Welcome back to another edition of Sad Girl Taste-Test!
This time I’m talking about Lays’ new Korean Barbecue-flavored chips, which were purchased at the (fairly) new 7-11 that opened up by my apartment here in Brooklyn. It’s a 7-11 where they lock up the beer because they don’t trust anybody, and you have to get a cashier to help you if that’s what you’re there for. (One time I was on my way to a party and wanted to buy a case of Budweiser, and when the cashier opened the door to get it, a six-pack of Corona flew out at us and onto the floor and it shattered; I didn’t get any cuts from it, but my ankles got hit with some Corona splatters, and I wondered if it was a bad omen.)
Anyway, none of that has anything really to do with this review, except for that they don’t lock up the chips, because maybe they think people wouldn’t like to steal Korean Barbecue-flavored Lays as much as they would like to steal beer. (After having taste-tested them, I would have to agree with that logic.)
Upon first glance, this flavor idea is not a bad one (which is a miracle considering how many bad ideas they get over there on their goddamned Do Us A Flavor website), but then when you taste the chips, they’re just sort of meh-dot-com.
According to the ingredients, they used something that is actually described as Korean Barbecue Seasoning, and is comprised of sugar, salt, brown sugar, dried soy sauce, onion powder, garlic, paprika, etc.; while it’s not an inaccurate combination (I have made bulgogi with some iteration of salt, brown sugar, soy and garlic before), there’s just something that’s off in a lackluster way about the taste. (Maybe because it is a potato chip that has been seasoned, and not an actual piece of meat that has been marinated and grilled? Like, probably.)
I mean, you definitely get an initial sweet ‘n tangy flavor followed by a slight bit of heat, but all of those things never come together in actual harmony…it’s like they all went in for a high-five and got one of those weak “should we have a do-over?” situations instead.
If the Lays people knew they wanted to go the Korean route, I’d have been much more interested to taste a gochujang (hot pepper paste) variety, or at least something that would offer a little more oomph and intrigue. (Hi, I just wrote “oomph and intrigue” about potato chip expectations // BRB, hurling myself into the East River!)
Apparently the reason these chips were introduced was to potentially knock the Honey Barbecue flavor out of the lineup of fan-voted flavors, but I say keep that one, because this is much more confusing and easy to fuck up. I mean, I definitely don’t feel like I regret buying them, because they’re not inedible or anything like that, I just don’t think I’d pick it over another more tried-and-true choice if I’m feeling in the mood to waste 450 calories of my life in one sitting. (Or just call me back when they make an In-N-Out Animal-Style-flavored potato chip, yeah?)