Tonight, we’ll explore the fourth and final category in the Lay’s Flavor Swap contest – the Heat Category. This battle is subtitled: “The One That Nobody Cares About.” Let’s meet the newbie fighting for its life: Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero potato chips!
Look, it’s not that nobody cares about spicy foods. We do. The reason that nobody cares about this battle is twofold. The first is redundancy. Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero chips are threatening to replace Lay’s Flamin’ Hot. I get it… Habanero vs. Jalapeño; different peppers. But really, we’re talking straight heat vs. straight heat. How different can these really taste?
I won’t actually answer that tonight, due to the second reason that nobody cares about this battle. I’m not entirely certain that Lay’s Flamin’ Hot has ever existed. I think I may have seen it before, like… once in an airport or something, but I just can’t be sure. And when I first heard about the Lay’s Flavor Swap contest, I actively searched for and couldn’t find Lay’s Flamin’ Hot – a “classic” flavor that should have already been on store shelves. This was a big deal for someone with a world-class track record in food-hunting. I later found them in an all-inclusive Flavor Swap promotional display long after I located all the new chips. But because nobody cares about this battle (or this contest, or this blog), I didn’t even bother to buy them. I may vote for Lay’s Flamin’ Hot just to put some pressure on Lay’s to actually produce them in wider availability. Or I won’t vote at all, because of the aforementioned lack of care.
Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero are made with habanero seasoning, red bell pepper, tomato powder, onion powder, spices, garlic powder, and real habanero chile peppers. Sampling a few, I first get a familiar vinegar/garlic/tomato sauce combination that you often get with chips like this. The combo usually works well on chips, and it certainly does here. Soon after, the heat mounts fairly quickly. This heat is commendable. (Cue everyone complaining that these aren’t spicy). I didn’t find this heat too intrusive, but I’ll go as far as to say people with low spice tolerance will find these too hot. Spice enthusiasts won’t be impressed because they never are.
The heat on my tongue lingered for quite a while. I really have to give Lay’s their due on spice – it’s not often a big-time chip producer really goes bold on heat. But as I continued to eat more chips, this lingering heat kind of overpowered all of the savory flavors that I was enjoying initially. Just vinegar and heat is all I got after a few rounds. And as a spicy snack, Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero wasn’t something I really wanted to keep eating. There’s not much potato-y flavor, and I really appreciate when my potato chips still taste like potatoes. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you these were habanero peppers, nor that they were roasted – this is just a spicy chip.
I didn’t care before, and I don’t care now. I’m exercising my right to not vote. America.
How Much People Care About This Battle Rating: 2 out of 10
How Much People Care What I Have to Say Rating: 1 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
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