Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Walkers Crispy Crackers Cheddar Cheese

New! The great taste of Walkers on a cracker. New! Tasty crackers seasoned with the unmistakably delicious taste of Walkers.

Well, there is no denying that these oven baked crispy crackers are tasty. I'm not sure that the taste is unmistakably a Walkers taste, but the packaging doesn't go quite that far. The aroma is cheesy, and the tasty flavour is cheese with a little hint of onion. Or so it seems; there isn't any onion listed as an ingredient but it could perhaps be part of the mysterious "Flavouring". And then at the end you get the salty/sweet taste of the cracker itself.

Lovely thin crackers too. Mostly not even 2mm thick. But this does make them quite fragile and I noticed that even at the top of the packet there were quite a lot of broken pieces. This is obviously a bit of a problem. The broken crackers are  bit sharp; maybe they fight their way out of an ordinary style crisp bag? Maybe that's why the bag has been designed with 4 sturdy seams and a fat gusset.

You can see the broken bits in my photograph but the strange shape of this cracker doesn't show at all well. You can see it on the packet though. Very odd. Call me peculiar if you like but to me they look like little hairdryers. Whatever they look like, it is an odd shape.

Tasty. But it is worth noting that the recipe contains Sulphites and other chemicals like Monocalcium phosphate. Things you don't normally find in a high quality crisp these days.

The Chef reckons these cheesy crackers are a bit bland and not cheesy enough. But he approves of the crunch.
Sadly the little guy throwing his rubbish away responsibly is not a Walkers design but the generic symbol used all over the place in this country. I'm not impressed.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Walkers Worcester Sauce

Look! A crisp with a simple name and a (fairly) simple flavour. That makes a change doesn't it?

I quite liked these.

The Chef said they are a bit vinegary aren't they, and we know he isn't mad for vinegar. But then he had another, and another, possibly a few more too. So not too vinegary for him then.

Nice fine cut crisps, good crunch, nice clean taste.

Not made from actual Worcester Sauce by the look of it, but the ingredients include cocoa powder, ginger, clove, cardamom, garlic, onion, and wheat breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs? It never fails to amaze me the weird selection of stuff you get in crisp flavours.

The bag calls itself a Grab Bag and Great to Share. What does that mean exactly? Bigger than the old fashioned bag size I like best at 60g, but not as big as a Sharing Bag. Which is too big.
The packet does feature a nice example of the little Walkers guy throwing away his rubbish responsibly. But nothing we haven't seen before.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Prosecco & Elderberry Crisps

Another Prosecco flavour crisp? Really?

I'm afraid so, crisp fans.

Sweet, delicately fragrant elderberry with the festive fizz of Prosecco says the packet. Luckily it also says Limited Edition.

I think I get it. I really do. The crispy snack technicians working for Mr Tesco, and for Messrs M&S  (Winter Berries & Prosecco anyone?) wanted to provide the most up to date crispy technology for all crisp fans this Christmas. And everyone knows we all drink Champagne and Prosecco and Cava at this time of year because bubbles are somehow associated with celebrations.

But that bubbly fizz on a crisp? It's not for me.

OK. So some people may love this crisp. I can hardly get past the horrible Sodium Bicarbonate fizz even to taste these things. That's a bit unfortunate isn't it?

And some of them are pink. I think the M&S version was a bit less pink. Maybe I'm remembering wrong. But otherwise there isn't a great deal to choose between them. So I'm guessing that whoever it is creates crisps for Tesco does the same for M&S. If you know any different I would love to know.

I went to Tesco twice in search of these crisps because I felt the need to try them. The first time there wasn't even an empty space on a shelf so I came away disappointed; the second time I'd looked on their website and seen they were out of stock but I took the bus anyway and triumphantly carried a packet home. And I put them on the Christmas tea table.

The Chef's nephew tried one and that was enough. The Chef's niece boldly tried three. She wasn't impressed. The Chef's brother had already seen the packet the week before and said "yuk" so there was no hope of getting him to try. The Chef bravely tried three and admired the actual crisps but not the weird fizz. Or the sweet taste.

