I may not have many skills in life, but one thing I have honed over my 23 years of existence is a delicate palate for PB&J sandwiches. They’re one of the only things I know inside and out. One of the few things I truly understand. By proxy, I’ve also become dangerously knowledgeable about potato chips. I know the history, I know the facts, I can guess the nutritional information in a serving size down to 20 kcals. As a result, I can say with 100% certainty that Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips are objectively the pinnacle of the potato chip art form, and I will fight anyone that says otherwise. Reasons why they are good:
They salty as fuck
They crunchy as hell
They’re thick as shit
They taste really really good
You could put a bowl of Tim’s out at a motherfucking barbecue on the fourth of July and no one would bat an eye, that’s how good they are. And I know what you’re thinking in your whiny little voice “but Taylor, what about Kettle Brand Potato Chips?” To that, I say SHUT THE FUCK UP. Kettle Chips fell the fuck off. Aside from Sea Salt and Salt & Pepper they are the chip embodiment of trying too hard. Maple and Bacon? Gimmie a fucking break. They tried too hard to diversify and diluted their entire brand in the process. You know how many SKU’s Tims has? Fucking FOUR: Original, Sea Salt, Sour Cream, and Jalapeño. Stick with what you know guys, don’t try to put bacon in my potato chip.
As a quick aside, you may have noticed that I’m not talking about anything besides kettle chips, and that’s because I’m a chip racist. Everything besides kettle chips are less than. Lays are cheap, Pringles are a joke, and Cheetos are for children. So in case you’re wondering when I’ll bring up your “favorite chip” I won’t and you’re wrong.
Now onto the main event: within the last five years, big dog Lays had swung their weight around and elbowed their way into the Kettle game providing a much-needed shake-up to the industry. Since 2011 they’ve been doing surprisingly serviceable work, walking a fine line between just enough flavor variations and just the right quality. As a mega-corporation they obviously fall prey to many of the same pitfalls as Kettle, trying to diversify and even encouraging fans to think of wacky flavors but luckily their Kettle line has remained relatively pure. In 2014 Lays released a lattice cut variety within their Kettle Chip line and betrayed any bit of faith I had in them up until that point.
These chips are awful. There’s so much wasted potential: the lattice cut represents an ideal delivery system, allowing for salt and flavoring to sneak between the cracks and into the holes of the chip. It could have been perfect, but instead, we got an overly-crunchy and under-salted piece of absolute fuckshit. These chips are like eating sandpaper. Stiff sandpaper. It’s like having your mouth crammed full of tree bark and being told it’s birthday cake. They shred the inside of your mouth and don’t even reward you for your food-inflicted mutilation. It would almost be worth it if (after bearing through the horrific chewing experience) you were hit with a wave of salty goodness…or even flavor, but there is none to speak of. And sure, Tims are crunchy, but at least they don’t hurt to eat. These Lays commit the worst sin by being unpleasant to eat and unsatisfying to taste.
Lattice cut Lays are an abomination. They have slandered the good name of the kettle chip category and don’t even deserve to be called a snack food. These chips aren’t worth the recycled plastic they’re packaged in. They have no respect for the potato chip game. If Lays think that they can just waltz into this category and shit out whatever their team comes up with, THINK AGAIN. I won’t stand for this, and I won’t go down without a fight. Kettle chips are America’s pastime, and I won’t let you slander their good name. This is about more than chips, this is about freedom. About purity. Tim’s is fighting for wholesomeness, they stand for something. Stand for something, Lays. Make the world a better place. Don’t take the easy way out.