REVIEW: Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Honey Potato Chips

Hot honey is taking over.

We’ve got hot honey chicken, hot honey pizza, hot honey pretzels, and hot honey buns. Actually, I don’t know about that one. Do hot honey buns exist? Has Little Debbie ventured into the world of hot honey buns yet? I wanna Google, “Little Debbie’s Hot Honey Buns,” but I’m afraid I’ll get put on a list.

Ya know what? I’m just gonna drop this train of thought and … oh hot honey chips! Those exist too. Herr’s makes ’em. Utz makes ’em. Pringles had some delicious hot honey crisps, so it’s no shocker that Lay’s has joined the fray with Sweet & Spicy Honey Chips.

The bag boasts, “Sweet. Spicy. Golden. Crunch,” and I’m not one to argue with a bag.

I’ll get to the first three words, but first, I wanna highlight the fourth word because the crunch might be the standout. By all accounts, they’re standard Lay’s chips, but I swear they’re crunchier. They’re not kettle, but if a chip could exist somewhere between regular and kettle, that’s these, and I love it. I don’t think it was a freshness issue. These felt like Lay’s tweaked its iconic recipe.

As for the flavor – I say this as a culinary inept American dude – I think it leans into a Chinese-inspired territory. Something about the combination of the spicy pepper and vague sweetness instantly made me think of Chinese flavors.

Even the red, scaly bag design made me think along those lines. If you told me these chips were limited edition “Year of the Dragon: Spicy Szechwan” flavored Lay’s, I wouldn’t argue.

The chips hit you with a mildly sweet honey flavor on the nose, then quickly chase that with a tolerable heat ideal for sustained snacking. I always rate spicy snacks on the “Flamin’ Hot” scale, and these probably reach about 80% of that.

I’ll say this, while they don’t exactly taste the same, all I thought about were Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. In fact, I was bummed I wasn’t eating said Doritos, the G.D.O.A.T. Purple bag supremacy, no other flavor stacks up. Don’t @ me.

Using my confusing percentages again, I’d say the flavor here lands at about 63.7% on the Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili scale I just made up that will now be used to rate all food from now on.

Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Honey Potato Chips are solid but should’ve been sweeter. I’d actually probably like a bit more heat as well. They taste like a “lite” version of what the flavors should’ve been.

The ingredients list Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss Cheese, but they aren’t cheesy. I tried to force a cheese flavor to manifest but to no avail. I still remain a little stumped by the ingredients.

So yeah, these aren’t bad. I got a little indigestion, but I loved the texture and liked the flavor. For all I know, I just had a weird bag, but they’re good overall. They’d probably go great crunched up inside a sandwich.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m… I’m gonna Google it. Curiosity killed the fat.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 Chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips

If you’re in Camp Savory Potato Chips Only and think potato chips with sweetness are an abomination, and you feel sorry for the potatoes that were used to make them, um, I’d avoid these Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips. The Walmart-exclusive flavor features a seasoning that tastes like strawberry-topped pancakes with syrup and bacon.

These have a strong pancake syrup aroma that reminds me of many maple-flavored products I’ve smelled, but no fruitiness or bacon-ness wafts from these. Their pink hue makes them look like they’re coated with what I imagine Flamin’ Warm seasoning would look like. If Lay’s decides to offer cotton candy-flavored potato chips, it has the blue, um, pinkprint to make those the appropriate color.

Its flavor is surprisingly delightful and is as fun as saying, “Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity.” The strawberry flavoring, which comes from strawberry powder, stands out the most, and it also gives these a slight tanginess. Then, there’s the pancake syrup taste that provides each bite with a burst of sweetness. There’s no butteriness or anything that tastes like an actual pancake, but the syrup flavor does a great job of getting your tongue and head to think of flapjacks.

Finally, there’s the bacon. Having tried Lay’s Bacon Potato Chips, I’m familiar with the brand’s approach to the porky slices, but I don’t taste it here. However, the chips have an underlying greasiness that could be a stand-in for the breakfast meat. These also have some stevia on them, but I don’t notice any of the off flavors I’ve tasted from drinking stevia-sweetened stuff.

