Thursday, June 10, 2010

So many different chips today when only Simba was just fine for me as a kid

When I started sub a (grade 1) in 1975, in East London, chips had just gone up from 5c a packet to 8c a packet. I think postage stamps cost the same at the time. The small packets of chips were Simba chips and I would buy a packet at breaktime. I'm not sure how many flavours of Simba chips were around at the time, but at the school tuckshop they had only salt and vinegar, tomato sauce (or just tomato?) and smoked beef. Smoked beef was my favourite.

Somewhere down the line, I discovered (or they started making) cheese and onion flavoured Simba chips, and they overtook the smoked beef as my favourite. There were only smooth chips. Then I remember suddenly hearing about and seeing Willards crinkle cut chips in the shops - that was awesome - Willards crinkle cut chips had little bumps in them!

I loved chips. I wouldn't always just crunch away at them, but would sometimes let the chip lay on my tongue awhile, and I would savour the flavour, and let the chip become soggy, before I munched and swallowed.

Lots of tiny bits of broken chips in a packet was not fun for a little kid, as my friends and I would sit at breaktime and compare how big some of our chips were. Some seemed really huge.

A whole larger variety of different flavours of chips crept in later, and fried chicken flavour was also one of my favourite, and what ever happened to that flavour I enjoyed in high school - smoked snoek? That smoked snoek flavour was yummy!

Then there were cheese curls and Nik Naks, and if one was having a braai or party, there had to be chipniks and dips.

oGrady's was another chip I enjoyed - and now they seem to be back again, or maybe they never went away? I used to remember that oGrady's were so thick, and being more thick, seemed to have more spices on them. They were more filling too. The oGrady's chips I buy in the shops now don't seem as thick, but then again nothing seems as big these days as how they seemed when I was still just a kid.

Flings too, I still love, and they're oh so useful and tasty for little toddlers - even if a bit messy, but, wow, so full of flavour. Our dog likes the odd few flings too. :)

Chipstix were also different and tasty.

Pringles were also interesting and very tasty, all stacked neatly and individually on top of each other in a tall container, instead of in a packet. Even though thick oGrady's were tasty, Pringles were thin, but also tasty.

Chips also became no longer just thin or thick, or smooth and crinkled, or puffy like Chipnix, Flings, and Cheese Curls, but new shapes climbed onboard too - like triangle Doritos. My boys often choose Doritos. Doritos has enough different flavours to satisfy most chip fans - or should I say crisp fans - I think somewhere along the line I had a friend or too who came from the UK and I discovered that people in the UK and USA called chips crisps. It made sense as here in South Africa if you told a friend you're buying some chips at the takeaway, they wanted to know if you meant "slap" chips or Simba chips, and since not all packets of chips contained Simba chips, calling chips crisps made a lot of sense (and they ARE crisp, as compared to slap potato chips, cut in strips from a potato and fried or baked and served warm.)

There were also screw shaped chips, ball shaped chips and circle chips.

There were, or are, also chips not made from potatoes, but rather from corn, as in Big Corn Bites, and I still can't decide if I prefer the tomato flavoured ones or the barbeque flavoured ones. Fritos have also always gone down well.

When it comes to cheese flavoured chips, I think hardly anything can beat cheese Nik Naks for loads of flavour.

Melt in the mouth prawn flavoured chips are also one of my latest favourites.

Wow, loads of chips, when all I started with, way back when, was just three flavours of Simba chips!

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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  1. salt and vinegar, cheese and onion, then plain (or lightly salted) in any brand is good. BUT, in Simba they're great!

  2. Just had a packet of cheese curls, not the same..they were so much tastier and more melt-in-the mouth as a kid, they seem harder now and the flavour is not as great


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