Friday, April 24, 2009

THE GREAT CRISPY POTATO-CHIP FACE-OFF...
...obviously the biggest thing to hit Britain since Guy Fawkes Day!
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'Guy Fawkes day' commemorates the life and times of Mr. Fawkes, who tried to bomb the Houses of Parliament in England quite some time ago, and he failed miserably. His bomb was a dud. But the British, from what I've read, actually observe a "Guy Fawkes" day. Anyway, a British potato-chip maker, 'Walkers'', has currently unleashed six Radically Different Flavors that you'd never expect to find on a potato-chip. (Called "Crisps" across the pond.) Well, I recently received a box of goodies ('scrummies'), which included these Most Bizarre Potato Chips I've ever tasted. Now, I'm no food critic, although I've eaten my share of gut-rotting, bad-for-you, polyunsaturated-fat laden Potato Residue over the years. I haven't eaten 'em in years, but for this, I decided to dust off my taste-buds and sort all this out. Let's see, I should have some Maalox around here somewhere...oh, my poor stomach...
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Anyhow, I have tried to systematically, coldly, and logically, evaluate these Really Weird Potato Chips in a Formatted Scenario:
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*THE BOLD PRINT indicates the flavor...
*The light italics actually quotes the backs of the bags,
*and this Regular Old Type details my reaction.

What more could you want, other than maybe a Pint or a Gallon of something to wash them down with...? Anyway, here's my ratings, and you're welcome to them...
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1. BUILDERS' BREAKFAST flavor: "Combining the mouth-watering flavours of bacon, buttered toast, eggs and tomato sauce, there's Mortar Emma's Crisps than Meets The Eye! (From Emma in Belper, who came up with this flavour blend.)"
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Light and Crispy, but fairly bizarre nontheless. My mouth began watering for that seductive tang sensation from Barbecue Chips, only something went wrong, and all of the flavour fell flat, sorta like the 'butter' from the toast melted and dripped into the frying pan, after the eggs were fried. The resulting grease would've tasted a lot like These Potato Chips...ack ack aaack...
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2. CHILLI & CHOCOLATE flavour: (Yes, 'Chilli' is indeed spelt with 2 L's on the bag.) "Catherine in High Wyncombe evidently created this concoction, which is described on the bag as "Spicy Heat with a Dark Cocoa kick! Sounds crazy, but is so TASTY! What more do you want from a bag of crisps?"
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They're crunchy, they're spicy...but what's going on here? If this is the flavour of Chilli, then it's the Chilli that's burned from being on the stove too long, but not wanting to be wasteful, you scraped the chilli shavings from the bottom of the pot, and that's what these chips taste like. Burned 'something' with a crunch. Almost like eating hot roofing shingles...I say 'hot' roofing singles, 'cos these weird chips burned my tongue. I've been thinking about these chips and the lasting impression they left on my taste buds, and I've come to one conclusion...If I was forced to eat Flaming Charcoal, I wouldn't be surprised if it tasted like these Chilli and Chocolate crisps. When I ate these, the first thing that came to mind was the planet Venus, where it's over 700 degrees (F) on the surface, where it rains Sulfuric Acid. Ack.
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Walkers' Chilli and Chocolate Crisps. Eat 'em at your own risk...they're HARSH!


3. CAJUN SQUIRREL flavor: "Martyn in Hednesford's taste for the exotic led him to come up with this mild Cajun Flavour!" (From what I can tell, no squirrels were harmed in the making of this Crisp...)
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Though I used to live in Idaho, I've never tasted squirrel, so I've got nothing to compare these chips to. The flavor is subtle, even delicate, without the greasy-goooey taste of the Builders' Breakfast variety I wrote about above. In fact, there is almost no flavour to this variety at all, other than a weak sort-of-vinegar taste...and you know we all can never get enough vinegar in our diets...

I felt I had to include a photo of the 'Cajun Squirrel' crisps because like me, you probably didn't know such a flavor could exist in the wide, wonderful realm of snack food.

4. CRISPY DUCK & HOISON flavor: Vicky in Northwich's sweet & tangy sensation could lead to a new Chinese Proverb, "Man with bag of Walkers' Crispy Duck and Hoison flavor crisps has many hungry friends!"

First of all, that's "Hoison", not "Poison". "Hoisin" is a sauce that is liberally sprinkled on Chicken served in 'Chinky Restaurants', or so I was told by the British Lady who sent me these Crisps. Do I detect the taste of Pineapple here? This is, so far, the best flavour I've had the opportunity to sample. It's light, airy, breezy, although I'm not too sure how I react to the words "Duck and Hoisin" when they're on a Potato Chip Bag...

5. FISH AND CHIPS flavor: With millions of us enjoying this national favourite, "Jane in Sheffield" knew that Fish and Chips flavour crisps with a vinegary hint would be sure to catch on!

These chips DO taste like fish with lemon squeezed over it (or immersed in Tartar Sauce), like you'd find in a fish basket at your local Seafood Restaurant. How did they do that? This is a case where the British have brought it all together; to wit: They've grafted the flavour of 'Fish and Chips' on to what We in the States call Potato Chips, which are actually called "Crisps" over there. So this is a case (bear with me here) of a British 'Crisp' flavour actually being transferred to what we'd call Potato Chips. So, I've just eaten a bag of 'Fish and Chips' Chips. What the British call chips are actually what we'd call French Fries. So maybe it's possible to go to England and order "Curly Chips", the same way we order Curly Fries over here? Okay, I'm waaay too confused to continue this...

6. ONION BHAJI flavor: Carole in Durham is confident that her favourite, mildly-spicy, curry-house accompaniment can bhaji its way into the lead and tikka all of the nation's boxes! (What are these Brits on about, anyway? Bhaji? Tikka? Huh? We're still speaking English, aren't we...?)

This flavor actually comes close to the 'Regular Flavor' "Doritos" chips are sold Here In The States. You can tell I'm a dedicated chip-eater, huh? I know almost all the Potato and Other Chip flavors by heart. (For the British, "Doritos" are Tortilla Chips...excuse me, Tortilla CRISPS...) Anyway, these Onion Bhaji chips are very good; spicy without burning your tongue off (see "Chilli and Chocolate" crisps, above...) However, I think we're far ahead of the British in this regard..."Funyuns", which have been out for years in the States, capture the taste of Onions, and each Funyun 'Chip' (Crisp?) is actually shaped like a Fried Onion Ring.

IN CONCLUSION HERE, I purposely sampled the most Drastic flavors a couple of days ago, leaving the more 'conventional' flavors for today. The six flavours discussed here are supposed to be Voted On via text message by May 1st, and only One of these Flavours will Continue to be offered to the public on an ongoing basis. I'm kinda thinking the 'Chilli and Chocolate' crisps ain't gonna be the winner...But, when I consider that George W. Bush was elected as President of our great nation, not once but TWICE, I guess anything's possible...

All that's left now, is to determine The Worst Flavor of Potato Chip (Crisp) Ever Made. I've narrowed it down to two choices...the "Chilli and Chocolate" chips, which I still find undescribably vicious to taste buds everywhere, and the taste of the crisps in this next bag...

7: MARMITE CRISPS...ulp...Can there really BE such a thing? Oh my gosh. I haven't had a chance to sample these (tasty?) morsels, so I can't really make an Informed Judgment, but when has that ever stopped me...

I recently tasted Marmite for the first time...Marmite itself is a sticky, dark gooey blend of Yeast Extract, Yeast Extract and More Yeast Extract. The little container I've got is 8g. That's 8 Grams. And it tastes, well, Awful. (I've just re-sampled it to make sure...) It's like Castor Oil On Steroids. A case where consuming 8 grams of something is akin to taking a bite out of the typical Grease Trap in a restaurant. So what would a Marmite-flavored 'Crisp' taste like? Certainly no worse than the 'Chilli and Chocolate' variety, right? I've got an idea...let's get a container, throw in some Marmite Crisps together with some Chilli and Chocolate crisps, and launch the sealed container like a hand grenade...maybe it'll explode upon impact? BOOM!!! By the way, The Marmite Crisps are evidently a mainstay item in Jolly Olde England, and as such, are not a 'contestant' in the Great Crisp Contest. So they don't count.

The Marmite Breadsticks I sampled recently weren't bad; perhaps the same holds true for the Marmite Crisps. If you ever find a container of sticky, gooey Marmite, and you don't like its taste, don't fret...you can always use it for Spackle!

3 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

ROTFLMRSSO!!!!!!!! you doodles and your bland tastebud HAHAHAhahaha

To dam funny.... we must have about 60-70 flavours altogether including some american packets of crisps.... even curry crisps and tomatoe ketchup crisps and baked bean flavour....

Shaking me head, and there was I thinking that America rules the world....... :)

x

1:36 AM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Marmee, my taste buds must be bland. I love Mexican food, but I can only "do" the very mildest hot sauce. As to your other point, if it was mine to be done, I'd let you Brits rule the world for a while, you can't mess it up any worse than we have. Finally...If you ever eat Chee-tos...there's a 'baked' version as well as a 'fried' version...the 'baked' being more like Cheese Puffs...you will become instantly addicted to them. Beware!!!

1:13 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Actually Guy Fawkes Day (traditionally called Bonfire Night and still called that by many) is to celebrate the Houses of Parliament NOT being blown up.

And the image of Guy Fawkes that some people make? He gets thrown on a fire - seems like celebrating murder to me (the real Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament got hanged).

http://www.bonfirenight.net/bonfire.php

P.S. I don't care if British people use the wrong word too, it's BRITONS, not BRITS!

7:45 AM  

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