I thought it would be fun to sample the hugely exploding world of flavored potato chips, but somebody beat me to it. Taquitos.net. "Serious about snacks."
Whew. Just as well. Thanks, whoever you are. (There are nine collaborators.)
But, jeez, have you noticed the proliferation? Thai ginger potato chips, Philly cheese steak potato chips, dill pickle potato chips, ketchup potato chips, fergodsake!!
(Actually, I think I'd like to try some of those pickle chips.)
That one Web site alone has reviewed over 900 potato chips.
Potato chips are singularly regional, as it turns out. Everyone has a favorite local chip maker. Golden Flake (Birmingham and other areas in the South). Tim's Cascade (Northwest, and — eh, why not? — Hawaii). Utz (Mid-Atlantic coast... and they make — oof — a crab-flavored chip; hope it's "she-crab").
So unless I run across some Lay's pickle-flavored chips, I'm out of luck, because all the other pickle-flavored chips (Taquitos has reviewed 32) seem to be outside my jurisdiction. Lay's, I think I can find. That is, if my local markets have decided to carry so much variety.
All those crazy flavors must drive the supermarkets nuts. (Ooh. Pardon the salted snack pun.) My local mini-market — actually a fabulous stand-alone bodega with an independent butcher, decent wines, commendable produce and the like — stocks a couple of flavors of Tim's (mm — wasabi) and who knows how many other brands. A bunch of Kettle flavors. I'll go count and get back to you.
Remember when you were a little kid and potato chips came in two flavors: Potato Chip and Barbecue? Barbecue was garishly sweet and largely to be avoided, except at sock hops, when nobody was looking. Certainly not something that mother would buy.
Cranky, being a few years older than me, grew up with two much simpler flavors: Potato Chip and Ruffle. Ruffle was new-fangled.
Well, these days we have too much choice.
Cranky recalls the time when visionaries hinted that meals of the future would be mere pills; just add a drop of water, and, voilà — turkey dinner.
Now, all you need is a bag of chips.
Just add beer.