My gaming group gets together two or three times a month. We always host our game nights at the same place, however, what we eat changes from occasion to occasion. We used to always have takeaways, but that became both unhealthy and expensive fairly fast. As such we now split the task between us, to provide the food for the evening. Now, dear reader, I have a lot of strengths – unfortunately cooking is not one of them, so, where I have cooked a few times, I often get the task of providing the snacks instead.
Over the past three years I have refined the snack choice, and now feel able to create a definitive list. A lot of research has gone into this list and ultimately it comes down to a few aspects. What is the crumbliness? What is the stickiness? What is the size of the ramekin needed to hold the snack? Each an important question.
As those who know this blog should know, I like to take my own photos – so for this, I brought the snacks…but then I ate them…so please accept these drawings instead.
So here is my definitive list. These are the best foods to bring to a game night.
M&Ms: Master of Chocolate
Let’s open this up with the big one, the great one, the most helpful of all game snackage – the M&M.
M&Ms appear to be one of those things: everyone has their favourite type and everyone seems to like them (cue that one comment from someone saying they don’t).
You see, the M&Ms have a few things going for them. On one side, the fact they come in several different flavours means there is something for everyone. On the other side, they come in a handy shell. This means they don’t melt in the hand whilst playing or get any game components sticky. The M&M is a completely self-contained entity.
Not to mention, they are small and so there needn’t be any large containers on the table, taking up valuable real estate.
If you are losing, they also make satisfactory projectiles to flick at your opponents. A fantastic snack all round.
Dinky Double Deckers: Bite Sized “Win”
The second item on this list is the Dinky Double Decker. Now, I don’t know how available these are around the world, and I have a fair number of readers in America, Finland, and Australia, so I will try and explain.
Imagine biscuit, with marshmallow, covered in chocolate. That’s a standard Double Decker. Now imagine it tiny. Yep. Awesome. It is like a little bite of heaven – not too rich (like a Fudge can be) but sweet enough to suffice. Unhealthy to boot, but so worth it.
The downside with the Double Decker is it can melt in the hand, so we found a way to get around that. We stick it in the fridge before we game. It’s that simple.
The Dinky Double Decker is delicious to eat and delightful to say. For those in other countries, I would recommend checking out Amazon Groceries. You may be able to get them on there.
Pringles: A Staple
“Once you pop, you can’t stop!”
That saying is, unfortunately, true, as the simple Pringle is one of the greatest snacks to have ever graced this great planet. Available in a wide variety of flavours, the Pringle is a wheat based potato chip with a large amount of versatility. The downside is it can crumble, and the dust can mark felt-top tables (or tabletop gaming tables). What are the ways around this?
There are two ways. The first is to keep the Pringles in their tube, and pass the tube around. This is fairly basic Pringle strategy, however, it can get frustrating for those of us with fat hands towards the end of the tube. The second way is to use a much deeper and larger dish, removing the Pringles from their container. We use a dish similar to those used in Indian restaurants for naan bread. It serves well. This contains the crumbliness, but also offers easy access to the Pringle. It is larger, and takes up more table space, however, it can be worthwhile depending on the flavour of the Pringle.
I would recommend three flavours for a fully accurate study of flavour. Salt and vinegar for the traditional Pringle fan, prawn cocktail for those who like a bit more adventure, and ready salted to act as a control group.
Mini Pretzels: Salty Goodness
Pretzels are popular for a reason. I could probably just leave this paragraph here. They are dry, salty, and delicious. There is a reason they are so popular at bars, as they stave off the quell of hunger without being too distracting.
The mini pretzel is so standard because it is neat and tidy. It is this fact that makes it perfect for tabletop gaming.
Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate Buttons: Mixed!!
Chocolate buttons are a staple of the sweet food industry. They’re fairly unoriginal, to be frank. They also suffer from the same problem the Dinky Double Deckers – namely they melt in the hand, and this can make cards sticky. The last thing you want is for the chocolate to wreck your game.
“So why Luke,” I hear you cry, slamming your fists on your computer, “would you recommend such a fallible snack?”
Well, dear reader, hear me out. Take your chocolate buttons and your white chocolate buttons, and mix them together. Pour them both into the same ramekin. Take one of each in a mouthful, and enjoy. It will change your world and how you look at tabletop snacks.
This mixing sweets, as a discipline, is something which can apply to many different types of candy. We recently tried the M&M/Skittles mix, which is not for the faint of heart. Not knowing which one is which when you pick up a handful can be both exciting and infuriating. That being said, the mix actually goes surprisingly well.
So there you go, my top 5 tabletop snacks. No matter what you choose for your snacks, no matter what your reasoning, they need to follow those few rules set out right at the top. They need minimal crumbliness, maximum tastiness, and no stickiness (unless it is totally worth it).
So what are your favourite tabletop snacks? Do you shop around or do you get the same ones each time? Let me know in the comments below.