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:
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.