Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Extra Cheese Flavour Snacks

A thousand thanks to kind Nick, Katy and baby Theo for bringing me crisps from Corfu.

These cheesy puffs are, according to the packaging, made by Chipita SA based in Athens. However, there is no mention of any cheesy snacks on the Chipita website. I can find croissants, strudels, jams, "chocolate products" - actually hazelnut spread mysteriously available in two flavours (I really wish there was more detail about that - are there two different kinds of hazelnut or what?) and other mostly sweet products. Nothing savoury.

Apparently Chipita have production centres in places as far afield as Bulgaria, Mexico and Nigeria, and export to places like Moldova, Azerbaijan and Australia. So they sound like quite a massive company. They have a brand called 7Days which sells in over 35 countries, the website tells me proudly, "Baked to make you Smile". It has strong market position and high awareness levels (allegedly) but unfortunately I have never heard of it. Not spent enough time in Moldova evidently. Or Azerbaijan. Obviously I just haven't lived. Maybe one day....

It's not a very good website, lacking in detail in every direction, not clickable, and liable to change from Greek into English at the drop of a hat and for no reason at all so I didn't glean any information on Extra cheesy puffs. But somebody must make them so we must suppose it's probably Chipita.

Anyway, to the Γαριδάκια με τυρι (crisps with cheese: thanks very much Google translate) which are much like the usual English cheesy puffs only a little tougher perhaps. The taste is very similar, maybe not so strong as you would expect, and the colour, again very similar although perhaps not such a  bright orange. The texture is much the same, with a little less flavour dust (so less of the bright orange finger effect). So all in all, pretty similar to what you'd expect here in the UK.

What is a bit different is that, and you can't see this very well on the packet, the cheesy puffs come in straight (straightish) or circular rather than little curls; I wasn't expecting that. Perhaps some of the Greek tells you what to expect. The circles of cheesy puff look a little stressed. It's as though they don't really want to be forced into a circle although (knowing nothing about production methods I am only guessing) I imagine the circles of gloopy puff mix are extruded from some machine into the required shape and then dried. Why would the circles all look a bit stressed? I don't know but they kind of do.

It says γαριδακια απο αγνεσ πρωτεσ υλες on the back of the packet, and using the handy drop-down Google translate virtual Greek keyboard I have translated this as.... shrimp from agnes raw materials. I'm a bit puzzled by that. Yes, yes, I know Google translate can be very dodgy and I've obviously got something wrong here but after much effort this is the most sensible translation I have come up with. The ingredients list resolutely refuses to have the word shrimp in it. Which is good for me because I don't really want to eat shrimp. But it's a mystery and probably will remain so unless I find someone who actually speaks/reads modern Greek. However, I never knew you could get a virtual Greek keyboard so I learned something new today.

So, these are not bad at all. I don't think they are so yummy as proper UK style cheesy puffs but they are pretty good. So high marks to Extra whoever they may be.

And here is Theo enjoying the Corfiote sunshine. Thank you Nick for permission to show your handsome son.


  1. γαριδακια = snaks that look like shrimps
    αγνεσ = pure


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