I really love these, but they’re a one-night snack stand. Now that I’ve tried them, if given a choice between these and Original Lay’s Potato Chips (or any other standard Lay’s flavor), I’d pick the savory one because they’re more versatile. Like with regular potato chips, we can eat them as a snack or as a side with a turkey sandwich, burger, or hot dog for a meal. But with these, I can’t imagine eating them with any of those. Maybe Lay’s wants us to eat them with breakfast sandwiches. Breakfast chips?!

Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips were fun to try and a fascinating Frito-Lay food scientist flavor flex. But I wouldn’t repurchase a bag if they were a permanent flavor, as tasty as they are. However, if you’re not in Camp Savory Potato Chips Only and haven’t tried them, they are worth a try.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay*
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: eBay (Exclusive to Walmart stores)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar (including 1 gram of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Ruffles All Dressed Potato Chips

Lay's Kettle Cooked Ruffles All Dressed Potato Chips Bag

When Ruffles All Dressed burst onto the American scene in 2015, the stateside ridges game was forever changed. Simply put, Ruffles rule, and this new, formerly Canadian-exclusive flavor instantly became one of the best in the brand’s salty arsenal. The elusive and mysterious sweet and savory combination of BBQ, ketchup, salt, vinegar, and even a dash of sour cream and onion reads like it could be too much, but somehow, it’s just enough.

In 2021 Ruffles took back its love for the USA and returned All Dressed to being Canada-only. But what does Frito-Lay love doing more than anything these days? That’s right, putting the same old stuff on some other stuff, and thus, Lay’s Kettle Cooked Ruffles All Dressed Potato Chips have arrived.

Using the name Ruffles alongside All Dressed feels like a bit of a hat on a hat, but I understand the need to solidify that this is the same seasoning from the currently unavailable chip. These kettle cooked chips do not have ridges, but they carry a decent amount of the glowing red/orange powder that will soon be coating my fingers.

Lay's Kettle Cooked Ruffles All Dressed Potato Chips orange and red seasoning.

All Dressed remains delicious. I’m getting a touch less of a flavor punch than on the Ruffles, but it’s undoubtedly a tangy vinegar-forward BBQ with some extra onion on the finish. Citing sour cream and onion is a bit of a stretch, but there’s absolutely an oniony accent that stands out from your average BBQ.

What these chips lack in ridge-amplified flavor they almost make up for in satisfyingly bold crunch. These chips are LOUD, and I certainly think they’re proud, too (Canada’s never had All Dressed THIS crunchy, right?). With Lay’s Kettle Cooked, the thick chomp-y texture is no doubt the highlight, bringing a pleasantly hard-fried greasy potato undertone to the tangy, savory fireworks of All Dressed. The taste isn’t nearly as bold as I remember from my last bag of the Ruffles version, but it’s been a couple of years, and these chips are undeniably difficult to stop eating. There’s a level of intrigue in the seasoning; some are more sweet, some are more salty, and some are more tangy, which keeps me wanting more. Food Science 101: they got me.

Lay's Kettle Cooked Ruffles All Dressed Potato Chips up close and personal

Aside from trying this killer seasoning on a different extra crunchy vessel, the other revelation of this bag is the insane amount of fold over chips. From what I recall, these folded over gems used to be more of a rarity, and here they make up a solid 65% or more of the bag, and I’m here for it. The Lay’s Kettle Cooked version of All Dressed won’t top the Ruffles for me, but they’re without a doubt one of the best flavors Frito-Lay has released with this line and one that’s worthy of a pickup.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Nob Hill
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips, 28g) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy Cuban Sandwich Potato Chips

Lay’s Wavy Cuban Sandwich chips went down so easily that I’m already thinking about Havana-nother bag.

Let’s just go ahead and move on from the pun, ok? We all see it. It’s not going anywhere. Havana, like the capital of Cuba. Real clever, bro. It is what it is, and I’m not gonna apologize. Anyway…

Cuban sandwiches! We like those, don’t we folks?

Lay’s has been putting out sandwich-based chips for years and even dropped some limited edition city-inspired flavors, so how did it take this long to get to the delicious Miami-born Cuban sandwich?

I can’t believe this wasn’t a “Do Us a Flavor” winner at some point, and we’re just now finally getting it. It has to be worth the wait, right?

