The Daily Spud

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Spud Sunday: Young O’Donnell Had A Farm…

…and on that farm he grew some spuds, e-i-e-i-o.

More to the point, though, is what young Ed O’Donnell did with those potatoes. With a crunch, crunch here and a crunch, crunch there, he made crisps – and some really rather fine kettle-cooked crisps at that – a fact which I have verified by means of some, eh, selfless personal testing.

Fuelled by no small amount of determination – and featuring crisps flavoured using locally sourced ingredients, like Mt. Callan cheddar from Co. Clare and cider vinegar from Con Traas’ nearby apple farm in Co. Tipperary – O’Donnells Crisps have, since their launch in 2010, achieved an impressive level of distribution here in Ireland. You’ll find them, among other places, in SuperValu, Centra, Londis, Dunnes Stores, Superquinn and Tesco and also in Selfridges in the UK – so it’s here a crunch, there a crunch, and, really, everywhere a crunch, crunch for O’Donnells these days.

O'Donnells crisps and santa hat

And now for the best part...

The other place where you might find the crunch of an O’Donnells crisp this Christmas is in a box, delivered to your door. I have 5 such boxes to give away, and I will be resisting the temptation to eat them myself, so that I can, instead, bestow them, Santa-like, upon 5 lucky Daily Spud readers. Each will contain 20 packets of O’Donnells crisps in the readers’ flavour of choice – either mature Irish cheese and red onion, Irish cider vinegar and sea salt, or their more recently added sweet chilli flavour. Full details below.

Getting straight to the crunch:

If you fancy getting your Christmas mitts on a box of O’Donnells crunchiness, leave a comment below and let me know, flavourwise, whether you’re a cheese ‘n’ onion, salt ‘n’ vinegar or sweet chilli type of eater (or simply whether you’re salty, sweet or cheesy). Feel free, also, to speculate about the two new flavours that O’Donnells are bringing out in the new year – so secret that even I don’t know what they are yet.

I’ll pick 5 winners, and each will receive their Christmas crisp fix in the form of a box containing 20 packets of O’Donnells crisps in their chosen flavour. In a bit of good news for those living across the water, O’Donnells will deliver the prizes, not just to addresses in Ireland (either North or South), but to addresses in the U.K. as well.

I’ll leave this open until midnight GMT next Sunday, December 9th, and notify the winners of their incoming bounty of crisps thereafter.

Update 15/12/12: and so the winners have been chosen and O’Donnells crisps are winging their way to Keith Bohanna, Sara Wilson, Gareth Saunders, Imelda Kinsella and Lauren Bicocchi. Congratulations all and happy Christmas munching!


  1. Cheese and onion man me. Tasty prize.

  2. There is simply nothing that can compare to a bag of cheese and onion crisps,especially after a rough night out! They are gorgeous with cheddar and chutney. Would simply love to win some to help celebrate xmas!! Please pick me xx

  3. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    @Louise sharing *is* caring – I’m sure you’d be well popular if you won!

    @Kerrie I don’t know if sour cream and onion flavour is on the cards – certainly seems like it would be a popular choice

    @Emily well, I can see how you would add cheese & onion crisps to an egg sandwich, but I must admit that I never thought of egg sandwich as a crisp flavour in its own right :D

    @Michelle good woman yourself, that’s what I like to hear

    @Stephen ah hello there – it is indeed a tasty prize, no matter what the flavour

    @Emer I know what you mean and I’ll see what I can do :)

  4. Salt and Vinegar all the way! I love how tangy O’Donnell’s Salt and Vingear are. Yum!

    As for new flavours, I’d love some prawn cocktail!

  5. Cheese & onion for me.

    As for the new flavours, perhaps things we can no longer afford to eat – lobster with hollandaise (shellfish with mild lemon, lactic & shallot); beef stroganoff (savoury beef with a hint of garlic, mushroom and sour cream).

  6. cheese and onion!! ill kick the missus out the bed and sleep with them if i get them

  7. In Canada at the moment, and will be coming home christmas eve. I’d love O’Donnells crisps waiting for me when I get in the door. Cheese and Onion please!

  8. Hands down the best Salt and Vinegar crisps I have ever had, seriously!! Don’t get me wrong, I love every flavor of crisps you have, and can’t wait for the two new flavors to come out, but your Salt and Vinegar,…….nom nom nom!!!

    Now if one of your new flavors happens to be Sour Cream and Chive, I may have a new favorite!!! Keep up to great work!!

  9. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    @Breige I could definitely go for some prawn cocktail flavour myself

    @Fiona interesting theory on the flavours – lobster would get my thumbs up for sure

    @Michael would you not at least think about giving the missus a bag of crisps before you kick her out of the bed? :D

    @Roisin cheesy does it :)

    @Padraig now wouldn’t that be a nice Christmas present alright

    @David couldn’t agree more on the salt and vinegar front!

