Their task is not merely to taste like the thing,
January 15, 2018 9:11 PM   Subscribe

but to recall the Platonic ideal of the thing. The Alchemy of Novelty Potato Chip Flavors.
posted by gyusan (132 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
The philosophy of this article interests me: that there is an essential "flavor-ness" contained within certain foods that can be recognized and appreciated across regional variations which can make flavor-dusted foods enjoyable for a wide spectrum of people seeking a specific flavor.

That said, I quit eating flavor-dusted snack foods a long time ago. Like, potato chips are enjoyably simple for being that, potato chips. I feel if I'm seeking more than that flavor, I'm looking for a different food, and buying it as a starchy carby fatty carrier in snack food form is likely not the best way for me to eat.

I carry no judgement about others' food habits. This was my own (until now very private) choice.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 PM on January 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


The Au Gratin flavor of Lay’s were the best. Potato-flavored potato chips.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:03 PM on January 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


I am a total sucker for novelty chips. On the weekend I tried a "Limited Edition!!" Roast Lamb & Mint which at first did evoke the dish very well, and then became unpleasantly minty the more you ate. My current favourite novelty flavour is Tomato Sauce (possibly a uniquely Australian flavour? And so very delicious). I am very envious of the weirder novelty flavours that the US and Canada seem to get.
posted by fever-trees at 10:10 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


Somebody has created an eloquent love letter, an ode, a loquacious cornucopia of wonderful words declaring the reason why they love chips! Ah, one of my favourite subjects, chips are.

This "-ness" that is talked about describes why I love Doritos Nacho chips. And why I love Sour Cream and Onion chips. Certain BBQ chips (anybody remember Mr. Vickies BBQ? No, not a typo: Miss Vickies had BBQ chips and they were called Mr. Vickies. The bag was blue and the blue looked vaguely like overalls). I need not say more.

When novelty chips are done well, it's a taste experience that is fondly remembered and sought out. Ketchup chips, for example. When not done well, a grimace of distaste at the memory. An example of disaster would be Grape Potato Chips.

Sometimes what should work doesn't, like Baked Potato chips. Sometimes what shouldn't work is out of this world, like these incredible Bean Chips (be careful, too many could hurt your stomach in unpleasant ways, but oh so worth it).

And what about the close cousin, the cracker? Crackers also have a "-ness" that is sometimes sought out, like these sweet beet crackers. In my world, they are a chip.

I don't know why starchy potatoes, oil and salt work so well, and frankly, I don't care. All I know is that I would be very challenged in deciding which flavour would be my desert island chip. There is no doubt that of the 10 desert island foods, chips would be one of them.
posted by ashbury at 10:24 PM on January 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


These have been amazing and fun. I can only imagine what the future holds from these food scientists.
posted by ShakeyJake at 10:30 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have been so lonely and depressed since the stores around me stopped carrying Tikka Masala Lays.
My life is miserable.
Tikka Masala!
posted by artof.mulata at 10:52 PM on January 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


i would kill a thousand innocents for a single walker's roast chicken crisp right now and i am not ashamed
posted by poffin boffin at 11:14 PM on January 15, 2018 [9 favorites]


For me it's New York Reuben flavor Lay's. Every single flavor you get in a Reuben was in every chip, from the sauerkraut to the caraway seeds in the rye. To the side of chips, even! They blew Jelly Belly technology out of the water.
posted by darksasami at 11:20 PM on January 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


i can't believe it's 245am and i have to put on pants and go outside to get chips
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 PM on January 15, 2018 [49 favorites]


metafilter was a mistake
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 PM on January 15, 2018 [35 favorites]


The Au Gratin flavor of Lay’s were the best. Potato-flavored potato chips.

Cheese-flavoured, surely?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:49 PM on January 15, 2018 [8 favorites]


Look, you haven't lived until you've had Seabrook Lamb & Mint flavour crisps. Or Walkers Prawn Cocktail.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:27 AM on January 16, 2018


fever-trees:

Nah, we had both of those "novelty" flavours here in New Zealand ages ago, along with a bunch of others.

See this previously.
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:50 AM on January 16, 2018


M&S ‘Winter berries with prosecco’ flavour crisps, which were sprinkled with tiny edible gold stars, are memorable, but alas not delicious.
posted by Segundus at 1:10 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Some of these flavours are pretty normal in the UK - Ketchup, Roast Chicken, Prawn Cocktail etc... I remember when these were around, albeit for a (very) brief time. They were horrible :D
posted by thingonaspring at 1:37 AM on January 16, 2018


Stupid crisp flavours, you say? (the haggis ones are pretty nice, to be fair)

Also, anyone who grew up in the UK in the 80s should remember Hedgehog-flavoured crisps.
posted by parm at 2:09 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


Hello from Japan, where I’ve had consommé soup, honey butter, pineapple candy, and roast chicken flavored chips in the past year alone.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:23 AM on January 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Most of them were not very good.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:23 AM on January 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hedgehog crisps! They were a huge treat for my brothers and me (a flock of tiny vegetarians, who would anxiously check with our mum every time that they didn't really make them out of hedgehogs, did they?). It's a bit disappointing to see they were flavoured with pork fat, to be honest.
posted by daisyk at 3:43 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


The shop at my place of work got large bags of Nice 'n' Spicy NikNaks in about 3 months ago. A more just universe would take this as an attempt on my life.

My current favourite novelty flavour is Tomato Sauce (possibly a uniquely Australian flavour? And so very delicious). I am very envious of the weirder novelty flavours that the US and Canada seem to get.

