Thursday, September 03, 2009


Crisps are funny aren't they? Little pieces of potato flavoured with all manner of combinations - cheese and onion, salt and vinegar, Thai chicken, Worcester sauce, and so on. Why are they so popular? What is it about crisp that makes them so necessary for snacking or lunch boxes?

Frazzles: A classic from primary school. You knew it would be a good day if mum had put frazzles in your Action Man lunchbox. Tasted great (in that fake food way) and left you with a tangy zing on the lips, and incredibly greasy fingers. Wonderful.

Quavers: Named after a form of musical notation, quavers are great fun to eat if you 'follow' the shape around as you eat. Try it, you'll see what I mean. How do they make quavers anyway? To create those shapes I mean? Anyone know?

French Fries: Never sure about these. Very confusing. Crisps, which are made from potatos, being shaped to look like chips, which are made from potatos, but called French Fries, the American name for chips. American's call crisps "potato chips". So in America French Fries would be thought of as potato chip chip crisps. Right?

Monster Munch: Utterly vile yet they have the word monster in so forever popular.

McCoys: I've written about the stupid adverts before, but as a crisp they can't be beat. Plus they have become the pub choice of crisp which is as it should be. Big, tasty, manly - sit perfectly next to a pint of lager. And come in a bag which doesn't try and con you about the amount of crisps within by adding extra height, like some do, which is always empty space. Think of the money Walker et al could save if they produced bags that fitted the crisp - and it would be good for the environment too.

Hula Hoops: As above, they use small bags so you know how many you get. Great fun for putting on your fingers and pretending they're rings. Soggy HHs are the worst though.

Skips: Fizzy little critters these. Never understood the name. They don't skip, they look more like limpet shells than a skip, and eating them doesn't cause an uncontrollable urge to skip everywhere. I'd have called them Fizzles - then you could mix them with Frazzles and have Frizzle Frazzles.

Pringles: A crisp with ideas above its station: shaped in the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid these strangely moreish things are most often seen at special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, family get togethers and wakes because, while being reasonably priced, they have an air of pseudo-sophistication you can't get with crisps. I mean, you can't just put some cheese and onion crisps in a bowl at Christmas can you?

Nik Naks: At my secondary school we went from having a tuck shop (how quaint) to soulless, faceless vending machines. This did mean the sudden arrival of these new and mysterious crisps called “Nik Naks”. The teachers, clearly not knowing what they were either, priced them at 20p (I guess it was the teachers anyway). As such, they were a popular choice before even tasted. But, the fact was, they were delicious! Especially the Nice ‘n’ Spicy flavour - covered in some sort of 'dust' and nobbly all over. Trouble was, the teachers soon got wise to the popularity and put the price up every term by 5p. Must have been the economic teachers. On it rose, 25p, 30p then a jump to 40p. We were outraged. But by now I was on the verge of leaving the school and my pocket money was probably up to about £2 a week so I didn’t really care as much as I let on in front of everyone else.


geordie said...


Scarletti said...

Twiglets (bovril covered stick)
Tangy Toms

Phil said...

where's the salt and vinegar goodness of Squares or Disco's?

Five-Centres said...

I used to love Smith Savoury Vinegar, 2p a pack in 1972 from the school tuck shop. But they didn't last.

Now, I love Frazzles, Quavers, beef Monster Munch and if it's 'ordinary' crisps, then the ones that come unsalted. Or roast chicken from Walkers.

Simon said...

Ignoring the ridiculous concept of healthy crisps, I'm partial to M&S reduced fat Crinkles at the moment.

Back in the day it was Farmer Browns or nothing.

Siany said...

Squares were the best. I still buy them.