Off the Eaten Path pea and bean sticks

‘Back in 2019 a recycling presentation at work threw the ethics of the Ventrilocrisp’s practice into question: by and large, crisp packets are not recyclable.’

Off the Eaten Path Pea and Bean Sticks packet. These crisps come in a cardboard box.

Interminable darkness has fallen over the world and ruined the Ventrilocrisp’s life. Now, it skulks the black streets with the foxes (one is the size of an Alsatian). The Off the Eaten Path sticks —copper brown; yellow; green— recapture the colours of the autumn leaves. Colours which would, in their prime, stop the Ventrilocrisp mid-stride to gaze in wonder. But cruel winter has ransacked the trees, and the leaves, regrettably, are now slurry underfoot.

Back in 2019 (an otherwise unremarkable year) a recycling presentation at work threw the ethics of the Ventrilocrisp’s practice into question: by and large, crisp packets are not recyclable. Yes, reader, the Ventrilocrisp has a conscience, and this weighed heavily upon it. This box, thankfully, is fully recyclable. Finally, the Ventrilocrisp would sleep easy.

The box, however, is designed for portion control, with a sealable flap. Ho! The Ventrilocrisp laughed long and hard at this. The coy crisp is the winner of a Great Taste Award. But the Ventrilocrisp will be the judge here: tasty as they be, the crisps do not deserve a place in the trophy cabinet.

Firstly, balsamic vinegar and onion crisps are one of nature’s great excesses. Good flavours are needlessly squandered when, if truth be told, they work better alone. Here, the balsam asserts itself over the onion, a firm hand masked by a sweet, gentle manner. The sticks themselves have an earthy taste, the pea sweeter than the bean. The onion, meanwhile, adds a rustic flavour, bringing the elegant balsam, dancing on the tongue, back down to earth.

That said, the Ventrilocrisp found the flavour —however pleasing and sophisticated— to be somewhat muted. Once, it worked in a children’s play centre (it crawled through the equipment on its hands and knees to clean it, like a hamster in a toilet roll). Strewn across the floor, it found Ella’s Kitchen puffs – child-friendly crisps with the taste and consistency of dry vegetable. Unfortunately, the two tube-shaped crisps are alike in their milder flavouring. The Off the Eaten Paths are not bland. But in this dark, muted world —of Zoom; of half-measures— the Ventrilocrisp longed for total submersion in flavour.

  • Repurchase? If the price was right
  • 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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