I remember eating some kind of crisps in a tomato sauce flavour in the 1970s in England. They were pretty good - maybe a 'Skips' variety or just something similar. Apparently Walkers do a Tomato sauce crisp at the moment, but only in Scotland.
posted by biffa at 3:48 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I really loved the cheesy garlic bread chips--carbs that taste like other carbs, magic! The only time I've been seriously disappointed in a novelty chip was a hakata ramen chip that tasted like salt and more salt, with extra salt sprinkled on top.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:59 AM on January 16, 2018


It's a bit disappointing to see they were flavoured with pork fat, to be honest.

Well they are hedgehogs
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:32 AM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I make a point of bringing weird chips to my buddy's house for Sunday Gaming Night. It doesn't always go the way you'd expect--the Buffalo Wing And Bleu Cheese chips turned out to be perfectly palatable, for instance, whereas the Hot Dog chips sounded fairly unassuming but tasted like feet, and nobody could eat them...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:34 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


This strangely reminds me of my experiences with Cel-Ray soda. I'd heard of it, but not yet ever had it, when I first went to Katz's - and so I curiously got a can. And had a sip. And was stunned - they had indeed captured "celery-ness". In a soda! I had another sip, and another, fascinated.

Then about a third of the way through the can I realized that "you know, celery-flavor soda is just not right." And I'd leave the rest behind.

And then the second time I went to Katz's exactly the same thing happened - I would get a can of Cel-Ray, wanting to experience the "celeryness" but then getting turned off about midway through the can. And the third time.

I think it took me five visits to Katz's before I remembered that "I know Cel-Ray is fascinating but you end up not liking it, so enough."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:37 AM on January 16, 2018 [13 favorites]


Also I will pay handsomely for President’s Choice all-dressed and ketchup chips sent internationally
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:03 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


The haggis ones are good, but that's partly because they're Mackies. They make a very fine salt and vinegar, just right for a crisp sandwich.

Apart from a near-fatal choking experience on roast beef and horseradish crisps (Branigan's?), the worst I ever had were strawberry and banana corn puffs one time in the 1970s. No idea where they came from, but imagine a Cheeto, bright red, glazed, and tasting like a strawberry Opal Fruit/Starburst. Blecch.
posted by scruss at 5:09 AM on January 16, 2018


The regular availability of All-Dressed chips in US supermarkets was undoubtedly the best thing to happen in 2017.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:20 AM on January 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


Before Charlie Brooker was horrifying us with Black Mirror, he was horrifying us with his satirical column in the Guardian. Here's his article about the Walker's novelty crisp competition.
So there you have it. They're uniformly horrible. Worst of all, none are a patch on, say, standard Salt and Vinegar, which has been around since the Cro-Magnon era. Obviously, they should've chosen more ambitiously. Since the squirrel flavour doesn't actually contain any squirrel, they could unleash other tastes you're vaguely curious about, but would never actually eat, like Cyanide and Lemon, or The Late Marilyn Monroe. If they'd bitten the bullet and genuinely released a flavour called Dirty Protest, people would queue round the block to try it, provided the packet carried a prominent guarantee that it was merely a simulation, not the genuine article. (For the record, according to The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices by Brenda Love [ISBN 0 349 10676 2], "faeces supposedly has a charred or sour flavour but otherwise tastes similar to whatever was consumed". So now you know.)

Or maybe they could've worked on flavours that evoked a time and mood instead of mimicking an existing substance. Who could resist Wartime Romance (cigarettes, lipstick, and railway station)? Or Studio 54 (cocaine, sweat, and Bianca Jagger)? Even Medieval Times (mud, gibbet and wet tunic) would be worth trying.

But no. They didn't dare to dream. So in summary: don't vote for any of them. Spoil your ballot paper instead. Because that's what they've done to these innocent potatoes. The bastards. The absolute unconscionable bastards.
posted by adept256 at 5:24 AM on January 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


Kettle Chips used to have ‘rosemary and new potato’ flavour, which was even sillier than the Au Gratin mentioned upthread.

Best I ever ate, I think, we’re Seabrooks Albar’s Chicken Curry. Sadly a limited release, but astoundingly rounded and warm and spicy and rich. And crinkle-cut, a term I only ever get to use with potato-based items.
posted by davemee at 5:25 AM on January 16, 2018


I’ve enjoyed Kettle’s Moscow Mule chips a few times. It’s a very tasty ginger lime chip that I’ve only seen for sale by the small bag at my local sandwich and sausage shop. They did a Korean BBQ chip that was pretty tasty but we seemed to have lost the very delicious Buffalo Bleu. I once purchased a bag of Kettle chips called “sweet and salty,” you evil geniuses, and took them to a party where everyone cursed their loveliness. Never seen those again. Now I want to go to the store and pick up whatever weird chips.
posted by amanda at 5:35 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Smell and taste really are evocative, and really are grounded in a place and time. It's incredible how much can be encoded in a few grains of flavor powder on a potato chip. I haven't had the biscuits-and-gravy chip but I probably ought to seek it out. As a Yankee my history with biscuits and gravy is as a treat, a special thing I could eat when we traveled, and also one of the first things I learned to cook. I don't make it much--mrsozzy isn't down with the sawmill gravy--so it really does have a special association for me with vacations and the tiny kitchen in my second apartment.

That said, my favorite potato chips are Kettle brand crinkle-cut (I think that's what Costco sells, anyway). They're huge and thick and crunchy and salty and potato-ey and exactly what I want in a potato chip. I could eat the whole Costco-sized bag; I don't need flavors.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:38 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just want chips with laver to be on the US market.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:43 AM on January 16, 2018


Walker's did chocolate crisps briefly around 1993. Not as in 'dipped in', just flavoured with cocoa and a few other things. Apparently I was the only one who liked them.

