The latest flavor in Frito-Lay’s Poppables line is Creamy Jalapeno. While I’ve loved every variety thus far, I can’t decide if the random “Creamy” in the name sounds appetizing or gross.
How are they?
I’ll end the short-lived suspense. Lay’s Poppables Creamy Jalapeno are anything but gross. In fact, I’m ready to admit I’m a full-on Poppables fanboy. These things are delicious.
I love the shape of these. It provides for an excellent airy crisp unlike basically everything on the market right now. The shape of these are like giant potato Chex in a way.
The jalapeno flavor is the standard you’d expect from Frito Lay, which is a good thing. If you’ve had the jalapeno chips or Fritos, there’s not much deviation from that flavor, although the “creamy” element does provide a nice counterbalance. Plus, the potato flavor seems slightly more pronounced than a normal chip for some reason, and it all just marries together perfectly. There’s really a bit of “creaminess” at play here.
The spice level is manageable, and dare I say “pleasant” in its afterburn.
Is there anything else I need to know?
I don’t necessarily know what to attribute the “creaminess” to, but “creamy jalapeno powder,” sour cream, and yogurt powder are ingredients. I’m thrown off because Frito-Lay usually makes it a point to show a dollop (the worst word in the English language) of sour cream or something on the bag itself.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I loved the smell of these. It reminded me of unwrapping an Italian sub (or “hero,” or whatever weird name you call a sandwich).
I’m just a big fan of Poppables, and I think Creamy Jalapeno is the best flavor so far. There’s a bigger bag than the one I purchased, and I’m kicking myself for not getting it.
I assume this snack line is doing well, so all I can hope is that Frito-Lay parlays the success into a reboot of Dorito’s 3Ds, which I’ve been clamoring for since they disappeared over a decade ago.
Purchased Price: $1.48 Size: 2 oz. bag Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Lay’s Poppables made its debut this time last year with sea salt and white cheddar flavors. I was surprised by how much I liked the sea salt one. So now that the barbecue flavor is out of the way, Frito-Lay, how about a salt and vinegar one? I’d spend my hard earned cash on that. (Spotted by Sarah D at Walmart.)
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First off, thank you Lay’s for retiring this nonsense about having at least one disgusting Do Us a Flavor finalists. It’s lovely to not have to take the proverbial summer bullet for the greater junk food community, and I couldn’t be happier with this year’s relatively normal finalists.
Everything Bagel? Okay, a bit out of left field, but they do make bagel chips, and they also make bagels out of potatoes. Besides, it sounds better than several of this year’s entries, among them kale salad, unicorn beef, and “hickory smoked horse buttholes.”
What a time to be alive!
I’m surprised it’s taken this long for fried green tomato to get the junk food treatment. It’s every bit as southern as biscuits and gravy or chicken and waffles. It also has that natural fried flavor affinity conducive to munchable snacks. That said, there’s a lot going on with fried green tomatoes, and I’m not talking about the subtexts in the 1991 movie.
Wavy is a solid template for the flavor; not flimsy like regular chips, but not as potato-ey as kettle chips often taste. Instead, Lay’s Wavy chips have a rounded, solid crunch, like you would expect from a fried green tomato.
The flavor starts with a buttermilk tang and slight bitterness, followed by notes of salt, garlic, and onion. This is, I suppose, where this review gets controversial.
Contrary to its ubiquitous southern connotation, buttermilk is not essential for fried green tomatoes. While I don’t think it detracts from the chip, the powdered buttermilk is heavy, pushing these chips into the Sour Cream and ________ category of snacks.
Good? You bet. Innovative? Not in the least.
Fortunately, there are some nuances. A slight backheat — let’s call it tickling because everyone likes tickling — emerges with each bite, as does a bit of sweetness. The flavors are just enough to let you know you’re not dealing with your father’s sour cream and onion chip. They create a snackable quality that can stand on its own or serve as a perfect instrument for dipping.
The only thing I wished Lay’s could have worked in was an authentic cornmeal taste. Where buttermilk is optional, cornmeal is essential. Without it, you’re losing something intrinsically fried green tomato in your fried green tomato. Because the Lay’s chips hardly have any of it, they’re only good, not great.
