On Crisps

As you might have guessed, this post is about crisps. As I talked about Italian food in my most recent post, I thought I’d counterbalance with a couple of words on one of the most British-est of the snack foods.
I had already learnt that crisps is a staple in the English diet back when I was twelve, during my very first holiday exchange in the picturesque town of Paignton, Devon, and where my host family, a lovely old woman with an evil cat, used to pack our lunch every morning including a buttered sandwich (you guys are weird!), some chocolate fingers and a mini bag of crisps.
Supermarkets’ meal deals don’t let you escape without a bag of crisps, like “there you go, you got your sandwich, your drink and your crisps, now you have a nutritious meal”.

Picking one single packet among all those flavours requires titanic effort! We do have flavoured crisps in Italy, but the UK has taken this to a whole new level! Here are just some of the types of crisps you can find in the paradise that is a British crisps aisle.

  • Cheddar and onion: in Italy we make cheese crisps. In Britain they add onion, because the stronger it smells, the better it tastes.
  • Salt and vinegar: that’s the kind of crisps that I keep on eating, trying to understand if I like them or not and in the meantime I get an ulcer in my mouth because of how acidic they are!
  • Sweet chilli: brilliant, brilliant idea, although their red can look quite chemical and, at the end of the day, they are just spicy potatoes.
  • Salt and black pepper: my absolute favourite. Interestingly enough, I had other Italians agreeing with me and confirming the theory that we might prefer simple flavours.
  • Veggie Crisps: the healthy options, made from beetroot, parsnip and something else: no! One is bitter, one is tasteless, one is so useless that I don’t even remember what it is. Just no!
  • Lightly salted: the classic choice, usually more than “lightly salted” and ready to give you so much love, if only you cared!
lightly salted heart shaped crisps in Victoria Park, London
Very loving heart-shaped lightly salted crisps!

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