Snack your way through Europe with these fascinating flavors of chips

Chips
Chips

Snack your way through Europe with these fascinating flavors of chips

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Indulging in street food is nowadays recognized as a perfectly respectable vacationer's pastime. But even when there’s not a food truck in sight, there's one treat that’s always a snap to get hold of. Just waltz into any convenience store or supermarket, and this salty snack you know and love from home will invariably be there to tempt you. Yes, we're talking about the humble potato chip. Checking out the weird and wonderful flavors of chips available in other nations can make for an amusing and tasty pit stop. Here are 10 flavors, both well-known and obscure, to munch on while waiting for buses or taking a break from all that sightseeing in your travels around Europe.

Austria: While we’re all used to seeing onion flavor on chips, usually in combination with a sour cream or cheese taste, the Austrians go one step further in finding inspiration from a pungent veggie. The maker Kelly’s is the creator of Knoblauch chips, which taste of garlic. While these might not be the best choice before date night, they might help to encourage social distancing.

Belgium: The Bicky burger, a fried chicken and pork patty served in a sesame seed bun and topped with pickles, ketchup and crunchy fried onions, is a fast-food specialty of “frituurs” throughout the nation. This fast-food favorite gets its distinctive taste from the special hot and spicy sauces with which it’s served, and the taste of Lay’s Bicky Crisp potato chips is perhaps more reminiscent of the condiments than the burger itself.

Croatia: Most European countries seem to have a sausage or two that’s their pride and joy, and in Croatia, one of these is the Kulen, a paprika-flavored, smoked pork sausage that’s sliced and eaten as is. If you can’t get hold of the real deal, dipping into a bag of Čipi Čips Kulen chips might be the next best thing.

France: Meat flavored chips abound, so it’s only fair that fowl play too. Poulet Rôti, or roast chicken, is the protagonist in this chip whose flavor might remind you ever so slightly of a bouillon cube. When the rotisserie’s not open, or someone’s grabbed the last bird, a bag of Lay’s Poulet Rôti can stand in for your lost roast dinner.

Greece: There’s a certain herb that the Greeks like to put on all kinds of foods from grilled lamb to roasted potatoes, so small wonder that oregano-flavored versions of chips abound here. Bite into a Tottis oregano chip and dream your way to a whitewashed island surrounded by the deep blue Aegean Sea – or better yet, indulge in them in such a place!

Germany: Of all the interesting flavors of chips that are widely available throughout the country, why not reach for the chip modeled after one of the nation’s favorite fast food snacks, the currywurst? Funny-frisch brand makes a Currywurst style chip inspired by the taste of a fresh-off-the-grill brat smothered with fruity and spicy tomato sauce and crowned with a generous sprinkle of curry.

Netherlands: A dill pickle-flavored potato chip may at first glance sound a bit repulsive but fear not and take the plunge. It’s not so much the spice of the dill but a pleasing tang that makes a bag of these a great choice for fans of salt and vinegar chips. Try Croky chips Pickels to see what you’ve been missing all your life.

Russia: Red caviar, produced from the roe of various species of salmon, is revered as a delicacy in Russia. If you can’t afford the real thing, or don’t relish the squidgy sensation of biting into fish eggs, perhaps a bag of Lay’s krasnaya ikra, or red caviar chips, will satisfy your sophisticated palate?

Spain: Walk into any tapas bar, and chances are there’s an enormous ham hock hanging from its ceiling. This is Iberian ham, made from a special kind of pig native to Spain that’s renowned for its succulent, marbled red meat. The crisps manufacturer Torres attempts to capture the melt-in-your-mouth taste of this specialty in the form of its Jamon Iberico chips.

United Kingdom: The prawn cocktail, an appetizer wildly popular back in the 1970s, inspired the flavor of these chips, or should we say crisps, which Brits have been happily munching upon for decades already. Walker’s Prawn Cocktail chips are always a solid choice, and you’ll often find a snack-sized bag of them just waiting to be purchased while downing a pint in a pub.

Which wild and wonderful chip flavors have you enjoyed in your travels?

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