Monday, March 28, 2011

Lay’s Max-Craquante Saveur Pizza Pepperoni

Note: There is a similar sounding product titled 'Lay's Limited Edition Pepperoni Pizza', though I can't confirm if it is the same product.  The reviews I've seen for it have all been in Dutch, but this does suggest the possibility they may be available in the United States.

I had a bit of a WTF moment when I first had these, because they didn’t immediately fit in to what I expected from the etablished genre of pizza-flavored chip.  Italianish-herbs, check, but other than that they were spicy-hot and had a sort of intensive meat flavor that threw me off.  Then I looked again at the package, and I figured out what it was all about.

If you are concerned that there is
insufficient grease, we will helpfully
provide you with more.

Permit me to describe to you a certain kind of pizza which most of us have encountered in our school days- (and don’t bother saying, I haven’t been to college!- because high school cafeterias and McDonalds take-out pizzas are still in the same category).  Picture a round, crunchy thick crust, little to no tomato sauce, and baked mozzarella cheese, cooked till it’s covered with brown spot, covered in patches of red oil.  Spotting the pizza like polka dots are slices of thick, spicy pepperoni, baked in the oven till the edges are crunchy while the centers remain tender and dimpled , pooling with reddish oil that is spilling over into the cheese.  Not exactly authentic Italian pizza, but a very American variant, and quite possibly delicious if fresh out of the oven.

It’s that school-cafeteria pepperoni pizza flavor- with emphasis on the spicy peperoni, baked cheese, a hint of garlic and Italian herbs- that is so evocatively captured by these chips.  The spiciness provides some welcome prickling in the throat, but nothing strong enough to bother all but the most extreme of spice-phobes.  The chips themselves are medium-sized ruffled rounds with a light speckling of green herbs, and as advertised, they are ‘extra crunchy’- they provide a more satisfying crackle-and-pop than some of the more oil sodden ruffle chips, though they are still not quite up to being kettle cooked quality, of course.

In summary, I found myself very pleasantly inspired to relive the cheap thrills of spicy American pepperoni pizza, and that creativity in the flavor matched to a decent quality in the chips themselves. I can only hope they’re selling something similar back in the states for when I return!

Stars: 3/4
Spiciness Rating: Mild

- Awesome cafeteria pepperoni pizza flavor
- Pleasing mild salty-spiciness is redolent of baked pepperoni
- Thick crunchy ruffle chip texture is above average

- There’s basically nothing wrong with what they are, but some might object to what they aren’t: some less specific pizza flavor, or that they aren’t kettle chips

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