I love potato chips, especially flavored ones.
Sea salt and vinegar.
So when the Accidental Locavore saw two new potato chip flavors from Lays, they were so out there I had to try them. They’re part of a “limited time only global flavors” collection.
The potato chips I couldn’t resist were Chinese Szechuan Chicken and Indian Tikka Masala.
The Szechuan Chicken ones claim to have no artificial flavors. Wouldn’t you be interested in knowing where in nature “Natural Szechuan Wok Type Flavor” comes from?
If you closed your eyes and tasted them, you probably wouldn’t identify the “wok type flavor” immediately. As a matter of fact, except for a very minor taste of soy sauce you probably wouldn’t associate them with anything Chinese. The potato chips are spicy in a peppery way, but don’t have that weird (but good) numbness of Szechuan peppercorns.
As a spicy potato chip, acceptable, but not great.
The Indian Tikka Masala are kettle cooked, which means they’re a thicker potato chip. Even though they’re not labeled as chicken, there is more of a chicken flavor than the Chinese chicken chips.
It’s possible to justify them as healthier because they contain turmeric (a superfood) and cumin, which is what gives them a slight Indian flavor. There’s a little tomato and a little sour cream but the spice comes from cumin.
While, like the Szechuan ones, they’re acceptable, the smell when you open the bag is pretty revolting.
If someone handed you a bowl of chips at a party, would you be able to identify either one as a flavor profile coming from China or India. They’re both spicy in different ways, but when the “limited time” runs out you won’t miss them.
So, in the interest of research, should I try the other two flavors? One is a Brazilian (of course) Picanha (steak and chimichurri) and the other, Greek Tzatziki. And what’s your favorite flavor of potato chips?
Update: Brought these to a friend’s house the other night. Their favorite was the Szechaun chips, but they agreed that you wouldn’t know it was Chinese except for the bag.