Wednesday, 24 August 2016

M&S Red Pepper Pitta Chips

So somebody or other bought a packet of M&S Red Pepper Pitta Chips and left it in the kitchen at work. This was about 3 weeks ago. I asked everyone who owned the packet - not because I wanted to try (because I really dislike red peppers) but because I am nosy. And no-one admitted ownership.

However, this morning Tall taste tester said it might have been him. Sometimes he does his shopping, puts most of it into the fridge until home time, but leaves his crispy snacks (if any) on the side because let's be honest; you don't file your crispy snacks in a fridge.

Anyway, we thought we'd open the packet and apologise to the real owner should they ever come forward. Seriously, it's a small office: I think everyone has had the chance to claim ownership if they wanted to.

Here's the interesting thing: I really don't like pitta chips, and I actively dislike red peppers, but I really rather enjoyed this crispy snack. They almost qualify for a yum!

My photograph somehow fails to show just exactly how fabulously red these pitta chips are, and I don't think the pack sot does them justice either. A hard crunch as always with pitta chips, and a very tasty covering of red pepper flavour dust.

A lot better than I expected so (given my prejudices) you might enjoy them a lot.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ha'emek Snacks Bugsy Falafel Wheat Snack

What a tiny packet of crispy snacks! It's about 4.5" square! And only 20g. In fact, it's so tiny I wonder if this packet wasn't created specially to go in children's party bags. And I hope I have the name correct as I do not have the assistance of Giraffe Fan taste tester just now. If you know better; let me know.

The Graffiti Artist (who happens to be staying this week) really likes the design of this packet; he thinks it's great, but wants to know why it's called Bugsy.... not Buddy. Because don't you think this little guy in glasses looks a lot like Buddy Holly?

Anyhow, these weird little worm-style crispy snacks taste a lot like falafels. Which is great because that's what they're supposed to taste like. They really have quite a hard crunch but are weirdly moreish. The Tall taste tester was quite taken with them.

Do you suppose worm-style is a technical term? I wonder what crisp technicians call this sort of snack?

Monday, 22 August 2016

Golden Fluff Potato Flutes Onion Garlic Flavour

Ooh this is a tiny packet of crisps. 14g is a lot less than you might think, but I always reckon a small packet is good to try if you can. No point in trying a massive packet and hating it. Although we have tried Golden Fluff Ketchup flavour with was pretty good so I had high hopes for this flavour.

A gentle oniony/garlicky flavour and a nice crunch. This is a very pleasant crispy snack. I've got to say, you really don't get many of these potato flutes for your 14g, but pretty good though!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Burton's Daily Fish'n'Chips Brown Sauce

Noble Friend spotted this little packet of crispy fish and chip shaped snacks and thought.... hmm,, I don't think we're tried this flavour. And she was right. We haven't.

And, erm, well..... well I'm not quite sure what to say. These little biscuitty snacks are always rather sweet. The biscuits are sweet before you add any flavour. Or so it seems. And the Brown Sauce flavour is sweet and fruity and vinegary. What you end up with smells irresistibly of mince pies. And pretty much taste of mince pies too.

For those not in the know you make a little pie crust and fill it with mincemeat and eat it at Christmas. It's a traditional Christmas delicacy in the UK. In the olden days mince pies were made with meat: hence mincemeat. I guess as Christmas is in the middle of winter all the spices and fruits like cinnamon and raisins and grated apples were a way of disguising the taste of the meat which probably wasn't very fresh. Now of course we have freezers, and can feed more livestock through the winter, so we have access to fresh meat at any time of year.... and although a proper mince pie recipe should include suet, you can also find vegetarian versions.

Never had a mince pie? Not had the chance to try this crispy snack? Let me help you to a mince pie recipe. This is a vegetarian recipe for mince pies from Mary Berry, but here's one that's more traditional from BBC Good Food.

So to me, this crispy snack tasted and smelled so much of a mince pie I could hardly credit it. Interesting. But I should point out I have never tried Brown Sauce. So I don't know what it tastes of, but here's a Wiki page to help me out.

From the packet it looks as though Burton's have pitted the Brown Sauce flavour against a Red Sauce flavour. Perhaps. Because I can't find anything about this on the Burton's website. However, if I ever looked at Twitter....