I’ll probably vote for Lay’s Wavy Fried Green Tomato for two reasons. One, the chip’s submitter, Gregory Pope, grew up in Georgia, so he might be salty about the Super Bowl. So I want to help him out. Reason two? The flavor is solid and better than half of all the previous Do Us A Flavor finalists.
(Nutrition Facts – about 15 chips – 150 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.48 Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 7 out of 10 Pros: Wavy template fits the flavor perfectly. Nuanced flavors and spices mirror fried green tomato breading. Familiar enough taste to not be caught off guard. Lay’s marketing people taking the job back from their 5-year-olds. Cons: Slightly heavy buttermilk flavor makes the chips taste like sour cream and onion. Very little, if any, cornmeal flavor. Knowing there’s someone alive who wants to eat potato chips that taste like “hickory smoked buttholes.”
First off, let me address the large potato chip in the room. Or seven potato chips, actually.
Lay’s decided to reveal the ten semi-finalists before announcing the top three and my taste buds were bouncing off the walls of my mouth with the imminent possibilities.
Smoked Gouda and Honey? Interesting, but still sounds yummy. Toasted Ravioli? Now you’re talking, Lay’s! Bring ‘em on! However, this new information soon turned to dread when the ten were whittled down to three.
This is it? The best you could do? Where’s the really off the wall flavor, like Cappuccino? Are you telling me Avocado Toast didn’t make it??? But it’s so trendy right now!!!
I was thoroughly disappointed. But, of course, I had to try the finalists.
Crispy Taco was the one I was the least excited about because it was probably just some of taco seasoning on a chip. Wow, how innovative Lay’s (here is exactly where I would be sending a side-eye emoji if I was texting my BFF). After opened the bag I got a big whiff of, yep, taco seasoning, just as I had suspected. The chips themselves are intensely covered with an red/orange color and a plethora of seasoning.
My first few bites were pretty uneventful. I only tasted taco seasoning. However, I was eating these with a friend who mentioned biting into a head of lettuce. I was very perplexed. But then, as I put another few in my mouth and focused, it hit me.
These are the Willy Wonka of potato chips! As in, instead of a three-course meal in one piece of chewing gum, these are potato chips that embody an entire crispy taco with all the toppings. Once you start chewing you get a little bit of the lettuce flavor then it morphs to the creaminess of some sour cream. I swear there were also tiny hints of cheese and tomato. The end of the bite turns into the common taco seasoning but you also get the meaty, ground beef flavor as well. There also seemed to be a bit of a corn taste representing the shell at the very, very end.
The more I ate these chips the more I liked them as it seemed like each time I would notice a new component in the flavor profile. The flavor is intense though, so I could only eat so many before it was too much to handle. I was also slightly concerned about succumbing to Violet Beauregarde’s fate and perhaps transforming into the world’s largest crispy taco that would have to be carted off somewhere for processing.
Even though my fingers are still crossed for Avocado Toast, these were fun and tasty. I’m sorry for suspecting they were made with just a simple seasoning packet, Lay’s.
I’ll never doubt you again!
(Nutrition Facts – about 15 chips – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.48 Size: 7.75 oz. bag Purchased at: ShopRite Rating: 9 out of 10 Pros: Willy Wonka’s chewing gum in taco-flavored chip form. Multiple layers of flavor. Not judging a potato chip by its boring flavor name. Eating new chips with friends. Cons: Lay’s pulling back the curtain on some of the Do Us a Flavor Competition while crushing dreams at the same time. Big flavor that is sometimes overpowering. Turning into a giant taco that can’t be simply juiced like a blueberry. RIP Avocado Toast. Not having emojis when you desperately need them.
I’m an Italian kid from the Northeast, so when I hear “gravy” I think of that brown stuff you put on turkey, not the white sausage based stuff popular in the South. I also never, I repeat, never think of red sauce you put on macaroni as gravy. Anyone who tells you that’s “gravy” is certifiable. Sauce with meat is not gravy. You are wrong. Stop being wrong. You’re probably right. Who the heck knows?
