'We Try It' is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
Have you ever eaten Chongqing hot pot and thought: geez, I wish this meal came in an easy-to-eat, casual snack form that I could enjoy on the go? If you answered yes to this question, then we have some good news: Lay’s has a flavor inspired by Chongqing’s celebrated regional variety of huoguo.
Dubbed ‘Numb & Spicy Hot Pot Flavor’ by the creative geniuses at Lay’s (a literal translation of mala huoguo, the Chinese term for numbingly spicy hot pot from Sichuan and Chongqing), the chips deliver a flavor that is incredibly similar to its namesake. The zesty taste of Chongqing-style broth and the bite of Sichuan peppercorn are both easily recognizable in the chips.
Admittedly, Lay’s Numb & Spicy Hot Pot Flavor chips appear to have been around for awhile (in Hong Kong, anyway), but we only recently came across the chips in Guangzhou and said aloud, “What the hell, let's give these things a try!” Here are our thoughts:
The taste is true to name
As stated above, the Numb & Spicy Hot Pot Flavor potato chips are an impressive interpretation of the bold and invigorating taste one experiences when indulging in the fiery hell-broth that is Chongqing hot pot.
Hot, but not too hot
While Chongqing and Sichuan hot pot is generally unpalatable to those who dread unrelenting spiciness, we consider these Lay’s chips to be largely accessible – even for chip consumers who are unfond of heat. The chips do have a mild peppercorn kick, but it’s nothing compared to eating a cracker soaked in Tabasco sauce and wasabi because you lost an ill-advised drunken wager during a late-night round of Cards Against Humanity.
Maybe we’re the only ones, but aren’t crinkle-cut (or wavy-cut, or ruffled, or whatever the hell you call them where you are from) chips oh-so-much more desirable than plain, old, normal-cut potato chips? If you agree with us, you’ll be happy to learn that Lay’s Numb & Spicy Hot Pot Flavor are crinkle-cut, which (in our books, anyway) is kind of the icing on the cake – or should we say, the thinly-sliced meat in the pot!
For more 'We Try It,' click here.
[Images via Matthew Bossons, Wikipedia]