These are exciting times for artisanal snacks. But our list today is focused on the intersection between awesome and available. I’m not going to spend a lot of time telling you about some amazing chip you would need a plane ticket to snack on–that would be the height of cruelty. No, I’m going to tell you about five fine potato chips you can probably be eating within five minutes (if you drive fast).
5 Lays Original
Lays Original. The go-to. The Old School. The potato chip in the yellow bag. This is your father’s potato chip, and you know what? Sometimes that’s OK. We went with a classic to anchor the list because the Lay’s Original is the standard against which all other potato chips are measured and, frankly, they’re delicious. Simple, sure. It’s salty, starchy, crunchy perfection, no curveballs, no surprises. You may not excite the diehard chip lovers of the world (oh, we’re out there) with this entry, but you know everyone respects the classic.
4 Utz Bar-B-Q chips
Utz Bar-B-Q chips. A finer, more readily-available barbeque flavored chip you shall not find! That little ruddy-cheeked Utz girl has been crunching away on their find snacks for more than 90 years now, so they much be doing something right! Never mind that it is not entirely clear when “barbeque” became a flavor rather than a cooking method and device (what’s next? “The taste of true Broil!”), and let’s focus on the fact that these tangy, salty, lightly spicy chips taste exactly like you want that flavor to taste.
3 Pringles Sour Cream and Onion Chips
Pringles Sour Cream and Onion Chips. Now, Pringles make a lot of great chips, and frankly we could have picked a different flavor and still given these guys the anchor spot. Why? Because they were the first ones to market chips in a tube. Why is that such a big deal? Put it this way: I could have been eating said Pringles and still typed this article without smearing greasy chip grease all over the keyboard. Pringles chips are also less likely to break in their packaging than traditionally bagged chips, so another feather in their caps! Now, they do lack a bit of that greasy flavor you want in a chip, so we have given them high but not highest honors. Oh, right, the flavor–their sour cream and onion chips taste good. There.
2 Baked Lays Orginal
Hoo boy… getting hungry? Well here’s a curveball to hold you over! Baked Lays Orginal chips. I’ll pause for a moment to let the indignation wash over me, and then move on. There now. OK, granted, the baked potato chip is still a relative newcomer to the field, and as such many of you are wary of them. Try some. Yes, they taste different than traditional. Oil fried potato chips. But they are delicious in their own right, salty, crunchy, potato-y. And they have (drumroll) 70 percent less fat and 20 percent fewer calories than traditional potato chips. Yeah, I know we said we weren’t so much worrying about that stuff, but c’mon–those are big numbers.
1 Kettle Chips Brand Cheddar & Beer
OK, our number one chip: Kettle Chips Brand Cheddar & Beer flavored potato chips. I don’t know if I can describe these chips without a stream of joyful expletives, so let me do the next best thing, and say that they are Mother Finding, Goldarn, Blow-Your-Shucking-Taste-Buds officially the Skit! Did that make any sense? OK try this: they are the best widely available potato chip I’ve ever had. All Kettle Chips are good, with their extra thick, gnarled and natural cuts of potato that just seem less processed and artificial. And this flavor? I mean, what goes best with potato chips? Cheese and beer? Check. So making a potato chip that is flavored with cheddar cheese and beer? Check… mate. Amazing.