It’s always really nice when people appreciate your work, but it’s flat-out amazing whenever you find out that someone you greatly admire admires you right back.
Such was the case when I received a Facebook friend request from Gemma Correll
, an amazing illustrator who first won me over with “Who invited the herbivore?”
Copyright Gemma Correll 2010
The feeling was similar to how I felt when Andrew Zimmern gave me a “good effort” for eating bugs
or when Belle & Sebastian re-tweeted this mortifying display of emotions
, except it was better. It was better because of mutual fandom, and it was better because she sent me a box of British snack foods.
DID I MENTION THE SNACK FOODS CAME WITH A HAND-DRAWN GUIDE?
I will treasure it always.
And all of this awesomeness:
Upon receiving this package of joy, I took off my bra, made myself an Italian greyhound (grapefruit is palate cleansing), and settled in for a night of crisp tasting.
Come along with me on this flavour journey.
FRAZZLES Crispy Bacon Flavour Corn Snacks
Bacon flavored things fall into two categories: delicious and dog treat. These, I am happy to report, are not dog treat. These are delicious.
The slight sweetness of the corn helps to balance out the tasty tasty sodium bomb. There is a slight smokiness and a great amount of umami (thanks, MSG, you magical molecule). And guess what, my herbivores! These are vegetarian friendly! Thanks AGAIN, MSG!
Crisp Score: These are to bacon as Funyuns are to onions, which is a great thing.
WALKERS (Lays, is that you?) Scrumptiously Smoky Bacon Crisps
The guy driving is a soccer player I guess?
These are not suitable for vegetarians. They have real pork shoulder in them. These are less salty and have an almost mapley flavour. They really taste like bacon. Like, they nailed the bacon flavor so hard. There’s not much more I can say about them besides the fact that these kick the ass of these chicken and waffle monsters I reviewed a while back
Crisp Score: Now I’m just sad I don’t live in the UK.
Golden Wonder Beef Flavour TRANSFORM-A-SNACK
Um. I can build little cars with my snack. CAN YOU TRULY SAY THE SAME? The axels are a little crooked, so sometimes your car only has three wheels, but still. Car-building snack.
There is an onion-like flavour here, not dissimilar to Funyuns. But they are a little meaty, like if a beef ramen packet and Funyuns had a delicious car-shaped baby. ALL OF THIS IS FANTASTIC. Also: we have another veg-friendly snack!
Crisp Score: If this snack had a theme song, it would be “Cars” by Gary Numan. That tells you all you need to know.
DRINK REFILL BREAK.
SPACE RAIDERS Pickled Onion Cosmic Corn Snacks
Take me to your leader, crisps.
Eff you, dill pickle chips (just kidding, don’t you ever leave me). BUT REALLY AMERICA, STEP UP YOUR GAME.
Upon placing this revelation into your mouth, you are first hit with the pickle flavour. The acidity is THERE.
Then the pungent quality of the onion takes over and your only thought is “WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE?”
Crisp Score: See below.
SPACE RAIDERS Spicy Cosmic Corn Snacks
Kinda Sriracha-y. With more vinegar. I’m getting some definite tomato. I may like these more than the pickled onion? Better eat another pickled onion to be sure. NOPE. Pickled onion is better but these are still good. The best option is to mix them all in a bowl and eat them together.
Crisp Score: I would buy these on the reg.
SPACE RAIDERS Beef Cosmic Corn Snacks
MOAR Space Raiders!
Oh, my god. These are pure beef ramen in a corn snack and, oh, my god. I love these. Fucking Space Raiders, man. They taste like college (or uni)!
Crisp Score: I love you always forever; near and far, we’ll stick together.
SNAPS Spicy Tomato Flavour Crisp & Light Potato Snacks
Is that a dragon? In a varsity jacket but no pants? I like his style. I like his sneakers (trainers?).
These are a snack of the puffy, potato-esque variety. Not exactly crisps, but tasty. They have a mild ketchup flavour, but very little to no spice. I like them, but I am beginning to think I like everything. But really, these are especially good because they aren’t greasy! They are light! They aren’t overly salty!
Crisp Score: Pantsless Dragon (which is quite high)
WALKERS Famously Worcester Sauce BLENDED IN BRITAIN
WTF is “Worcester (pronounced “Wooster”)? Is it “Worcestershire”? If it is, can we just change it permanently to “Worcester” and be done with it? I cannot pronounce the American version.
These taste like that sauce I can’t pronounce. I really like that sauce. I want to say these are my favorite but the Walkers bacon ones were beyond solid and WHO can forget the pickled onion alien heads? I can’t and I won’t.
Also, these crisps taste fresh. Really crispy and maybe it’s the gin talking but also less greasy Lays perhaps? I think so.
Crisp Score: I ate the whole bag.
WALKERS DEFINITIVELY Prawn Cocktail WITH VALE OF EVESHAM TOMATOES
There's that retired soccer player again.
These are bright and tangy! With a hint of Krab! They aren’t quite “prawn cocktail” but they are quite delicious.
HOLD UP DRINK IS EMPTY.
I’m out of grapefruit juice, so now it’s just gin with lemon and soda water. And there goes the last of my gin!
ANYKRAB. I see why these are a British favourite. They taste kind of like the Subway seafood salad, but with no mayo and some vinegar.
Crisp Score: Definitive.
BOBBY’S Onion Rings
The MSG headache is setting in.
Funyuns. These taste like Funyuns with a hint of paprika.
Crisp Score: Funyuns.
MARMITE RICE CAKES
These taste like rice cakes with a thin layer of marmite. If you like marmite and rice cakes you will like them. I think the key to marmite is not laying it on too thick, and the marmite here is subtle, so, yay. I like them, but I would like them more if they were potato crisps.
Crisp Score: Turn into potatoes, kthx.
AND THAT is all 11 bags of glorious British treats.
It was also my supper, so thanks for having supper with me.