First of all, a little language lesson.
The following pictures are:
- crisps – in British English
- (potato) chips – in American English
- (potato) chips – in Australian English
And then we have:
- chips – British English
- French Fries – American English
- (hot) chips or French Fries – Australian English
For this post, I’m using the British English version of English. And so, today we’re looking at crisps and their different flavours. (I know there are other versions of English, and maybe other names for these two products, just trying to keep it simple here, ok?).
Do you have a favourite flavour of crisps?
My favourite is salt and vinegar, which is widely available in Australia and the UK. But, unfortunately, not anywhere to be found in Russia.
I don’t eat a lot of crisps anyway. I can’t remember the last time I had some. They’re certainly not a regular inclusion in the weekly shopping. But I really do love salt and vinegar. By the way, in Australia, we also put salt and vinegar on chips, especially when we’re eating fish and chips.
On the few occasions that we’ve gone to London, I’ve bought a few packets of salt and vinegar crisps, and brought them back to Moscow. I then try not to eat them too quickly so as not to run out. (A bit like the Cherry Ripes from Australia – at the time of writing there are still 2 left! Or, chocolate in general – all gone.)
But, eventually, when my will power is no longer resistant to the charms of the salt and vinegar taste, the last packet is consumed and it’s all over until the next time we find some on our travels.
The advantage of bringing crisps home from holidays is that they’re extremely light so they don’t add too much weight to your luggage. The disadvantage is that they can take up a lot of room in the suitcase.
As we all know, crisps aren’t good for our health. So, it’s just as well that my favourite flavour isn’t available here in Moscow. I’m sure I’d eat much more of them. Every day probably.
However, there are other, much more exotic, flavours available on the supermarket shelves here.
Well, exotic to me, but probably not exotic to Russians.
Russian crisp flavours
Let’s take a look at some of them.
First we have lobster. I love lobster, when it’s actually a lobster, cooked, but still recognisable as a lobster meat. I’ve never tried these lobster flavoured crisps, and I probably won’t. But I’m sure they’re very tasty.
It seems that sea-food is a popular flavour for crisps in this part of the world. Our next flavour is crab. And here we have several different brands and types of crisps, just for a bit of variety. I like crab, but have never tried crab flavoured crisps. Maybe I’ll give them a try next time I see an open packet at a party or somewhere.
We’ll come back to the sea-food theme in a little while. Right now, we’re going to see a mushroom and sour cream flavoured crisp. Now, I’m not a big fan of mushrooms in any form, so I’m not going to buy these. But, if mushrooms are one of your favourite foods, then why not pick up a packet today?
And then we have a very popular flavour, even when it’s not in a crisp. Who doesn’t like a cheeseburger every now and then? I think this flavour could easily become a favourite of mine.
Other Russian snacks
While we’re looking at flavours, I’d like to introduce you to another Russian snack food. It’s fried black bread. Black bread, otherwise known as rye bread, is cut into ‘fingers’ and deep fried in oil. We usually eat this in bars and cafes, with sour cream or some other dipping sauce, sometimes topped with crushed garlic, and it goes well with beer. It’s really, really good! But not really, really healthy. It’s called grenki – гренки in Russian.
Sometimes it’s just not possible or practical to have fresh grenki. So, you can have the next best thing. Grenki in a packet! Yes, you can buy this fried bread in a packet. And, what’s better, is that there are different flavours to choose from! Here we look at some of the common ones.
First up, we’re back to the sea-food theme – salmon and cheese grenki. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten salmon together with cheese – but, why not?
Next up, it’s back to mushroom and sour cream. Seems to be quite a popular combination here.
And this one is going to be a bit difficult to explain. I think you all know what horseradish is. But, the second flavour in this one is even more exotic than that. It’s called холодец (kholodets)- it’s a kind of meat jelly. It looks like this and is quite a popular New Year food.
Which brings us to the grenki which is horseradish and kholodets flavour. I don’t think I’ll ever try this one.
And, just to show that this particular flavour is much loved here, there’s also another snack food with the same flavour. I don’t really know what this is, I think it’s a kind of small sticks of crispy cracker. Anyway, they have the same flavour as the grenki above.
And the same crispy product, this time we have the crispy cracker sticks with Bavarian sausage. This could be good with beer – as the packet subtly suggests.
So there are options I can explore while I wait for the next opportunity to get my hands on some salt and vinegar crisps. I’m just not sure when one to try first. What would you suggest?
This post had been planned for some months. I had taken photos on various visits to the supermarket and then they sat idle, waiting to be used. Due to a severe bout of procrastination this post didn’t materialise until now. Inspiration to finally complete it came from the Facebook page of Gadsventure. Why not go over and ‘like’ their page, and maybe visit their blog?
Do you have a favourite flavour for crisps? Which Russian crisps would you like to try? Let us know if you’ve seen some exotic flavoured crisps on your travels.
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