Shanghai is filled with fusion foods geared towards the local palate with some proving appetizing, while others are pants-crappingly terrifying. Throughout this Halloween season, we’re trying the most hyped (okay, hyped by laowai) Frankenfoods to see if they taste as scary as people claim.
Lay’s has some quirky creations, but few inspire dread like the “chip”acabra known as Fun Wasabi Shrimp Flavor chips; crisps flavored like shrimp, wasabi, and cheese.
The bag itself looks terrifying: shrimp and cheese writhing together in a Satanic orgy while an evil Jabba-the-Hut-looking lump of wasabi looks on. Carmina Burana – O Fortuna should play every time you spot it in the snack aisle. However after trying it, I can say, somewhat disappointedly, that it doesn’t taste nearly as horrifying as it sounds.
I had a hard time making out the shrimp and cheese; which seem to boil down to the same dusting of MSG, yellow 24, and esther gum that coats the Cheese Lobster variety. However, the wasabi surfaced after a few chews, singing my sinuses with its grassy heat. It really tasted like they used a shark’s skin paddle to grate the real deal onto the chips – or at least used the green-dyed horseradish substitute. But I gradually went on autopilot, unconsciously snatching and crunching handfuls until the bag was empty.
Overall, Lay’s Fun Wasabi chips reminded me of a horror flick your friends hype the hell out of, but turns out to be simply cheap, cheesy, convoluted, and not the least bit scary. They’re neither tasty nor repulsive enough to really recommend.
You can find Lay’s Fun Wasabi Flavor at Tesco and Carrefour for 5-7RMB.
See a complete list of our Freaky Frankenfoods series here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].