While minding my own business at the grocery store this afternoon, I saw something so truly heinous and appalling that I did what any displeased activist would do: I took to twitter to express my outrage.
Lay's is apparently having another potato chip flavor creating contest, letting America vote for which of four eater-submitted concepts will make it into regular rotation. Why they would do this is a good question given that America picked Cheesy Garlic Bread over Sriracha the last time around. Fucking no-taste idiots. But here they go again and some guy named Chad Scott submitted cappuccino, which somehow made it to the final four (thus demonstrating that Chad is everything wrong with America and, ugh, just thinking about it makes me queasy).
After commiserating with some random lady standing next to me ("that's gross" "just disgusting"), I walked away secure in my belief that I have better taste than Chad and anyone else who thinks coffee-flavored potato chips are anything less than a sign that the End Times are upon us. But not before noticing that the random lady purchased two bags of the Bacon Mac & Cheese flavor, which you just know is going to win because it probably tastes exactly like the Cheesy Garlic Bread that won last time.*
I was ready to move on with my life and to the dairy section when this happened:
Oh, goddammit Lohmar.
The things I do for science.
Ok, Meneko Spigner McBeth and Pleatherface. Challenge accepted. By the way, Meneko is from Sewell, NJ, and, according to the back of the bag, her "favorite part" of when her Japanese grandmother would make sushi was "mixing wasabi with soy sauce and dipping."
Anyway, although I don't normally open a bag of potato chips, stick my face in it, and inhale deeply, I've read enough food reviews to know that sniffing things is an important part of the process. I can report that the inside of the bag smelled a lot like the somewhat divey sushi place across the street from my work: a little soy, a little ginger, and a lot of grease.
After smelling the chips, it took me a few minutes to work up the nerve to actually taste one. Not just because they smelled so fucking greasy that it made me a bit nauseous but also because the fourth ingredient listed is brown sugar. I was worried that there was going to be a prominent sweetness, almost like they were trying to capture the taste of candied ginger, which would come close to rivaling the abomination that is a cappuccino potato chip in terms of ability to induce vomiting.
Eventually I manned up and popped a chip into my mouth. I let it sit on my tongue and waited for the artificial flavor powder to sink in. My first impression was that it tasted really oniony — not necessarily a bad thing but also not a flavor described by the name of the product. But then I started to notice a sourness and a strong soy sauce flavor (again, not in the name, but less surprising). A little creeping heat and the bitterness of wasabi. At the back end was just the slightest hint of ginger.
After popping a few more into my mouth and eating them like a normal person, I realized that they basically taste like you mixed wasabi and pickled ginger into a little bowl of soy sauce and then dipped your crunchy kettle chip in it. Just like Meneko Spigner McBeth, if not the baby jesus, intended. They could use a lot more heat and a bit more of the ginger but they weren't bad. It's highly doubtful I'd buy them again but I haven't thrown out the rest of the bag. Yet.
*The fourth flavor up for permanent placement is Mango Salsa. I can only assume that those chips taste as naturally fruity as a Mang-o-Rita. *shudder*