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No, I’m sorry. I can’t get over the crisp business.
When I was a child, life was simple for the crisp-muncher. Red for ready salted, blue for salt and vinegar, green for cheese and onion, browny-red for smokey bacon, pink for prawn cocktail. Didn’t matter which company made your crisps – you knew exactly what you were getting.
I imagine that there had been a big meeting where Mr Smith of Smith’s Crisps, Mr Golden Wonder (presumably Stevie’s snack-orientated brother) and Mr Tudor got together and thrashed out a treaty. It probably took days of negotiating around the clock. Possibly Mr Golden Wonder suggested that orange was a more logical colour for cheese and onion? Maybe Mr Smith wanted a royal blue for ready salted, given the colour of the bag of salt in Salt & Shake? Probably, as is often the case in these situations, nobody was entirely happy with the outcome, but everybody got something they wanted. The point is that there was a crisp packet colour accord.
Then along came Mr Walker of Leicester, probably encouraged by Mrs Thatcher’s dismantling of the corporatism of the 1960s and 1970s, with his BLUE cheese and onion crisps and his GREEN salt and vinegar packets. How dare he? How bloody dare he? Yes, it’s all very well smashing the cartels, but what about the consumer?
We didn’t WANT that choice. When you’re rushing into a newsagent’s shop you don’t have time to read the flavours on the cardboard boxes with the perforated circular holes on the front. You just want to grab a colour-coded snack, fling coins at the shopkeeper, then leg it for your bus. It shouldn’t be Russian roulette, only with crisps.
Of course, Mr Walker was more successful than he could have dreamed, and he pretty much dominates the crisp field in the United Kingdom, with the result that the colour blue is now associated with cheese and onion and green with salt and vinegar. So when I picked up a blue packet of crisps, I think I was well within my rights to expect cheese and onion, and not the salt and vinegar with which I was confronted.
I apologise for my anger. As it happens, I like both cheese and onion AND salt and vinegar in pretty much equal measure. But there are people out there who have a strong preference and don’t have a voice. Perhaps illiterate people. I am speaking for them. Of course they won’t know I’m speaking for them as they are illiterate, but perhaps you could pass the message on.
Don’t get me started on Pringles. Purple for cheese and onion? What on earth were they thinking?
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The man who picked up a blue packet of crisps thinking
they were cheese and onion, only to discover upon opening the packet
that they were in fact salt and vinegar.

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Crisps that taste like the flavour on the packet:
Ready Salted
Salt and Vinegar
Salt and Black Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce
Pickled Onion

Crisps that taste about as far away from the flavour on the packet as it’s possible to go without involving NASA:
Smokey Bacon
Roast Chicken
Beef ‘n’ Onion
Cheese ‘n’ Onion
All the others.

Oh, vaulting ambition! Why must you tempt Walkers et al so?

If I were Walkers et al, I’d just have another look in my special kitchen cupboard, and pick another condiment/preserve. I’m not sure what’s left in there – perhaps soy sauce or strawberry jam? Cheeky swines.

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