From Tayto park to the classic Tayto sandwich, there’s no excuse not to celebrate on this, Ireland’s favorite crisp’s 64th birthday.
There are many things that we miss about Ireland, family, friends and pets included but right up there near the top of the list has to be Tayto, Ireland’s favorite crisp brand (that’s chips to everyone in North America).
Tayto today celebrates its 64th birthday and they still taste as fresh as ever (especially the cheese and onion flavor) so what is it about the iconic brand that has made it such an influential Irish food? I mean, it’s not often that a brand becomes so synonymous with its product that even different companies are referred to by the same name. Yet that’s exactly what Tayto has become, with the question of “Do you want a bag of Tayto?” generally just being used to ask if you’d like a bag of crisps in general.
Why are Tayto crisps the best?
Founded on May 25, 1964, by Joe Murphy, if you’ve ever had even a handful of Tayto crisps, you’ll know why Irish living abroad are desperate for a care package containing a multipack.
But it’s not just their delicious taste that makes Tayto the best, as it was they, in fact, who invented the first flavored crisp production process with their cheese and onion and salt and vinegar flavors.
Before May 1954, most crisps in Ireland were imported from the UK and were unflavored bar the small blue bag of salt included in each bag to enhance the flavor. Murphy spotted the gap in the Irish market and set up his own factory on Moore Street, Dublin.
Who is Mr. Tayto?
As our sports teams don’t tend to have mascots in Ireland, Mr. Tayto is easily the country’s favorite one and a complete and utter national treasure. The large, suited potato appears on the packets and is used in many marketing campaigns, including a stint where he was a faux candidate in the 2007 general election.
He also published a fake biography in 2009 in aid of charity.
Where is Tayto Park?
Tayto’s main production now takes place in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, and so in 2010, Mr. Tayto became the face of an all-new theme park located by the factory. As Ireland’s only theme park, it’s had plenty of success, boasting the country’s tallest rollercoaster, the wooden amusement ride Cú Chulainn. (It’s also Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster.)
With everything from tigers and bison to scaly reptiles and bald eagles, it quickly became a firm favorite for family days out while the theme park attracted the thrill seeker in us all.
Since its opening, it has expanded enormously with the arrival of eight new attractions including “Air Race”, the “Rotator,” the “Sky Tower” and Ireland’s only 5d cinema.
What’s the best way to eat a bag of Tayto?
Tayto is good any which way we have a packet but nothing can really beat a Tayto sandwich. Brennan’s white bread, lashing of Kerrygold butter and cheese and onion crisps crunched up in between proves that the simplest of meals can be the best.
Tayto sandwiches are so popular in Ireland that Pop-Up Tayto Sandwich shops even started appearing in Dublin in 2015 and again, all for a charitable cause.
What Tayto flavors are available?
The main flavors are Cheese and Onion (Cáise & Oinniúin), Salt and Vinegar (Salainn & Finéagair), Smoky Bacon (Bagúin Dheataithe) and Prawn Cocktail (Manglaim Cloicheán), which they recently added translated into Irish on all their bags.
The company also offers plenty of other snacks apart from the classic crisp, including Chipsticks, Chickatees, and Bacon Fries and Peanuts.
What is your favorite way to enjoy a bag of Tayto? Are they the thing you miss most about Ireland? Let us know in the comments section, below.