Sunday, August 24, 2008

British cuisine in an easy open packet

It amuses me when those American new to these shores are somehow amazed by the vast array of different flavoured crisps (potato chips) in this country. Beyond the fairly normal cheese and onion, salt and vinegar, and even the slightly poncey cracked black pepper and sea salt, there's a wide selection of the unusually flavoured snack food items. Roast Chicken, Worcester sauce (yes, we know it was Worcestershire Sauce), Tomato and Basil, Thai Sweet Chilli, Chinese Five Spice, caramelised onion and mature cheddar, duck and orange - to name but a few. And there are other snack stuffs, too, like the potato based(?) extruded product Hula Hoops - which has a very popular ketchup and bacon flavor. (I'm guessing that's nasty.)

That's not counting the limited edition crisps that Walkers - the market leader - come out with occasionally such as Scampi and lemon, brie and cranberry, lamb and mint, Port and Stilton. Those were all apparently part of a Christmas promotion. Mmmm - nothing says Yuletide fun like the family gathering around a glimmering, oddly flavoured packet of crisps.

Walkers current promotion is called "Do us a flavour" - a contest where you can come up with your own wacky flaves, send them in (along with a picture of your inspiration) and you and five other semi-finalists can see your bizarre creations on the shelves.

We currently have a visitor in our house who is probably more into the junk food than we are and our rather tame suggestions included:

Me: Sweet and sour chicken
Visitor: Been done
Vol-in-Law: Szechuan chicken
Visitor: Been done.

And the conversation died there.

But I've been racking my brain. There is a flavour I'd like to see produced, but I'm going to hold my fire and actually enter it. Realistically, it's probably too tame. But pulling from the array of classic British dishes there might be some potential. How about...

  • Jellied eel
  • Jugged hare (hare meat is served in a sauce of its blood mixed with port)
  • Squab pie
  • Brawn (when the first step in the recipe is "cut the cheeks and ears off the pig's head", the rest of the instructions for jellied pigs head isn't worth reading)
  • Bath chaps (pig cheeks in bread crumbs - I guess that's what you do on the 2nd day after you've eat the brawn)
  • Laver bread (mmm....seaweed and oats)
  • Bedfordshire Clanger (scrag end of mutton with kidneys and fruit - does scrag end mean what I think it means?)
Think I have a winner there? Yummy, yummy - this potato chip tastes of scrag. It tastes of scrag and I like it.

(I'm going to kick myself if I see these on the shelves.)


jen said...

whilst i do enjoy the variety, i admit that i'm not a fan of meat-flavoured crisps.

also: it irritates me that you often have to buy multipacks, when really you just want a big giant bag of crisps.

ketchup crisps are yum. as are the cranberry and brie ones. but if i want a roasted chicken, i'll just eat a roasted chicken.

Anonymous said...

Expand your culinary palate
catfish and hush puppies
pate de foi gras
beans and cornbread
salted octopus
Phillie cheese

and the ever in demand haggis

genderist said...

I don't know about jellied eel, but eel tempura is my favorite sushi -- and in my imagination I can taste it like a chip.

although if there was a "cornbread dressing" flavor, The Hater would probably buy stock in it...

Vol Abroad said...

oh hell yeah, cornbread dressing flavor.