Well, I’m Havana hard time trying to decide.

Ok, I apologize for that one.

Right outta the bag, the chips smelled familiar, giving off Cheddar and Sour Cream vibes, so I instantly expected the cheese to dominate. Once I chomped down, I realized it was a soft cheesiness that I just kinda accepted as Swiss. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice mild flavor, but without previous knowledge, I’m not sure I would have pinpointed that cheese specifically. Swiss is obviously a milder cheese, but I wish it popped more.

I was a little surprised at just how mellow the overall flavor was until I got hints of mustard and pickle that ended up being my favorite pieces of the puzzle that is this chip.

Like the cheese, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the protein element. At first, it just tasted like some kind of vague spiced meat, but it slowly transformed into a pretty impressive hammy pork flavor. At that point, I realized how complex these chips actually were. They somehow managed to sneak in subtle flavors of both pork roast and ham without them canceling each other out.

You really get each individual Cuban sandwich ingredient to the point that I think these might be one of the most successful Lay’s flavor reproductions I can recall… yet I still wished there was MORE flavor.

They have a sensation that makes it seem like they’re ready to get spicy at any second, but the heat never comes. They’re mild but on the verge of bursting with flavors. It’s hard to explain. I left wishing each chip had about 20% more of a dusting. These were so close to perfection, but they needed to be ramped up to “Cubano Xtreme” or something. They’re layered and impressive but ultimately unfulfilling.

I give Lay’s props for deciding to make these Wavy though. I think it’s the perfect level of crunch for the flavor, and the grooves give a great little nod to the panini press grill marks of the real thing. Regular chips would have been too boring, and I think the flavor balance would’ve gotten thrown out of whack on a greasy kettle chip.

So, while these let me down ever so slightly, I guess I’m still satisfied. I wish they were caked in seasoning like Doritos. What can I say?

If you think I’m gonna close with that pun again, you have another thing comin’.

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 7.5 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (13 Chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Baked Lay’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Potato Crisps

Baked Lay’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Potato Crisps are the first Baked Lay’s product I truly enjoyed and want more of after finishing the bag. It’s a monumental moment in my snacking history!

I’ve had other Baked Lay’s products over the years, but beyond the original Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps, I can’t remember what they were, so they must’ve not been that great, right? But I’ll definitely remember these limited time only crisps long after they’re gone because they’re the best tasting Baked Lay’s product I’ve ever had.

What were these called again?

The graphics on the packaging show a crispy chicken sandwich topped with Buffalo sauce, pickles, and cheese. All of those ingredients are present at different levels here. To be honest, adding cheese flavoring seems odd for a Buffalo chicken sandwich. Blue cheese or ranch makes more sense, and the cheese is the least noticeable and gets overpowered by the hot sauce and pickle flavors most of the time. I expected a more robust vinegar tang from the Buffalo seasoning, but it tastes like it gets most of its tang from the pickle flavoring. There’s also a bit of chicken/grease flavor that’s easy to miss. While the Buffalo seasoning doesn’t have the same flavor punch or heat as the wing sauce, when combined with the pickle seasoning, they help make the usually unexciting crisp delicious.

However, the thing with these is that the flavor isn’t consistent. Only one side appears seasoned, and the only way the other side gets any seasoning is by rubbing itself with the other chips in the bag like they’re on a crowded dance floor. So I had to be aware of which side was hitting my tongue, which is not optimal when dealing with my tried and true method of shoving food mindlessly into my mouth.

Oh, speaking of shoving chips into my maw, I enjoyed these so much that I almost ate the entire bag in one sitting. I wish this bag was like a pint of Halo Top, and I could eat the whole thing without guilt. Sure, they have 65 percent less fat than regular potato chips, but this entire 6.25-ounce bag has 720 calories, so I’m feeling a bit guilty right now.

If you hate Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps because of their flavor or because they look, feel, and seem to soak saliva like dehydrated sponges, I’m not sure the spicy and tangy taste of these Buffalo chicken sandwich-flavored crisps is enough to change your mind or saliva gland’s opinion.

Purchased Price: $2.71 (on sale)
Size: 6.25 oz bag
Purchased at: Longs Drugs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 17 chips) 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar (including 2 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.