CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Queen City man is a finalist in the running to win a million dollars with his flavor idea for Lay's newest potato chip.
Gregory Pope's fried green tomatoes flavor submission goes deeper than it's crispy, delicious exterior as it encompasses the idea of a perfect southern staple topped with family tradition.
"My granddad, he would grow a garden in his backyard. He wasn't a man of many words but when we would go over there he would take us out back and just light up," Pope said. "He would talk more, showing us his garden, showing us some of the things he was growing in his garden."
Of course, what's a garden without some delicious, plump tomatoes? Pope's granddad would always send Pope and his father off after a visit with a bag full of tomatoes.
"My dad would take them, prepare them, fry them and we'd have those fried green tomatoes for family dinners and family gatherings," Pope recalled.
Pope knows that his family is affiliated with the delicious southern staple as anybody who has spent time with the Pope's is well versed in their love of cooking and eating them.
So, when Pope heard of Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest, there was only one submission choice for him.
"Fried green tomatoes was the first thing that popped into my mind," Pope said. "I submitted it right after the contest started."
Weeks later, Pope found out his flavor had been selected for the top 10 finalists and was flown to New York City for the big announcement on NBC's Today Show. But once he arrived, Pope was surprised with the news that only the top three finalists had been flown to the big apple.
"I was thinking, 'Wow, I'm sure there were so many submissions,' so I was pretty honored that they chose my flavor and liked my story," Pope said.
Now, the newest Lay's flavor lies in the hands of America. The other two finalist flavors are everything bagel with cream cheese and crispy taco.
Pope just hopes that his flavor and story can bring other families together, just like fried green tomatoes has done for his family.
"The same flavor could mean a lot to somebody and their family as well," Pope said. "(It's) a little bit of homegrown, fried green tomatoes for everybody. All across America."
All three flavors hit stores nationwide July 30 but polls open for voting You can vote for the chip that's worthy of a million dollars until October 8 at Lays.com or by using the hashtags, #SweepstakesEntry and #VoteFriedGreenTomato or #VoteEverythingBagel or #VoteCrispyTaco on Twitter and Instagram.