Potato chip is the soul-quenching comfort food close to everyone’s heart. Be it a Saturday night movie marathon, sleepover at a friend’s place, the school recess or the 4PM office hunger pangs, potato chip has sailed us through all these situations, and no, a healthier popcorn or nacho cannot take the place a potato chip has in my heart (though banana chip comes close…). Having tried tonnes of types of potato chips, I wanted to see what’s the deal with kettle chips. Though these have been in India for about 3-4 years now, I wanted to understand how these are different from a pack of regular chips. So I bought myself this pack of Opera Piri Piri Cottage Style Potato Crisps.
So what exactly is a kettle chip? If you have seen a “Hot Chips” shop in your vicinity and watched the people making chips in their large karahi, you have already witnessed the manufacture of kettle chips. Also, if you have (successfully or otherwise) tried to make a batch of chips in your home, you have tried your hands at making what is now popularly known as kettle chips. Hence, a chip which is made in small batches, unlike the commercially manufactured chip, is a kettle chip.
What accounts for the real difference is the texture of the end product. While a factory fried, regular chip is crisp but light (take your regular Classic Salted Lay’s), a kettle chip has a chunkier texture and a more distinct taste of fried potato (more like the local hot chips that you find in India). This texture arises out of the slower frying process in a traditional vessel, while a regular thin chip is almost instantly fried in the super-hot oil that they have in their chip factories. So while India is not really new to the whole kettle chips scene, it is now that we have a fancy name for our local chips-wala ke chips! 🙂 And this pack of Opera chips had to beat my local hot chips maker to win a place in my heart!
So, coming to my packet of Opera Piri Piri Cottage Style Potato Crisps. This is the first time I have bought and tried these.
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Packaging: Opera Piri Piri Cottage Style Potato Crisps come in regular chip packets, however, the detailing and styling is on the packet is, of course, better thought-out. This chip comes from the house of Mrs. Bector’s, popular for its Cremica brand of products. The packet is thicker than the packet of regular Lay’s chips.
Range of Flavours: Opera chips come in 4 flavours: Cheese Jalapeno, Italian Herbs, Piri Piri and Salt & Black Pepper.
Ingredients: Check out below
Taste: The first bite of this chip and you would know how it is different from a pack of regular chips. It is distinctly chunky and significant in your mouth. It does not dissolve or melt, but makes you bite harder, leaving behind a strong, potato-ey taste in your mouth. The texture is less like a potato chip and more like a chunky nacho, if you know what I mean! Coming to the flavour of Opera Piri Piri Cottage Style Potato Crisps, I would say I am disappointed. Why? Because it is too mild for the Indian palate! I had picked this particular flavour to see how robust the flavours are, because the rest of the flavours were milder in comparison. While the pack claims that the “crisps are bursting with Mediterranean flavours”, I found the chips to be rather bland for such a claim. I was expecting more spice and a stronger garlic flavour (more like the McDonald’s Piri Piri fries masala 😛 ). So while the basic chip is quite strong, this flavour was a let-downer, and I will probably be skipping the other flavours by Opera for the same reason.
Price: Rs 60 for 60 grams
Try it if:
- You want to know and feel the difference between a traditional, home-style, old-age chip and a commercial chip
Don’t try it if:
- You are expecting bold flavours
FFS Rating: 2.5/5. The price is low for a fashionable kettle chip in India, as the international brands sell for several times the price, however, for an Indian palate, the flavours need to be more robust to make a mark and make me buy it again.
Will I stock this at home: Well, no. I will rather get my kettle chip fix from the “Hot Chip” shop in the next block. If the company launches a stronger flavour, I might give it a try though!