REVIEW: Lay’s 2018 Tastes of America Potato Chip Flavors

In previous years, Lay’s rolled out several flavors at one time for its Do Us A Flavor promotion. Many of us would purchase all three to fill out stomachs with potatoes and fill Frito-Lay’s coffers with that sweet, sweet Do Us A Flavor money.

This year, with its Tastes of America promotion, it’s different. We couldn’t go to the stores and purchase all eight of the new flavors. Instead, they were spread across the country regionally and the only ways to taste all of them were to take a road trip across the U.S. (not feasible), buy them all from Lay’s website (if it didn’t sell out first), buy them all in a special pack from Amazon (if it didn’t sell out), or purcase all the flavors from someone on eBay (for double what the seller bought them in the store for).

Thank goodness we have writers across the country. Although, not all the flavors are covered. Hope to add those later.

Lay’s Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice Potato Chips

by Vin

Lay s Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice Potato Chips

Lay’s is certainly not the first chip brand to release a flavor using crab spices. Herr’s has a partnership with Old Bay seasoning for one, and the gold standard (in my opinion, of course) Utz has “The Crab Chip.”

Knowing each of those chips pretty well, I was really pumped to see how Lay’s would stack up in the Chesapeake Bay Crab Seasoning-flavored chip race.

Long story short, Lay’s has done an admirable job.

Although not in the ingredient list, I got a vague vinegary tanginess that led nicely into the paprika heavy burn of the crab spice. It’s not spicy hot, but will leave you feeling like you’ve recently ate something spicy.

Lay s Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice Potato Chips 2

Like the Lobster Roll chips (read review below), these aren’t flavored after the shellfish itself, but rather the spices said protein is usually prepared in. I still would have liked for them to at least try to add more actual crab meat flavor, but as I said in the other review, it was probably a smart decision to avoid seafood altogether.

I’d say these live up to their name better than New England Lobster Roll, but aren’t that much different in the sense they just basically removed the Sour Cream and Onion taste and went all out on the crab seasoning. I did however crave crabs more after eating these than I did lobster after the other.

One negative I’d give is these left me with a bit of agita, so I gave New England Lobster Roll a tiny edge. Still, if you like this flavor, these are exactly as advertised.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Chile Con Queso Potato Chips

by Sean

Lay s Chile Con Queso Potato Chips

Chile Con Queso, or chili pepper with cheese, or simply “queso” is a melted spiced cheesy dish popular in the Southwest that to me truly defines TexMex cooking.

The chips have a pungent cheesy aroma with a little bit of a spicy kick that let’s my nose know this isn’t just a bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar. The initial flavor actually tastes more like its mellow counterpart than I expected, but the flavor quickly evolves into something more complex with the distinct herbaceous pop of bell peppers and sharp zing of garlic. They finish with the slightest bit of heat but not enough to warrant being called spicy, as its more of tickle than an actual sensation.

Lay s Chile Con Queso Potato Chips 2

I oftentimes associate this type of dip with ground beef but there’s no meaty flavor to be found. That’s alright, since the packaging doesn’t imply that and I don’t need artificial animal taste sprinkled in my chips to be enjoyable either.

While this type of seasoning feels generally more at home on a tortilla chip it works pretty well with potatoes and should satisfy those that like a creamy cheesy chip with just the hovering essence of spice.

Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: 2.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Deep Dish Pizza Potato Chips

by Tiffany

Lay s Deep Dish Pizza Potato Chips

As a newly minted Midwesterner that frequents Chi-Town often, I get differing and strong opinions on whose deep dish pizza is the best. The usual suspects are: Pequod’s, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Pizzeria Uno. Not sure how Lay’s landed on Giordano’s as the inspiration for their Heartland and Mid-America flavor, but it’s a dang good chip!

Lay s Deep Dish Pizza Potato Chips 2

Don’t let the fact that it looks like a BBQ flavored chip fool you. The Lay’s Deep Dish Pizza (Flavor Inspired By Giordano’s) tastes like the best part of a pizza – which is the sauce. Don’t @ me! Note: Giordano’s is more known for their cheese pull. But, po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

I will say that the first flavor my taste buds detected was indeed cheese though. The cheese flavor was more parmesan than mozzarella, but I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Then, it quickly becomes a comforting tomato-y pizza sauce flavor. The lingering garlic and oregano notes, which could be easily confused as sour cream & onion-like, were on point too! Even the residue on my fingers was tasty.

If you’re a pizza sauce person, you’ll love the execution of this flavor! I also noticed that Lay’s is offering a $5 off coupon code if you want to try Giordano’s.

Deep dish pizza with a side of deep dish pizza chips anyone?

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Fried Pickles with Ranch Potato Chips

by Marvo

Lay s Fried PIckles with Ranch Potato Chips

Pickle flavoring on crunchy snacks is hard for taste buds to miss and easy to distinguish among other flavors. Well, that’s what I thought until I had Lay’s Fried Pickles with Ranch Potato Chips.

The first chip I shoved into my mouth had a strong pickle flavor. It’s a familiar taste I’ve experienced many times with any crunchy snack labeled “cheeseburger.” With those, there’s a detonation of dill that dominates whatever else is on the snack. But, while the first chip was a delicious pickle explosion with a hint of ranch, the subsequent chips had less of it and soon the buttermilk seasoning swamped the headlining act. Still tasty, but not what I was hoping for.

