Beyond Basic Crisps: Unique Flavours and Brands You Need to Try

Are you tired of the same old flavours of crisps? If so, you're in luck! There is a world of unique flavours and brands of crisps out there that are just waiting to be discovered. From sweet to savoury, tangy to spicy, you can find a flavour that will tantalise your taste buds. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the more unique flavours and brands of crisps that you need to try. So, if you're looking to break out of the basic crisp world, keep reading!

The History and Popularity of Crisps

Crisps, also known as potato chips in some countries, have been a beloved snack for over a century. The very first crisps were said to have been created in 1853 by a man named George Crum, a chef who worked in a New York restaurant. The story goes that he was asked by a customer to create a dish of fried potatoes that were thin and crispy. After several attempts, he sliced the potatoes as thinly as possible and fried them until they were crisp. The customer loved the result, and so began the popularity of crisps.
Over time, different brands emerged and became household names. In the UK, brands like Walkers, Smiths, and Golden Wonder have been making crisps for decades. Each of these brands has its own unique flavour offerings and loyal fan bases. Walkers, for example, is known for their classic cheese and onion flavour, while Smiths is famous for their salt and vinegar variety. Golden Wonder has their own range of unique flavours, including curry and haggis.
Crisps have also gained popularity around the world. In the United States, Lay's is the most popular brand, offering a wide range of flavours from classic salt and vinegar to more exotic options like cappuccino and bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper. In Japan, Calbee is a popular brand, with flavors like shrimp and garlic.
Despite their popularity, some may argue that crisps are not the healthiest snack option. However, in recent years, brands have started to offer healthier alternatives, like baked crisps instead of fried. It's also possible to make your own homemade crisps with healthier ingredients and less oil.
Overall, the history and popularity of crisps are a testament to their enduring appeal as a snack. With new flavours and brands constantly emerging, there's always something new to try for even the most seasoned crisps fan.

Why Try Unique Flavours and Brands

We all have our go-to crisps brands and flavours, but there is a whole world of options out there waiting to be explored. Trying out unique flavours and lesser-known brands can not only expand your taste palate but also give you a whole new appreciation for this beloved snack.
For instance, have you ever heard of Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli or Smiths Bacon Fries? These flavours might not be your typical cheese and onion or salt and vinegar, but they offer a new level of taste sensation. Golden Wonder is another brand that might not be as well-known, but their range of flavours like Sizzling King Prawn and Beef and Onion is definitely worth a try.
Beyond simply trying new flavours, exploring different brands can also support small, artisanal producers who are dedicated to using high-quality ingredients and creating unique blends of seasoning. You might even find a new favourite brand that offers a level of quality and flavour you didn't know was possible in a crisp.
So why limit yourself to just a few well-known brands and flavours when there are so many options out there waiting to be tasted? From regional flavours to artisanal brands, there is a whole world of crisps waiting to be explored.

Regional Flavours from Around the World

Crisps are enjoyed in many countries around the world, with unique regional flavours that reflect local cuisines and ingredients. If you're a fan of crisps, exploring these international varieties is a must-try experience. Here are some of the most interesting regional crisp flavours from around the world.
Seaweed is a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and it's also a popular flavour for crisps. The seaweed flavour is a savoury and salty taste, and the crispy texture perfectly complements the flavour.
Masala is a blend of spices commonly used in Indian cooking, and it's also a popular flavour for crisps in the region. Masala crisps are spiced with a combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and other aromatic spices, creating a complex and flavorful snack.
Thailand: Tom Yum
Tom Yum is a spicy and sour soup that's popular in Thailand, and it's also a unique flavour for crisps. Tom Yum crisps have a tangy and spicy taste, with a touch of lemongrass and lime that adds freshness to the snack.
Mexico: Chili Lime
Chilli and lime are two popular flavours in Mexican cuisine, and they make a delicious combination for crisps. Chilli lime crisps have a zesty and spicy taste, with a hint of citrus that gives them a refreshing kick.
United Kingdom: Cheese and Onion
Cheese and onion are a classic crisp flavour in the United Kingdom, and it's been a popular snack for decades. Cheese and onion crisps are made with cheddar cheese and onion powder, creating a savoury and slightly sweet flavour that's perfect for snacking.
Vegemite is a spread made from yeast extract that's popular in Australia, and it's also a unique flavour for crisps. Vegemite crisps have a savoury and salty taste that's reminiscent of the spread, and they're a great snack for fans of umami flavours.
Exploring regional crisp flavours is a fun and delicious way to experience different cuisines and cultures. Whether you're a fan of spicy and savoury flavours or prefer a classic cheese and onion taste, there's a crisp flavour out there that's sure to satisfy your cravings.

