Is 'Christmas Tree' the New Flavor of Holidays Snacking?
There are myriad flavors associated with Christmas. Fruitcake. Peppermint. Ham. Nintendo 64.
But the undeniable scent of the Christmas season is pine, otherwise known as "Christmas Tree," otherwise known as "kind-of-smells-like-Grandma's-breath-after-a-glass-of-gin." And remarkably, it doesn't seem like any enterprising food stunters out there capitalized on the undeniable link between scent and taste, and crammed the flavor of pine trees into a snack food.
Until right freakin' now (obviously).
Iceland, a popular UK grocery store (yes, that is indeed confusing) has recently unveiled a line of Christmas-flavored chips (or crisps, as they'd call them), following in the "Ew, but ok?" footsteps of Lay's and Pringles, for example. The line includes seasonal flavors like "Pigs in a Blanket," "Lobster Cocktail," and, most notably, "Christmas Tree Flavored," featuring pine nut oil.
I guess Brits, too, like things that taste like other things.
And as expected, reviews on social media are... um, mixed.
Christmas tree flavoured crisps are an absolute game changer 😍— Jordan Wilcox (@JordanWilcox96) October 3, 2018
I agree about the pine crisps. It smells good in soaps, candles & cleaners but don’t think I want to eat it. Even though when I put kale in our salads my hub always comments it’s like eating a Christmas tree!🤦🏻♀️— Cynthia S. (@countrytweetr) October 11, 2018
So while the idea is intriguing, it seems like most people are promptly turned off by the gimmick.
Personally, I don't even think it's a bad idea -- even if the packaging is slightly controversial. Pine can work. Think about the pine notes in some hoppy beers, that beer geeks nerd-out over. Deschutes Pinedrops IPA and Sixpoint Resin are two popular brews that that are perennial fan favorites, and totally embrace the taste of pine. But bring "Christmas" into the equation, and suddenly, everyone loses their minds.
That being said, I do dread the inevitable launch of the Christmas Tree Latte, the Christmas Tree Oreo, and of course, the Christmas Tree Peep.
Actually, maybe we have gone too far.