Sunday, August 31, 2014

Munchos

Here's a fun and super RANDOM review. So, if you didn't know based on my profile picture, I'm a big ole Muppet fan. This week, some friends and I got together for a Muppet viewing party. Our gracious host was hilarious enough to put on some old school 1969 "Munchos" commercials that featured an early Cookie Monster, and then busted out the "Munchos" for us to taste. The only reason I'm throwing these up on here is because they are technically a potato crisp created by our beloved Frito-Lay.
So let's talk about these... "Munchos" are a snack made from dried potato and enriched corn meal. The texture is reminiscent of a more compressed "Cheetos" puff. That corn meal is very noticeable and gives "Munchos" a unique texture. The texture is crunchy but then it kind of melts in your mouth. It's crazy, the crisp is thin, but fluffy, but still crunchy. And you can see the air pockets in the chip that give it it's character. Just like how Pringles aren't really chips, neither are these; and "Munchos" have been smart enough to point that out. The combo of Potato and Corn offer a one of kind texture, and that texture carries the flavor of the salt and oil well. It isn't overly salted, but the salt somehow packed more taste than a regular salted chip. And the oil was flavorful and complimented these well. Because the flavor is so rich, I recommend these along with a Soda or a Beer, something that can cut through that strength.
I can't believe I had never tried these before because I really enjoyed them. The texture alone is worth the try, but the tasty seasoning makes them a fantastic tasting bag. If you're looking for something new, I recommend giving them a try.

You know... there's probably a reason these have been around for over 45 years!
Now, enjoy one of these vintage treasures...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Contest: Lay's Romania Ghiceste I Numele 2014

Mystery Bags, oh , Mystery Bags... Romania is having a little fun with these too! They just launched the "Ghiceste i Numele" ("Guess the Name") contest. I'm digging how they borrowed the bag design from UK Walkers' 2012 "What's This Flavor" contest.
This contest is straight forward. Lay's Romania has concocted 3 magical flavors and released them in stores. Contestants go to their local potato chip vendor, buy the chips, taste the flavor, then they head over to Lay's Romania's Facebook page and enter a guess as to the name of the flavor. 3 winners will be selected and they will each earn 25,000 LEI (about $7,400 USD)... NICE!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Contest: Lay's Netherlands Raad de Smaak Mystery Bags

Mystery Bag contests are BACK y'all!! If you were getting sick of the "Do Us A Flavor" competitions around the world, you'll be happy to see Mystery Bag contests are being relaunched in a few countries.
Today, let's chat about the Netherlands. Their "Maak de Smaak" contest has been coming up with some AMAZING flavors for the last few years; "Patatje Joppie" won in 2011 and has since become a permanent and beloved flavor. So, it is a total surprise to see them suddenly switch the script and launch the "Raad de Smaak" contest. From my understanding, this is a mystery bag challenge, along the lines of "Guess the Flavor"... but that is NOT the direct translation... the direct translation is "Council the Taste" (see how language can be confusing lol).
You have the green bag which is the "Hartige" or "Savory" flavor. The yellow bag which is "Pittige" or "Spicy". And the Pink bag is "Zoet" or "Sweet". Contestants go to the shop, buy a bag, taste the bag, then they go online and submit a flavor for the bag. I'm guessing there will be 3 individual winners to this contest because the prize is listed as 3 x €10.000. That's a little over $13,000... NOT TOO BAD for just telling Lay's what flavor you think these are.
I like this contest, but in the States we're enjoying the "Do Us A Flavor" contest, and I'd like to see it stick around for at least another year before we start doing mystery bags. None the less, it's still fun to see what these other countries are coming up with in their magical labs. Can't wait to see what these end up being!

