Monday, 20 January 2014

Tesco Finest Hand Cooked Mature Devonshire Cheddar & Festive Beetroot Chutney

Here's another exotic crisp from the Tesco finest Christmas range. Another crisp which sounds as though it comes from a Michelin starred restaurant rather than from a supermarket.

The packaging tells me I have a bag of Mature Devonshire Cheddar & Festive Beetroot Chutney Crisps, and then the subtitle (as it were) says tangy cheese and earthy chutney with a hint of chilli and Brazilian orange.

Well! And as you can see from the photograph the crisps are an interesting mottled red. Most of the red seems to be flavour dust. You can lick it off. But there are orange bits as well which seem to be actually part of the crisp. I think there's more of a hint of orange. And I wonder why it is Brazilian orange rather than any other?

I'm not sure I can detect any beetroot in the flavour but the orange is very definite. Of course beetroot and orange go well together. I used to have a very good recipe for baked beetroot with orange juice and cheese. Delicious.

I notice that sugar is first on the list of seasoning ingredients which is no surprise; these are rather sweet crisps. In fact, the flavour reminds me of - well I'm not quite sure  - maybe a cheesecake mix or perhaps the beginnings of a cake with the sugar creamed into the butter and orange zest folded in.

And here's an odd ingredient: mushroom powder. What do you suppose that contributes to the mix? Oh and the chillis are grown at the South Devon Chilli Farm.

Once again we know that the potato variety is Lady Rosetta and the field they were grown in is River Peace. In Devon. I think another of the Tesco crisps were grown in that field. These crisps are suitable for vegetarians and contain no artificial flavours, colours or MSG. And many of the ingredients come from... Devon.

A very unusual crisp in flavour and colour. The crunch is perhaps a little more crunchy than the other Tesco Finest I have tried but still very good. The cheesiness is far more in the background than I was expecting but none the worse for that. They're really different.

And once again, although I find I quite like these crisps I don't want to eat an entire packet. I think perhaps it's because the flavour is too busy. Returning to the Michelin star restaurant analogy, I've never really wanted to eat in one because when I've looked at the menus the food all looks much too complicated. These crisps are too complicated for me!

Very handsome packaging though. A lovely soft beetroot red fading into brown at top and bottom.


  1. Rather than a tax on calorific content (which some folk are very keen on these days) I rather support the idea of a tax on excessive adjectives in food descriptions. At least three unnecessary adjectives in the title of these crisps - that will be 15p in tax please

  2. I remember when Master Chef was new, with Lloyd Grossman and far less (visible) pressure I was overwhelmed by the number of adjectives in the menus. This must have been 20 years ago and we all thought it would be a passing phase but it's only gone from bad to worse. NB I used to work for a woman who always said "passing phrase". Perhaps, in this case, she was right?


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