Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lay's Chile Apasionados Por Nuestro Sabores Corte American Empanada de Pino, Maxx Choripan, Mediterranea Queso de Cabra y Oliva

Lay's Chile is also feeling Passionate for their own flavors, and running the Apasionados Por Nuestro Sabores campaign that Peru is running.
Three flavors are up for vote: "Empanada de Pino" on a typical cut chip or "American Cut", "Choripan" on a MAXX ridged chip, and "Queso de Cabra y Oliva" on a Mediterranea style chip.
"Empanada de Pino" is an Empanada (like a Calzone) filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and hard boiled eggs. It is a typical Chilean filling for an empanada.
"Choripan" is a Chorizo sausage and Crusty Bread sandwich that is popular in Chile and other surrounding Countries.
"Queso de Cabra y Oliva" is "Goat Cheese and Olive" the flavor is probably accompanies by Olive Oil on the chip because it's the Mediterranea style chip. Otherwise the description is pretty straight forward. Goat Cheese and Olive are two BOLD flavors and probably taste awesome on a chip.

So, if you can get to Chile, or a friend can send you some, here are 3 awesome new limited edition flavors to chase down! Enjoy the hunt!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lay's Peru Apasionados Por Nuestros Sabores Competition Papa a la HuancaĆ­na and Lomo Saltado

Peru is running a fun flavor contest called "Apasionados por nuestros sabores" aka "Passionate for our flavors". It seems to be a voting competition between 2 typical Peruvian flavors: "Papa a la Huancaina" and "Lomo Saltado".
"Papa a la Huancaina" is a dish that derived from the Peruvian Highlands; a cold dish of yellow potatoes, served with Huancaina sauce which is a cheese based sauce. The potatoes are usually served on a bed of lettuce and come with Olives on top.
"Lomo Saltado" is a yummy dish of stir fried steak strips with bell peppers and onions, that comes with thick cut french fries on the side.
I love that both of these flavors come with potato on the plate; that is usually a good sign of a successful flavor in the bag.
The contest started running this month, so both bags should be available now in Peru.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lay's USA Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs

MEH

Here's Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs, a bag in the current US Flavor Swap competition.

It's not good.
The bag smells powerfully of Olive Oil, and the first chip or two has the Olive Oil flavor, but the other seasonings overwhelm the subtlety of Olive Oil. The herbs are there, but more potently you get a LOT of Garlic powder. I could feel it on my finger tips and I could taste it accumulating on my palette. The more I ate, the less this bag tasted of Olive Oil. It began to have almost a cheesy taste to it. But it was just too much Garlic powder. The bag is also over salted.
I complained that Spain's Olive Oil bag could have benefited from some salt to enhance the flavor of the potato... but this skews in the complete other direction. Too much Salt, too much Garlic.
On top of that, the chips are not cooked well AT ALL. I always have been appreciative of the cook on all the chips in the Kettle Cooked line, but these ones fail terribly. They are more like stale thick cut chips than the usual kettle cooked.

I don't know what went wrong here. I anticipated this being one of my favorite flavors, but in my opinion it's a wasted opportunity.

BOOOOOOO

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lay's USA Southern Biscuits and Gravy

Here's 2015 Do Us a Flavor competition's Winner: "Southern Biscuits and Gravy". This is by far the best of this bunch that I have tried. It REALLY tastes like Biscuits and Gravy. Lay's always succeeds when it does Bread/Sandwich based flavors... like the "Cheesy Garlic Bread" Flavor. This one is no different. The potato chip plays the part of the biscuit, and the gravy flavor comes from cream and spices in the seasoning. The flavor is creamy but not too much like "Sour Cream and Onion" flavor. The spices are super authentic and I detect a little heat in the back of my palette that builds as you eat more. I really don't know how they hit this so perfectly on the head, but they did and I'm into it.

