REVIEW: H-E-B Limited Edition Vanilla Milkshake Wavy Potato Chips

H E B Limited Edition Vanilla Milkshake Wavy Potato Chips Bag

What are H-E-B Limited Edition Vanilla Milkshake Wavy Potato Chips?

I often see new interesting items in the SPOTTED section of this site that I never see in person. Sometimes that’s just bad luck, sometimes it’s a product I would never buy, and sometimes it’s region-specific. A couple of weeks ago, a chip caught my eye so strikingly that I had to seek it out.

Exclusive to Texas-based grocery store H-E-B, this gorgeous teal bag is part of the Late Night Flavors collection, promising the flavor of a vanilla milkshake on wavy chips.

I put out a request to my Instagram followers, and someone in San Antonio was down for the hunt! Shout out to Lauren T for not only going to H-E-B and finding the chips but shipping them more perfectly than any other junk food oddity I’ve bought online (like that one time I purchased Cola Pringles from South Korea).

How are they?

H E B Limited Edition Vanilla Milkshake Wavy Potato Chips Pour

Much like a trip to the diner for a creamy shake and hot fresh, salty fries after a night of revelry, these chips are awesome. It’s an undisputed fact that wavy chips bring more flavor and crunch than their flatter counterparts, and these are excellent crunchy chips. Not as crunchy as a harder-cooked kettle style chip and not as greasy as the iconic Ruffles, these have a firm but gentle crunch akin to the Lays Wavy line.

The flavor strikes an even 50/50 split of sweet and salty with a strong undercurrent of pure potato. They aren’t too aggressively sweet or salty, which allows them to stay in balance as a crave-able chip that doesn’t steer too far into weird “is this dessert?” territory. These chips would have been a confusing train wreck if they were chocolate-based, but the nice neutral blanket of mild vanilla keeps them smooth and just sweet enough to keep me endlessly snacking in glee.

Anything else you need to know?

H E B Limited Edition Vanilla Milkshake Wavy Potato Chips Closeup

Have you ever dunked your fries into a fast food vanilla shake? That’s exactly what these taste like. I prefer to eat my fries and shake separately but for them to be combined into one flavor and bagged is fully a-okay by me. Fried potatoes and sweetened milk are a helluva tasty combo and one that should be explored more.

Conclusion:

Would I pay $20 to have these shipped to me again out of pure curiosity? No. But if I lived in Texas, near one of H-E-B’s 340 stores in Texas and Mexico, I would absolutely grab another bag the second these are gone because they’re enjoyable to eat.

Purchased Price: $2.55 (minus my crazy shipping scheme)
Size: 7 oz bag
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (11 chips/28 grams) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Bag

I feel comfortable sharing something rather controversial with you all: I can’t stand Cheetos, crunchy or puffed. (Feel free to express your outrage in the comments.)

As the tastebuds of my peers developed to handle Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, I was envious that there wasn’t a Flamin’ Hot food for me to call my own. Luckily Frito-Lay began to add the seasoning to other munchies, and I could finally join my friends in doling out some bright red high fives. The newest snack to stain my fingers is the Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Lebron

The bag says the flavor is by LeBron James and it features a large photo of him and some inspirational words that tie into Ruffles’ “Own Your Ridges” campaign. I’m not sure if the flavor was LeBron’s idea or if he just supports Ruffles Flamin’ Hotting its cheddar and sour cream potato chip, but with the popularity of Flamin’ Hot snack foods in Los Angeles, a partnership with the Lakers star makes perfect sense.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Inside Bag

In the bag, the chips smelled very similar to the regular Cheddar & Sour Cream but with an added vinegary tang. They had that same richly colored Flamin’ Hot powder that coats other chips and puffs, and it was a generous covering that made the not hot version seem under-dusted by comparison.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Red Not Red

True to the name, these tasted like a Flamin’ Hot version of the Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles. Cheese and sour cream have long been standard accompaniments for spicy foods, and the pairing made just as much sense on these chips. The Flamin’ Hot powder felt comfortably at home with the cheddar and sour cream dust, but also switched things up a bit. Unlike the regular Cheddar & Sour Cream, which is very cheese flavor-forward, the acidic coating on the Flamin’ Hot version really brought out the sour cream, which was a welcome change for this fan of sour ‘n’ spicy foods. Additionally, Ruffles are robust chips and really hold their own when given the Flamin’ Hot treatment. I loved the substantial crunch and full potato taste of the chip underneath all that zesty seasoning.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Cheddar  Sour Cream Potato Chips Red

Like other Flamin’ Hot snacks I’ve tried, the spice level disarmed me by being minimal at first but then building after a serving or two. Even then, these chips never noticeably burned my mouth or stomach, and I only realized they were getting to me once my nose started to run. Others may wish these Ruffles were more picante, but I feel like they had the right amount of heat to allow one to eat them by the handful without a night of heartburn.

On that note, it seems I almost finished the entire bag as I wrote this review. Bright red high five to whoever can tell me the best way to get Flamin’ Hot Cheetle out of a laptop keyboard.

Purchased Price: $3.49 (on sale, originally $4.79)
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams/about 13 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Summer BLT, Chile Mango, and Wavy Jerk Chicken Potato Chips

Lay s Summer 2021 Flavors

Some industries are inherently more lighthearted than others. Not everyone can save lives every day; some people have to go to work and invent new potato chip flavors!

