Starch Madness: The Salty Sixteen Results

And then there were eight. In a contentious Salty Sixteen, we saw the fall of Baked Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream, the veritable Frankenstein’s monster of chips. Barbeque chips as a flavor were sent back to their smoky origins in Louisiana. With the defeat of Sun Chips Garden Salsa, we saw that America is still suspicious of Latinos. And with the fall of 1 seed Doritos Nacho Cheese, we learned that no chip is safe. We’re moving onto the Elite Ate, but first, an analysis of results below:

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1) Lays Original vs. 5) Lays Honey BBQ

Lays Original wins 22-8

Lays Original had its biblical moment during this matchup, as the great chip gods demanded the sacrificial offering of its prodigal son, Lays Honey BBQ.  But instead of an angel appearing to halt the sacrifice and explain it was a test of obedience, Lays just straight up murdered its own kind.  It wasn’t even close.  Lays should never have added honey to BBQ; the end result was a chip too sweet to compete.  To be fair, no one expected Honey Barbecue, the lieutenant to Lays BBQ’s general, would be the longest lasting BBQ chip.  Maybe we all need a little sweetening. (Editor’s Note: We don’t.) – SK

2) Kettle Chips Original vs. 6) Cape Cod Mesquite BBQ

Kettle Chips Original wins 21-8

First off, the qualifier “Mesquite” shouldn’t be in the Salty Sixteen, because no one really knows what it means.  Is it a very small mosquito?  Is it a Chinese sex position?  Is it a boxing technique for baby pandas?  The point is it sounds unfitting for a brutal battle to the death.  If you were a Roman Gladiator, you name would be something like “Brutalitops,” and not “Melissa.”  So man up, Mesquite, and change your name.  Suggestions: Samurai BBQ, Bloodlust BBQ, and “Yah Dun Know Shyt” BBQ. – SK

2) Pringles Original vs. 11) Sun Chips Garden Salsa

Pringles Original wins 18-12

Previous posts have discussed the wonderful flavor of Sun Chips Garden Salsa, so let’s talk about Pringles Original.  Yes, it’s a classic, and it has a unique shape and container.  But the taste?  Nothing to write home about.  Well, one time I actually did write home about some Pringles, but I was in a weird place at the time.  Anyway, the point is that Pringles, with their average taste and crunch, are pretty overrated.  My only rationale is that Pringles are popular mostly because you can use two of them to convincingly look like a duck.  Pringles may be moving on, but they’re facing a strong opponent in Ruffles Original in the next round.  Your days are numbered, weird mustachioed guy on the Pringles can. – RG

1) Doritos Nacho Cheese vs. 4) Ruffles Original

Ruffles Original wins 16-13

I am aware that it is not normal to dislike Doritos, but I do. I have never liked any Dorito flavor, try as I might, and I never will. I am happy about the Ruffles Original triumph; as a classic chip, it is a well-deserved win. Also, Doritos Nacho Cheese leaves a disgusting residue on your fingers, unlike Ruffles Original, which leaves barely any salt. – KS

2) Baked Lays Original vs. 3) Kettle BBQ

Baked Lays Original wins 18-9

There are haters. There are doubters. Those who cry flavorless cardboard have now been silenced, as Baked Lays Original continues knocking off quality chips left and right. Now they march on towards the guillotine that is Tostitos Original.  –SP

1) Tostitos Original vs. 4) Lays Sour Cream & Onion

Tostitos Original wins 17-10

When Lays SC&O and Tostitos faced off in an epic showdown it was a family (rd: Frito-Lay) matter. At first glance, it may have looked like a close competition, like the Cohens vs. Perelmans (minus the lawyers, plus canola oil syrup). How can Lays SC&O, deemed a “unique combination of great taste and good fun rolled into one great snack” ever lose? Especially when it has no gluten and is a good source of vitamin C (.041% of daily value)? Well, let’s look at what Frito-Lay says about Lays SC&O: it’s a combination of good taste (so that’s the sour cream) and good fun (is that the onion?). Have you ever really wanted to taste something really good? Probably. Has it ever ended up being dollop of Daisy? No. And if you wanted to have a really good time, would it involve onion, in any form? Maybe garlic…but onion? This is why Tostitos was the clear winner. If Tostitos was a person he’d be the life of the party, he’d dip low, he wouldn’t smell like onions and he’d get his fucking salsa on. That’s a fact. – JP

1) Doritos Cool Ranch vs. 4) Baked Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream

Doritos Cool Ranch wins 19-5

Doritos Cool Ranch beat Baked Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream. This wasn’t even a matchup. I honestly don’t know who would buy Baked Ruffles or even eat them if they were left out at a party that your aunt was throwing for your five-year-old nephew (I’ve been there). Doritos came in hot and left cool winning 19-5. – TT

2) Baked Lays BBQ vs. 3) Cape Cod Original

Cape Cod Original wins 19-11

I remember my first trip to the Cape Cod chip factory. I hoped to walk in and see Trot Nixon and the ghost of John Adams arguing about how a chip could taste “Boston”. Instead, I saw a portly mustachioed gentleman in hazmat suit picking green chips off of a conveyor belt. I tip my hat to you, green chip picker, for your efforts do not go unrecognized. Congratulations on your victory over a superior Baked Lays BBQ squad. – SP

Polls for the Elite Ate end on 3/26 at

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