Friday, December 14, 2007
Are Tyrrells Potato Chips Worth It?
In the past year, I have been seeing a lot more of Tyrells, a potato chip (crisp) brand from England, in gourmet stores. Given the lousy state of the dollar and the cost of transporting bulky bags across the ocean, Tyrells is not cheap, costing $3.89 at Zabar's. The cost on Fire Island is not even publishable in a family blog because, upon hearing it, most adults just go "holy .....t!"
Having said that, the real question is whether its worth it to plunk down all that money for those chips in the first place. After all, its still less than $4.00 a bag. Chips aren't that good for you, so you should eat them sparingly anyway. And, if you were to look them up at the British equivalent of "Fresh Direct," they cost over $3.00 a bag at current exchange rates even in the UK.
The answer is complicated. The regular chips are, despite my wish that they weren't, rather good. They are thick, crisp, and some of their flavors, such as their sea salt and vinegar, are also quite tasty. They have a large collection of odd flavors, such as thai-curry, which just make them different from the other chips. While I have never seen their "asparagus" flavored chips here in the States, I don't imagine there is a US company producing this flavor, should you want it. The chips clearly taste better than the national brands. They are similar in flavor to some of the other "kettle cooked" chips, including Terra brand and Cape Cod.
So, to Tyrell or not to Tyrell. If you love chips, but try to avoid eating them, its probably worth an occasional splurge. But for the big chip eater, or for a large party, not enough people will notice the difference and it would be better to spend all that extra money on good dip.