As always with Tesco crisps these are big and crunchy and beautifully cooked. Great quality.

I'm sorry. We really didn't like these crisps. And I think the Chef's niece said she has two friends who are mad for Prosecco and and they don't get Prosecco crisps either.

The verdict: too weird for us.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Eat Real Lentil Chips Chilli & Lemon Flavour

Yum! The senior taste tester brought this 113g bag into the office for the reluctant taste testers and me to try. 113g sounds a lot. But I think it's just that lentil chips are heavier than some other products.For example, the Eat Real Quinoa Chips (not yet reviewed) in the exact same size bag weigh 80g.

Gluten free (endorsed by Coeliac UK), vegetarian, vegan and 40% less fat than regular potato chips. A crispy snack that's supposed to be healthier for you and they taste great. What could be better than that?

I really like the combination of chilli and lemon; it works really well for me. True, the crunch is a little heavy, but I am willing to overlook that. And I think the reluctant taste testers agree. A bowlful put out in the late morning was finished by lunchtime.



Friday, 25 December 2015

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Roast Turkey & Stuffing Crisps

Hmm... here's another roast turkey flavour crisp from Mr Tesco. I wrote about a roast turkey crisp from Tesco last year. It was created for Christmas 2013 but I didn't get around to trying it for a couple of months. I wonder if this is the same recipe?

I wonder especially because I gave the 2013 crisp a fairly rave review. And I'm about to damn this year's edition with relatively faint praise. Could this be because I've tried 150 odd different flavours of crisp since then? I wonder.

Anyway, these turkey flavour crisps are OK. I think you can detect a slight smell of turkey - which is included in the recipe - but mostly it's all about the stuffing flavour. Onions and herbs and garlic. And that unwelcome addition of celery. Yes, I think it may be the same recipe.

As usual with Tesco crisps they are big and crunchy and covered in tasty flavour dust. And the potato variety is different from last time. I know because Tesco are careful to tell us. This time we have Lady Rosetta potatoes grown in a field called Lime Kiln 2. Last time the potato was Hermes and the field, Roundwood.

Please don't run away with the idea that we don't like these crisps. It's just that, well beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and taste testing I suppose relies on what you've trying lately, what you really liked recently, and what you didn't. And perhaps if this really is the same recipe crisp in a different bag, maybe it shouldn't be? Maybe crisp tastes have moved on?
The Chef & I are celebrating Christmas with chicken and bread sauce. Partly because there are only two of us and turkey is a socking great big bird and we wouldn't eat even a quarter of a small one, and partly because we think roast chicken tastes better. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The London Crisp Co. Sea Salt Hand Cooked Crisps

Here's an interesting little packet of crisps. Soho inspired Sea Salt it says on the back of the packet. Aside from some alliteration I can't quite think why Soho (in the centre of London) should inspire sea salt but who cares. The Chef & I try to go to Soho once a year when Stacey Kent sings at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. But we've never had crisps there.

It also says hand cooked in the centre of London....hmmn. In fact, hand cooked in NW10. Not so very central. But let's not be over picky.

These crisps were created to be eaten in your local with a pint of beer. Sorry, make that enjoyed in London's brilliant boozers. I suppose I do have a local pub but I almost never go there, and if I did I shouldn't drink beer. But that's another story.

Nice little crisps with the skin left on. Quite a hard crunch, these crisps are thicker than some. Not a bad colour and a nice traditional sea salty taste.

Pretty good.

The packaging is fun isn't it?
The London Crisp Co crisps are made by Kolak.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Torres Selecta Black Truffle

Don't these crisps look lovely?

What a handsome golden colour! Beautifully cooked with a "just right" crunch. They feel good too.

Unfortunately.... unfortunately none of the reluctant taste testers liked them at all. And I thought they were really horrible.

It turns out that none of us like truffle, not even the tall elegant taste tester who correctly identified the nasty taste as truffle. Everyone else had guessed mustard or petrol. Yes, really. Initially I thought garlic but then decided on bad breath. And the taste lingers.

