Pringles, Lay’s Stax, Mister Potato, and More: How Do These Stackable Potato Snacks Stack Up?February 27, 2018
They’re crisp, habit-forming, and their hyperbolic paraboloid form make them easy to stack while minimizing the possibility of them breaking through transport. Reconstituted potato chips—snacks made with a dough of potato flour or flakes plus other flours, shaped back into chips before frying and seasoning—have a special place in the snack lovers’ arsenal, if only for how their one-of-a-kind texture, mild potato flavor (compared to regular potato chips due to their mixed-grain nature), and portable tub containers make for especially addictive snacking. Pringles, the OG of the bunch launched in the US in the late 60’s/early 70’s, continues to be a popular option. But with the many other brands now available on the market, how do they stack up?
Crunch: With its thin surface, Pringles stands out for its crisp bite. While they’re satisfyingly crunchy, they’re light and relatively delicate enough that you can stuff your mouth with one piece after the other. As the saying goes: “once you pop, you can’t stop.”
Flavor: You get the classic taste of fried potatoes, albeit in a less potent dose compared to straight-up potato chips. Pringles goes the minimalist route for the seasoning with what seems to be just salt accenting each chip, imparting a salty punch in distinct bursts and amplifying the potato flavor wonderfully.
Crunch: With Ligo, you get a much thicker chips and a bolder, more distinctive crunch. The chips border on feeling dense and cracker-like, with a dryness that makes it overwhelming to take more than one handful of chips at a time.
Flavor: The chips themselves are more neutral-tasting, delivering less of the fried, oily taste that Pringles carries. The seasoning is less salty and a tad sweet, with a peculiar taste we would best liken to that of Jack n’ Jill Roller Coaster snacks.
Crunch: Each chip from this Malaysian brand offers a thicker body, almost like Ligo’s though not as hard or dense. You get a more distinctive, resounding crunch compared to Pringles without being as dry as Ligo’s.
Flavor: Compared to Pringles, Mister Potato is less salty with a sweetish tinge, but an overall flat taste.
Lay’s Stax (Thai version)
Crunch: Lay’s take on the stackable potato snack, like Pringles (and l, errs more toward light and crisp than hard and crunchy—just with a touch more thickness. Interestingly though, it melts in the mouth faster, making it easy to go back for more pieces.
Flavor: Though pegged to be the “original” variant in the Thai Lay’s Stax line-up, you get a distinct seasoning that’s huge on beef-y, onion-y notes. Slightly sweet and full of umami, we’re reminded of the seasoning on Regent brand Snacku rice crackers.
Crunch: Farmland’s is also on the thick end, offering a good crunch that grinds against the teeth. It leaves a starchy residue on the tongue though—and this can leave your mouth parched when you’re stuffing yourself full of chips.
Flavor: Like Pringles, Farmland goes relatively minimal, mostly relying on salt to provide a savory punch. While the potato’s natural sweetness soon follows, the overall taste is less “potato-y” and more neutral than Pringles.
The Verdict: Pringles
For its potato-focused taste and stellar crispness that makes it hard to stop at one piece, Pringles gets the golden crown. Ligo, Mister Potato, and Farmland are great alternatives if you’re up for a crunchier bite, while Lay’s is a fine tub to take when you’re craving a variation from the salted potato flavor. These aren’t the safest to keep around the pantry if you’re prone to snaccidents, but they sure prove the tasty versatility of fried spuds.