The co-op's sea salt and chardonnay vinegar crisps are delicious, and will strip paint.
posted by pipeski at 5:52 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


If Lays really wants to take the meta up a notch they should produce madeleine flavored chips, and then every year we can reminisce about those heady days when they were available...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:08 AM on January 16, 2018 [17 favorites]


I think we choose a flavour not because we expect it to successfully mimic what's written on the label, but because we've learned to associate that label with an (often very different) taste we nonetheless happen to enjoy. I buy roast chicken crisps* because I've learned to associate that label with a pleasant flavour, not because I have any hope they'll taste like the actual bird.

The more esoteric the flavours become, the more they float free of their supposed origins. First, I suspect, comes a powder formula the boys in the lab think will sell, and only later the marketing decision of what it can plausibly be called.

* I'm a Brit, so I can't call them chips. Chips are something else altogether.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:22 AM on January 16, 2018


The co-op's sea salt and chardonnay vinegar crisps are delicious, and will strip paint.

Seconded. They're my favourite brand/flavour combination, but you can't always get them in my local branch. Christ knows what they're doing to my blood pressure, mind.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:24 AM on January 16, 2018


Forget all the contemporary flavored chips. After all these years, I'm still trying to figure out what "platonic ideal" BBQ-flavored potato chips have been trying to achieve since forever. 'Cause, I've never had a BBQ chip that tasted anything close to any BBQ I'm familiar with.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:27 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've never had a BBQ chip that tasted anything close to any BBQ I'm familiar with.

The only one of the weird-flavor Lays' I've ever had was bacon mac and cheese; the friends I shared them with said they tasted more like the traditional "BBQ Chip" than anything else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on January 16, 2018


I’ve had cucumber-flavored chips in China, and they are divine. So good, even hotel mini bar pricing couldn’t keep me from them. Brings a new meaning to “I’ll pay for this later” in a potato chips context.

They somehow manage to capture the succulent refreshingness of cucumber, on a canvas that is quite the opposite. Plus they have that tang that you get from raita. A+++++ would break chips-free diet again.
posted by mantecol at 6:43 AM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I’ve enjoyed Kettle’s Moscow Mule chips a few times. It’s a very tasty ginger lime chip that I’ve only seen for sale by the small bag at my local sandwich and sausage shop.

I was expecting those to be terrible but they were shockingly solid. There was even enough ginger to give a slight tingle so they tasted kind of carbonated? Weirdly good at evoking the thing.

I make a point every year of getting all the weird Lay's, and I've got observations. The biggest one being that meat flavor is intensely hard to do well in a chip. Either it's flat/non-existent (the biscuits and gravy don't have a sausage flavor, they just kind of taste like pepper and cream), or they flavor is strong but INTENSELY weird (the picanha chips from the Olympics promotion). A lot of times the novelty flavors are too normal, too, like the everything bagel which was just a slightly different sour cream and onion.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:47 AM on January 16, 2018


I will ride for the Wasabi Ginger flavor. They were really good and didn't feel like a stunt. They continued making them long after the promotion but I think they are now discontinued.
posted by mmascolino at 6:51 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Wasabi Ginger was probably the best potato chips I’ve ever had, period.

And I’ve had a lot of weird potato chips.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:59 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


(Though Wasabi Ginger is an interesting one to consider in light of this article, since they tasted like neither wasabi nor ginger)
posted by Itaxpica at 7:00 AM on January 16, 2018


I am also a sucker for novelty chips, but I ate one chip from a bag of Lay's Gyro-flavored and it was so horrible that I immediately drove back to the supermarket and demanded a return on the grounds that these were inedible. I imagine the creator of that chip probably gazed at his/her creation like Oppenheimer: "I am become Death, destroyer of worlds..."
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:01 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


As an Alabamian, I came here to state my shame over biscuits and gravy chips being a thing, but a little research showed me that Lay's is ultimately owned by PepsiCo, a NY-based company, so once again the North is not guiltless.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:03 AM on January 16, 2018


Most of the time I avoid these, for the same reason hippybear stated upthread. But I'm still pretty devastated that Kettle discontinued their Spicy Thai chips... those things were fiercely good.
posted by Mchelly at 7:06 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else try the cappuccino Lays when they were very briefly a thing? So terrible.
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I liked them.

I was able to try the Canadian contest flavors a few years ago and my favorite was maple moose(bbq).
posted by brujita at 7:15 AM on January 16, 2018


This far into a thread on odd chip flavors and no mention of President's choice yet?
Mustn't be many Canadians around. I'm currently eating jalapeno popper chips from them, and that's one of their mainstays. The hummus flavored ones were short lived though
posted by peppermind at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think we choose a flavour not because we expect it to successfully mimic what's written on the label, but because we've learned to associate that label with an (often very different) taste we nonetheless happen to enjoy.

This happens not just with chips/crisps but with candy. In the U.S. at least both hard candy and chewing gum can be purchased in "grape" flavor that tastes nothing like the grapes one buys at the store. And in "banana" flavor that tastes of a strain of banana that has gone extinct from blight and monoculture (aka capitalism). These remind literally nobody of actual grapes or bananas, but are unmistakably identified with those fruits. It's weird.
posted by gauche at 7:22 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


both hard candy and chewing gum can be purchased in "grape" flavor that tastes nothing like the grapes one buys at the store

But it does taste quite a bit like the other Concord grape things we do regularly consume (grape jelly, grape juice).

