Lay's Belgium has put forth the finalists in their "Maak Je Smaak" or "Make The Taste" contest. This year the contest borrowed "The Battle" theme from Netherland's 2012 contest to highlight how these flavors were going to duke it out for supremacy. The 3 flavors stepping into the ring now will be "Cocktail Andaluz", "New York Hotdog", and "Honey Glazed BBQ Ribs".
"Cocktail Andaluz" may be the wackiest of the bunch and if I were placing bets, I would look at this bag to win it all. It is the brain-child of Sander, who while in the chip shop, could not decide between Andalusian sauce and Cocktail sauce for dipping his French Fries... he decided to mix the two and called it Cocktail Andaluz. Andalusian Sauce, for those who don't know, is a popular Mayo-based sauce in Belgium with tomato paste, chopped onion, chopped peppers, and lemon or lime. The Cocktail Sauce referred to here is a pink colored Mayo-based sauce similar to Thousand Island, it consists of Mayonnaise and Ketchup. I think this has a really good shot and winning, because Belgium tends to gravitate to the home grown flavors. Last year's winner was "Bicky Crisp" a local hamburger, and Netherland's Battle Champion 2 years ago was "Patatje Joppie", a bag flavored like a popular local dipping sauce called Joppiesaus. If "Cocktail Andaluz" strikes a cord with the locals, it could take home the gold.
"New York Hotdog" is pretty straight forward... and yet as obvious as it seems, I can't believe no one has sold this flavor before (at least not in recent memory). The Hotdog lover here is Pierre, who found these in NYC during his world travels and loved them enough to ask Lay's to make them into a chip. This bag will have a bit of complexity to it, as it isn't JUST the Smoky Meat flavor being recreated, but the Ketchup, Mustard, and Caramalized Onions as well. This may also pull at the stomachs of "Bicky Crisp" lovers from last year... "Bicky Crisp" offered the flavor of a fully dressed up Burger, and that could cross over to Hotdog love.
Lastly we have Tim's "Honey Glazed BBQ Ribs", which are described as having the sweetness of Honey, the smokyness of Meat, and the char of the Grill; evoking Summer BBQ in a bag. I am always a BBQ hater. I just don't get excited about BBQ flavors. But, Tim's got a good shot at winning this too. Exhibit A. Belgium loves Barbeque. The standard range not only comes with a "Barbeque" flavor, but also a "Barbeque Ham" flavor. Barbeque can also be found in their 'Deep Ridged', 'Super Chips', and 'The Oven' collections. Exhibit B. Netherlands crowned "Spicy Reggae Chicken" as their latest champion; this was another sauced-up meat flavor. So it is possible Honey Glazed BBQ Ribs can win this year. (On the other hand, who needs 3 BBQ flavors in a range? But I'm trying to be nice)
So who are you voting for? These bags are available now, so let the hunt begin!
(And speaking of hunting, is it just me, or are all of the finalists really good looking? Sheesh, is this what all the men in Belgium look like?... Who needs a Green Card?!)