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bagel Bagel Falafel Flavour Snack

The other day Noble Friend went to one of the local kosher supermarkets in search of smoked salmon. And in said kosher supermarket she discovered a whole wall of exciting kosher and Israeli crispy snacks the reluctant taste testers and I have yet to try. Amazing!

And nobly Noble Friend took me by the hand on a thrilling excursion to the kosher supermarket. A journey of exploration. It's only 10 minutes walk from work but, well, it's a whole nother experience from the supermarkets I usually shop at.

Wow! Well worth battling the mystery labels in Hebrew lettering. I came away with a bagful of crispy purchases, and here's the first one we have tried. 
I had to ask Giraffe Fan taste tester to help me out here as I neither speak nor read Hebrew. And it turns out that she knows more than she admits to. I took her rough translations to google translate and translated them back and forth between English and Hebrew. And lo! it turns out that we were trying falafel flavour snacks. OK, that was written in English, but the name of the maker wasn't.
Really falafelly. I liked the taste a lot, as did a number of the reluctant taste testers. And I love the shape. These little puffed flower shapes are like nothing I have seen before. What a handsome design for a crispy snack. And we have at least 3 more flavours to try.

If you fancy trying a mystery kosher snack, check out your local kosher supermarket. You never know what exciting treats you may discover.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Lorenz Crunchips Spare Ribs Roasted Geschamck

Taste the Adventure! says the packet in great big "wild west" style writing. Neu!

So we have here a new crisp flavour from Germany (the last packet of Crunchips I tried came from Poland - or I was pretty sure they did) but these crinkle cut crisps are German.

And what do Lorenz think their German snacking audience will like? Spare Ribs flavour. Roasted spare ribs, so not a barbecue flavour.

Entdecke ein Stuck Freiheit und Deine Lust  am Abenteuer mit den neuen CRUNCHIPS ROASTED: Deftiger Wellenschnitt und herrlicher Grillgeseschmack von herzhaft marinierten Spare Ribs. Probiere auch Chrunchips Roasted Smoky Paprika und BBQ Sauce!

Discover a piece of freedom and your desire for adventure with the new Crunchips ROASTED: Hearty shaft section and delightful barbeque Gese taste of hearty marinated spare ribs. Try also Chrunchips Roasted Smoky Paprika and BBQ sauce!

Not quite sure that google translate has exactly the meaning of this blurb on the back of the packet, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Dutch taste tester, Tech, and Slightly Red Haired Bristolian rather enjoyed this crispy crunchy crinkle cut crisp. I was expecting Tech taste tester to be a fan as I know he really enjoys meaty crisps. He said he wasn't sure he could detect roasted spare ribs here, but was happy to eat quite a lot of the packet.

And me? To be honest, and I'm sure you will find this weird because I certainly do, I found this crisp reminded me of new shoes.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Peat's Sour Cream & Onion

I've been wanting to write about these crisps for a while now but I haven't been close enough to the TV to check them out properly.

Sorry? Close enough to the TV?

Yup. Jonathan Cole (played by Scott Wolf) is a recurring baddie in Season 9 of NCIS who is presented as an ex-special forces operative who will stop at nothing to murder anyone who gets in his way. There's a whole webpage devoted to this character. It's a complicated plot I have never really got my head around but obviously he is, in the end, outwitted by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and carted off to prison forever.

And at the end of the Season, NCIS is battling Harper Dearing, maddened by the death of his son in an accident on board a US Navy vessel, who will stop at less than nothing to draw attention to his grievance. Cue many explosions and a number of dead bodies.

So in Season 9 Episode 24 Till Death Do Us Part, the season finale, Gibbs springs Cole from prison to help out with the Harper Dearing problem (played by Richard Schiff - Toby Ziegler from The West Wing), and in his first scene Cole is shown enthusiastically snacking on this packet of Peat's crisps. Mmmn, he says [crunch, crunch], Sour Cream & Onion, it's true that everything taste better on the outside.

OK, so NCIS uses a lot of fake brands one way and another, like Caf-Pow! (not Coca Cola nor Pepsi) to which Abby is seriously addicted,  and Beltway Burger (not sure if that is supposed to be Burger King or McDonalds or what) from where Gibbs' and Fornell's ex wife's third husband Victor (are you following this?) is abducted late one night in Season 9 Episode 7.

Oh, and Gibbs does not drink Starbucks coffee but a brand labelled Hot Fresh Coffee although the cup does have a distinctly Starbucks look.

So we're not talking about a a real packet of crisps then?

