Can You Guess What Makes These Chips Taste Like Fried Eggs?
"They’re definitely yolky”
I just ate a potato chip that tasted like a fried egg. I’m serious, my teeth were crunching on a potato chip, like they have many times, but my brain was saying cool, this is runny egg yolk. This isn’t a new mashup at a food-porn-hungry restaurant, but in fact an actual product made by Quillo, a Spain-based potato chip company.
I found the fried egg chips during a stroll down the aisle of my local Westside Market in Manhattan, and had to buy them. I was skeptical, sure, but also too intrigued to just walk on by.
I kept them on my desk at work for a few weeks, and then just decided to rip them open. I passed them around to the Extra Crispy team, to which I was met with the same reaction: everyone’s brain was wondering what the hell was going on. Everyone made a confused face at first, then seemed pleased. A few even reached for a second chip (myself included).
“They’re definitely yolky,” said Senior Food and Drink Editor Kat Kinsman. I felt like I got a lot of egg white flavor from the chips as well, which was honestly incredibly impressive.
I didn’t look at the ingredients closely until after tasting the first chip. I had a hunch that the egg flavor would be coming from kala namak, a black salt with a high sulfur content. Kala namak is often used to make non-eggy things smell and taste like eggs, like vegan scramble eggs. I was wrong. There was in fact a much more high tech combination of seasonings coating the chips.
The “flavor of egg,” as it was written on the list of ingredients, was made up of salt, dextrose (a corn-based sweetener,) anti-caking silicon dioxide (an additive used to prevent clumping), salt, yeast extract (extracted concentration of yeast cells), and monosodium L-glutamate. Also known as MSG, monosodium L-glutamate is likely the main contributor to the chips’ eggy flavor. Both yeast extract and MSG yield a savory, salty flavor more commonly known today as umami. So technically, even if you can’t find the Quillo chips at your local grocery store, you could mix up a bit of salt, nutritional yeast, and a bit of MSG and dust that delightful mixture over and potato chips.
Besides fried egg, Quillo makes a few other intriguing chip flavors, among them white truffle, lemon and pink pepper, and Spanish ham. Sadly, none of those were available at the grocery store.