We had a Concord grapevine growing in the yard for most of my childhood, but it only bore fruit a couple of times, and not until I was into my teens. It was a trip to taste real fruit that tasted like grape soda.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:29 AM on January 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


My current favourite novelty flavour is Tomato Sauce (possibly a uniquely Australian flavour? And so very delicious).

We covered this less than a week ago, mate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:35 AM on January 16, 2018


The best potato chip flavor I ever had was cong you bing-flavored chips I found in Japan. They had a perfect oniony-oily flavor, complemented with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Absolutely magnificent.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:36 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I recently tried some Tesco Finest rum and cocoa crisps, on the basis of the weirdness. They were... not good. Aldi's Cosmopolitan crisps were surprisingly good though.

I'm a complete sucker for novel crisp flavours, the odder the better.
posted by Dysk at 7:38 AM on January 16, 2018


The best potato chip flavor I ever had was cong you bing-flavored chips I found in Japan.
WHAT. How is this a thing, I want it*, how.

*if only to be disappointed!?
posted by inconstant at 7:39 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm still pretty devastated that Kettle discontinued their Spicy Thai chips... those things were fiercely good.

At least they had the "decency" to change the formula before they discontinued them, so we got to be disappointed that they were no longer as spicy as they once were.

The one I'm mourning from Kettle Chips is the hard-to-get Cheddar Beer. Those were GOOD. The yeastiness of the beer flavor offered a depth that's seldom present in a cheese chip.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:40 AM on January 16, 2018


> I will ride for the Wasabi Ginger flavor. They were really good and didn't feel like a stunt. They continued making them long after the promotion but I think they are now discontinued.

I think they re-released them a couple of times after the original "Limited Promotion". I grabbed a couple of bags from my local store just a couple of weeks ago, thinking this was the start of another limited period... only to find not simply the shelves bare the following week, but the gap where they were stocked filled with other flavours... bastards...
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:42 AM on January 16, 2018


You can keep most of these fancy flavors for yourselves. When I want a special chip, I order up some of Grandma Utz's original chips, fried in lard. Lord, they are the best thing EVAR.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:44 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


A few years ago I was in Scotland and got some worcester flavored crisps. Like chex mix flavored potato chips. I loved them. Wish we had them in the USA.
posted by elizilla at 7:49 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I kind of lost interest in chips soon after adulthood. That being said, in the Mediterranean area of Europe, I was able to try Lays tzatziki flavour chips... which were amazing. Hands down the best I've ever had.
posted by some loser at 7:58 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Worcester sauce crisps are pretty good, as are marmite crisps (which taste nothing like marmite - I cannot stand marmite). The flavour I most often miss here in the UK is paprika. It's completely standard in Scandinavia, but utterly absent here.
posted by Dysk at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


As an Alabamian, I came here to state my shame over biscuits and gravy chips being a thing, but a little research showed me that Lay's is ultimately owned by PepsiCo, a NY-based company, so once again the North is not guiltless.

While not trying to mitigate Northerners guilt, PepsiCo is based out of New York, but Pepsi was originally from New Bern, North Carolina and is as Southern as Coke. Basically all your good soda brands (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, RC) are from the South. The only really great Northern soft drink I can think of is Vernor's. Other that it's basically just Moxie, which is a war crime.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:07 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with everyone in this thread. Specially the contradictions. Cappuccino chips are so bad and also kind of good at the same time, like licorice or sea urchin gonads.

And I think chip manufacturers should go real crazy once in a while. Maybe even allow custom flavors. Like electronic cigarette juice makers used to do like 5 years ago.

There is (was?) a juice maker that would list the ingredients in their recipes, and would allow one to order a custom mix. They had several hundred essences to choose from, and a hall of fame and shame.

A friend managed a great rum and coke using vanilla, cola, oak, lime, and other herbal stuff. I was particularly proud of my Bee Socks flavor, which tasted like honey and beeswax but with notes of stinky blue cheese.

One time I ordered one with most of the wood essences, some smoke, and a lot of menthol and mints (not just pure menthol, stuff like spearmint and peppermint and hierbabuena). It was a sensory paradox that was not very pleasant, but had me coming back for more until I finished the 100 ml.

Should I appeal to crisp manufacturers or go straight to venture capital?
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 8:08 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


One thing that's interesting about living in Omaha is that we're a test market for grocery products. So we get the weirdest flavors of things; all these chips... a hundred varieties of toothpaste ... every soda concoction ever... But just don't fall in love with any of them, because almost none of them will be available in six months.

I once read an article that explained my tastes in things very well: Harbingers of Failure
We show that some customers systematically purchase new products that flop. Their early adoption of a new product is a strong signal that a product will fail - the more they buy, the less likely the product will succeed. These customers, whom we call ‘Harbingers’ [of failure], prefer products that other customers do not want. More broadly, we document that distinguishing among the types of customers who adopt a new product can be predictive of whether a new product will succeed or fail.

We discuss how these insights can be readily incorporated into the new product development process. Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom that positive customer feedback is always a signal of future success. The possibility that firms are encouraged by Harbingers’ purchases during pilot market tests may help to explain the high failure rate for new products.
So.. For everyone that liked Tikka Masala Lay's, or Cracked Red Pepper Tostitos, or Jumpin' Jack Doritos? Sorry. That was me. I killed them for you. I'm a harbinger of failure.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:16 AM on January 16, 2018 [21 favorites]


Worcester sauce crisps are pretty good,

Every so often I have a terrible failure of will power and buy a 6 pack of Worcester Sauce French Fries, which I then consume by the next day. I could literally sit and eat the flavouring with a spoon.
posted by biffa at 8:50 AM on January 16, 2018


Metafilter: Weirdly good at evoking the thing
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:52 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


The flavour I most often miss here in the UK is paprika.

