Sunday, August 9, 2020

Kit Kat Countdown: Whole Green Tea Leaf

We’re halfway into the year-long Kit Kat Countdown and since we started back in March with a matcha green tea flavor we found it appropriate to sample the Whole Green Tea Leaf edition at this milestone moment. At the same ballfields Brian played shortstop at as a youth the boys eat an incredibly grassy-looking Kit Kat bar. Go green with the RtW team and knock these green tea goliaths out of the park!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Lay's Yogurt Soda, White Grape, & More Chips!

We're going international with some of the most bizarre flavors of Lay's (or any other!) chips I've ever encountered. When you're the kind of person for whom new or unique flavors of sundry food items is cause for celebration then you'll know the joy I felt finding these out in the wild. And by that I mean out on store shelves, not in the wild like a rain forest, although strangely I was wearing a safari hat that day.

I got these gems at CAM International Market. It's an Asian grocer that I've been frequenting for RtW fodder for over 15 years. If you look closely during the opening credits of the old RtW TV you can see me in its aisles holding a fish! How could I resist buying these? Yogurt. Soda. Yogurt Soda? And in chip form? I couldn't believe my eyes.

And White Grape Soda? Now they're just taunting us and challenging decency. We're talking about a beverage in chip form? We're mixing fruity with salty? We're out of our minds. Japan has always been one of the leaders in radical flavors and fun gimmicks when it comes to candy and snacks. They've further earned that reputation heartily when they ushered these into production and subsequently into our unsuspecting homes.

Mexican Chicken Tomato flavor

I had two revelations when trying these four bags of  Lay's. The first is that these, with the unlikely mouthful name of Mexican Chicken Tomato, are absolutely awesome. If you'd asked me previously what my favorite Lay's were I'd have said Chicken & Waffles (love that maple syrup-savory fried chicken hybrid) and Southern Biscuits & Gravy (pure nostalgia calling to mind my Dad's version of the dish). But now these are among the best Lay's I've ever tasted. Sure, the name is a head-scratcher, and if you look at the first picture way above and see the fuchsia colored bag, it's hard to discern what you're getting into with the halved tomato taking up the lots of real estate on the front. The flavor itself is sweet and tangy, I did see in its ingredients list soy sauce, which really adds to its uniqueness. These almost tastes like a housemade sweet and sour dipping sauce from a nice Thai restaurant. Incredible find.

White Grape Soda flavor

Things were about to get weirder. A lot weirder.

Tiffany handed out the goods. The first of two soda-flavored potato chips we were willfully ingesting. There's also the other little glaring fact: they were fruit-flavored! I'm trying to think if I've ever seen an apple, orange, pear, watermelon, plum, or peach potato chip on the market. And I don't mean chips made with healthier ingredients like veggie or banana chips; but instead legitimate potato chips with fruit flavoring. Nothing comes to mind. We couldn't wait any longer. Most of our foursome of taste testers myself included were feeling varying degrees of nervousness.

Let's let Tiffany's initial reaction, captured here in vivid detail, say it all.

In all my years of reviewing food randomness online these rank among the most outrageous things I've had the privilege of sampling.  Somehow, inexplicably, they've shrunk down the explosive zest of bubbly soda pop and jammed it into a potato chip. There's no other way to adequately explain it. These taste like a mouthful of seltzer water. I'm no food guru or chemist but there's something here that creates this unsettling sensation. I saw something in the ingredients list called sodium carbonate and suspect it may be the culprit but I could be way off. There's a sharp hint, almost acidic, of a vinegar-like grape flavor profile, but all we could talk about was how in the world these chips had the mouthfeel of drinking soda pop.

Deep Ridged Pepper Chicken flavor

I didn't get a lot of photographic evidence of our trials with this flavor. It was a last minute add-on purchase at the store, more out of curiosity, and ended up being the least distinct of the bunch. The chips themselves, ridges and all, were denser and had a dry, cardboard-like quality. The flavor itself wasn't bad, the bag promised fireworks with its image of broiled chili peppers and rotisserie chicken, but the end result was lackluster, made even more disappointing with the subpar chips that housed the seasonings. 

Yogurt Soda flavor

This was the one we were all justifiably antsy over. The idea of yogurt soda itself was borderline repulsive. Like Terror Toad levels of gross. They're two distinct things that until now we'd never thought coexisted. And then there's the whole other added element that we'd be experiencing this ungodly grouping in the form of a potato chip.

My crew did a smell test first and I recall Tiffany suggesting they smelled like Fruity Pebbles. We counted to 3 and all took a bite at the same time. Immediately after we were all making faces like Aargh. These tasted like spicy carbonated milk. Not spicy in the sense of heat but more like that sensation of really strong mint taking your breath away. They played rough with your tongue and even less gentle with your spirit. They were the executioner's guillotine and ended our fun jaunt into wacky Lay's with a suddenness.

Overall, this was a ton of fun. Super thankful for Japan bringing the bonkers snacks. Big shoutout to CAM International Market but please bring back the boba bubble tea! I urge you all to seek out odd edibles and partake in some fanciful feasting with friends or solo.