These should be available until Summer here in the US. Grab em, they are awesome!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cheetos Mexico Horneados Bolitas Queso y Chile and Fritos Mexico Sal y Limon

 Every once in a while I like to mix it up and not eat Lay's, lol. This time while visiting a Mexican swap meet my friend and I decided to grab some Cheetos and Fritos. I'm always suspicious about what the "plain" flavor of Cheetos is because it varies from country to country. Here in the US it's "Cheese" but in Mexico it happens to be a "Chili and Cheese" flavor and that's what you have in this bag. Cheetos Horneados are baked Cheetos and Bolitas are the cheeseball shape, but the only mention of a flavor is down in the fine print where it says "Queso y Chile".
The flavor immediately reminded me of the classic Lay's Mexican Adobada flavor, a spice mix of mostly Chipotle and Lime. But here on the Cheetos it is mixed with the classic Cheetos Cheese flavor. It is suprisingly epic!
So much is happening flavor-wise; the corn flavor from the puff is very rich. PLUS the cheese, then spice with some smokiness, and lastly some lime tang. It sounds like nonsense, but it is really yummy!! I highly recommend these. They are just weirdly good!

The other pickup that day was Fritos "Sal y Limon" aka "Salt and Lime". These were interesting. The texture is a fail. Compared to the US Fritos, the texture is much thinner and flakier. Thats pretty weird for a corn chip. The flavor however is awesome. While US Fritos are VERY Salty (but it works), the salt in this bag was way more tame. That, combined with the bright Lime flavor, was pretty delicious.
I think ultimately, what is good about these two bags is what I have cheered before in regards to Mexico's Lay's Chips: that's to say that the chip texture is weird but the seasoning always makes their chips addictive.

I think if you have the chance to pick these up, do it. They are a nice change of pace, without being full on CRAZY flavors. They are typical flavors used in Mexican cuisine, so they are being executed well.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lay's USA Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries

Here's another bag from 2015's Do Us A Flavor contest, this bag lost the competition, but whatever let's discuss it anyways. This is "Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries".
So, here's my thoughts... If you like Fancy Truffle Fries, you will probably like these. If you are a little more low key, these may not be for you.
The Wavy potato chip adds some thick crunchiness and extra potato-y flavor. A good stand in for French Fries. But, the seasoning reeks of Truffle Oil. In my opinion, Truffle Oil tends to be over used in a lot of dishes, and the same can be said here. It gave the chips a bit of a bitter taste. This combined with a TON of Garlic, and Duck Fat, made the overall flavor a bit funky.
Were these horrible? No.
Were they brilliant? No.
They are what they are: An abundance of sophisticated flavors thrown haphazardly on a cheap potato chip.
That might sound harsh, but it's my real interpretation of what's happening in this bag.
I can't imagine the average midwest citizen wanting to eat these. Not to mention that for a "Vegetarian" flavored chip, it's inclusion of Duck Fat AND Chicken Fat put off my pickier friends.
I see why this one didn't last, and I wasn't really impressed. Try it if you can find it just for the novelty, but it's no biggie if you missed out (like the rest of this collection).
SOOOO, what did yall think of these?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lay's Argentina Asado

Got this awesome flavor from my lovely friend who just moved to Argentina and brought them back with her on a visit. "Asado" is a "Grilled Beef" flavor, plain and simple in the best way. Unlike an American Style BBQ flavor, which would focus on the BBQ sauce, this South American BBQ is focused on the the actual Beef. This lovely bag of chips features a pretty decent potato chip with good potato flavor. These nice chips make the perfect showcase for the smokey, chargrilled, beef seasoning. It tasted so genuine, so fresh off the grill. It was a Willy Wonka moment.
The awesomely unexpected bonus to this bag was that it was actually meat free, so my Vegetarian friend who brought these with her was able to eat them. For a vegetarian chip, it was insanely convincing.
I really loved this flavor. It was simple, no gimmicks, and just tasty.
Good job Argentina!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lay's USA Smoked Gouda & Chive

Here's another new bag from Lay's USA's current Flavor Swap promotion. The contest pits a classic Lay's flavor against a competitor, and in the end 4 flavors will make it back on to shelves permanently while 4 will be lost to history. "Smoked Gouda & Chive" has been pitted against "Cheddar & Sour Cream". While I didn't pit these 2 against each other directly to taste test, nor would I claim to be a "Cheddar & Sour Cream" connoisseur; I can say very confidently... I'm PRETTY sure these are the same flavor.

