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5 essential questions and answers about the spice bag phenomenon

Just eat.

MOVE OVER THREE-in-one, there’s a new kid in town.

1. What is a spicebag?

It’s crispy chicken/chicken balls, chips, and a mystery blend of spices in a bag.

Ergo: Spice bag.

Some versions may also contain peppers or miscellaneous vegetables.

It can come in a paper or foil bag, but always a bag.

2. Where did it come from?

There is anecdotal evidence that the spice bag (or ‘spicy bag’ or even ‘hot bag’ in some places) originated in Bagenalstown, Carlow, despite the assumption that it is a Dublin invention.

Further evidence of spice bags in “deepest Carlow” (Tullow) has also reached us.




There are tales of spice bags going back to at least 2013 in Dublin.

Evidence from Castleknock:

Spotted in Stoneybatter, also in late 2013:

spicy @vickinotaro @vickinotaro

As recently as December 2014 it has been suggested that they have yet to reach Waterford, sadly.


3. Why the increase in popularity?

Evidence from one Dublin takeway (Lin Kee, North Strand) would indicate that it was simply demand which has lead to the spread of the spice bag.


There is also (unscientific) evidence that spice bags might in fact be addictive:

In fact, they elicit an almost preternatural response:

4. Are they delicious?

All signs point to yes.

However, one connoisseur told us:

When you’re getting takeaway, you’re looking for a bit of sinful food. The issue with the spice, or spicy, bag is that it feels like all that sin is in one confined space. It’s a little overwhelming.

5. Are they here to stay?

Almost certainly.

Exhibit A: Mams are begged for them:

Exhbit B: Money is squirrelled away for them:

Exhbit C: Days are made by them:

All hail the spice bag.

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