Marmite Potato Chips: Do They Suck, Or What?

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When was the last time you saw a black potato-chip bag?


The Brits have been racing far ahead of the Yanks when it comes to potato-chip flavors. As Fork in the Road has frequently reported, the snack flavors found in the U.K. often verge on the shocking. While we plod along with the usual Sour Cream & Onion and Nacho Cheese, the English are munching things like Roast Chicken, Worcestershire Sauce, Salt Marsh Lamb & Mint, and Pickled Onion chips.

These usually don't contain actual quantities of the marquee ingredients, but cunning mixtures of chemicals thought to resemble chicken or lamb, or whatever odd taste combo they happen to be flaunting.

An exception, though, are the Marmite crisps recently found at the London Candy Company on the Upper East Side. Now, in case you didn't know, Marmite is a bottled flavoring invented in Britain in the late 19th century as something to do with the malty by-products of brewing beer. For years, it masqueraded as health food, and was regarded as a boon to vegetarians for its meaty flavor. I would say the flavor is more fishy than meaty, with an overwhelming saltiness that's decidedly an acquired taste.

Nevertheless, denizens of the former British Empire -- especially those in New Zealand, where the Marmite is even skankier, and in South Africa -- go ape-shit over the dark paste, which is spread on bread or used in toasted cheese sandwiches. King Arthur, help us!

Now along comes a potato chip (known as a "crisp" in England -- the word "chip" is reserved for french fries) flavored with Marmite. As I picked up a bag, I wondered if it would be as bad as I feared.


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4 comments
Carolyn B.
Carolyn B.

We have a limited edition Vegemite flavoured potato chips in Australia too. I personally do not like Vegemite but my husband has had 3 packets so far! One man's meat is another man's poison is all I can say.

Tifa333
Tifa333

I would eat those in a heartbeat. In my opinion, the trick to getting into Marmite is using the teeny-tiniest amount with a ton of butter on toast. It'll just taste a little yeasty and salty. Then increase the amount each time as you get used to it. Once you really start liking it you'll recognize more of the complex flavors masked by the turbo-salt-punch. Sometimes it even tastes like cheddar cheese. I hated Marmite as a child, but not unlike whiskey, grew to love it.  ~ A marmite-loving American

David Pollack
David Pollack

have you tried the Utz crab flavored chips?  They would fit right in as a strange snack

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