Tyrrell's Salt Marsh Lamb & Mint Potato Chips. Wow!
I love potato chips, but I look upon the wildly flavored ones with a jaundiced eye. Usually, the declaration of ingredients doesn't list any of the things the chips are supposed to be flavored with, meaning that an elaborate series of powdered chemicals are used to achieve the flavors. Roast-chicken-flavored chips, for example, taste almost nothing like chicken, and the chemical cocktail used to produce them brings nothing but a salty burn to the lips. In the same way, Doritos Tacos at Midnight chips taste nothing like a real taco. Then I tried Tyrrell's Salt Marsh Lamb & Mint.
The bag of chips (or "crisps," as they're usually called in the U.K.) was brought back from London by Lauren Shockey, and am I grateful! The minute I opened the bag and the smell wafted up, I knew they weren't the usual chips.
But what the hell is salt-marsh lamb? Known in French as agneau de pré-salé, it refers to an animal that has grazed on grasses in salt-marsh estuaries, where there's a unique mixture of salt-tolerant herbs that flavor the meat.
So, how do you get this unique flavor into a chip? Well, you don't, but the name is a flag of convenience to provide any mixture of herby flavors. The whole thing is sort of tongue-in-cheek, as evidenced by the antique picture of a woman in a funny hat crouching down to pet a pair of sheep, whose blankets read "Bo-Peep."
Yet the chips do taste vaguely of salt-marsh herbs, and the mint is way back there in importance, detectable in every third chip or so. The flavor is meaty and gamy, too, truly a thing unto itself.
When you read the declaration of ingredients, you'll be surprised. Though it's as long and tedious as any other, certain actual ingredients you might have in your kitchen leap out, including sea salt, parsley, ground cumin, ground coriander seed, rosemary, oregano, and licorice(!). Most important is an ingredient halfway down the list, meaning there isn't a hell of a lot of it in the mix: lamb fat, meaning that there is some actual lamb in there.
Somehow, the whole thing works, and I wholeheartedly recommend these chips. Just see if you can find them here.
Check out Fork in the Road's other Strange Snacks of the World.