Since I have been a little behind on my potato chip research, I decided to double up this afternoon. I thought I would also provide everyone a little glimpse behind the curtain to the large scale operation that is potato chip research in Cyprus. The main thing is to approach it employing a “scientifical” method avoiding any of the techniques of the softer social sciences or god forbid, the humanities. This is science, people!
Anyway, I also conduct potato chip research in the middle of the afternoon, so I am neither too hungry and looking forward to dinner, or too full from my midday repast. Too close to either lunch or the evening meal could “skew” (notice the correct use of scientifical jargon) the results, which could then lead to issues with my funding agencies. The only thing that I make use of during my double blind, peer-reviewed research is water. Plain water, purchased from the store. BUT, and this is critical, not just any water purchased from the store. Research has shown consistently that the best water for potato chip research is square water, which in Cyprus is Ayios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas). The square water molecule is more neutral flavored than a circular water molecule, allowing it to be a more effect palate cleanser. If I need to, I will diagram this in a future post to help the less scientifically inclined of you (historians, classicists, mathematicians, physicists, etc.) understand the cutting edge technology being employed in my research.
So, first up today. Lay’s Taste of Mediterranean Classic, with 100% Olive Oil. As I am sure all of you remember, the Lay’s Taste of Mediterranean flavors have scored well so far. And…..this was no different. The chips were crunchy and flavorful. A well-crafted chip. I liked the flavor, the crunchiness, and the slight olive oil taste to them was enjoyable. While I do personally prefer flavored chips, for a plain chip this is a solid contender. I score it a – ********(8). Now that I have tried all three of Lay’s Taste of Mediterranean, or all of the ones available at the local grocery store, I have to say that they are a good go to chip.
Contender 2 – Crunchips Barbecue Flavour manufactured by Lorenz. The bag is what attracted me to this chip. It has chips around a small grill on which rests two kebobs or kebabs depending on you preference. Upon closer inspection I realized that the kebobs consisted of alternating slices of potato (maybe a russet) and something else that I first thought was a slice of meat, but now I am not sure. It looks more like red pepper slice. In checking the ingredient list, it does have paprika flavoring, so maybe it is a red pepper slice. We are fortunate to have an unpaid intern with us this summer (Bill) who is considering a career change from history to the food sciences. Unfortunately, all he could say was that he did not know what was pictured, and expressed no interest in researching this further. I think he might be stuck in his current field since he doesn’t seem to have that scientifical drive to conduct complicated research.
Anyway, I tasted the chip and…..my first taste was barbecue, but it quickly became a “flat barbecue” taste – that is never good. As someone raised in the south, my DNA has literally been modified to provide superior knowledge and tasting skills concerning both “real barbecue” (pulled pork) and “pseudo-barbecue” (all other forms of barbecue) to use their technical terms. As a result, to me these chips tasted like flat barbecue – no depth of flavor, just a quick hint of barbecue that quickly becomes a little bitter in the mouth. So, I give it a – ***(3). A disappointment, even the superior square water qualities of Saint Nicholas had a hard time cleansing the palate.