Have you tried these? What are your flavor guesses? Let us know in the comments section below!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lay's USA Cappuccino

YUM! I loved this bag. It was sweet and salty and everything I ever wanted. But, I'll say it now out the gate, I did NOT taste Cappuccino.
To me, the thinly sliced chip and it's rich potato flavor along with the sweet spice mix, reminded me a lot of Churros! I could definitely pick up Cinnamon and a hint of cocoa. which show up on the ingredients list. Actually I thought it tasted like a Chocolate flavored Churros in cinnamon sugar. mmm. My friends on the other hand thought this was disgusting... soooo, it seems a matter of taste. But to me, this was awesome. There isn't much else to say about this bag. It definitely is made for a person who is seeking out a "crazy" potato chip experience... not the general public. In my opinion, it was that fun experience, and if it wasn't a bajillion degrees out in the summer, I could see myself eating these more often. (It's definitely a winter chip, lol.) But I liked it, and will def get a few more bags before they disappear. Maybe they could have done with some sea salt too, but I won't get picky.
Will it win? Hell no. Should you try it before it disappears? MOST DEFINITELY!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lay's USA Wavy Mango Salsa

I had high hopes for this bag. I like a little sweet, a little salty. Bright and Acidic. Mango Salsa kinda tricked me into thinking that was what it offered. In reality, this bag smells like perfume and tastes like Mango flavored candy. I've read a lot of reviews on China's fruit flavored bags that have a perfumey smell... I guess this was what they were describing. It is an artificial fruit candy smell. SO weird. Popping one of these chips in your mouth tastes straight-up like a mango hard candy... with a tiny hint of tomato and spice. TINY. That flavor creeps up after the initial mango taste, and doesn't really stand out. Only after eating multiple chips does it tend to build up a little... but its nothing special. The real failure of these chips was the choice of WAVY cut potatoes. The wavy cut doesn't add any thing, in fact, it seems to take away from the subtle heat and tomato. This flavor should have been on a regular cut chip, or the seasoning needed to get kicked up and put on a kettle chip. I really thought these would end up being my favorite, but I found them boring and not memorable. And my review seems a bit overly positive, cuz apparently im the only weirdo that liked that mango candy taste. My friends found it inedible. It was the only flavor from USA that I saw someone spit out during our tasting party. So, if you are a traditionalist, I don't recommend these at all. This flavor is for the daring, but, just during the dare. I doubt this is going to become a cult favorite that is missed after it is gone. MEH.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gotta Get At This: Lay's Thailand กุ้งมังกรผัดซอสเอ็กซ์โอ and อิตาเลี่ยนซูพรีมชีส

oh Lay's Thailand. The beautiful nonsense you produce sends my heart a-flutter. Here are two new flavors coming out of Thailand. A China flavor "กุ้งมังกรผัดซอสเอ็กซ์โอ" aka "Fried Lobster in XO Sauce" and an Italian flavor "อิตาเลี่ยนซูพรีมชีส" aka "Italian Cheese Supreme" on a Ruffles style chip. I had to google XO sauce, and the internet informed me it's a spicy seafood sauce from the southern regions of China. Made by mixing different dried seafoods and then cooked with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. Wikipedia says the XO moniker comes from XO Cognac which stands for eXtra Old. Since Cognac is seen as a high-quality item in China, the sauce name carries a certain luxury conotation. So, its no surprise Lay's Thailand chose to pair it with the food that epitomizes luxury; Lobster. It's a hot sauce, so this bag probably has similar qualities to Thailands "Spicy Chili Squid". The other bag, "Italian Cheese Supreme" depicts like 6 different cheeses on the front. So... im guessing... it's Cheesy. It's probably quite different from the Cheddar flavor we are all used to, but similar in a certain way because they are putting it on the thicker cut Ruffles style chip. It's Italian, so they better pack some Parmesan flavor... that's all i'm saying.
I found these on ebay earlier this week and was able to snag them to try. Thailand seems to be one of the easier countries to find chips from. I see them quite often on ebay and Amazon. So, if you want to pick these up, it shouldn't be TOO hard.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Contest: Lay's Canada Do Us A Flavour 2014 Finalists Announced

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DAMNYOU CANADA! Why do you always have to be so amazing???! 

Get me a needle, cuz I want to mainline ALL of these flavors!!  
now.

"Bacon Poutine"? YES PLEASE.
"Cinnamon Bun"?  YES PLEASE.
Wavy "Jalepeno Mac N Cheese"? YES PLEASE.
Kettle Cooked "Tzatzki"?? GET OUT OF MY HEAD ALREADY AND GIVE THESE TO ME CANADA!!

