The Halal Snack Pack/Aussie Box/Chip Box has had a huge surge in popularity this past year; the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society facebook group, boasts nearly 200,000 members and separate regional groups also exist. The HSP recently shot to mainstream media attention when Labor senator Sam Dastyari offered to take Senator-elect Pauline Hanson (cringe) out to dinner for a delicious Halal snack pack, Hanson declined the offer. It’s easy to see that much like curry, gyros, fish & chips, meat pies and spring rolls the HSP is yet another example of Australian appreciation for culturally diverse foods being adapted for an Australian palette while still paying homage to the origin.
So what exactly is a Halal Snack Pack? In truth a fairly simple dish; hot chips/fries (typically your standard chippie cut e.g. not shoestring McDonald’s fries) and kebab meat (Doner/Chicken) in a Styrofoam container, covered with grated cheese and served with a Holy Trinity of sauces. Here’s where the debate gets interesting; my personal preference is the more popular of the sauce trifecta; BBQ, hot chilli and garlic sauce. The alternative combination consists of hummus, hot chilli and garlic sauce. Personally I think the first set of sauces is more popular due to the BBQ adding a sweet and smokey taste to the hot spice of chilli and the refreshing taste of garlic. The hummus combo on the other hand just seems lacking in sweetness because hummus. Fucking hummus.
Since a Halal Snack Pack exists you’re probably wondering if a Haram Snack Pack also exists? It certainly does; although unlike some unfunny bogan concept “durrr I’ll have a pork roll and a beer, hurhurhurhur” the Haram Snack Pack is usually just an incorrectly ordered HSP. Firstly, no fucking tomato sauce (ketchup) you filthy dingo. No one’s quite sure why tomato sauce is forbidden (Probably because it tastes like shit) but it most certainly is, if you want tomato sauce stick to a Four n’ Twenty meat pie or a Chiko Roll (In the case of the Chiko Roll you should probably stick to your house arrest as well). Also banned from the HSP; sweet chilli, BBQ sauce is all the sweetness you need and quite frankly the chilli at most kebab places is about as hot as a mild chicken from Nando’s. It gives you a little kick but it’s not like you’re drinking bottled habanero sauce.
Other things to note; make sure your HSP comes with cheese. If they make you pay extra for cheese name and shame the Haram dingos for stinging you out and always record the prices and quality. The HSP is a great thing that helps bring communities together, shutting the door on the divisive racism and hatred that exists in the wake of people like Pauline Hanson. Plus it tastes fucking amazing and you should definitely hit up your local Kebab place to get one. Make sure it’s a Halal approved kebab place (signage is always good at proper Kebab shops) and make sure you aren’t at a Greek Gyros/Souvlaki joint because those delightful dudes will get pissed off if you mistake a Greek for a Turk, besides Souvlaki is for a different day and most Greek places aren’t keen on the sauce and chips set up. Most importantly; savour the flavour of your Halal Snack Pack.