Strange chip flavors brought the North Iowa bloggers together this week.
We haven’t gathered for a while and probably have the cappuccino-flavored chips to thank. Tasting them made a great excuse for us to get together, so I guess the cappuccino chips have that going for them.
Beth of It’s Just Life hosted the party in her home and spoiled us with sangria, homemade hummus, fresh fruit, and pretty salads. We enjoyed one of those rare, windless North Iowa evenings out on the deck.
I contributed Amanda Paa’s Summer Squash Peach Kisses (pictured on the bottom left) from her new Smitten With Squash cookbook. They are a perfect summer appetizer to bring to a gathering, especially if there are guests attending who can’t eat gluten.
Shopping for the ingredients proved to be interesting. I originally planned to bring a wine cooler to pair with the chips along with the Peach Kisses. At the store, I loaded my basket with fresh vegetables and a Malibu cranberry rum cooler. The man behind me in the checkout line curiously eyed the contents of my grocery basket and commented, “Malibu and vegetables! That’s interesting.” All I could do was nod.
I forgot to bring the Malibu coolers to the party which was just as well. If you enjoy drinking sunscreen, this is the drink for you.
Val Plagge brought a crock pot of sweet and savory ham balls, a food I’d never tried before (top middle). When I asked her where she found ground ham, she was like, “Well, we do raise hogs on our farm so. . . ”
Beth set out an elaborate potato chip taste testing station complete with smiley face voting stickers. Here’s what I thought of the four new flavors listed in the order of which we collaboratively ranked them:
Wasabi Ginger: Lay’s accurately captures the flavors of wasabi, pickled ginger, and an onion note without tasting too artificial. Those who did not like pickled ginger (or ginger in general) did not like this flavor, though everyone seemed to like the wasabi flavor. I enjoy eating both the wasabi and pickled ginger garnishes when I order sushi so it was a win-win. I would buy my own bag.
Bacon Mac & Cheese: These chips tasted mostly of bacon and a little of cheese. The bacon flavor tasted artificial and reminded me of the Bacos and TGI Friday’s Cheddar Bacon Potato Skin Chips I ate as a kid. The “mac & cheese” description is probably overstated. Still, there’s nothing terribly objectionable about the chips unless you don’t like the flavor of Bacos. . .or bacon.
Cappuccino: We were most intrigued by these cappuccino chips. When I first spotted them in the store, I was aghast. Did Chad Scott submit the flavor as a joke and then Lay’s took him seriously? Turns out Chad just really likes coffee.
The chips taste like cheap vanilla coffee creamer mixed with misery and Ron Burgundy’s tears. And possibly death.
All of these flavors swished around in my mouth and I struggled to swallow them. I learned that “cappuccino” doesn’t refer to my favorite type of cappuccino crafted with espresso and lots of foam. Rather, it means the cheap, cloyingly sweet gas station cappuccino that squirts from the scary machines that keep on squirting long after you’ve stopped pushing the cappuccino button. That kind.
Some of my companions said that the chips tasted less terrible than they anticipated, while others liked the cinnamon note. One admitted the chips grew on her as she kept eating them and described them as “dessert chips.”
I just wanted all of these chips to burn. And while the chips were in my mouth, I wanted the whole world to burn.
I spotted a small bag of cappuccino chips at a Casey’s General Store in case you want to taste them for yourself but not commit to a full-sized bag.
As if it couldn’t get worse than cappuccino-flavored potato chips, you’ve got Mango Salsa chips. I initially predicted I would prefer this flavor because I like sweet and spicy mango salsa. Do not be deceived.
Hampton blogger Katy most accurately compared the chip to something straight out of Bath & Body Works. We all agreed and the only thing I could taste was tutti frutti mango reminiscent of a pre-teen body splash or Scentsy wax melt. This was the only flavor I did not go back to for a second taste.
Have you tried any of these new flavors? What did you think?
Meet my fellow taste testers:
Amy, Modern Rural Living
Beth, It’s Just Life
Katy, Learning As I Go
Laura, All Things Travel
Sara (in absentia), All in an Iowan Mom’s Day & Travel With Sara
Val, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids