Chips, Crisps, Croustilles: A Global Tour of Unusual Potato Chip Flavors

There’s a whole world of chip flavors out there that most of us have never even imagined. Here are some of the most interesting.

Australia:

Some of the most popular flavors of late sound quite tasty, or at least intriguing, including lime and pepper, sweet chili sauce & sour cream, honey soy chicken, kangaroo, emu and Caesar salad.

Image courtesy of avlxyz's Flickr stream.

Canada:

They may only be a border away from the snack food capital of the world, but they’re miles away when it comes to flavor varieties. A few different options include dill pickle, ketchup, wasabi, ham & mustard, spicy curry, pizza and, of course, poutine.

Image courtesy of lynx81's Flickr stream.

China:

When it comes to interesting snack food flavors, Japan and China are in a constant state of battle, but as far as potato chips go, China seems to have the lead. Japan can't compete with the fruit-flavored chips of China: kiwi, blueberry, mango and lychee are all on the shelves. As for non-fruit flavors, the country still has some delightfully unique options including braised pork, garlic soft-shelled crab, cheese lobster, hazelnut, spicy hot pot, hot & sour fish soup, lemon tea and cucumber.

Image courtesy of toehk's Flickr stream.

Egypt:

If you love Middle Eastern cuisine, then you’ll love Chipsy’s flavor line that includes kebab, stuffed grape leaves and Rumi cheese (above).

Image courtesy of Prince Roy's Flickr stream.

Germany:

The most famous flavor of potato chips in the country is beer, but they are actually not all that popular with the locals. More commonly, Germans prefer to eat paprika chips.

Image courtesy of ceris42's Flickr stream.

Greece:

For those with a soft spot for Greek food, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the country has incorporated a few of its favorite foods into its chip flavors, offering olive oil, lemon-vinegar-black pepper, mushrooms a la crème, mustard, Tzatziki and oregano flavors.

Image courtesy of daftgirly's Flickr stream.

India:

Their food is known for its spices and so are their potato chips. Popular flavors available in both India and Pakistan include mint, masala, coriander and red chili pepper.

Image courtesy of smee_me's Flickr stream.

Japan:

While China certainly leads the way with their fruit chips, Japan isn’t far behind. A few notable varieties include nori & salt, consommé, soy sauce & butter, garlic, mayonnaise, scallop with butter, teriyaki, yakitori, salmon sushi, clam chowder Doritos, hamburger and kimchi.

Image courtesy of kalleboo's Flickr stream.

The Netherlands:

Here we find some perfect flavors for people with the munchies. Lay’s offers quite a selection in the Netherlands, including spaghetti Bolognese, barbecued ham, Mexican herbs, Mediterranean herbs, Oriental spices, spareribs, Thai sweet chili, pepper & cream and chicken & thyme. Yum!

Image courtesy of wbpartridge's Flickr stream.

Russia:

Many Americans would love some of the flavors of our Cold War rivals. A few notable chip choices: bacon, shish kabob, crab, caviar and mushroom & sour cream.

Image courtesy of catorze14's Flickr stream.

South Africa:

If you like meat, then you’ll probably love some of the flavors of chips here including beef jerky and sausage. Of course, these flavors go great with sauces, so you might want to pair them with some chutney, hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce chips.

Image courtesy of mikemedia's Flickr stream.

Spain:

For the most part, Spain prefers their chips fried in olive oil and lightly salted, though there are slightly more gourmet varieties like pink Andean salt or sea salt & black pepper. Prosciutto-style ham is the country's second-bestselling flavor.

Image courtesy of scaredy_kat's Flickr stream.

Scandinavia:

Most of your flavor options this northern corner of Europe all sound pretty darn tasty: mushroom, horseradish, black pepper & spring onion, and pretty much anything with sour cream, including béarnaise. Things get weirder when chip companies try to mimic international flavors: Texas Grilled Cheese & Onion, the whimsical Kebab Dream (above), and Louisiana Style Hot BBQ are all available from Swedish brand OLW.

Image credit: Moa at twinkuss

The U.K.

