Lay’s chips truly are tasty taters

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Rebecca Von Tersch

A yellow bag holds the Lay’s classic chip variety.

Lay’s potato chips come in a wide variety of flavors and lead to a range of enjoyment between each snacker. No two varieties are the same, a quality that enhances each chip’s appeal. I tried seven different varieties of these chips to determine just how good they are, and I gave each one a rating based on flavor, crunch, and messiness.

Classic

The classic potato chip. It was a good balance of salty and starchy, which is what I like in a baseline in a potato chip. My only complaint, which I find with all Lay’s chips, is that it was too thin. Take a hint from Pringles, please. I don’t want a paper-thin piece of potato, especially since the bag is mostly filled with air. While these chips can be pretty crunchy, they would have a much better crunch if there were more substance. Nevertheless, I really liked the lack of mess with this variety. It was easy to clean, and I didn’t need chopsticks to eat these. In terms of overall flavor, cleanliness, and crunch, I would rate these a four and a half out of five stars. 

Salt and Vinegar

All I can say about the flavor is that although it was good, the vinegar overwhelmed the salt. They tasted like they were made of vinegar, soaked in vinegar, and then very lightly salted. The fact that I ate three snack-sized bags of it is a testament to how good it was, but that does not erase the fact that those things will hurt. Make sure to put on lip balm before you eat these; otherwise, you will find a million cuts on your mouth. Like the classic variety, these were the thinnest chips I have ever eaten. I wish they had some more substance to them; it would increase the crunch factor at least fivefold. The thinness does help with the cleanliness of the chip, but the crunch is sacrificed for ultimate cleanliness with this brand. Honestly, I would rate this one a four out of five stars, mainly because it had an overwhelming amount of vinegar. 

Sour Cream and Onion

By far the best potato chip flavor I have ever tasted. This variety was perfection in the form of vaguely round potato slices. There was a great balance of onion and sour cream, and it wasn’t too messy to eat either. I usually like sour cream and onion as a flavor for most chips, but these were especially delicious. It was a top-tier flavor and I would gladly eat a whole family-sized bag of these by myself. I was lucky enough to get a bag that had thicker chips than most of the other flavors I tried, and I was actually satisfied with the crunch on these ones. The chips were also relatively decent in terms of cleanliness. Obviously, with the extra powder, they weren’t at the same level as the classic or salt and vinegar chips, but they were still quite clean nonetheless. I would rate these a five out of five stars; I loved the flavor so much and was impressed with how clean it was relative to the expected messiness. 

BBQ

If I had to choose one adjective to describe this chip, it would be “messy.” Combining regular chip mess with the powder of BBQ chips was… a mistake. However, it was still a pretty tasty chip. I liked how the different flavors complemented each other; it resulted in a harmonious mix of deliciousness. These chips were as thin as I expected them to be but somehow maintained a fairly good crunch; the crunch was consistent between each chip. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say I love the flavor, but it was pretty high up there. Unfortunately, I have to give these chips a three and a half out of five stars; the messiness outweighed the flavor and crunch factors. 

Cheddar and Sour Cream

This one felt like it was missing something. It was only a little bit messy, and I liked the flavor combination; it just felt like it needed one more thing. Other than that lingering sense of dissatisfaction, this chip was amazing. It had a really good crunch considering the thinness, and the satisfaction from that overpowered the sense of confusion I got from the missing flavor. These were cleaner than the BBQ variety, but they were still pretty messy. These ones get a solid four stars, with a few extra points for the satisfying crunch. 

Limón

I honestly don’t know what to say about this chip. It has a taste, but it doesn’t really have a specific name for that taste. The flavor is an acquired taste, but not in a way that was too unpleasant. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find these, but I would eat a few if I were presented with them. I feel pretty neutral about the crunch; it wasn’t much to write home about but it wasn’t horrible. There was little mess, similar to the classic chips, but there is always that problem with grease. I felt like I had to wash my hands with twice as much effort compared to the other chips. I didn’t have a horrible impression of these chips, but they aren’t on the top of my list of all-time favorite chip varieties. I would rate this flavor three stars out of five; there wasn’t much that I could come up with that made it stand out. They tasted okay and had a decent crunch, but the chips left a weird residual feeling after I finished eating them. 

Honey BBQ

I really liked the tanginess of this chip. The flavor combination was amazing and felt like fireworks in my mouth. They were perfectly crunchy, which enhanced the flavor to a point that I had only felt with the sour cream and onion variety. The only downside was the mess. It was nearly as messy as the regular BBQ chips, and I wish I’d eaten these with chopsticks. I think if there had been a little less powder, it would have been decent in terms of cleanliness, but this variety just got everywhere while I was eating it. This variety earned itself four stars, only because the flavor and crunch factors saved it. 

I had an overall good impression of each chip, though some were preferable to others for a number of reasons. Each chip gave me a different level of satisfaction, both in overall chip quality and in individual factors. I would recommend all of these chip flavors to anyone interested in trying something new; they all bring something unique to the table. If you’re looking for a chip with great flavor and a relatively satisfying crunch, Lay’s chips are the ones for you.