Fellow GuysNation contributor J-Day (who is involved in a lot more GuysNation-related activity than his authorship credits would suggest) knew that one of my focuses for GuysNation snack reviews was on “hot” foods, so for this past WrestleMania he went above and beyond the call of duty in trying to find items to review.  Not only do I appreciate his efforts, I was psyched to try the Lays Kettle Cooked Spicy Cayenne & Cheese chips he bought, because the name sounded like something I would enjoy.

Boy was I wrong.

There was a definite cheddar flavor in the Spicy Cayenne & Cheese chips.  It was subtle for the most part, which is good because sometimes an overwhelming cheese flavor can take a decent snack and make it go very bad.

The spice is where things fall apart.  Namely the fact that there was no spice.

If you’ve ever put Cayenne pepper on things, you either:

  1. like things really spicy
  2. you use it sparingly

When I saw that Lays not only indicated that these chips were supposed to be spicy, but they indicated which peppers specifically were involved, I was impressed and intrigued and excited, but for all I know they totally forgot that ingredient in the batch from which this particular bag came.

If you’re thinking that maybe I just really like spicy foods and I’ve become desensitized, you’re wrong.  I’m not one of those guys who would ever go to a wing place and order the hottest option.  In fact, I don’t recall that I’ve ever ordered the “HOT” option (and in most serious wing places, that’s only halfway up the scale).

I confirmed with two other people that these chips just didn’t have any noticeable spicy-ness to them, and so for that reason, these chips fail.

Sure, the Kettle Cooked attribute was good.  Sure, the cheese flavor was what it should be.  Would these be a decent option if they didn’t include “Spicy Cayenne” in the name?  No doubt about it, but the problem is that when Lays picked the name for the flavor of these chips, they included those words and they put them prominently in front to draw customers, so that’s what we’re reviewing it on.  If Kettle Cooked chips with cheese flavor is what you’re looking for, look elsewhere, as there are other, better options.

As an interesting note, it’s possible that Lays already knows of their failure.  Their website lists dozens of varieties of chips they currently sell… and the Spicy Cayenne & Cheese option is not amongst the list of Kettle Cooked chips.  If you’re hoping to try these chips in order to refute or confirm my findings, you’ll probably want to seek them out soon, because I have a feeling that the only ones which will hit shelves are the ones that are already there.