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Macon roots feed man’s quest to bring Southern flavor to Lay’s potato chips

Greg Pope, originally from Macon, is drumming up votes for his Lay’s “Wavy Fried Green Tomato” potato chip flavor on his Facebook page.
Greg Pope, originally from Macon, is drumming up votes for his Lay’s “Wavy Fried Green Tomato” potato chip flavor on his Facebook page.

Gregory Pope remembers his granddad’s garden and the bounty it brought each summer.

After visiting, Pope’s father would leave with a sack full of plump, green tomatoes.

Long before they would ripen to a rich red, they were sliced up, seasoned and fried on the stove until a crisp, golden brown.

They were a staple for Pope’s family dinners and gatherings.

The 34-year-old Macon native, who now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, entered the Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” competition searching for the newest potato chip variety to compete with tried-and-true barbecue and sour cream and onion.

“Fried green tomatoes always bring back good childhood memories of being around a lot of family,” Pope said in a video pitch for the contest.

Last week, Pope announced on Facebook that his “Wavy Fried Green Tomato” is a finalist in the national competition that appears to be pitting some regional tastes against one another.

Lindsay Hoffman, of Palm City, Florida, proposes a kettle-cooked “Everything bagel with cream cheese” flavor.

From San Antonio, Ellen Sarem thinks Lay’s should market her “Crispy Taco” flavor.

The three met last weekend in New York.

Voting is already underway, and the new flavored chips are expected to reach stores by the end of the month.

Fans can only vote once daily at lays.com.

Pope is hoping others can relate to his fried green tomato memories and help him claim the $1 million prize.

“So America, you will love the fried green tomato chip. It’s the perfect comfort food for your whole family,” Pope said in the video. “And it’s fried green tomatoes. What’s not to love?”

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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