These Are The Greatest Desk Snacks Of All Time
Offices are pretty much back in full swing now and that means one thing, and one thing only: desk snacks. Oh, yes.
Unlike a regular snack – which you can consume in your own leisure time, damn it! – a desk snack is a food product that really comes into its own when it’s eaten in front of a computer screen while you’re sifting through your inbox. It’s a (usually processed) snack that brightens your day; the mere thought of knowing you’ve got it tucked safely in your drawer being enough to get you through the last 15 minutes of a particularly droll meeting.
One of my biggest “learnings” from working in an office over the last couple of years is that keeping an arsenal of tasty snacks on hand is the best way to maintain your sanity. It’s also the only way I can ensure that my blood sugar levels don’t drop to a level where I turn into an utterly awful bastard. The rules of desk snacks are also relatively simple. A desk snack can pretty much be whatever you want as long as it doesn’t: A) stink out the entire office, or B) go off after a single day. The perfect desk snack is something that you can stash away for private, personal consumption but also share in order to win the favour of your colleagues if necessary. That’s called networking.
But what are the best desk snacks of all time? What are the ultimate midday pick-me-ups that you should always have within arm’s reach of your keyboard? I don’t know. But I’m a very opinionated person so I’ve collated this list of my personal favourites. These are what I consider to be the greatest desk snacks of all time – the crème de la crème of office eats:
Bombay Mix is the GOAT snack. The reigning champ. The one snack to rule them all. A spicy and savoury snack that provides just the right amount of crunch and salt to satisfy your cravings. Although, speaking from personal experience here, it is possible to eat an entire bag in one sitting, Bombay Mix is deceptively filling and eats nicely in-between calls to tide you over until dinner time. No handful is ever the same – which keeps things fun, too.
Tony’s Pretzel Toffee
Tony’s Chocolonely makes some excellent chocolate and having a bar within arm’s reach of your computer is a dangerous game to play. Like Chekhov's chocolate gun, you just know that Belgian Fairtrade choc is going to be snaffled by yourself at some point in a Slack-induced haze but knowing you’re never far from that satisfaction is, to me, a great comfort. Out of the whole Tony’s range, my fave is this pretzel toffee version. Smooth dark milk chocolate is dotted with pretzel and caramel pieces for one of the best bars out there.
I am ashamed to say that I’ve referred to Medjool dates as “nature’s candy” on more than one occasion in my life. If I’m being brutally honest with you I’ve probably called them that about 34 times, to be exact. Medjool dates are sweet, sticky, and taste like a decadent treat even though they are – technically speaking – still a fruit. They’re the ideal desk snack that’ll fool your colleagues into thinking you’ve got your life together and, what else can I say, they’re nature’s candy.
I owe it to food writer Jonathan Nunn for turning me onto Alhaji SUYA’s kilishi – a spicy, dried form of suya that’ll blow any of the oversweet beef jerky you’ve ever eaten before out of the water. This stuff delivers a refreshing hit of spice that comes in waves, making it the perfect protein-packed desk snack when you’re in need of something substantial in your stomach and something you can – literally – get your teeth stuck into. All of the meat that Alhaji SUYA source and air-dry is certified Halal and comes from only the highest quality joints of topside and silverside beef. Buy it in bulk and keep a pack of kilishi on your person at all times to drastically reduce the likelihood of you getting hangry ever again.
I don’t care who you are, I don’t care where you’re from, there is no denying that Tangfastics go hard. Haribo’s sweets portfolio is stacked with some heavy hitters (gummy bears, Starmix, cola bottles) but it’s Tangfastics that lead the charge when it comes to desk snacks. They’ve got just the right hit of puckering citric acid to jolt you out of your midday malaise yet are still sweet enough to satisfy your sugar cravings. Eat an entire bag and you will do some serious damage to your tongue but that’s the beauty of Tangfastics in my book: a handful is all you need to get your fix.
I know, I know, hummus chips exist in a strange sphere of #wellness where they’re seen as a holistic life choice and a holier-than-thou statement to everyone around you that you “don’t eat Walkers, darling”. But they’re actually very nice and I’m a firm believer that the office is the only place you should be scoffing them. Because eating hummus chips outside of the office is weird in the same way that eating normal crisps at your desk sort of ruins crisps. Honestly. I don’t want to have a packet of Monster Munch when I’m “as per my previous email”-ing potential clients and I don’t want to have my hands covered in Skips dust when I’m trying to un-mute myself for a meeting. Separating work and play is important. That is why hummus chips are a better desk snack than normal crisps. Fact.
I’m a big fruit guy and mangoes are up there with the very best of them. While an apple and banana are decent-to-middling desk snacks, tropical fruits like mango and pineapple don’t really lend themselves to office consumption. Hunching over your keyboard and getting it sticky with sweet mango juice is not the move. The move is buying a package of Whitworths dried mango and tucking into it while you’re working away. It’s got a great texture and chew that’s almost as addictive as its sweet and aromatic mango flavour.
Chocolate digestives are the greatest biscuits of all time. That’s not even up for debate – they’ve got the perfect ratio of biscuit-to-chocolate and never veer into cloying territory. Excellent on their own or dunked in a tea, the chocolate digestive is an all-rounder that can bat and bowl with the best of both parties. The problem with most biscuits, though, is that you’re usually forced to share them. Even if no-one asks you directly for a biccie, it’s hard not to feel guilty hoarding an entire pack of Hobnobs or chocolate digestives all to yourself. So, although an excellent desk snack, it’s rare you’ll ever get more than a third of a pack all to yourself. Such is the sacrifice you make when bringing choccie digestives into the office.
Roasted Salted Macadamia Nuts
Call me what you like, I stand by my opinion that macadamia nuts are the greatest nuts of all time. Not only do these roasted and salted little kernels of joy provide a rich and fatty mouthfeel but the roasted versions are also crunchy enough to please anyone that suffers from oral fixation. Macadamias are super satiating and the perfect rainy day snack to curb any serious hunger pangs. Salty, creamy, delicious.