There are a few key things, in relation to food, that I miss about the good old United States. Today, as I prepared my final box of Velveeta macaroni & cheese, I was made keenly aware of this fact. Sure, the cheese is orange/yellow, gooey, terrible for me, and in general, mac & cheese is not fine cuisine. However, I love it, and when it’s not for sale, making it from scratch is just not satisfying. Some things just taste better in the junk food version.
I’ve had similar issues with my beloved salt & vinegar chips. As with chai and mac & cheese, I am quite particular about my salt & vinegar chips. I prefer them to be kettle-cooked, and it’s even better if they’re actually the Kettle Cooked brand that comes in the dark blue bag with white writing–you know, the kind that are crispy, thick, coated with vinegar so thick that it rubs off on your hands and you still smell it on your fingers for hours. That kind.
I am not a fan of kettle cooked Lays. The consistency of the chips is just fine, but the vinegar is too sour or bitter or something. I am not a fan of the balsamic vinegar chips–because they’re not sour enough.
Salt & vinegar chips are something I asked my roommate, Meleah, to bring home from Seattle for me when she headed home for Christmas in December. When I saw the Kettle Cooked brand chips in a small corner store in Vienna while I was visiting with my friend Todd in February, I yelped for joy. Then I promptly bought two bags: one for me, and one for Meleah. Even though they were the balsamic kind.
And even though I don’t think the taste of vinegar is not nearly strong enough on Pringles chips, I let out a similar yelp of joy upon seeing a familiar blue container in a shop window on a recent trip to Sofia, Bulgaria. Salt & vinegar chips! For the low price of around $1!
Upon my return to Ljubljana, I headed to Mueller, a German store that has every single thing in the world that you could possibly imagine (multiple floors of toys, food, music, paper stuffs, make-up, kitchen utensils, etc–a slightly nicer version of Target). I’ve looked many a time for salt & vinegar chips at Mueller, thinking that if anywhere in Slovenia was going to have them, it would be there. I’d had no such luck.
BUT after I bought the Pringles in Sofia, when I was wandering around Mueller, I found–what else?–salt & vinegar Pringles chips!
I promptly bought some, and then I went home and ate them.
I thought about this, how I’d been longing for salt & vinegar chips for some time, and considered going back to Mueller to buy another pack for later, to hold away in the bowels of the kitchen.
However, now I found… that I don’t want them anymore.
I literally have no desire to eat a single salt & vinegar chip.
Funny how that works.