Dysk, if you're near Birmingham or London, you can find paprika crisps in Hema. If you're not, you can order them online, though with a minimum order of 4 packets... which, if they're any good, may not be such a bad thing.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:58 AM on January 16, 2018


Cheese & Onion flavor from the UK used to sound so exotic, since I've never seen it in North America. But then I realized... is this what we call Sour Cream & Onion flavor? Dehydrated dairy product + dehydrated onion product in both cases? Does it have something to do with what can legally be called "cheese"-flavored?
posted by afiler at 8:58 AM on January 16, 2018


I have always thought
In the back of my mind
Cheese and onions
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:02 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


crisp sandwich

So it is a "thing", not just something I saw Tim Roth doing in "Tin Star". At first, I was horrified, but on further and further reflection, it sounds like it could taste interesting...

(...or... possibly I am going through carb-withdrawal thanks to my new "healthier", non-processed food regime)
posted by jkaczor at 9:06 AM on January 16, 2018


Cheese & Onion flavor from the UK used to sound so exotic, since I've never seen it in North America. But then I realized... is this what we call Sour Cream & Onion flavor?

No, we have sour cream & onion too, and they are different.

The flavour I most often miss here in the UK is paprika.

I've definitely seen paprika crisps in larger supermarkets.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:08 AM on January 16, 2018


e.g. Sainsburys, Ocado, both have paprika Pringles too.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:11 AM on January 16, 2018


Not round where I am they don't. I'm sure they're theoretically avaliable (particularly online) but I've never actually seen them in shops here.
posted by Dysk at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2018


The only really great Northern soft drink I can think of is Vernor's.

DR BROWN'S CEL-RAY you philistine
posted by poffin boffin at 9:15 AM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I have to agree with everyone in this thread. Specially the contradictions. Cappuccino chips are so bad and also kind of good at the same time, like licorice or sea urchin gonads.

I mean, I call them terrible, but I did eat the whole bag, almost compulsively. Not sure the underlying reasons for that compulsion, though. Like, was I trying to justify my purchase by finding some good in them? Or was I just trying to understand the weird flavor combinations involved? Or did I secretly like them? I have no idea.
posted by Gymnopedist at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


My biggest chip related disappointment was the day I read the ingredients for Wasa-Beef chips and found them to contain pork extract. If you're OK with eating pork and can find them I heartily recommend Wasa-Beef chips.

During my American road-trip this winter I had hoped to try some different regional chip flavours but the only thing I ended up getting was some kind of rolled up tortilla chip that was spicy and lime flavoured.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:25 AM on January 16, 2018


Hello from Japan, where I’ve had consommé soup, honey butter, pineapple candy, and roast chicken flavored chips in the past year alone.

Not to mention all the different flavors of Pretz. Although, not being dusted, those rarely really pop.

The dusted chips are really diabolical. You taste a different layer of flavor with every bits, or even every chew, so they tease you to keep on eating to try to make you figure out which flavor is going to come next. It's more like a drug than a food. Lay's Fried Green Tomatoes was amazing that way, and I don't even like fried green tomatoes.
posted by BibiRose at 9:27 AM on January 16, 2018


DR BROWN'S CEL-RAY you philistine

I apologize that stuff actually is pretty good, as is their black cherry.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:32 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


their cream soda is so good for reverse root beer floats, which is of course cream soda with root beer ice cream
posted by poffin boffin at 9:36 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I remember when Doritos had a secret flavor called X32 or some such, inviting people to guess what it was. It ended up being a cheeseburger flavor that captured the essence of grilled ground beef, ketchup, mustard, cheese and pickles so accurately to me that it was almost scary.

I had the same reaction to Lay's BLT flavor chips. I was already accustomed to bacon-flavored things, but they nailed the lettuce, tomato, mayo and white bread too.

/pours one out for wasabi ginger
/pours Moscow Mule chips into trash
posted by emelenjr at 9:37 AM on January 16, 2018



The shop at my place of work got large bags of Nice 'n' Spicy NikNaks in about 3 months ago. A more just universe would take this as an attempt on my life.

Oh god, those large bags nearly did it for me too. Nice 'n' Spicy Nik Naks, for the uninitiated, are unique, amorphously shaped fried corn sticks with a big flavour that's part sweet'n'sour and part curry. They're usually only sold in 25g bags to prevent accidental overdoses, but then they started making them in 100g bags and now I can simply no longer visit the supermarket crisp aisle.
posted by Eleven at 9:47 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: so bad and also kind of good at the same time, like licorice or sea urchin gonads.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I dunno, maybe it's like the cilantro thing where, to me, cilantro tastes all fresh and minty, but to you it tastes like soap. To me, all these novelty chips smell like an industrial accident at the chemical factory and taste like seasoned plastic and sewer effluvia, but apparently, to all you horrible garbage people with no sense of taste ...or sense, or taste... they apparently taste like some kind of...food? I dunno, I don't care, you're all terrible and now there's an entire aisle of the store I can't go down without feeling ill and confused.

