A chicken katsu curry crisp, with (Michael) Marks and (Thomas) Spencer as its unlikely parents? The Ventrilocrisp’s curiosity was immediately piqued. A world of flavour travels from the open bag to the nostril: creamy coconut, potent lemongrass, heady ginger and mellow cumin. We’re in the thick of a bustling Japanese kitchen, pots and pans clanging, herbs sizzling on an open flame. Taste that crisp, though, and suddenly the game is up. In terms of flavour, yes, you’ve got herbs in abundance; more herbs than you can shake a stick at. The coconut is especially pervasive, whilst the lemongrass is domineering, even aggressive. The crisp is fragrant, both in smell and flavour. There’s an encroaching sweetness with each aromatic bite, a sweetness which does its best to counteract the growing feeling of disappointment. Why? These crisps lack body. They lack tangible, salty substance – that robust savoury flavour which keeps you coming back for more. The crisp must be saltier! The crisp must always be saltier! How many times! The katsu crisp is a garnish masquerading as a main meal; a well-disguised counterfeit.
Listen, these crisps are certainly novel. But the Ventrilocrisp’s enjoyment of the specimen was hollow. The Ventrilocrisp may have an appetite for adventure, but it also has a hankering for salt. Try these crisps once and sure, you’ll be taken for a ride. You’ll be charmed by the experience of the unknown: the unfamiliar packet, the flavour, the scent. But when that bag is empty, you’ll not come back for more. These crisps are a talking point only; a cry for attention; all hat, no cattle. Take that premonitory packaging as a caution.
The Ventrilocrisp thanks @leahskahn for her patronage with these crisps.