Based not only on this product, I think crisps (in AmE, chips) are poised to make their mark in these parts.
I’ve seen “crisps,” too, but only with non-potato snacks. (See http://www.snacksalad.com/products.html.) Which makes me wonder whether US brands are carving out a “crisps” category distinct from potato-dominated “chips.”
I believe you are right, Nancy. Aren’t Pringles called potato “crisps”? They are chopped, formed, pressed and have sugar in them!
The BrE term is onomatopoeic, the AmE “chips” a poor description (what SHOULD we call ultra-thin slices of deep-fried potatoes?) “Crisp” is a better descriptor, evocative of a quality. I think the BrE term has wings, but a major marketing method might be needed.
Yes, it appears in the US that every chip-like snack that isn’t solid potato is being described that way. Like Pringles for instance – they are crisps not chips. I think that the Food Standards Agency may have had something to do with it.
Just a note on crisps and chips.
Chips are of course ‘fries’ or ‘french fries’ in AmE, though they vary a lot more in size than the long thin ones you mostly have – which I understand do actually derive from Franch and Belgian cuisine. (We get chunky chips, crinkle-cut chips, etc., while a normal chip from a fish and chip shop (or chippie) is a lot thicker and shorter than a French fry and is not pre-salted – you get to put your own salt on to your taste.)
However there is also a foodstuff known as a ‘game chip’ which isn’t something you play roulette with but thinly cut vegetables which are usually potatoes but can also be other root veg such as parsnip, and which are cooked to be served with game, e.g. pheasant or venison. They are cooked to a crisp but they usually go soggy in the gravy. They’re quite posh. I wonder whether this is where the AmE usage of ‘chip’ comes from.
PS: ‘Chippie’ is a word for a fish and chip shop, but it’s also affectionate slang for a carpenter.
Trademark considerations may be behind the use of “crisps” vs. “chips.”
In Australia, there used to be a brand called “Smith’s Crisps” but everybody called them “chips”. I got the impression that “crisps” was a registered trade name, so the generic name was “chips”. The hot freshly fried things were also called chips, but it was easy to tell them apart from the context.
Conversely “gourmet” crisps in the UK often refer to themselves as “chips” – e.g. Kettle Chips, who have an advertising line, “Better than crisps” !
Kettle chips are American, though, aren’t they? Other UK brands of “hand made” crisps, such as Tyrell’s, are called crisps. My recollection is that we got Kettle Chips, then lots of UK firms did copy-cat versions, some of them better than the originals.
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