Oh dear oh dear.

I can only suppose that someone likes these handsome crisps. But maybe that someone (all those someones) are in Spain.
Considering none of us liked the crisps it was a shame this was a great big 125g bag.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Original Ritz Crackers

When I was little my Granny & Grandpa used to have Ritz Crackers at about 6 o'clock each evening with a very small whisky and soda. By today's standards they were extremely abstemious and somehow this evening ceremony seemed very special. A daily treat.
This is Winifred (sometimes known as Goff) and Hugh (always called Tommy) in the 1950s. Actually it might be my parents' wedding.

Anyway, here we have the basic Ritz biscuit. It seems to taste exactly the same as ever it did. I wonder if the recipe is the same? Quite salty. But quite sweet at the same time. A gentle flavour; not exciting.

Oven baked not fried it says on the box. Maybe. But is it probable that this little biscuit was ever fried? That doesn't seem terribly likely does it? And not terribly impressed that these little biscuits are made with palm oil. But perhaps they always were.

Nice to try for a change. But I think they'd be tastier with cream cheese and something or maybe some pâté.

Monday, 21 December 2015

M&S Full on Flavour Thai Coconut Chicken

Goodness gracious. Yet another "complete dinner flavour" crisp from M&S. Thai Coconut Chicken eh? Is that a flavour we ask ourselves? Indeed, is it a suitable flavour for a crisp?

Well, for me the problem is that I really don't like coconut. So  you probably wouldn't find me sitting down to a plate of Thai coconut chicken. And I would not have chosen to buy this bag of crisps. I tried one or two and they seemed pretty coconutty. Full on coconutty perhaps?

So far as I could tell these were the usual high quality crisps from Marks & Spencer with a good golden colour and a nice crunch. But I think the reluctant taste testers wondered if this flavour would work better with a prawn cracker or poppadum style base rather than a regular potato crisp.

Unfortunately (careless I know) I didn't get hold of the packet to scan - or read - so we have to make do with a quick snap of the packet.  And more importantly I didn't get to read the list of ingredients. So I don't know what the little herby bits are. Wait.... I went and read the packet in the local branch of M&S; there are lots of spices involved as it is a Thai recipe, and the herby bits are either coriander or parsley.

Absolutely not for  me. But if you like coconut, or indeed Thai Coconut Chicken, these might be the crisps for you.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Hand Cooked Roast Turkey & Herb Stuffing

Not a bad turkey & stuffing crisp this.

Skin left on the potatoes, nice golden colour with little herby bits, good crunch. And not a half bad turkey and stuffing flavour. Although, to be honest it is probably mostly stuffing and turkey flavour.

The herby ingredients include parsley, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, dill, sage paprika, and fenugreek. Plus there is actual turkey. I repeat, there is actual turkey included in this recipe (wow!).

And I am assured that all the flavourings are sourced from natural sources. Good to know that they aren't unnatural... But check out the little green square on the packet. On top of which we have a little Union Jack to show that the potatoes are British and it says British potato crisps in case we didn't notice. Great. But they usually are, aren't they?

I'm guessing that this flavour was especially created for the Christmas market. There are even snowflakes on the packet. And it is fairly Christmassy. Not to mention the gold.

It's just that the reluctant taste testers and I were not mad about these crisps. I guess we are a little bit picky.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Hand Cooked Sea Salted

Life is full of mysteries, and one of them is: who ate all these crisps?

The reluctant taste testers ate a bowlful with much enjoyment but I think the History Graduate provided a second crispy snack at lunchtime so I took the rest of the packet home with me. So who ate the rest of the packet?

Well, that would be the Chef, who liked these a lot. Of course he's not admitting this crime but I know it was him. And that's a very good recommendation. Because he's very picky.

In fact the reluctant taste testers and I liked these crisps a lot too. We so often try mad flavours of crispy snack, or complicated combinations of flavours, that we hardly get the opportunity to try something really simple.

