This summer, Lay’s asked Canadians across the country for inventive chip flavor ideas for their annual Lay’s Canada “Do us a Flavour” competition. The top 4 badass ideas from each region were sold across the country and then voted on by Canadians online. The prize? $50,000 and 1% of all future sales of the winning flavour.
As a passionate young food scientist, I took it upon myself to purchase the 4 finalist chip flavours and evaluate them for Spoon fans and foodies out in the world. Here’s what went on in this epic potato showdown, and the verdicts are:
4th Place – Prince Edward Island Scallops Potatoes Chips (Atlantic Inspired)
Didn’t love it, I felt this was rather plain and unexciting. These chips were slightly cheesy with a buttery finish and a flavour reminiscent of sour-cream and onion. Potatoes chips flavored after a potato dish is a safe choice for the unadventurous.
3rd Place – Montreal Smoked Meat (Montreal Inspired)
This took me by surprise. At first, I was expecting dog food like aromas and odd maybe meat flavor. Instead, the briny-smokey flavor of Montreal smoked meat was captured well and the peppery meat flavors gave way to an almost mustard like twang as you continue eating the chips.
2nd Place – Butter Chicken Chips (Ontario Inspired)
A promising candidate in this contest, but it lacked the spicy characteristic reminiscent of this timeless Indian dish. The flavour gets more developed as you keep eating, however it was a shame that there was not a spicy kick (sigh).
1st Place – Wavy Cowboy BBQ Beans chips (Western Canada Inspired)
AKA the BBQ 2.0. This one took it home with its ingenious twist on a classic flavour. The distinct baked bean flavor among the smokey sweet BBQ flavor of the chips is well-balanced: rich but not over powering. In addition, the wavy cut adds more texture and dimension to the chip, giving it an overall impressive performance.
Many other commentary would suggest the flavors this year were less exciting and poorer than previous years. Stay tuned for the winner in the weeks to come.