Once a cheap staple for school lunch boxes and pub snacks, the humble crisp has been transformed into a hand-baked, organically oiled gourmet experience.
From caviar to cheese and port, there's no flavour left unturned in the hunt for ever posher nibbles.
But even in an era when crisps cost a packet, the news that the UK's most upmarket grocery store, Fortnum & Mason, is selling a tub of plain ones for £24.99 sounds eye-watering, rather than mouth-watering.
So how much crunch do you really get for your upper-crust crisps? TANITH CAREY takes a bite...
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From caviar to cheese and port, there's no flavour left unturned in the hunt for ever posher nibbles
Bonilla al la Vista Patatas Fritas, 500g, £24.95 (Fortnum and Mason, fortnumandmason.com)
Calories per 100g: 576
How many crisps in the packet? 360
Price per crisp: 6.93p
They have natural star quality, thanks to coming in statement packaging — a large white tin can — rather than a traditional foil bag
It was a surprise cameo in a kitchen scene in Oscar-winning film Parasite that catapulted this Spanish brand — founded on a market stand in 1932 — to cult status.
They have natural star quality, thanks to coming in statement packaging — a large white tin can — rather than a traditional foil bag.
While this is reminiscent of a tin of Dulux, it not only keeps them fresh, but it also means they don't have to be decanted into a bowl and are ready to serve at picnics or with cocktails.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
But how do they taste?
When it comes down to it, they look like the Golden Wonder crisps of my childhood — large, light-coloured and pleasantly flimsy.
Taste-wise they are quite bland, due the fact the Spanish design their crisps as blank canvases to dip into salsa, so these crisps comprise only three ingredients: potatoes, olive oil and sea salt.
Since you can get a 24-bag multi-pack of Walkers crisps, 600g in total, for just £3.50 — a price difference of £21 — it's not worth splashing out.4/10CAVIAR CANAPE TO ENJOY WITH CAVA
However if you drill down to the ingredients, this is in fact 4.62 per cent caviar 'flavouring'
Torres Selecta Caviar flavoured, 125g, £3.95 (Harvey Nichols, harveynichols.com)
Calories per 100g: 616
How many crisps? 125
Price per crisp: 3.16p
Torres is another Spanish brand taking on the British at their own game, although they seem to have been making gourmet versions long before us, as Torres was founded in Barcelona in 1969. Rather than wolfing these down with a cider at the pub, Harvey Nicks proclaims they should be enjoyed with champagne or cava as an alternative to canapés — only with the caviar already blended in.
However if you drill down to the ingredients, this is in fact 4.62 per cent caviar 'flavouring'.
Like many of the Spanish offerings, these are fresh-testing and super crisp. 6/10MICHELIN-STARRED TRUFFLE CRUNCH
Truffle Superbon, 40g, £1.75 (Harvey Nichols)
Calories per 100g: 515
How many crisps? 35
Price per crisp: 5p
This all comes at a price, because even though the rest is potato and sunflower oil, they cost around 5p each — five times as much as a Walkers crisp. 6/10
It's said there are crisps, posh crisps — then there's Superbon.
That's because these were invented by Michelin-starred French chef Philippe Emanuelli.
He brings his renowned mushroom flavours to the masses by using the most exclusive fungi of all, truffles. Bite into one and you're hit by the musty truffly flavour, though the ingredients say they contain only 0.3 per cent