The Prose and Condiments of the American Sandwich
There are few things that can get me to stop into the grocery store on my way home from working a night shift, few things that can get me to pull off the road when home and my couch are so tantalizingly close. In fact, even in my most desperate hours of need for essential household items like paper towels and generic frosted shredded wheat cereal, I have historically been able to quell such needs until first thing the next day. And then I heard about Lay’s new Classic BLT potato chips. And then I found myself sprinting through Price Chopper at ten at night.
In case you’re wondering, yes, it’s National BLT Month, but let’s be honest, if you find yourself in a month ending in Y, H, L, E, T, or R, you are most likely in the midst of some kind of sandwich or sandwich-related celebratory season. I first got wind of the BLT chips here, where the good people of HuffPost Food told me that once over the initial shock of flavor authenticity, I wouldn’t “necessarily feel compelled to eat the whole bag.” Wrong. I ate the whole bag, though I did manage to make it last longer than the average bag of chips that enters my apartment, that average being roughly thirty minutes. But that’s because I had to take pictures of it.
I have always been a big fan of Lay’s, for a number of reasons. One, obviously, is that their chips are delicious, and there a several pretty interesting flavors to choose from, especially if you are pairing them with sandwiches. The Dill Pickle flavor comes to mind. Secondly, the Lay’s website features a product locator that allowed me to hone in on the bag of Classic BLT chips closest to my house. This was crucial. Because I really wanted the chips. You can try the locator for yourself here. People of Albany, our news stands and mini marts have come out in full force on this one, though only one local Price Chopper is listed so far. Luckily, it’s open twenty-four hours.
The best way I can think of to describe these chips is to say that they taste exactly like the BLTs my Dad makes each summer. The first flavor you get, upon palming a healthy handful in the general direction of your mouth, is bacon, smoky but not overly so. What follows is that familiar blend of warm, crunchy toast and the thick, rich flavor of mayo. The chip sort of finishes with whatever space is left for tangy tomato and what I guess you would call a hint of lettuce (thanks to the “Natural Lettuce Type Flavor” listed among the ingredients). Even a sandwich stuffed with lettuce really only tastes like a hint of lettuce anyway, especially when there’s bacon to contend with. So, the chip is perfect as a chip-sized replica of a much-loved sandwich.
In terms of pairing these chips with sandwiches, keep it simple. I ate some of my chips alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, and then half of a sub (yes, this is a typical day for me). The chips are fairly complex, and with a sandwich boasting several flavors (like my Italian mix sub) you risk losing out on the subtle ingenuity of these chips. So stick to the basics, and rest assured that as soon as this summer’s tomatoes are ripe and ready, I will be testing these chips alongside an actual BLT. That I will force my Dad to make for me.
Also, look at this chip clip I use: