Every gin drinker worth their salt has felt it: the undeniable craving for a snack to munch on while you sip at your G&T. But what’s the science behind those rumblings in our stomachs? Find out why sipping demands snacking, and what makes the ViPnuts in November's Gin of the Month box the gourmet way to satisfy your craving.
Eugene and Nina Slattery take pub snacking personally. But, as the minds behind New York Delhi – the gourmet snack company behind the delicious ViPnuts, the gourmet peanut brand, in this month’s surprise gin box – they would be mad not to.
“We think that we do something very special,” says Eugene, who together with wife Nina makes almost a dozen flavours of delicious peanuts. “Our mission is to rescue the peanut from the 1970s. For a long time, the only people making peanuts were big companies who weren’t innovating at all. But we can offer innovation. We take absolute joy in every aspect of it.”
Whichever ViPnuts flavour you choose to treat yourself to – be it Classic Sea Salt, vibrant Hot Chilli or smoky Bollywood Barbecue – you’re in for a treat.
Eugene says, “Nina is just the most amazing Indian chef. We began our business doing spices – we started with flavour. Our flagship line was Magic Masala, so we always say that our products are made with magic. We still use our own spices to flavour the nuts. Nothing is bought off the shelf.”
But what makes these nuts perfect for pairing with a 58 Gin and Tonic? For Eugene, the answer is obvious: quality.
He explains, “With all of the wonderful drinks out there, it’s a shame when people turn to mediocre snacks. We want to change that.”
But what does science have to say?
1. Gin makes food more alluring
No, it’s not just in your mind. Known as ‘the aperitif effect’, alcohol triggers an effect in the hypothalamus, which controls your metabolism, that makes the smell of food more desirable than normal. So once you’ve had a few G&Ts, those snacks are harder than normal to resist.
Of course, ViPnuts don’t need any help in that department – which goes double for the Hot Chilli flavour, which has the most of Eugene and Nina’s magic masala in the recipe. Eugene says, “We started off as a kitchen table business, grinding everything by hand. With the masala we’ve kept that quality, and it’s particularly good at the moment!”
2. You don’t feel full as fast
As well as making your snacks more delicious, gin can slow down the signals your body sends to your brain when you’ve had enough to eat. According to a Dutch study, your body doesn’t count the calories you consume in alcoholic drinks, so they never contribute to a feeling of fullness.
That’s a serious bonus when you have something as moreish as ViPnuts Bollywood Barbecue to snack on. Eugene says, “Bollywood Barbecue is midway in our range. It’s a reference to our Indian heritage. It’s a wonderful, smoky flavour with the tiniest hint of chilli.”
3. Gin makes snacks taste amazing
As anyone who’s spent an evening in the pub can attest, nothing tastes better with a drink than a snack. That’s because alcohol makes salty and fatty foods taste better than they normally would. But that’s no excuse to make an unhealthy choice: ViPnuts’ Sea Salt flavour fits the bill perfectly (and is totally delicious), but at least half of the fat in peanuts is good fat, which supports a healthy heart, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It’s the best of both worlds – so bon appétit!