Chips à L’Ancienne: Saveur Moutarde

‘The firey tang of the condiment is forceful, travelling from the tip of the tongue to the throat like a burning paper bag, blazing before it is softly extinguished.’

Change does not often befall the Ventrilocrisp’s tiny world. The greatest shift of the past five years was the switch from rolled to jumbo oats for its morning porridge. Now, however, the Ventrilocrisp stares straight into the jaws of the demon.

As luck may have it, Change brought with her some fresh perspectives. With wide eyes, the Ventrilocrisp began to see the world as if for the first time. It began with a revaluation of mustard, now finding itself charmed by the potent, girthy flavour that it formerly found abrasive. It came to relish the rude kick of a Dijon; to savour the thrill of anticipation when slathering it on to a barbecue bun. But Chips à L’Ancienne have put the Ventrilocrisp’s love affair with mustard to the ultimate test: how does it fare as a crisp flavour?

The chips, speckled with mustard seeds, are predictably based on a wholegrain mustard. They wear their heart on their sleeve: the flavour is unmistakeable; unapologetic. The firey tang of the condiment is forceful, travelling from the tip of the tongue to the throat like a burning paper bag, blazing before it is softly extinguished. The crisps are peppery and vigorous, the snarling wholegrain muzzled only by the crisp’s salty base.

Yet for all this mighty flavour, the crisps were weak and crumbling in structure. They travelled poorly, disintegrating easily into a decimated powder which ran like sand through the withered, hardened nubs of the Ventrilocrisp’s fingertips. The Ventrilocrisp’s long teeth made light work of the few paper-thin survivors.

A digression (if the Ventrilocrisp may). The letter e on its father’s computer keyboard has broken. Try as the old man might to use e-less words, his patience wears thin. He curses blindly, succumbing to fits of rage. For a keyboard without the letter e —like a kitchen without mustard—will only get you so far. Both are hard to live without but —and this is crucial to the anecdote— meaningless alone. And there’s the rub: mustard does not work well on its own. Whilst these are a perfectly edible snack with a novel kick, they are too divisive; too one-note to become a favourite.

Reader, you know what’s coming: this crisp does not cut the mustard.

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