Thursday, 14 December 2017

Taylors Welsh Potato Crisps Sea Salt

I haven't really enjoyed many of the six flavours of Taylors Welsh potato crisps. For some reason the flavours didn't appeal to me and the texture was all wrong. It has been very disappointing.

But this sea salt flavour was pretty good. Funny how often my favourites turn out to be the simple flavours. I can't think that the texture of this packet of crisps can be any different to the texture of the other flavours (because I'm sure they must all be made the same way), but it seems to be more to my taste.

Very odd. It really doesn't make any sense. Let's just accept that I thought these plain seat flavour crisps quite good. And I think the reluctant taste testers were of the same opinion.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Vending Machine in Florence

I took this photograph back in March just before I became seriously ill, so perhaps not unnaturally I completely forgot all about it.  We were in Florence which is always lovely even when the weather isn't tip top, and visited the Bardini Gardens which we like for the lovely views over the city. Built on the side of a cliff... but we spend a lot of time in Switzerland so we think why not? They have lots of daffodils, and apple blossom. Altogether it shouldn't feel at all Italian but it does.

I know everyone goes on about the Boboli Gardens but I find them a bit soulless; too much gravel and not enough planting. Anyway, if you visit the loos at the Bardini there's a vending machine. If I'd have been feeling stronger I'd have searched for some Euros and bought a packet of Paquita Crock Canyon or Grigliata. Both apparently from a company called Pata

So annoying. Because I've never seen these crisps anywhere else. We'll just have to go back I suppose. How dreadful. Florence again eh? I do live a hard life.
This is the Chef and me in the Giardini Bardini looking out at the skyline of Florence.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Royal Cashews Hot Pepper Cassava Chips

Tall Elegant taste tester went to Sri Lanka (she saw leopards!) and slightly dubiously brought this packet of cassava chips home for the reluctant taste testers and me.

Cassava is what tapioca (frogspawn of old fashion school meal fame) is made of. These crisps look nothing like tapioca. And it's a wonder that cassava is a major food staple crop because it's full of cyanide and can kill if not prepared correctly. What you do to the roots to get rid of the cyanide I don't know.

We think perhaps the packaging was not as airtight as it should have been because these crisps were a bit stale. And thus not as nice as they might have been. But we were surprised that they seem quite indistinguishable from ordinary potato crisps.

Quite interesting and definitely worth a try if you happen to be in the country of origin.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Candy Cane Hand Cooked Potato Crisps

Candy Cane flavour crisps? What does that mean? Well, to people of my generation candy canes were things we only saw in Tom & Jerry cartoons (The Night Before Christmas probably features candy canes) and maybe fancy sweetie shops if you were lucky. These days you can buy them all over the place; I saw some in John Lewis the other day, but I've never owned or tried one. So I can only suppose they are mint flavoured.

So this is a mint flavoured potato crisp. Is it a limited edition to make you want it? No-one wants to suffer FOMO. Or is it a limited edition because Tescos got cold feet and thought it wouldn't sell? I hope not because I see that 100% of profits from the sale of this crisp go to the Trussell Trust which co-ordinates a nationwide network of food banks, and Fareshare which is a charity aimed at reducing food waste and relieving food poverty. Both great causes to support as many people these days struggle to feed their families.

And the crisps? Well by no means as weird as you might think. The mint is quite a delicate flavour and works with the crisps better then you might suppose. Nice crunch too. Give them a try and see what you think.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

TGI Fridays Crunchy Fries Snacks Extreme Heat

I've got to admit I was a little dubious about this packet of crispy chip sticks because the flavour seems to be "extreme heat" and I'm not the world's biggest fan of heat.

But yet again we learn never to judge a packet of crisps by its cover. These are great. At least I thought so. The reluctant taste testers were, I admit, a bit less enthusiastic than I was. And one of them randomly complained that the mix of chilli and cheese flavours was confusing. What? How does that work?

I thought the taste was pleasantly hot, but not too hot, and a little bit cheesy but not too much, and the crunch was crispy and just right. And what could be better than that?

What indeed. Yes, please, I'll have another one.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Tayto Cheese & Onion (from Republic of Ireland)

Well now, the reluctant taste testers have tried Tayto crisps before but what I had not appreciated was that the crisps we tried were not the genuine article. At least they were... but they were Tayto as recommended by Tall taste tester who comes from Northern Ireland and were purchased at Tesco and Fortnum & Mason.

This packet of Tayto crisps was kindly purchased in the Republic of Ireland by Cliffs of Moher taste tester, a native of Southern Ireland, possibly even a native of County Clare, which is not at all the same thing as Tayto crisps bought in the UK.

And I gather that your genuine Irish crisps are a vastly superior product.