Crisp Sandwich

Artisanal Brands Worth Sampling

While the big brands dominate the crisp market, there are a plethora of artisanal options worth sampling. These smaller brands often use locally sourced ingredients, creative flavour combinations, and innovative production methods to create unique and high-quality crisps.
Here are some of the artisanal crisp brands that are definitely worth a try:
1. Tyrrells Crisps - Established in Herefordshire, England in 2002, Tyrrells is now one of the most well-known artisanal crisp brands. They use only the best potatoes, slice them thicker for a more satisfying crunch, and fry them in small batches. They also offer a wide range of flavours, from classics like Sea Salt & Vinegar to more unusual options like Truffle & Sea Salt.
2. Two Farmers - This British brand uses locally grown potatoes and sunflower oil, and even has a farm in Herefordshire where they grow their own ingredients. Their flavours include Herefordshire Hop Cheese & Onion and Salt & Cider Vinegar, and they package their crisps in eco-friendly compostable bags.
3. Corkers - Based in Cambridgeshire, England, Corkers is another small-batch crisp producer that prides itself on using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Their flavour options include Sweet Thai Chilli and Sea Salt & Black Pepper, and they even have a range of vegetable crisps made from beetroot, parsnip, and sweet potato.
4. Kettle Chips - While Kettle Chips may not be as small as some of the other brands on this list, they are still considered an artisanal option due to their handmade production process. Their crisps are sliced and fried in small batches, resulting in a thick and crunchy texture. They offer a range of unique flavours like Sweet Chilli & Lemongrass and Maple Bacon.
5. Indie Bay Snacks - This British brand takes a unique approach to crisps, using baked instead of fried ingredients. They also add lentils, quinoa, and chickpea flour to their snacks for a healthier twist. Their flavour options include Smokin' BBQ and Easy Cheesy.
Sampling artisanal crisp brands is not only a delicious way to try new flavours, but it also supports local and small businesses. Give these unique options a try and see for yourself what sets them apart from mainstream brands.

Healthier Options for Snacking on Crisps

When we think of crisps, we usually associate them with being unhealthy snacks loaded with calories and saturated fats. However, with the growing trend towards healthier eating habits, many crisp brands are now offering more nutritious options. Here are some of the healthier crisps you should try:
1. Baked crisps: Instead of being fried in oil, baked crisps are cooked by hot air. This cooking method results in a lower fat content and fewer calories, making them a healthier option.
2. Vegetable crisps: Vegetable crisps are made by slicing vegetables thinly and frying them in oil. They are a healthier option as they contain fewer calories and less fat than regular crisps. Vegetable crisps can also provide a source of vitamins and fibre, making them a good alternative to regular crisps.
3. Lentil crisps: Lentil crisps are made from lentil flour, which provides a source of protein, fibre, and vitamins. They are a great healthy option for those who are looking for a protein-rich snack.
4. Rice crisps: Rice crisps are made from puffed rice and can be flavoured with various spices. They are gluten-free, low in calories, and contain less fat than regular crisps.
5. Popcorn: Popcorn is a healthier option as it is low in calories and high in fibre. Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest option as it contains no oil. However, if you prefer a buttery taste, you can use a small amount of butter or oil to flavour it.
When looking for healthier crisps, it is important to check the ingredients list and the nutrition information. Look for crisps that are made with natural ingredients and have low saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content. Avoid crisps that contain artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives.

DIY Seasoning Blends for Homemade Crisps

Sometimes the best way to enjoy crisps is by making your own at home. Not only does this allow you to control the quality of ingredients, but you can also experiment with different flavour combinations to suit your taste buds. Here are some easy DIY seasoning blends you can use for your homemade crisps:
1. Classic Salt and Vinegar:
Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix well. This classic combination will add a tangy and salty kick to your crisps.
2. Spicy Taco:
Mix 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika together. This seasoning blend will give your crisps a spicy kick and make them taste like a taco.
3. Savory Garlic:
Mix 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together. This seasoning blend will give your crisps a savoury and slightly garlicky flavour.
4. Cheesy Herb:
Combine 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese with 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. This seasoning blend will add a cheesy and herbaceous flavour to your crisps.
5. Smoky Barbecue:
Mix 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar together. This seasoning blend will give your crisps a smoky and slightly sweet barbecue flavour.
To make your own crisps, thinly slice potatoes or sweet potatoes and coat them with olive oil. Sprinkle your desired seasoning blend on top and bake in the oven at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.
DIY seasoning blends are not only a fun and tasty way to enjoy homemade crisps, but they also allow you to customize your snacks to your liking. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to find your favourite flavour combination.

Pairing Crisps with Beverages for the Ultimate Snack Experience

Crisps are undoubtedly one of the most popular snacks worldwide, and their appeal lies in their crispy texture and delicious flavours. However, what you may not know is that you can enhance your crisps experience by pairing them with your favourite beverage.
The right drink can complement the flavour and texture of the crisps, resulting in an unforgettable snacking experience. So, without further ado, let's explore some of the best crisp and beverage pairings.
1. Beer and Barbeque Crisps:
Beer and crisps are a classic combination, but the pairing can be enhanced by matching the flavour profiles. For example, barbeque crisps have a smoky flavour, which pairs beautifully with an ice-cold beer. The hoppy notes of the beer will balance the richness of the barbeque crisps and cut through the salty flavour.
2. Wine and Cheese and Onion Crisps:
For a sophisticated snacking experience, try pairing cheese and onion crisps with a dry white wine. The sharpness of the cheese will be balanced by the crisp acidity of the wine. A glass of red wine would overpower the flavour of the crisps, so stick with a light and refreshing white wine.
3. Lemonade and Sour Cream and Onion Crisps:
Sour cream and onion crisps have a tangy flavour, which pairs beautifully with a cold and refreshing glass of lemonade. The sweetness of the lemonade will balance the tanginess of the crisps, resulting in a delicious and refreshing snack.
4. Coffee and Salt and Vinegar Crisps:
If you're looking for a bold and unique pairing, try salt and vinegar crisps with a cup of black coffee. The bitterness of the coffee will balance the sharpness of the vinegar, resulting in a flavourful and intense snacking experience.
5. Cocktails and Spicy Crisps:
For a party-friendly snack pairing, try spicy crisps with your favourite cocktail. The heat from the crisps will be balanced by the sweetness and freshness of the cocktail, resulting in a perfect balance of flavour and texture.