Lay’s Southern Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips are the brainchild of Hailey Green from Noblesville, IN. Her idea was based on her “Nonnie’s” homemade biscuits and gravy recipe. So if these stink, I’m putting full blame on Nonnie. Moment of truth, Nonnie. Here goes nothing.
The chips have a nice gravy scent. Is that a thing? A “nice” gravy scent? Has anyone ever said, “Mmmm, this gravy smells fantastic?” There’s a very distinct smell you get when you pop open a bottle of turkey/chicken gravy or open a pouch of dry gravy mix. I’m sure it smells that way when you make any variety of gravy from scratch but…look I’m no Nonnie, I’ve never made gravy from scratch. Pity me.
My first inclination when trying a new chip flavor is to immediately compare it to a flavor I’m familiar with. With these my immediate first impression was that they were a saltier, less potent sour cream and onion. As I munched on, the gravy flavor poked through. It’s definitely there but it takes a little while to build. The flavor really reminded me of something familiar and it took me about 10 more chips to realize what it was — Stove Top Stuffing. After reaching that conclusion, I couldn’t taste anything else.
Ya know what I don’t really like? Stove Top Stuffing. Ya know what I do like? Chips that taste like Stove Top Stuffing. Go figure. Go. I’ll wait.
I’m not sure what exactly stuffing and biscuits and gravy have in common, save for the starch element and some onion powder, but they are definitely in the same ballpark. I want to say gravy flavoring on potato chips is strange, but who doesn’t like gravy on mashed potatoes? It seems dumb, but once that thought crossed my mind, I really started to enjoy these more. “Thanksgiving Dinner” was one of my contest submissions, and this might be as close as I’ll get.
I wouldn’t say these chips have a kick, but they are a bit peppery. Each chip is coated with little red, orange, and black specs of spice. You’ll come away feeling like you may have possibly eaten something spicy a while ago and your mouth is still recovering.
As for the biscuit element, there’s a hint of a creamy, buttery flavor, but it’s pretty understated. I kept trying to really separate a biscuit flavor but found it difficult. That seems authentic to me though as the gravy would overpower the biscuit flavor if you were eating the actual dish. Biscuits are delicious, but are also a textural food, so you lose that when converting that flavor to a chip.
Therein “Lay’s” the problem with most of the Do Us a Flavor chips. They don’t so much stand on their own as they just make me really want to eat the food they are copying. Like right now? I want a biscuit. I don’t want any more chips. I gotta have a biscuit. Where’s that little giggly Pillsbury Doughboy bastard when you need him?
These are the traditional-style chip, which was a good call on their part. I don’t think they would have been as successful in Wavy form. As I said, I want the softest style chip possible for this flavor. The Greektown Gyro flavor really worked as a kettle chip, but there is almost no chance these would have. When thinking “biscuit,” you don’t want to be crunching down on something that could crack a molar at any given second.
I find the color of the bag aesthetically pleasing, but the image of the actual biscuits and gravy are unappetizing. This is admittedly a nitpick, but annoying people tell me that we “eat with our eyes first,” and that gloppy white stuff just doesn’t look tasty. I was pleasantly surprised these turned out a lot better than the picture led me to believe.
I enjoyed these slightly more than the Gyro chips and I ended up eating half the bag in one sitting. I probably could have kept going but my mouth started to feel like the Sahara and I needed to chug an entire bottle of water. So congrats to Lay’s, the Jelly Belly of potato chips, for another successful flavor foray.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Southern Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips Purchased Price: $2.50 Size: 7.75 oz bag Purchased at: Stop & Shop Rating: 8 out of 10 Pros: They go down easy. Stuffing flavor. Not overpowering. Nice hint of spice. Nonnie finally getting her due. Bag color. Molars intact. Cons: Masked biscuit flavor. Bag photo. Lay’s constantly denying my submissions. “Gravy” on macaroni. Actual biscuit cravings. Pillsbury Doughboy not being at my beck and call.