At Least One Way Canada is Better Than the US

Apparently, they have “Smokey Bacon”-flavored (or “flavoured” as they would spell it) potato chips. Here you see a bag, sent to me by my dear friend Meeka, who declared that the instant she saw the bacon-dusted chips, she thought of me. Such is my fate until the end of time. I suppose. But on the other hand: hey, bacon-flavored potato chips! And in fact, they are really bacon-y and smoky. I’m frankly flummoxed as to why these are not being sold in the US. It’s probably a good thing they’re not, though, because I suspect that if they were, I would be currently orb-shaped. And that would be no good.

Be that as it may, thank you, Meeka, for sending these along. As Athena’s expression suggests, they’re a big hit here at the Scalzi household.

78 thoughts on “At Least One Way Canada is Better Than the US

  1. who declared that the instant she saw the bacon-dusted chips, she thought of me. Such is my fate until the end of time. I suppose.

    I once worked with a band that wrote a song about Skittles when they were nobodies. When the band got popular fans would throw Skittles on the stage during their shows. At the end of a 5 stop CA tour we gathered a 6’x4’x3′ box full of Skittles.

    Same thing happens to the Newsboys and Captain Crunch cereal, except the fans usually don’t throw boxes just the cereal… It’s a stage manager’s nightmare. Crunchy, sticky, tiny little pieces of yellow cereal in everything like sand from a beach.

  2. The UK and Ireland have bacon flavoured crisps as well, a good reason to take a trip once the exchange rate situation improves.

  3. I thought the ketchup chips were disgusting, as were gravy flavored chips. Curry or bacon does sound quite good, though.

  4. We have dill pickle-flavored chips down in Texas; I have to assume there’s a sort of migration route through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma that has allowed these little bites of heaven to reach warm southern climes.

    (Actually, not so fond of them except in small doses — the artificial dill pickle flavoring tends to be REALLY strong.)

    The flavor that they have in Canada, at least western Canada, that I would LURRRRRV to be able to get down here is “all-dressed.” I have no way to describe the flavor, except that it’s among the best chip flavors I’ve ever had in my life, and I have been totally unable to find it even at the most pretentious specialty food stores.

  5. Being sort of the States’ Canada, California has some of the flavors mentioned above… Though not, sadly, ketchup.

  6. I find it highly amusing to see the flavor rendered in French. I think of the waiter at Cafe Boeuf saying it…

  7. I’ve seen Buffalo Wing flavoured chips up this way as well. My favorite, which may or may not be available in the US, is lime and black pepper.

  8. Once again, the general rule of thumb “Thinking Bacon? Think Scalzi!” proves out.

    Time for John to get himself an endorsement deal from the Bacon Producers of America.

    – yeff

  9. You suppose they have cat-flavored chips, too?

    Nah. Me neither. Be a conversation starter, though.

  10. I am going to have to agree with Steve S @12. Swapping thought with imagine since I have never actually tried any of them.

  11. You know what sounds real good. Bacon and cheddar chips. MMM. Bacon, cheddar. Better Together.

    I hereby place my idea on the internet where I can later claim first invention rights. Or maybe Scalzi can, it’s his site… I wonder if there’s a clause saying “All your ideas are belong to Scalzi when you post.”

  12. It saddens me that I troll for months without a comment (although I have some great ones 2 or 3 days after a thread is abandoned) – but I’ve got to sing the praises of the Canadian chip that I love the best (and i live in South Carolina), ALL DRESSED LAYS – the finest chip made by man, dusted with ketchup, bacon, onion, sour cream, butter, love, angels, salt, pepper, and some unspecified magnificent Canadian weirdness that makes them arguably the best chips in the western world.

    Incidentally, my Canadian chip connection turned out to be a sack of s#$% abusive husband surfing for a residency, so if anyone knows how get some All Dressed, let me know as I haven’t had any in years.

    Man that is a good chip.

  13. Our southern neighbours (note spelling!) appear to lack awesomeness in potato-chip flavouring. Perhaps if you still spelled words like “flavour” properly u wouldn’t be lacking?

  14. Here is where I take pity on all you woeful, deprived Americans. The Canadian expat’s secret weapon:
    http://www.canadianfavourites.com
    where you will find lovely lists of all the fine food that the agro-industrial food conglomerates have seen fit to deny you. After living here in the Midwest for the last eight years, I hoard up my loonies and twonies and order me some up north grub. And by the way, US$ are practically 1 for 1 with the CDN$ last time I checked, so nuts to you @14!! I mean that with the greatest of sincerity as the reason I moved down here (paying off debt using the exchange rate) evaporated.
    Oh well, that’s how the Jos Louis crumbles.

  15. You all have nothing, I repeat NOTHING on Japan when it comes to Snack food.
    Seriously.

    Let’s see, have a hankering for breakfast, but hate all the muss and fuss?
    Bacon AND Egg chips.

    Want something a little more exotic, perfect for summer?
    Ume (Sour Plum) potato chips.

