The king of snacks must surely be potato chips. I know chocolate and biscuit fanciers will put up a fight, but those who prefer savoury food will surely agree with me.
In my opinion, Marks & Spencer makes some of the best chips. It has a new range of rather exotically flavoured ones that I just had to try.
We all know that these chips are basically engineered in a lab, but somehow, M&S manages to create flavours that don't taste too fake. The best one is the Taw Valley Cheddar & Caramelised Shallots. The cheese flavour takes a back seat and is quite subtle, letting the savoury shallot flavour stand out.
Two Greek- inspired ones are also good. The Greek Style Yogurt and Mint is tangy from the yogurt and has a lingering - and addictive - hint of mint at the end. Feta Cheese, Olive, Lemon & Thyme is properly salty and the fragrant thyme adds a little something special. Roquefort & Smokey Bacon, among my favourite foods, come together beautifully in a potato chip. This is the one my colleagues liked best.
Two of the six I tried were a little disappointing though. Chilli Salsa & Lime tasted mostly of lime and was quite uninspired. The Sundried Tomato & Basil tasted overwhelmingly of tomato and not much else.
Marks & Spencer Handcooked crisps, $6.90 for a 150g pack, from Marks & Spencer stores.
Have you ever done the Tim Tam slam? That's when you bite off either end of a Tim Tam biscuit and suck coffee, cocoa or tea through it.
This quintessentially Australian biscuit comes in lots of different flavours and permutations, but I like this Double Chocolate & Raspberry one a lot. They're chocolate biscuits stuffed with a raspberry filling and dipped in dark chocolate.
They are best slammed with coffee. Be quick though - you don't want the biscuit to disintegrate into your cuppa.
Tim Tam Love Potions, $3.95 for 175g, from major supermarkets.
>When potatoes or chocolate biscuits don't do it for you, try snacking on bread.
Meiji's Copan is a range of mini toast snacks, each one shaped like a tiny slice of baguette. The butter and garlic flavours are good and always make for compulsive snacking.
But there are two new spicy flavours: Tandoori Chicken and Bacon Black Pepper. The latter is good, with a lot of spiciness from the pepper and a pretty good bacon flavour. Tandoori is more like curry, and I think it would be excellent as croutons scattered over a bowl of pumpkin soup.
Meiji Spicy Copan, $1.90 for a 35g pack, from OG, 160 Orchard Road, Orchard Point, tel: 6317- 2222. Opening hours: 10.30am to 9.30pm daily.
These crackers might well be the thinnest you've ever eaten. They are literally paper-thin, but manage not to crumble into an ugly mess.
Now, I don't know who came up with the rather unattractive name of House of Steamed Potato, but look past that because these crackers are good.
I first had them in a restaurant, where the chef served them with pecorino cheese. And recently, while rummaging through the interesting food section at OG, I was thrilled to find them.
They taste like virtuous versions of potato chips and are good on their own or with cheese.
A word of caution though: The tomato- flavoured one is very intense and a little too salty. People into hot stuff will like the wasabi-flavoured version, which packs a sinus-clearing punch. I like the original flavour best.
There's also a House of Steamed Taro, featuring thin, purplish crackers made of yam. These are slightly sweeter than their spud cousins and are good too.
House of Steamed Potato crackers, $2 for a 238g pack, from OG.
HEALTH IN A BAR
Okay, I had to include something vaguely healthy just so my doctor and trainer don't kill me.
These snazzily packaged snack bars are mostly made of soy protein, are low-fat and wheat-free. I feel you shuddering already.
But two of them taste pretty good and I'd eat them if the afternoon munchies hit, or if I need a quick breakfast.
The coffee-spiked Rev-Up is the best of the lot and it actually does fill you up.
I also like the Afternoon Snack-Attack, a chocolate-nut caramel bar that isn't too sweet. Plus, the nuts and chocolate make it not seem too much like health food.
Slim Secrets bars, $3.50 each, from Cold Storage supermarkets and The Living Pharmacy outlets at Great World City, Tanglin Mall and Ang Mo Kio Hub.