Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Eggy Kathy Salted Egg Potato Chips

Just about everything to do with this packet of crisps from Myanmar (Burma as was) is a bit weird.

The packet looks like brown card but is lined with silver foil and has a handy snap shut feature that you sometimes find on packets of raisins and sultanas. In fact it’s a genuinely resealable pack which I really admire. Honestly, I’m fed up with the amount of allegedly resealable packaging I’ve come across: it almost never works properly.

Then the packaging design is very unusual. Chinese lanterns, and those other lanterns that you light and send off into the night sky. And then some random leaves. I thought they might be curry leaves (on the list of ingredients) but they can’t be. “Shake me” it says, and “insanely yummy”. About 6 different typefaces and of course, 2 different alphabets gives a cluttered look.

But why am I niggling about all the little things? Because I couldn’t bring myself to fancy these eggy crisps. I couldn’t fancy the eggy Spanish crisps donated by Still a Student either. (And BTW Still a Student is a student no more. I understand she got a first and is enjoying travelling for a while.) And I always feel guilty if I can’t appreciate a packet of crisps brought from afar, especially for the reluctant taste testers and me.

If I remember correctly, it was only taste tester from the New Forest who appreciated this packet of crispy... well, like the frilly crunchy bits when you fry an egg. When you fry an egg properly. No point in a fried egg if it doesn’t have crunchy brown frilly edges. Well, we had one fan but this crispy snack was too weird for the rest of us.

I feel particularly guilty here because not only did Tall Elegant taste tester bring this packet of crisps home from Myanmar, but another little packet she bought from a boatman on the Irrawaddy River. And what did I do with it? Don’t know. Very guilty about that.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Snac! Cracker Mini Pizza

So here's a little packet of crispy snacky crackers which we found in the Co-op in Switzerland. but which mysteriously were made in France. Maybe I haven't been looking closely enough, I thought most Swiss crisps were made in Switzerland so I imagined most of the crispy snacks were too. But in this case, not so.

I'm sure we have tried pretty much this exact same snack in France. In fact, yes, we had some Crackers Gout Pizza from Carrefour. And the reluctant taste testers and I snacked enthusiastically on that version.

But this is not so good. Let's not complain too much though. If I hadn't tried the Carrefour version earlier this year I think I would likely have been quite happy with this crispy snack. The pizza taste is good. The crunch is fine. It's just the other snack is better.

But, you know, if you haven't got a local Carrefour, why not pop down to your local Co-op (in Switzerland) and grab a packet of Snac! Crackers?

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

KP Hula Hoops Big Hoops BBQ Beef

Hmmn... not sure I would have bought BBQ beef flavour if there had been other to choose. It's a really hard flavour, built on yeast extract and dried tomatoes and salt:which appears on the list of ingredients 3 times (3 times? that's a lot of salt).
Now, as a lifelong lover of yeast extract (that's Marmite to many of you) I was horrified to learn the other day that it's partly made of celery (which you may recall I can't eat). I never noticed that. And I have to say that although there is no suspicion of celery in the list of ingredients here, this crispy snack smells quite strongly as though it should be there. Which is a bit odd.

So what makes these Hula Hoops into Big Hoops? They're just bigger. I was looking for a bigger ring so you could fit the hoop on your thumb not just on your little finger but it's not really like that. The ring looks bigger, but not too much. I think the bigness is in the width of the band.

This crispy snack has a great crunch. I'd like to try the plain salted version.

And I'm pleased to see that this grab bag isn't too huge. Some grab bags of crisps and crispy snack are just gigantic but this is only 50g so not too bad for your crunch at lunch. Which I bet this will be for many.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Kettle Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper

For some strange reason the reluctant taste testers and I have never got around to trying this crisp. Possibly because it appears to be a perfectly normal flavour: because you know we love to try the weird ones. However, that doesn't seem to have stopped Tall Elegant taste tester from attempting this packet as a crunch with her lunch. She didn't eat the entire packet though, and gifted me with the leftovers to see what I thought.

Not a bad crunch, as is usual with Kettle Chips, and a nice simple flavour. I am not at all sure if there is (or could be) a difference between sea salt & black pepper or sea salt & crushed black pepper as a flavour. I think it's just the words. Why not? The more words the better. Or not. It depends on your point of view.

On the back of the packet we are told this is "Lightly Salted's darker mysteries alter ego".  Mmmn... I'm not sure that encourages me. I am more interested to learn that 100% of the potatoes used to make Kettle Chips are British, most from within 30 miles of "our Norfolk home".

But absolutely nothing artificial is an annoying claim. I suppose it is meant to tell us we are getting a super healthy crisp here. Made with proper ingredients grown on farms filled with wildlife and birdsong.

But hang on, I always wonder what a crisp without this label would be made of? Potatoes grown in industrial revolution style gloomy factories? Fake potatoes carved out of wood? Of course not. All crispy snacks are made of real ingredients... it's just that some of them (not usually in the UK) has E numbers and stuff. Which might perhaps be considered artificial.

Anyway, despite the unnecessary claims this is not a bad crisp.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

U Mini-Choux Saveur Chèvre et Poivre

And here's a review I wrote of a similar product last July but mysteriously forgot to post. What a difference a year makes eh?

