What are they?
Stephen Fry-up Crisps is a flavour of crisp made by Walkers Crisps as part of the Red Nose Day 2011 fundraising event for Comic Relief. 5p of each packet bought will go to Comic Relief.
Stephen Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, blogger and officially ratified National Treasure.
An English Breakfast is a breakfast of champions. Egg, bacon, beans, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, hash browns, chips, steak, pie, steak pie, Lamb Bhuna from the night before, mouldy old pizza from the back of the sofa and 4 Benson and Hedges are all things that go towards the great English breakfast. I never start my day without any of these things and I’m sure you’re the same. Walkers Crisps would like us to ditch all that in favour of one packet of crisps that combines all those flavours in one crispy mouthful. Have they succeeded and are we now one step closer to meals in a pill like them astromanaughts have on Mars? Or have they failed, and I shall have to keep killing a herd of small animals to satisfy my mid-morning hunger cravings?
What do they look like?
A crisp, or if you’re from the United States, a chip, looks like a very thinly sliced piece of potato that has been deep-fried in oil. That because it’s a very thinly sliced piece of potato that has been deep-fried in oil. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small and sometimes they are in between, or ‘medium’ as it is known in the industry. If you’re a family of bears, hungry because some munter from the rough estate next door snuck in while you were out and ate all your porridge (and THEN broke your little lads chair, the vandalous swine), then you will find a crisp size to suit all members. While you’re at it, lock the door and go and have a look upstairs. That munter who nicked your porrige and broke your chair is rifling through your jewellery box in the bedroom.
If you see a crisp with a black bit in, don’t eat it. It’s lucky. Keep it in your pocket for a week and you’ll find a whole new form of life in your garment. Bonus.
The packet is plastic and is used to wrap all manner of perishables. Plastic is an oil-based substance invented in 1993 by Rufus and Chaka Khan as a follow up to their seminal 80′s hit, ‘I’m Every Woman’. On the cover of this particular packet of crisps is a picture of Stephen Fry waving a spatula about. He looks angry. That’s because between the four comedians involved in this stunt, Stephen Fry, Jimmy Carr, Frank Skinner and Al Murray, the one who sells the least amount of crisps has to fulfil a forfeit of some dubiously comedic nature.
What do these taste like?
I don’t think I’ll ever be entirely sure but they don’t taste like Stephen Fry. You see, what Walkers have done and probably with a little help from those involved with Red Nose Day, is to play on a pun on Stephen Fry’s name rather than use the taste of Stephen Fry himself. They’ve taken the ‘Fry’ part and used it as the formation of the phrase ‘Fry-up’, a common colloquialism used to refer to an English Breakfast. How clever is that? I nearly took them back when I realised they *didn’t* have the felicitousness of Fry, but that’s just my personal preference.
The all-important taste test reveals something weirdly uncanny going on. It *actually* tastes of a Great English Fry-up. The first to come through is fried egg, then sweet tomato-y beans and an undercurrent of smoky baconage last to arrive on the palette. Maybe I detected the slightest hint of herby sausage but I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t get black pudding or the mouldy pizza but it was satisfyingly breakfast-like anyway.
Taking the metaphor one step further and to make sure I was giving the crisps their full dues, I also served the crisps on a plate with some fried bread, a big dollop of brown sauce and a pint of Guiness. They all went down very nicely thank you, especially here at work where we are encouraged to drink alcohol to make the handling of all this safety equipment a whole lot less stressful. Them ‘elf and safety do-gooders don’t know nuffink.
I also tried some crisps for tea, served with a salad, truffle shavings and another pint of Guinesh. This didn’t work ash well. The truffle shavings were too earthy and the shalad too shtingy to add any value to the dish. The Guinesh went down really well though and I shtill ate the crishps.
For shtupper, I had like, another couple of Guinesh and shum more crishpsh and a kebab or shumfing. They were blooming marveloush and have I ever told you I love you? I really really do. Then I fell ashleep, breaking wind and weeing myshelf a liccle bit.
These Stephen Fry crisps were actually really nice and if I’d had a blind taste test, I think I would have picked out its fried breakfast intentions. The egg in particular came through strongly and while it may sound really weird to have egg on a crisp, just think of eggs and hash browns and it’s not such a big leap. As I write this on a sun-drenched beach in the Maldives, I can close my eyes and be whisked back to a greasy spoon roadside cafe on the A59 to Worksop, rain battering down on the tin roof, lorry drivers swearing and reading Playboy and a great big fry-up waiting to be devoured with a mug of tea filled with 17 spoons of sugar. Lovely jubbly. Pass the brown sauce will you?
Looking at the ingredients, there are potatoes and sunflower oil. The seasoning part has salt, black pepper, sage, butter flavouring (oh goodness, butter, arghghghghghgh), dried milk lactose (must be for the mug of tea), sugar (told you), glucose (huh?), Potassium Chloride (must be good for you, it’s a chemical), citric acid (that’s like, lemons isn’t it?), garlic (yuk … French) and smoke flavouring (Result! Told you Benson and Hedges were part of breakfast).
There are 183 kcal’s per 34.5g pack. Disappointingly, that’s a whole lot less than the average fried breakfast. Salt only makes 0.34g, a mere 1% which surprised me. Fat, I’m happy to report, is a whacking great 11.2g or nearly 30%. That’s more like it. Yum. Suitable for vegetarians too but I’m pretty sure there were no lettuce leaves in there.
Looking at the small print, Walkers will donate 5p for every packet of crisps sold. BUT, they will still only donate 5p if you buy a multi-pack so buy them singularly and make the global crisp congloms pay, make them pay real good.
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