As great as potato chips undoubtedly are, there are also plenty of reasons why they count among the world’s most annoying foods. Not only do they stink, get stuck in your teach and crumble in all the most irritating places, but they make your fingers look like you’ve been rootling around in the bottom of a deep fat fryer. No amount of processed cheese flavour is worth that much grease.
The problem of eating crisps without looking like you spend your time in a particularly grotty chip shop has been bugging manufacturers and customers for decades. Numerous techniques have emerged to combat the issue. There’s the tear, where diners divide the entire packet in two to avoid any unwanted clingage. Then there’s the pour, where all manners disappear out the window as you empty the whole bag straight into your face and hope for the best. Obviously, these methods are far from ideal.
It’s small wonder, then, that a new, mess-free crisp packet from Japan has been hailed as a game changer by potato chip fans around the world. Created by the culinary geniuses at Koike-ya, “One-Hand Chips” feature crushed up shards of crips, served in a pouch with a handy rippable corner tab. This design allows the eater to pour potato chunks straight into their waiting mouth, without awkwardly involving fingers at any stage. They are, in essence, the world’s first drinkable chips.
Apparently created to cater for our new phone and console centric lifestyles, Koike-ya allege that their design is perfect for anyone who hates getting grease on screens, controllers and anything else that needs to be gripped. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company are so excited by the invention that they are declaring it the “new snack style humankind has been waiting for.” At least they aren’t getting carried away.
If you were in any doubt over the potentially seismic ramifications of this inventions, customers have been quick to lend their support. In an interview with WSJ, aspiring gamer and crisp enthusiast Tomoki Yoshino said, “I used to eat with my hands and lick my fingers when I was small, but one day, my game controller got all greasy, and it was really gross.” One-Hand Chips have apparently changed all that. Now, “With One Hand, (he) can just take it and chug it.”
Despite the plaudits being piled upon Koike-ya, this is hardly the first time that someone has had a stab at solving the perennial crisp problem. The Guardian report that, “nearly a decade ago, TechCrunch reported on the Potato Chip Hand,” a plastic grabber designed to help the user reach for chips without sullying themselves with grease. It remains to be seen whether the new invention can prove to have more longevity.
Solving a problem like sticky crisps clearly requires a lot more thought than most of us would have believed. Given that most of us like to do other things with our hands when we’re eating, it makes sense that a lot of thought has gone into solving the problem. Whether “drinking” crisps becomes the new normal is still up in the air.