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Review: Lay’s Sweet Basil Potato Chips (Thailand)

As someone who’s experienced all three flavors dreamed up by the American finalists of Lay’s Do Us A Flavor contest, I must confess: I am bitterly disappointed. At the beginning of the year, the American people were given the opportunity to sample Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Sriracha potato chips before choosing their favorite flavor.

Let’s disregard how the chips actually tasted. I want to talk about the ideas here.

Really, America? This is the best you could think of? Chicken & Waffles is fairly unique, but boring Cheesy Garlic Bread and over-hyped Sriracha? Please! I could think of better potato chip flavors in my sleep. And no, I’m not just bitter that Lay’s rejected my idea for tuna salad chocolate pudding potato chips. The idea was genius. Genius, I tell you!

As a matter of fact, other countries have seen some pretty wacky potato chip flavors outside of crowdsourced competitions. The United Kingdom has BBQ Kangaroo, China has Pepsi & Chicken, and Australia has Vegemite.

Today, I’ll be looking at Lay’s Sweet Basil potato chips, direct from the land of Pad Thai and ladyboys: Thailand.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the bag was the scarcity of chips. What gives, Lay’s? Two-thirds of this bag was filled with air! As far as I’m aware, the world hasn’t been experiencing a tater shortage lately.

Sadly, these Sweet Basil potato chips smell nothing like basil. In fact, I found their aroma to be vaguely reminiscent of paprika, similar to the Lay’s American Cheesy Paprika chips I’ve reviewed in the past. In addition, there was a certain quality hiding behind the chips’ slight herbal scent that reminded me somewhat of ketchup flavored potato chips.

Their savory taste was similar to their scent: lightly herbal, tinged with paprika, mellowed with the aforementioned hint of ketchup, and nothing at all like basil. My first bite held a bit of a peppery kick to it, and as I continued to eat, the heat progressively grew. These chips have quite the spice! I grabbed a can of Apple Sidra to tame the burn, but the addition of carbonation only gave me fire burps.

fire burps – noun plural – informal term for the medical condition known as “igneus ruptus”; a condition whereby carbonation and spice combine in the digestive tract to produce a series of blistering eructations.
Greg had a nasty case of the fire burps after chugging that two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew mixed with Tabasco.

Although Lay’s Sweet Basil potato chips taste nothing like basil, their flavor profile charms with a light herbal taste and a touch of heat. Their savory / spicy duality is highly addictive; I had no trouble finishing the bag, despite coming down with the fire burps. I highly recommend picking up Lay’s Sweet Basil potato chips if you ever have the chance!