    Wanting a bit more sodium in your desert?
    Chocolate covered potato chips

    Check here and here for more choices (I’ve eaten most of them–my favorite Japanese snacks are Ume Shrimp Crackers.)

    Japan is the undisputed king of snack foods. A trip to 7-11 is like a trip to dietary nirvana.

  16. sorry, that chocolate covered potato chip link turned out to be an American one (surprise!)…Damn all these Firefox Tabs!
    here is the Japanese one.
    They’re actually ok, but not earthshatteringly good.

  17. There’s a very nice Michigan brand of chips including ketchup, mustard, salt-and-vinegar, jalapeño, etc. Don’t remember the brand name right now. Don’t know if bacon is one of the flavors. The ketchup ones are nice, but then again I could just put Heinz on Lays potato chips — if I ate potato chips.

    Dr. Phil

  18. Lime and black pepper chips used to be findable at Quisno’s out here but sadly vanished about a year ago. Good stuff.

  19. Ketchup chips are disgusting. We used to have cheeseburger flavoured chips — they kind of tasted like a cheeseburger and fries.

    I don’t mind the all dressed but they do have a bit of an aftertaste — I’ve got to agree with the poster who mentioned lime and black pepper. Do they have Miss Vicki’s in the states? They also do a sour cream and roasted red pepper chip that’s interesting…

  20. Pfft. You’re all amateurs. Here in the UK, we have crisps (as we call them) in a huge variety of flavours – ready salted, cheese & onion, salt & vinegar, roast chicken, prawn cocktail, smoky bacon, Marmite, steak & onion, turkey & cranberry (at Christmas), ham & pickle, pickled onion, tomato ketchup, Worcester sauce, BBQ rib… Check out http://www.walkers-crisps.co.uk/

  21. Or, for real connoisseurs, try http://www.kettlefoods.co.uk/site/WebSiteProducts.do?id=501.54.613&range=1

    Silly me – since Kettle call them ‘chips’, I thought they’d be available in the US!

    Btw, another thing you guys don’t seem to do (from experience visiting friends in W.Va.) is meat pies (particularly pork pies) and sausage rolls (which are nothing like hotdogs). They’re hardly gourmet, but a major part of the British diet (don’t get me started on deep-fried Mars bars!)

  22. As noted above, smoky bacon crisps are a common flavour in the UK, and it may be that Canadians acquired a taste for them while the British Empire was a going concern.

    Just look at what America could have had if you hadn’t had your revolution – bacon crisps, marmite, a monarch…

    (However we don’t do the bilingual “bacon fumé” which looks very classy. Although I would have translated it as “lard fumé” but I’m funny like that)

  23. Isn’t it obvious why the US lags in chip flavors? We need to abolish the FDA and its stupid rules on food-additive safety. What’s a little mercury if it gets us bacon-flavored chips? Mr. President, we cannot afford a chip flavor gap!

  24. There’s a pub near here that does scotch eggs right, and nothing better than scotch eggs, followed by fish and chips and a couple of Guinness. Thank you Paul S and Ian Sales, for absolutely tripping out my want meter.

    Sausage rolls, I haven’t seen those since I left Canada. Tried to make my own, not quite there. Used to be my lunch on a regular basis.

    Gotta go eat now.

  25. So, Scalzi…. when ya gonna tape one of these to a cat?
    OTOH, you do have the cutest child in the known universe.

  26. And to think all this time, as a Canadian, I took those bacon, dill, and ketchup chips for granted, not knowing that my American brothers to the south went lacking…

    Ketchup is probably one of the most popular flavors of chips, too… You gotta get used to the taste, but many people swear by it. Bacon is a bit more of a novelty. When you buy chips for a party and you want to play it safe, you get: regular, ketchup, salt & vinegar. Covers all taste ranges (that is, bland, sweet and messy, and sour.)

  27. A bit of googling unsuprisingly finds a site which reviews crisps and lists a few flavours
    for ones sold in England

  28. Another way Canada is superior (at least in the first weekend in August): the first Monday in August is a holiday!

  29. Wanting a bit more sodium in your desert?
    Chocolate covered potato chips

    Jim @ 26,
    There is a candy shop in MI that has done choc. covered chips for years. I didn’t know they were also big in Japan.

  30. I’m struck by the fact that the bacon flavored chips from Canada are not Canadian bacon flavored …

  31. @Justme: How would you know? If it’s Canadian bacon, then we Canadians won’t call it “Canadian”, just “bacon”… Same way you don’t call it an “American cheeseburger” in the US.

    So maybe they ARE Canadian bacon-flavored.

  32. @48: Do you call it an American cheeseburger in Canada? If so, what’s a Canadian cheeseburger?

  33. They’re not the best, but Target does have Bacon Cheddar flavored baked potato chips~

    And even though I say they’re not the best, I sat down and ate almost an entire bag in one sitting the other day.

    They also have: Parmesean & Garlic, Hot & Spicy, Wasabi (DO NOT RECOMMEND< Tastes like yellow mustard) and uh, lots, we try to buy the full array each time we visit Target.

