Checkin’ out chips: A taste test of five unusual flavors


Amya Parker , Staff Writer

Ever looked on Youtube and seen someone doing a weird food challenge? Or have you ever noticed bizarre flavor offerings in the chip aisle but were too afraid to stray from your safe favorites?

Select students and teachers at MMS tried a variety of chips–those that people wouldn’t normally pick up at the local grocery store. This variety of chips consisted of Lays Ketchup chips, Utz Fried Dill Pickle chips, Shearer’s Smoked Gouda chips, Ruffles All Dressed, Giant Eagle Jalapeno chips, and Tostitos Roasted Red Pepper chips.

As several students and teachers tried these chips, they took a survey on how the chips tasted.

Before tasting, participants predicted which chips they would love and hate, based on appearance and ingredients alone. 53.3 percent of students thought they were going to like the Ruffles All Dressed chips the most out of all of the other chips, and 46.7 percent of students thought they were going to like Lays Ketchup chips the least.

Predictions for the favorite held true, with 64% choosing the Ruffles All Dressed as their favorite.  But Lays Ketchup wasn’t most common the least favorite. While 21% did choose it as the worst, Dill Pickle was ranked at the bottom by  64% of tasters.

See how our tasters reacted to each chip below.


Shearer’s Smoked Gouda

According to Shearer’s website, the chip is “smoky yet nutty.” The site says, “we’ve perfected this recipe into our farm-fresh potatoes, cooked using our unique paddle-stirred process.” Shearer’s suggests that people pair with your the chip with a favorite flavored hummus.

Most of the students didn’t liked this chip. Some of the comments students made were, “Never will I try this chip again because it was bitter. The chip slapped me in the face with attitude.”  Someone else noted that the chip had a subtle flavor and an unpleasant aftertaste. They said that the “kettle style overpowers the smoked gouda flavor.” 


Tostitos Roasted Red Pepper

According to the official Tostitos website, the makers “blend 8 whole grains with the flavors of red pepper to create a one-of-a kind taste that’s meant to be shared.”

“The chip is just a little below average,” said one taster. “It just tastes like a tortilla chip with a flick of hot sauce. Not spicy at all.” More comments read, “It tastes like a normal chip but with a little bit of spice when you start to eat it. But the aftertaste tastes more like a pepper.”  This chip received no strong reactions in either direction.  Overall, tasters were underwhelmed and felt the chip would need to be paired with a dip to be enjoyable.


Giant Eagle Kettle Cooked Jalapeno

This store-brand chip was not well-received.

One comment read, “like cardboard with a hint of spice but not a real jalapeno flavor.”  Another said, “Not good, They left a spicy zing in your mouth but didn’t have much flavor.”  Someone else claimed it “tasted like a fake potato chip.”

Tasters might be onto something. Jalepeno is not listed as an ingredient on the bag or website, so the jalapeno flavor is achieved through artificial flavors and other spices.

Ruffles All Dressed

The Ruffles All Dressed chips were chosen as the favorite among the chips offered in this taste test. The Ruffles All Dressed chips include paprika, vinegar, and barbecue. The flavor has been a favorite in Canada for years. The Ruffles site says that these chips combines the flavors of barbecue, sour cream and onion, ketchup, and salt and vinegar all into one.

Almost all of the students that tried the Ruffles All Dressed chips had positive comments and ratings. The comments read, “The chip was smokey with a very faint kick.” One reviewer noted “It tastes like if Chick-Fil-A sauce was a chip.” Another taster said, “Flavor kept my attention for longer than expected, which is excellent…Its ridges welcome dip with open arms but it’s not necessary for this chip, just an added bonus.” 


Lays Ketchup

On the Lays official website the description for this chip reads, “If you’ve ever wondered what Ketchup flavored potato chips taste like, Lays’s Ketchup Chips are your answer… Don’t miss out on trying these uniquely “Canadian” ketchup chips! Don’t be put off by the strange flavor.” 

But the comments from our student and teacher tasters were not as positive. According to the survey, the students and teachers strongly disliked this chip. Some of the comments read, “Gross”, “It taste like fake ketchup,” and “it tastes like stale McDonalds ketchup.”

Utz Fried Dill Pickle

This chip was chosen as the least favorite by more than half of the tasters. Most of the comments focused on the strong dill flavor and aftertaste. Some comments were “Just gross”, “way too sour,” and “never again.” One taster said, “These made me wince. They taste like fennel and like rye bread. The dill is too strong. I expected a vinegar flavor, but it was all spice.” 



These are just a few of the chips in the growing market for unique and interesting flavors.  Customers can choose to treat their taste buds to something a bit different or stick to the old favorites.