March 2022

Lay's "Cucumber"

Frito-Lay

Cucumber seems like an idea that should totally work for potato chips, but at the same time seems like an idea that would never work for potato chips. It makes sense because just about every other vegetable seems to work as a flavour for potato chips. Onions, tomatoes, red peppers and even hot peppers have all been used to flavour chips and all of them work. So why not cucumber. The thing about cucumber that’s problematic for me is because of the texture. While I do enjoy the flavour of cucumbers, I feel like the main feature of a cucumber is the cool crunchy texture. This is something that can not be replicated with a potato chip.

Upon opening these chips, they most certainly have a cucumber smell. It’s kind of subtle, but still seems very cucumber like. Maybe this was on purpose since cucumbers are a fairly subtle flavoured vegetable. The first few chips also hold onto this cucumber flavour. The thing is, the more chips you eat, the more that flavour seems to go away. After a few handfuls of these cucumber chips, I started to lose the cucumber flavour and it was replaced with an almost sweet flavour. I would almost describe it as a honey flavour, maybe with a bit of spice. Almost a honey barbecue, but very, very subtle.

In some ways I almost wished that the cucumber flavour was much stronger. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed them as much, but I would have appreciated these chips a bit more. If felt like they flavoured these chips with just enough cucumber to sell the idea, but not enough to really make you think you’re eating a cucumber. I’m thinking that what might work is if you take the same cucumber flavour, amp it up a lot, and add another flavour that works really well with cucumber. Something like garlic and yogourt, or sour cream and dill would taste great with a cucumber potato chip.

Maybe what these chips need is a dip? I’m not saying I disliked these chips, I just felt like they were lacking something to make them truly cucumber flavoured. It could be that the best way to eat a cucumber potato chip is if it’s been pickled.