We all have a little snack or two to fill those hungry gaps, or occupy our mouths when we’re feeling bored, which you would never claim to be culinary marvels. But they can be a great comfort all the same.
Sometimes I have a yen for a crisp sandwich: white bread, real butter and a packet of scrunched up ready salted for preference as the filling. But even better is a pickled egg in a packet of crisps, preferably in a pub with a pint of beer.
I’ve been eating it for years but I still come across people who have never heard of this little nibble. So perhaps it is a regional thing. They certainly know about it in the West Country, where I ate it a lot while working on the now deceased Sunday Independent newspaper in Devon.
(For North American readers I ought to explain here that a British crisp is the same as a potato chip to you, while a potato chip for us is a your French fry).
It was never better than when you had a packet of Smith’s Crisps plain crisps with the salt in a little blue paper twist which you sprinkled mostly over the egg. Hopefully the egg should have been scooped by the barman out of the jar with a little bit of vinegar so, in the end, you got salt and vinegar crisps. On a good night you had a riot of textures: the rubbery egg white, soft yolk, and crisp-going-on sogginess of the crisps, depending on where in the packet you delved.
Some, like me, preferred plain crisps. Other people reckoned cheese n onion was the flavour to go for.
The other night I had just such a yen. I had the pickled eggs, home made of course. But I didn’t have any crisps so I tried it in a packet of Quavers. Not bad but not as good as proper crisps. So I bought a packet of crisps and tried it again the next day.