Nik Naks Nice N’ Spicy

‘The Nice N’ Spicys have a cult following, but the Ventrilocrisp challenges any fan to accurately pinpoint their flavour from memory.’

The Nik Naks Nice N’ Spicy is one of the Ventrilocrisp’s all-time favourite crisps. They sank into obscurity in the 2000s, but not without making their mark on the Ventrilocrisp. It spent years in hot pursuit of that elusive, tangy flavour, never finding an equal. The Ventrilocrisp has an independent local supplier, but there are promising signs that the crisp is finally returning to the mainstream: they are back in the Tesco meal deal. Hope springs eternal.

This devil may care crisp does not set out to please. The packaging is garish (this venal bag has an advert on it) and the crude font looks like the graffiti tag of a teenage boy. The packet lazily refuses to put in a hard sell: the strongest adjective on the packet is ‘nice’. Physically, the crisps lack charisma: the knobbly orange sticks are ugly and misshapen; the flavours brash and polarising. And yet, like a tuber grown from the dirt, the Nik Naks are perfect.

It is the wanton tongue, perversely craving a shock, that drives the purchase of Nik Naks. For the Nice N’ Spicys excel in their ability to surprise. Their lemony, vinegary tang is always unexpected; a curveball that catches even the most experienced batsman unawares. The name is a misnomer: the crisps are spicy in attitude but certainly not in flavour. Light curry seasoning gives the crisp the savoury, oniony foundation to support their almighty punch. The Ventrilocrisp detects the pickled, briny taste of cornichon, which is thoroughly absorbed by the corn base. Remarkable! This unique combination of flavours is pungent but treads —just—on the side of acceptability. Why is this strange crisp so delicious? Simple: its irresistible tang. Nik Naks have taken an axe to crisp convention, creating a genre of their own.

The Nice N’ Spicys have a cult following, but the Ventrilocrisp challenges any fan to accurately pinpoint their flavour from memory. The experience is transient. Once the fragrant, cloying scent on the breath and fingertips begins to fade, the memory disappears. The spell has worn off. Like Cinderella after the ball, the consumer is left, glass slipper in hand, unable to shake the experience and yet uncertain whether it really happened.

  • repurchase? ☑️
  • recommend to a friend? ☑️
  • eat this crisp in public? ❎
  • consider the price to be right? ☑️
  • need to wash hands after consumption? ☑️

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