As someone who regularly pops sour cream and onion Pringles while drinking $8 Barefoot Moscato, seeing the words “potato chips” and “beer” in the same sentence immediately piqued my interest. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, but there’s something about crunchy, salty snacks that make them alcohol’s perfect companion. But if you’re a non-junk food-eating real adult and prefer to pair craft beer with a perfectly cooked farm-raised steak or kale that you bought at the local farmers market, I have the junk food/drunk food snack solution for you.
St. Erik’s brewery in Sweden has created the world’s most expensive potato chips—suitable for pairing with top-notch beer. Or, according to their website, “a snack worthy of a St. Erik’s India Pale Ale.” For a mere $56, you get five chips, allegedly made from rare Nordic ingredients and sold in custom-made packaging that looks more expensive than the earrings my boyfriend bought me last Christmas.
Brand manager Marcus Friari explained the brand’s decision to create such a luxurious potato chip, citing a need for a snack that was high quality enough to pair with their beer. “A first-class beer deserves a first-class snack, and this is why we made a major effort to produce the world’s most exclusive potato chips.”
The masterminds behind the super fancy chip recipe? Chef Pi Le and the Swedish National Culinary Team, who used ingredients like matsutake, one of the world’s most exclusive species of mushrooms, and a special truffle seaweed that can only be found in the cold tidal waters of the Faroe Islands. The other rare, exotic ingredients in these uber gourmet chips include Leksand onion, Ammarnas-region almond potatoes (harvested on a steep and rocky hill by hand), crown dill and India Pale Ale wort.
To make matters even more exclusive, each of the chips was made by hand. (Are you kidding me?) “It took a delicate touch, a finely honed sense of taste and time to ensure that each chip would achieve a perfect balance between the various ingredients,” says the chef. “The taste is a very Scandinavian one…most people recognize potatoes and onions, but what stands out is the quality. All of the ingredients are of a stature that not many will have tried before.”
My palate is clearly not refined enough for these chips, but if you’re interested in purchasing a box, eBay will probably be your best bet. St. Erik’s only made 100 boxes, and they sold out almost instantly. Luckily, grocery stores these days carry about 400 different kinds of chips, so I’m sure you can find an adequate substitution. Or go wading in the Faroe Islands and potato harvesting in Sweden and make your own chips.