Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lay’s Chips à l’Ancienne Saveur Chevre

On the morning of my birthday, a charming young couple of my acquaintance (a fashion designer and an expert on alternative energy, how much more French can you get than that?) bequeathed upon me a nicely wrapped maroon pastry box proclaiming itself to be a present.  Being a member of the not-unwrapping-presents-til-the-appointed-time school of thought, it was not until that evening that I discovered I had just been gifted with a twin set of chili-spiced Nacho chips and of course Goat cheese potato chips, those two knowing my very American affection for junk food. 
I have gushed before about my fondness for all things goat cheese in my review of Belin’s Goat Cheese Croustilles, and right away, the package sports a picture of goat cheese coated in grey ashes, which may seem gross, but the ashy outside is in fact quite as edible as the crust on a brie (not the least bit crunchy or carbonized, I assure you) and intended to keep the interior soft and creamy, giving you a sort of cheese version of the Reece’s Pieces experience, except with more goat.
Goat cheese coated with ashes is the ugly
ducking that when opened up reveals the
sexy swan that gives all the once-popular
girls mid-life crisises.
The chips inside are not actually coated with ash, but this is no shortcoming for what may in fact be the awesomest cheese flavored chips I have yet had.  They convey the experience of cool sweet-and-creamy goat cheese fresh out of the cellar with a fidelity that would please even the most risk-averse tongue.  The seasoning spares the more acrid aspects of the goat cheese experience, making it accessible to the goat-partial or goat-inexperienced, but fortunately without compromising the experience for the goat-savvy (or at least for me.)
Did I mention they are delicious- again, allow me to note this is a far subtler and better balanced blending of salty and sweet than you will find on nearly any kind of cheese flavoring (likely cheddar), and while the refreshingly refrigerated-cool taste as they hit the tongue is likely the product of truly dark alchemy that would do Snape proud (being on the way-subtle side of minty), it’s still a neat enhancement to an already delightful flavor and does not in any way steal its glory.
Lay's informal employment of Dark
Wizards in their flavoring department
is yet another episode of corporate
malfeasance that remains shamefully
What of the crisps, you ask?  When you identify your product as being ‘old fashioned’ chips, that tends to suggest that they are kettle-cooked and thick, and that they were made by old men wearing aprons as the packaging helpfully illustrates.  Well, on the plus side these chips had a decent crunch, fairly large in size, and were nicely curved and rumpled in all sorts of amusing shapes.  Unfortunately, they were decidedly not thick and were a translucent light-yellow in color, where as I tend to prefer my chips more on the russet brown side of things.  On the health front, these apparently sport 25% less salt than most chips in this product line and are made without palm oil, so that’s nice.  Can’t be sure if they were really made by an elderly apron-wearers, though.
            My slight disappointment with the thickness of the crisps aside, these are pretty much some of the most well executed and innovative chips I’ve had since coming to Europe (along with the Brett’s Steak Flavored chips), and any non-Frenchie’s hitting up the Hexagon for a vacation would be well-advised to pick these, up if you are of a sort dubious enough to buy junk food on your vacation.  When in France, go the way of the goat!

Stars: 3½/4
Spiciness Rating: none

- Amazingly realistic goat flavor that perfectly balances sweet and salty
- Clever icy-cool flavor element inserted to make them taste cellar-fresh
- Crisps are decently crunchy and nicely folded and rumpled
- Lower on sodium than other chips in this line

- Crisps are very thinly cut


  1. Super toutes ces reviews.!!! Good job. Je me rends compte qu en venant aux US je pensais trouver un choix infini de chips et cookies,.mais j ai l impression qu il y à plus de créativité en France. Pareil.pour les cookies et les yahourt/desserts n en parlons pas y à rien à part de la gelé.

  2. en france ne pas arreter la saveur chevre tt les mois j'en pren en grande surface sa se devalise comme du petit pain on nen reclame tt les jour tt les mois et tt lannée!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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