No. Sadly not. But I was watching yet another repeat of NCIS this weekend and was close enough to the TV screen (and paying close enough attention) to take in more information about these crisps than previously. Often I only listen to an episode I know well and that's not helpful if you want to check out the brand of crisps most favoured by NCIS agents.

I can't find an image of these pretend crisps anywhere online, so instead here is a photo of Scott Wolf as Jonathan Cole. Wouldn't it be fun if someone were to produce these crisps for NCIS fans to try? They might be rather good. You never know.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Good Boy Pawsley & Co Large Chewy Braid Yummy Beef

I have to say that I am not convinced that this here is a crispy snack. I'm pretty certain it's more of a chewy.... chew. But do admit it is rather a handsome chewy... chew.
Noble Friend tells me that this doggy snack is taste tester Honey's absolute favourite. And therefore this snack should be advertised to the world.

OK then. To please Noble Friend. Taste tester Honey has a problem with her joints. Not sure if it is rheumatism or arthritis or what, but Honey needs regular physiotherapy which she does not enjoy. This chewy snack is so highly recommended because it keeps Honey occupied while her therapist works on whatever problem it is. There is, it seems, nothing that occupies taste tester Honey like this chewy chew.
If I tell you that the packaging shown here is only about ¾ of the original length, and Honey gets through about ½ a chew per physio session, you will see why Noble Friend (and Honey) are so keen on this product.

If you are a taste testing dog try this now. If you're a human, perhaps not.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Magicorn Eazy Pop Microwave Popcorn Butter

Just for a change I thought the reluctant taste testers might like to try microwave popcorn. Butter flavour. And it is fun to stand by the microwave listening to the pops, waiting for the popping to run down and almost stop so you know it's time to whip the bag out and open it gently. Yum!
The trouble with microwave popcorn is that you get a vast pile of it all at once, and if you don't eat it quickly and while it's hot, somehow you lose the attraction of having gone to the trouble of sticking a packet into the microwave.

The packet says perfectly popped in minutes! And it was. Very nice properly popped popcorn, lightly salted and not too much butter. So probably better for you than one with masses of butter dripping all over... although I do like too much butter myself.

Proper popcorn should have a light almost velvety texture and squeak when you bite it. This does. It's not a brand I have ever seen before but I might just try the other flavours. Very nice.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Walkers Doritos Spicy Salsa

The Dutch taste tester discovered this packet of Spicy Salsa Doritos at her local Tesco and donated them to the cause which was very generous of her.

This is of course the opposing crisp flavour to Doritos Ultimate Cheeseburger flavour which the reluctant taste testers and I tried the other day. You are supposed to vote for one or the other flavour, and one will disappear forever.

And what did we think? Well, it seemed to the reluctant taste testers that Spicy Salsa is a much better flavour for Doritos than Ultimate Cheeseburger flavour. We loved the Ultimate Cheeseburger flavour but felt it would be better used on a crisp. I took the remains of the Cheeseburger Doritos home with me and tried again. And really loved the Cheeseburger flavour. But I cannot deny I think the flavour would work better on a crisp, maybe a crinkle cut crisp, than on a corn chip.

And Spicy Salsa? Rather tomatoey. In fact these corn chips taste rather as though they have already been dipped in a spicy tomatoey.... dip. Built in dip said the Tall taste tester. Yup, we felt that these Doritos definitely tasted as though they were flavoured with a spicy tomatoey dip.

A lovely corn chip crunch, a wonderful deep orange colour and lots of flavour dust.... but.

I had a bit of a row with the Chef about this flavour and the Ultimate Cheeseburger flavour version. He really preferred the Ultimate Cheeseburger flavour and said he didn't care what sort of crisp that flavour came on - it wouldn't effect his view of the flavour. OK. That's his opinion.

And you know what? I agree. The Cheeseburger is a great flavour. The Spicy Salsa is not.

But I suspect the Spicy Salsa flavour will win. Because it works really well on a corn chip. But you can build yourself a Spicy Salsa dip really easily. Why would you want your dip flavour dictated to you by your crisp manufacturer?

Hey! maybe I fancy a banana dip (not really) or a haggis dip (probably not) and I'd far rather dip the regular Dorito into my banana/haggis dip than a Spicy Salsa Dorito.

Come on Doritos. What's this about?
Unfortunately I have to report that Dutch taste tester did not win a trip to either Mexico or New York.