There is nothing quite like having a savory snack while you are having a beer or two, and once the humble packet of crisp or fries were the only alternative. Today there are a multiple of salty and savory snacks for you to nibble on whilst you imbibe. We look at some of the favorites in many a tavern and pub around the world.
Depending where you live this snack is called a crisp or a fry, suffice to say they are wafer thin slices of potato that have been deep fried and put into sealed packets. The original is salted but now a whole array of different flavors can be obtained. Recent years have seen poncier versions than simple plain salted, there is sea salt & balsamic vinegar and cheddar cheese and caramelized red onion, not just plain old cheese and onion. Whatever the marketing guru’s dream up, just plain salted crisps are everybody’s favorite to snack on.
Along with fries the other bar staple snack were salted peanuts, even those have been superseded with new varieties such as dry roasted, salt & vinegar, and hot nuts. If you are lucky your bar may serve up some nice pistachios or cashews, or a mixture with a few raisins thrown in. Delicious with a nice gin and tonic as the saltiness adds to the flavor of the gin.
Known all around the world by different names, this spicy mixture is a delightful snack with an aperitif or cocktail. In India it is called chevada, the British know it as Bombay Mix, the Americans call it Punjabi Mix.
Whatever it may be called it is a delightful mixture containing fried lentils, nuts, spices and gram-flour noodles. It may seem a little messy and not elegant to eat but it makes up for that with a punchy and quite addictive taste. But that is the beauty of this spicy mixture, every handful contains a different taste and texture, a time bomb in the mouth.
A crunchy, salty, meaty snack that is ideal with a cold beer, sometimes called Pork Scratching’s, but better known as Pork Rinds. Even the packet version is worth risking losing a tooth or two trying to bite into them. They can be made by roasting or frying and are the skin of a pig, the cooking renders the fat down and the pieces of skin become crispy. Some experts have labelled them as a heart attack in a bag, and it is true they are not very healthy, but extremely tasty. Perhaps not an everyday indulgence but a treat now and again.
The tavern snack has been around in some form or another as long as inns, taverns, bars and pubs have been selling beer. It is a well-known fact that alcohol makes a person hungry, and tavern snacks have been to not just satisfy the appetite but to make the punters drink more due to their saltiness. Whatever the reason, some of these snacks are a great addition to a visit to your favorite bar. Perhaps better shared with your friends as not many pub grubs are particularly healthy.