A taste of Tring could be tickling the nation’s tastebuds soon after a culinary creator concocted a new brand of crisps in his kitchen.
Steve Cripps, 47, set up Stripes Crisps at home in New Mill, Tring, after he and wife Nicki, 44, came up with the idea in the pub last month.
He said: “We were eating a packet of Salty Dog crisps, and it had a Chesham address on the back of the pack.
“When I got home I looked it up and it turns out the offices are in Chesham but the crisps aren’t made there.
“So we thought, why not have a go at making some local crisps?”
Steve, who is a graphic designer by trade, began experimenting with a mandolin slicer and deep fat fryer in the kitchen, making up batches of crisps and fine-tuning the crunchiness, texture and flavour.
He recruited wife Nicki, who works in Sandwich Plus in Dolphin Square, and their children Lucy, 20, and Toby, 17, to taste-test the batches.
The dad-of-two said: “It takes about an hour to make three or four large bags worth, from cutting the potatoes to putting the flavouring on.
“They do have a home-cooked look and taste, a bit like Kettle Chips. I crush up herbs and spices in a pestle and mortar before sprinkling them over.
“We’ve been trying sensible flavours like ready salted, but the latest one we’ve come up with is chilli con carne.
“I think there are a lot of adventurous people in Tring who would be willing to try something a little bit different.”
Steve has used his skills to design the crisp packets with zebra stripes in homage to Walter Rothschild’s affection for the exotic creatures.
Each packet will feature a quirky story about the eccentric zoologist, who collected rare species from all over the world and displayed them in what is now the Natural History Museum in Akeman Street, Tring.
Several of the town’s pubs have already expressed an interest in selling Stripes Crisps, including the Kings Arms and The Anchor.
In a bid to keep things as local as possible, Steve plans to find a local potato supplier and is launching an eight-week crowdfunding campaign in the new year which he hopes will raise more than £10,000 to kickstart the company at grass roots level.
In the interest of market research, Steve has set up a flavour poll on the site, asking people to pick their favourite. So far, salt and cider is the front runner.
To take part in the poll and sign up to the newsletter, visit the website here