Lay s Fried PIckles with Ranch Potato Chips 2

After letting my taste buds reset, the bold dill came back when I tried the chips for the second time, but, again, it faded away after chomping on a few more and was replaced by the ranch. It’s a vicious circle for those who love pickle-flavored chips, but, I guess, heaven for those who love ranch-flavored snacks. There’s a hint of dill in the aftertaste with the ranch-strong ones, but I wish EVERY CHIP had a better balance.

I guess if I want the pickle flavor with every chip, I could eat a few, walk away to let my taste buds normalize, drink a glass of water, and then come back for more. But that’s no sane way to eat potato chips.

Purchased Price: $19.99 (as part of a multi-pack with all the flavors
Size: 2.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s New England Lobster Roll Potato Chips

by Vin

Lay s New England Lobster Roll Potato Chips

I live in New Jersey, but consider myself a bit of a Lobster Roll aficionado. I’ve eaten plenty of them while trekking up to New England, and I could make a case for it being a top five sandwich. So, with that said, I was pumped Lay’s finally got around to this flavor.

Was my hype warranted?

Well, these are delicious, but not really because they nailed the flavor of a Lobster Roll.

I couldn’t tell you the exact spice mix a New England-style Lobster Roll usually has, but one of the main ingredients here is literally “New England Lobster Roll Seasoning.” That makes perfect sense because “seasoning” flavor is the standout. I’ll get back to that shortly.

Lay s New England Lobster Roll Potato Chips 2

The chips have a quick tang of mayo and a buttery vibe which is good because what’s lobster without butter? The lobster flavor itself is subtle. Seriously, they’re not fishy at all, and I could be convinced it’s another type of seafood altogether, but I still enjoyed it.

They tasted like a flavor I’ve had before, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Finally, I settled on a mix of weak Old Bay seasoning sprinkled on a familiar Sour Cream and Onion flavor. The lobster poked through most on the aftertaste for me. The aftertaste is actually great. There’s a small kick of heat from the spices too.

So, I wasn’t smacked with Lobster Roll flavor, but it was probably for the better. Had Lay’s gone out of their way to ramp up the lobster flavor, these could have been a fishy, unappealing mess. As for now, I dig em.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Pimento Cheese Potato Chips

by Sarah

Lay s Pimento Cheese Potato Chips

It’s Sunday afternoon here in North Carolina. Tomatoes are abundant in gardens. If you’re a true southerner, you’ll slice up a juicy homegrown tomato and slap it between two pieces of soft white bread, smothered in Duke’s mayo, and call it “lunch.”

However, there’s another southern sandwich staple that doesn’t grow in any garden: pimento cheese. No, no. Pimento cheese is only “grown” in country kitchens or on the shelves of the Piggly Wiggly.

When I saw Lay’s Pimento Cheese flavored potato chips debut as the Southeast’s flavor in its “Tastes of America” series, I wondered if the pimento cheese would be reminiscent of sandwiches at church, bridal luncheons, or baby showers or more like the overpriced pimento cheese I see on menus at food truck rodeos or hipster bars.

Well, as much as I loved these chips, I think they were a bit spicier and tangier than the classic creamy pimento cheese favored by most Southerners. These chips are a close cousin to Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar chips, with sharp cheddar flavor muted by other tangy dairy flavors. However, these chips had a very notable kick to them from the pimento pepper, though it was more spicy and not obviously pimento-y. Most pimenna (as Southerners pronounce it) cheese I’ve had isn’t overwhelming hot-spicy. These chips caused the inside of my mouth to pucker, but that didn’t stop me from devouring them.

Lay s Pimento Cheese Potato Chips 2

These chips were a perfect pair to my tomato sandwich, y’all. Go git yerself some.

Purchased Price: $2.48
Size: 7.75 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

9 thoughts to “REVIEW: Lay’s 2018 Tastes of America Potato Chip Flavors”

  1. Just curious what are the two flavors that didn’t get reviewed yet?
    Great reviews, will be seeking many of these out! Have only seen the pickle ones here in Ohio. Would really like to try the deep dish pizza.

      1. West Coast Truffle isn’t a new flavor; they just also re-released some of the old flavors (https://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpress/2018/07/30/back-on-shelves-lays-wavy-west-coast-truffle-fries-and-bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-popper-potato-chips/), perhaps on a regional basis (my store has West Coast Truffle Fries and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper – apparently a Walmart exclusive last year despite not winning the Do Us A Flavor contest – in addition to the new Chile con Queso).

        They gave 5s to both WCT (https://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpress/2015/08/12/review-lays-wavy-do-us-a-flavor-west-coast-truffle-fries-potato-chips/) and BWJP (https://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpress/2017/08/25/review-lays-bacon-wrapper-jalapeno-poppers-potato-chips/).

  2. If someone would send me the Thai Sweet Chili and Cajun Spice and Lobster Roll chips, I would gladly send the Chesapeake Bay and Crab Spice chips and the Deep Dish Pizza chips. I am in Maryland so my local Lays delivery person said that he can’t get the Thai Sweet Chili and Cajun Spice or the Lobster Roll chips. But, we have lots of the Chesapeake Bay and Crab Spice chips and the Deep Dish Pizza chips. Anybody? I will tell you that the Deep Dish Pizza chips are in a humongous bag at Sam’s Club, if that sweetens the deal.

  3. I’m sure it’s just me, but if I can’t get these in my region, I really don’t want to read about them–it’s just sado-masochism . . . . 😉

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