The new flavor beat out Everything Bagel and Fried Green Tomato submissions.

Devon Walsh
October 11, 2017

This summer, three potato chip flavors underwent the judgment of discerning American tastebuds in the 2017 Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest. And today, Texan Ellen Sarem took home $1 million for her Crispy Taco iteration. Lay's fans across the country voted on the chip company’s website, Twitter, and Instagram to determine the winner. Sarem’s flavor, which includes fresh lettuce, tomato, and cheese was apparently the tastiest. Sarem drew inspiration for Crispy Taco while trying to whip up something special for her fiance and says will celebrate her victory with a family vacation while also putting aside some of her winnings for her young son.

The runners-up, Lindsay Hoffman who conceived of Lay’s Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese and Gregory Pope who got creative with Lay’s Wavy Fried Green Tomato, aren’t faring so bad either. They will both take home $50,000. The stakes were high and these flavors beat out submissions like Avocado Toast, Smoked Gouda and Honey, Ravioli, and Sloppy Joe’s.

We’re not really surprised about the results. When we tasted Cripsy Taco this summer, members of the Food & Wine staff found the experience to be “like eating taco meat. Not a bad thing.” We “would eat again, definitely.”

We were more divided with regard to the other two submissions. We found Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese to taste “like a dirty chip,” and thought that getting poppy seeds in our teeth to be “not worth it.” While another said “I like the pepperiness and crunch added from being kettle chips. Would definitely buy for a party.” Meanwhile, the Wavy Fried Green Tomato was “zesty and a little sweet,” but also “vaguely-flavored” and “miss[ed] the mark.”

In the past, the contest, which originated in 2012, has yielded flavors that include Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and Tikka Masala.