Friday, March 22, 2013

VEGAN LONDON: Salt and Vinegar Crisps!

I'm not as big of a potato chip fan as some people (VM), but I do like me some salt and vinegar chips.  A while back it came to my attention that Kettle makes a sea salt and balsamic vinegar flavor, but that it was only available in the UK.  I emailed them and they responded- something to the effect of "too bad" (in a nice way).  I'd forgotten all about this until we arrived at Heathrow and found them in the first airport shop we passed! 

Disclaimer: I didn't initially buy the 5-pack; that came later (that same day).

The sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps were better than I could have expected: salt, vinegar, and a hint of sweet.  Plus, who can resist this?

As it turned out, salt and vinegar chips were aplenty in London.  While most in the States contain milk products, we found very few (Harrod's: fail!) with that problem while abroad.  And believe me, I looked.  I bought these at the local supermarket, Waitrose: Kettle salt and malt vinegar crisps.  Extra credit for being ridgies!


These REAL sea salt and cider vinegar crisps came from Starbucks. 

They were decent, but this lady's face was false advertising; they were barely tart.

I found the Mackie's of Scotland sea salt and vinegar crisps at Whole Foods in Kensington.  They were thick cut and basically the bomb.

I'm sorry to say that these Barrow Boys salt and vinegar crisps from (spoiler alert!) Ms. Cupcake were the dud of the bunch.  It's a shame because they seem to be a very vegan-friendly company; unfortunately, it was a small bag of browned, oily chips that neither of us enjoyed.  I hate to admit it, but we- gasp- threw out half the bag and didn't really continue our salt and vinegar crisp tour of London any more afterwards.

This may seem like a lot of crisps, but I promise I shared.  Not with strangers, mind: with my traveling companion.  Also, we did so much sightseeing that we really didn't have time for lunches, so every day there was a pack of crisps in the bag for emergency snacking.  I can report that I ate crisps at just about every main tourist sight in London (zones 1-6)!

London tip: Potato chips are called crisps.  If you say chips, people could assume you are referring to French Fries.  I can imagine more awful things than receiving French Fries when you want potato chips, but now you know.


  1. so you went to Starbucks and Whole Foods? We have both of those here... That's like when people go to Olive Garden in Times Sq (Times Sq really does need better vegan food...)

  2. BYOL- Explanations will be forthcoming!

  3. Abby,

    London: The salt and vinegar heaven. (zones 1-6, of course)

  4. Abby,

    PS, I’ll let you school BYOL….

  5. Oh man, definitely approved snack food. I love that flavor but yr right, most kinds have milk in them. What brands do you know of here that are vegan?
    Balsamic vinegar must be a whole nother world. In Canada they have ketchup flavored chips, and France has paprika spiced pringles. What happened to globalization??

  6. My Vegan Gut- seriously! Who does he think he's dealing with? Doesn't he know there's a method to our madness?

    foodfued- we might be soul mates. In the US, Kettle's are dairy-free (alas, no vegan designation) but not balsamic (and therefore inferior)...I think Lay's might have a thin s&v as well? Anyway, I can't concentrate because you said the magic words: ketchup potato chips rock my world! Herr's, but they're hard to find. Last place that had 'em was that fancy supermarkety thing in the east village that's intended mainly for NYU-ers. I ducked in over the summer to suck up some of the A/C that was escaping from their giant, automatic doors and my ingenuity was rewarded with ketchup PCs.

  7. My Vegan Gut- PS: the zone reference was for you!


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