We love food here in America. We love to eat big greasy burgers and fried food and all the things that are bad for you. But surprisingly, junk food consumption is going down. “Big Food” is not as popular as it used to be. Conagra (owner of Hunt’s, Reddi Whip, Ro-tel, Swiss Miss, and others) cut their profit projections and then fired their CEO. Kraft (the company behind Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, and others) has had decreased sales over the last couple of years.
Inflation has caused these companies to have lower profits overseas as well. A stronger U.S. dollar has made the sales worth less when converted from foreign currencies. Also, health issues have been a growing concern in this country. Many schools are banning junk food. Yale medical researchers, David Katz and Samuel Meller, did a survey and found that a “diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.” Sales of healthy produce and meats have gone up while sales of junk food has gone down.
The United States Department of Agriculture recently banned schools from offering any junk food to students even in vending machines. Many of those machines are run by independent companies, but they are no longer allowed to put junk food in those machines. So today I’m focusing on chips. I’m including any chips: potato, corn, and others. I’ve scoured the internet for some of the weirdest chip flavors from all around the world. These are the types of flavors that make you go, “Why?” And not in a good way.
15. Lay’s Southern Biscuits And Gravy
Yes, you read that correctly. Science has somehow made a “biscuits and gravy” flavor of potato chips. Some things just shouldn’t be made into fake flavors. This was a finalist of Lays’ “Do Us A Flavor” contest. They describe it as a “creamy flavor.” How are chips supposed to taste creamy without being dipped in something creamy? The contest yielded four finalist flavors. Chefs, foodies, and others voted online for which potato chip flavors they wanted. This is one of the four flavors that were chosen. They are not made with any actual pork products, but they are also not listed as kosher on the website.
14. Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese
This is another finalist in the 2014 “Do Us A Flavor” contest held by Lay’s. How in the world do they make potato chips taste like pasta? I don’t understand. One reviewer said they tasted like the sour cream and cheddar flavor. Another reviewer said that they thought it was a “watered down” flavor. They just didn’t think the flavor was strong enough. One person said it tasted like a fake smoky flavor and that they couldn’t taste the cheese flavor at all. The reviews are somewhat polarized. Either they hated them or loved them. Some people said that these should be sold more widely than they are now. I haven’t seen this particular flavor in stores.
13. Pico De Gallo Rice And Beans Chips
Not only is this an odd flavor, but it is a different kind of chip. This may sound good, but I’m not sure the tomato flavor would translate into a chip. I’d say dipping a chip in salsa or real Pico De Gallo would probably be better. They are actually gluten free and not made with GMOs, so these are an option if you are going gluten free. I guess I’m a Mexican food purist. You just can’t beat the flavor of real corn chips and salsa. This is also an option if you are going vegan as well.
12. Onion Chips
These are odd because of what they are made of. These are actually made of onions. I like onion flavor things sometimes, but who wants to chew on an onion by itself? Maybe if you put it with cheese dip or salsa. However, onion flavor is way too powerful when it is eaten by itself. The description says you can put them on salads, sandwiches, etc. If you like onion flavor, then maybe you might enjoy these. They have a bit of black pepper flavor with them as well. They are made with canola oil and use organic sea salt.
11. Seaweed Chips
This is a seaweed flavor out of Japan. It is made with palm kernels and rice bran oil, so they are supposedly healthy for you. I can’t imagine what it would taste like. I’ve never eaten seaweed by itself, though. It is also used in Thai restaurants here. It may sound weird to us, but many people like it. There were many positive reviews for this product. They are kind of expensive though at $6.99. Many reviewers were wishing that we had this flavor in the United States. Some people said that they tasted similar to the sour cream and onion flavor we have here.
10. Grilled Scallops & Garlic Butter Chips
I swear I’m not trying to be a commercial for Lay’s! This is another flavor from overseas. It is flavored like scallops that were cooked with garlic flavor. It has a seafood flavor with this chip. There was only one review for this one, but it was a good review. Somebody bought it for their daughter who was away at school. I may be biased because I don’t like seafood, but this sounds so disgusting! Someone out there must like them if they are being sold. The description describes it as an “aromatic crispy eat.”