For the uninitiated, Poutine is a Canadian classic... it's basically gravy and cheese curds on fries. The good lord knows that Bacon makes everything taste better... and so does Lay's, cuz they added it to their poutine flavored chips... (Also, Poutine is a year round flavor offered in Canada, so they gotta make this one stand out somehow. lol). I'm guessing this is the flavor to beat. Canadians already get "Smokey Bacon" and "Poutine" chips... so I reckon they will love the combination. 
"Cinnamon Bun" is a genius idea already... flavoring a chip to taste like a "Cinnamon Bun" is Hyper-genius! If you think about the unseasoned chip as a blank canvas (like the mighty Bun) and flavor that bad boy up with cinnamon and vanilla. MMMMM. It is probably gonna be the BOMB. (or nasty. it could be nasty too. who knows.)
"Jalepeno Mac N Cheese"... here us Americans were sitting cocky with our "Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese"... while all along the Canadians were in a lab somewhere concocting THIS!!?? 
Jalepeno. ANNNND. Macaroni and Cheese!!
HOW ARE WE STILL EVEN A SUPER POWER??
Refreshingly spicy Jalepeno against decadent Mac N Cheese....seriously. There is no way this will not be incredibly delicious.
The 4th finalist is "Tzatzki"... I am half Egyptian. This is my people's Ketchup, ok? We put this on EVERYTHING... because it belongs on everything. Including potato chips. This can not be bad. There's no way. 
OH, i'm sorry, what is Tzatzki you ask? It's basically plain yogurt with mint and fresh cucumber... I add Garlic Salt... some people use fresh garlic and lemon too... but the recipe kind of depends on who you ask. This will make every meal better. I'm not joking, I've seen my dad put it on Mexican food, Chinese food, Burgers... it doesn't matter. It is THAT good.

I just got a new passport, so I'm pretty much going to go now and get these... I can be there in 3 hours... who's coming??

Are you losing it for these flavors like I am? Or do you think I'm nuts? Let us know down below...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Contest: Walkers UK Do Us A Flavour 2014 Finalists Announced

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UK, why must you always one-up us?? 6 FINALISTS??? Jeez thats a lot of chips. So JEALOUS!!
"Sizzling Steak Fajita", "Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup", "Chip Shop Chicken Curry", "Pulled Pork in A Sticky BBQ Sauce", "Ranch Raccoon" (wtFFF?), and "Cheesy Beans on Toast" are the new flavors Chip fans in the UK will have to choose from.

Right off the bat, I want/need 'Hot Dog with Ketchup' and 'Pulled Pork'. I don't know what sticky BBQ sauce taste like, but it sounds HAM-AZING!!
"Cheesy Beans on Toast" sounds like a Brit thing... cuz that shiz sounds horrible to me... and "Ranch Raccoon" is ACTUALLY Raccoon meat flavored... so KILL ME now.
Why?? Why would anyone want a Raccoon flavored chip?? Do people even EAT raccoon?? Rename this bag "Ranch Rabies"... yuck-ah! Sheesh... to think, we all thought "Cappuccino" was a weird flavor.
And then we have 'Fajita' and 'Chicken Curry', both of which sit right in the middle for me. I could take em or leave. Those are flavors I would expect to see in this competition.

Walkers did a good job of covering a lot of bases with the finalist selection... with the exception of a sweet flavor. I think most will find something they like.

Wish me luck finding these y'all! Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lay's USA Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger

Crippling fear. That is what gripped me as I stared at this bag. My friend's had their cameras out, ready to film what they expected to be tears running down my face after one bite. I muscled up the courage to open the bag. Took a whiff... I definitely smelled potato... and, is that soy sauce? with a dash of ginger? My nose kept searching, there it was... WASABI. Uhoh. What am I doing? I silently asked myself this question.
My friends were still watching, cheering; I had to do it. I placed a chip on my tongue. NUCLEAR. Something, only God really knows what it was, scorched my tongue... but I didn't taste Wasabi... not yet. After the burn my face made so many twists I didn't know what was happening. Then I tasted the rich potato flavor of a Lay's Kettle Cooked chip... finally some relief... but it was short lived for me, as the flavor of Wasabi crept from the back of my tongue forward. Not spicy, just the aroma of Wasabi... and a hint of Ginger, reminding me that I would experience no relief.
...Snapchat sent...

