Foul flavoured offerings

Cathy Marston wonders what the British were thinking when they made Cajun Squirrel flavoured crisps.

by: Cathy Marston | 09 Mar 2009

I have been enjoying Food24 columnist, the genial Jeanne Horak-Druiff and her mission to rid the world of banana pizzas – you can sign me up for that one as well Jeanne!

I come from Yorkshire in the UK where we have our fair share of strange food combinations and I know we shocked quite a few Southern friends when Kevin and I chose to combine our wedding cake with a slice of moist, succulent Wensleydale cheese – food for the gods in my opinion.

I have now lived in this country for over seven years and have absolutely no wish to return to live in the UK – until I think of things like Wensleydale cheese, chocolate Hobnobs and Cadbury’s Curlywurlys. And when the cravings get just too bad and I need some childhood comfort food, then I get in the car and head for my secret 'Aladdin’s Cave' – the UK Emporium in Milnerton.

UK emporium
Jason and Alison specialise in importing the things you can’t live without from the UK's supermarket shelves. You can check it out on and if you have ever lived in the UK for any length of time, I am sure you will be delighted to find many familiar friends and flavours amongst its treats and titbits.

I have seen similar shops in the UK stacked high with Mrs Ball's chutney, All Gold tomato sauce and biltong – some things are just too good to keep in one country in my opinion. However, that does not extend to the latest email from the UK Emporium offering the new ranges of Walkers Crisps – Chilli and Chocolate, Onion Bhaji, Builder's Breakfast and – wait for it – Cajun Squirrel. No, I am not making this up – seemingly the Senior Product Development Manager at Walkers has actually eaten a squirrel, dusted in Cajun seasoning no less, and decided that that was a great idea for a new line of potato crisps. Rather him than me.

I get the Onion Bhaji thing – sounds quite nice actually. I suppose Builder's Breakfast could be a mix of bacon crisps, baked bean crisps and Cumberland sausage crisps which all sounds fine. I can even do Chilli and Chocolate which is a combo I am happy with on a steak, although I am not too sure how it will fare on a crisp. But truly – Cajun Squirrel?

Eating roadkill
It puts me in mind of an excellent comedy show of the 70's featuring Rowan Atkinson in his first TV role called 'Not the Nine O'Clock News'. Following a sketch of theirs, there was a huge demand for Hedgehog flavoured crisps which I believe was actually met by a crisp company – probably the mighty Walkers themselves. Rather surprisingly, the flavour didn't prove popular, probably because eating roadkill has generally been left up to the Americans to enjoy and so the flavour was discontinued. Pity really. Or not.

And of course the burning question now is what wine would you pair with a Cajun Squirrel? Something aromatic and fragrant to cope with the heat of the Cajun spice with perhaps a hint of nuts to it?

What foul flavoured offerings have you heard of lately?

Cathy Marston is the owner of The Nose Restaurant & Wine Bar and a fulltime, professional eater and drinker. Any food, any drink, anywhere, anytime...

- None


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