Hmnnn, I'm not sure this was the most successful purchase I made in the U supermarket in France. It looked like a good idea but you never can tell until you try. And that's what taste testing is all about.

Part of my problem is that Noble Friend won't even attempt chèvre, and Tall Elegant taste tester isn't mad keen either.  And then when you read choux you rather expect something soft (softish) like an eclair or a choux bun. But what you actually get here is a hard little biscuitty bite.

And while there is nothing wrong with a little cheesy biscuit, there's a lot to be said for a snack tasting how you think it will, and having the texture you were expecting.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Zweifel Filu Paprika

Quite simply one of the tastiest crispy snacks the Chef and I have tasted in a long long time. And Cliffs of Moher taste tester agrees with us.

Yum yum yum.

This is just as tasty and just as crispy, and just as good as Filu Original... only better. Better? Yes, indeed. This is a truly fabulous crispy snack.

Of course if you don't enjoy this sort of puffed potato starch snack it won't really be for you, but we think it's pretty good. Not much else to say really.
Highly recommended but sadly probably only available in Switzerland. So book your holiday now!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Carrefour Mini Choux Goût Chèvre et Poivre

I wasn't sure if I had tried this crispy snack before... but apparently not. Or at least if I have, I called it something else. The Chef picked up a couple of boxes of crispy snacks for me the last time he drove through France. The ones the French call aperitifs. I really like this style of snack a lot. I learned to my cost that the reluctant taste testers are very suspicious. And quite often won't even attempt these snacks (they don't care for goats cheese).

But I retired from work recently. I miss most of the taste testers a lot. But hey! I don't have to consider whether they are going to like things or not. I shall probably post a lot less now. Because it isn't good for you to eat too many crisps and crispy snacks. If you divide 60g between 10 people it can't hurt... but if you eat the whole packet each time it won't do you any good at all.

Anyway, this is a lovely snack. The mini "choux" pastry exterior is crunchy quite unlike real choux pastry, but it tastes right. And the lovely soft gloopy goat cheese and pepper filling tastes great. I loved it but I can think of several people who wouldn't like it at all. I say yum yum. But you need to make your own mind up.

Carrefour have branches all over France, and I'm sure I've been to one in Mallorca too. I guess they also operate in Belgium and the Netherlands. Minisoezen anyone?

Friday, 17 May 2019

Pu-Thai Squid Flavour

I can't tell you how much I wasn't looking forward to trying this crispy snack. And when I opened the packet and there was a huge waft of fish food... that didn't help much.

But it turns out this crispy snack (presumably maize based although I don't know - blame my lack of expertise in translating the Thai language) is not squid shaped. There's a couple of crab snacks on the packet, and then a sort of squid logo.  But for no reason that I can see, this snack is crab shaped. And very handsomely too.

You might suppose that if the manufacturer can produce such good crab shapes they might have had a go at squid shapes but is that me being picky?

So, filled with trepidation we had a go at tasting. And discovered they actually taste a bit like prawn crackers. So not too terribly fishy or weird at all.

Despite me leaving the packet lying around for all to see a good many of these crispy crabs were eaten in an absent minded sort of a way.

Not bad at all. And a bit of a surprise.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Tsakiris Chips with Graviera Cheese Flavour

Tech taste tester went to Cyprus to stay with his girlfriend's parents. She seems lovely - I've not met her parents. You aren't surprised.

Anyway, well trained as Tech taste tester is (he brought back a couple of packets of crisps (they all bring back lots of fun crispy snacks from all over the place). The reluctant taste testers and I tried a packet of Tsakiris crisps before: oregano flavour.

Graviera isn't a cheese I ever heard of, but that doesn’t stop it being the flavour for a reasonable packet of crisps. A nice gently cheesy flavour together with a nice potato crisp. What's not to like? On the other hand we ask ourselves, and not for the first time, why do we not have cheese flavoured crisps in the UK? Cheese flavoured maize based snacks? yes. Cheese flavoured crisps? no. Other countries don't seem biased against cheese as a crisp flavour.

I'm not entirely sure where this crisp was made so I'm going to put Greece, because our last packet from the same manufacturer was made in Greece. Apologies if they were actually made in Cyprus.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Carrefour Mini Flûtes Pure Beurre Au Parmesan et a l'Ail

Reluctant taste tester from the New Forest tells me that cheesy twists or flutes (or cheese straws) are her vey favourite crispy snack. And this mini flute seemed to pass her personal taste test with flying colours.

To be honest, I can't really find anything wrong with a crispy snack that has a lovely bite, a flaky texture and a great cheesy taste. And in this case, added parmesan and garlic. Really and truly, what's not to like?

A mini flûte seems to be better even than a large (or regular size) because you only need to bite them once; or you can stuff them into your mouth whole if you're feeling greedy. Whichever, this means fewer crumbs. Because a good quality cheese straw style of snack will likely crumble and if you are like me you will end off with crumbs down your front.

I found this tasty snack at the Carrefour supermarket outside Reims in France. There's an aisle of little boxes like this one filled with an exciting array of crispy snacks. Far more than you normally find in a British supermarket. There's also a large selection of potato crisps but if you happen to be in a large French supermarket I think you'll find it worth your while checking out the little boxes of crispy snacks.

Made in Switzerland not France.
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