Really.

I tried these and I was like, um, so what's the difference?
They have a creamy, cheesy flavor. Maybe some mild chive that I didn't notice. I didn't pick up any smokyness, or Gouda as the particular Cheese (although 2 of my friends swore they could taste Smoke flavor, but I was skeptical).
Ultimately, it's a delicious bag of chips. The Cheesy flavor is yummy. The chips themselves are well cooked and tasty.
I think this battle is better left decided by those Cheesy chip fans who can notice the subtle differences better than I can. If the choice was left to me in this battle, I'd have to be blindfolded and just point at one. They were just too similar to give me any sort of preference.

BUT, I'd love to know what you all think? Could you taste a significant difference? Is their a smoke flavor I was just oblivious to? Gouda vs Cheddar, who do you want to see prevail?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lay's USA Fiery Roasted Habanero

Lay's USA debuted their newest batch of flavors just in time for the Super Bowl last Sunday, and this flavor here was made for it. It's perfect for a Sunny California day Barbecuing and throwing back Beers.
This is "Fiery Roasted Habanero" a flavor, being matched against the classic "Flamin Hot". Check it: I hate "Flamin Hot", I don't understand it as a flavor. It is full blown nuclear and reminds me of licking batteries. "Fiery Roasted Habanero" on the other hand, may be the best spicy flavor I've ever tried. Really. It's a Red Pepper and Tomato based flavor that is super tasty, and then after a moment, a creep of Habanero goes across your tongue until your whole mouth feels the heat. And to me, it never got overwhelming. It was Hot, for sure, but nothing someone with moderate heat tolerance couldn't endure.
The Lay's USA Potatoes have come a long way in the last few years, and the quality now is pretty good (not great, but good). So while the potato doesn't pack in a ton of flavor, it is still a good mass produced chip, and the awesome seasoning in this bag makes up for that. Overall, I think if you are a fan of heat, you have to give this bag a shot. The friends I shared this with, were all "Flamin Hot" mega fans, and they all agreed this bag blows "Flamin Hot" out of the water. Among 5 people the bag was gone in 10 minutes.
So, what do you think? Have you tried this flavor yet? Are you a heat fan? Will you be devastated to lose Flamin Hot, even if this flavor is better? Share your thoughts in the comments below :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

OK Here's Some Late News: Walkers Bring Me Back Contest 2015 brought some flavors back

This is like 8 month old news guys. It might as well be a historical archive at this point.

I told you all I had taken a bit of a break from the blog, so that's why this story never got covered, which is stupid, because it's Walkers, so it wasn't really something I should have missed. BUT none the less I did, and I've got to Thank Georgina Malcolm over at http://cheeseburgercrisps.blogspot.com/ for bringing the contest to my attention. (PS She's got a really cute blog about all things crisps, so head over and check it out!)

Last Summer, in place of the typical "Do Us A Flavor" contest everyone has been running for the last handful of years, Walkers UK decided to mix it up and hold the "Bring Me Back" Contest.
The "Bring Me Back" contest brought back 5 classic retro Walkers Flavors back for a Limited Time, to see which would be brought back into the permanent collection. The 5 flavors were "Beef & Onion", "Cheese & Chive", "Barbecue", "Lamb & Mint", & "Toasted Cheese". The Promotion also brought back a 6th retro flavor to be permanent; "Marmite".

In the end, "Beef & Onion" was victorious and brought back as the winning retro flavor. Making both "Marmite" & "Beef & Onion" permanent flavors.
And that is why, I still felt it was important to report on this contest... because rarely do beloved retro flavors come back on shelves, let alone 2 of them. If you miss the beloved taste of either of these, track them down and enjoy.
I've only ever tried the "Beef & Onion" replacement flavor that came out as "Steak & Onion" (ps Didn't know that had been discontinued either, Walkers!) but I know "Beef & Onion" fans didn't like it as much as the original, so I see why this would be a popular choice for the win. I can't wait to hunt it down and see what all the hype has been about.