Tastin' With The Tramps: Anita's Chips!

The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their current title of Curry Lovers Of The Year. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff or product, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps, where TATTGOC's burly founders crack open the Kingfisher and get their laughing gear round something fiery. What curry-related foodstuff or product is in the hot seat this time? It's only a gander at the entire product line of Anita's Chips, a new range of curry-inspired crisps with enviable production values. What's that you say? "Crispy business?" Very good ...

(Click here to read more ...)

The Product: It wasn't that long ago that "hand-cooked potato chips" were seen as a middle-class affectation but thanks to the endless advance of Kettle Chips and other premium brands, these brittle delights have elbowed their way toward a considerable market share. But there's only so much Thai Sweet Chilli a man can stand, so thank goodness for Anita's Chips, busting onto the market with four awesome sounding flavours of hand-cooked chips: Mango And Lime Chutney, Dill And Mint Raitha, Chicken Tikka and Achaari Paneer. Available in 150g bags in Tesco and other suppliers, they're not officially available in Scotland yet – although according to their Twitter feed, the odd 40g pack has been spotted in the wild up here ...

The Pitch: From the Anita's Chips website: "We wanted to make potato chips with natural, authentic Indian flavours. And natural flavours demanded natural methods. Our chips would be hand-cooked and made from 100% British potatoes. None of this GM nonsense either. As for the inspiration behind our crisps, we looked no further than our Aunt Anita. She was, hands down, the best cook in the family. She took pride in her cooking, always ensuring she used the freshest local ingredients to create some of the most mouthwatering dishes we’d ever tasted ..." And here's one of their recent telly ads:

The Packaging: Each of the four varieties of Anita's Chips comes in a colour-coded bag that combines modern design elements with classic monochrome photography. A bird of paradise graces the Achaari Paneer pack, while the Dill And Mint Raitha has a cool-looking tuc-tuc. Pots of fresh spices are lined up on the lime-green Mango And Lime Chutney pack, while a traditional arch dominates the Chicken Tikka. Such distinctive and unusual flavours call for distinctive and unusual packaging, and these designs certainly do the job when it comes to all-important shelf-shout. So the packs are great ... what about the contents?

The Process: Anita's Chips were kind enough to send us a big haul of crisps, enough to operate a man-to-man marking system with the entire Curry Club. After the slightly disappointing experience the last time TATTGOC sampled curry-esque crisps – the underpowered McCoys v Golden Wonder showdown – the Tramps opted to start off with a small control group. Namely, Rumpole Of The Balti.  He had been witness to the last crisp-off, so could bring an element of expertise to the proceedings. The sampling also coincided with a trip to see TT3D: Closer To The Edge, a limited release documentary about the Isle Of Man TT. So this is the first Tastin' With The Tramps presented in 3D ... or at least, conducted with 3D glasses nearby. Start your engines!

Trampy says: "Our last crisp-based Tastin' With The Tramps was a little disappointing – it seems bog-standard UK crisps don't cope particularly well with curry flavours. These Anita's Chips are far more robust, and they've really pushed the boat out when it comes to the flavours, so I think they will definitely attract more adventurous buyers. No-one else seems mad keen on the Mango And Lime Chutney flavour but I think it's pretty tangy once you get used to it. The Chicken Tikka is probably the flavour I would recommend to first-timers though."

The Tramp says: "I'm a fan of hand-cooked chips and I'm impressed at how strong the flavours of Anita's Chips are, although I'm not mad on the Mango And Lime Chutney flavour. I can see why the flavours are so distinctive though, since they need to stand out from all the other chips out there. I can imagine the big bags being popular. I like the general design of the packets, it's very modern but retro ... there's a tip of a hat to the classic flock wallpaper of UK curryhouses, but with added authentic photography. I think the Chicken Tikka is my favourite. Thank you Anita!"

Rumpole Of The Balti says: "Most of those flavourings are a bit much for me. The Chicken Tikka was the one I tried last and it was perhaps the most readily identifiable flavour, although the Achaari Paneer was a bit like a cheese-and-onion. The Dill And Mint Raitha was unusual but tasted OK. For me, these are pretty extreme. Normally I have crisps over a beer and a chat with friends but these are so attention-grabbing you might need to lie in a dark room afterwards ..."

The Verdict: Although some of the flavours raised eyebrows, these are the best curry crisps the Tramps have tasted. There's nothing wrong with courting customers who enjoy more intense tastes, and surely that's the correct strategy to adopt when you're courting the UK's curry lovers. With an appealing origin story and vibrant product design, Anita's Chips are bold, brash and deserve to make a splash. These wee packs also managed to bring a bit of flavour to the usually pretty soulless Cineworld bar. Bravo!

Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from appropriate enthusiasts might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at trampyandthetramp@trampyandthetramp.com and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!

The Pot Noodle GTi!
Mr Singh's Curry Pies!
The Pot Noodle Fightback!
Mr Singh's Punjabi Chilli Sauce!