London Journal - All the flavours of London
By Kaitlyn S C Hatch on January 21, 2013
Everyone who comes to visit me in London quickly discovers and falls in love with Pret. Pret is, for those who don't know, a chain owned by McDonalds that is as far removed from McDonalds as it can be other than having a super recognisable brand. That is, it's recognisable to anyone in the UK.
Anyhoo, Pret is actually pretty awesome because they have loads of delicious fresh things and they are one of the few places that does crisp flavours I like. I've not been a fan of crisps for some years now. Pretty much since I stopped being a teenager. I think, as a teenager, your body wants you to consume as much as possible so it dulls your taste buds to things like cold alphagettis straight out of the can or microwavable frozen pizzas.
MSG makes me bokey and a lot of crisp flavours I might go for (Sweet chilli, anything with lime) tend to have gluten as well.
But Pret has this amazing ability to make their fancy flavours actually taste like the thing they're supposed to be. For example, their chilli lime pickle taste just like the pickle chutney that accompanies poppadoms in Indian restaurants in London. It's amazing and shockingly addictive. Normally about three crisps is my fill and the remainder of the bag will go to the first person who will take it, but not with a bag of chilli lime pickle chips. No. Those are mine and I'd open the packet and lick the bag if it wasn't entirely uncouth.
So I was in King's Cross, lookign for an after dinner snack before my Graphic Design course at Saint Martins began (have I mentioned how much I love Saint Martins and that I want to spend every day there because it's gorgeous and the library is amazing?) when I spotted a Pret. I moseyed over and found them completely out of my coveted favourite flavour but all was not lost! They regularly introduce new flavours and lo-and-behold, a new flavour was there. Virgin Mary. As in Bloody Mary, not as in the mother of Jesus.
Look at that packaging. Isn't that lovely?
So I picked up a bag and headed towards Saint Martins (that super glorious amazing place where I'm currently studying a course which is both awesome and helpful).
Chip flavours are country specific. I don't know if you know that but it was something I discovered when I went to Australia. Aussie's have a lot of chicken flavours. Rosemary chicken, fried chicken, chilli chicken. They don't have dill pickle or ketchup. Those are Canadian flavours and ones which I find it really difficult to explain to anyone outside of Canada. They either cringe at the thought or they look blankly at me, unable to imagine what ketchup flavour crisps would be like, let alone why someone would want to eat them.
Well, people of the UK, the Virgin Mary crisps from Pret taste exactly like ketchup chips. And people of Canada, I found a ketchup flavoured chip that doesn't stain your fingers red because it's actually flavoured with natural seasonings and not MSG and dye #8, or whatever weird concoction of chemicals they use.
I know it seems funny to write an entire blog entry about a bag of crisps, but I simply couldn't help myself. I was so stunned by the flavour (which transported me right back to my childhood, when Ketchup was my favourite flavour chip) that I had to share it. Besides, I've not done a London Journal entry in a long, long time and I've decided I want to do them again because they're fun and it reminds me to look for all that I still have to discover about living here.