  10. Cheese and Onion, love crisps on batch bread

  11. I’m a salt and vinegar man myself :) I think one flavour might be smokey bacon and the other flavour something real irish like Irish Stew.

  12. Adore your Mature Irish Cheese and Red Onion flavour. And for a new flavour, I would love Prawn Ocktail!

  13. Sorry, for typo above, would love to try Prawn Cocktail.

  14. I’ve recently returned to liking Cheese and Onion after several years break. Oh a Ready Salted flavour would be lovely :)

  15. It’s got to be Salt and Vinegar.


  16. *** It will alwaaaaays be cheese and onion… I remember my first ever packet in Boherbue, Kerry..(I live in Cork!) It was around the time you were just starting to sell O’Donnells crisps and ANYTIME I passed that shop I’d stop and stock up (a good 5/6 bags per stop!) Gradually I began to find more and more shops that stocked the glorious cheese and onion amazingness so luckily now I don’t waste THAT much petrol to satisfy my cravings :) ***

  17. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    @Frances *love* crisps on batch bread too

    @David I’m with you on both counts

    @Liz I did spend a minute there wondering what ‘prawn ocktail’ flavour would be like :D

    @Ping funny that we’ve never really gone for ready salted crisps over here but I wouldn’t say no if O’Donnells made some

    @Katie yup, agreed

    @Karen spoken like a true fan!

  18. Has to be salt and vinegar, it keeps me going through a long day at college, I haven’t tried any other flavours yet, I’m too addicted to s & v!

  19. I’d be a bit of a cheesy one myself, love cheesy music and my fellas cheesy chat up lines. He is an o Donnells addict (could buy shares in it at this stage). he still talks about his dream to win that john Deere full of crisps that ye had at the ploughing. I d love to give him a box of crisps for Christmas. He would be scarily overjoyed.
    For new flavours, I can’t wait as I love all your flavours. A bacon, or smoky chicken would be nice too

  20. My 3 year old daughter is from the hometown of these crisps and would eat her own weight in the Cheeese & Onion Flavour!!

  21. My boyfriend is an O’Donnell, the first night we met via mutual friends he showed me a pic he had in his phone of these crisps and said he had always wanted to try them but as we’re from Scotland he’s never found them anywhere. Fast forward 8 months, we’re together and for his birthday I emailed Kate O’Donnell who kindly sent over two packets- safe to say he was delighted. Would love to be able to give him some for Christmas :-) surely that deserves a bag or two?!

  22. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @Olwen I can understand the addiction completely!

    @Imelda now, just imagine if the box of O’Donnells crisps came in the shape of a John Deere…

    @Gina gosh, one box might not be enough! :)

    @Lauren aw, how lovely of Kate to do that, she’s a real sweetheart; with a bit of luck, maybe there’ll be more than just a bag or two headed your way this Christmas!

  23. Has to be Salt n’ Vinegar for me. Have loved these crisps since yrying them at the All Ireland Craft Beerfest. Would be delighted to win some more!

  24. oh there’s no doubt that i’m in love with O Donnell’s Salt and Vinegar…the best i have tasted in many many years!!! would love some……

  25. Ohhh I love O Donnells crisps…..
    They are just pure bliss…
    Cheese & onion are a treasure…
    Which I live to eat at my leisure

  26. Oh god how i would love to win that box! o donnells salt and vinegar crisps are the first thing i run for in the shop when looking for a pick me up!(thankfully they are getting stocked in more places so its even handier to pick up a bag) my parents know thats what to buy me whenever i am having a bad day. there is nothing better then opening a bag of o donnells. No other crisps have that real salt and vinegar taste! i love all the flavours!(its hard not to like them) cnt wait for the new flavours would love to see something fishy like scampi or a sour cream and chive…
    keep peeling those spuds and making those georg crisps down there in tipp!

  27. Im addicted to crisps, but I didnt know what a crisp was until I found O’Donnell’s Cheese & Onion! Oh what a happy day that was!! The New Year might bring Smokey Bacon and maybe a Sour Cream & Chive type flavour! Either way I’ll be chancing my arm!

  28. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    @Peter I hear ya!

    @Susan all this talk of salt & vinegar is making me crave a packet or two myself… :)

    @Aine ’tis true, they are the stuff of poetry!

    @Ella they are indeed an excellent remedy for a bad day – a very good reason to keep peeling!

    @Graham sounds like you have a bit of a love affair going on there with the ol’ cheese & onion flavour :)

  29. Salt & vinegar every time! Although a combo of all three flavours made a pretty good substitute dinner last Saturday night :) So a box of 20 would have the Christmas dinner sorted!

