Sunday, July 5, 2009


Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips

I am a fan of crisps, or as we in the United States commonly call them, potato chips. It is the comfort and simplicity of the chip that has always brought me a moderate sense of gastronomic fulfillment. The chip isn't meant to be a meal, more so a side, or something to accompany a meal. Chips can of course be a meager substitute for a meal, often caused by late night movie watching, sports events, or boredom in the kitchen. Chips often lead someone to gorge themselves on handfuls of chips due their inability to actually fill your stomach with anything more than small bits of processed root vegetables.

I eat chips because I like the taste, and texture. The salty taste causes my mouth to water, craving the salt it ferociously does not need. The salty flavor can pair well with most sandwiches, BBQ, and almost any other snack. A plethora of chips can cause the human taste bud to implode with chemically manufactured taste. The texture is comforting against the soft den that is my mouth. The ridged edges of any chip easily cut though my weak gums. The chips break apart in my mouth, each piece becoming a separate razor sharp slicing implement. Welcomed torture in a bag.

Frito-Lay's is one of the largest American producers of chips, owning Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, and Cheetos. Cheetos technically don't count as chips, and is more commonly classified as a "cheese curl" thought should be classified as cheese flavored home insulation. Frito-Lay is owned by Pepsico inc., the world's fourth-largest food and beverage company who make "a wide variety of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, as well as salty, sweet and grain-based snacks, and other foods" (wiki). Companies under the Pepsico inc. umbrella are Mt. Dew, Gatorade, Izze, Naked Juice, Starbucks Frappuccino, Quaker Oats, and Human Pride and Dignity. This only furthers my belief that the world really is controlled by lizard people who want me to become fat, and unhappy so they can feed on my life juices which are extracted by television.

One of the many wonderful "food" products that Frito-Lay's produces is Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips. The bag itself is expertly designed to make you believe the contents are wholesome and hand made. A soft blue banner frames the image of a few fresh potato's, a small black kettle, and thick, lightly salted potato chips. The Lay's symbol shines like a sun (obviously intentional) above the modern-olde-englishly text. And proudly printed on the top right corner "0 grams Trans Fat" allowing all the obese Oprah following mothers to feel better about their children eating two bags each in one sitting.

The chip itself isn't bad. It's as thick a chip that the stingy bastards at Lay's could possibly make. If you take a regular Lay's chip and put it against a light source, the chip resembles an oily discolored sheet of news paper. Taking a Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chip and repeating the same action, makes the chip seem more like few sheets of oily paper pressed together for a few years, dried, and then fried. The chip is rather tasteless, uncomfortably crunchy, and oddly small in size. Kettle chips I've had in the past have always had a rich taste, whether that be sea salt, sharp cheddar, or wasabi. They have also had a great consistency in texture, allowing the chip to have an appropriate heaviness, and crunch.

Lay's chips on the other hand feel more along the lines of a handful of chips in your mouth rather than the traditional kettle chip. The so called crunchy part of the chip seems more along the lines of being stale, and over fried. Rather than dense the chip seems bulky, though this is only compared to it's brother the traditional Lay's chip. Compared to a real Kettle chip, the Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chip seems hard, and unrefined.

Traditional kettle chips have a hand cut feel to the chip, and even the larger companies that produce kettle chips still have a human presence to their product. This is because traditionally kettle chips are made by frying the chips in a batch all at once at a low temperature, where as Lay's makes it's Kettle Chips by using a "continuous-style" by cooking the chips on a conveyor belt, expediting the process and taking out the inconsistencies that are brought about by human interaction.

As stated before, I'm a fan of chips. Sometimes my gluttony can get in the way of my inner snob. I'll eat crappy chips if it means that I can take advantage of post fourth of July holiday sales at supermarkets. Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips are a fine chip to eat on a hot day with a cheap beer and a boiled hot dog if nothing else is available. Just make sure you're not doing all that in front of the TV as to not wet the ravenous hunger of the Lizard people.

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