I recently spent time in England and France. During this time, I consumed a lot of chips. I will tell you about this.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing what I ate, what I saw, and what I learned. There will be several installments, complete with full-color photos.
Bag 0 – Jonathan Crisps (Did Not Qualify)
The first leg of my trip was England. I arrived on a Sunday morning. The hotel was about 40 minutes outside of London in a sleepy village west of Slough (for those David Brent fans out there, yes it is a real city).
It was a pleasant establishment, complete with a lounge, children’s playhouse, and complimentary full hot English breakfast. The real sign where I could tell it was a decent hotel were the Jonathan Crisps at the lounge.
I’ve mentioned it before on the site, but in England there’s a subset of crisp brands known as “posh crisps.” These are artisan potato chips typically from craft manufacturers. Expect unnecessarily long flavor descriptions (Taw Valley Cheddar and Onion is a short one). A bag of posh crisps is definitely a sign of nearby bourgeoisie.
Jonathan Crisps are made by the Tayto company, Ireland’s largest crisp manufacturer. Although the large owner, I still think they qualify as posh crisps.
It doesn’t matter, because I did not get a chance to try them. I just never got a around to it. Plus the chips were about 4 pounds (6 USD) for a small serving. But rest assured that plenty of other posh crisps were consumed. Stay tuned.
Now that I’ve gotten the chip I didn’t eat out of the way, let’s move on to what I did eat.
Bag 1 – Walker’s Salt and Vinegar (Satisfying)
I went to London that day. London in four hours is nearly impossible, but I tried. It involved lots of hurried walking and picture taking past monuments.
Before taking the train back to the suburbs, I stopped in a convenience store within Paddington Station. Here were crisps in their natural, harried, cramped habitat. Walkers and McCoys were the two prominent crisp brands, a common theme where I was.
I grabbed the Walker’s Salt & Vinegar. They were slightly crispier and more heavily seasoned than their American counterparts. Surprisingly, the chips arrived in a green bag (a packaging choice reserved for Sour Cream & Onion stateside). I had to double check to make sure I got the right flavor. For a first bag in England, it did the job well.
One day down, and one bag consumed. Future installments will cover what I found at a gas station, a grocer, and on an airline.