The power-hungry and the just plain hungry came together to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange last week. PepsiCo, the parent company of Lay’s Potato Chips and Pepsi (a gold star for whoever guessed correctly!), released three new flavors: Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread. Eva Longoria, the unrealistic sponsor of the newly-released chips, called people to “invest” in the flavor they love the most by tweeting to specific hash tags: #SaveChickenWaffles, #SaveSriracha, #SaveGarlicBread and #FreeWilly. The winner of the crowdsourced “Do Us a Flavor” contest will earn 1 million dollars.

In honor of refined taste and culinary art all over the world, the Trinitonian presents a critique of contemporary potato chips as viewed through the lens of higher education, including a formal analysis of their gustatory perception qualities.

Lay’s Sriracha

The texture and flavor of this chip carry an almost fearsome similarity to eating chips drenched with Sriracha, the popular Thai sauce. The striking similarity may be due to the fact that the chips were, after a point, drenched with Sriracha sauce. Fans of barbeque-flavored chips might find enjoyment, but those expecting more will be disappointed — unless they drench their chips in Sriracha sauce for the authentic experience.
Grade: C-

Lay’s Chicken & Waffles

Emulating the sweet and salty taste of chicken and waffles is a strange feat to undertake. In terms of accuracy, the Chicken & Waffles flavor achieves a surprisingly passable result. A crispy potato chip lacks the doughy feel of a waffle, the warm sweet of maple syrup and the crunch of crispy chicken, but the somewhat conflicting-yet-fitting flavors of chicken, syrup and waffles are actually present — although, the taste of Canada can be stronger than the chicken or waffles.
Grade: B+

Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread

As a fan of real, authentic Italian food like Olive Garden and Stouffer’s microwavable dinners, my expectation for this flavor could not be higher. Cheese and garlic seems like a match that should have been made sooner. Sadly, there were very few — and rather inconsistent — encounters with the garlic and bread portions. The majority of the flavor comes from the cheesy portion, since a thick cheese powder layer coats the chip.
Grade: C

Lay’s Classic BLT

This flavor was released by Lay’s from their engineering facilities. A classic BLT sandwich includes separate pieces that each add a unique flavor and texture to the overall product. The chip form of the BLT misses a lot of what makes the BLT such a classic. A few letters of the acronym are missing, namely the BT. If I were particularly unstable and somehow wanted to eat a vegetable, this chip could suffice as an alternative due to the strong lettuce taste. It could be enjoyable if drenched with the right amount of Sriracha sauce (i.e., a lot).
Grade: D

Walkers Cajun Squirrel

The winner of the “Do Us a Flavor” campaign in Britain revolves around two tastes that will be familiar to the average American. One wonders if this flavor is a joke, but since the start of the recent recession, squirrels have become insanely popular. The only problem to this organic commodity is that hunters can only hunt so many squirrels. This chip provides the delicious tang of squirrel in a convenient package. The Trinitonian was unable to acquire a bag of Cajun Squirrel chips, but the boldness of the premise deserves recognition.
Grade: A+