Walkers Prawn Cocktail Crisps vs. Skips Prawn Cocktail Crisps
Prawn cocktail is the British equivalent of our own shrimp cocktail. But while our recipe dates to the early 20th century (it appeared as early as 1909 in a New Orleans cookbook as "Chevrettes a la Sauce Tomate,"calling for two tablespoons of ketchup), the English version didn't appear until the 1970s, and became inexorably associated with that decade.
Another distinguishing feature is that, while the American recipe is mainly ketchup and horseradish, the English deploys a sauce known as Marie Rose. Resembling Russian dressing, this mixture of ketchup and mayo is sometimes goosed up with lemon juice, or even a little tabasco sauce.
Let us note at the outset that the English are generally much wilder in their crisp preference than the Americans, inventing all sorts of strange flavorings - including Worcestershire, mustard, kebab, Texas paprika, cheese and onion, lamb and mint, smoky bacon, anchovy, Cajun squirrel, and roast chicken - that probably couldn't gain a foothold here.
It seems natural, then, the potato chip manufacturers in England would summon Marie Rose when casting about for new flavors. In the U.K., of course, potato chips are known as "crisps," while our own French fries are called "chips." Confused?