A story of hope and courage, of setbacks and success, of triumph and despair, of cheese and onion.
So says Mr. Tayto of his newly released autobiography – The Man Inside The Jacket – and he should know. For those not familiar with the legend that is Tayto Cheese & Onion, let me just say that these crisps are right up there with Barry’s tea as one of the must-have taste-of-home items for the Irish abroad.
In addition to being a tasty end unto themselves, place some Tayto crisps between two slices of buttered white bread, with or without a slice of ham as you prefer, and you’ve got yourself a crisp sandwich, close cousin to the chip butty. Add a bottle of Club Orange and maybe a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and you’ve got yourself some classic Irish picnic fare.
Having grown up to the crunch of Tayto crisps, I cannot tell you how excited I was to receive an email from Mr. Tayto himself last week telling me about his book and book tour to follow (about which more info can be found here). I wasted no time in getting my hands on a copy (which, for the princely sum of €5.99, came with 3 bags of Tayto).
In relating his story, Mr. Tayto seems to pop up, Forrest Gump-like, at various times of significance in Ireland over the last 50 years. He gives forth on many subjects, from reality TV to Ryanair, and packs in enough potato puns to last a lifetime. For all of that, I can’t help but feel that there is more to Mr. Tayto than the book reveals. Have we really seen all that there is to the man inside the jacket or does he remain a shadowy but lovable subject? In the end, I suspect that the book will only add to the legend that is Tayto.