Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Answering the Big Questions, Questioning the Big Answers

I got a packet of salt and vinegar chips the other day. Not Samboys, those things seem to have disappeared. Smith's Salt and Vinegar chips. I noticed that they were described as 'crinkle cut'. What is 'crinkle cut'? I opened the packet and they turned out to be ruffled. Since when did 'ruffled' chips start to be described as 'crinkle cut'? The names surely describe very different things.

Besides, anyone who knows anything about cast iron will know that these chips aren't crinkled, and they may not even be ruffled

- they're corrugated.

Incidentally, how come no-one ever sells ruffled/corrugated fried chips anymore?

And while I'm on the subject, people also have a habit of describing chips as 'crisps'. This is almost as bad as describing the milk bar/McDonalds variety as 'Fries' or 'French Fries', though none of these terms can live down to the execrable term 'Freedom Fries'.

This sort of thing would never have happened if Chicken Cackles were still around. But at least Toobs are making a resurgence.


- Salt and vinegar chips can be ruffled, but not crinkle cut.

- It's possible that they may make ruffled chips and corrugated iron at the same factory.

- 'Chips', not 'crisps'.

- And definitely not 'French Fries' or 'Freedom Fries'.

- What the hell happened to Samboys?

- Who was the scumbag who put Chicken Cackles out of business?

- Toobs are back!

- That is all.

I hope you've all learnt something from this. Thank you for your time.


Karen said...

I also loved the corrugated fried chips as a child. And of course chip sandwiches of both the hot and cold varieties. More than anything, though, I wish that sunny boy iceblocks were widely available. I'm afraid I pretty much never eat chips and when I do I prefer those wanky gourmet chips.

The most unpleasant man I've ever met liked to eat chili-flavoured chips dipped in nutella.

TimT said...

I will vote for whatever party mandates compulsory chip sandwich breakfasts and sunny boy iceblocks across every school in the land!

Karen said...

You like a bit of sugar/MSG-fueled hyperactivity, do you?

When I was 15 I used to eat either a bowl of pot noodles or a piece of cheesecake for breakfast. I don't know why my mother didn't stop me. I would probably keel over if I tried it now.

TimT said...

You should have seen the after school snacks me and my brothers (my brothers and I, more correctly!) fixed for ourselves. Pizzas on loaves of bread.

The cheese was home brand tasty. Sometimes, if we were really lucky, we could make a luxury pizza with Edam or something! Arrrrrgh, lardiferous bliss!

Karen said...

How many brothers are we talking here? You must have descended upon the house like a swarm of locusts! Did you have those pizza pocket things? Weren't they foul and absolutely scrumptious all at the same time?

My younger sister is the one who's weird with food. For a long time it was meat and 2 veg with her, because 3 veg was a stretch. If anyone had an apple they were never allowed to eat the peel because apple peal was the only fruit C would eat.

TimT said...

Three brothers! We never used pizza pockets, just slices of bread (or sometimes pita bread) on which we put a little something.

Karen said...

Three brothers sound much more creative than three sisters. We preferred the premade and the quick nuke in the microwave, although both my sisters are very good cooks now.

Karen said...

Wait. Do you mean three brothers including yourself? Four boys! What a nightmare!

alexis said...

Now hang on a cotton-pickin' minute, Karen. You can't go round trying to uproot gender categories and then turn and pronounce four boys you never did meet to be a nightmare on the strength of their boyness. That just ain't fair. Who's to say they didn't come home, make themselves some pizza, do their violin practice, and then settle down with their Jane Austen novels?

While I'm here, I may as well defend "crisps", as used by T. S. Eliot, "Potato crisps? No I can't endure them" (1950), and by Sir Harold George Nicholson, "We went to Harry's Bar ... and there was a Pekinese being fed with crisps" (1935). A Pekinese, I tell you.

TimT said...

Yes, definitely un-nightmarish, and it's a good thing my parents can't comment on this blog.

Smith's themselves (who was the original Smith, anyway?) have as their full title 'Smith's Crisps'.

alexis said...

And Smith, one imagines, would know.

Karen said...

I apologise if I have offended the boyness of Tim and his brothers. I still maintain that boys are trouble, however, although not necessarily in the "traditional" ways. Four boys high on pizza practicising violin in unison certainly sounds like it has the potential for a nightmare.

TimT said...

It certainly has potential from dramatic development.

- Lachlan! What the hell's going wrong with your tremolo?

- It's not my fault. I didn't eat all the Edam on my pizza.

- Say that again, fat face! Who did I see stuffing their gob full of mozarella straight after school.

- Oh, at least I can handle my polyphony, you just keep fiddling away like you're playing a barn dance or something.



