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Trans-Atlantic Crisping For The Sake Of Science

2005-09-20 - 12:27 a.m.

TV Tonight: Arrested Development & Kitchen Confidential

Listetning To: Flaming Lips, The Doves, Fiona Apple, Elbow

Quote:"It smells like college in here." - Zach, to Kate

Oh my. Have we got a treat for you cats today. Or treats. Or cats. I don't know. Lots of blood, sweat, and dextrose went into the creation of this here entry. So you best enjoy it! Or . . . I'll come and rip up all of your X-Men comic books. [Oh great start Zach, a super obscure She-Hulk reference. That'll really light the comment board on fire.]

So not long ago, I received a mysterioso package from Hannah of the Eldridges for my birthday. Shipped par avion all the way from merry ol' Ing-ga-land. I checked the Customs slip affixed to the front and it merely said: "Crisps & CD". I had no idea what this meant, but assumed "CD" meant "Compact Disc." I was correct. But "crisps"? Hoo boy! Was I in for a surprise!

Apparently, in England, carriages = 'prams', elevators = 'lifts', lifts = "shoe higher-makers", french fries = 'chips', and chips = "crisps". Thusly, using the transitive theory wilst applying the golden ratio, Hannah sent me a big honkin' bag of potato chips. Because Hannah and I have a huge inside joke about potato chips right? Wrong. Well, we have a joke about sending greasy food in the mail right? Wrong. Well . . . something . . . something . . . jicama? Wrong. The point is, Hannah found some exquisitely odd flavored chips/crisps and felt, "these need to be sent across the Atlantic to a birthday boy who seems to have it all. No Spider-Man stuff from Hannah! No vicuna fanny packs! No postcards of a sea-cow (again)! Nope, Zach is getting some peculiar foodstuffs!" That Hannah. She always knows my peculiar foodstuffs number.

And now, like I always do when friends send my peculiar starchy treats from foreign lands, I will write about them in the form of a lab report/taste test that I conducted over the past week with more than a handful of participants. Most people involved were forced to complete the entire test. But due to a few mitigating circumstances (i.e. - Kyle's old nose sports injury all but blanking his sense of smell, late-comers like Joyce and Nick only sampling a few, etc.) some people's data is slightly incomplete or is only included in the wrap-up. I know this sounds mind-bending and confusing but you'll catch on. Oh man, now I'm thinking of Dr. Mindbender. He was sweet. And would also be a good name for a band. If Anaphylactic Seahorse falls through. Obviously. So, away we go.


A Crispy Experiment
{In Which Participants Are Asked To Describe Scents And Tastes Of Five Distinct Crisps}
Designed by: Zach
Special Thanks to: Kate "More Cheese Please" Bedford

[Note: All Participants (save Kate & Zach) were not allowed to see the crisp "flavor" prior to smelling it. Some were allowed to see flavors before they tasted, some were not. No one (save Zach & Kate) was allowed to see Test Crisp #4 before eating it]

Test Crisp #1: Oven Roasted Chicken with Thyme


Smell: Like a meal

Taste: Like stale chicken with lots of thyme


Smell: Like oven roasted chicken

Taste: I was scared there'd be too much thyme. My fears were unfounded


Smell: Roasted potato

Taste: Salt & pepper tip


Smell: Mostly thyme

Taste: Hannah needs to send me some of these. They taste just like chicken

Peter: (which means 'Penis')

Smell: Korean

Taste: Like home-cooked meat


Smell: Saltly potatoes

Taste: Like chicken


Smell: Chips

Taste: Chicken & onions


Smell: French fries

Taste: Salty chicken


Taste: Chicken and gravy


Smell: Sausage

Taste: Chicken pot pie

Test Crisp #2: Chargrilled Steak & Peppercorn Sauce


Smell: Less than sensational

Taste: Like a lingering longhorn in my mouth


Smell: Gamey roadkill

Taste: Too heavy on the peppercorn. Steak is too overcooked for my tastes. I prefer medium/medium well. This is medium well/well


Smell: Old steak

Taste: Old potato with old steak juice


Smell: Gravy-ish

Taste: Like what it is. I like it, but I don't have to have it like I need to have the chicken ones


Smell: Roast Beef / Cooked Roast

Taste: Roast beef. This is not bad


Smell: Beefy

Tastes: Salty steak with adequate amount of peppercorn


Smell: BBQ? It smells good

Taste: Pepper-y


Smell: Like garlic

Taste: Like steak


Taste: Mushrooms


Smell: Steak

Taste: BBQ

Test Crisp #3: Smokey Bacon


Smell: Like smoked pig fat . . . which I heart

Taste: I thought it was going to be the best thing in my entire life. I just didn't like it


Smell: Like I'm swimming in the bacon bucket at the all-you-can-eat salad bar at the grocery store

Taste: It just couldn't match up to the expectations the smell created


Smell: Mesquite / Bacos

Taste: Like an entire bottle of bacos


Smell: Too smokey! Bacon bits

Taste: Just like bacos. I would eat these. Since sometimes I eat bacos right out of the jar


Smell: BBQ

Taste: Like sizzly bacon


Smell: Very good

Taste: Much like bacon bits on a salad


Smell: Pepper

Taste: BBQ-y / Bacos


Smell: Cheese pizza

Taste: Bacon bits


Taste: Like nothing


Smell: Hot dogs

Taste: Oscar Meyer

Test Crisp #4: Prawn Cocktail


Smell: I was expecting dead sea . . . and I got it

Taste: Too salty. Too shrimp-y. I'm going to puke in my mouth


Smell: Like tabasco smothered intestines

Taste: I'm going to puke in my mouth and in Kate's mouth


Smell: Vinegar

Taste: Crap


Smell: Like BBQ? But not quite. Horseradish? Something salty . . . vinegar-y

Taste: Gross. Yuck. Blech. And I made a face when I ate it.


