You know, when I set out to re-imagine Tattooed Trilobite, I thought it would be tipped a bit more in favor of the nostalgia side. As it turns out, that isn’t quite the case, and I’m sorry. I’m having a little trouble collecting materials for review – things that I have an attachment to, at least – and so far it’s fairly slim pickings. Combine that with my recent job loss, and I don’t think it’s humanly possible to write an entire blog post about one Littlest Pet Shop tiger from a Happy Meal in 1995, and I’m a bit stuck.
However, there are some awesome experiences and snacks I would love to share with you all, and since I will probably be having more time to myself this month than I previously anticipated, I figured well, why not talk about more potato chips?
As I mentioned in my last Do Us A Flavor post, Lay’s Canada has its own set of individual flavors up for a taste test. The first of my dear Canadian correspondents, Petrija, surprised me with a box this week containing all four flavors, and it is my duty as a snack-loving gal to share with you my reviews.
Lay’s Canada appears to have picked one flavor from four specific regions of Canada. From left to right, Ontario picked Butter Chicken, Atlantic Canada picked P.E.I. Scalloped Potatoes, Western Canada picked Wavy Cowboy BBQ Beans, and Quebec picked Montreal Smoked Meat. The first thing I notice is that the word “wavy” in French is pretty hilarious to me. “Ondulées.” You keep on doing you, French. The next is that these are so very different from the American flavors! Once more I visited my family to see what their thoughts on these taste test chips were.
We tried them in the order we thought we’d like them best, and as such started with Butter Chicken because we didn’t know what to expect. I personally am not a fan of Indian food – the spice blends don’t sit well with me – so we gave it a go first. The flavor was surprisingly mild, but still pretty distinct! Since I don’t know what the original dish tastes like, I can’t give an accurate comparison, but I will say that out of all of us that tried them – my dad didn’t like the smell, so he passed – we were pleasantly surprised. I don’t think we would buy these again, but they weren’t bad.
Next up were the Wavy Cowboy BBQ Beans. This seemed like a weird choice to me, but baked beans are pretty good, and at least I have a comparison point. These smelled TERRIBLE. Straight up. If I were judging these based on smell alone, they’d be dead last. On taste? They weren’t half bad! These tasted JUST LIKE baked beans. I don’t know if there’s something distinctly different about “cowboy bbq beans” vs. regular out of a can baked beans, but this was spot on. The waviness of the chip didn’t add or detract from the flavor.
Third, we went for the Montreal Smoked Meat. We thought these might taste a bit like the reuben chips from last time, but BOY were we wrong. Again, having no familiarity with the “source material,” so to speak, I can’t judge on the accuracy of the flavor – but shit goddamn, these tasted JUST LIKE a hot dog, maybe a little pepperier. So much so that Karyn had the genius idea to eat these WITH the Cowboy BBQ Beans to form an adequate representation of franks & beans. If you can get them together, give ’em a shot. It might be worth combining the bags for.
Last up were the ones we thought we’d like best, the P.E.I. Scalloped Potatoes. These were AMAZING. They were a little buttery, a little garlicky, a little cheesy…a lot delicious! So much so that we’ve devoured the entire bag. They’re all gone. Sorry, friends, I know you probably wanted to try these. Prince Edward Island, if this is how you guys make scalloped potatoes, you are totally doing it right.
THE VERDICT: All of these were leagues better than the fucking Gyro chips the USA got. My personal ranking, from worst to best, goes Butter Chicken –> Montreal Smoked Meat –> Cowboy BBQ Beans –> P.E.I. Scalloped Potatoes. None of these are necessarily “bad,” though! If you have a chance to try them, definitely do.
There is, however, another…
I had seen murmurs on the internet that Lay’s was bringing All Dressed Ruffles to the US for a limited time, and aboot (heh) a week ago I found them at my local Quick Chek. All Dressed is apparently Canada’s favorite potato chip, and nobody really knows what flavor “All Dressed” is.
Let me tell you something: Canada, you’ve outdone yourselves. These are the best potato chips I have EVER eaten. They’re sweet, they’re smoky, they’re sour, they’re just…delicious. The only flavors I’ve been able to pick out have been paprika, vinegar, and almost like a light barbecue sauce. They are incredible and I just really don’t want the US to send them back. Write in, call your senator, whatever – I want these to stay! Forget all the Canadian Do Us A Flavours, go for these. I’ve seen them at Quick Chek and Walgreens so far, check with your local corner stores! They’re not here for long.
So what’s next for Tattooed Trilobite? Well, hopefully I’ll have a few posts on some conventions and faires I’ve visited recently, Canadian Correspondent A. is providing me with some chocolate from the Great White North, and somewhere festering in the background are some My Little Pony Petites that are begging to be photographed. Stay tuned!