Delhites LOVE to joke about Lay’s packets being ‘99% air and 1% chips’, and yet nothing stops us from buying them ALL THE TIME. These crispy, crunchy, ridged bites of flavor have been around forever, and they’re still going strong. You’ll find them at every party and every get-together, every school and college canteen, every shop-around-the-corner, and now you can even order them online.
There are a ton of crazy flavors available overseas - these range from the I-could-totally-dig-that 'Bacon Mac and Cheese', the sounds-weird-but-also-sounds-dope 'Choco Cappuccino' to the no-way-in-hell-am-I-trying-that-shit 'Orange Juice and Toothpaste' flavor.
We have our own selection of flavors in the city, and with the help of my foodie friends at Spoon University Delhi, I have ranked each of them by taste, smell, texture, and appearance:
8. Maxx Sizzling Barbeque
Total Score: 11/20
Taste: 1/5, Smell: 1.5/5, Texture: 4/5, Appearance: 4.5/5
Maxx Sizzling Barbeque hits the smoky flavor, has a hint of sweetness to it, and yes, you do get the flavor of onions too. But, it just smells rank and though the texture and wavy appearance try to make up for it, they can't do much to mask the unappetising taste and stench.
Go for a pack if you simply love barbecued food; definitely steer clear otherwise.
7. Classic Salted
Total Score: 11.5/5
Taste: 3.5/5, Smell: 2/5, Texture: 3/5, Appearance: 3/5
We wouldn't actually say no to a nice pack of Classic Salted, but unless you pair these up with these easy-yet-awesome dips, they are kinda meh and forgettable.
6. Spanish Tomato Tango
Total Score: 12/20
Taste: 4/5, Smell: 2/5, Texture: 3/5, Appearance: 3/5
I'm not sure what the 'Tango' part of the name is supposed to do, apart from re-emphasising the Spanish theme. Yet these chips sure taste awesome. Ingredients include spices like ginger, clove, and cinnamon which work really well with the rich ketchup-y flavor.
These smell odd at first, but after a couple of tries, the smell actually adds to the appeal.
5. Maxx Macho Chilli
Total Score: 13.5/20
Taste: 3/5, Smell: 2/5, Texture: 4/5, Appearance: 4.5/5
Maxx Lay's are large, wedge-like (sorta like Uncle Chips with deep ridges), and much thicker than regular Lay's. This texture goes really well with the Macho Chilli variant as it mellows down the heat to make the crisps' spicy flavor stand out.
4. Chile Limón
Total Score: 14/20
Taste: 4/5, Smell: 4/5, Texture: 3/5, Appearance: 3/5
Although these are supposed to be Chili and Lime chips, the chili isn’t quite as dramatic. Basically there’s a pleasant spicy after-burn, the actual flavor and aroma being all about the sour fruit. The crisps themselves are thick and fun to sink your teeth into with a crunch.
3. West Indies’ Hot and Sweet Chill
Total Score: 14.5/20
Taste: 4/5, Smell: 2.5/5, Texture: 4/5, Appearance: 4/5
These chips taste smoky, sweet curry-like, with a uniquely meaty flavor. They are super-hard to find, but if you do come across them, be sure to stock up: buzz around the foodosphere is that these might soon get discontinued.
2. American Cream and Onion
Total Score: 16.5/20
Taste: 4/5, Smell: 3/5, Texture: 4/5, Appearance: 4.5/5
For true sour cream and onion perfection, what a foodie's really looking for is a solid balance of salt, tang and crispiness. Lay's American Cream and Onion manages to pull that off.
It packs the instant burst of classic cream and onion flavor, a rarity that ensures that you end up eating too many of these, too fast.
1. India's Magic Masala
Total Score: 18/20
Taste: 5/5, Smell: 4.5/5, Texture: 3.5/5, Appearance: 4/5
If you don't adore the Magic Masala chips, we really don't get you.
A single chip takes you on this amazing journey: in the first bite there's a herby pop from coriander, cumin, and garlic powder, then a desi tanginess begins to emerge from the chillies, the ginger, the tomato powder. When the flavors begin to mesh, there's the classic salted chips' taste, and then the slow and lingering burn... ever so slight, just to give nice finish.
These chips truly are a little bit of magic – excellent work, Frito-Lay India!