Smell: Like vinegar

Taste: Kinda . . . tangy? [Sees what it is] Prawn Cocktail?! It tastes like a witches tit!


Smell: Vinegar

Taste: Sour Cream & Onion . . . not bad . . . would eat more of these


Smell: Vinegar

Taste: Salt & Vinegar


Smell: Onion rings

Taste: Like weird onion rings. I don't particularly enjoy the taste of this


Taste: A vinegar-y type thing


Smell: Cheeseburger & ketchup

Taste: Salty. Not my favorite, but if I had a bag in front of me, I'd still eat them

Test Crisp #5: Slow Roasted Lamb with Mint


Smell: Seasoned burnt rubber

Taste: Not 1/2 as bad as Prawn Cocktail, not that that's saying too much


Smell: Bonanza. Or a farm. Tangy. Oaky.

Taste: Not quite lamb. But I like it


Smell: A fine, non-offensive smell

Taste: Not really minty, but better than the Steak chips


Smell: An herb I don't mind and a meat I don't like

Taste: Not bad. As good as steak. But never as good as chicken


Smell: Rye bread

Taste: Reuben Sandwich


Smell: Beefy . . . again

Taste: Disgusting


Smell: Seafood

Taste: Meaty, but not lamb-y


Smell: Lobster? I don't recognize this smell

Taste: Some kind of meat. Is this the last one I have to do?


Taste: Meatloaf


Smell: Meaty french fries and a hamburger

Taste: Ribs

Overall Comments:

Kate: 2 things - 1.) I feel as though as I was in an eating contest where no one was the winner. 2.) I never want to look at a prawn chip again. In my life. Forever.

Zach: Started great with chicken. Bacon was a high point, but not high enough. I'd rather eat Kenichi chips than touch a prawn chip ever again.

Phil: If I had to eat meat chips I'd eat the lamb ones. Not the steak ones. The prawn chips were disgusting.

Andrea: I want more of all. Except for the prawn chips. But especially chicken chips. I will pay Hannah handsomely for some more chicken chips.

Peter: [After a change of heart - again - on the Prawn Chips] We gotta get us some prawn chips in the states! Prawn chips should be batting 4th in the Red Sox line up. Clean-up if you will.

Chris: You must be a crackhead to make meat flavored chips.

Mark: I liked them all. Bacon was my #1

Dad: 3 out of 5 were good. The bacon, steak and chicken. 2 out of 5 were not good. That would be lamb and prawn.

Kyle: Unfortunately, my senses are numb. My lack of smell affects my sense of taste.

Brooke: I would definitely eat more of the bacon ones. I was repulsed by prawn chips. Especially since it's called 'prawn' and not shrimp.

Joyce: Bacon was verrrrry good. I would buy them. The steak were ok, but I'd need to be in the mood for them. But I'd buy the bacon every week. They need to make a beer chip.

Big Nick: The steak ones taste like weed! No wait . . . don't write that down . . . the taste like good weed!


So what did we learn here? I don't have a fucking clue. But what I do know is that a bunch of us got to eat some weird ass exotic 'crisps' and most of you didn't. And all thanks to Hannah. Hooray for Hannah! Then again, if Hannah really despised liked us, she would have sent us some of the following flavors as well:

Mmmmm . . .blackbean & spring onion together! Finally!

Because lately my chutney hasnít been tangy enough. Or malaysian enough.

Because there's regular old boring roast beef. And then roast beef sliced directly from the furry thorax of a fucking MONSTER!

Awwww, poor marjorum! It sooo thought it was it's chance to shine and WHAMMO, paprika snuck in and stole the limelight. AGAIN.

Oh Doritos! What have you done?! Just because I'm notoriously anti-Cool Ranch didn't mean you needed to cook up Menudo into your cheesy chips! And you thought Doritos stained your hands before?! NOTHING makes your fingertips that hard-to-wash-off orange hue like Latino!

Oh no! Mom! We're out of the Marmite Yeast Extract chips again! And the guys will be here any minute! Seriously? SO. FUCKING. FOUL.

Ok. Here's the deal. If anyone has a good idea for a new poll, let's hear it, because the only reason I have't posted a new one is because I haven't come up with anything I thought was good enough. And no, don't make it about chip flavors. We already covered that ground with Soda Flavors a while back. I'm open to any and all ideas . . .

It's been real,

Musty McClaptrap

ps - As always, the Quotes Page has been updated, click the link in the upper left for quotey fun

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