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These Are THE Best Crisps To Make A Crisp Sandwich, According To Our Research

Bobbie Edsor
·6-min read
Photo credit: STEPHEN BARNES
Photo credit: STEPHEN BARNES

Crisp sandwiches are up there with afternoon tea, fish and chips and freezer dinners in the foods that make us most proud to be British. It might not be the classiest thing on the list, but crisp sandwiches sure unite all groups: hungover 20-somethings lying on the sofa craving salt, kids in primary school lunch halls getting their Gordon Ramsay on, and anyone who just needs a bit of comfort. You can even order them as a Subway topping, for crying out loud.

There’s something about the pillowy bread, thick butter (or mayo) and shattering, salty edge of a crisp that works wonders for your serotonin levels. We’re surprised Heston Blumenthal hasn’t done a gag on it yet, tbh.

They might be all-uniting, but crisp sandwiches are also a very personal thing: obviously, the flavour of crisp chosen is paramount to the final sandwich’s success. Then there’s the type of bread, butter or mayo (or Dairylea, according to some of you nasty people on Instagram) and fillings. Everyone’s got their dream combo. But if you take out all of the particulars, all of the subjectivity, what makes THE most perfect crisp sandwich?

Photo credit: STEPHEN BARNES
Photo credit: STEPHEN BARNES

Experiment Set Up

In the name of market research, we did what we also do: turn to Instagram. According to some VERY scientific polls on our Instagram Stories, it turns out 63% of people prefer a bog-standard sliced loaf when making their crisp sandwiches, as opposed to something fancier. We mean, we can understand why. If you’re going for comfort, you’re going for a doorstep or white toastie loaf. If you’re going to the effort of whisking up a boujee focaccia or ciabatta sarnie, you hardly want to go and put crisps in it. Or do you? No judgement here.

As for fillings, 81% of you said that crisp sandwich fillings should be kept to the absolute plainest. Some people even said that crisps alone register as enough of a filling, no others needed. Hot take. We’re not buying it, though.

For the sake of our experiment, we chose to use the same soft white sliced bread, butter and cheddar cheese combo in all four sandwiches to make sure our control variables stay the same: the only thing changing here is the crisps. Our GCSE double-science teacher would be so proud…

To us, the difference between a good and a bad crisp sandwich - when you take out all of the other ingredients’ particulars - lies in the textures, the crunch, and whether you can hold it without all of your crispy bits falling out onto your lap after your first bite.

We broke it down into four categories of crisp texture. There are regular crisps (think your standard Walkers, Lay’s or Taytos), fancier crisps (also known as thicker: think Kettle, Tyrrell’s, Sensations), ridged (Walkers MAX and McCoy's, for example) and shapes (your Wotsits, Monster Munch, Bugles, etc).

Round One: Regular

Delicious if not a little obvious, you can’t go wrong with a Walkers Ready Salted crisp. Salty enough to make you thirsty, thin enough to shatter in a way that is SO satisfying for mouthfeel (sorry, this whole science experiment thing is going to our heads…).

Photo credit: Kwangmoozaa
Photo credit: Kwangmoozaa

We knew this belter would be a hard crisp to beat, but it also felt like the right variant to use as a benchmark. Verdict? Fantastic, of course. Salty, shattery, thin enough that you can add as many or as few as you like.

The only downside was the amount of fall-out. These babies explode pretty easily; after the first mouthful, our laps were a flurry of crisp-flakes. Not unpleasant, but if you like eating your crisp sandwiches in bed like us (don’t judge - it’s a crisp sandwich, for crying out loud), then expect to be sleeping with its remnants tonight, too.

Score: 7.5/10

Round Two: Fancy

Following round one, we had high hopes for a slightly thicker, more substantial crisp. Thicker crisp = less splinterage, surely?

Photo credit: Chris Clor/Blend Images
Photo credit: Chris Clor/Blend Images

Straight away, we realised you can’t pack as many fancy crisps into your sarnie as with a less substantial potato chip. With your standard thickness, you can manage a double or even triple layer before ramming your top bread on. With a thicker crisp, anything more than a single, slightly overlapping layer and you’re in trouble.

When we went to cut the sandwich in two, our problems started. A thicker crisp doesn’t have the same, satisfying squidge when you crush down on your top slice of bread – and they’re also far less compliant to a knife. Biting into the sandwich felt like more of a task than with round two. Granted, there was less splinterage – but at what cost?

Score: 5/10

Round Three: Ridged

We weren’t expecting to be too taken with a ridged crisp, but these babies surprised us.

Photo credit: S FRENCH
Photo credit: S FRENCH

In our heads, the ridges would be giving in left, right and centre, resulting in a crisp snowstorm all over the floor. In reality, the ridges gave way exactly where you bite into the sandwich. All of the substance of the fancier crisp, but without the rigidity – which is WILD.

We opted for a Walkers MAX Paprika, because it’s one of our favourites, so obviously the paprika element offered some beautiful magic to this sandwich, too. Although the ranking lies solely with the ridges. We love an underdog.

Score: 9/10

Round Four: Shapes

The biggest wildcard of the categories: shapes. In our market research, a surprising number of people named the likes of Monster Munch, Quavers, Wotsits and beyond as their go-to crisp in their dream sandwich. We’d never really considered a shape as an option, and so we went in with trepidation.

Photo credit: danibeder
Photo credit: danibeder

Our shape of choice was a Bugle. Rogue? Maybe, but their cone-shaped, rigid design seemed like the perfect middle ground between rigidity and crunch-factor. In the sandwich, one layer of shapes seems more than enough (can you imagine a sandwich featuring a double layer of Monster Munch? Us neither).

The resulting bite was, to be honest, pretty spectacular. Extra crunchy, extra satisfying, and the soft bread seals around all of the little Bugles to keep them in place when you bite – much more so than your standard 2D crisp. A solid win!

Score: 7/10

Conclusion

In their own market research, Walkers declared Ready Salted crisps *the* perfect crisp sandwich contender. And we can see the appeal – the salty shatter is the ultimate universal crisp and makes for a brilliant sarnie.

But there’s something about the ridged. In our experiment, it had that ‘Je ne sais quoi’, that extra EDGE that a plain crisp lacked.

Just a single layer of rigid ridged potato chips is all it takes: the crisp goes from being just a component to star of the show next to the yielding white bread and crumbling cheese. If you want comfort, you want a crisp sandwich. If you want THE crisp sandwich, go for ridged.

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