9. Hot Chili Squid Lay’s Chips
This is another Asian flavor. It is supposedly flavored with Chilis and squid. There are some connoisseurs of international chip flavors who are buying these here in the United States. These are $5.50 a bag, but one reviewer said they are worth it: “I was extremely pleased with these chips. The immediate flavor is the hot chili, but at the end of it you get the taste of squid.”
8. Namtok Hotpot Lay’s Chips
This one is from Thailand. It is over $9 a bag, including shipping. It doesn’t have any reviews. Namtok Hotpot refers to a type of dish. It can be soup or some kind of meat salad. In Central Thailand, Nam Tok is a spicy soup stock made with cow or pig’s blood. It includes the blood broth, noodles, bean sprouts, pieces of liver, pork, dumplings, green vegetables, and spices. It can also be served as a meat dish with the meat still bloody. As a potato chip it seems a little strange.
7. Ketchup Flavor Lay’s Chips
This is not quite as weird as some of the other things on here. This particular flavor of Lay’s hails from Canada. I know we dip fries in ketchup, but it seems weird to have ketchup with potato chips. I guess it may still have the same potato and ketchup combination taste. One reviewer said that it is similar to the dill pickle flavor in that it is tangy. Anyone that likes the pickle or salt and vinegar flavors would probably like this. They are charging a ridiculous $30 for three bags, though. I’m curious about what these would taste like, but not $30 curious!
6. Lobster Choochee Flavor Lay’s Chips
This is another one from Thailand; it is a lobster choochee flavor. This is lobster with some kind of curry flavor with it. This is what one reviewer said about this one: “The strangest combination I’ve tried yet. A mix of “lobster\seafood”, a little heat, & what I could only compare to as almost a sweet fruity cereal taste…like Fruity Pebbles. I’m a lover of all weird chips” but I could not make myself finish the small bag.” Amen.
5. Utz Crab Chip
This is another seafood themed one. Utz has their crab-flavored potato chips even though we thought they were in the pretzel business. The description says they have lots of “seasoning and spices.” One reviewer said they taste like the Old Bay Seasonings which are often used to cook seafood. They are also very salty as one reviewer claimed. It is $15.00 for a 12-pack of these individual bags. That’s pretty expensive! For those of you that like seafood, you may enjoy these.
4. Salmon And Cream Cheese Lay’s Chips
Here is another interesting one from Japan. They are a combination of salmon and cream cheese. They are actually unavailable at the moment. One reviewer said the chips were stale when he got the bag. Another reviewer said they were bland. Someone else said they taste exactly as they should. The description has a typo in their slogan. It says “Just lunched the product.” It should say “launched.” One person said “Weird but delicious.” I wonder who thinks up these flavors. I’ve never eaten any meat or fish and said “I need this in potato chip form.”
3. Black Truffle Chips
These are different. They are made with dehydrated black truffles. I thought black truffles were things you ordered at fancy restaurants. I can’t imagine eating chips made out of them. They are $12 for one bag. Here is what one reviewer said about them, so I guess somebody likes them:
“OK so these are seriously pricy for a bag of chips but they are OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I have never really been a huge fan of black truffles but I am totally obsessed with these and hid them from my family so I could enjoy them all by myself. I’m almost at the end of the bag and finally just shared some with my husband who was also blown away by how good they were. Highly recommended.”
2. Prawn Chips
This is another Asian find. The description doesn’t say where in Asia they are from. It is $7.95 for an 8 oz box (or bag, can’t tell). Here is what one reviewer said about them: “They don’t taste very good like the ones you get at the restaurant. Tastes more plasticky and fake like it has some unwanted chemicals in it. Still looking out for something that tastes as good as Yes Chips! or the ones that I find at my local Thai restaurant.”
I didn’t even know getting fancy chips at a Thai restaurant was a thing.
1. Lay’s Cappuccino Chips
I love chips, but this is awful. I’m a huge coffee lover, and this is blasphemy. Coffee and potato chips do not mix! One commentator said even her dog didn’t like them. I’d imagine so. I sometimes like the salty and sweet mix, but this is one that is just plain weird.