Cameron Ranks Stuff: Lay’s Potato Chips
by Cameron Williams
Current Beat Staff
Hey, y’all! Time for another edition of Cameron Ranks Stuff, where I rank things for the sake of maintaining a sliver of order in this chaotic world.
This go-around, I’ll be ranking the flavors of Lay’s potato chips. Now, as we all know, Lay’s is the greatest chip brand of our time. You know what tastes better than a freshly opened bag of Lay’s? Nothing, except maybe the taste of cold, calculated revenge. I’m basing the rankings on the flavors only I’ve experienced as a devoted member of the Lay’s faithful, which unfortunately eliminates that short-lived Berries & Whipped Cream flavor. Never tried that one. So, it’s time to dip our hands into a greasy, salty bag of Cameron Ranks Stuff. Betcha can’t have just one!
- Sour Cream & Onion: Sour Cream & Onion is the best flavor because it manages to accomplish the impossible. It combines two things that’d be tortuous to eat by themselves into something magically delicious. Though it gives you gnarly breath that not even an industrial-sized bottle of Listerine could wash away, it’s well worth it. The green chives sprinkled on the chips only add to this magnificent snacking experience. No other flavor can say it also adds a little garnish to the fun, can it?
- Original: The all-American original will have to settle for the second spot. When a bag of original Lay’s potato chips is first opened, there’s nothing better. It’s a gift from the potato chip gods. However, any time after that, the original potato chips lose their luster. They develop a stale, almost moist taste, and who really likes stale chips? Still, the original chips at their freshest surpass all the rest, and are the flavor that goes best with sandwiches and hot dogs.
- Barbecue: The main thing about the barbecue flavor is that it’s good, not great. It may lead you to achieve a taste bud orgasm, but eating Lay’s barbecue chips is often a low-key affair. What I do love about the barbecue flavor is its no-frills approach to its potato chip existence. It’s almost like it says, “Whatever. I’m covered in barbecue sauce. Eat me.” Barbecue isn’t here to dick around and play for the cameras. That’s why I like it, if that makes any sense at all.
- Salt & Vinegar: I like salt & vinegar chips. Sue me. It does admittedly lack the mass appeal of the three above it, which lowers it to fourth place. I mean, let’s face it: the other three are the popular, good-looking cool cats while salt & vinegar is the alternative kid who may own a collection of human skulls under his bed. Flaws include too much vinegar and not enough salt. Also, just a small whiff of the chips may induce fainting, or even possibly a coma.
- Cheddar & Sour Cream: I want to like the cheddar & sour cream flavor, and the chips do taste good. Yet I can’t help but feel gross as I eat them. They are definitely a guilty pleasure, but almost to the point where eating them just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the gluttonous combination of cheddar and sour cream. It’s not the hot, A-list flavor combo like sour cream and onion—it’s more like a trashy romance blossomed in the gutters of the snack food industry.
- Dill Pickle: One of the two newest flavors of the Lay’s brand, dill pickle is nothing special outside of the novelty of eating a chip meant to taste like a Vlasic. Actually, dill pickle is nothing but a mere salt & vinegar rip-off. So much for an original idea, huh? Dill pickle chips are a disappointment and only for the consumer too lazy to eat an actual pickle, as if that’d require energy.
- BLT: My hatred for BLT chips stems not only from their dull taste, but also from my hatred for this nation’s unhealthy obsession with bacon. Here are a few ridiculous food items out right now involving the pig product: bacon & maple milkshakes, bacon cupcakes, chocolate covered bacon, etc. I like bacon too, but enough is enough. Now we have Lay’s chips with bacon flavoring and it’s getting ridiculous. Sorry, but I can’t support the world’s pro-bacon agenda.
- Wavy: Yes, I know the wavy Lay’s are a variation of the original, but they somehow manage to taste worse. Seriously, these chips are the pits. They always taste stale no matter how fresh, which is clearly a sign of Satan at work. I think the wave design is to distract consumers from how awful the chips really are. Now I’m channeling painful childhood memories of these chips sitting in my kitchen cabinet for months and that makes me sad. So screw you, wavy Lay’s.
*All photos credited to fritolay.com