Monday, 25 March 2019

Regent's Park Lady Chips Poivre Noir

Oh dear. Senior taste tester was very unimpressed that these French crisps are called "Lady Chips".

"Where are the man crisps?",  he asked grumpily. Well, Senior, I'd like to point out that the world is stuffed full of crisps aimed at men. Lots and lots of great big crinkle cut crisps advertised as going well with beer.... you get the picture. Like Walkers Max Strong Jalapeño and Beer perhaps, or the Real McCoy's crisps.

But here we have a small crisp with a gentle crunch and a pleasant taste of black pepper. Nothing fancy, nothing super exciting, just a pleasant tasty crisp. Not necessarily just for ladies.

Check out this blurb from the back of the packet. Did you learn French at school? I did. It didn't include the phrase "le not so bad" but that's modern French for you.


I'm not sure that I'm mad keen on "Lady Chips" as a name for a crisp brand any more than Senior taste tester; it feels a bit patronising doesn't it? The reluctant taste testers and I tried a Lady Chips flavour before: Melange Thai. We weren't that impressed. Not at all sure about the flavour.

But this crisp? Pretty good actually.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Stark Smoki with Fresh Peanuts

I was a bit surprised to find this peanutty snack from Serbia in our local Turkish deli. Actually I really don’t know why because I’ve discovered all sorts of goodies there in the past.

This snack looks exactly as it does on the packet, which is not always the case, and reminded the reluctant taste testers of Bamba, the popular Israeli peanutty snack, beloved by Jewish families everywhere. Or so we were assured by our dear departed (busy being a mother to two very active little boys) Giraffe Fan taste tester who ought to know.

Living as we do in North London we can buy Bamba any day at a selection of supermarkets and delis, and we have tried a Macedonian version, so maybe a peanuty snack is always a good bet in the former Yugoslavia?

I’m also pretty sure we have tasted and approved a French version,  so it’s always a bit of a surprise to the reluctant taste testers that there isn’t a British version of this tasty snack.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Cypressa Rosted and Salted Broad Beans (Habas Fritas)

I really don’t get broad beans.

I don't like fresh broad beans (with or without the outer shell), fresh or frozen, and I definitely don't like fried or roasted broad beans. It's a Spanish snack, probably enjoyed by millions of Spaniards and visitors to Spain, but I don't know. For me they're just too tough. Too hard a bite. Too... not made of peanuts. Which is probably extremely picky because, thinking about it, there's not a lot of difference between broad beans and peanuts.

That's just me though, and personal preferences are often weird. I know that Noble Friend really likes Habas Fritas, and it seems Tall Elegant taste tester liked them too. Possibly other reluctant taste testers , although I have failed to interrogate them all.

This packet of roasted and salted broad beans seemed to hit the spot for reluctant taste testers who aren't me. So why not try them for yourselves?

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Corners Popcorn Crisps Mature Cheddar

Trust Tall Elegant taste tester to come up with yet another crispy snack you never knew existed. She's always going out shopping at lunchtime for lunch (and food for the rabbit which likes fresh garden peas please), and discovering some fancy new crispy snack I never saw before.

Yes, it’s a strangely triangular crispy snack made out of popcorn. Who thought of that? The new shape of popcorn eh? Well, who know?

Not us obviously. I didn't try more than one of this crispy snack because I go home at 2 (just after lunchtime), but I did rather wonder why. Why did anyone think to invent this snack? What's wrong with popcorn that it needs to be squashed into a triangular snack?

I don't think this crispy snack was nasty or anything. I just couldn't really work out why you'd want it.
Great design on the bar code though. I always appreciate a good bar code design (or little guy throwing his rubbish away responsibly).

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Sweet Potato with Cheese Fondue Hand Cooked Vegetable Crisps

Oh dear. What was Mr Tesco thinking?

Tall Elegant taste tester and I took a snap decision to throw these sweet potato crisps away before the rest of the reluctant taste testers had the chance to try. Noble Friend smelled the overpowering... I really hardly know how to describe it... and didn't try to stop us.

These crisps had a far too strong would-be-cheesy taste, and an aroma that pervaded half the office before we had a chance to stop it. And a frankly horrible taste not far off soap. Let’s just say we were very unimpressed. Oh dear.

Tall Elegant taste tester was much more polite than me: she didn't open up the bin and spit hers out.

I’ve got to say that I had my doubts about this flavour when I saw the packet but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so nasty. Perhaps a lucky escape for all of us that this was a limited edition flavour.

The Chef's brother (not technically my brother-in-law but you get the picture) gave me this packet of crisps for Christmas. Impressive! One of the very nastiest crisps the reluctant taste testers and I have tried.

We spend quite a lot of time in Switzerland (lucky us) and have fondue quite often. It never tastes like this.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Camembert with Rosemary Hand Cooked Crisps

No I'm sorry. This flavour is just too weird for me. The crisps smell far too strongly of rosemary (obviously rosemary is in the title so you expect some, but just the same...such a huge waft.. I wasn't expecting that). And a waft of Camembert too.

