There are few places more bleak than a school staffroom in January. The excitement of Christmas and the party season is over; diets have started in earnest; and teachers who have spent two weeks overindulging are thrown back into the reality of early starts, late-night marking and staff meetings.
Enter the hero of the hour: Nikki Whiteford (Local food PR) who arranged for a box full of Fairfields Farm’s latest crisps to be delivered to my school. Fairfields Farm, essex crisp producers have teamed up with Adnams to create these’hauntingly good’ Ghost ship flavoured beery snacks. With the Christmas selection box of biscuits now a distant memory; spirits lifted instantly at the sight and a staffroom sampling was arranged for the following lunchtime. There were even spares to send off to work with my husband too. So the following review is a culmination of the feedback received from both workplaces (and anyone who stopped by my house this week and had a bag of crisps thrust at them).
This was generally received very well: many people appreciated being able to see the crisps through the clear bag, adding that the unusual packaging lent an air of luxury to the product. A few (mostly teachers) felt it a little indulgent, unnecessarily so, to have a bag and a cardboard sleeve. Personally, having seen them in situ amongst the (enormous array of) other Ghost ship products on sale from Adnams I can appreciate the clever and consistent approach to branding this demonstrates.
If there is one thing I have learnt from the Staffroom Sampling it is that teachers and tradesmen will struggle to agree on even the simplest of things. Views ranged from the flavour being unusual, beery, unrecognisable, subtle and ‘marmitey.’ So to sum up the varying opinions I’ve created a word cloud: The most frequent responses show up largest.
In conclusion: These crisps certainly brightened up our work-day and were unusual enough to cause a staffroom debate. For the weight-watchers with stronger willpower than me they proved just a little too indulgent but were certainly enough of a draw to be seen as an acceptable treat for most. People spoke of their desire to share with friends over a drink or in front of a film on a Friday night.
For me, though, they’re ideal when paired with a pint on a sunny Sunday afternoon.