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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Curious Incident Of The Co-op Assistant And The Kettle Chips

Recently I was reminded of this exchange in the classic Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze”:

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

And so to the curious incident of the Co-op sales assistant and the Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar flavoured Kettle Chips. Everyone knows the value of Kettle Chips: they are both a good source of post drinking nutrition and an easy to prepare breakfast. Their salt and vinegar crisps are particularly appealing to the connoisseur, offering a good, sharp, bite and oak-aged Modena vinegar.

Thus one night, having had my body once more tortured trying to keep up with Eddie, the eager, legal beagle’s excesses; I called in for some late night help. The local Co-op is always a reliable, if expensive (except when it’s 2 for £2), source. However, on this occasion, the cupboard was completely bare. Enquiries met with the response that they would be on the shelves tomorrow.

So, come tomorrow, I set forth with high expectations. Still nothing on the shelves. Apparently there is a Kettle Chip shortage, explains the assistant. They don’t know when they will be next coming in. Really? Dejectedly I returned home. Later I had reason to call in again for something else. Consider my puzzlement on discovering their shelves now groaning under the weight of Lightly Salted, Ready Salted and, frustratingly, Sweet Chilli. My inquiry as to the fate of the Kettle Chip shortage was met by a shrug of the shoulders.

Reluctantly I decided to take my business to those most successful of grocers, Tesco. Normally I try to limit my visits to Tesco to special occasions-shoplifting practice, hiding the Daily Mail in the freezer and that sort of thing. But the craving was simply too great. Once more, however, I was met with disappointment, with the shelves stubbornly empty of crisp nirvana. A gross failure of the “free” market system? Or a cleverly orchestrated conspiracy? You decide.

A helpful assistant suggested Burt’s as an alternative. They are from Devon and have a good reputation. However, I am not familiar with Burt’s and so unsure of their abilities. I may have been willing to experiment on this occasion, but the lack of a salt and vinegar option deterred me. The visit was not a complete waste, though. I picked up some Brewdog Punk IPA at 99p each or 4 for £4. And a new, rather yummy, cheese they were promoting-Isle of Man Vintage Cheddar. Oh and I managed to put the Daily Mail where it belonged, right next to the Beano.

In case you were worried, the story has a happy ending. I eventually reached the end of the rainbow at Asda where the rare Wave Cut style were on offer.


NAM said...

Only extreme crisps go with extreme beer. I commend Seabrooks' Wasabi, Mustard or Two Chillis crisps (that's three separate flavours, using the word flavours slightly loosely).

Hmm, beer and crisp matching. Less poncey than food matching.

Paul Bailey said...

Burts crisps are really good. Give then a try next time you can't get Kettle Chips!

Barry said...

Kettle Chips are great,but I find it difficult to find all the flavours. The big shops only seem to sell the basic range. Where can I find the full spectrum?

Danny said...

I can also recommend Burts as an alternative to Kettle Chips. They are starting to become more readily available in the North West and they have a real tangy kick.

Penny said...

Not an ideal breakfast I would have thought. What's wrong with museli?

Reanna said...

I'm more of a McCoys girl...

Big Ted said...

McCoys are way too harsh.They leave your tongue and gums tingling from all the salt and excessive vinegar.I'm a Seabrooks man.

Tyson said...


I agree-beer and crisp matching is the future.


I will try Burts. They just didn't have the flavour I wanted at the time.


Museli is for wine bloggers.

Mick said...

Cheese & Onion McCoys are too grating I've found.They are really rough and are certainly not crisps for the beginner to enjoy.

Dr Doolittle said...

They are NOT chips. They ARE crisps. Chips ARE what you eat with fish. Do NOT mistake the two.

craig and lisa said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned Pringles Sour Cream.They're top.

Danny said...

You have to be shitting me. Pringles? They are like keg club Bitter. Next you will be saying Walkers are good.

craig and lisa said...

Pringles go down a treat plus you can always get them on offer.I used to quite like Monster Munch as well.

Simple Simon said...

Are they still doing Monster Munch? Seriously they were pretty rank though. I always thought they were just for kids.McCoys are good because the ridge cuts really trap the flavour on your tongue but I know they are not to everyone's taste.

Ale Fan said...

Well said Dr Doolittle. My thoughts entirely!

Leigh said...

Kettle Chips are a serious matter. I have recently supplemented my stash with some of Red Sky's offerings, which are very nice indeed.