Introducing a new series of articles, Jake O'Brien Murphy sets out his mission to find the best bar snacks around - but he needs your help too. 

Here’s the thing: I like writing, I really do, but I can’t help but feel like most of the time in my articles I come across as a sanctimonious bastard. Exactly the kind of person I would cross the street to avoid. I can't, however, shoulder all of the blame because it has been a challenging stretch for levity and light-heartedness.

Consider the facts of the last few years; lockdowns, political sleaze, polarising culture wars, insurrection, actual war and now the economic tailwind of the pandemic all being jumbled together into a pancake mix of pristine dread have all bound my hands. A bit. I mean, I do still think I’m probably a glib prick, so maybe it’s an even 50/50 split.

Fortunately, “Chewing The Fat” isn’t going to be any of that at all. No, no, no! Nothing too serious, unless of course, you take bar snacks seriously… Which I do. So it is serious but hopefully in a way that won’t cause you to board up your windows and bellow until walls buckle but instead provide a pensive chuckle and make you think “scampi fries do smell weird”.

I’m practically hovering with excitement. The ultimate goal is to find the perfect bar snack which has for many years been my personal Great White Buffalo. A totemic representation of all the hopeful and hungry parts of me. Indeed, who knows if the perfect bar snack even exists? Or if it’s just the wishful delusions of an easily distracted idiot who’s eaten too many urine-saturated communal peanuts.

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I suppose what I should make clear is what I think constitutes a bar snack. I’ve chosen to operate from the personal thesis that snacks are not solid, demonstrable things like glaciers or Milton Keynes, but are made up of elastic moments in the obscure no-mans-land between meals. So really any given snack is relative to hunger, relative to individual, relative to opportunity and therefore any given snack is naturally resistant to an easy description.

An example from my real life; I often find myself feeling snackish during the long hours of the night, which leads me to stand at my open fridge eating a block of cheese straight from the packet. On a personal note, I think midnight cheddar is an entirely acceptable choice whereas it evokes a deep sense of worry in my loved ones. Let me just say you have never known true indignity until you’ve looked into the eyes of your dog at 2am and seen genuine concern staring back.

So there we have it, that’s Chewing The Fat. Before we part, It’s worth mentioning that I put out a call to arms on social media like a young Tik Tok-ing, GenZ, fidget-spinning muckbanger. It was a request for people to send me their recommendations. So please, if you care at all about this pointless thing I’m writing about; there’s still time to get in touch on Instagram - @jakeobrienmurphy