Yes, haggis-flavored potato chips. I came across these in my local organic food co-op, so they are, of course, made from organic, non-GMO potatoes. I would guess that they are vegetarian, too, from the ingredients list, although Mackie’s has mentioned something about pork products (?) in news stories. So, non-GMO and non-kosher/halal. Also, not gluten-free! Contains wheat!
Mackie’s is a major crisps manufacturer and is trying to break into the US market. Three years ago, Mackie’s was unable to export their Flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus crisps to America, because of fears of Mad Cow disease. So their Flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus chips-for-export are now made with a vegetarian recipe. Where would the world be without America keeping us healthy?
Okay, the taste test:
Appearance: Okay. Nothing bad to report. Although the chips are heavilly-flavored, there is no evidence of powder, just black pepper, which is Good.
Alton Brown says, “Serve with mashed potatoes, if you serve it at all.” Which is not really encouraging. So I asked a Scot: “On Bobby Burns Day, when you have that haggis and all, what do you have with it?”
Aroma: Don’t ask. Fetid, nasty — like the Mummy’s athletic socks. But, like a ripe cheese, you don’t smell it, you eat it.
Texture: Although Mackie’s claims to make thick crisps, these chips were very thin, about half the thickness of Miss Vickie’s thick-cut chips, and very crunchy. Good.
Mouth Feel: These are remarkably non-oily chips (perhaps because they are cut so thin) and the salt, though evident, is not nasty granules. Fine.
Taste: Salt, spice, potatoes — where’s the mutton? Meh.
After-Effects: None so far, but this report may be amended for late medical bulletins and addenda regarding looseness of stools and other such possible counter-indications for the sensitive diner. But no immediate haggis-hurling.
Summary: Nope. But, overall this is a well-executed chip: nicely cut, crisply fried, non-greasy, not over-seasoned. I bet other Mackie’s flavors would be quite good.
“No, I mean other vegetables.”
“Man, I said whisky didn’t I?’
“Okay, but potatoes, rice…”
“Whisky!” He glowered at me as only a Scot can glower.
“What about neeps and tatties?”
“Lowland, are you?” He shrugged, “Turnips, maybe. Some put it in the haggis.” He shook his head. “But that’s wrong! A filthy Saxon trick to lengthen the pluck.”
I didn’t ask any more.
So, haggis chips with turnip and whisky dip? Or, maybe, just whisky. Lots of it.