This is a simple flavour. And fabulous with it. Lovely. Fairly lightly salted. Nice crunch. Skin left on the potato. Very good indeed.

You should try them if you have a local Sainsbury's.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Lay's Winter Edition Bratwurst Flavour

The Dutch taste tester paid a flying visit to her home country to celebrate Sinterklaas and came back with her suitcase stuffed full of Dutch goodies. Plus, she heroically brought back this packet of Dutch crisps for me and the reluctant taste testers to try.

This "winter edition" crisp is wearing (as it were) a Christmas jumper with a knitted snowflake design. And it's a limited edition for winter. Why not Christmas I wonder? Another winter edition we sadly did not get to try is Cheese Fondue flavour. Interesting. We'd like to know what that's like but as none of us is going to the Low Countries any time soon it seems unlikely.

Anyway, we were all amazingly impressed how good these Bratwurst crisps are. Amazingly they really do seem to taste of Bratwurst. And, sign of a good flavour, we ate quite a lot of the packet. Impressive. I have to say I liked them quite a lot.

The Chef quite liked them too. Except. He was eating some plain salted crisps and then tried this flavour which made him realise that in fact the flavour is really rather artificial.

So I recommend that you try them on their own. And then you'll agree that this is a pretty good flavour.

Als de dagen korter worden is het de best tijd voor gezellige avonden thuis, samen met vrienden en familie. Geniet samen van de Lay's Winter Editions die je doen denken aan heerlijke en typische winterse gerechten! says the packaging. Basically when the days are cold it's the best time to spend your evenings at home with friends and family. Enjoy Winter Editions from Lay's and they will remind you of delicious traditional winter dishes.

No! of course I don't speak Dutch. I'm roughly translating the French blurb. And slightly wondering what makes Bratwurst or Cheese Fondue particularly winter dishes. Because we eat both all year round.

Anyway, don't pay any attention to the Chef and grab them if you can.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Jacobs Cracker Crisps Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar

I put a bowl of these Cracker Crisps in the kitchen at work and went out to buy my lunch. And I have to admit that I was quite unprepared for the horror that greeted me on my return.

Tech taste tester and History Graduate had snatched up handfuls of this crispy snack thinking it was a little cheesy biscuit. But what they got was salt and vinegar. So what their taste buds thought was Gordon Bennett! this is strong!

Actually, I think the Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar flavour is rather gentle and sweet. I would be happy to buy these again. And the reluctant taste testers tried again after their mistake and decided that perhaps this crispy snack was acceptably tasty after all. But I must point out that the Chef thought the taste was pretty strong.

Nice little biscuits. Very good texture and crunch. Slightly odd (unusual) shapes featuring more curvy lines than you might expect. There were quite a lot of broken bits at the bottom of the packet, but not too many.

Jacobs is a brand owned by United Biscuits.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

M&S Garlic & Coriander Naan Chips

Garlic and coriander naan bread chips with kalonji and cumin seeds says the packaging. Call me stupid if you like; but what on earth are kalonji seeds? Well, thanks very much Mr Internet, I can now exclusively report that kalonji is another name for nigella seeds. Those little black seeds that look like poppy seed but taste like onion, black pepper and oregano.

Feeling better educated now? Don't forget that nigella has pretty blue or white flowers. I planted some in my garden but the gardener did not approve and dug the whole lot up. Very annoying.

This was another crispy snack chosen by the History Graduate taste tester; another of the new season M&S snacks inspired by a range of international cuisines. That sounds a bit pompous doesn't it? But I guess it is a new range of crispy snacks featuring tastes from all over the world.

These naan chips are supposed to be square or oblong but we were disappointed that many of them were broken. That doesn't affect the taste of course but it does kind of colour your attitude.

Quite a hard crunch, but in a good way, and what a taste! Wow!! I tell you what this crispy snack reminds me of: Boursin. That fabulously tasty garlic and herb soft cheese from France. Yum!

