Crisp Sandwich appreciation society

The mighty crisp sandwich. DR56

By Michael Devlin

I bet if you had a look, there are probably a fair few bag of crisps and nuts hanging around at the back of your kitchen presses.

The rule for Christmas of course, is that we must overstock in every respect, cramming our homes with all manner of snackables and treats, just in case there’s a nuclear winter before the end of January.

With this in mind (snackage, not nuclear winters), I set about revisiting my childhood last weekend with a sandwich which nearly made me cry. I’m not joking folks, as I munched my way through a Tayto Spring Onion samswitcher, I was whisked away to a time when pleasures came via simple things: Four channels on the telly, cartoons in the afternoon, the Beano on a Saturday morning and crisp sandwiches outside in the summer drizzle. Ah nostalgia! It’s been a while.

When was the last time you had a crisp sandwich? Come to think of it, when was the last time you put a scoop of ice-cream into a tall glass and topped it up with lemonade?

That’s something else I’m going to have to try one of these weekends. I think they’re called ice-cream floats, but we called them soda creams.

Crisp sandwiches though, now there’s an experience. These days (in so-called adulthood), when I’m feeling a bit decadent, I eat a packet of crisps when I’m having my afternoon sarnie – not everyday, mind you. I’m planning on living forever, I am. But the unqualified joys of a simple crisp sandwich…that’s something different altogether.

A whole packet must be used (that’s rule number one), the lubrication must be butter (this rule is bendable because if I add cheese, I’ll most likely slather on a jag of mayo), and when squashing the whole thing down to trap the crispy shards between the slices of bread, you have to leave the five-fingered print of your hand.

The choice of crisp for your sandwich is personal prerogative but I’m fairly sure things like Meanies and Monster Munch aren’t allowed. You have to use real crisp flavours too, none of your new-fangled, highfalutin sweet chilli with a hint of lemongrass.

You want big, spiky flavours, the kind of crisp that you’re going to taste on your breath for the rest of the day; the kind of crisp that would prevent you from snogging anyone for at least a couple of hours. Anything from Tayto works perfectly.

Also, you have to use mucky white bread, the kind of stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth and has no nutritional content whatsoever. And there has to be tea.

A gentleman at work gave me a bit of guff last week after my piece on fruit salad. It went something like this, “So what did you write in the recipe anyway? Peel fruit and cut up?”

The same boy –who looks like he could do with a bit of fruit in fairness – will love this one.

This one’s for you, Raymondo.

The crisps of your choice (I recommend Tayto Spring Onion)
really soft butter
dollop of mayo
two processed cheese slices
Two slices of mucky white bread
a cup of tea

Butter the bread, generously and right to the edges and add the cheese slices.
Slather on the mayo.
Dump on the entire packet of crisps with as little ceremony as possible.
Corral the crisps with the second slice of bread and press down until that hand print appears.
Cut in half (triangles taste better for some reason, Peter Kay is right) and consume at your leisure.

Did you know too that there’s a Crisp Sandwich Appreciation Society on the Facebook?

Incidentally too, the world’s first crisp sandwich cafe opened in Belfast recently.

Simply Crispy is situated on Bedford Street.

I wonder if they’ll follow the hand print rule.


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