Okay, maybe “have to” isn’t the most accurate verbiage. But when I think of these industry professionals, specifically at Frito-Lay, my biggest hope and expectation is that somewhere within that company is a running list of EVERY variety they’ve ever commercialized. “The List” of everything from the all-star favorites like the day they stumbled upon Sour Cream & Onion perfection to the more recent cringe marketing stunts like Cappuccino…whuff.

Something about the idea of this compiled data set makes me grateful for humanity and our quirks. The latest additions to The List are the 2021 summer flavor line-up of Summer BLT, Chile Mango, and Wavy Jerk Chicken.

My first impression of this line is that the bags are gorgeous. Maybe a blend of food illustrations and actual images isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I thought they were vibrant. There were WAY more images of the ingredients on these bags than other Lay’s varieties which made me wonder if I should expect bolder flavor profiles overall.

Summer BLT

Lay s Summer BLT

I’m not sure a “summer” BLT is really a thing, but maybe this is Frito Lay’s attempt to designate between the Classic BLT chips of 2012, the BLT reboot of 2017, and this latest endeavor. Overall, I would categorize these as delicate. The flavor is light, and if I were eating anything else at the same time, I don’t think I’d taste much.

I was obviously expecting to taste bacon, but oddly there wasn’t really much of it or any smokiness. Actually, these chips tasted like mayonnaise and lettuce. There was a sweetness that might have been an attempt at tomato, but overall these were subtle and underwhelming.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Chile Mango

Lay s Chile Mango

These were certainly not lacking in flavor. The mango comes through bright and sweet, possibly too sweet for some, but definitely on the nose. These chips are TASTY. Usually, my biggest issue with spicy fruit combos is the heavy-handed use of lime, but that’s not the case with these chips. Could they be spicier? Definitely, but overall these are a fantastic blend of sweet mango and savory spice, and I intend to crush at least half the remaining bag while sipping a margarita in the sunshine.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
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, 190 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Wavy Jerk Chicken

Lay s Wavy Jerk Chicken

Last but certainly not least is the Wavy Jerk Chicken chip, and let’s just say there’s A LOT going on here. I tasted brown sugar, a floral spice, heat, savory garlic, and that smoky and brothy flavor that Lay’s has used multiple times to deliver the taste of charred chicken. They didn’t really meld together so much as each one shows up in a flash before the next comes barreling in.

The aftertaste is like I just ate jerk chicken, but I’m not sure the chips taste that way. They are full of flavor, though. Possibly so much so that I wouldn’t want to eat much more than a serving.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 1/2 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Overall, I think these new flavors show a wide range of trendy complex flavors, but they each miss the mark by enough in their own way that I would be surprised if they stuck around longer than a single season. Not to worry, though, I’m sure Frito-Lay is already cookin’ up the next flavors to add to The List.

REVIEW: Lay’s Salted Caramel Potato Chips

Lay s Salted Caramel Potato Chips Bag

Lay’s Salted Caramel Potato Chips might be surprising or unusual to most. But should it be at this point in snack history?

First of all, this isn’t even the first salted caramel-flavored potato chip from a popular brand. That honor goes to the discontinued Salted Caramel Pringles (R.I.P.). On top of that, this isn’t the first out of left field salted caramel-flavored product from a PepsiCo brand. That distinction goes to Salted Caramel Pepsi.

Finally, it’s not surprising to see a sweet flavor from Lay’s, a brand that has offered Cappuccino and Cinnamon Bun flavored potato chips in the past. So if you take all of that into consideration, and the fact they all happened within the past six years, these chips are something we should’ve seen coming.

So are Lay’s Salted Caramel Potato Chips going to brighten your holiday or be the coal in your stocking?

In the photo below, the dark sections make the chips look as if they might’ve been fried in maple syrup. But they look that way due to the lighting. But they’re noticeably darker than original Lay’s potato chips.

Lay s Salted Caramel Potato Chips Closeup

But they definitely don’t smell anything like potato chips. The aroma is intense. It’s sweet, buttery, and salty. If I had someone close their eyes and had them smell what was coming out of the bag, they wouldn’t guess it was coming from potato chips. And when they open their eyes, they would learn that I snuck away.

Its salted caramel flavor isn’t as potent as its aroma, but it’s also sweet, buttery, and, surprisingly, not as salty as I thought it would be. However, unlike with the smell, the underlying potato chip is easily noticed after a few chews with some chips.

While I can totally taste how this might not be everyones’ cup of Bigelow Salted Caramel Tea, especially if you’ve never tried potato chips that are sweet, I think this is a pleasant seasonal snack. Although, I kind of knew I’d like them since I did enjoy the aforementioned Salted Caramel Pringles and Pepsi.

Oh, I should mention I found these chips odd to eat as a sandwich side, which is how I eat potato chips most of the time. So they should be enjoyed on their own. Or maybe crushed on top of ice cream.

If you wish to try Lay’s Salted Caramel Potato Chips (on or off ice cream), there are two things you should know — the flavor is available for a limited time and is a Kroger exclusive.

Purchased Price: Way too much on eBay
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: eBay (but it’s a Kroger exclusive)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips/28 g) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.