Thursday 14 March 2013

The McCain Home Chips Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was invited to take part in the McCain Home Chips Challenge. The brief sounded incredibly simple : "The simple combination of soft, fluffy potato and crispy coating makes McCain Home Chips a taste sensation – and now the latest data shows they are the chip of choice for us Brits – in fact we eat 3.5 billion of them every year, so many that if you lined them up end-to-end they would stretch to the moon and back four times!

Now McCain is challenging you to put Home Chips to the test in three quick steps:
1. Contact us for samples and wait for the bag of potato goodness to arrive at the address of your choice.
2. Get cooking! (Don’t forget to use your favourite condiments and accompaniments.)
3. Tell us what you thought – and feel free to pass the challenge onto colleagues, friends or family."

Soon enough, a bag of frozen chips turned up at The Madhouse (delivered by a rather confused Ocado man who was convinced there must be more than a bag of chips to deliver !). We're usually pretty traditional when it comes to eating chips - I love them generously sprinkled with salt and vinegar and the kids like a bit of ketchup on the side - but I decided we should try something a bit different for the challenge. I suggested various different condiments that we could try out - barbecue sauce, piccalilli, aioli (garlic mayonnaise), smoked paprika, ... - but the kids went for a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and stuck with the usual salt and vinegar with ketchup. Oh well, I tried ! They did say the chips were lovely and crispy though.

I did manage to convince them to try out something that I keep hearing about, not least from the Madhouse Grandad - cheesy chips. Now, I'm not sure where this new obsession with cheesy chips came from - nobody ever used to put cheese on chips a couple of decades ago and it sounded a bit strange to me. I'd heard of the Quebeckers (French Canadians) having a strange obsession with poutine - you can learn about it on wikipedia but basically it's chips topped with curd cheese and brown gravy - so I actually googled "cheesy chips" to see if it needed anything other than chips and cheese. There are several variations but I went for the simplest - sprinkling cheese on the chips and zapping them in the microwave so the cheese melts - and it went down surprisingly well. That does add a lot of extra calories and fat though, so it's not something that will be making a regular appearance on the Madhouse menu !

So, back to what is an unbeatable combination in my opinion - the usual salt and vinegar. What do you have on your chips? (And I'd just like to give a special mention to the rather clever Fish and Chip Pie that Alison came up with over on the Dragons & Fairydust blog - the Madhouse Mini-testers often turn their nose up at regular fish pie so I may have to give that a try !)

for more information :

Disclosure : We received a bag of chips in order to take part in the McCain Home Chips Challenge.

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  1. I'm very much just a salt girl - I really don't like vinegar.

  2. I've eaten Cheesy chips for at least 14 years..... I love it, but avoid it like the plague at the moment..... For obvious

  3. I'm Scottish
    Chips and Cheese are big her , every chip shop and takeaway sells it !

  4. Im Scottish as well as cannot stand cheese sprinkled on top of your chips so the cheese melts and gunges all the chips together in a gloopy heap.

  5. I still haven't blogged about my bag of chips, can't say I found any extravagant recipes to make. The chips butty didn't appeal, lol
    Might try them with cheese.

  6. I like sauce, vinegar and sauce! Not a huge fan of them with cheese!


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