Book and Snack Pairing: Corner Store Chips

My plan for this Book and Snack Pairing post series is to taste snacks (two new and one old favorite) and pair them with romances (two recent first time reads and one old favorite). The romances reflect my reading habits, so they tend contemporary, and are a mix of pairings. I am marking the ones with no sex with ***.

(As a general heads up, this post discusses food in detail.)

Of course, with any tasting project, we all bring our own specificity to it. In my case, some relevant things for this post:

  • I’m autistic, so texture and mouthfeel are very important to me, and I am super sensitized sensorily due to autistic burnout, so intense flavors are likely more intense and often overwhelming for me.
  • I don’t generally enjoy things with a lot of heat, for a bunch of reasons. Some of which are about my health conditions, some are about my personal taste and experience of that kind of intense flavor, and some are about culture. (I was raised by a Midwestern white Jewish parent who mostly flavored things with salt, pepper, and garlic, and that has impacted my palate.)

This post is focused on chips!

I decided to pick potato chips I found at my local corner store, ones that likely had an intense flavor with just a bit of kick, because that’s what I was in the mood for.

New-to-Me Snack #1

Why did I pick this snack?

Lays Limon

I have liked lime tortilla chips, and generally like lime things, so why not try Lay’s Limón potato chips? I wanted to see what these were like. Would they have that dusting of lime powder that I was used to? Would the texture work with the flavor? Could a regular Lays chip be hearty enough to carry the power of citrus?

The taste experience?

They mostly smell like regular Lays chips…faint potato, grease and salt. I generally don’t like Lays. Though on occasion they hit the spot when I want fried. These look like regular Lays. They have similar lime experience of citrus tang, compared to the lime tortilla chips I’ve tried. And, its not surprising that they have the usual Lays rather weak crunch. These are milder than the lime chips I have had. They still really feel like fake savory lime though, with that lime powder I’m used to. The aftertaste really lingers.


I would not get these again. Not for me in flavor and I generally want more crunch; plus I really needed to work to get rid of that aftertaste.

What book would I pair it with?

AgainAgain by Mary Calmes

This is the perfect example of a not-for-me book, complete with an aftertaste that I was not into, from the domineering love interest. This is a classic secret baby category romance from the 80s, with a couple alterations: a m/m couple with a surrogate pregnancy, and a lot more (not very consensual) heat. It was very much not for me, but if you read those romances and wished there were queer versions, this might hit the spot.

(Rep: Gay MCs. Latinx author.)

New-to-Me Snack #2

Ruffles queso

Why did I pick this snack?

I like queso dip, like cheesy things in general including chips. I find Ruffles to have a satisfying crunch. I’ve been wanting to try Ruffles Queso cheese potato chips for a while.

The taste experience?

They smell very fake cheesy. They look like cheesey chips but with black flecks. Very good crunch. They taste a lot like the Ruffles cheddar and sour cream chips, but have a very slight kick. Most of the kick is in the after taste. I actually like them better than the cheddar and sour cream Ruffles. The flavor is cheesier and the tiny bit of kick makes it a better fake cheese experience. They took the cheese and added to it, made it bolder.


I would definitely get these again. They are my new fave cheesy potato chip experience. They don’t beat out Cheese Doodles or Nacho Cheese Doritos in cheesy chips overall but they are pretty great.

What book would I pair it with?

hints of spiceHints of Spice by Christina C. Jones.

I really enjoyed this m/f contemporary romance. I read this series backwards, and this may be my favorite of the three books, which are centered around three siblings who run a landscaping business together. This has a single mom heroine who stripped to put herself through school and is now a counselor at a community center. Her mom was over the top bold in a way that seriously cracked me up and helped make this reading experiences especially enjoyable. I liked that while other people in the story may have had issues with her sex work history, the hero had none, and the heroine was proud of her skills and that she found a good job that made it possible for her put herself through school and pay off her debts. Jones never fails to bring the humor or the heat, and this book has both, and a lovely amount of sweetness as well.

(Rep: Black former sex worker heroine. Black hero. Black woman author.)

Old Fave Snack

Kettle Backyard Barbeque

Why did I pick this snack?

Kettle Backyard Barbeque chips are an old fave, and its been a while since I had them, so this was the perfect excuse. Plus, after trying the Kettle brand Jalapeño chips last week, I was in the mood to try a Kettle brand chip I knew I really liked.

The taste experience?

They smell like potatoes and smoke. They bring superior crunch. And deliver a really smokey BBQ flavor with just a hint of sweet and a slight kick. I love BBQ in many guises and BBQ chips are one of those things I pick to suit my mood instead of having just one fave BBQ chip. This is one of my faves. I like the Lays Kettle Mesquite BBQ chips too, and the Lays regular BBQ chips when I want a lot of sweetness.


Yes these definitely still belong as one of my fave BBQ chips, and hit the spot on a hot day. They are a reliable BBQ chip I like quite a lot.

What book would I pair it with?

small changeSmall Change by Roan Parrish!

I adore the prickly angry heroine Ginger, and enjoyed this contemporary m/f romance just as much on my third read as I did the first two times. It’s a solid win every time for me, full of characters I love, the kind of angst that gives me so many feels, a deep and abiding queerness, and a hero who adores the queer heroine as much as I do and brings her delicious sandwich surprises.

(Rep: Queer heroine that I read as neuroatypical. Trans and queer secondary characters.)

Relevant Reviews

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