Saturday, 17 December 2016

Weird & Wonderful Crisp Flavours: What Have Other People Had to Say?

Quite a lot of people (and webpages) have their own ideas about what constitutes a weird flavour from a crispy snack. It all depends where you come from, and who you are writing for.

Take this article from BBC America31 Wacky and Weird Flavors of British Potato Crisps. Speaking (writing) as a Brit I'm quite offended by this selection. I can only suppose it was written for an American readership, and OK, I thought a few of these choices were a bit unusual, but the reluctant taste testers and I have tried many of these crisps and I don't think we thought they were wacky. Or particularly weird either.

What's so odd about Worcester Sauce and Sundried Tomato crisps from Tyrrell's? I haven't tried that one, but I have tried at least four different Worcester Sauce flavoured crispy snacks, and one popcorn. I think they were all pretty tasty. Even delicious. This popcorn was certainly pretty good.
And the Kent Crisps. Roast Beef & Spitfire Ale, not tremendously unusual I would think, Oyster & Vinegar more so, but these crisps are made in Kent and people eat oysters in Kent; in fact they actively go to Kent to eat oysters so an oyster flavoured crisp seems like a natural progression. But wacky and weird? The reluctant taste testers and I have tried all the Kent Crisps flavour we could get our hands on. I don't think these two flavours were our favourites but I also don't think any of us would describe them as wacky. Maybe Americans won't know about Worcester Sauce, but if they are travelling to Europe perhaps they won't mind trying something new?
And seriously Walkers Prawn Cocktail? That's a really common flavour, been going for years, and no-one in the UK thinks it's at all weird. Look, the reluctant taste testers and I tried this posh version from Marks & Spencer.
I guess this article was aimed at Americans but hey, there are loads of wacky and weird flavours of crisps available in the United States, Canada too.

Here's another article, slightly more recent and from The Daily Mirror: British Crisp Flavours are Baffling Tourists Because The Are Too Fancy. Are they indeed? Well, you might say, so what? I never heard of anyone coming to the UK specially to try our crisps, but if they did, maybe they'd like to try something unusual rather than the same old crisp flavours that have been around since the 1960s.

Guess what? I've tried crisps from France and Switzerland that seemed a bit weird. Lots of crispy snacks from Israel too. They have flavours you just can't get in the UK - or not made by UK manufacturers.

So what is The Mirror writing about? Kettle Chips Chef's Signature Gressingham Duck, Plum Sauce & Spring Onion. Now that's a flavour I looked for but failed to find. I really wanted to try this crisp because it sounded so interesting. The article describes the flavour as "barely believable". Really? But even Tesco has sold Hoisin Duck crisps. And Tesco (a huge supermarket chain) can hardly be described as niche.
What else qualifies as a barely believable flavour? Here we are, Kettle Chips Chef's Signature Yorkshire Wensleydale and Cox Apple Chutney. Definitely sounds worth trying. I'm sorry I never spotted this flavour on the supermarket shelves. Does it really sound so bonkers?

All this froth from the Mirror was inspired by a Reddit post from bink_uk who posted that British crisp flavours are out of control, it seems he (she?) worries that crisps are now "a whole food experience". Well, yes, regular readers of this blog will know that has been the case for some time. But you can still find perfectly ordinary flavours of crisp. The complicated flavours are much harder to find than the simple ones.

Here's a post from AVclub.com way back in 2009: Cajun Squirrel Potato Chips, Chilli and Chocolate Chips and more.... This writer doesn't get the Walkers crisps on offer at all (he doesn't get British spelling either but that's another story). And he offers his workmates the chance to comment on all six Do Us a Flavour flavours of the day. I don't think they're that impressed!

I am not going to complain too much because that's how the reluctant tatse testers and I carry on. But it seems that people who decide to write a blog called something like "This is My Blog And it's About Crisps" (not a bad title actually - why didn't I think of that?) tend to be a whole lot more positive about slightly wacky crisp flavours than those who look around for something they find weird or annoying.

And to illustrate that, here are some thoughts from Boredpanda.com. There are some very interesting crisps on this post including Lay's Cappuccino which I thought were horrible! But Bored Panda seems interested in trying new flavours which makes a big difference. Some of the choices sound really good... some of them not so much. But you know, if you really don't like your weird crispy snack you don't actually have to finish the packet.

You don't have to buy a packet in the first place.

And if you would like to read more about crisp flavours you could do worse than check out Taquitos.net (the crunchiest site on the interweb) which features many many reviews of many many crispy snacks. They don't say much, but what they do say is full of interest. If you are at all interested it's well worth taking a look.
I guess what I'm trying to say is don't step back in horror when you see a fancy new crisp flavour. Maybe give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised and go back for more.

And how ever much you don't like it.... for goodness sake... it's only a packet of crisps not the end of the world!

2 comments :

  1. I'm in the US and I'm completely jealous of all of the flavors that you have there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in the UK and completely jealous of the flavours you have there! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the Atlantic?

      Delete

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