So we are back in Amsterdam. While performing overseas is fun and all you always miss home and when I write home I mean I miss the crisps that we have here. I am not talking about Paprika flavoured crisps, no, I mean Hamka’s and Patatje Joppie. Two types of crisps that you can only buy in the Netherlands (and Belgium).
Hamka’s is a corn based crisp with the taste of ham and cheese, dare I say one of the most classic and most liked combinations in (Dutch) cuisine. It was first introduced in 1964. Patatje Joppie is a potato chip type of crisp with a flavour based on a Dutch snack sauce which tastes like onion, mayo and curry powder made love to each other! This crisp flavour won an ‘invent your own taste’ competition in the Netherlands back in 2010 and hit the stores with a powerful presence in 2011. So, in short, this review is the rookie versus the veteran. An age old tale that we are not going to finish in one review, but it is a start.
Before we start reviewing I have to say I love these two crisps dearly. They are my two favorite choices for an evening of crispy pleasure. But let’s start this fight with the veteran.
When you open a given pack of Hamka’s you smell the well known and endearing smell of ham and cheese. It takes one back to the times you ate a ham and cheese toastie when you got back from school as a child. The shape of the corn based crisp is that of a rectangular waffle with little holes in it. This makes it so that it has a quite particular mouthfeel. Or as one of my friends describes it: ‘Crispy divine rectangle made up from smaller equally sized squares of golden godliness’. The crunch is superb! This is because corn batter just gets crunchier than normal flour and this makes for an exceptional crunchy crisp.
The flavour is like ham and cheese, nice and salty with enough umami to make it a tasty combination. You don’t eat them all at once though, you eat a couple of these crisps at a time and save them for later or to share them but you would not use them for a solo Netflix session.
Lay’s Superchips: Patatje Joppie Flavour
Joppie is a sauce used in snack shops in the Netherlands. It is an alternative to mayo or ketchup and it is based on combining onion, mayo, curry powder and some secret ingredients I do not know. For this review, I used the ridged version of the crisp. This is because it has a better mouthfeel and crunch.
Upon opening the bag one gets blasted in the face by the smell of onion and curry, like a heavy storm of umami and a hint of pure fat, just like in a snack shop! The crunch is good as expected and the flavour is strong. Some might find it repulsive, but I find it quite tasty. You can clearly taste the onion and curry, but the salty potato chip gives it an extra level that begs you to eat another crisp.
Unlike Hamka’s, you would not share a bag of these crisps with others, it is a gorge fest for oneself. Perfect for those nights you get back from the pub and you need some fat and salt to outbalance the drinking or when a Netflix and chill appointment gets cancelled and turns into a Netflix and spill kind of evening. This is a crisp you feel ashamed of having in your cupboard, but the taste is addictive!
I believe that these two different crisps are the perfect representatives for what the idea behind a crisp is or was in the era that they got invented. The Hamka’s are for a party, a get together crisp to share with family and friends, just like crisps were meant to be eaten in the 1960’s.
The Patatje Joppie Crisp is there for the quick snack on your own during binge watching a series or when one is watching a whole bunch of kat videos on Youtube.
As I wrote before I am a fan of both but I solely use them for the activity they were meant for. There is no clear winner.