From the moment I opened my first bag of Lays Flamin’ Hot chips, I did a decision double-take. The peppers depicted on the front of the bag are likely not a joke, and I’m looking down into a sea of chips covered in red, with barely any plain beige chip peeking through. I’ve had some fairly hot chips in the past few months, so I didn’t back down from the challenge.

Two chips started my taste test, and from the start, they had a little bit of sweetness to them. A few seconds into chewing them, the spice kicked in, but it wasn’t overwhelming. There was a little tingle that drifted upwards into my sinuses, but not as intensely as some medium-spice chicken wings.

Before I ate a few more chips I thought about picking up my drink, but I decided that for this round, that wasn’t necessary.  After having a small handful, however, my entire mouth is feeling the heat. Because I’m dedicated to determining how hot these chips are, I made the sacrifice and held off on the drink and waited to see how long the heat would remain.

After each subsequent chip grab, I did have to wipe my hands on a napkin, and they definitely left a trail of red. I wouldn’t call it too much of an annoyance, but you certainly wouldn’t want any of those spices to get into your eyes, or you’d regret it.

As I continue to analyze the chips, I can definitely say that this spice is very similar (if not identical) to that of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (or whatever their variation is called).

A third bunch of chips are consumed, still no soda needed. Right after the fourth group, my instincts kicked in and I calmed the heat. The flavor was good enough that after I finished my sip, I instinctively grabbed another bunch of chips, and this time the flavor was coming through better than the past couple munchings, likely because the heat was masking it on subsequentmunchings after appreciating it on first taste.

Fans of hot food probably won’t think these chips are as hot as they might want it, but they’ll probably enjoy it.  Spice rookies or those who can’t handle the heat are going to want a drink prepared, because they probably won’t make it as long as I did without liquid extinguishment.