REVIEW: Lay’s Fried Green Tomato
“A housewife who is unhappy with her potato chips befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know.”
This is the story of Fried Green Tomatoes.
Okay, so admittedly my memory is hazy on fried green tomatoes – the dish, the novel, and the 1991 film. I’ve eaten them before, but it’s been a while. Please excuse me if I get some of the following facts wrong.
Lay’s Fried Green Tomato stars Kathy Bates and is competing in this year’s “Do Us A Flavor Contest.” It was written by Gregory Pope of Charlotte, NC who says: “Fried green tomatoes remind me of my childhood in Georgia. Fried to a golden brown, salted and peppered, they were always the perfect feel-good food prepped by my dad for our family dinners.”
It was no conventional childhood for Gregory. He tells the tale of two girls (who I think are lesbians?) that develop a close friendship, but one of them leaves town to marry some schlub who abuses her. She’s eventually rescued by her friend/maybe-lover, and they soon open a cafe and throw food at each other (which is very charming and kinda hot). A kidnapping goes awry, at some point a man is barbecued and served as supper, and Kathy Bates straight up owns some punks outside a Winn Dixie.
Anyway, these new chips taste really freakin’ good.
Lay’s Fried Green Tomato does the Southern dish justice as best as my memory serves. There’s a crispy brown batter flavor that’s emulated particularly well with the accompanying grease and the sturdy crunch of a Wavy chip. There’s a slight acidity from the tomato powder that helps give it a fresh flavor, and some sweet notes from the brown sugar that balances it all out beautifully.
It’s a complex seasoning but it feels so natural on this potato vehicle.
Now, the X factor that makes this a truly special chip: Lay’s captured the zesty sauce served atop fried green tomatoes too. Yes this sauce varies by recipe, but here I taste mustard, garlic, and a slight fiery kick. It reminds me a bit of that unbelievable dipping sauce for Bloomin’ Onions only with less horseradish. I can’t stop eating them and appreciating how much all the elements work together in harmony.
Fear not if you’ve never had a fried green tomato in your life; Lay’s knocked this one out of the park on so many levels. They’re also Wavy chips, which makes them better almost by default. I only withhold a higher score because complexity isn’t what everyone craves in a potato chip. For the vast majority, this will be a unique experience that won’t disappoint.
Just like in the movie, the secret’s in the sauce.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating (According to Critics): 7.3 out of 10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating (According to Audience): 9.1 out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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