Karen said...

Ah, now I see! Four boys were no trouble at all- it was just the incorrigible one!

nailpolishblues said...

Damn you for asking the big questions. Now I'm searching for Samboy ships when I should be cleaning!

Also, are there three out there just like you?

TimT said...

Well, my younger brother Lachlan has a touch of the same incorrigibility, and contrary to this portrait (and logic) he picked on me more than I him. I was a squeamish milksop.

TimT said...

Or, even better...

Jo said...

I miss Ollo's (but not the misplaced apostrophe).
I have to admit, though, that it was some years after Ollo's disappeared that I thought to my self "OOOOH! Ollo! Like 'Hollow'!".

My brother would come home from school and cook himself a tray full of meringues, and not share. The scars will heal eventually, I'm told.

nailpolishblues said...

Huh, I'd always wondered what it would be like to have brothers and now I'm quite glad I have none.
I can't remember my sister and I doing anything so revolting but, then, we were forced to attend Mother's Academy for the training of Little Ladies. Little Ladies, as we all know, don't do anything so filthy as play with mud [except for my sister and the dog] and are too busy keeping their dresses pretty and being mocked for the way they speak to do anything remotely naughty.

Karen said...

Ha! I was laughing out loud as I read your advice to your nephew. I ended up dating the boy who made me cry for three years in my mid-twenties. Is it advisable that boys know where making girls cry can lead?

I'm split between being the milksop and being the troublemaker. During childhood and still (I must confess) I would be overcome by what my mother called my "stirring" moods, which consisted of teasing/irritating my victim in the most merciless (but affectionate, of course!) way until they did their lolly.

TimT said...

Jo - it's alright, we can gang up on your brother and both get some meringues, if you like.

Also, I can't remember Ollo's but I can remember Chicken Cackles. What does this say about me? Is this a regional thing?

Nails - it's not quite as bad as I outlined in that article. Then again, when I was a kid I did eat a lot of weird things...

Karen - yes, I do quite a nice line in annoying and exasperating my parents. I have a capacity for nonsense that is supremely irritating. I'm not sure when I last heard 'done their lolly' before, great phrase!

Jonathan said...

Crisps is just the terrible British word. Quoting British authors does not justify the use of the monstrosity by Australians.

TimT said...

And I never trusted Smith, anyway. He * seems altogether too shifty.

*But there I go manthropomorphising Smith. For all I know, Smith could be a she.

Caz said...

Karen - given Timmy's giftedness, not just in writing, but as a genuine and tertiary qualified musician, we can easily imagine him as an angelic violin player, even as a child, or, perhaps, only while he was a child. (Not that there's anything wrong with him these days.

"Incidentally, how come no-one ever sells ruffled/corrugated fried chips anymore?"

Damn right Tim! You can only get straight ones these days, and it's just not right. Blatantly homophobic. And not nearly as tasty.

Have you tried the “Lord of the Fries” chips? They’re straight, but not a bad chip, not bad at all.

TimT said...

I never played the violin, though my little brother learnt it for a while.

There are gourmet burger and chip places that have sprung up everywhere in Melbourne (with some ridiculous recipes - 'pear infusion', anyone?). The burger store (forget their name, they're on Errol Street) in North Melbourne does some fine chips.

Uncorrugated, unfortunately.

Caz said...

If you're ever out in Albert Park Tim, a little fish & chip shop in Bridgeport Street has the most magnificant real good old fashioned Aussie burgers you could ever hope to find. Truly excellent. No pears or infusions in sight.

TimT said...

I've been to a similar one on Victoria Street, Albert Park, classic Aussie milk bar style, beetroot on the burgers and all!

Caz said...

Whooo, maybe the "real" burger lives in all corners of Albert Park?

Who knew?

I swear the burgers I've had from the fish & chip shop there were the first and last decent burgers I have had in so long I can't even remember. I always get one with "the lot", including yeah good old beetroot! What's a burger without beetroot? They use real buns too (large!), not any of those new fandangled modern hard loaf-like thingys, that sit six inches high.

rightwingprof said...

Here in the US, some potato chip company used "ruffle" to describe their potato chips and got sued by Lay's, so "crinkle cut" was born. It had been used to describe the sort of french fries you picture before that.

TimT said...

We have a dictionary of unusual words at work that details the history of several brand names that became part of the English language, I suppose the example you give is almost the reverse! It's a bit sinister, really, like Cadbury supposedly owning the colour purple.

Your site is banned at my workplace, apparently. I'll check it out this evening, but it's obviously your subversive right-wing thoughts that they want to screen out. (Beautiful Atrocities is also banned, even though that hasn't been active for about a year!)

Email: timhtrain - at -

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