There is a tasty tradition at the Spice House (at least in our Old Town store), which we typically celebrate with the return of a manager or another from vacation or travel. Many of us spend a good amount of time taking food very seriously, and our connections as spice retailers often bring about opportunities to sample a lot of seriously high quality food and treats from kitchens around the city. So, from time to time it is refreshing, as a change of pace, to lower our standards a bit and indulge in something that is not overtly culinary, but still very delicious: snack chips.
The tradition is as follows: when one of us leaves town for whatever reason, we try to come back with the most bizarre brands and flavors of chips we can find, for our coworkers to sample upon our arrival. The point of this is partially to let the others in on where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to, in a tangible way, and also to treat each other to strange goodies that aren’t easily found or obtained here in the city.
The fruits of this Old Town tradition have varied widely. Chips employing unconventional flavor combinations and risky imitation flavors are always a favorite. Meat-flavored varieties, for example, have been particularly popular: hotdog, cheeseburger, barbecue rib, chicken wing. On the other hand, small-market brands, local to our respective hometowns, are also a hit with our coworkers. Occasionally, a company like Lays will release, for a limited time, a flavor that is typically sold only in Asian markets, and it is always a surprise and a treat when one of us gets our hands on a bag of these.
With the companies behind these snack chip oddities working so hard to broaden their arsenal of flavors, it is unlikely that our store tradition will tire any time soon – at least not on account of lacking new material. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t working hard to contribute in our own way to the flavor possibilities of our favorite snacks. Should you want to spice up some chips on your own accord, here are a few suggestions: a sprinkle of Southwestern Seasoning or our salt-free Chili Powder adds an interesting dimension to otherwise plain tortilla chips, which can be enjoyed alone or topped with nacho fixings. If you are making your own potato chips, try dusting them with Cheddar Cheese Powder, Vulcan’s Fire Salt, or a combination of both! Finally, should you be looking for a good accompaniment to some already-seasoned snack chips, our Chip Dip and Dill Dip Seasonings offer the perfect formula for a truly tantalizing dip.
Happy snacking! (And one more thing: if you know where we can get our hands on some truly strange varieties of potato chips like these, we’ve got a store full of employees who would love for you to spill the beans!) Should you feel compelled to mail us some of your favorite home town chips, our address is The Spice House, 1512 North Wells Street, Chicago, Il. 60610.