I suppose I can understand not voting for a sweet, cinnamon and coffee flavored chip. I may have fallen in love with dark and creamy flavor, but I can see how most America's would be frightened of such an extreme expectation to taste differential. It's not what one expects when biting into a fried potato slice. It's the same problem my beloved Chicken and Waffles ran into during last year's competition.
I knew a loss was coming, but I did not expect to lose to Wasabi Ginger. I figured America would once again choose the path of least resistance. Last year the country chose Cheesy Garlic Bread chips over Chicken and Waffles and Sriracha, opting to still with tastes so familiar there were already chips on the market with the exact same flavor profile. I figured this year's Bacon Mac and Cheese was a shoe-in.
But no. Now America decides to go all exotic. And Kettle Cooked, no less.
In my review of this year's four finalists, Wasabi Ginger did not fare well.
If you're going to go Wasabi Ginger, have the (Wasabi) balls to go full-on Wasabi Ginger. I was expecting burning spice. I was hoping these would clear my sinuses. I wanted these to hit me as hard as they could, and they just halfheartedly swiped at me like a old cat.
I blame the kettle cooking. The irregular shapes lead to uneven flavor distribution. A few of the chips I tasted almost packed the punch I was looking for, but the rest fell flat. Worse, they reminded me of Funyuns. That's not right.
Now that I think about it, the weakness of the flavor likely worked in its favor. I'm imagining an older Midwestern couple sitting in their living room watching NCIS with a bag of these. It makes them feel all exotic, without actually having to experience anything exotic. Thanks, Midwestern couple.
And so congratulations to Meneko Spigner McBeth, the New Jersey nurse whose submitted Wasabi Ginger to Lay's contest. Meneko has won a million dollars, thanks to our country's underdeveloped sense of adventure.
This is going to ruin Big Hero 6 for me.