Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to.

You say potato. I say pomme de terre not because I speak French, but because I’m a bit pompous sometimes… but seriously!!!  What the hell has happened to chips?  By chips I mean the deep fried crispy variety, not the deep fried hot variety, and also – not the two dudes from the 80’s on motorbikes in aviator shades variety. Cause who knows WHAT ever happened to them… (What you just heard was the entire Y generation going ‘huh?)

Anyway, I ask because I was eating such potatoes on the couch today. It was SO IRONIC.  But it made me remember a time when potato chips consisted of 4 flavours: Salt and Vinegar, Barbecue, Plain and Chicken. They were crinkle-cut. Always crinkle cut.

Then someone got a little bit fancy on our junk food-fed asses, and invented ‘Cheese and Onion’

We totally welcomed this addition to the chip flavour family because quite frankly, we were all a bit over the original four flavours.

Obviously, after considerable market research, they discovered we LIKED to mix it up a bit when it comes to salty snacks and thus: bought out ‘Sour Cream and Chives.’

And we were happy with our two new flavours. Until…

Along came Kettle. With their rustic non crinkly bubbly chip, including flavours such as: Herb and Spice, Lamb and Rosemary, Honey Baked Ham, Sour Cream and Chilli….. They were delicious and it wasn’t long before the pioneer chip makes (Smith’s and Samboy) were expanding their portfolio to include similar flavours.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the brand managers panicked and thought it was best to flood the market with an assortment of unusual and diverse flavours. It’s the only explanation for Tomato Sauce flavoured chips. Then Smith’s launched their ‘thin cut’ range, a non-crinkle-cut chip.

I’m sorry, Tomato Sauce flavoured chips? Who buys those? I’ll tell you who buys those… Nobody that’s who!

Then you have your limited edition flavours. Like the time Australia hosted the Commonwealth games. I don’t know about you, but I was more than happy to see the end of ‘Australian Sausage Sizzle,’ ‘Lamb and Mint’ and ‘Bacon and Cheese’ flavours.

We’ve also been blessed over time with Ranch, Hickory Barbecue, Roast Beef and Mustard, and Big Red Meat Pie.

So anyway, Smith’s launched a spin-off gourmet brand of chip – Red Rock Deli: and that’s when things really got ridiculous.

Honey soy chicken, Greek Feta and Herb, Chicken Thyme and Lemon, Italian Tomato and Basil, Thai Chilli, Red Wine and Tuscan Herbs, Lime and Black Pepper, Roasted Garlic with Parmeggiano, and… 

wait for it….

Baslamic Vinegar and Sea salt.

Excuse me?

I’m sorry! I refuse to take it anymore. I will not be silenced by the fraudulent crims in the crispy deep fried potato industry. I’m not stupid. Au contraire mon frère.

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt and Salt and Vinegar….. are the SAME FRICKIN’ THING!

Seriously; potayto, potahto!

You see my carbohydrate palate is actually an insatiable, unsophisticated beast, but I will not be misled any longer.

Go right ahead – sit there stuffing your face with your ‘gourmet, meal-in-a-snack’ chip; but I’m here to tell you that the only place I want to taste Greek feta is with salad, or stuffed inside some excessively buttery Greek pastry. And I wonder: Do the Italians know you’re using their tomatoes?

Please take back your full bodied red wine with its bouquet of aromas. Take back your vintage cheddar with French Dijon mustard and Moroccan spices and duck red curry and hazelnut infused pumpkin puree on pan fried scallops….


Please just give me a regular, potato chip snack. Crinkle cut or whatever… But please just make them salty ok?


One comment

  1. matt · May 15, 2011

    Cindy, what is wrong with tomato sauce flavoured chips. It is one of the staples in Canada and has been for years. Unlike Chicken. “Ketchup” all the way. I think that problem is that you guys aren’t doing them properly over there.

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