I guess it’s a Canadian thing, so if you’re a foreign reader you may not have heard of it, but Lay’s currently has a contest running. It is, unsurprisingly, a contest to create a new flavour of chips for them to produce. At current, we’re about a month away from the end of the contest, and the four finalist flavours have been in stores for a while now. Since July, I guess?
Fact of the matter is that since I shun any social media that doesn’t involve me and I don’t spend any time in the chips aisle anymore, I didn’t notice these new flavours until a couple weeks ago. I just happened to randomly stumble upon one of them while out with the wife getting faux Slurpees. I used to be really crazy about trying each and every new potato chip flavour, and since that compulsion still exists deep inside of me, I went absolutely nuts just seeing the first one sitting there by its lonesome.
Now after all that embellishment, try to imagine how I felt when I looked at the back of the bag and saw that there were three more new flavours to hunt down. Suffice to say, I needed a change of pants. It’s not often that I get to enjoy the thrill of the junk food hunt like I used to, and knowing that those flavours were out there somewhere made me feel like my life had a real purpose At the very least, it took me back to a time when hunting down article fodder was half the fun.
So I guess you’re all writhing in your seat there, wondering which of the new flavours I found first. You don’t care for the anecdotes; you just want the cold, hard, facts. Well tough. The anecdotes are important to my process and to the total word count. They’re never going to go away, so you might as well just learn to enjoy them.
Maple Moose. That is the first of the “Do Us A Flavour” flavours that I found. At no point did I ever think it would taste good, but I bought it with the intent to write about it in mind. Also, it was kind of a sneaky ploy to justify travelling about to buy three more bags of chips (all with much better-sounding flavours). But let’s not dwell on the shadier side of this business; there are CHIPS TO WRITE ABOUT.
Despite the fact that Maple Moose sounds like a terrible, terrible flavour for a chip, I was pretty excited to get home and tear into that bag. I was secretly hoping that it would actually be a really great flavour that I could go out of my way to horde several dozen bags of. Alas, things don’t often work out quite so well, and Maple Moose proved to be a huge mistake as soon as I opened the bag.
That… scent. It’s so, so bad. I can’t even hope to describe how completely awful Maple Moose smells. It’s somewhere between rancid dill pickle and a garbage dump. These chips smell as bad as Miley Cyrus looks. I have no idea how they could ever appeal to anyone anywhere. They smell so bad, in fact, that it took me a couple days before I could muster the courage to actually put one in my mouth.
The silver lining is that once you get past that funk emanating from the bag, Maple Moose actually doesn’t taste too bad. They aren’t good mind you, but they’re edible. They don’t immediately remind me of any other flavours, but if I had to describe them, I’d say they’re kind of like a sweet barbeque with a bit of dill pickle mixed in. I don’t usually like dill pickle in any capacity, but it sort of works here. It’s really just a matter of getting past that olfactory barrier. Which I haven’t been able to do since my first taste, so the bag has been sitting there unloved for weeks.
I don’t feel particularly bad for it.
It wasn’t long before I was able to locate a second fancy flavour: Creamy Garlic Caesar. Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a story for this one. I literally walked into a 7-11 (for a real Slurpee this time) and there they were, staring me in the face and making me as giddy as a grown man can be when confronted with novelty-flavoured potato chips.
Despite the Maple Moose mess, I didn’t hesitate to open up the Caesar bag. It’s chips that [are supposed to] taste like a Caesar salad. What could possibly go wrong?
Nothing, as it turns out. I really like Creamy Garlic Caesar. At first taste, they seem to have a very familiar flavour… maybe something in a Sour Cream & Onion? No, there’s no maybe about it. These are pretty much Sour Cream & Onion chips with a bit of a Caesar dressing flavour mixed in that I didn’t even notice until I was two-thirds of the way through the bag. It’s pretty mild, but once you notice that it’s there, it suddenly becomes very obvious.
I was pretty happy that I’d found the first two flavours, but I wasn’t having any luck procuring the other two. As luck would have it, those two were the ones I had the most hopes for, and the most desire to cram into my face-hole.
I talked to a few people about these fancy-pants chips in the interim, and got absolutely drenched in spoilers. The consensus was apparently that the third flavour was disgusting, and that the fourth was merely okay. My fervor was quickly burning out, so I consider it lucky that I managed to find both of them at the same time.
The one that people don’t like, apparently, is Grilled Cheese & Ketchup. Admittedly, I wondered why they even bothered adding in the ketchup. Grilled cheese sounds like a plausible and not-too-crazy flavour. I’ve never seen anybody eat grilled cheese with ketchup before, and it seemed weird to me. Then again, the vast majority of people think I’m nuts because I put jam on my grilled cheese, so. IT’S DELICIOUS MOTHERBUZZERS.
Going in, was a little worried. Literally 100% of the opinions I’d heard of Grilled Cheese & Ketchup were negative. But they wouldn’t allow a truly terrible flavour to be a finalist, right? But then again, Maple Moose… So it was a gamble, but one I was willing to take. Grilled cheese be ballin’ yo.
I wouldn’t say that the chips were ballin’ so much as boring. They aren’t bad; I’ll eat the whole bag eventually. But really, they just taste like ketchup chips, but with a hint of cheese and maybe some onion because why not. But I could be wrong about the onion part. There’s a something in there that I can’t quite place, and onion is the closest I can get. I’m okay with that. I like onions.
You know what, though? Both Lays and Ruffles have Cheddar & Sour Cream flavoured chips, which are a much better choice if you’re looking for cheesy chips. Just’ saying. I bet there’s even a Cheese & Onion flavour out there. …Crap. Now I made myself want those.
The very last flavour, and the one that I was most excited about, is Perogy Platter. How could you not be excited about the promise of a chip that tastes like fully loaded perogies? I’d be psyched if they tasted like naked perogies! Really, even if they tasted nothing like perogies, I was more than satisfied with the fact that at least someone tried.
To nobody’s surprise, these chips don’t really taste at all like perogies. I knew I was getting myself all worked up over nothing, but at least that means I’m not jaded enough to just assume that everything that seems too good to be true is crap.
Perogy Platter may not live up to its name, but it’s still a half-decent flavour. They taste kinda like a washed-out sour cream and bacon kind of thing. What’s that? Sour Cream & Bacon is an existing flavour of chips? Well I’ll be damned!
Nah, j/k. I knew that Sour Cream & Bacon exist. I love them so much.
Oh, and because I guess I didn’t really go over it and I know that you’re just dying to find out, none of the other chips smelled as bad or as much as Maple Moose. They all have a bit of a scent to ’em, but none are offensive and none more odorous than an average bag of chips.
And that’s about that. If you have tried any of these flavours and feel that they’re a blight on humanity, Lay’s was considerate enough to plaster the names and faces of the flavours’ creators on each bag. So anyone who gets disproportionately angry at potato chip flavours they don’t like can hunt them down and kill them. Or just bombard them with hateful tweets. w/e. (NB: I do not endorse attacking these people IRL or via social media.)
Have at ’em!
Oh, and since voting is still open as of the writing of this article, here are some ways that you can let Lay’s know which flavour is your favorite. I don’t even know which one to vote for, because one is kinda bad and the rest of them more or less already exist.
Perogy Platter, if it comes down to it. Yeah, it’s an existing flavour with a new name, but if those ones stick around, at least I can look at a picture of perogies while eating delicious chips. And that’s the Canadian Dream, right?