Step away from the Mini Cheddars, you heathen. This is how you make a crisp sandwich properly…
Every Brit knows the core elements of a good crisp sandwich. You need soft white bread: nothing too crunchy, or it’ll negate the impact of the crisp, and nothing too fancy – which basically means you must avoid anything with seeds or grains, as you’ve already got crisp crumb-spray to deal with.
Real butter, too, is preferable to any margarine or spread: delicious, creamy, yellow as the sun on a summer’s day. Spread it on thick, spread it on heavy, and spread it right up to the crusts: you’re gonna need the lubrication later, believe me.
All of this, we know instinctively, just as we know to withdraw our hands from something hot and dangerous. What we can’t seem to agree on, however, is the filling of our crisp sandwich… or, more specifically, which crisps are made for plonking between two slices of buttered bread?
A note from the author: this article was updated post-publication to address some obvious oversights. Mistakes were made, and I hold my hands up to that fact. Please accept my humble apologies.
Here, I’ve come up with a definitive (read: entirely subjective) ranking of the UK’s best crisps, as determined by their suitability for a crisp sandwich. You are very welcome.
We said crisp sandwich, not cheese dust sandwich. Move on, folks. Nothing to see here…
You know the curly bits of polystyrene you get with your Amazon deliveries? You may as well shove those in your crisp butty, quite frankly.
Yes, the pickled onion flavour alone is a revelation. No, it doesn’t work in a sarnie. At all. Why? Well, I’m no scientist, but some sort of weird chemical reaction happens when you combine your classic Monster Munch with bread and butter, taking it from crunchy claw-shaped king of snacks to sickly orange paste. Avoid.
I’m not here to poke holes in Mini Cheddars, believe me: I love anything that tastes even slightly like cheese. However, much like the Monster Munch before them, these guys transform the minute they come into contact with buttered bread, losing their structural integrity and sharp crunch into… well, into a claggy and impossible-to-swallow (not without downing a pint of Lucozade, anyway) paste.
With this in mind, then: always eat your Mini Cheddars before or after your crisp sandwich, but please never put them inside it.
They crunch, sure, but that unique Pringle shape – so well suited to parties and picnics – is deceptively dangerous in a crisp sandwich. Why? Because it’s got serious shatter-potential. And nobody wants to bite down into a tasty bap and get their gums speared by a shard of Sour Cream or Texas BBQ now, do they?
Delicious but, as above, there is a heightened risk of injury when you bite down on a butty filled with Hula Hoops. Proceed with caution…
They taste like bacon, if you’ve never tried bacon before, so consider this your alternative filling for a very low-key bacon sandwich. Just be sure to eat it licketty-split: like so many others before them, Frazzles have the potential to turn to mush if they sit in butter for too long…
I love Doritos as much as the next person (the Chilli Heatwave variety is basically a cupboard staple in my kitchen), but there’s something a little off about them in a sandwich. Especially if you let said sandwich sit for a while before chowing down on it. Think something simultaneously soft and hard, all at once, like an ever-so-slightly-out-of-date biscuit. All in all, a very unsatisfying crisp sarnie experience. Use these guys for scooping salsa and leave it at that, yeah?
A note: Stylist’s Lucy Robson has informed me that plain tortilla chips work well in a crisp sarnie, when combined with rocket and chutney. Obviously, this flouts my ‘keep it simple’ rules (aka no condiments, folks!), but who am I to deny my public a tried-and-tested taste sensation?
Sure, they’re a pleasing shape, and sure, you can create quite nice patterns across your buttered bread with them. Despite this, though, Skips aren’t all that when it comes to sarnies, really. They have serious ‘clag’ potential, for starters, and the flavour’s certainly proven itself to be a divisive one (let’s just call it the Marmite of the crisps world). But desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess, so if these are the only crisps you have during lockdown, they’ll do in a pinch.
Now we’re talking. Shove these little bears in a sandwich and you’ll wind up with something that’s soft, fluffy, crispy, crunchy and oh-so-salty. Just be sure to give them a little bash, first, to ensure you don’t find yourself confronted by a tiny teddy-bear’s head poking out between those slices of bread. The guilt can kind of ruin the mood…
Chipsticks are brilliant, but they’re messy at the best of times. Add two slices of buttered bread and you’re in for a world of pain… but oh, how gloriously exquisite that pain shall be.
A caveat, if I may: these only work if you bash them up before putting them in your sandwich. Once you’ve taken this vital step, though, you’ll find this light and delicately cheesy flavour is a great accompaniment to your crisp sarnie. Plus, if you get creative, you can probably cram an entire bag of these between just two slices of bread.
It’s a big yes from the people of Reddit, although the flavour may be a little too amped up for your classically inoffensive chip butty.
Can a crisp sandwich be too crispy? Maybe just a tad, although there’s no denying that a packet of Squares – the Salt & Vinegar variety, mind – packs a serious flavour punch in a sarnie.
These are made for sarnies, quite frankly: they hold their integrity, they offer a serious flavour hit, and they make a satisfying ‘crunch’ when you bite down on them. The only reason they haven’t stolen the number one slot? This writer got caught out by a sharp crisp shard and she’s never been able to trust them 100% since…
Look, truth time: I’ve never ever clapped eyes on a packet of these, but social media has informed me, in no uncertain terms, that these taste sensations are positively made for a crisp butty. Particularly the mustard-flavoured ones…
My Irish relatives aren’t here for a crisp list that doesn’t include Taytos, quite honestly. Everyone says the Cheese & Onion version is the absolute best, so ship a pack over from the Emerald Isle, shove ‘em in your butty and have done.
I’ve been informed by a LOT of people (thanks for your furious DMs, folks, it’s good to see you’re so passionate about this roundup) that Seabrook Crisps are the best in the world. That they make the best crisp butties ever. That I need to sort my list out, pronto.
I can’t, however, give the top spot to a crisp I’ve never tried. I’m sorry, but it has to go to…
You genuinely can’t go wrong with Walkers Crisps in a sandwich. Ready Salted is obviously the classic choice: it packs a deliciously salty punch with every mouthful, doesn’t overwhelm the senses and makes a satisfying crunch sound. However, you can pretty much pick any flavour from the range if you’re feeling wild: think Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, Roast Chicken, Smoky Bacon or even (if you’re feeling mega posh) the Thai Sweet Chilli version from the Sensations range (it definitely packs a punch!).
In this writer’s humble opinion, both Worcestershire Sauce and Prawn Cocktail are far too sharp and sweet to make a good crisp sandwich, but you do you, I guess.
Images: Getty/Allef Vinicius on Unsplash