It's that time of year again, the time when strange new chip flavors appear on the shelves as part of Lay's annual Do Us A Flavor contest. We hunted down this year's contenders since we can't resist limited edition flavors of junk food. Though we missed last year's contest (I was pregnant and completely disinterested in food) we did toss out our opinions on the 2015 flavors . This year's flavors aren't the most creative that have been produced by this contest, but they have potential: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, Fried Green Tomato, and Crispy Taco.
We found all 3 flavors at Target at the price of $2.50 per full-size bag, and the next day we set up our super sophisticated testing lab (AKA we stood around our kitchen counter while typing our comments into OneNote) and set to work.
Prediction: Favorite Flavor
(Erin) I'm hoping that Fried Green Tomato is my favorite, because that's the one that seems the most unique and interesting to me. The other ones are cool ideas, but they are all based on some fairly standard chip "spices". If FGT can truly pull off an authentic flavor, I think it'll be a winner.
(Matt) Everything Bagel, because that's my all-time favorite bagel and I love anything with lots of seasoning. I hope they don't skimp out on the spices in favor of the cream cheese being there.
Prediction: Worst Flavor
(Erin) I'm skeptical about artificial cream cheese as a chip flavor, so I think Everything Bagel will be my least favorite. Maybe I'll be proven wrong!
(Matt) I like tomato-flavored snacks and all, but I'm all about seasoning and spices, so I think Fried Green Tomato will be the worst.
Crispy Taco - made with the classic standard Lay's chip.
(Erin) These smell exactly like one of those packets of taco seasoning and they actually taste exactly like a taco. I can taste everything that would be in a taco: the shell, beef, seasoning, and I even get lettuce flavor in there too. So that's pretty cool. I wish it overall had more flavor, but the flavor that is there is spot on.
(Matt) To me, these smell like powdered beef, whatever that is. The taste is as expected, and isn't bad, kind of like taco seasoning with artificial meat.
Fried Green Tomato - made with the the thicker "wavy" ruffled chip.
(Erin) Not much to the smell but there's a faint aroma of tomato in there somewhere. I have to put my whole face in the bag to really smell much of anything. I can taste the tomato but where's the flavor of that crispy fried cornmeal breading? This just tastes like a tomato flavored chip. It could have been so much more.
(Matt) Honestly, it tastes vaguely ketchup-y to me. Not impressed.
Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese - made with the crunchy kettle-cooked chip.
(Erin) Again, I put my whole face into the bag and I don't smell anything at all. I was expecting them to be covered in visible spices and sesame seeds and I don't see anything at all, they just look like plain Lay's. The flavor is a complete miss... there's a faint tang of cream cheese but where is the rest of the seasoning?
(Matt) I can smell a bit of cream cheese and maybe some black pepper, but the flavor is nonexistent and that's what I was afraid of.
(Matt) As far as nailing the flavor, Crispy Taco is my favorite. I would still eat the whole bag of Everything Bagel because they taste like a regular salty chip, and you can't go wrong there, even if they taste nothing like they're supposed to.
(Erin) Crispy Taco is the clear winner here, no question, no contest, game over. This one will be the winner this year, I'd lay a bet on it.
(Matt) Fried Green Tomato. Not appealing.
(Erin) Everything Bagel is the worst of the bunch, mainly because they taste like nothing with a barely-there cream cheese tang. The only redeeming factor is the crunchy kettle chip texture.
You can vote for your favorite between July 24th and October 8th by visiting http://www.dousaflavor.com, or using the Twitter and Instagram hashtags #SweepstakesEntry and the one corresponding to your vote: #VoteEverythingBagel, #VoteFriedGreenTomato or #VoteCrispyTaco. Voting is also available this year on Snapchat.
Have you tried this year's flavors? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!