Review: Lay’s Korean Barbeque Potato Chips (Flavor Swap vs. Honey Barbecue); The Nosh Show Ep. 72: Cake My Day; & Sigh, Servers…You’re Killing Me

JFG Nation, you know how I know it’s a Monday? Because I woke up, the sun was shining, I was stoked to post about the first of the Flavor Swap varieties I tried, I logged in and….nothing. would not load. I clicked. I pushed. I clicked clicked clickedclickedclickedclickedclickedclicked. I reloaded. I logged out, rebooted, restarted. NOTHING. Time outs. I wanted to throw my computer threw the f*cking window.

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve had a hiccup like this. And it does seem like right now, almost 9:00pm on Monday night, the site seems to be running smoothly. But I am FRUSTRATED. Monday is my time to shine! AND YOU’RE KILLING ME STUPID SERVER WHY WON’T YOU LOG IN GAAAAAAAAH.

Sigh. Well, we’re back. I’m loading this post now, and it will stand as both Monday’s and Tuesday’s post. Thanks for being patient with me, JFG Nation.

Let’s shake it out….shake it out….shake it out….shake it out….shake it out….shake it out….shake it out….and start over. Hey look – EPISODE 72 OF THE NOSH SHOW IS HERE!

For you new arrivals, The Nosh Show is a podcast started by Marvo from The Impulsive Buy, featuring Ryan from GrubGrade, Dubba from On Second Scoop, and, of course, me, your friendly neighborhood JFG. Today marks the release of The Nosh Show, Episode 72: Cake My Day!

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This week, “we have conversations about Carrot Cake Hershey’s Kisses, Root Beer Pop-Tarts, non-dairy Ben & Jerry’s, and a few other new products. Also, Ryan and Marvo share their thoughts about Taco Bell’s much-hyped Quesalupa and we go on short tangents about Milky Way vs. Snickers and collecting packaging.” You can listen embedded here:

You can subscribe to The Nosh Show using various services: iTunesStitcherTuneInRSS.

Today’s junk food: Lay’s Korean Barbeque Potato Chips!!

Lay's Korean Barbeque Potato Chips

As I mentioned last week, Frito-Lay is done with the “Do US A Flavor” Contest (for now) and instead is hitting us with this Flavor Swap contest. And first up is Lay’s Honey Barbecue Potato Chips vs. Lay’s Korean Barbeque Potato Chips. LET’S DO THIS.

Lay's Korean Barbeque Potato Chips: The Money Shot

Lay’s Korean Barbeque Potato Chips: The Money Shot

Korean Barbeque, huh? I’ve eaten a lot of this – whether it be Bulgogi or Korean BBQ sauce right out of the bottle or Korean street tacos from Kogi BBQ in LA. You better come with, Lay’s, when it comes to Korean BBQ. Korean BBQ is bold, sweet, with lots of brown sugar and soy notes.

Lay’s chose to spell the BBQ in these Korean Barbeque Potato Chips with a Q, but the BBQ in the Honey Barbecue chips is spelled with a C. Why, Lay’s, why? #inconsistent

Since my bag was a 1 oz-er, I didn’t get any fun pictures on the front, but check this link out if you want to see more.



First, my run-down of the Lay’s Honey Barbecue chips – I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve had these. Opening the bag, I sniffed – not a strong smell. Popping some chips into my mouth, they tasted like traditional barbecue chips with a lot of sweetness. Not HONEY sweetness, per se, but definite sugary sweetness. Too much sweetness for me – I was not a fan. I like sweet BBQ sauce, but I definitely like this flavor profile better on corn chips, like the Fritos Twists corn chips. The flavor tasted weird on the potato chip. I expect Korean BBQ to trounce this.


I opened up this bag of Lay’s Korean Barbeque Potato Chips and sniffed…weird. Definite a sweet smoky aroma, like I was smelling a package of beef jerky. Not sure if that is good or bad. Popping a load of chips into my mouth, I got a load of liquid smoke – which is both good and bad. Bulgogi tends to have a smoky flavor associated with it because it usually comes to your table sizzling, or it gets grilled right in front of you. But outside of the heat, Bulgogi itself is not QUITE a smoke-infused flavor. It’s really just beefy, sweet, and full of soy flavor. So the smoke throws me a bit.

There was good soy flavor, as well as some brown sugar sweetness – my complaint is that they didn’t go FAR enough. Korean BBQ sauces, like I said before, are BOLD – the combo of bi bim bop, go ju chang, other Korean sauces is meant to club you over the head with flavor. This didn’t.

What this DID have was LOTS of deep beefy smoky flavor. I tend to like meat chips, so even if some think these taste weird, I liked them. But I didn’t get Korean BBQ – instead, I got the same type of beef flavor you might get from a Chinese beef and broccoli with a sweetness that is evocative of Korean BBQ (but not quite). Strangely, there were moments where this flavor reminded me a LOT of the Chicken and Waffles Lay’s flavor from a few years ago.

Not a huge fan of these, but I would pick them over the Honey Barbecue, which should go straight into the flavor graveyard.  I’d give Honey Barbecue a C, and these would get a B-.

PURCHASED AT: Walmart, Germantown, MD

COST: see this link

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 4 Comments

  1. Shorneys says:

    We tried the Korean Barbeque flavor last night. I liked it; my wife found it odd. I agree that I got some good soy flavor, lots of smoke, some sweetness too, and a good hit of that artificial ginger flavor that Lays used on the wasabi-ginger chips a few years back. But unlike you, I’m not attributing the sweetness to brown sugar. Instead, it tasted like an artificial fruit flavor, which might not be so inaccurate, given that traditional bulgogi is marinated in pureed Asian pear as a tenderizer.

    To me, the mingling of beefy, smoky, fruity, soy and ginger flavors added up to one thing – Chinese fruit-flavored beef jerky. My father eats this stuff by the ton, and I certainly enjoy it, but I am pretty sure that’s not what Lays was going for here.

  2. ibagoalie says:

    I just had these and I LOVE them!! I’m not a big fan of sweet chips, so most BBQ are too cloying. These were savory with just a tad of sweet. Really liked the smoky meatish taste.

  3. Irene says:

    They taste gross!! Such a strong meaty taste eeww like raw Korean meat with sacuce.

  4. Becky J. says:

    My husband hated the Korean BBQ, and I thought they were just okay. To the extent I got any real flavor at all (they were far too mildly flavored), I got lots of charcoal-y flavor, and a little bit of the other flavors mentioned in your review (soy, sweet, etc.). I was expecting much bolder flavor from a product that claims to be Korean BBQ flavor, and really I had expected to get some gochujang flavor for a bit of heat, but no.

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Marvo knows what's on shelves before anyone. ANYONE. Our trusty leader on The Nosh Show.

Ryan is the fast food guru. His soft dulcet tones will make you want to eat french fries, immediately.

Dubba is an ice cream wizard. He's got two spoons and he's not afraid to use them. Unless it's something spicy.

Chris is an IG god, and knows his stuff. Plus, he's from Maryland. What's not to like?