During this past Ramadan, I was at Sultan Center (Souq Sharq) sniffing around for some late-night snackage. Despite all the Skittles, Haribo Worms, and all the other candy and chocolates (haulage here, here, here, and here) I actually prefer savory snacks over sweet snacks. Sure, I’ll crave something sugary (to eat) from time to time, but I’m always always always craving something savory (preferably salty or sour or both) especially Potato Chips (my all-time fave is Lay’s Salt and Vinegar Wavy Chips, reviewed here). As such, I was in the Potato Chips aisle when I noticed all these Forno Baked Potato Chips by the brand Lay’s.
Firrin in Arabic literally translates to oven. Based on that, I’m assuming Forno means oven in Italian. So… Oven Baked Potato Chips and Forno is just meant to make it sound more
pretentious gourmet (which it succeeds in doing). Anyways, these “Forno” Baked Potato Chips were available in a handful of different flavors. There was Authentic Cheese (which didn’t excite me too much), Labneh & Mint (which sounded intriguing… if not for the mint. I don’t do mint), Black Pepper, (which was a potential purchase… up until I noticed the next one), Lemon & Black Pepper (we have a winner!).
The Lemon & Black Pepper flavor was right up my alley! The Lemon ensured it would be sufficiently tart while the Black Pepper meant it would have a slight kick to it. The taste lived up to my expectations and more! It was salty and tangy (almost similar to Lay’s Salt & Vinegar but with a twist) and ever-so-slightly spicy! It might not appeal to everyone (my entire family straight up hated the taste) but I absolutely loved it!
The texture was a surprise because I wasn’t quite expecting it to remind me so much of the Tortilla Chips that they used to both make and sell at Sultan Center (home-brand). Sadly, they stopped making those ages ago. I believe they used to provide those to the other Sultan Center (sea-side restaurant) as an appetizer as well, and might even still do… but don’t quote me on that. Anyways, these didn’t taste the same as those but they had very similar texture, is all I’m trying to say.
I only picked two small bags but didn’t get a chance to try them out until much, much later. As soon as I did, I was absolutely obsessed! Not wanting to miss out on these forever (y’know how they like to discontinue stuff all willy-nilly), I made my way back to Sultan Center and bought (no joke) TWENTY-FOUR small bags of Lay’s Forno Lemon & Black Pepper Baked Potato Chips! People were staring at me like I was crazy because I was literally hauling these by the handful into my shopping cart but I didn’t care. I was a woman on a mission. The fact that I even had the presence of mind to grab a shopping cart proves it. Usually I just skip the cart because I’m convinced I’ll only get one or two things… but then end up with a lot more… precariously piled on top of each… hugged to my chest… until one of the many people that work there, eventually takes pity on me and grabs me the nearest cart for me (literally, every. single. time.) so I could dump all that stuff in. I was set on Lemon & Black Pepper for a good looong while (it helps that nobody I knew liked them).
Once I ran out, I made my way back to Sultan Center (Souq Sharq) but couldn’t find them anymore! I asked around and stuff but not only were they out of stock but nobody could tell me if they were bringing them back or if the Lemon & Black Pepper had been “Limited Edition”. I was absolutely devastated because these were my new favorites! Not to be deterred, I made a quick visit to another Sultan Center (Salmiya) and found the stuff… in a larger size! I was ecstatic… up until I got back home and tried them out. Unlike the smaller-sized bags which tasted… fresh, these larger-sized bags tasted stale! Grrr, why does the quality differ, from size to size?!?! Between that and the fact that I’d previously been binging on the smaller ones, I’m kinda’ sick of these Forno Lemon & Black Pepper Baked Potato Chips… for now.