Chatter Pips!December 6, 2006 at 3:25 pm | Posted in food | 18 Comments
I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog so far making fun of French fast food — from take-out pizza to microwaveable burgers to Flunch, the French just don’t seem to understand the joys of a well-made junk food.
There is, however, an exception: potato chips. My Lord, do the French have tasty potato chips. Now, it’s not their essential chippiness which is so superior to American brands — they aren’t particularly crunchier or lighter or less greasy. What they do have is flavors the likes of which I’ve never seen on the left side of the Atlantic.
Roast Chicken with Thyme. Sure, it sounds tasty, but is it really “Naturellement Irrésistible“?
Oh, is it ever. Basically, each chip is like an entire perfectly roasted chicken, miraculously shrunk down to one crisp, delicious mouthful. My first thought upon trying these was, whoa, how did they make my chicken so crunchy? It’s as if someone took the skin of a broiled chicken, then deep-fried it. Seriously, how could you go wrong?
Looking to branch out, I also tried these mustard flavored chips:
When they say mustard, they aren’t talking about a delicate hint of mustardy aroma. These chips packed an intense, dijon-style wallop. Take back your “nacho cheesier” and “cooler ranch” — American chips never come close to this intensity of flavor, except in the occasional bag of salt and vinegar.
Which brings up an interesting question: why don’t these chips exist in America? Do the powers that be at Lays really believe that Americans wouldn’t enjoy chicken-infused potatoes?
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately, and I’ve concluded that this is not the reason. Everyone knows that American potato chips are coated with some mysterious substance that makes it impossible to open a bag without finishing it. It’s even in their ad campaigns: “Bet you can’t eat just one,” and “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more.” It’s almost like a sick challenge.
French potato chips, on the other hand, no matter how tasty, cannot be finished in one sitting. They are simply too strong to act as binge food. When I opened that small bag of mustard chips, I thought we’d finish them with lunch. In fact, I wound up putting them away, and it took us almost 48 hours to kill the whole bag. What would happen if you brought such chips to America? I can only imagine the chaos! Chip producers would be laying people off left and right, unable to support themselves as Americans made do with only one or two bags of chips per week. The whole potato-based economy would crumble to the ground, like a bag of chips that hasn’t been properly air-puffed!
So, yeah — don’t look for these flavors Stateside any time soon. The country just couldn’t take it.
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