I guess Frito-Lay learned from last year’s mistake, and chose to bring back their annual Do Us a Flavor contest, where people submit their favorite tastes for new potato chip considerations (not to mention a chance to win some cash!!).
I never got around to submitting my Sizzling Shawarma this year, will just have to wait till 2018 to win the big bucks!
The three finalists are now appearing on local grocery store shelves. This time around there are only three flavors to choose from, and each one is from a different product line. While the latter does make it a little hard to compare chip feel (crunchiness, thickness, etc.), it does make it easier on the pocket book for those of us who don’t normally buy chips except when trying the unique blends thought up.
For those not wishing to partake, or interested in this year’s options, here are my thoughts:
CRISPY TACO - Aroma upon opening the bag is definitely reminiscent of browned ground beef like when you’re making tacos at home. As for the flavor? WOW!! Spot on taste of a taco with meat, lettuce, shredded cheese and a mild to medium taco seasoning (Don’t ask me how they do it because we probably don’t want to know).
The flavor was very pronounced when first eating them. But, gets more muted with the more you consume. I’d definitely buy this one again down the road.
KETTLE COOKED EVERYTHING BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE – I love this kind of bagel in the morning with a cup of coffee so was looking forward to trying this flavor out. Let me say that the chips are nicely crunchy with none of the usual oily consistency a lot of the kettle cooked varieties have.
Sadly, that’s the kindest thing I can say. When opening the bag, it has a slight aroma which reminds me more of those shrimp chips you find in Asian markets than bagels. There’s no hit of onion, garlic or sesame. Eventually you might pick up some sesame. But, that’s only after eating a whole bunch, and even then it’s only slight. Definitely disappointed.
WAVY FRIED GREEN TOMATO – Not sure if it’s planned scarcity, or what. But, there’s always one flavor that seems to be so hard to find. This year’s entry in that category is the Wavy Fried Green Tomato. I have tried multiple grocery stores to find absolutely nothing stocked. I even asked a Frito-Lay driver. But, he wasn’t even aware of it. Finally, I reached out to my Facebook friends, and through the magic of crowdsourcing I found out that Walgreens carries them.
Let me preface all this by saying I haven’t eaten fried green tomatoes in nearly 20 years. It was some time after the award winning movie came out because I can remember watching it on VHS.
The sniff test revealed the plainest of all three flavors. If you blindfolded me, and then had me smell these and a bag of regular chips, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference to save my life.
Tomato flavor does come out when eating. Not huge. But, enough that it reminded me of the occasional times I’ve sliced up a big beef steak tomato to slap on a burger. There’s also a hint of pepper after a bit, and what I’d describe as a light mustard.
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My clear favorite is the Crispy Taco.
Perhaps my Left Coast leanings towards Mexican comfort food swayed the decision. But, it was a smack dab bullseye for what it was supposed to be, whereas the Fried Green Tomato was more subdued and the Everything Bagel was a big miss.
People in the USA have until October 8th to vote for your favorite flavor at https://www.dousaflavor.com