That being said, I will share a recipe for 'best chip ever': [regular, nacho cheese flavor] Doritos, plain sour cream. I know, I know, why would you bother with that stuff when you can just go out and get some Chocolate chip Hamburger Helper Kale quinoa Ketchup chips or whatever other Lovecraftian nightmare you've been consuming...but trust me. Doritos and sour cream. You won't be able to stop. They're like what I imagine Popplers would taste like.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:57 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


In the late 80’s there was a short lived series on BBC1 called Fax. On one episode they showed some upcoming crisp flavours which were going to be Available Soon. If I ever meet Bill Oddie am I going to tell him that I am still waiting for my bubblegum crisps.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 9:58 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


The best barbecue chips ever were Tim's Cascade Style Alder Smoked BBQ, which they haven't made in years and I still mourn. For a few years after I moved from the northwest to California they weren't available here and I when I visited I would bring an extra suitcase to fill with potato chips on the trip home.
posted by smartyboots at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2018


What a beautifully thoughtful article about...novelty potato chips. His point about how memory factors in is so good: I love Lay's Ketchup potato chips because they are wonderful and great, but also because I first experienced them on a school trip to Toronto when I was 15 and there was a girl named Linda who held my hand on the bus and my buddy Bill bought a funny Canadian novelty t-shirt and we got to see a Blue Jays game which was pretty cool. All of that stuff is built into the ketchup dust inside that Lay's bag, even 25 years later.

“This is okay,” you think to yourself. “I can kind of see where they’re going with this, and it does taste kind of like a ta…”—and then it hits you, like a sucker punch to your sense memory: The strangely specific flavor of shredded, slightly oxidized iceberg lettuce rushes your sinus cavity, a bit of olfactory trickery that functions somewhat like a particularly effective Magic Eye poster. Holy shit, there’s a sailboat.

That's great writing.
posted by AgentRocket at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


The Au Gratin flavor of Lay’s were the best. Potato-flavored potato chips.

Kettle used to make a "Fully Loaded Baked Potato" flavor. It was great, and even under all the other flavors -- sour cream, cheese, bacon -- it tasted more potato-y than a regular potato chip.
posted by hades at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I like the idea of a chip not dusted with powdered cheese like doritos but with powdered mashed potato mix for MAXIMUM POTATO.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don't usually eat flavored potato chips, but when I do they're Jopie Lay's.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:08 AM on January 16, 2018


We got a bag of "Cinnamon Roll" Lays chips a year or two ago. Ms nobeagle ate one, maybe to to assure herself they were bad enough that she was done with the bag.

I didn't like them. At all. I could see the cinnamon roll experience in that they were more sweet than normal, and there were qualities of cinnamon icing, and even the roll atop the poor deep fried potatoes.

But I couldn't stop eating them, and the bag was gone in two days. Normally I don't actually have an issue with snack food I don't like. I "meh" it, and it's dead to me. Maybe we'll pawn it off on the kids, and green bin it if they don't like it (even tho I dislike wasting food).

Something about the Cinnamon Roll chips was addictive to me. And it wasn't just "meh," I actively did not like the taste. I imagine to me it was a lot like the times I've seen one of our dogs eat their own vomit (before I could get them away and clean it up). They're clearly unhappy with the results... but the impulse for another bite is too strong to resist. I'm so glad that I didn't have problems resisting buying more, nor that they're no longer available.

Yes, the more that I think on it, the more apt it seems. Eating cinnamon roll potato chips was like a dog that can't stop itself from eating it's own vomit.
posted by nobeagle at 11:11 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


disappointing to see they were flavoured with pork fat

Two terms one does not often see in this combination.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:11 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Salty Flavor Dust
posted by rock swoon has no past at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am not bored with BBQ and sour cream & onion chips, and Cool Ranch Doritos. My husband's allergic to MSG, so flavored chips are forbidden in the house - the dust gets on cooking surfaces and makes him sick.

I tried some of the early novelty flavors: Pizza-flavored chips, salt and vinegar (when that was new and exotic), and decided I didn't care for them, and really didn't want to spend money on "hey how many weird flavors can we shove on top of a potato chip" when I could have the flavors I knew I liked but rarely got.

I applaud the creativity and brain-twisting combinations I see on the rack these days, but I'm sticking with old favorites.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2018


I like to think that all the novelty potato chips flavors are eventually discontinued because Big Chip discovers that they are highly toxic so they move on to another flavor before they are discovered.

It makes potato chip eating sexier like drinking and smoking.
posted by srboisvert at 11:21 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


Better the chips than stunt flavors of soda-pop. Salty/ savory flavors on chips can be washed down with beer, yay!, though I guess turkey gravy soda-pop can be washed down with haggis potato chips? Just typing that makes me kind of queasy.
posted by theora55 at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2018


just yesterday i saw ranch dressing soda and honestly the death meteor cannot come soon enough
posted by poffin boffin at 11:36 AM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was recently gifted a bottle of Bacon Soda. I haven't yet dared open it.
posted by mmascolino at 11:52 AM on January 16, 2018


There are many long-since gone chips that I still think about wistfully from time to time..

Sweet Mequite BBQ Pringles
Original Keebler Tato Skins
Cape Cod Firecracker BBQ
and there was an early kettle-style potato chip line that I can't remember the name of that made a delicious sweet bbq chip for a hot minute in like 1988-90.

And the three at the top of my list:
Pringles Ridged
Planter's Cheez Balls
Laura Scudders BBQ Corn Chips <- these I would give up all other chips to have again.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:28 PM on January 16, 2018


anyway when i woke up this morning there was a case of walker's roast chicken in my amazon cart and i don't know how night me managed to not press that ORDER button but she did and i salute her bravery and excellence
posted by poffin boffin at 12:51 PM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


The best chips I ever had was a limited flavour I had back in Australia, Sweet Mustard. Oh, so good. So tasty! So eat-the-whole-bag-and-your-housemate's-bag-too good! I miss honey soy chicken and cheese and onion.

I'm enjoying Canadian chips: ketchup, of course and dill pickle, but all dressed seems like a mistake, like on a drunken afternoon someone spilled the salad into the chips and said, "No man, it's fantastic, you try it!" I'm working through my Bugles obsession. So crispy and salty.

