South Jersey woman hopes wasabi ginger chips win her $1M prize

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 Meneko Spigner McBeth points to a billboard advertising her flavor in Lay's

Meneko Spigner McBeth points to a billboard advertising her flavor in Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger. (Image courtesy of Diane Bondareff/Invision for Frito-Lay/AP Images)

A Deptford, New Jersey woman is among four finalists in Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” contest, which asks snack food fans to submit their ideas for a new type of potato chip.

After missing the deadline for last year’s contest, Temple nurse Meneko Spigner McBeth seized on the opportunity to send in her idea, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, when she saw the company was holding the contest for a second time.

Lay’s selected her as a finalist, and invited her to taste the chip they engineered based on her submission.

“It’s actually not like the wasabi that you tend to think of when you go to a sushi restaurant, and you get that burning in your nose and your eyes,” she said. “It’s just a little tiny kick of heat when you put it in your mouth, and after that it’s smooth sailing.”

When McBeth was a child, she would watch her Japanese grandmother dress up handmade sushi rolls with the fiery green condiment.

“So when I got older I tried it and I loved it. And then when I started going to actual sushi restaurants, I tried the shaved ginger that they gave you on the side of your sushi platters. And I mixed all of it together and it was delicious.”

Lay’s is holding an event today at the Deptford Mall with free samples of all four flavors to mark the start of voting in the contest, which continues through October. In addition to bragging rights, the grand prize winner will get $1 million.

But the competition is stiff: Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger will be facing off against Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Wavy Mango Salsa, and Cappuccino.

McBeth says she’s confident that if the judges are going on flavor, she’s got this in the bag.

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