Crisps are going upmarket
Made from select potatoes or the most sophisticated vegetables, whether they're hand cooked or dehydrated… crisps are going upmarket. Future key products for the warm-up to your evening, discover these new, must-try creations!
The accidental birth of crisps
Like many culinary creations, crisps were born by accident… or rather, out of dissatisfaction.
It all started in 1853, when a guest at the Moon’s Lake House Hotel in the United States sent his plate of chips back several times because they were cut too thickly. Infuriated, chef George Crum ended up cutting his chips so finely, then frying and salting them: this was how the first crisps came to be. Met with great success, crisps or “copeaux” in French, soon went international and reached Europe in the 1920s.
From traditional crisps to premium crisps
Although the famous slices of potatoes had their heyday in the last century, they now seem to be losing ground with the arrival of new, more elaborate "premium" chips. In France, they have grown by 11 %, compared to 2 % for traditional crisps.
For L. Tregaro, our Épicerie expert, the trend is due to the demand for more sought-after flavours and textures. “They have become an on-the-go tasty snack, bringing a touch of originality to your appetisers. In our new Rive Droite store, we have dedicated an entire space to crisps, and called it 'la chipsothèque'. It offers no less than 100 different varieties.” Catching on to this new trend, the English brand Regent’s Park stands out for its range of crisps. “They are cooked from 'real' ingredients with reduced powder for seasoning them. They are free from flavouring. Our crisps are cooked in small amounts, then centrifuged to remove excess oil which gives them a unique crunchiness on the palate.”
Parsnip potato crisps: the influx of (other) vegetables
Although premium crisps stand out for their meticulous preparation, choosing the raw materials is a crucial stage. The varieties of potatoes are thus selected with even greater attention paid to their flavour and crunchiness, thus becoming a great sales pitch for brands. Regent’s Park, for example, prioritises Naturalo potatoes grown in rich, fertile black soil due to the presence of oak trees which have nourished it for centuries.
The company is also positioned in the increasingly popular market of vegetable crisps by offering sweet potato, parsnip, carrot and beetroot crisps. “More costly, the sweet potato is an interesting tuber vegetable due to its sweet taste. It is also a source of vitamins and minerals.”
When crisps are dehydrated: raw crisps
Another variant of the “raw food” trend: raw crisps, made from dehydrated vegetables. This movement, which began in the 1970s in the United States, prioritises raw food, cooked raw or cooked at a low temperature (maximum of 45°). This cooking method, generally associated with other cooking methods such as germination or fermentation, encourages working with the product differently.
So to make dehydrated kale crisps, the brand Happy Crulture cleans, scrapes, and seasons each organically farmed cabbage leaf. “Made in this way, our kale crisps retain most of their vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants," explains founder C. Prioli.
From cheddar crisps to a Thai blend: when crisps come in a variety of flavours
From traditional flavours to the more unusual ones, crisps offer an amazing playing field for brands. They are competing in ingenuity to see who can surprise us the most: cheddar, honey barbecue or even Thai blend mixing lime, coconut and ginger… anything goes!
These crisps are sure to surprise us at aperitif time, yet they can also be enjoyed as an accompaniment. Serve them warm with a grilled meat dish for a quick meal. You can also sprinkle some crisp pieces in your salads and sandwiches to add a touch of crunch. The most flavoured ones will then become your firm favourites for effortlessly livening up your recipes!
Easy to make, homemade vegetable crisps can be made in no time at all. Discover our simple five-stage recipe!
1) Choose your favourite vegetables
2) Slice finely in a mandolin
3) Arrange them on a sheet of parchment paper
4) Season them with a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and spices
5) Bake them for 10-15 minutes at 180°.