REVIEW: Lay’s Turn Up the Flavor Potato Chips

Lay s Turn Up the Flavor Potato Chips

After the success of the regionally-inspired “Do Us a Flavor” chips, Lay’s is back with something new – chips inspired by genres of music.

ARE Y’ALL READY TO TURN UP THE FLAVOR?!

I’ll take that tepid response as a “yes.”

Like snack preference, musical taste is subjective, but I’m gonna try to compare each new chip flavor to a song from the genre they’re inspired by.

Tonight’s opening act is Classic Beer Cheese.

I guess Lay’s took the classic “rock” inspiration literally by making these “hard as a rock” kettle chips.

The chips smell like cheese, but not much like beer. The initial taste is that of flat pilsner followed by a muted indiscriminate cheese taste. I was hoping for a sharp cheddar flavor, but it’s dulled down a bit by that faint hint of a beer you may have consumed ten minutes prior.

Lay s Turn Up the Flavor Classic Beer Cheese Potato Chips

As with every kettle chip I’ve ever had, they tasted kinda stale, and I wished these were just a regular chip, but I know people love this style. They’re fine but didn’t rock my socks off like I thought they would. I prefer Kettle Brand’s Cheddar Beer flavor, which are the only other beer cheese chips I’ve tasted.

Inspired by the classic rock genre, the beverage featured, and the lightning bolt in the name, I’ll compare these to a solid rock song I never need to hear again in my life – Have a Drink On Me by AC/DC.

Whatever, no one comes to see the opening act anyway.

Next up to the stage is, Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle Remix!

Here we have a Hip-Hop inspired continuation of Frito Lay’s brand-crossing Flamin’ Hot line, and they’re exactly as advertised.

Lay s Turn Up the Flavor Flamin Hot Dill Pickle Remix Potato Chips

The smell from the bag is amazing. There’s heat as well as that aroma of popping the lid off a pickle jar. The chips may be a mess, but they taste like pickles. Imagine dipping a pickle in hot sauce, and that’s essentially what you get. The heat is a nice complementary Hype Man for the pickle. I mean, these may have been slightly better without the Flamin’ Hot element, but that wouldn’t be very “hip-hop,” now would it?

I’ll compare these to a classic hip hop track that fires me up so much I can only listen in small doses – Ante Up by M.O.P.

And now ladies and gentlemen, give it up for your headliner, Electric Lime & Sea Salt!

So, upon opening this bag, there were some technical difficulties.

I was taken completely aback by the scent of expired cold cuts took me completely aback. It was confusing, to say the least. Most pop music stinks, so maybe I didn’t realize how literal they were with the inspired genre?

Lay s Turn Up the Flavor Electric Lime  Sea Salt Potato Chips

Despite the smell, I trudged on, and I am glad I did. The initial smell cleared a bit and I was left with a nearly flawless potato chip. I like these better than any single “Do Us a Flavor” release.

There’s nothing crazy here, it’s just a wavy chip flavored with lime and sea salt, and it works so damn well. If you’ve ever had Tostito’s Hint of Lime (the best tortilla chip in the aisle, IMO), it’s that except it somehow works even better on a ridged potato chip.

I polished off the bag in two sittings.

I tried to think of a pop song I initially thought was a giant fart bomb but almost instantly changed my mind on. There’s only one fairly recent pop song I could recall that hit me, and it CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL.

“Did he just hype Miley Cyrus while basically calling AC/DC average earlier?”

He did. Wrecking Ball is great. You like it, and you know it. You’ll like these chips too, even if they’re a guilty pleasure.

I wouldn’t be upsetting if any of these become mainstays, but Lime & Sea Salt is elite. Now that the former King of Pop is “canceled,” we should pass the name on to these chips.

Lay’s needs to expand on this new line. Gimmie a country-inspired flavor. Classical. Whatever you call that electro-techno music. Bring ’em on. Here’s hoping they turn up some more varieties. We need an encore.

Purchased Price: $2.50 each
Size: 7.5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 5 out of 10 Classic Beer Cheese)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle Remix)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Electric Lime & Sea Salt)
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips) Classic Beer Cheese – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 grams of sodium, 165 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle Remix – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 grams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Electric Lime & Sea Salt – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 grams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy Salt & Pepper Potato Chips

Lay s Wavy Salt  Pepper Potato Chips

What are Lay’s Wavy Salt & Pepper Potato Chips?

The standard restaurant table space takers, salt and pepper, have been on Lay’s original and Kettle Cooked chips, but this is the first time they’ve been on Lay’s Wavy chips. Okay, chip nerds about to correct me, the first time on Lay’s Wavy in the U.S.

How are they?

