How to Take Your Crisp Sandwich Game to the Next Level
Ready Salted with brown sauce? Crinklecut on Percy Ingles bread? Frazzles? The crisp sandwich is one of Britain’s most versatile dishes. MUNCHIES called on an expert culinary panel to find the definitive recipe.
Photos by Liz Seabrook. Food styling by Tamara Vos.
Oh, the British do love a good crisp sandwich, don't they? A nice layer of Ready Salted, few licks of butter, white bread, and a splodge of tomato sauce. What are we like! Remember that guy in Yorkshire who opened a cafe that only served crisp sandwiches and said his favourite flavour was Roast Beef Monster Munch? Classic.
Now would be the ideal time to interject with a cutting take down of media fabricated dining trends or call bullshit on nostalgia dishes, proving that actually, British palates are above such cack-handed convenience food.
It's not true. We do have this weird thing about sandwiches and we really, really fucking like crisps.
Britain is home to the biggest crisp factory in the world and people eat 6 billion bags here every year. Go to any corner shop in the country and you'll be confronted by an entire wall of garish little packets in needlessly varying flavours: Marmite, Thai sweet chili, prawn cocktail, Worcester sauce, the weird Salt 'n' Shake ones grandads like. It is against the law to board a coach anywhere in the UK without having a bruised banana and a bag of crisps about your person.
With such a love of both crisps and filled bread, it was inevitable that Britain would meld the two into one handheld, blood pressure-ramping snack.
And thank God we did. The crisp sandwich is a thing of true beauty: a cross-demographic eating experience when multiseed loaves and Ocado deliveries cease to matter. Everyone enjoys the mouthfeel of salt on gummy white carb and it probably wouldn't be a stretch to describe that muffled sound the crisps make when you crush them between the bread as near orgasmic.
Perhaps the only downside of the crisp sandwich is the divisive nature of its construction. Some people swear by the crinkle cut approach, others will try to convince you that Frazzles go with brown sauce. Who's right? We're all right—that's how the crisp sandwich works. In celebration of the snack's versatility, MUNCHIES asked an expert panel of crisp sandwich fans to share their favourite recipes.
Mine would have to be a homemade salt and vinegar crisp on soft white bread, spread with margarine. I usually layer in the plain crisps with a sprinkling of malt vinegar before closing, then crush lightly to break up the crisps.
The Cornershop Cookbook. This is no place for a Kettle Chip. A classic crisp like Walkers is the only way to go. Preferably salt and vinegar (cheese and onion or prawn cocktail at a pinch). The regular sort are best—slightly oily and crushed—although Squares are also good and weirdly intense in flavour. You want soft white bread—I'd go for a square of freshly baked Turkish pide, sliced across through the middle, and spread with Branston pickle.
Alex Szrok, head chef at Hill & Szrok Public House. I like a thick slice white tin from Percy Ingles, a light spread of barbecue sauce, and Nic Nacs Rib 'n' Saucy if you can get them. If not, Flamin' Hot Doritos.