Sunday, March 01, 2009

More Potato Chips!

Is it possible for a blog to “Jump the Shark” twice? I'll leave the question as an exercise for philosophers, but on a more empirical level, here's a second update about Potato Chips in Shanghai. Potato Chips are still the most common snack found at just about every street corner in Shanghai. I can't say I'm a huge fan, but sometimes I'll get them, especially after I've found that my meal was just too small for me – it's an occupational hazard of being six and a half feet tall and living in China!

Blueberry Potato Chips:

Hats off to market leader Lay's: in the three years since my first Potato Chip update, they've managed to do a good job of keeping their best flavors and replacing the stranger ones – actually, Cucumber Potato Chips are the only holdover from the earlier update. However, they've introduced strange new sweet-flavored ones, Blueberry Potato chips are very common and do a surprisingly good job of matching two flavors that would seem to be impossible to match. I have never once ever seen a blueberry in mainland China, but recently it's a popular flavor for snack foods, chocolates, and the like.

There's also mango and lychee potato chips, I tried them out of curiosity. They're awful!

Sweet and Sour Tomato Ruffled Potato Chips:

Most potato chips in China are of the normal, sliced variety. The ruffles are a nice change, personally I think the texture is much better. Unfortunately their flavors suck – this one's just weird, they also have plain, which I find boring, and generally unappetizing beef & pork flavors.

Lime Potato Chips:

Shortly after my last update, Lay's discontinued Lemon flavor and replaced it with lime flavor, despite that Limes aren't generally available in China. It's a lot less sweet and a little more Sour, and is pretty good stuff. This is probably the most common flavor of Lay's Potato chip, anyway it's definitely my favorite. My second favorite is Cherry Tomato flavor.

Doritos D2 Corn Chips:

Corn chips! I like them more than potato. D2 chips used to be called “Nacho Cheese Flavor.” There's also D3 chips, which used to be called “Taco Flavor,” and aren't very good. I guess they got re-named after some marketing guru realized that somewhere around 100% of Chinese people have never eaten either Nacho Cheese or Tacos. Still, I don't really understand the names “D2” or “D3.” Why isn't there a “D1”?

Cheese Cheetos:

I haven't had these in years, let me say that the Chinese version here is pretty bad. It's just bland-cheese flavor, there's no tang. Unfortunately there's no “Spicy Nacho Cheese with Lime” flavor, I had a college roommate who loved that stuff. They also have “Beef” flavor, and “Brazilian Beef” flavor, very strange.

Cheetos are produced by the Dorito's company, which means there can be a little bit of searching to find them. Lay's are everywhere, but there’s also Doritos, Pringles, a Japanese brand called Oishi, and a Chinese brand that is really sorry.


Neesa said...

Hello! My brother just took a trip to China, and had told me about these strange potato chips! I am interested in trying them, but I can't seem to find a place online to order them... I was wondering if you knew how I could go about that? If you do, please let me know. My e-mail is

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Best way to try them is to have a friend in China mail them to you or date a flight attentdant on China airlines, the latter is the best option. Ted

Anonymous said...

My fav is the cucumber chips, they have a nice cool taste about them. If you head south to Thailand for a break make sure you try the Lays thai flavored chips. I think the last time I was there they had about 5 different off the wall flavors. Can't quite remember the names...Ted

Jeff Rutsch said...

Neesa: I'll guess it's impossible. When I lived in the Oakland, though, Chinese Groceries would stock these sorts of things - I liked the Grapefruit Soda and some other drinks from Schweppes, that had been imported from Hong Kong. You might have luck, especially with Chinese Pringles.

kdobson said...

I am pretty sure I saw blueberries at fruit shops last fall, right here in Shanghai. Come to think of it, they may just have been strawberries though...

Jeff Rutsch said...

Actually, there's a fruit juice stand inside the People's Square station, kind of at the juncture of the two arms, and I've seen they have blueberries. Not common, anyway.