After I had my first bag (well, half a bag) of limited edition Lay’s Do Us A Flavor chips, I wasn’t about to stop there. I’m nothing if not a completionist. So even though every other flavor sounded like a terrible abomination–especially if they couldn’t master Truffle Fries–I stopped by the drugstore after work and bought New York Reuben, Greektown Gyro, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy to try.
Since New York Reuben sounded like the only option left with any promise, I decided to table it for later so I’d have something to look forward to and instead went with Greektown Gyro because it seemed the most mysterious. Where is Greektown? Is it even a real place? Or is Lay’s simply preying upon our American ignorance of geography and other people’s culture, hoping we’ll assume some tiny commune exists in New Jersey where everyone wears togas and shouts at their huge extended families, My Big Fat Greek Wedding-style?
A bit of basic googling reveals that, yes, the Lay’s potato chip company really DOES think you’re that stupid. There is no “Greektown USA,” so to get this particular flavor to fit into the restrictive framework of the “Tastes of America” aspect of this year’s contest, they had to create a place called Greektown from the scraps of our country’s collective apathy about anyone who doesn’t live down the block from us. Furthermore, the guy who came up with this flavor is from Witchita Falls, Texas, so he’s probably not coming from a place of deep experience with Greek culture. So remember all of that when you crack open a bag of these, you American ignoramus.
But how were the chips? Let’s find out.
Greektown Gyro Review
Smell: When I pulled this bag open, I was horrified to discover that these babies smelled even more pungent than the truffle fries, and I couldn’t even begin to describe what they actually smelled like. Just smell. When I forcibly waved the bag under my roommate’s nose, she described this particular reek as “a deli where nothing is fresh,” which seems closer to what a fictional “Greektown” gyro would probably actually smell like than I was expecting. Points for accuracy, Lay’s.
Look: Lay’s brings us another appearance slam dunk with these chips, which are a dark brown and have somehow been engineered to crinkle over to look like the actual folded bread that gyros come in, as pictured on the bag. If there’s anything they’ve nailed, it’s a certain visual artistry in their chips.
Taste: Just like with the smell, I wasn’t immediately able to describe what I was tasting. I picked up something a bit ranch-y, but they were definitely more like regular potato chips than the truffle fries flavor. My roommate refused to eat more than one, though I ended up eating the entire bag in one sitting.
Verdict: The flavor of these chips was less problematic than their texture, which, while making them look like cute little gyros, also gave the chips a stiff, stale mouthfeel that made the experience of eating the entire bag at dinnertime feel even more pathetic. Furthermore, the odd aftertaste hung in my mouth for hours, even after eating other palate-cleansing foods like leftover fruit salad and doughnut holes. I’d only recommend buying these if you want to further vague, unfulfilled stereotypes about Greeks or you’re sad enough to be willing to eat stale chips.
Post and photos by Bailey James.