Thursday, 11 January 2018

Tesco Finest Smoky Barbecue Pulled Pork Hand Cooked Potato Crisps

How times have changed. Back in September 2014 the reluctant taste testers and I tried a Pulled Pork crisp from Walkers which I described as "exotic"!
These days of course pulled pork is everywhere and may indeed have already passed its peak. Peak pulled pork? Who can say? Food fads zoom past so quickly these days I feel I hardly have time to keep up.

The trouble is, my poor mother was brought up in a household where rice was used in a pudding or not at all; pasta was viewed with deep suspicion (another pudding ingredient perhaps?) and bananas reserved for adults only. It's hard to escape such crippling conservatism but when we moved to North London we had access to an unlimited supply of proper salamis and other cold meats from a genuine Jewish deli. A lucky escape from the luminous orange salami sold by the butcher by the bus station in Southampton next to the sinister brawn and chitterlings. No other butcher in the city sold salami at all.

And so I got stuck in the glory of European food; never really felt the need to move on to Asian, or even American cuisine, and it does hold you back a bit if you don't eat fish or seafood.

So anyway, back to the pulled pork. Which now seems quite a normal flavour for a packet of crisps. Partly because in the last few years crisp flavours have got more and more complicated - or bonkers.

So what did the reluctant taste testers and I think? A good meaty aroma of barbecue, a good crunch, lots of flavour dust and the savoury taste of slow-cooked pulled pork basted in a smoky Southern-style barbecue sauce so says the packet. Quite a lot of flavour; really quite testy.

I don't think the flavour is really individual enough to stand out from lots of other meaty crisps but you might feel differently.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

M&S Spirit of Summer Lamb Kofta & Yogurt Hand Cooked Crisps

In the middle of June I went into the office to talk about going back to work a couple of hours at a time. And I took in a packet of crisps I bought at the M&S branch next to the Royal Free Hospital because I gathered that all the reluctant taste testers were suffering terrible crispy snack deprivation.
Dutch taste tester said she'd already tried this crisp and it wasn't bad. And it isn't bad. It just doesn't taste of lamb. Or lamb kofta. Or yoghurt. So that's a shame; unless you don't fancy the idea of Lamb Kofta flavour crisps. In which case why would you buy this packet in the first place?

So here's a photograph of the summery packaging. I guess I wasn't as well as I thought I was back in June. Still not fully recovered (although lots better) and bright enough to wonder why this half eaten packet of crisps was sitting around. Well wonder no more.. because here we are. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

KP Snacks Penn State Pretzels Sour Cream & Chive

I wandered in to speak to Tech taste tester while he was eating his lunch and found he was feasting, all on his own, on a packet of sour cream & chive mini pretzels.
I don't usually buy pretzel-style crispy snacks.... although I don't really know why not. And in this case what a mistake. Because this is a lovely tasty snack; lots of sour cream & chive flavour dust chucked over a pile of crispy little pretzels. 

I only had the one, because this was part of Tech taste tester's lunch, but I was quite impressed.

My only real issue is that all the flavour dust gets eaten first however hard you try, and then there's nothing but a small biscuitty twirl or shards of same; depending how hard you've crunched.

A fine crunch at lunch and perhaps something to try again in the New Year (which as I write has not yet arrived).
I see the reluctant taste testers and I tried the Original Sea Salt version of this crispy snack back in January 2016. I also see we quite enjoyed it.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Bobby's Spirals Prawn Cocktail

Back in the summer the Graffiti Artist recommended Bobby's crisps to me.
Graffiti Artist tells me Bobby's are big in the North (he's a professional Mancunian so perhaps not in the real North) and top quality. I thought he might have forgotten he promised to parcel some up for my Christmas present, and it turns out I was right; but I wasn't certain of that when I saw some packets in the local Post Office (first time I've ever seen them) so I bought a couple to see what all the fuss was about.

Prawn Cocktail. And spirals. I love a spiral crispy snack so despite not being a mad keen prawn cocktail fan I bought these anyway.

