Potato chips have evolved a lot in the past few decades; when I was growing up, there weren’t any exotic flavors like sriracha or chicken & waffles, only stalwart classics like salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, and well, “Classic.” But as chip flavors evolved, the chips themselves have remained humble in their origins, still available at any vending machine. Reliable, both in terms of their flavors and the dismal chip-to-air ratios in each bag.
But one Swedish brewery has upped the potato chip ante with specially flavored and made chips — each of which costs about $11.
To up the “what the hell is going on” ante even more, the chips are only sold as a box of five, meaning you have to drop $56 for the total set. So, what exactly goes into these chips that makes them so much more than your average slice of potato?
The genesis of these truly artisan chips is St. Erik’s Brewery and their India pale ale beer (or as the plebs call it, an IPA). After sneering at the traditional beer nuts and other classic drinking snacks, the folks at St. Erik’s decided they wanted to combine flavors of their Swedish home and history with the delivery system of a potato chip. And the flavors they sought out are as specialty as they come; there’s matsutake (a special Swedish mushroom), truffle seaweed (which is about what it sounds like), Leksand onion (which is much harder to cultivate than the onions you’d find at your local market), and IPA wort (liquid extracted during the beer-making process). Overall, it’s a much more complex and selective blend of chip flavors than, say, “BBQ.”
So, what do these fabled chips actually taste like? While we’re curious to try, we’re also not about to spend however much in airfare to go to Sweden and pick up a set of these chips for ourselves. Not that we’d actually be able to do this anymore — all 100 limited sets of the chips have sold out.