Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Taste Test Finds Some New Chip Flavors Fall Flat

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Taste Test Finds Some New Chip Flavors Fall Flat

Article excerpt

Potato chips are pretty tasty all by themselves. There's the potato, there's the chip, seasoned with just the right amount of salt - what's not to like? But there are those who find the same old thing a bit boring. And new flavors tend to inspire new sales & at least temporarily & which might explain the sudden uptick in creative (some would say downright weird) flavors that are showing up on grocery store shelves.

We here in the Gazette-Mail features department support such culinary experimentation, because it gives us an opportunity to sample food, which we like to do. One such opportunity presented itself in recent days when we noticed four new and very unusual flavors of Lay's Potato Chips. Turns out each of the four flavors was chosen from among the millions submitted by chip connoisseurs across the country. The four finalists are vying for the grand prize of $1 million, to be determined by public vote.

Enough about the contest and the future millionaire. We were eager to sample the new flavors for ourselves. We assembled a team of 10 hungry people, all staff writers for the Charleston Gazette- Mail (journalists are always hungry). At each place, our participants found four napkins with four distinctly separate piles of potato chips. They were first asked to sample each pile one at a time and write down their best guess as to what each flavor was.

In addition to being notoriously hungry, journalists as a whole are relentlessly critical. And blunt. And often, notorious for their off-beat humor. It didn't take long for the jokes to start rolling in.

"A salty, wet sock?

"Hairspray!

"Is abominable an answer?

For chip choice No. 1, the guesses included sour cream and onion, garlic and chives, spinach dip, or grass. So no one got it right, though more than one person said it seemed "vaguely familiar. When told the answer - West Coast Truffle Fries - most thought the flavor was pretty close.

For chip choice No. 2, the guesses included mac and cheese, Old Bay, glue or Alfredo sauce. …

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