They're twisted! says the vribant pink packaging and Big Name Snacks... they're class acts! Well, I hope I manage to track down some Snax or Beef Grills as shown on the back of this packet. They look interesting.

There is nothing fishy about this tasty crispy snack (a point in their favour thought Tall taste tester), more of a sort of vinegary tomato ketchup flavour. A little bit too much vinegar perhaps but I think most of the reluctant taste testers rather enjoyed this spirally snack.

Pretty good we thought.

One of the taste testers asked me who owns Bobby's?  Apparently Bobby's Foods plc of Bromsgrove. A proper British company then. Family owned perhaps?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Pret a Manger Vegetable Crisps Parsnip, Sweet Potato & Beetroot

I don't normally buy vegetable crisps because there are simply so many potato snacks of all kinds that life seems too short to branch out into vegetable snacks. I mean, I've posted about 800 mostly potatoey crispy snacks. Seriously 800? That seems an awful lot doesn't it?
Yup. Just boasting. And you know what? I really haven't scratched the surface of available crispy snacks.

Well, I may not buy vegetable based crispy snacks but Tall Elegant taste tester doesn't follow my rules and she picked up this packet when she rushed out to Brent Cross at lunchtime. You've got to eat lunch after all, and I was pleased to try a sample of her choice.

I think I tried a bit of parsnip. It was wonderfully tasty. Nicely crunchy and pleasantly salted. Very nice indeed. And Tall Elegant taste tester thought this was a pretty good packet of (not actually) crisps.

Pret a Manger crisps are usually vepppaand (what do you suppose my iPad meant here? I have forgotten what I wrote yesterday and am quite baffled at this weird word!) Tall Elegant taste tester and I decided this was no exception. (No. No clue what we decided.)

Well, baffled by the above I may be, but there's still time to tell you that the packaging here is tip top. Very simple, very clever. Very handsome snail.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Tesco Finest Strawberry & Dark Chocolate Popcorn with a Kick of Black Pepper

Good Heavens! I nearly forgot to write up this strawberry and dark chocolate popcorn. And now all I have left is the empty packet. However, before the packet was empty you could see the popcorn through  a clear circle in the front of the packet.

What did I think? Not bad. Not totally to my taste; I like the chocolate and the pepper but I wasn't so sure about the strawberry; but the popcorn is good. Not spoiled with loads of sharp corn skin. You know? When the popcorn hasn't popped properly and hasn't all gone wonderfully fluffy and light. You'd be surprised how much popcorn the reluctant taste testers and I have tried that had far too many nasty sharp bits.

I think some of the reluctant taste testers were quite taken with this popcorn, and the Chef seems to have been keen too. I always try to bring some of the crispy snack home for him to try. Sometimes the remains get eaten, sometimes not, and in this case all I have left is an empty packet. I asked what he thought? "It was good, tasty", he tells me. "Some bits had too much chocolate on. But that's just a moan."
So a minor moan there, but no popcorn left. And seriously though: too much chocolate? I never heard the Chef complain about that before. I think a very picky Chef managed to finish this popcorn with hand-drizzled Belgian dark chocolate despite his niggly complaint.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Yorkshire Crisps Luxury Handcooked Crisps Roast Lamb & Mint

Well, Noble Friend's Antique Dealer friend (who has never met me or any of the other reluctant taste testers) went to Harrogate. And having been present at so many of Noble Friend's mad crisp buying excursions was inspired to buy us a tub of Yorkshire Crisps. And that was awfully kind.

I was thrilled because I've tried a load of Yorkshire Crisp flavours and they've almost all been great. Some but not all have made it through to the reluctant taste testers but we've had a bit of a cast change recently (like when Miss Ellie on Dallas was suddenly acted by someone else) so not everyone remembers. And perhaps they won't want to.

Because we think this is a dire crisp flavour. Oh dear. Yorkshire Crisps Chardonnay Wine Vinegar for example we thought was a great crisp. And the Lightly Salted? Pretty damned fabulous, I mean a seriously great crisp; a world class crisp. So what happened here?

Oh dear. Not nice.