In fact... weirdly there was almost too much taste. But they are pretty good. And once again the packaging is a very pretty colour.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Eat Real Hummus Chips Creamy Dill Flavour

The senior taste tester brought in this packet of hummus chips. At first glance you might be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a bowl of pasta shells. But no. This is a crispy crunchy snack made with chickpea flour.

And the big marketing grab is 48% less fat. 48% less fat? Yes, the fat content is reduced from 10g to 5.5g per serving (when compared to regular potato chips - whatever they may be). However, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope this really is a healthier option.

And I am especially keen to give this crispy snack the benefit of the doubt because the crunch is pretty good (although a little dull compared to that of a potato crisp), and the taste is pretty damn good too. Amazing.

The first taste is all about the cream but then there is a lovely gently aftertaste of dill. Very nice. I think we approve.

This possibly healthy crispy snack option is made by Cofresh and we've tried several of their products before. Like this one. Good for Cofresh.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

M&S Tex Mex Burrito Bean Chips

Yet another choice from the history graduate taste tester. Is he mad for crispy snacks or what?

Obviously I had spotted this fairly new crispy snack on the shelf in Marks & Spencer, and marked it as something to try quite soon. But I have a large pile of crisps and crispy snacks at home and try to get through them before buying something new. This sensible scheme doesn't always work! However, history graduate taste tester got there before me.

And wow! look at that. This scary looking oval-shaped rather dark brown crispy snack is pretty tasty. I would have tried this - honest - but I would not have believed how extremely yummy this kidney bean chip really is. Although... only 10% beans. So that's probably why is doesn't qualify for the healthy label. Because the rest is maize.

I'm not at all sure what the taste is here. The ingredients include onions, tomatoes and cheese, along with ancho chillies, garlic, cloves, allspice and lime oil. Interesting combination. Whatever it is, it's a very tasty taste. Yes, thanks, I will have another.

Not only is this crispy snack very tasty, but these gorgeous brown ovals hold their shape extremely well. Hurrah!

The packaging does not show the true colour of this crispy snack. For a change my photograph is much more accurate.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Bret's Saveur Chèvre & Piment d'Espelette

This is a really lovely crisp. The reluctant taste testers and I liked it a great deal. Even tech taste tester and the tall taste tester who say they don't like goat's cheese. Noble friend, who says she really hates goat's cheese, didn't try. But that's OK. It's not obligatory to try something you don't fancy.

Seriously. This is a wonderful crinkle cut crisp. Quite small, lovely crunch, and a very genuine taste of goat's cheese but with a fantastic touch of chilli that stops the cheese flavour being too bland.

I don't know how they got such a realistic goat's cheese taste but they did. Fantastic. Yum.

Interesting. The packet tells me we can discover Le Pays Basque by eating these crisps: partez à la découverte du Pays Basques avec les chips Chèvre et Piment d'Espelette. Leur saveur vous emporte vers les collines douces et parsemées de troupeaux de chèvres puis vous invite à découvir les villages intérieurs, aux façades rouges come le piment, cette épice au goût à la fois subtil at puissant.

Highly recommended if you happen to be in France or indeed Le Pays Basque. And you like goat's cheese.

Friday, 11 December 2015

KP Hula Hoops Stars

Ever had Hula Hoops? Of course you have. At least if you live in the UK. Well, look what I found in Sainsbury's. Star-shaped Hula Hoops.

Seasonal shaped crispy snacks seem to have appeared all over the place in the last couple of years. A Christmas tree is a popular shape but stars are fairly Christmassy too. The reluctant taste testers and I pondered this at work the other day. We wondered about angel-shaped snacks. They might be good. Three wise men? And what about baby Jesus shapes? Perhaps not.

Did I see holly leaf shapes in Tesco a year ago? I think I might have but I can't remember. We have of course tried Jacobs Treeselets; tree-shaped instead of rectangular, Jacobs Cheesonal Mini Cheddars which come in bell and snowman shapes instead of round, KP Cheese & Tomato Christmas Crackers which come in bell, star and tree shapes, and Tesco Snowmen Tortilla Chips. Shame about the lack of angels. Cookie cutters always come angel-shaped and reindeer too. Ooh....

