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Issue 5 - Is this a tortilla chip I see before me?

Whisky Magazine Issue 5
August 1999


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Is this a tortilla chip I see before me?

Brian Hennigan reports groundbreaking research into one of the vital questions of life.

Finding the right person to share the rest of your life with can be incredibly difficult, especially if you're married. For whisky the issue of partnership is no less trying. This is not the old ‘water – with or without' chestnut. No, the issue here is one of accompaniment – which snack is the appropriate companion on that blissful whisky stumble towards the twilight?

Snacks have long been a matter for consideration. Whisky aficionados will be familiar with the fifteenth-century lines much cited as the first historical description of Scotch whisky production: ‘eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae'. But how many are familiar with the next line: ‘nae forgetting a visit to Spar forwith to obtain some Phileas Fogg Pastrami Bagel Chips.'

If whisky is about silent contemplation, then snacks add crunchy reflection. As the fiery gaze of dusk joins the loch's tranquil aura, with the circling eagle on high, the delicate munch of a Hula-Hoop, washed with an Islay mist, can bring a tear to the eye – particularly if you're lying behind the couch at the time.

Under the old Potato Fundamentalist regimes, flavours were generally limited to Cheese and Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and Tomato. (Ready Salted is not a real flavour, any more than is water). Yet recent work has confirmed that the flavour universe is constantly expanding, in line with the Big Bag Theory. This doesn't explain why so many of life's greatest tastes – such as Last Night's Pizza ...

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