Funny. Centuries after shaking off the ridiculous taxation of the British Empire (Ha! how you like the taste of that salty tea, bitches!), America is still fighting those bizarre British taxes. But this time, that fight has helped answer an existential culinary question that has troubled snack addicts for years: "What the fuck are Pringles, really?"
In order to evade a 17.5% (!) British sales tax levied at products containing potatoes, Procter & Gamble, makers of the always popping Pringle, argued that the product is only philosophically related to the tuber in question. They claim that the Pringle is not, and has never been a "potato chip." Or "crisp" as the Brits would have it. Those lispy lispy Brits.
Procter and Gamble lawyer to Judge:
"The appearance and taste of a Pringle is not that of a potato crisp. It has none of the irregularity and variety of shape that is always present in crisps."
"It has a shape not found in nature, being designed and manufactured for stacking, and giving a pleasing and regular undulating appearance which permits comfortable eating."
"A Pringle does not taste like a crisp or otherwise behave like one. Crisps give a sharply crunchy sensation under the tooth and have to be broken down into jagged pieces when chewed. It is totally different with a Pringle. Indeed, a Pringle is designed to melt down on the tongue."
Indeed. Well, that kind of snooty British lawyering was enough to convince the judge, who ruled that having a potato based content of 42% was not enough to qualify Pringles as potato chips. Tax avoided!
Though this goes a long way towards answering "the Pringle question," officials have yet to define what a Pringle actually is. Though, Procter & Gamble marketing here in the U.S. appears to be clinging to its potato chip classification.
Oh well, I guess it's only fair. I call myself a natural brunette but the carpets clearly do not match the drapes, if you know what I mean.
The ingredients list, after the jump.
INGREDIENTS: DRIED POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: CORN OIL, COTTONSEED OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL), RICE FLOUR, WHEAT STARCH, MALTODEXTRIN, SALT AND DEXTROSE.
CONTAINS WHEAT INGREDIENTS.
There ya go. Mostly flour and corn!