Screenshot: Lay’s

Picture this: me, a snooty food critic who only speaks English in a French accent, although I don’t actually speak French. Think scary guy from Ratatouille, that’s me. The weight of the culinary world rests on my stooping shoulders. I am here, at this candlelit table, to review the eight new chip flavors that Lay’s just announced.

A cowering Lay’s executive puts a plate of chips in front of me. I snort under my breath, and he runs away, whimpering. I take a single chip in my spindly fingers, and bring it to my mouth.

As soon as the flavor dust hits my tongue, my pupils dilate. I rush through time, transported. Back, back, back to my mother’s kitchen where I stuffed chips into my mouth by the handful. “Yes!” I whisper under my breath. “This is... perfection.”

When we first saw the list of Lay’s new chip flavors, my colleagues had some discerning questions. “How can you make a chip taste specifically like deep dish pizza, as opposed to just regular pizza?” they asked. “Isn’t pickle-flavored anything enough? Why add ranch?” “Do we really need a chip that tastes like room-temperature lobster and mayonnaise?”

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But not me. I know the power of the flavor dust. Hand me a 13 oz. bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime and I will happily burn my own tastebuds off for hours. At least a child, having touched a hot stove, knows to keep his fingers away. Me? I return again and again to the Crunch XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with gleeful abandon.

How many hours, days have I spent hunched over a screen, goblin-like, shoveling chips into my mouth? It must be millennia, for I am ageless. How many varieties of potato-adjacent matter have I tried? Countless, and I remember the distinct crumb coating of each one, covering my fingers in a thick layer of delicious grime.

So welcome, I say to these eight new bastions of modern snack-dom. Come one, come all. Thai Sweet Chili? Yes, of course. Cajun Spice? Why not. Deep Dish Pizza inspired by Giordano’s TM? I’ll take it.

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I’ll take it all.