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Great Packets of Crisps I Have Known

Discussion in 'Personal' started by George_Randle, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Inspired by the Fry's Chocolate Cream thread, and not wishing to admit tuberous intruders into its milky domain, I offer my tribute to the other great prelapsarian snack of innocent days - the British Crisp.

    In the beginning there was Ready Salted, who carried in his depths a portion of salt in a tiny bag sealed with a twist, occasionally eaten in error or frenziedly spat out. Ready Salted soon had his consort Cheese n Onion, and the pair begat Salt n Vinegar, who begat Smokey Bacon, who begat Roast Chicken and so on down to the immense array of contemporary flavours.

    The market king in the sixties and early seventies was undoubtedly Smiths, whose Bovril flavour crisps were particular favourites:

    Golden Wonder lived up to their name, their Cheese n Onion was particularly pungent:


    Golden Wonder crisps still exist today, though you don't see them around very much compared to the all-conquering brand peddled by a certain ex-footballer. Sadly the Golden Wonder factory burned down in the 80s hindering their production for a while (I am not suggesting the ex-footballer had anything to do with this).

    There was a Geordie offshoot of Smiths, Tudor Crisps, purveyors of arcane shades of onion flavour. Mmmm, Gammon!


    I remember that Tudor Crisps tended to go stale quite quickly, as did some horrors called Crispi Crisps, so that you could never be sure you were buying an entirely fresh packet.

    Special mention has to be made here of the Bradford crisp company, Seabrook. These used to be outstanding - unOfstedly outstanding, crisp but substantial. flavour rich and generously portioned, their Cheese and Onion being the Carlsberg of all crisp flavours . At some point in the seventies they changed their recipe and started to produce what was a markedly inferior product, crinkling the vast majority of their output, and I am unashamedly a straight cut purist. Mais ou sont les chips d'antan?


    The consumption of crisps often took place in a pub beer garden, their passage through the alimentary canal being accompanied by a bottle of Tizer. lemonade, Dandelion and Burdock or Cola sucked up through a paper straw, the end of which you would have to keep prizing open when it clogged itself shut.

    Crisps! Worthy to be counted for me with Proust's Madeleine cake, or the sound of DH Lawrence's mum's upright piano.

    Attached Files:

    lanokia, ShowerGel, towncryer and 4 others like this.
  2. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter


    I never forgave Walkers from changing Salt&Vinegar and Cheese&Onion bags the opposite way.

  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    OMG.................those Bovril ones bring back memories!
    Do you remember Tomato Ketchup flavour? They were pretty good too.
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Surely the whole point of the original Smiths crisps was that they were not ready salted, you had to open the twist of salt, pour it in, gather the top of the bag up and give it a good shake.
    Ready salted came later.
    I see you've not mentioned Walkers. Walkers Plain Crips are hard to beat .

  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

  6. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Memories of watching Randall and Hopkirk Deceased on a Friday night for me. TK were good but pickled onion would do things to the tongue that no other flavour managed.

    Have you got any Ketchup flavour crisps George?
    BelleDuJour likes this.
  7. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Between Salted (with the little blue bag) and Cheese and Onion, there was Cheese. Disappointed I was that the Cheese was discontinued when C&O came in. First I knew of the more exotics was when I was buying crisps and was sked if I wanted Smokey Bacon. Thought it was a joke!
    agathamorse and George_Randle like this.
  8. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    The Christmas Walkers with Maria Carey's mush on were a bit off putting!
  9. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Yes you are quite right, my mistake - they were originally called Natural.

    To be honest, I resent the near ubiquity of the unmentionable brand. Greater crisp diversity needed!

    I remember that around the early 80s there was a retro attempt to reinstate the salt bag with Salt n Shake, but the bag was too large and so the pleasure of the hunt was spoiled.
    lindenlea likes this.
  10. DrLinus

    DrLinus Established commenter

    No need for any more posts. I have the winner here.

    George_Randle likes this.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    And who could forget.....


    Although they never tasted much like hedgehog to me...
    nomad, needabreak, lilachardy and 7 others like this.
  12. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Sings: If you ever go across the sea to Ireland...

    agathamorse likes this.
  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I remember when I was a little kid and you used to have to sit outside the pub with a bottle of coke and a packet crisps and make them last because that's all you get for waiting there for a couple of hours, the crisps were always kept in a airtight tin because in those days, before the advent of waterproof plastic bags, the crisps would go soggy otherwise. I remember when the plastic crisp bags were introduced we took them into the local outdoor swimming pool with us to test if they really were waterproof and they were!

    I still remember the taste of the first cheese and onion crisp I had when I must have been five or six. Wow! we'd never tasted anything so savoury before in our little lives.
  14. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I only eat the plain ones with the little salt sachet which I never use.
  15. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Can I bend the rules and nominate Spicy Tomato Wheat Crunchies? There was also a Smoky Bacon flavour, which was fine, but not as good as the tomato ones.
  16. DrLinus

    DrLinus Established commenter

    I say no. That's the high road to Hula Hoops.
  17. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I expect they could get away with it, because only a few people such as yourself, would know what hedgehog tastes like.

    The original Smiths crisps with the twist of blue paper somewhere in the packet would occasionally come without it. I can remember being disappointed on several occasions. Dad said "Don't worry, there's salt in the cupboard..." but it never tasted the same.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Quite right. This thread has stuck to subject i.e. crisps for 15 posts which must be something of a record and so deviating now would be ruin. Before we know it people will be discussing the merits of Monster Munch and Cheesy Puffs.
  19. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    agathamorse likes this.
  20. George_Randle

    George_Randle Established commenter

    Smiths used to make "cheesy corn puffs" which they called Chipitos - they were a forerunner of the Cheesy Wotsit, I enjoyed them but never confused them with PROPER CRISPS!
    agathamorse and DrLinus like this.

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