I'm not sure I'm going to comment on that for fear of causing a rift in Anglo-Irish relations which is possible at any time (and I won't say more than that). However, I am prepared to say that this is a very tasty Cheese & Onion, a very nice finely cut crisp with a light crunch.
Deary me though! Cliffs of Moher taste tester has a lot to learn. Although she put out a bowl of crisps in the kitchen; she threw the packet away before I had the chance to document it. I had to wash off a load of coffee grounds. Pah!
I rather like the little graphic on the back of the packet which I think shows Mr Tayto visiting Tayto Park.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Ardens Bites Goats Cheese & Black Pepper

Wow! Pepper pepper pepper. Very peppery indeed. I suppose because everything is chock full of chilli these days, people tend to forget that plain old fashioned  black pepper is really quite hot too, very hot if you use enough. White pepper too.

I was interested to try a goats cheese flavoured crispy snack, but I think I'm going to be disappointed. I don't think I can taste any goats cheese. And interestingly mystery "cheeses" are on the list of ingredients before goats cheese. There's also dried lovage which is unusual (and lucky thing I didn't know before I ate them because lovage tastes of celery and I don't eat celery), and poppy seed (scattered on the top), plus some ingredients I'd sooner not see like glucose syrup and palm oil.

Oven baked pastry nibbles; a lovely crunchy crispy snack with hardly any breakages. Very nice. But undeniably peppery.

Although you do get used to the pepper, the more you eat the less the pepperiness. Nice though. The Chef and I ate them all between us. The reluctant taste testers didn't get a look in.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

TGI Fridays Jalapeño Poppers Cheddar Cheese

Who knew TGI Fridays made crispy snacks? Actually I did. We tried TGI Fridays Potato Skins back in February of this year. But that was shortly before I got ill so perhaps I have an excuse for not really remembering. And apparently Mr Tesco knows too because that's where I found this packet of cheesy chilli crispy snacks.
I'm not sure I would describe this crispy snack as "snack sticks" as the packet does, but they are pretty tasty. Very chilli if that's a thing and with a great texture. Quite nice, the reluctant taste testers and I thought.

I notice these are called Jalapeño Poppers, and then in a different place on the packet Cheddar Cheese. I wonder if there are Jalapeño Poppers... some other flavours? Interesting.
Anyway, definitely worth a try if you spot them in a shop - or perhaps they sell them in branches of TGI Fridays. I don't know. I haven't been in one since ....erm... 1993. 

How can you remember these things, you cry? Well, it was the first time I visited Dear Friend in Buffalo and back then I wasn't supposed to eat/drink citrus fruits but I had a cocktail which I think involved orange juice, cream, and vodka. Does that sound right? No idea what we ate. Possibly due to the vodka. But I do not remember any crispy snack. 

Not bad.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Kettle Discoveries press ad

Well, I missed the opportunity to check out Kettles Discoveries at Taste of London, but I do have this advertisement alerting me to the new (not sure how new) packaging and some interesting crisp flavours.

The reluctant taste testers and I have tried the Gressingham Duck crisps which used to be called Chef's Signature. I see we tried them in January of this year. I thought it was longer ago than that. Memory can play tricks on you can't it.

And the Yorkshire Wensleydale crisps too (also previously Chef's Signature). That was in August this year. But they've both been rebranded obviously quite recently. Hmm.

However, I haven't seen the New York Deli flavour... and you can bet I long to find the Salted Caramel and Double Cream. Can't quite decide if they are going to be really amazing or quite the reverse. Apparently we just can't get enough of salted caramel as a flavour and it has invaded everything. Salted caramel chocolate (obviously), salted caramel tea, salted caramel vodka, salted caramel mousse, salted caramel cupcakes, salted caramel sauce .... and now salted caramel crisps. Here's hoping I can find some eh?

I do hope I can find a packet. Might trip over the New York Deli with Pastrami & Dill Pickle too. You never know.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Ardens Twists Gruyère & Spinach

According to the back of the packet, the people at Ardens found a similar crispy snack on a trip to Switzerland; possibly Gruyère, which after all was a place before it became a cheese. There's a socking great castle for a start and I have long wanted to visit it. But do take care when looking for it online. I searched Gruyère and got images of the Château de Gruyère ✅, Schloss Thun❎, the Château de Chillon❎, and a bridge in Lucerne❌. At least the first three are castles.

These are quite big, quite twisty twists, not too chunky, quite crispy and with an intriguing ribbon of green in the twist. That'll be the spinach then.

And I was pleased to see that although there were a few breakages most of the twists were still as long as the makers intended. I know it affects the taste not at all, but any snack works better without too many broken bits.

The Chef and I tried a few. We both thought they tasted a little green (which isn't nasty but isn't a top compliment) so I took most of the packet in to work for the reluctant taste testers to try. A great success! The reluctant taste testers liked them much more than I did and the bowlful didn't last long. Which just goes to show you shouldn't necessarily rely on one person's opinion.

Tall taste tester snagged another twist as he walked past, "Nice," he said briefly.

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