Seriously, what possessed the crisp development team at Tesco that this combination of flavour was a good idea?

The reluctant taste testers’ Christmas lunch was at a nice little restaurant in Hampstead and featured rosemary bread. Which was simply delicious. To be honest, I could have eaten just the bread (with butter) and been perfectly happy, and pretty well fed. I’d go back for the rosemary bread alone.

But rosemary doesn’t work well here. And the crisps were not popular with the reluctant taste testers. Or me.

Sorry about that, Mr Tesco.


Thursday, 28 February 2019

U Chips Ondulées Poulet Braisé

Another crisp we picked up from the nice little supermarket we discovered while on holiday in France.

Crinkle cut in the fine French fashion, this crisp has a lovely bite. Not a bad braised chicken flavour. I don't know why the French seem to have have braised chicken and the British have roast chicken but it does seem to be the case much of the time. I have had roast chicken several times in France (mostly much nicer than in the UK) , but at least one hotel we stay in regularly replaced the roast with a braised chicken. And I didn't like it as much so that was a shame.

This braised chicken flavour is pleasant. It's not the same as a roast chicken flavour (how do they do that? you wouldn't have thought it was possible to differentiate the flavour on a slice of fried potato). But I think I'd still prefer a roast chicken crisp. But see the previous post for a sensational grilled chicken flavour crisp. And once again we ask ourselves: how do they make them different?

Monday, 25 February 2019

Vico Saveur Poulet Grillé

Oh what a fabulous crinkle cut crisp!

I bought a multi-pack of little 20g bags of Vico crisps at the supermarket in Reims, and this is one of them.

As ever, I was dubious about a meat flavour crisp but I was wrong. And again I was dubious about a chicken flavour crisp but there I was really wrong.

I've tried several chickeny crisps in pursuit of a really great one I remember from years ago. I tried both Walkers chicken flavours a couple of years ago: Simply Roast Chicken and Sensations Roasted Chicken & Thyme. And neither tasted quite right. Frankly the Simply Roast Chicken wasn't very nice at all, and the Sensations flavour is a bit herby.

I have also tried Bret's Poulet Braisé and Lay's Saveur Poulet Rôti. Neither of them nasty. Just not what my taste buds are remembering. Tech taste tester thinks I may be hankering after a Golden Wonder Roast Chicken crisp. I think maybe he's right.

Anyway, this crispy chicken flavour is just superb. Although I'm not convinced you can taste the grilled flavour rather than roast or braised chicken. And the tech taste tester, who is a big fan of meaty flavour crisps, absolutely agrees that this is indeed a top quality crisp. All the taste testers like this a lot, even the Chef who doesn't really care for crinkle cut.

And in a really contrary way... you know I'm always saying that I like to have the option of buying a small packet of crisps? Well, in this case I kind of wish the bag was bigger. Even though the multi-pack had two of this flavour somehow it wasn't quite enough.

I would definitely buy this flavour crisp again.
First published on 9 September 2015 
I think I will give these wonderful crisps another puff because they are very good.

The only person who doesn't like them is Managerial taste tester. Who knows why? Everyone else had forgotten we'd tried them before, and everyone else still liked them a lot. Which I feel is a very good recommendation.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Tiger Sour Cream

This is a brown bag of potato chips with sour cream flavour. Enjoy:-) says the packet.

Tiger, or now they seem to have changed the name to Flying Tiger, sells all sorts of things you didn’t know you needed or maybe didn’t even know existed. I gather it’s a great place for craft supplies or cuddly cacti (yup! Just what you never knew you needed). And apparently sometimes they sell crisps.

Which are very tasty. Tech taste tester was a big fan. He said he really loves sour cream as a crisp flavour. I have to say I didn’t think this crisp tasted of sour cream, it’s more of a very gentle cheese and onion flavour.

Sour cream usually has that strange breathy effect. These crisps don't.

No matter. It’s a very tasty crisp and the reluctant taste testers were pleased to approve. Even Senior taste tester (he’s very picky). A nice crunch too. It’s a good quality crisp.

I bought wooden pig-shaped gift tags as well as a packet of crisps.


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Paul Chardonnay Wine Vinegar

Made in Yorkshire for the French! says the packet, Vive la Pomme de Terre Britannique, as we say in Lille.

Well, that's an interesting departure. I expect these crisps will be available at branches of Paul all over  France; check them out at motorway service stations.

What a great crisp this is. What a great taste. Every single reluctant taste tester tucked in enthusiastically (except Tall Elegant taste testers because she doesn't like vinegar). Even the empty packet smells fabulous.

I often protest that crisp packets are too big. In this case what a shame we only got to enjoy 40g of this lovely crisp.

Thanks very much to Noble Friend for discovering it. Apparently there are two other flavours to try.

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