Let me give you a little background... If you are new to this blog I am a self proclaimed "wuss". You want to know my favorite flavor of Lay's? Original. I do this blog because I am fascinated with the product line Lay's (Etc.) have launched world wide, and I was intrigued that no one had ever documented online what varietals of these homeland heroes people were eating overseas. I don't do this because I want to eat chips everyday, I do it because I am passionately curious.
Spicy chips will never be my thing. I whine a LOT about spice... but I've been trying to expand my spice horizons. However, although here in California I eat a TON of sushi, if even a little Wasabi touches my rolls, I have a little inner-body cry session.

SO. Wasabi Ginger.... I was terrified. And that first chip scared me. But, I have to admit. It actually wasn't that bad. And I'm gonna go out on a ledge and say, it's all to do with the magic Kettle Cooked chip. I've talked on here before about the Kettle Cooked Lay's chip. I think it's their most flavorful chip and has a great texture. That thick cut, more flavorful chip, stands up well to the shock seasoning in this bag. ALSO, I don't think that the Wasabi flavor was actually cranked up that high. It was almost like a modest version of what I had in my head. The Wasabi just kind of sneaks onto your palate after you've swallowed the chip. I'm guessing the real shock comes from Horseradish which is listed in the ingredients, and I am NOT a fan of that stuff. One of my friends who had it with me said she didn't feel like it was spicy at all. And she eats her sushi with Wasabi regularly, so it may have just been my being a big baby. BUT since this is my blog, it really just matters how I felt. The star of this bag is really the soy sauce. It added the right seasoning to the chip to make the heat and shock bearable. I've had bags before that made me stop eating after 1 chip... and this was not even close. I ate out of this bag, heat and all, for another few minutes. It's actually not too far from what Lay's already offer in their Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Chips.

If you are a fan of spice, don't look past this bag because it isn't Sriracha. As someone who NEVER thought they would like it, I really think Lay's did an awesome job with this bag. It made me a believer. Try it now before it disappears! And let us know in the comments what you think!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lay's USA Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese



Hi kids! So, let's get to what I know you all want to hear about... my first review from Lay's USA's "Do Us A Flavor" 2014 flavor finalists. Today, I'm gonna talk about the flavor that I'm fairly certain will end up winning; "Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese".  The bag alone is pretty appealing... Gooey Mac & Cheese running down a pot, topped with bacon, with crispy bacon sliced to the side, and a pretty perfectly cooked chip to the right. Opening the bag you get a scent similar to Cheddar Ruffles, a thick and savory cheese smell. But, the unique selling point here is the bacon, and the scent of fatty, rich bacon is here as well. Looking in the bag, you see BEAUTIFUL well cooked chips. No burnt bits, no crappy broken pieces. The chips were shockingly even, perfect slices, with fair even seasoning distribution. (I usually bring chip quality up as a complaint with Lay's USA, but this is the 2nd bag I've tried recently to have amazing quality chips inside. I'm insanely impressed right now. However, I still maintain that the potato itself could still use some potato flavor. But, hell, progress is progress).
As for the flavor, like I said, the seasoning is applied evenly and every chip had a 'just right' amount of flavor. The chips were orange (easy mac powder?) With brown flecks. You definitely get Cheddar flavor. That is the most notable taste. But, you get a subtle flavor from the bacon as well. The bacon adds depth and character to what could otherwise be just a Cheddar chip. And while I felt I could taste it lightly on my palate, my friend insisted he couldn't taste Bacon at all. So, this may not be the bag Bacon lovers have been dreaming of... but to me, it hits a bit of the spot.
So, why do I think this bag will win? It's pretty obvious, isn't it? This bag has everything the American public want... Cheese and Bacon. PLUS, look at the competition... Cappuccino,  Wasabi, and Mango Salsa... They're fun, but who wants to buy those year round? (Other than me?). Soooo! Did you try these yet? Are you a Cheddar lover looking to upgrade? Are you stoked to taste these? Let us know in the comments below...