I think "barbeque" flavour might actually just be paprika.
posted by glitter at 12:54 PM on January 16, 2018


What we need is peanut flavoured crisps and crisp flavoured peanuts.
posted by Segundus at 12:58 PM on January 16, 2018


Walkers just came out with paprika ridged.
posted by brujita at 1:26 PM on January 16, 2018


This thread reminds me that I'm planning on ordering my wife a case of ketchup-flavored chips sometime soon.

And I am reminded of the greatest chip-esque abomination I've ever encountered. You see, I lived in Berkeley for five years, which meant that I could find various health food horrors with an ease I never wished. So, my wife and I were out shopping a few years ago, and came across pumpkin spice kale chips. You know, I like kale. In chip form? Sure. But pumpkin spice kale chips were just fractally wrong.

I don't even think we fed them to our labmates. We decided no one needed to suffer that much.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 1:26 PM on January 16, 2018


I don't even think we fed them to our labmates. We decided no one needed to suffer that much.

No no no.. see, what you do is you keep the bag in the lab. When someone screws up really badly, their punishment is to eat the chips. Let this punishment be known ahead of time. (also, be prepared to eat the chips, because karma is a harsh mistress.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:57 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


(Also, I hereby release "The Chips of Damocles" to anyone that wants a sockpuppet name.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:58 PM on January 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I love foods which taste like other foods but nothing will ever top Doritos Late Night Cheeseburger and I will forever mourn its loss. They tasted exactly like white castle hamburgers.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I have been so lonely and depressed since the stores around me stopped carrying Tikka Masala Lays.

I guarantee that if the "stores" (I'm assuming supermarkets and bodegas and the like) around you no longer carry Tikka Masala chips, then the Indian grocer will. Indian and Asian grocers (yes, I know) have all sorts of interesting chips, from the tasty to the nopey!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:30 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, I feel like this is the place to give a shout out to the pizza flavored string cheese made in the early 80s that made me a fan of foods flavored like other foods. Apparently it was re-released in 2013 but I missed it. Bummer.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:33 PM on January 16, 2018


One of the few things I didn’t hate about Las Vegas when I visited was the Mexican grocer a fair bit off the Strip, where we picked up salt-and-lime and chili-lime Frit-os (not a typo! In Mexico the logo has a dang old hyphen in it and everything). They were goooood.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:34 PM on January 16, 2018


Sometimes to cheer myself up I go to Home Goods and buy myself some deep-discounted former food fads. Like, remember macarons? I read about them forever in the NYTs food section, mango flavored, sea-salt caramel-flavored, covered with gold leaf, whatever, and finally got to eat some when the furor died and they ended up at Home Goods for $2.99. So I'm a sucker for Home Goods weird-flavored chips. The worst I ever had were truffle-flavored chips. The synthetic truffle flavor was so strong that I worried I was giving it off as vapor for days.

Really, though, what's wrong with Lay's cheddar and sour cream? Nothing.
posted by acrasis at 4:44 PM on January 16, 2018


I just assumed everyone here had tried Mexican chips. Give Rancheritos a try if you don't like too spicy. And don't miss Takis Fuego (give Takis Nitro a pass) if you can take a little spice and lime. This Sunday at a barbeque I helped a 4 year old finish a large bag, they are not just a novelty, we love them here.

The same brand makes chips in Jalapeño, A la Diabla, Adobada, and Fuego. Four very different kinds of hot spicy goodness.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 6:32 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh man, that fake truffle flavor! We received some "truffle oil cashews" from a friend, and my wife described the smell as "like if garlic could go bad"
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:34 PM on January 16, 2018


Dammit now I want chips. Even though the last ones I got were the sea salt and black truffle ones which are really nice if you can eat just a few of them, but who stops after eating just a few? And they rapidly become odd-tasting after that.

What I really hanker after are the chips of my youth, and most times I go back to the US I indulge in my favourites: Utz sour cream & onion and Utz BBQ. Though I have a weak spot for Herr's in these flavours as well. It has long mystified me why Australian BBQ chips, in particular, not only do not taste like BBQ, they don't taste like US BBQ chips.

I think Aussie chip flavours are, on the whole, rather pedestrian. But then I saw the Smiths Duos which feature two separate chip flavours in the same bag. Sour cream and sweet chilli, fine; but chicken & honey BBQ?!? Garlic bread and cheddar?!!?!?!!!!
posted by Athanassiel at 9:24 PM on January 16, 2018


the last ones I got were the sea salt and black truffle ones which are really nice if you can eat just a few of them, but who stops after eating just a few? And they rapidly become odd-tasting after that.

Um, those were a different kind of mushroom than truffles. Things should rapidly become odd tasting after eating those.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 PM on January 16, 2018


Well that explains it! In which case I am disappoint, because it wasn't terribly entertaining either.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:20 PM on January 16, 2018


Without wanting to start a debate about whether fried or baked corn- or potato-based snacks are actually crisps/chips, I just want to say that Cofresh Chilli and Lemon Grills have the uncanny ability to make my hands appear much larger, as evidenced by the fact that the 80g bags somehow become an entirely reasonable mid-day snack as soon as I pick them up.
posted by pipeski at 4:35 AM on January 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


^F crab chip
Not found


seriously?
posted by mikelieman at 5:46 AM on January 17, 2018


Just want to second pipeski, the Cofresh lemon chili grills are indeed good enough to warp your perception of size. Not that it'll ever be relevant, but they keep better than most crisps, too, retaining their crunch.
posted by Dysk at 6:08 AM on January 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


^F crab chip
Not found


How about cuttlefish?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 AM on January 17, 2018


Not really a "novelty flavour" person when it comes to it, and I don't think most of us are. Barring the odd, once a decade discovery by Qualified Crispologists, the trick to a good crisp flavour is a minor variation on what's come before.

