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A definitive ranking of Irish crisps, from worst to best

What’s the best crisp in Ireland? We have a final answer.

HERE AT, we know what matters. So today we have painstakingly ranked all the varieties of Irish crisp.* From worst to best.

This ranking is final and definitive.

* By ‘Irish crisp’, we mean crisp available in Ireland. By ‘all’, we mean ‘some of the main ones’.

14. Chickatees

In the bag, they are an innocent corn snack.

On contact with human saliva, they immediately become a wedge of industrial sealing putty that locks your jaws together in one seamless, heaving mass. Which smells faintly of chicken.

If that’s your thing then sure, eat Chickatees.

13. Rancheros

If I wanted to burp synthetic bacon flavour for an entire day, I’m sure there would be better ways of achieving that than eating a packet of Rancheros.

Also, the cowboy thing? Come on. What is he, herding potatoes?

12. Walkers


Effete colonial crisps that just can’t stand up to our domestic potato-snack powerhouses – despite their expensive marketing campaigns. In a bar fight, Walkers would be the guy who shoots his mouth off, then runs away and locks himself in a toilet cubicle.

11. Snax

All the flavour of Tayto and all the texture of an encrusted scab.

10. Chipsticks

Chipsticks might be borderline flavourless and prone to disappearing in a puff of air when you’re looking for a satisfying crunch.

But somehow they taste of spending your pocket money in the corner shop.

9. Hot Lips

Snack AND kissing practice? Shut up and take my money.

8. Pringles

Flickr/Leonid Mamchenkov

Pringles are the crisp that mercilessly exposes human frailty. Why? Because once you pop you can’t stop. And if you don’t stop you will make yourself feel very ill.

Tasty, but their status as a terrifying, vertigo-inducing window into your own personal weakness drags them down the rankings.

7. Skips

Wikimedia Commons

A true innovator. Made of tapioca and available in only one variety, Skips take a long hard look at traditional crisp wisdom… and give it all the middle finger. Basically, they’re like a prawn-cocktail-flavoured Steve Jobs.

6. Scampi Fries


The VIP nightclub of snacks. A strong fishy odour turns away fair-weather snack fans at the door, leaving these flavour-packed mouthfuls of salty, lemony goodness in the sole possession of the snack cognoscenti.

Also, many a relationship has foundered over the question: “It’s me or the Scampi Fries.”

5. King

Is it any coincidence that the two cultural areas where Ireland has attained undisputed mastery are (a) pubs and (b) the cheese-and-onion crisp? When the icecaps melt and our little island disappears beneath the roiling waves, our potato snacks and the odd copy of Ulysses will be all that remain.

4. Monster Munch

Flickr/Phil Hawksworth

The crisp equivalent of highly inventive sex: it’s great while it’s happening, but leaves you feeling slightly ashamed of yourself. Oh, and you’ll need to brush your teeth afterwards.

3. Hula Hoops

Wikimedia Commons

Four best moments of human civilisation so far:

  1. Discovery of fire
  2. Invention of the wheel
  3. Realising the earth orbits the sun
  4. Ability to make crisps into hoops

2. Hunky Dorys

Not only a near-perfect crisp in technical terms, but also a flavour innovator. The creation of the wondrous Buffalo variety – which contains no buffalo, or even beef, but somehow necessitated the importation of an entire buffalo herd to Ireland – speaks of a science beyond our ken.

Hunky Dorys claim a proud second place.

1. Tayto

With a slight edge in flavour and texture over their King counterparts, Tayto claims first place.

Here’s a thing: it’s lucky that everyone in Ireland eats cheese-and-onion crisps, because otherwise we’d notice our collective cheese-and-onion halitosis. And then nobody would ever kiss anyone, and one thing would never lead to another, and the whole population would die out.

Thanks for everything, Mr Tayto.

What are your thoughts? Do you want to argue with this final and definitive ranking? The comments are now open…

Irish biscuits: A definitive ranking from worst to best>

Irish ice creams: A definitive ranking from worst to best>

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