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1,001 Chip Flavors Made Simple

The world of potato chips (or crisps for you foreigners) is crazy and unpredictable.  Many a website has put up an hilarious picture gallery of unusual flavors from around the world (including us, maybe I’ll link it here maybe I won’t.  Try to click and see if I did).  But at the end of the day, there’s only so much to be done with powder on a fried potato and we’ve all had at least one kind of chip that tasted absolutely nothing like that the package said.  So, to simplify things, here’s basically ever chip flavor ever, condensed for your approval.

Salty Meat

Examples: BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, Bacon,  Ballpark frank, that squirrel flavor

The Gist:  No meat-flavored chip has ever really tasted like meat.  Sometimes bacon ones get close, but only insofar as the flavor of bacon is also kind of added to bacon rather than being a natural part of the meat.  Most meat flavored chips taste like salt and MSG with a hint of smoke or something like Worcestershire sauce.  The more complicated the supposed flavor, like that ballpark frank one, the more likely it is to taste like hot sick.


Examples: Salt and vinegar, All dressed, anything with “tangy” in the name

The Gist: Powdered acid, usually citric or malic or just acetic acid which is what makes vinegar vinegar, is slathered all over the chips to give it that sour kick in the chops that burns the skin in your mouth off if you’re foolish enough to eat the whole bag.  The appeal here is mild pain, kind of why people like sour candy.  It’s basically the same stuff, only with a crunchy, salty potato instead of gum.  Yay!


Examples: Sour cream and cheddar, sour cream and onion, sour cream and bacon, anything labeled “creamy.”

The Gist:  Powdered cheese was invented in the 1960s by Dr. Arthur J Cheeto.  It’s been pretty popular ever since and finds its way into all manner of chips.  Later, people refined powdered milk and other dairy products as a way to add fatty goodness to any dried food, like chips.  The rest is history.  It all tastes mostly like whatever else it was flavored with, plus fat.


Examples: Dill pickle, ketchup, harvest vegetable, sweet onion

The Gist: Oh look, harvest vegetable, that must mean this is healthy.  Pfft.


Examples: Flaming Hot, Mexican Pepper, anything with fire on the bag

The Gist:  Red chili pepper or some other terrible pepper is dried, ground up and liberally sprinkled on your chip.  Eating it then gives you an ulcer or diarrhea.



Examples:  Irish Stew, Cajun Squirrel, Haggis, Paella, chili squid

The Gist:  These are all silly ass flavors that never taste like the thing they claim to be and also never have an appetizing qualities to them whatsoever, but they exist and someone must be eating them, it’s just that no one knows why.  These flavors mostly seem like a joke.

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