This post needed to happen at some point, if only due to the sheer shittyness of Lay's marketing campaign for its latest potato chips flavors. Pitting two of Romania's worst taste makers against each other in a series of pastoral commercials featuring mushrooms, garlic and some sort of deep, intense hatred between the two, Lay's has managed to grab the attention of mouthbreathers across the land, appealing to the innate Romanian sensitivity to rural bliss. I have tried both flavors and I am here to give you the 411 on the newest offerings from Lay's. Let's proceed in a highly organized manner.
PUYA'S GARLIC & YOGURT CHIPS
THE WHO: Puya is a Romanian singer best known for being part of a Bucharest-based thugged-out hip-hop group back in the 90s, called La Familia. Predictable law troubles and a lawsuit over their name (filed by notorious Romanian rappers BUG Mafia) followed, forcing the band to change their name and drop off the radar. Whatever shred of talent Puya might have had in the 90s is long gone and he is currently known for creating some of the worst, god awful music ever to spam the broad waves. Here, see for yourself. Holy shit, that sucks!
THE WHAT: Puya's flavor is garlic & yogurt. That's 2/3 of the things needed to create tzatziki sauce, which is delicious, so I would say his flavor already got started on the right foot. Upon opening the bag, you are greeted by a nice whiff that smells cool and herbal and foretells good things. Indeed, when I first tasted these, I was pleasantly surprised by the initial cooling yogurt flavor, which is then followed by a slight garlic aroma and some discrete herbs, too. Eating a whole bag of these turned out to be no problem at all - they're tasty and refreshing and I wolfed them down while watching The Walking Dead. Good stuff, would buy again.
CABRAL'S MUSHROOM & SOUR CREAM CHIPS
THE WHO: Cabral is (somehow) a Romanian TV host, best known for hosting a night-time tabloid-like show on a ladies' TV station where he talks about things nobody but bored housewives care about - petty celebrity gossip and... that's about it. He had minor roles in a few horrible Romanian soap operas, too. He also has a blog about random stuff he likes or whatever. I don't know.
THE WHAT: Cabral's mushroom/sour cream combo isn't a new flavor by any means. In fact, Lay's has been peddling this flavor in our neck of the woods for what seems like several years now. I'm pretty sure this is like the third iteration of this particular type of chips. They're supposed to be a "seasonal" flavor reminiscent of autumn, but god damn it, I swear you can get these in one packaging or another no matter what season you happen to be experiencing. As you can tell, I'm not terribly excited about them, although they're not bad by any means. The combination of mushrooms and sour cream results in a heavy, full-bodied taste with an earthy feel to it that does a pretty good job of emulating a rustic mushroom stew with plenty of sour cream, for those cold winter afternoons when you get back in the house after chopping wood outside in the blizzard. The hefty, pregnant taste does become a bit much after a while, so perhaps these chips are best shared with someone else.
THE VERDICT: There's no accounting for taste, obviously, but for this junk food aficionado, the verdict is clear: Puya's Garlic & Yogurt chips are the definite winner of this competition, due to the tasty combination of flavors and the refreshing taste. Even though they're endorsed by an annoying music star I can't stand, I'm definitely buying these again in the future. TEAM PUYA!
What about you? Which of these two flavors do you prefer? Do you feel cheated that Lay's keeps pushing mushrooms and sour cream down your throat year after year? Why aren't they making tzatziki chips already? Pls respond.