While the residents of the United Kingdom seem to appreciate many of the same foods as Americans, their chip flavors tell a different story. Some of the many flavors of note include prawn cocktail, steak & onion, lamb & mint, sausage & ketchup, pickled onion, marmite, roast pork & mustard sauce, turkey & bacon, stilton & cranberry, roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, mozzarella with tomato & basil, beer & cheddar, paella, bratwurst, sausage & brown sauce, Cajun squirrel, chili & chocolate, duck & hoisin sauce and haggis. So if you really want some variety in your “crisps” and don’t want to leave the states, you can always head to your local British imports store and see what flavors they carry.

Image courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs' Flickr stream.
* * *
There are probably hundreds of weird potato chip flavors out there flying under our radar, so tell us what crazy things we missed. What’s the best and/or weirdest chip you've ever had? Have you ever tried one you thought would be gross, but ended up really liking?

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iStock
An Eco-Friendly Startup Is Converting Banana Peels Into Fabric for Clothes
iStock
iStock

A new startup has found a unique way to tackle pollution while simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion. Circular Systems, a “clean-tech new materials company,” is transforming banana byproducts, pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, and flax and hemp stalk into natural fabrics, according to Fast Company.

These five crops alone meet more than twice the global demand for fibers, and the conversion process provides farmers with an additional revenue stream, according to the company’s website. Fashion brands like H&M and Levi’s are already in talks with Circular Systems to incorporate some of these sustainable fibers into their clothes.

Additionally, Circular Systems recycles used clothing to make new fibers, and another technology called Orbital spins those textile scraps and crop byproducts together to create a durable type of yarn.

People eat about 100 billion bananas per year globally, resulting in 270 million tons of discarded peels. (Americans alone consume 3.2 billion pounds of bananas annually.) Although peels are biodegradable, they emit methane—a greenhouse gas—during decomposition. Crop burning, on the other hand, is even worse because it causes significant air pollution.

As Fast Company points out, using leaves and bark to create clothing may seem pretty groundbreaking, but 97 percent of the fibers used in clothes in 1960 were natural. Today, that figure is only 35 percent.

However, Circular Systems has joined a growing number of fashion brands and textile companies that are seeking out sustainable alternatives. Gucci has started incorporating a biodegradable material into some of its sunglasses, Bolt Threads invented a material made from mushroom filaments, and pineapple “leather” has been around for a couple of years now.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Apeel
New Plant-Based Coating Can Keep Your Avocados Fresh for Twice as Long
Apeel
Apeel

Thanks to a food technology startup called Apeel Sciences, eating fresh avocados will soon be a lot easier. The Bill Gates–backed company has developed a coating designed to keep avocados fresh for up to twice as long as traditional fruit, Bloomberg reports, and these long-lasting avocados will soon be available at 100 grocery stores across the Midwestern U.S. Thirty or so of the grocery stores involved in the limited rollout of the Apeel avocado will be Costcos, so feel free to buy in bulk.

Getting an avocado to a U.S. grocery store is more complicated than it sounds; the majority of avocados sold in the U.S. come from California or Mexico, making it tricky to get fruit to the Midwest or New England at just the right moment in an avocado’s life cycle.

Apeel’s coating is made of plant material—lipids and glycerolipids derived from peels, seeds, and pulp—that acts as an extra layer of protective peel on the fruit, keeping water in and oxygen out, and thus reducing spoilage. (Oxidation is the reason that your sliced avocados and apples brown after they’ve been exposed to the air for a while.) The tasteless coating comes in a powder that fruit producers mix with water and then dip their fruit into.

A side-by-side comparison of a coated and uncoated avocado after 30 days, with the uncoated avocado looking spoiled and the coated one looking fresh
Apeel

According to Apeel, coating a piece of produce in this way can keep it fresh for two to three times longer than normal without any sort of refrigeration or preservatives. This not only allows consumers a few more days to make use of their produce before it goes bad, reducing food waste, but can allow producers to ship their goods to farther-away markets without refrigeration.

Avocados are the first of Apeel's fruits to make it to market, but there are plans to debut other Apeel-coated produce varieties in the future. The company has tested its technology on apples, artichokes, mangoes, and several other fruits and vegetables.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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