Next to chips, crisps are the greatest human invention. Well next to pies, burritos, beer, tea, hamburgers, and meatballs they are the greatest human endeavour. Invented out of spite due to a belligerent customer by George Crum in 1853. Thanks George.
As have many people, we all have a favourite flavour. My sister is a fan of the Cheese and Onion whilst my youngest offspring is all about the Roast Chicken.
They are forgetting the most wondrous flavour on the planet…
I used to be a big fan of Salt and Vinegar, but just a bag of loverly salted crisps does it for me. Some of the best are Walkers. They used to be horrible in the 80’s and 90’s due to them being greasy and bubbly – if that’s the right word, they had bubbles on the surface of them. Nowadays they are sublime. Not greasy, smooth and crispy these potato creations are salted just enough you can taste it, but not too much that you need a gallon of water afterwards.
I have tried a variety of the de-rigeur style, handmade, and the only one that tickles my fancy – and comes close to Walkers – are Tesco Finest Hand Cooked Lightly Salted Crisps pictured above. They come in a mahoosive bag, always a bonus, and buck the trend for handmades, in as much as they are crispy not crunchy. The clues in the name, don’t make em crunchy – they’re crisps. A slight downside is they can be a little greasy occasionally.
Then we come to Pipers. Pipers crisps are made up the road in Elsham, North Lincolnshire, and are what can only be described as a niche brand as they are steadfastly not sold in any of the big supermarkets. They are however, found all over in corner shops, pubs, cafes, and farmers markets.
Their Anglesey Sea Salt crisps are glorious. In fact I’d probably go as far as saying they are a little better than Walkers to be honest. They are definitely saltier than Walkers, but in a good way – the salt is tastier more rounded. They’re potatoes are local and that’s a good thing because we know how to grow veg here in Lincolnshire. Cooked to perfection, crisps as they should be. A bonus – however silly – Walkers 32.5g (formerly 34.5g), Pipers 40g, can’t complain at that, can we?
The trouble with other flavours is sugar. Ready Salted have three ingredients:- Potato, Oil, Salt. That’s it. All other varieties, including Salt and Vinegar, have sugar in them. Every single one. Why? All I can taste is the sugar, There is no need for it, especially when you consider adding Vinegar would suffice.
Snacks, such as Quavers, Snaps, Space Raiders, Discos, Nik Naks, Wheat Chrunchies, and Hula Hoops all have their place and can be enjoyed in quantity by your author but for a proper bag of processed potato based savoury goodness, Pipers Ready Salted Crisps win.
Then there is Doritos/Nachos but that’s whole other story.