After whittling down over a million entries, crisp manufacturer Walkers – with a little help from celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal - has decided on the six flavours which will battle it out in a public taste test to become the brand's new permanent addition to its range.
The crisps, which are on sale until May, speak volumes about how varied British cuisine has become. They range from Asian favourites like Onion Bhaji, Crispy Duck and Hoi Sin, through the exotic Chilli and Chocolate to British classics Fish and Chips and Builder’s Breakfast. In a category of its own is Cajun Squirrel, a rare sight on restaurant menus in either East or West.
Catherine Veitch, the educational publishing worker behind the Chilli and Chocolate version, says: "It might sound like a crazy idea for a crisp, but the combination is actually scrumptious. Spicy heat with a cocoa kick!"
Twenty-one-year-old Crispy Duck and Hoi Sin Sauce creator Vicky Howard reckons her flavour has been "a long-time coming", while Derbyshire midwife Emma Rushin turned to the combined flavours of bacon, buttered toast, eggs and tomato sauce to create her brainchild, Builder's Breakfast.
Meanwhile Martin Wright - the only man to make the list – is convinced the public will be so intrigued by the wacky concept of his Cajun Squirrel proposal they'll be inspired to get crunching them in their droves.
Obviously relishing having got the to taste final, Martin did have a word of assurance for animal lovers, though, insisting: "No squirrels were harmed in the making of these crisps!".
Crisp fans can cast their votes on the Walkers website between now and May 1 to chose which stays permanently on sale. The creator of the winning flavour will win £50,000, on top of the £10,000 each finalist has already received.