I think Pringles get a bad rap sometimes. I am guilty of this myself. I talk smack about them occasionally, usually in social situations, but secretly I really like them. It’s like in those movies where there is some commanding officer or superior who is secretly having an affair with one of his/her underlings. It’s kind of forbidden, and people would judge them harshly for it, but in the end true love must prevail!
So what if a Pringle is not technically a potato chip? So what if a Pringle’s potato content is firmly fixed at 42%? So what if they are a paste? Maybe if Mother Nature could make a potato that didn’t go all weird and misshapen when it was thin-sliced and fried, we could package them more efficiently. Think about that.
Pringles are marvels of food chemistry and engineering. Perfectly shaped and perfectly stackable potato chip approximations made only partially from potatoes. That’s pretty impressive.
It’s all context. If this was the 50s, and we saw a bowl of Pringles on one of the Kitchens of the Future shows where the oven assembles a cake and bakes it for you before automatically cleaning itself and collapsing into the wall, we’d be flipping out over them. It was a simpler time then. I mean Disneyland used to have an attraction called the Hall of Aluminum Fame!
But now we’re spoiled and jaded. Once we got audio programs on our portable computer telephones that made fart noises, we lost all perspective and sense of wonder.
So today, I champion the humble Pringle. More specifically, my new favorite Pringle variety, Memphis BBQ. They’re a limited edition.
To get to the taste analysis, I’ll ignore the bad package design featuring a barbeque sauce bottle with a half-guitar, half-kitchen brush hybrid topped with a dollop of too-red, too-gooey sauce drippings. Nor will I mention that the i in Memphis appears to be on fire or possibly explosively ejecting something like a Roman candle. No time for that.
There is nothing particularly wrong with the original Pringles barbeque flavor, but I never really found it memorable enough to fold into regular rotation. They’re good enough. I’ll eat them if they’re on hand.
Memphis BBQ I would seek out. The flavor has a tomato base with smoky undertones. It is noticeably sweeter than the original barbeque. There’s a little onion and garlic happening, as well as some earthiness which may be the dash of turmeric (my favorite spice that sounds like a horrible disease) or just might be my imagination. Everything combines very nicely. The flavor dust isn’t too heavily applied either.
I may be overselling these. Perhaps because this is the first week of my summer vacation and I am in a giddy state of euphoria. Regardless, I enjoyed them and plan on buying some more.
You should try a can. Pick some up and go at them with the golly gee, bright-eyed optimism of a 50s teenager. Chew happily and ponder the fact that the flying car is surely just right around the corner.