  30. Cheese and Onion for me. How about hummus flavoured crisps?

  31. Being the salty, sweet and cheesy himself that I am, I would love to be the winner of any of the flavours.

    But alas, living across a much larger water than most (Canada) I’m not sure young Ed O’Donnell would be so inclined to post them to the new world on the off chance that I might be one of the lucky chosen. If that is the case I understand completely and if it is not the case I look forward with great anticipation.

  32. Love o’donnell crisps, salt and vinegar are my favourite, I wud love some free crisps, my two brothers are home from oz & Canada this Xmas, hav been away for two years so wud love to introduce them to o’donnell crisps, turkey & stuffing andwiches!

  33. Seskin salt & vinegar for overall family favourite but I love the cheese & onion!

  34. Cheese and onion :) someone very close to me just found out they are coeliac as these crisps are gluten free it would make the perfect xmas present and remind them there is still plenty yummy things out there to eat :)

  35. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    @Riona brilliant – easiest Christmas dinner ever!

    @Michelle hummus says you? why not says me!

    @Bradley yes, I’m not sure that Canada is *quite* in the delivery zone, though I’m sure O’Donnells would go down very well over there

    @Louise it would be a real treat for the returned emigrants alright

    @Aileen it’s hard to choose, I know!

    @Sinead sounds like a perfect present

  36. Tricky one. Love love love salt & vinegar…..especially when you get a bag that’s so salty and so vinegary that your lips swell up!!! But on those hangover days you just can’t beat a big fat sandwich with a bag of cheese and onion o’donnells! Hoping there’ll be a sunday roast flavoured crisp as one of the new ones! God i’d love to win these!!! Would save them for the afters of our wedding…what a treat for the guests after a few glasses of vino!!

  37. I love cheese and onion crisps from the home of hurling. I’d guess sour cream and onion is on the way next year.

  38. Cheese and onion all the way… The best cheese and onion I have every tasted!! (and I’ve tasted a lot!)

  39. Missing the Guinness but would settle for the
    best crisps on the market.
    Will collect
    Nova Scotia, Canada

  40. OK Ms Daily Spud…

    This is NOT espionage! I am genuinely interested in winning a box of O’Donnell’s for my crisp connaisseur daughter who is dying to try their sweet chili flavor…a flavor that is rare in Ireland!

    As for speculating on their new flavors in the pipeline…mmmm I guess they will need to lean on the commercial side but need to try something that isn’t out there yet. If I were them, I would go for Rosemary and Garlic!


  41. Cheese and onion everytime. You just can’t beat it – on their own they’re finger lickin’ good or in a sandwich they add a tasty crunch.

  42. Oh my favourite would have to be cheese & onion sometimes with squares of dairy milk chocolate mixed into the bag,yum yum.My wife would be a big salt& vinegar fan.I think a smokey bacon or Flamed grilled steak and onion as new flavours

  43. Daily Spud

    Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    @Laura *love* the idea of Sunday roast crisps!

    @Emmet I was wondering when someone would mention hurling…

    @Ann dedication to the cause, that’s what I like to see

    @Richard it would be a long ol’ way to Tipperary to collect your crisps from where you are – surely the sign of a true fan

    @Kaethe sweet chilli is a rare enough flavour to find here, and these are a very good example – as for rosemary & garlic, that sounds like heaven to me

    @Marion you said it – finger lickin’ good

    @Pat cheese & onion with squares of dairy milk – you’re speaking my language

  44. Although a smokey bacon man myself I love O?Donnell?s cheese ?n? onion !! Packed with lots of flavor , and isn’t that what you want ? The fact there local is a bonus ! My Christmas would be all sowing you if a box of O?Donnell?s arrived in the post. After the postman’s knock, id be taking a picture and uploading it with a thank you to Facebook and the likes !! Happy to spread the word !

  45. Mary O' Reilly-Dowdall

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Oh please please me. I am living in NZ and miss irish crisps so bad!!! Just a box of cheese and onion would complete my Christmas. I live in hope…………..

  46. Love O’Donnells crisps, have been a huge fan since they’ve come on the market, I have to hide them though as I have teenage boys who love them too. Have tried all the flavours and Cheese and onion are my favourites but they’re all very good.

  47. Hmm I’m a salty girl myself but any flavour will do ah sure wouldn’t wexford cheddar and red onion or pickle be only gorg! Or Worcester sauce!

  48. plain ole cheese and onion i am!

  49. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    @Gareth you certainly deserve a prize for enthusiasm alright :)

    @Mary would love to be able to send them to NZ – a bit outside of the delivery range for this competition sadly

    @Bernadette well, if you win a box, you’ll hopefully have enough to keep you & your boys happy for a while at least

    @Jenny ooh cheddar and pickle – I could go for that alright

    @Caroline nothing wrong with that!

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