Nasty and greasy. And I don't think there was a flaw in the packaging which seemed properly sealed. Nobody liked this crisp. So we threw them all away.

That's a shame. Sorry chaps.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Tesco Finest Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Another Sea Salt and Black Pepper crisp. It's a good simple flavour, invented relatively recently but none the worse for that, and this is a pretty good example. Salt. And black pepper. A combo that usually works very well.

Not complicated but tasty. I'm sure this particular version would work brilliantly with a sour cream and chive dip (or any other dip for that matter). And I reckon you could probably heat it in the oven as an accompaniment to a turkey and stuffing sandwich.  We don't have turkey, but it would work well with chicken and bread sauce I'm sure.

Sea salt and black pepper crisps and brussels sprouts sandwich? Could be.

Give it a try. Go on. You know you want to.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Tesco Cheese Puffs

The reluctant taste testers and I have tried several versions of this popular cheesy snack now, and I was interested to see how Tesco managed it. 

We've tried Essential Waitrose Cheese Puffs which it seems I rather liked. But do beware. For some reason this product contains wheat flour so not suitable for anyone avoiding gluten or (of course) wheat. We've also tried the Marks & Spencer version Full on Flavour Cheese Tasters which are superb. 

And then, of course, there's the original Cheesy Wotsits. Only they aren't original any more. It really isn't the same when a snack you used to love changed from fired to baked. Sigh. Healthier perhaps, but nothing like so tasty as I remember. Sigh again. I'm not even going to think about Cheetos.

But we mustn't forget the fabulous Kims Ostepops brought back from Scandinavia by the late lamented History Graduate taste tester, No, he's not dead (phew!), just moved on to a different job with a well-known film production company.

So what did we think of these Cheese Puffs? Quite nice I thought. Good texture, good lot of flavour dust. Discerning Architectural taste tester told me she didn't like this style of snack because she doesn't like the orange flavour dust on her fingers; Slightly Red Haired Bristolian was astonished. That's the best bit, she said, the ones at the bottom of the packet have more flavour dust and are the best... and then there's the licking of the finger and poking it into the corner of the packet. Fancy not liking that! And what's more Tall Elegant taste tester agreed.

The flavour here is a little bit "dairy" I thought. A bit buttery. But OK none the worse for that really, and after a couple of puffs the flavour is pretty good. Quite tasty altogether. But there are many good contenders in this crispy snack section. If possible I think I would go for the M&S version or the Ostepops if I could. But don't think I'm turning up my nose at the Tesco version.

I brought some home and the Chef seems to have enjoyed them.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Tesco Soy Broad Beans

A slightly odd crispy snack here, or maybe more of a nutty snack. It's a Tesco take on a Spanish broad bean snack. Which is more like a bag of nuts than a packet of potato crisps. As Senior taste tester said grumpily, "This isn't a crisp".  He's right there.

I think Noble Friend brought in a Spanish version of this Spanish broad bean snack at some stage - which I didn't like. And now she has excitedly contributed the Tesco version. Which I didn't like much either.

But that's just me. Lots of people holiday in Spain, have holiday homes in Spain, visit friends and relations who live in Spain and probably they've all learned to love this typical Spanish snack. I've only been to Mallorca with a boyfriend I dumped immediately after (or did he dump me?) and I didn't really take to all things Spanish. I mean, I don't eat fish and the only typically Mallorcan thing I was shown was a sardine festival and a Catalan dictionary. What do you think?

Anyway, turns out that some of the reluctant taste testers were quite taken with this snack, especially Tech taste tester who I gather ate quite a lot of these tasty slices of broad bean.

Actually I'm not mad for broad beans anyway so possibly I'm not the best person to ask about this snack. I did quite like the taste but not the texture. Noble Friend was baffled when I said I thought it too hard.

And we all thought that Soy Broad Beans was NOT a good name. Would it tempt you? You don't have a friend who loves going to Spain and speaks Spanish and waves a little packet at you "look what I found at Tesco!" to encourage you to try... maybe you wouldn't make the attempt.

Judging from what the reluctant taste testers had to say I think this snack could be a success... with a better name.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...