“You went to Spain and brought back potato chips from Heathrow airport?” my younger daughter exclaimed. I dragged back plenty of other goodies from Spain, where her sister is studying, but it was the potato chips I found in a Marks and Spencer shop at Heathrow on my way over that tickled me so much, I carried them from Barcelona to Valencia and back to New York City to show my colleagues at Gourmet Live.
The old jokes about stodgy Brit food fell flat a while ago. For years, London’s been one of the it restaurant cities. Judging by the food magazines and cookbooks coming across the pond to the U.S., the Brits are cooking up great stuff and having loads of fun doing it.
Bleary-eyed from my flight, I was knocked out by, of all things, the potato chip—excuse me, the potato crisps rack. In Britain, chips are the fries you eat with your fish, and crisps are what you snack on from a bag. Brightly colored graphic packages sporting a slew of captivating flavors screamed, “Try me!”
Our barbecue, sour cream and onion, and salt and vinegar chips are so boring compared to Ham Hock and Tewkesbury Mustard, Flame Grilled Steak and Onion, or Red Leicester and Spring Onion potato crisps. Why haven’t American companies been smart enough to come up with sea salt and balsamic vinegar chips? Come on, America, let’s get going!
What flavors do you want to see in a potato chip?