I don’t know how most potato chip manufacturers come up with their “recipes”. I suspect it has a lot to do with white lab coats, the Periodic Table and beakers bubbling up with fog. At any rate, Peter and Chris, otherwise known as the Neal Brothers* have come up with a method of developing new Kettle Cooked Chip flavours that’s much more in keeping with the ethos here at Good Food Revolution: they asked a few chefs to come up with some ideas. The fruits of this method are now just coming to market, perfectly timed for the Canada Day long weekend, and the two new flavours distinguish these fried potato slices as being far above the average chip.
In keeping with their proudly Canadian identity, GTA-based Neal Brothers reached out across the Dominion to recruit Vikram Vij and Chuck Hughes from Vancouver and Montreal, respectively. Peter Neal has explained the selection of chefs was aided in no small part to the fact that the two chefs are friends of the brothers. It’s a good thing, since each chef has a repertoire that evidently suits potato chip flavouring very well.
Vij’s contribution is Vij’s Dehli-Licious chips, which are seasoned with a version of his garam masala – they’re fragrant curry chips and have a slight sweetness to them. They are decidedly morish, and somehow seem more sophisticated than a run of the mill snack. Neal Brothers had partnered with Great Lakes Brewing for the product launch, since beer and chips may as well be the traditional Canada Day meal, but I think I might be more inclined to pair Vij’s chips with a crisp Niagara Riesling.
Hughes’ contribution is Srirachup, which is a ketchup flavoured chip emboldened with the hipster’s condiment Sriracha sauce. This works, at least for me, as I find the traditional red-flecked ketchup chip to be just a touch too sweet for my liking. By adding chilli, garlic and vinegar notes (the main elements of Sriracha) Hughes has achieved that balance of hot, sour, salty, sweet that famously gave Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford the title of their ground breaking book on Southeast Asian cuisine. Of the two, this is the one I would pair with cold glass of lager to wash the palate before diving back into the bowl.
The chips, like all Neal Brothers foods are made naturally, without strange chemicals or GMO produce. If you’re going to buy chips this weekend, or any weekend this summer, why not give them a try and encourage this sort of collaboration going forward?
*Full disclosure: Neal Brothers Foods is a Good Food Fighter.