Lay’s Mala Spicy Crisps 樂事麻辣薄輕脆

Taiwan isn’t exactly the place to find "mala" (spicy and numbing) food. It is a Sichuan thing. The packaging of this bag of crisps looked promising.

The ingredient list, however, did not. The ingredients listed are:

馬鈴薯、植物油、糖、食鹽、味精、醬油粉、麥芽糊精、水解植物蛋白、洋蔥粉、芝麻粉、豆瓣粉、大蒜粉、乳精粉、香辛料、香料、核苷酸、二氧化矽、辣椒紅、阿斯巴甜.

Or in English, that would be: potato, vegetable oil, sugar, table salt, MSG, soy sauce powder, maltodextrin, hydrolysed plant protein, onion powder, watercress powder, sesame powder, garlic powder, milk extract powder, spice fragrance, spice, nucleic acid, silica, chili pepper red, aspartame.

Besides the fact it isn’t completely vegan, it is also lacking 花椒 (Sichuan peppercorn), so I wondered how it would numb my mouth. It didn’t. It did manage to make my teeth feel like they were being devoured by acid, though that is not a characteristic of Sichuan cuisine. It is a sign of crappy ingredients, which this clearly has. At least they actually have some actual spiciness to them, unlike most so-called spicy potato crisps.

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