The Irish National Tayto

Taytos crispsEveryone knows that Ireland is famous for her potatoes. What you may not know is the reverence in which Irish people hold their potato crisps.

Specifically, their Tayto crisps.

So ingrained into Irish culture is the Tayto brand potato crisp that Irish people often refer to all potato crisps, be they Doritos or Pringles, as “Taytos.” There is a good reason.

When wifey and I first moved to Ireland we met some friends in a pub and when they found that we hadn’t tried their “Irish potato crisps” they immediately went to the bar and returned with two foil bags, placed them proudly on the table and waited for us to sample and react.

I have to say, now I understand why Irish people abroad weep at the sight of care packages from home. The inevitable contents:

1. Barry’s Tea
2. A letter from home
3. Cheese and onion Tayto crisps

Yes, there is no such thing as “plain” potato crisps in Ireland. Irish crisps come in one of two flavours: salt and vinegar or cheese and onion. If you ask for crisps in Ireland, you will get a bag of cheese and onion Taytos.