Warning: You may feel a slight dizziness as I plunge from the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of a single post. This is a normal reaction and mostly nothing to be concerned about.
Aloo Gobi à la Madhur Jaffrey
Last week, you see, I was all about the heady heights of the Ballymaloe Lit Fest.
There was me and there was Madhur Jaffrey and the world was a-glow with possibilities. First stop, aloo gobi, next stop, who knows where.
This week, there is cheese and onion chocolate. A place to which I didn’t particularly want to go.
Cheese and onion chocolate. Did it have to happen?
Yet here it is (or, at least, there it was in my local Centra), the union, in a single wrapper, of Tayto cheese & onion crisps and milk chocolate.
Now, the first thing to know is that, in Ireland, the combination of crisps and chocolate is, to use that most nondescript of descriptions, a thing. I have – and I know I am not alone in this – enjoyed meals of Tayto cheese & onion and Cadbury’s dairy milk, usually in that order and most memorably when my Da would bring both items home as a treat. Perhaps a chocolate bar with embedded Tayto was an inevitability but – guess what? – that sweet chocolatey ooze in your gob smacks mostly of onion and, with that, all desire to let it linger disappears.
Afterward, it tastes like you’ve downed a bag of Tayto, which seems unfair, given that you haven’t had the pleasure. The fundamental problem, I think, is that the crisp-chocolate balance is all wrong (well that, and the fact that the chocolate isn’t great to begin with). The real joy of crisps and chocolate is that you get to have the satisfying savoury crunch of the crisp followed by some silky chocolate sweetness. This bar manages, sadly, to rob you of both.