2012
#9 Garlic Prawn Lays (Spain)
Bringing up the rear was the Lays chip that claimed to be garlic prawn-flavored. Though the tasters sensed something fishy with this flavor, guesses included salmon, tuna, soy, and pungent/overpowering prawn. Nothing was as fishy as their aftertaste, which was reminiscent of congealed oil. Overall, the consensus was less than flattering.
#8 Crab Lays (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan)
Not far behind the Garlic Prawn Lays was its fishy Eastern European counterpart, Crab Lays. While incredibly true to their taste (with one staff member aptly deeming them crabby), overall the tasters had qualms with the chips terrible aftertaste, and overwhelming character. "Fishy, fishy, fishy," one editor commented.
#7 Grilled Chicken Sensações, Elma Chips (Brazil)
Ranking at number seven were Brazilian Elma Chips Grilled Chicken Sensações. Not only did they fail to deliver a taste even remotely redolent of a nice chicken breast thrown on the grill (guesses included mayo and fish), these Brazillian snacks elicited an unpleasant reaction unlike any other chip managed to do.
#6 Mushroom Lays (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan)
This sweet and creamy chip, while controversial amongst the tasters, takes the cake for most varied flavor guesses — one person guessed butter and another durian. The taste may have been elusive, but it wasn't hard to judge. "Not tasty," one judge concluded, "but interesting."
#5 Caviar Lays (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan)
Coming in at number five, the Caviar Lays were certainly not bad, but they weren't particularly reminiscent of caviar. Taste guesses included garlic, sour cream and onion, popcorn, and Parmesan. One taster even said, "They remind me of a popcorn-flavored Jelly Belly." Another said they were almost like "a weird fruit thing," and one took issue with their horribly pungent aroma.
#4 Nori Seaweed Lays (Thailand)
One staff member hit the nail on the head taste-wise when she said she was possibly getting some sushi vibes from this chip. Other guesses included veggie, yucca, and caviar. Another wrote, "They taste like veggie chips." Either way, if you like seaweed, you'll love these chips, which expertly capture the taste of nori and add a familiar backdrop of salty, crunchy Lays.
#3 BLT Lays (U.S.A.)
Is it really possible to take the complex flavor of a sandwich as distinctive as a BLT and distill it into a bite-sized chip? Apparently, the answer is yes. Like the Crab Lays, this was another chip that sparked a "how do they do it?" moment for many who tried them. In addition to bacon, lettuce, and tomato, the tasters identified hints of pulled pork and mesquite barbecue. One editor noted that the chips are "bacon-y, with a subtle saltiness, and mayo." The vote was not unanimous, however; one editor dissented, "At first it's delicious, but the aftertaste is bad like peppers." Touché.
#2 Artesancis Natural Olive Oil Lays (Spain)
Perhaps unremarkable alongside their more offbeat analogues, these Spanish Lays, described as kettle-y and natural, were light and not too salty or greasy, something that won the hearts (and taste buds) of the TDM tasters. Plus, they were "crunchy like an old-school Cape Cod-like potato chip." Whether it's Cape Cod, or more likely, Cape Trafalgar, this chip is channeling something great.
#1 Cheese and Grilled Chili Lays (Thailand)
The winner? Cheese and grilled chili Lays from Thailand. Though, admittedly, even after consulting our Thai contacts, the exact variety of cheese and chili remain unclear, the great taste (sharp, tangy, and with a spicy kick), kept at bay by the cheese component, is unambiguously delicious.