No doubt many folks are watching the World Cup this morning as the U.S. takes on Algeria in a match that will decide the fate of both teams. Here at home, people will probably watch the game curled up on the couch or sitting in a pub munching on bags of Lay's Potato Chips. But in the U.K., football fans will be watching with a bag of Walker's Potato Crisps.
Walker's, a potato crisp (read: chip) manufacturer that is essentially the British version of Lay's, produces such common flavors as Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion. But the company also makes a line of flavors specifically for the World Cup. These chips celebrate different countries with unique, international chip "flavours" such as Scottish Haggis, Welsh Rarebit, and American Cheeseburger. (Voters can go online and vote for their favorite as the World Cup progresses.) But as we found out by sampling a few bags in the office the other day, Walker's idea of international flavor is pretty loose -- and some of them are even sort of gross.
These bags of Walkers were procured from To the
Moon, a candy store you could get lost in for days. It offers a whopping 12,000 different items from around the world on its jam-packed shelves in Wilton Manors. (We've declared it Best Gift Shop in years past.)
We tried six kinds of crisps: Italian Spaghetti Bolognese, French
Garlic Baguette, South African Sweet Chutney, Japanese Terikyaki
Chicken, Spanish Chicken Paella, and -- probably the craziest of the
bunch -- Australian BBQ Kangaroo.
So how did the countries rank?
6. Spanish Chicken Paella: Arguably the oddest, strangest, and plain
grossest flavor among the bunch, the Spanish team left a nasty, bitter
aftertaste in our mouths. "It tastes like bile!" said Mike of the
5. Australian BBQ Kangaroo: "Is this kangaroo feces?" asked Tom as he
took a bite of one of these crisps. It might have been. The kangaroo
chips -- while lacking any real kangaroo, thank God -- had a gamy,
funky flavor that was like licking a sweaty wild animal. The
ingredients for the BBQ Kangaroo seasoning contained a lot of milk
solids and some secret mystery "flavorings" that may have well been
taste like a petting zoo," said Deirdra.
4. Japanese Teriyaki Chicken: The third bag had some people giving up.
"Why am I still eating this?" asked Miche. There really was no good
answer. The Japanese chips tasted as if they had been rolled around in
a tub full of ginger powder mixed with ramen noodles.
3. Italian Spaghetti Bolognese: Probably the most widely ignored bag in
the group, this chip had a mild tomato flavor with something like dried
oregano lingering in the background. Some people even liked this one
2. South African Chutney: Arby's sauce. I'm not kidding -- the South
African crisp tasted like it had been doused in a packet full of sweet,
Arby's BBQ sauce. Highly
1. French Garlic Baguette: Surprisingly, the French chip was by far the
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best of the group, with a very mild garlic flavor. "That's, like, a
reasonable taste," said Reed. Too bad this is the
only victory France will get in the World Cup. "Their chips are better
than their team," added Mike.