When Lay’s did their big Do Us a Flavor promotion a few months back, I wasn’t bowled over. I thought the promotion itself was a great idea, but the flavors didn’t jump out at me as being terribly inspired. I mean Chicken and Waffles was really interesting, but Cheesy Garlic Bread and Sriracha didn’t really scratch-stop the record that constantly plays in my head. That record is Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” by the way.
Like every writer in the foodoblogosphere, I rushed around town like a lunatic trying to find all three flavors. I couldn’t find them anywhere because I can never find things anywhere, and once reviews started popping up online, I lost interest. I’ve still only tried Cheesy Garlic Bread. Good thing the excitement of the contest has been nullified now that Lay’s is going to release the other two flavors, so I still have a chance to try them. I still probably won’t. I’m a complicated riddle.
But more recently, Frito-Lay Canada started their own contest, Do Us a Flavour (totally spelled with a u), and debuted four way more interesting potato chip varieties: Creamy Garlic Caesar, Grilled Cheese & Ketchup, Perogy Platter, and Maple Moose. Now, I am interested!
Well, I am interested again, now. When the four finalists were announced this summer, I tried to find some online, but couldn’t. So I gave up, and they fell off the radar. But recently a co-worktress (we’ll call her Cynthia) sent me a text through a third person intermediary (we don’t really have a texting relationship yet) demanding that I buy these chips. She’s a fan of my blog (and by fan I mean she knows I have a blog but doesn’t read it at all or know what it’s called), so I started the hunt.
I put out the call to my beloved Canada-based Twitter followers to help me out, and new best friend of the blog, Dani of The Daily Yum, came through with a complete set of four. I don’t know how she did it exactly, but I like to picture her battling her way through a giant red and white pagoda in a series of escalating martial arts fights. Game of Death style. (Little known fact about Dani: she actually fought Kareem Abdul-Jabar in real life once. And won.)
But instead of one long, rambling post with all four flavors, I thought it would be fun to break it up into four long, rambling posts. So I am declaring this week Food Junk’s Week (or possibly two) of Canadian Grandeur and Majesty! Together, we will learn the history of this great land with facts that are probably true, and explore the best that Canada has to offer.
Here we go.
This week in Canadian history, back in 1914, Sam Hughes established the Canadian Aviation Corps, a precursor to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The corps’ publicly stated reason for existing was to fight in World War I, however, years later, through leaked government documents, it was revealed that the corps was actually established to fight the increasingly aggressive pterodactyls who were straying farther and farther from their underground sanctuary in the prehistoric lost continent below Nova Scotia.
In celebration of this achievement, we have these Creamy Garlic Caesar potato chips, based of course on the classic Caesar salad, a dish that was originally intended to serve as pterodactyl bait in Los Angeles’s own Great Sky Lizard War of the late 1800s.
The nosegrope of these Creamy Garlic Caesar chips is reminiscent of Sour Cream and Onion but with noticeable garlic notes.
The strongest flavors are the garlic and Caesar salad dressing components. They are very upfront, and like a strong Caesar dressing, they stay with you for a while. Lest we get lazy and stop there, there are also some earthy cheese notes, and even some hints of lemon that push to the forefront the more chips you eat.
I really liked these. These are well engineered. All of the bases are covered and attention was paid to detail. While the flavors may not be exactly exact, they are respectably and enjoyably close. Co-worktress Cynthia declared that these were easily better than all three American finalists. I don’t think I’d disagree.
Well played Frito-Lay Canada. Well played. I’m slow clapping “O Canada” for you right now.
I hope the rest of the finalists can deliver as well.