Lay's Do Us A Flavor contest to determine the newest Lay's flavor is back for its second year, and we tried the contestants so you don't have to. From a pool of more than 14 million submissions, Frito-Lay's finalists for the competition are: Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa, Wasabi Ginger, and Cappuccino. It's a total grab-bag of flavor profiles, but then again, so was last year's group: Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread.
This year's Do Us A Flavor chips will be on shelves from July 28 through October 18, during which time chip-lovers can vote for their favorite flavor. The winner will not only become the next Lay's flavor, but the person who submitted the idea for the flavor will win $1 million. After trying the chips, we're not sure any of them qualify as a million dollar idea...
Here's what we at HuffPost Taste and some of our fellow editors at The Huffington Post thought about the new Lay's flavors:
This was by far the most heinous flavor, and may be one of the worst artificial flavors ever developed in the history of artificial flavoring. It tastes like fruity gum. The mango salsa chips were so unsettling one editor had to spit them out.
"Mango salsa, meh!" "The mango one was way too sweet. It was like a candy chip. Get real." "This made me gag. It tasted like the worst fake mango flavor combined with soap." "Whoa, these are Ruffles. WHOA, THIS TASTES SO MUCH LIKE MANGO AND IT IS SO GROSS. It doesn't necessarily taste 'bad,' it just tastes wrong and unnatural."
These aren't chips! There's no salt in these chips! The cappuccino flavor is obviously questionable in the first place, and the taste was predictably confusing. They're sweet, not salty, and have a hint of cinnamon flavor, although there's not cinnamon to be found in the ingredients list. They're generally puzzling, and not good enough figure out. People had mixed reactions, but the takeaway might just be, "Huh?"
"There's no brightness or salt, it just tastes like dirt. Needs salt and acidity." "Cappuccino was a lot of fun. It's a dessert chip! Sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. I couldn't see eating a lot of it, or even buying it often, but I love the novelty. And I wish I had some to offer to my wife." "It's kind of like a dessert chip, and that's not a good thing." "It reminds me of cereal, but I'm not sure which one."
These sound pretty awesome, so it was particularly disappointing when they tasted so bland. "Meh," seemed to be the take-away. Some people liked them, some people thought they were boring and pretty much everyone was let down.
"Mac and Cheese tasted like a normal flavor. It seemed to me to be a mislabeled bag. I didn't taste anything but a very ordinary chip." "There's a really subtle, almost non-existent bacon flavor. The cheddar is also mild, but comes through a little in the aftertaste." "I wish there was a stronger flavor." "My favorite were the macaroni and cheese ones. What a joy!" "I was expecting a strong smoky bacon hit, but got none of it. Instead, what I get is the flavor of plain chips, with a very late aftertaste of cheddar. The concept is perfection, but the execution is majorly flawed. Way too weak."
This flavor was the favorite, by a long shot. The first bite was surprising, but they were quickly addictive and the whole bag was devoured in no time. It may not be worth $1 million, but you probably couldn't pay us $1 million to eat the other flavors again, so we'll say it's fair enough.
"I would never buy these, but if someone put these in front of me I might eat them. The ginger is a little off-putting, but not the worst thing in the world. It's reminiscent of salt and vinegar." "Yep!" "Wasabi is a winner. Great tangy flavor. I wish I had more right now." "Wasabi ginger was pretty money."
Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.