Lay's Do Us A Flavor New England Lobster Roll potato chips. Credit: Emily Burnham

If you want an unvarnished opinion, you should ask a Mainer.

If you want an unvarnished opinion about lobster in particular, then you definitely should ask a Mainer.

When Lay’s Potato Chips announced that one of the eight limited-edition flavors for their annual “Do Us A Flavor” potato chip flavor contest in 2018 would be called “New England Lobster Roll,” the Bangor Daily News naturally decided to ask a few Mainers to try them and share their thoughts.

This year’s flavors are meant to represent eight different regions of the U.S., including Pimento Cheese for the Southeast, Chile Con Queso for Texas, the Southwest and Southern California, Fried Pickles with Ranch for the Midwest, and, of course, Lobster Roll for New England.

We shared a bag of the lobster roll chips — in stores everywhere this week — around Greater Bangor at three different businesses that specialize in lobster, as well as with our own staff here at the Bangor Daily News. Then we asked the tasters what they thought. And, as you might expect from Mainers, they told us the truth.

The overall sentiment? The chips are good, but they don’t taste anything like a lobster roll. What that taste actually is garnered varied response, though the most common comparisons were Old Bay Seasoning, butter, plain onion, or like sour cream and onion potato chips. Ironically, one of the other flavors for this year’s chips is Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice which, according to folks from the Baltimore area, is basically a clone of Old Bay Seasoning. Go figure.

We would love to hear from you, dear readers, about whether or not you think these chips taste like our beloved state crustacean — or if they’re just a weird blend of spices that have little in common with Maine’s iconic treat.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.