Late '80s Giant Prawn Monster Munch. They were very different to regular Prawn Cocktail crisps, less sweet for one thing and bloody nice.

Seabrook Three Little Pigs Chorizo lattice crisps are a damn good "meaty/brown" flavoured crisp, but I think they got discontinued, my nearest Tescos stopped selling that flavour at any rate.

Talking Tescos, their Christmas range Peppermint Candy Cane crisps were an abomination. Not in a personal taste sense (some people must like Brannigans Roast Beef And Mustard, after all), nor in an objectively disgusting sense (contradicting myself, but again Brannigans RB&M), instead in that the mint flavour and the plain, unsalted crisp flavour were completely separate. Someone could go back in time to buy a 10 pack of Flavour'n'Shake crisps from Kwik Save, throw away one of the flavour packets (or just have 1xSalt'n'Vinegar'n'Ketchup like a sensible person) and eat these plain crisps on the one side of their mouth whilst chewing Orbit on the right hand side. Flavour, yes and there was crisp, true but ne'er the twain did meet!

Paprika crisps are known in the UK, but not a standard flavour. Walkers MAX default to Paprika though and are fairly widely sold. Lidl's fake Paprika Pringles are better than the original. Your best bet is to do what I do, which is to know someone who can bring you back bags of Kangaroo shaped Paprika flavoured Jumpys every few months.

Above mentioned Cucumber, Bee Socks and Moscow Mule crisps all sound delicious. I'm amazed that Worcester Sauce or ketchup are considered unusual flavours. I had some enjoyable Wasabi and Ginger Sensations not too long ago. Nik Naks are highly rewarding to eat and should be available in more flavours especially since Nice'n'Spicy is too sweet. I am babbling and I'm not even the biggest crisp fan in my family.

Nothing like a nice packet of crisps.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:20 AM on January 17, 2018


Apparently the co-op did a packet of Christmas crisps that were a mix of turkey, stuffing, and various vegetable flavours, which I'm a little disappointed I didn't get to try. I always thought it was a bit of a cop-out when the meal flavoured crisps had it all combined in one.
posted by lucidium at 11:12 AM on January 17, 2018


Downstairs two packets of unusual-to-me flavored Walkers crisps fresh from the overpriced English import shop are softly calling to me. I am gently overriding this with cheery thoughts of All The Foreign Pringles, the discovery of which abroad makes me feel like a guilty benefactor of my own culture mirrored back at me. Like, I feel weirdly about their presence but Zomg, what's this lovely thing you've done with them?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:14 PM on January 17, 2018


The nearby cafeteria on Capitol Hill (here come the jokes) stocks horseradish and cheddar potato chips. They go off before they get bought but gah somebody keeps restocking them and stop no no no. An offense just to see out in the daylight.

I remember flavored/flavoured crisps in England, late 1970s. So nice to have a beer and a packet of chicken-flavoured crisps or beef. Now it's sweet potato chips, and I look like Ms. Pac Man.

And the older I get the saltier I want any crisps. I feel like that salt-craving creature on Star Trek.
posted by datawrangler at 10:00 PM on January 17, 2018


Deep River Snacks has a horseradish & cheddar, which I've never even considered buying, but their sweet maui onion is phenomenal.
posted by mikelieman at 10:21 PM on January 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh my god I'm way late to this thread but I immediately searched "moscow mule" chips because I only recently saw a small bag of them at work and purchased it...for science!

I made my coworkers taste test them and the reactions thus far have been:

- "Has a bit of a...pine-sol flavor..."
- "Smells like a freshly painted room..."
- "Hmmm"
- "It's...interesting...what is that flavor..? How do I describe it...I guess...kind of like Pine-sol...yeah.."
- "get those away from me"

I cannot believe how well-received they are in this thread!
posted by sprezzy at 11:05 PM on January 17, 2018


I give you Tyrrells English Summer Barbecue flavour crisps.

Rain, disappointment and burnt undercooked food in crisp form.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:53 AM on January 18, 2018


All The Foreign Pringles

🎶'Cause if you liked it then you should have popped the top on it
If you liked it then you should have popped the top on it🎶

(b/w dance video, etc)
posted by hippybear at 6:09 AM on January 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Regarding "Moscow Mule" chips...
... pine-sol flavor.... freshly painted room... pine-sol...

I think they missed the mark on "Moscow Mule" and maybe want to go back and rebrand those as "Gin and Tonic" chips.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:16 AM on January 18, 2018


🎶'Cause if you liked it then you should have popped the top on it
If you liked it then you should have popped the top on it🎶


Videos from the "Facts" channel have been linked before, but I'm not sure these have been covered:

Irish people taste test weird Pringles flavors

and

Irish people taste test American Lay's chips
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2018


Irish people have access to Tayto's, the Pt-Ir standard of crisps
posted by scruss at 11:40 AM on January 18, 2018


Lays aren't exactly gourmet foodie artisanal chips, but it's really unfair to compare them to the abomination that is Pringles.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2018


Oh, they aren't comparing Lays' and Pringles to each other. It's more "guess what weird flavor of chip this is". They got a bag each of the funky flavor finalists for Lays' for one, and for the Pringles one they got some weird Japanese flavors like mushroom and eggs benedict and were like "taste this, now guess what it is."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:05 PM on January 18, 2018


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