This world is a perpetual gauntlet of opportunities, if only we can recognize them for what they are. Last Friday, malnourished and foul-tempered, I wandered the aisles of the Oak Grove Fred Meyer—cursing the walls, the air, and my fellow man—looking for the Chase Bank mini-branch within. Like a dove on an olive branch from heaven, a representative of the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo appeared and handed me four free bags of chips with exciting new flavors (one of which was recently the subject of a Blogtown poll). I could not pay for them, no, they were free. I immediately went out to the safety of my car and ate all of them. My findings:
Sriracha flavored potato chips
These do not have the distinctive flavor of Sriracha, the ubiquitous Thai-inspired chili sauce. They are a generic sort of spicy, and lack even the unpleasant aftertaste of laboratory muck-fuddlery.
Chicken & Waffles flavored potato chips
I had recently received word by telephone that a friend found these pleasant, so I was optimistic. The initial taste of salt and vanilla had me thinking they might taste good with milk, as in a breakfast cereal, but in an instant the idea became as foul as the softening paste in my mouth. These had as much to do with fried chicken and golden batter as bouillon sniffed off a horse's ass in summertime.
Doritos JACKED Ranch Dipped Hot Wings
These are not hot wings. They are oversized dark red corn chips that you can't easily fit in your mouth, and are reminiscent of Doritos nacho cheese chips, but with a thicker napalming of flavor chemicals. I can't say that they're an improvement on the original, mostly because they are nasty and leave a particularly hard-to-remove residue on your fingers (I washed mine off with some Coke in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King).
Cheesy Garlic Bread flavored potato chips
These were not as good as plain potato chips.
There you have it. If you must foray into the always-disappointing realm of test-marketed potato chips, it is best to settle for the Cheesy Garlic Bread variety. Perhaps next season we'll see something on the order of the game-changing Cool Ranch Dorito, but this Spring, it's strictly an amateur hour of false starts and also-rans.