06 May 2006

an ode to pringles

I love Pringles. You have to know my biases right up front. I love them. So this attempt not to study, I mean, this ode to Pringles, is not objective.

Even though Pringles are ever so widely available in the US of A, I associate them with Africa. I think this is because there are so many snacks available in the US that I usually get something healthier or sweeter than Pringles, depending on my mood. In Liberia, when I was growing up, Pringles were the very top of a pyramid of luxury that also included such things as Honeycomb cereal and M&Ms. When we saw the Lotze boys at the very end of 1999, Nathaniel and I agreed that our own personal measure of a developed country is one in which Pringles can be found in any grocery store. Any store. Can you imagine? Not having to go on a quest to find them?

Pringles were also a big part of my time in Rwanda. When I was racing around Kigali trying to get everything done so I could get back to Kibuye before dark and without being clobbered on the road by the huge horrible buses, they often ended up being my entire lunch (healthy, oh yes). Oh, or sometimes my dinner, maybe with some tea from the hotel's kitchen if I had to stay the night and was too tired to go out to dinner. Or sometimes my breakfast if I didn't get up in time to eat at the buffet before heading to work. Kigali = Pringles, almost, because they were immediately edible and you could always count on at least one of the strip of stores in Remera just down from the auberge to have them in stock. Even back in Kibuye, I generally had at least one tube of them in my cupboard and ate profuse amounts of them all the time.

When I packed up all my stuff into the (locked) closet at the Auberge Beausejour so that nothing small disappeared while I was off racing around, nor anything big, come to think of it, the Pringles made it into the closet almost every time, unless they were rolling around on the passenger seat of the Prado, within easy reach as I went from bank to mechanic to meeting. Because these salty curved crisps are gold, I tell you. Gold. They can keep you alive through long meetings with partner and/or donor organizations. They are better than coffee with your morning repetition of the same four news stories on CNN Europe over and OVER and over.

But I'm a bit of a Pringle purist now. I like the plain Pringles best, and I like them alone. None of this snacking on them as part of a mixture of things. They stand alone, unless you happen to have that Haribo mix of gummies that includes the fish with one side colored and one side white. That is a perfect combination. But otherwise, they can't be mixed with things like, for example, meals. Oh, no. Pringles are a world unto themselves.

Another reason not to eat them here, where Smart Puffs and Pirate's Booty are readily available, is to maintain the precious place of Pringles. They cannot be overused here, where I don't need them, lest they should become tarnished.

But it's exam week and my hand hurts, so I bought a tube of them. I am trying to practice moderation (gold should be used sparingly), but I really love Pringles. Elegantly cut potato-ey saltiness. Yum. Yum. Yum.

1 comment:

Dan and Deb Taiwan said...

sour cream and onion are much better than regular... not as salty and a reasonable flavor!