These stars were smaller than I was expecting. Somehow I had expected the inside of the star to be the same size as the inside of a regular Hula Hoop. But no. The outer points of the star seem to be the same size as a regular Hula Hoop and then the inner points are just squished in from that size. So you can't put them on your finger unless you are a very very small child. Kind of disappointing.

Returned maternity leave taste tester (I must think of a better nom de crispy snack for her) missed these little stars. She isn't in the office every day. But her first question was; can you still fit them on your fingers? Because, you know, what could be better than food you can fit on your fingers and then eat? So not just disappointing to me.

Otherwise these are just exactly like a regular Hula Hoop. Quite a hard crunch and lightly salted. Pretty good.
Improbable though it may seem, this is the 400th crispy blog post!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

M&S Lightly Salted Christmas Tree Tortilla Chips

I'm not sure that I'm tremendously impressed by these Christmas tree shaped tortilla chips. They look great... but I don't know. They just don't work as well as they might.

So we have lightly salted Christmas tree shaped corn tortilla chips, half with added spinach and red pepper pieces. Yes, nice idea. But for some reason the spinach chips don't hold their structural integrity at all well (they break) so the packet seemed to contain mostly plain trees with a scant third of spinach flavour chips. Plus a lot of very broken bits.

I've said it before, and no doubt will feel the need to say it again, but a shaped chip or crispy snack must hold its shape because without the advertised shape it loses much of its reason for being. I mean, ordinary potato crisps don't claim a shape so if they break it somehow doesn't matter, but Christmas tree shaped snacks that are not Christmas tree shaped just don't work.

This is not a very exciting crispy snack. The plain ones are lightly salted and quite pleasant. And the green ones have a slightly more interesting flavour. The crunch is fine. We've discussed the shape already. At home the Chef and I tried them with a dip. Still not very exciting.

But, if you are looking for a nice plain crispy snack (and I know that's what some people prefer) this might be what you're looking for.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Sainsbury's Rudolph's Noses Tomato Flavour Snacks

I don't usually shop at Sainsbury's because most of the time there isn't one handily on my way from here to there. But there is one very nearly next door to our lovely local undertakers. So after my meeting there I rushed into Sainsbury's to see what I could see.

Not a vast selection of crispy snacks I have to say. But what about these Rudolph's Noses?

Well, tomato is a difficult flavour. For some reason (and I report from personal experience) tomato flavour snacks don't usually taste of tomato. They taste of tomato soup. Or tomato ketchup.

The tall taste tester rather unkindly suggested these little (but considerably larger than I was expecting) red balls taste of cuppasoup; history graduate thought budget tomato ketchup. I'm going to be a bit kinder and suggest Heinz tomato soup. They have the same creamy aftertaste.

Despite these comments the reluctant taste testers had little trouble noshing down a bowlful of... er... noses.

And I must point out these are the most luminous red crispy snack I ever saw. Really quite impressive considering the colouring is all natural. Rudolph's Noses probably could light the way for Father Christmas and his reindeer in Christmas Eve. Equally impressive though, the red colour does not stain your hands.

And I do like the jolly packaging. Great fun.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger

This 8 oz packet of crisps was exported from the United States especially for me and the reluctant taste testers by generous bloggy friend Betsy. And for my metric measuring readers that's a gigantic 226.8g! Amazing.

Anyway, it turns out that this flavour was the winner in Lay's 2014 Do Us a Flavor Choose Your Chip competition. The Wasabi Ginger flavour was created by mother of three daughters Meneko Spigner McBeth, and she won a million dollars. Good for her! I read all about her on the back of the packet.

And it is a pretty good flavour. The reluctant taste testers were very impressed.

These crisps are not as pale as the photograph shows, have a very nice crunch and are packed full of flavour. There's a lovely ginger zing followed by the distinctive "horse radish" wasabi flavour. And they are made with real wasabi not just regular wasabi substitute horse radish.

As I said, the reluctant taste testers liked these a lot and ate two bowlsful. And we still had some left over for the family funeral this week.

