05 March 2009

I still love crisps

Despite my protestations yesterday about feeling fat, I did very little to relieve the predicament to day by stumbling into the pub on the way home. A couple of pints should have done very little damage, particularly if my theory about beer being calorie neutral.

No, my downfall came, as it so often does, through the magic of crisps.

As I've mentioned before, I love crisps, as only an Englishman can. The Americans call them chips (wrong! chips come with fish you fuckwits!), and the rest of Europe (as in us and them, not as in America is part of Europe), call them variations on that too. Google 'crisps' and the top hit is this

Did you follow the link? Yes, it's sad but true, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned, when you look for crisps, all you get is potato chips. You ask for them anywhere, and what you get is a bag of ready salted crisps.

But if you ask for ready salted crisps in England, what you get is plain crisps.


Plain as in dull and ordinary. Because in the UK, oh lordy, we have fancy crisps. From the traditional Cheese and Onions, and Salt and Vinegars, we have all sorts of gourmet flavours, like Sweet Chilli, Salsa and Mesquite, Pickled onion.... the list goes on.

Our proud nations love of crisps, and exotic flavourings has led to Walkers launching six new flavours, proposed by the general public, with the most popular becoming a permanent flavour. And tonight, I saw my first selection of said bags, and in the interest of science decided it was probably a good idea to sample them for the rest of mankind.

The Robin Hood only stocked three of the six, so my plan was to have a bag there, and bring a couple home to test with mrs slippy.

First up, Builders Breakfast;

This was an easy first option, as Bill and I often talk food, and have several plans up out sleeves for creating wonderful gastronomic variations on the 'full English', which I shall not discuss here until I have patented the - but trust me, they will be fucking lush.
However, back to the crisps. The bag has a picture of a plate of Sausage, Bacon, Tomato, Egg, and Tomato Sauce on the front, yet the back claims it tastes of Bacon, Egg, Toast and Butter and Tomato Sauce. Where's the fucking sausage? Don't wave a sausage at me only to pull it back once I'm salivating! Opening the bag produces an aroma of Tomato Sauce crisps. Not tomato sauce. Tomato Sauce crisps (remember the old Wheat Crunchies? That smell).
They initially taste of Smokey Bacon Crisps. Again, not bacon. Not even smokey bacon, but Smokey Bacon crisps, which as any connoisseur will tell you, taste fuck all like actual bacon. Then the egg hits you. An acrid sulphurous taste at the back of the throat that tastes like someone has farted in it. And not just any someone, a builder who lives off Smokey Bacon crisps.

I ate them all, in the pursuit of knowledge, but suffice to say - not a good thing, and where the hell was the buttered toast in all of that?

As said, I was planning on getting the other two bags to take home, but Bill scuppered that by buying them and laying them open in my face. What could I do? So next up is...

Chocolate and Chili
We're led to believe that this is a 'good thing' as Mexican do it.. But does it belong in a bag of potato based beer accompaniments?


The bag smells vaguely of cheap chocolate, and that's the taste that you get when stick one in your mouth. Then an aftertaste of Tabasco sauce. There's no sweet zing, it just tastes weird. Take a crisp, dunk it in the cheapest hot chocolate drink you can find, wave a bottle of chili sauce near it, but not close enough for it to actually pick up any flavour, then eat it.

Then stop.

I couldn't be arsed to eat more than a few, and I love crisps. This cannot bode well...

Next Onion Bahji
The bag smells of onion bahjis, and nice ones at that. They taste like onion bahjis. Not cheese and onion (which again, tastes neither of cheese nor onion), or pickled onion, or some cheap curry imitation. These really do taste of onion bahjis. I think I'm in love. Or at the very least have food based crush.

Of the first three competitors, we have a very clear front runner,but still on the horizon, or hopefully Tescos, we still have;

Fish & Chips
Crispy Duck & Hoisin

My hopes are high for all three, and once I have procured them, I shall spread my recommendations, and organise that must be the most eagerly anticipated final of this year. We already have Onion Bahji as a deserved semi-finalist, but who will they play????????

I can't wait to find out.

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