Thursday, 29 September 2016

Carrefour Crackers

Weirdly this crispy snack is sold on the same shelf as the salted crackers, and the sesame or bacon or pizza flavour crackers, but it doesn't have a flavour. Or… not an advertised flavour.
And to be honest I only bought it because the crackers are shaped like lions and elephants, crocodiles and hippos, tortoises and um…. what is that that says "gloups!!" exactly? It's hard to say when half your animal is hidden behind important calorie information. And do you know of any animal that says "gloups"? Even in French?

There is a fish-shaped cracker but I'm not convinced fish say anything very much.

These are nice little crispy biscuits, very lightly salted. They don't taste of much but somehow are very appealing and you probably will end up having another. And very likely revert to childhood and bite the head off first. The lion cracker is particularly well designed for this activity!

Do you suppose these are anything like the animal crackers Shirley Temple sang about in her soup?

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Carrefour Crackers Emmental

And yet another little crispy biscuit from the supermarket outside Reims. Really, the French appetite for little crispy snacks must be enormous! And don't you think they're a very odd shape? These little crispy snacks rather remind me of the London 2012 logo. OK, just me then.

Another deliciously lightly salted, lightly cheesy crispy crunchy cracker-type snack. Very nice. Some machine has gone to a lot of trouble to scatter grated emmental cheese over the top of these oddly shaped crackers and they are all the prettier for it. But not a whole lot cheesier.

However, this is rather a nice snack (one of so many available in France these days) and the reluctant taste testers and I enjoyed them.

You know, it's a lot more difficult to write interesting stuff about crispy snacks that are rather nice. They aren't horrible so you can't be scathing and mean. They aren't superb so you can't go into raptures. They're just... rather nice. Yes, I'd finish this little box of slightly cheesy snacks. So would most of the taste testers. Might be a little more exciting with a glass of wine but I wouldn't bet on it. 

Carrefour is a giant supermarket chain with branches all over France, possibly in Belgium? I've not been to Belgium (through it on the train in the middle of the night in 1979ish but I was asleep), and I'm sure there was a big branch on Mallorca. Anyway they seem to be working really hard on their crispy snacks. Good for them. Can't wait for my next visit!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

M&S Spirit of Summer Chipotle Chilli Coated Cashews

Well you probably noticed I don't usually write about nuts but here's a packet that made it into the office last week.

Cashew nuts coated with chipotle chilli. Not what I would normally buy for myself but certainly very tasty. Rather good in fact. This is a small packet and the nuts are in a very large bowl.

Definitely worth a try.

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Giving Tree Strawberry Crisps

Strawberry crisps? Well, no, not really. Although this is a crispy snack. More of a crunchy snack perhaps.

Because I didn't read the label I was sort of expecting slices of strawberry, perhaps oven dried and rather chewy. What I got was whole strawberries looking quite surprisingly strawberry-like and freeze dried. Kind of astronaut food.

They certainly look pretty. And are very crunchy. And I do mean very crunchy. A little bit like Edinburgh Rock, a little bit how I imagine biting into a lump of chalk would feel and if you aren't careful when you crunch in you get a cloud of strawberry dust and there may be a lot of coughing involved.

Anyone else remember GloZell and the Cinnamon Challenge? OK, so that's an extreme example and we certainly didn't get that sort of reaction to our taste test but I think perhaps Tech taste tester laughed at the wrong moment. GloZell has her own Wiki page but that's another story.

Apparently if you managed to eat the entire packet (about 8 strawberries) it would constitute one of your five a day. I think I'll stick to real strawberries. With cream, obviously. However, if you fancy giving these crispy crunchy strawberries a try, Tell Elegant taste tester found this packet in the local health food store.

Bizarrely made in Thailand... because we don't grow strawberries in this country do we?
Oh sweet little thing, just where do I start?
This magical fruit that's shaped like a heart.
It's great on its own or topped up with cream.
On top of a scone, it's a tea party dream.
The Giving Tree has plucked this fruit from the vine.
With love, from the earth, a small taste of sunshine. Says the packet.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Vico Monster Munch Goût Spicy

Petits monstres salés au bon goût de pomme de terres says the packet. And yet the flavour is not salted but spicy.
This is a very nice extruded potato snack. Lovely light and bubbly texture, and lovely spicy taste that gets spicier the more you eat.

The reluctant taste testers liked these a lot, the Chef liked these, I liked these too. Yup, a pretty good result here. We liked this crispy snack. It's nothing fancy - just rather good. Worked for us so why not give it a go if you are in France?