It is unfortunate that I don't like horse radish. Never have. So I don't really like wasabi. But that's my personal taste. I think this is a really great crisp flavour, a proper crisp flavour like salt & vinegar or cheese & onion. And well done Meneko for suggesting it.

Monday, 7 December 2015

M&S Eat Well Bacon, Tomato & Worcester Sauce Potato Snacks

Ever hopeful, the reluctant taste testers and I tried another Eat Well flavour from Marks & Spencer. And this time (what a relief) it's made with potatoes.

So what gives this snack its Eat Well healthiness factor? It's low in saturated fats. But the recipe still contains (probably plenty of) sugar and salt. And it's a complicated recipe. The Worcester sauce flavour is cobbled together with tamarind paste, cloves, ginger and garlic; the tomato seems to be tomato, and the bacon? That's vegetarian, indeed vegan, bacon.

Not a bad flavour and we quite liked it. I thought the flavour was mainly Worcester sauce... with a little added bacon. Not sure that we would try them again though.

Interesting choice of mauve for the packaging. Very unusual.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Vico Saveur Steak Grillé

This little 20g bag of crinkle cut crisps came from a multi-pack I bought in France. We tried Vico's Poulet Grillé earlier this year and liked them enormously. In fact, I added them to my list of favourites.

And here we have the grilled steak flavour. Pretty good.

Nice little crinkle cut crisps with a true grilled steak flavour - and not suitable for vegetarians. The meaty crisp fans among the reluctant taste testers were impressed.

However, the back of the packet has a great example of French as she is spoken these days: une chips ondulée et craquante. Yes, une chips. Sigh. And then une saveur Steack [sic] délicieusement Grillé. Which is odd because steak is spelled steak on the front.

The serving suggestion on the front of the packet is a bit weird too. I'm not sure whether I should be scattering the crisps from above... and possibly snatching them out of the sky like a trained killer whale? Or even madder perhaps; serving them with real grilled steak?  What do you think?

Despite being a huge fan of eating meat I think I really prefer a more vegetarian flavour for my crisps, but to be honest it's hard to quibble when faced with such a well-achieved grilled steak flavour.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

M&S Mini Poppadums

This crispy snack was another choice provided by the history graduate taste tester. Which pleased the extremely skeptical taste tester who just loves the taste and the texture of poppadoms.

The packaging suggests this would be the perfect accompaniment to curry. And the serving suggestion shows a bowl of finely sliced red onion.

So not really intended to be eaten raw as it were. Or solo. But nonetheless, they are pretty good. And a nice little size for snacking. A shame we didn't have any chutney in the office.

And... made from gram flour which is ground chickpeas and could perhaps be slightly healthier for you than maize or potato flour. But I notice that M&S don't claim any sort of healthiness.

The pink and purple packaging is really very pretty although with that clear panel it does look better before you eat all the poppadums.

For some reason I failed to take a photograph of these miniature poppadoms. I know they're called mini but they seem really tiny compared to the dinner plate sized poppadoms of my childhood. But anyway, you can see exactly what they look like from the packet.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Pringles Flame Grilled Steak Flavour

The tall elegant taste tester bought these to eat at home but then discovered she really didn't like them. She thought they were just too strong. Rather than throw them away she offered them for the reluctant taste testers to try.

And as you know, we have several keen fans of meaty flavoured crisps amongst the taste testers so there were plenty of takers interested to try these cast offs. And they do taste surprisingly steaky. It really is a very accurate flavour. No wondering if might be meant to represent roast lamb, or perhaps turkey with stuffing. So most of the reluctant taste testers unreluctantly tucked in.
 
But I did see what the tall elegant taste tester meant. I had the tub on my desk - with the lid on - but somehow the very strong aroma seeped out. The flame grilled steak flavour does stick to your fingers a bit, but at least there's no orange dye to colour your finger tips.
 
This would not be my most favourite Pringles flavour but they were pretty popular with everyone else here. Except of course the tall elegant taste tester.

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