I was expecting these to be peppery, but their saltiness was surprising. In my mind, I thought the level would be the usual amount on chips, but they taste extra salty. I’m not talking like sea salt chips level but beyond that. I imagine if there wasn’t any pepper to cut through it, these chips might be too harsh.

In no way does the added rock seasoning overpower the pepper. In fact, the salt enhances it, making it a good addition. Although my doctor, who knows what my average blood pressure is, would probably shake his head at the previous sentence.

Lay s Wavy Salt  Pepper Potato Chips Closeup

The amount of pepper is just right to me. Although it doesn’t look like there’s much on the chips, what’s there provides a peppery punch. I imagine it might be potent to some, but I love it.

With Lay’s Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, I felt a slight peppery burn on the back of my throat but had no such issues with this Wavy version.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I did not sneeze once while eating these chips.

The bag says they’re great for dipping, but I did not follow that subtle hint to buy a Frito-Lay dip along with the chips. I’m sure they’re great for dipping, but they’re great as they are.

Conclusion:

Much like ketchup potato chips, salt and pepper chips are a rare sight on store shelves. I don’t know how long Lay’s Wavy Salt & Pepper Potato Chips are going to be available, but if you’re a fan of the flavor, I’d suggest hoarding them now.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 7 1/2 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 13 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sun Puffs Four Cheese

Sun Puffs Four Cheese

What are Sun Puffs Four Cheese?

This is the first non-chip form for Sun Chips. When I originally saw the images on the bag, I thought they were churros-shaped, but they are not. Instead, they look like large pillowy cereal pieces that could help you consume 100 percent of your daily fiber.

The four kinds of cheese that flavor the snack are: Monterey jack, cheddar, gouda, and mozzarella.

How are they?

I like Sun Chips, but if you gave me the option between them and a bag of potato chips, I’d take the fried spud slices and leave the Sun Chips 10 out of 10 times. But if bags of Sun Puffs Four Cheese and Cheetos were in front of me, I’d grab the Cheetos, but then also snag the Sun Puffs, because I’m greedy and they are sun-prisingly wonderful.

Sun Puffs Four Cheese Closeup

With the combination of cheeses, they have a slightly funky aroma and a mature tangy flavor that mostly hides the fact I’m eating a whole grain snack. Although, the cheesiness eventually fades and there’s a whole grain aftertaste. Think of these as tasting like a Triscuit with some decent cheese. They don’t quite reach Cheetos-level of snackability, but I still dig them.

Is there anything else I need to know?

While they’re made with 100 percent whole grain and look like a cereal that’ll give you 100 percent of your daily intake of fiber, a serving provides only seven percent of your daily fiber. Yes, you could eat the entire bag and get about 40 percent, which is plausible because they’re hard to stop eating.

Sun Puffs Four Cheese Comparison
Sun Puffs Four Cheese next to a Chicken in a Biskit

Also, regarding the whole grains, if you don’t like how regular Sun Chips feel in your mouth as you break them down with your teeth, then expect these to give you that same feeling. You know, the graininess that reminds you that Sun Chips are not Tostitos or regular potato chips.

Conclusion:

Frito-Lay, who also makes Cheetos, also makes Sun Puffs. So if there’s anyone who knows how to create addictive cheese-flavored crunchy puffs, it’s Frito-Lay. And it did a great job with these. Now, although I realize these don’t look like churros, I’d love to have a cinnamon sugar version.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Size: 6 oz. bag
Purchased at: Longs Drugs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 puffs) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheetos White Cheddar Bites

Cheetos White Cheddar Bites

Cheetos White Cheddar Bites continue Cheetos’ trend of rolling out white cheddar-flavored snacks during winter because “white cheddar” equal “winter.”

While their flavor is familiar if you’ve had Cheetos White Cheddar Bag of Bones for Halloween, Cheetos Winter White Cheddar Cheetos Curls during last year’s Olympics, or Cheetos Snowflakes White Cheddar during previous winters, their shape is new to the Cheetos Universe.

Like I wrote, if you’ve had any of the snacks I mentioned in the previous paragraph, you’ll know precisely what these taste like.

If you haven’t, they have a milder cheesy flavor than original radioactive orange Cheetos. But I find them to be as addictive. I ate the entire bag within 12 hours, looked into the mirror, asked my reflection if it was worth it, and it replied with a “yeah.”

What helped make that disappearing act happen is the size of the crunchy snack.

Cheetos White Cheddar Bites Closeup

Since I ate all of them before I could make a size comparison with regular Cheetos Puffs, I want you to imagine a straight Cheetos Puff. Then imagine that Puff split into thirds. That’s approximately how big they are. Although, their crunch is slightly different from their curvy cousin because they seem to be somewhat less airy.