  34. But are they Kosher?

    Also, are they substantially different than BBQ chips?

    (My wife’s from Toronto, I’d be interested in picking some up the next time we’re there…)

  35. Though it’s stepping away from bought foods, the ultimate (to my mind) is something my wife invented. She takes (British) sausage meat, wraps it in bacon, wraps that in mature Cheddar cheese, then puts the whole thing in a puff pastry parcel before baking it.

    Sorry – gotta stop now before I drown my keyboard in saliva.

  36. It does seem obvious that these would be big sellers in America so the fact that they are not being sold in America suggests that somebody is stopping them from selling in America.

    Maybe these bacon flavored chips don’t meet rigorous USDA potato chip regulations?

  37. Pringles has bacon as well as pickle flavors, as I found on my last drive up to DC from NC. Delicious and stroke-inducing. Not sure how widely-available they are, though.

  38. How would you know if it actually tasted of dolphin? And would it be wise to admit if you knew it tasted of crack cocaine?

  39. I got one word for you people: Zapp’s.

    Cajun Crawtator Flavor Chips. Aw. Yeah.

    (Also, Jalapeno, Cajun Dill, and Sour Cream & Creole Onion.)

  40. Leigh: Hah! Never had ‘em, but Zapp’s gets points just for coming up with the word “crawtator.” Nice. Let the bon temps roulez, mon ami!

  41. Hmm, as far as I’ve always understood, we’ve always had stronger food safety regulations in Canada – like no red dye #5(a known carcinogen), which apparently makes Dr. Pepper taste different. Another off the top of my head is no caffeine in clear pop unless specifically stated. (Only in the past couple yearshave we been able to get proper Mountain Dew, relabeled as an ‘energy drink’)

    So maybe it’s simply the marketing departments who don’t think it would sell…

  42. Not really on topic, but I note that the photo is one the finer examples of your daughter’s talent at “mugging for the camera….”

    If you don’t watch it, she’s going to end up doing commercials or something…

  43. You see, this is what fans are for. You let your Canadian fans know how easily you can be bribed, and sit back for the chips to arrive in the mail.

    Or, if there are any Canadian cons who want you as a guest, let them know that this is one way they can make you VERY happy.

  44. 46

    We wouldn’t call it Canadian bacon because what Americans call “Canadian Bacon”, we call “Back Bacon”. We call regular bacon; bacon.

    You can now look back at all the Bob and Doug Mackenzie routines and understand what they were talking about when they talked about “Back Bacon”.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    P.S. Take off eh!

  45. The only way to go when you NEED bacon crisps (yes, that’s crisps – chips are potatoes chopped lengthwise and fried or baked, but I digress) is Frazzles. Frazzles and Scampi Fries (but not together!) make the world go round. There are online stores selling British grub just waiting to fulfil your order…

    That said, Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli is is the best crisp on the market bar none.

  46. Pointless fact from a vegetarian friend: Apparently the Bacon Flavoured Walkers crisps are the only crisp (sorry “chip”) that are passed by the vegetarian society.

    All the others are flavoured with rennet (even ones like cheese and onion) so contain animal products, whereas the bacon ones use yeast extract.

    So the question arises – given that Bacon flavoured Crisps/Chips are the only truely veggie crisps, do they qualify as “real” bacon?

    (Errr – should clarify, we are talking British Crisps here, of which the Canadian variety are a mere Commonwealth reflection)

  47. Hang on – I just noticed. The “Lays” logo on the front of the crisp packet in the picture is in fact exactly the same as the “Walkers” logo!

    Those may not be Canadian Crisps after all!!!

    Wikipedia reveals the sordid truth: Walkers (Link for deranged crisp listing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkers_Crisps) is actually owned by Frito-Lay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frito-Lay) an American Company.

    So another controversy – why are bacon chips/crisps being manufactured and sold in Canada and the UK, but are not available in thier home country of the USA?

  48. You didn’t have the bacon brittle when you did your reading at Google, did you? Next time you come for a reading, I’ll talk to the pastry chef and see if I can put in a special request.

  49. There was a place in Montreal that used to sell hedgehog-flavoured potato chips, I suspect imported from the UK. Though, as with dolphin, how could you tell?

  50. Short time reader, first post:

    We totally have smokey bacon crisps in the good ole UK. Have for, oooh, decades probably.

  51. Not sure if they carry these in the US or not, but we also have bacon-flavoured crackers in Canada; Christie’s Bacon Dippers come to mind. They’re quite tasty. :)

  52. Fate is calling me north
    1) I’ve never been to Canada
    2) They have Bacon flavored chips
    3) worldcon is there next year

    The Norn has spoken (in French) and her name is Montreal

  53. There were Haggis flavoured crisps in Scotland for a while but they seem to have disappeared. Cilmate change maybe (or lack of demand).

  54. HA HA… I will be your canuck connection!! send me your orders for bacon chips!! I will get them thru!!!
    Or you can come and visit our awesome country…

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