Monday, June 1, 2009

Crispy. Salty. Judicious

Editorial Observer

The Lord Justice Hath Ruled: Pringles Are Potato Chips

from the New York Times

Published: May 31, 2009

Britain’s Supreme Court of Judicature has answered a question that has long puzzled late-night dorm-room snackers: What, exactly, is a Pringle? With citations ranging from Baroness Hale of Richmond to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Lord Justice Robin Jacob concluded that, legally, it is a potato chip.

The decision is bad news for Procter & Gamble U.K., which now owes $160 million in taxes. It is good news for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs — and for fans of no-nonsense legal opinions. It is also a reminder, as conservatives begin attacking Judge Sonia Sotomayor for not being a “strict constructionist,” of the pointlessness of labels like that.

More on politics and potato chips here.


  1. What could it have possibly been other than a potato chip? Duh!

  2. Actually, I think Pringles are supposed to "technically" be a crisp. The difference? A chip is a deep fried slice, while a crisp is baked goo. But then, spud's spud. Or are they?

    But then, how are Doritos chips if you follow that definition. Perhaps I'll sue......

  3. Having grown up in a P&G household, I am used to such JIF really peanut butter? (too much sugar) Dove beauty bar soap (too much rinse agent) I recall that in the US, Pringles was not allowed to advertise as a potato chip. I remember munching Pringles as a kid when they were still in test marketing.

    So, Pringles is a potato chip for tax purposes but not allowed to compete as a chip for advertising purposes. That sounds like a lose-lose situation, kind of like how trans people can get the shaft on who they can marry!