No idea why Vico Monster Munch snacks are shaped like ghosts but there you are.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Highlander Kiss My BBQ! (Gusto Barbecue)

The Chef and I have tried the Black Pepper Forever! and Tomato or Nothing! flavour crisps from Highlander. We discovered them at Italian railway stations and found them tasty, indeed pretty much irresistible. Especially the tomato flavour.
So when Noble Friend went to Rome for a family do I asked her to look out for a packet of Highlander crisps for the reluctant taste testers to try. Which she duly did. And the reluctant taste testers found this barbecue crinkle cut crisp really very good.
I quite liked them too and I'm not usually mad about BBQ/barbecue as a flavour. In fact sometimes I find it downright horrible. but not here.
Lovely crunch, nice rich colour and a very nice taste.
Sadly these crisps are no longer made in Scotland but for some strange reason Italian crisp giant San Carlo finds it a good plan to market these crisps with guys wearing kilts. Weird isn't it? But easily recognisable.
Highlander crisps: crunchy and brave!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Bénénuts Apéro Cracks Fin & Fondants Sésame Pavot

Another little crispy snack to go with your aperitif. The apéro market seems to be big business in France these days: a tasty little morsel to go with your evening drink as opposed to a packet of crisps that you might munch down at any moment. At least, I guess that's the distinction. And the apéro usually comes in a little cardboard box with the crispy snack in a foil bag, while crisps come.... in a crisp packet. Oh the technicalities of the crispy snack market!

And this is a very little morsel. A crispy crunchy morsel but really very small. And sort of... lip-shaped. A bit unusual that. I can't think of another word for the shape but maybe there is a technical term for this shape that I haven't come across.

The mix of sesame and poppy seeds seemed to taste slightly more of sesame - but not overwhelmingly so. And then I thought maybe they tasted more of poppy seeds. These little biscuits have a nice crunch, and are not as sweet as many of this style of biscuit. They don't actually taste of very much... but in a very pleasant way. And you will find yourself having another.
The reluctant taste testers quite liked them and so the I, and the Chef too.

Bénénuts seems to be owned by Pepsico France. Wow, Pepsico owns a lot of companies. I wonder if they ever lose track?

Monday, 19 September 2016

Zenhäusern Freres Croustilles de Sion

Oh dear. What a disappointment.

These crispy snacks are made by a really wonderful bakery in Sion. In Switzerland. And sold in local supermarkets as well as the bakery itself. Marketed as a fabulous local delicacy made using marine de seagull - NO! computer that should be farine de seigle - with which the fabulous local bread Pain de Seigle is made, and raclette de Valais AOP, which is a great local cheese.

And? And basically this is a little packet of highly priced very small slices of very finely sliced brown bread. And not very cheesy with it. But a bit crispy.

So really rather disappointing. Very unexciting. Which is a shame, because everything else the Chef and I have tried from this cafe; sandwiches, tartes au citron, chocolates... simply delicious.

Well I guess you can't have everything.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

John & John Hand Cooked Aspall Cyder Vinegar Potato Crisps

Here's an interesting crisp. Looks English, made in the UK, owned by a German company and bought in France. Who'd have thought?

I promised the Chef I wouldn't buy any more crisps after the tonne I picked up in Rheims but really, how could I resist? Although it did seem strange discovering this crisp in the middle of Burgundy.

What a lovely crisp. A little thicker cut than mass produced brands as artisan crisps often are, this Cyder Vinegar flavour is beautifully delicate; nothing like as strong as many salt & vinegar flavours. And I gather from Tech taste tester that Aspall Cyder is rather good. He tells me he rather likes it, and  Aspall also make Cyder Vinegar.

Well the reluctant taste testers approved of these crisps. Even Senior taste tester who doesn't usually like salt & vinegar as a flavour.

Lovely packaging design. Although what an elephant has to do with cider vinegar I have no idea!

I thought the brand was called John John but it seems that the anchor on the packet is standing in for an & sign. So John & John it is. I think. You can read a bit about these crisps on Chips & Crisps  or here on John Crisps. If I need to try more flavours perhaps I should be heading for Germany?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Carrefour Crackers Gout Pizza

I must say that the reluctant taste testers and I really enjoyed this crispy snack, but we wouldn't call it a cracker. Crackers are flat aren't they? Crackers are for loading up with cheese or a dip. This is a tasty morsel of crunchy deliciousness but not a cracker.

But enough nitpicking about nomenclature. This is a very tasty crispy snack with a just-right crunch and a pretty good pizza taste. A little bit cheesy, quite a lot herby, the streusel style topping is very nice indeed. 

Along with all the reluctant taste testers I liked this snack from French supermarket Carrefour a lot. Delicious. 

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