They’re the textbook definition of “bite-sized.” Sure, I can fit an entire Cheetos Puff in my Cheetos hole. Heck, I could shove several if I really wanted to, but it would be a little uncomfortable. With these Bites, I can comfortably fit many in my mouth like I’m a Cheetos-loving pelican. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this bite-sized version should be the default Cheetos Puff. You hear me, Frito-Lay! D-fault! D-fault! D-fault! (everybody) D-fault!

Or just make Cheetos Balls.

Because they’re yellow and shaped like botulism-affected canned goods, if you have a fine point Sharpie pen, you could draw eyes (or an eye) on them to turn them into Minions. I would’ve shown that, but, again, I ate the entire bag within 12 hours and way before the idea for Cheetos Minions popped into my head.

Cheetos White Cheddar Bites are a snack that I will never buy again because they’re too easy to eat. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t get off this white cheddar horse.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 7 1/2 oz. bag
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 38 pieces) – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips

As an ice chewer, I am all about crunchy goodness. So, Ruffles “new” Double Crunch chips are right in my wheelhouse.

The “new” is in quotes because Ruffles launched very crunchy chips a couple of times before with Ultimate and Deep Ridged lines. It even secured two U.S. patents for the “chip’s ornamental design,” and 24+ prototypes were created to land on this specific crunchy form that incidentally looks like the chevron design on Charlie Brown’s shirt.

Full disclosure, I haven’t tried the previous iterations. But, I see it as it as a blank slate!

It seems like Double Crunch is closer to Deep Ridged because of the similar flavors AND because Ultimate seemed more wannabe macho with its pseudo-metal pattern on the packaging and tailgate-inspired varieties like Kickin’ Jalapeno Ranch, Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ, and Loaded Bacon & Cheddar Potato Skins.

This version even leans into the same “2x” claim but instead of saying “Ridges 2x As Deep,” it reads “2x The Crunch.” The fine print indicates that it’s only versus original Ruffles, so that’s kind of disappointing.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Ridges

But, it is dang crunchy though. It’s so much so that you probably don’t want to eat this in class or work cubicle because someone will side-eye you for being too noisy. The chip itself is very kettle chip-like down to the smell (slight stale oil eau de parfum), which makes sense because that’s how it’s cooked as noted on the back panel. I don’t smell either the Zesty Cheddar or Hot Wings seasoning. Take that at face value based on your own preferences! I don’t mind either way.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Open Bags

The Zesty Cheddar is basically like a saltier Cheddar & Sour Cream. I was so surprised by the saltiness that I immediately went to check the nutrition facts but learned that both flavors have the same amount of sodium. Unless the salt was supposed to be the zesty part, I didn’t get a kick either. Disappointing.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Closeup

On the flipside, I enjoyed the Hot Wings variety! It’s like a true buffalo wing flavor dancing on my taste buds with a touch of tanginess followed by this creaminess that I can only describe as eating a side of celery with ranch. I don’t know if my mind was playing tricks on me because it tasted so similar to actual wings that I imagined the actual eating experience with sides and all. I didn’t find it THAT spicy but could see folks finding this a bit on the spicier side.

These Ruffles do indeed have some crunchy r-r-r-ridges, but not quite consistent flavors!

Purchased Price: $3.00 each
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Zesty Cheddar)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Hot Wings)
Nutrition Facts: (about 10 chips) Zesty Cheddar – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Hot Wings – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho

What are Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos?

The new Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos are when “Nacho Cheese Gets Lit,” as denoted by the back of the pack. But really, it’s Chester the Cheetah lending his creds for Doritos’ latest spicy flavor.

How are they?

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho In Bag

They’re spicy, salty nirvana!

They smell like regular nacho flavored Doritos, but when you eat them, they’re seriously LIT. There are two hits of heat; the first hits your throat with some tolerable fire and the second is the afterburn on your taste buds. This compounding of hot is what will get ya.

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho Fingers

After a few chips, your nose will definitely be running and your eyes a-waterin’. But, don’t touch your face with your hands because you’ll get the thick Flamin’ Hot residue everywhere. I am amazed that it’s not just blind, overpowering heat. The nacho flavor is still somehow prominent as well.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho with Cheetos

I don’t think it’s the same Flamin’ Hot seasoning that’s on Cheetos. Even though the red color looks very similar, it’s much spicier. However, it’s still complementary, so I’ve been eating them together like a Flamin’ mix.

Conclusion:

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho Closeup

These are so fuego that it caught me by surprise and I almost feel the need to defend my spicy tolerance (I can eat spicy foods, I swear!). This new flavor is the hero in Frito-Lay’s new multi-million-dollar Super Bowl ad, so you best believe that it knows this is a winner too! Takis better watch out!

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 9.76 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.