Thursday 20 February 2014

Zweifel Barrys Snack Original Cream

As soon as I read about this crispy snack on the Zweifel website I couldn't wait to try it. It's a bit of a shame then that I'm not really that impressed at the taste. But the shape is great!

Barry, the original mountain rescue dog, was a prototype St Bernard who rescued 40 people on the mountains around the St Bernard Pass between Switzerland and France. You can read the wikipedia page here and see an image of the dog himself. After he died in 1814 his body was stuffed and is still on show in the Natural History Museum in Berne (the capital of Switzerland).

There's a St Bernard Museum in Martigny at the foot of the St Bernard Pass these days and you can read about that here. And you can see the Barrys Snack page on the Zweifel website here. I'm not quite sure what that says because I don't speak much German. I think the page is about collecting stickers but sadly I don't know where you'd get them.

This is another bubbly crispy snack in the style of a Quaver or a Pom Bear. Or, of course, a Dancer (also from Zweifel). And the texture is great. I really like this sort of bubbly crunch.

I'm not so convinced by the "original cream" flavour, but then I never am convinced by cream as a flavour. You never really taste the cream, at any rate not with your taste buds. It's always more of a sensation on the palate than a taste. The taste is OK but not massively exciting. But I don't want to be too harsh. I just.... sort of expected something with a more distinctive taste.

As I said, the shape is great. But the dog does look a little anxious. It's probably rather difficult to model a particular breed of dog convincingly in extruded potato foam but all the St Bernards I have met (I think it's three?) were a lot more boisterous and confident looking than this little crispy snack dog.

Picky? Me? How could you suggest such a thing? Luckily the dog on the packet has plenty of confidence. And a little barrel of brandy around his neck in case of accidents. Hurrah!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Zweifel Secrets Garden Style & Dried Tomatoes

Well, here's an odd one from Swiss crisp giant Zweifel!

We have an ordinary crisp, pretty good crunch, looks like your average crisp - so far so good - but the taste is weird. At least I think it's a weird taste. I took some into work for the reluctant taste testers to try and most of them seemed to be considerably more enthusiastic than me.

I left half a packet in the kitchen at work and almost all were eaten quite quickly. And I say almost all because I work in the sort of office where everyone is too polite to take the last sandwich or cake, and in this case, crisp.

I'm not sure that basil works very well in a crisp, or not in this crisp. And the dried tomato flavour is distinctly odd. And then there are the actual dried tomatoes. Yes, the dried tomatoey bits are indeed genuine (crunchy) dried tomatoes. Which I find very strange. I think the taste is a bit sour or perhaps a bit too much like an elderly salad which should have been eaten several days ago. I'm not sure what "garden style" is supposed to taste like but I'm guessing that "elderly salad" wasn't what Zweifel was aiming for!

Tall taste tester at work described these crisps rather floridly as "scrapings from an open grave" but having said that he was one of the chief grazers who kept dropping by the kitchen to have another crisp or two. Or possibly three...

The packaging features wood panelling (well, OK, an image of wood panelling) so I suppose Secrets are supposed to be quite a rural style of crisp. I see from the website they also come in Red & Black Pepper flavour, Dijon Mustard, and Garden Style & Dried Beetroot and the wood panelling on the beetroot flavour is a handsome dark red.

Suitable for vegetarians, lactose free, gluten free, and the potato variety is Lady Claire.

Verdict? Let's say interesting.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Zweifel Snacketti Dancer Cream

Another superb crisp from Swiss snack and crisp giant Zweifel. Snacketti is one of Zweifel's brands. These extruded potato crispy snacks are a little like Quavers, and not so different to Pom Bears.  The shape is described as 'dancer' but in reality is more kung fu, or I suppose break dancer, than anything. Reading dancer I had expected ballet or perhaps ballroom dancing but no such thing.

The flavour is described as cream but as with so many cream or sour cream flavour crisps it's hard to detect. Also in the mix are sugar, onion and garlic powder, mustard, paprika and carrot powder. I keep reading all sorts of ingredients on crisp packets and often they seem to bear no relation to the finished flavour but what can I say?

What I can say is that the flavour is wonderful. I love it and I think this is a truly great crisp. Fabulous.

I tried these Snacketti dancers on the reluctant taste testers at work and they seemed quite popular.

Probably only available in Switzerland but possibly in Germany and Italy too. Suitable for vegetarians.


Saturday 1 February 2014

KP The Real McCoy's Ridge Cut Flame Grilled Steak

I thought I'd try these because (a) they were recommended by the amazingly cheerful man who runs the local newsagent and (b) there was an empty packet sculling about on the floor of a friend's car so somebody obviously likes them. And?

Erm... perhaps not really for me. But why not?

Perhaps because these are MAN CRISPS. As thick as you like them and built with ridges deep enough to carry the maximum load of our unique full on flavours! The real McCoy's: accept no imitations. Can you tell I am quoting from the manly reddy brown packaging?

Oh boy. These really are man crisps. They even have an online pub! Oh yes, really really aimed at men. You can enter the pub here. And play darts! I didn't have a go - I really ought to be hoovering my bedroom or putting a wash on in a girly way. The whole time I was looking at the website there was a soundtrack of men chatting away in the background and someone chomping at crisps. Sigh.

Quite thick. Quite good size crisps. Quite crunchy. Not mad about the flavour to be honest. There is a little bit of steak going on but I didn't really like the flame grilled bit.

I tried a couple of crisps a month or so ago and thought them horrible. But to give them a second chance I sealed them up tightly and today I'm having another go. Still not wild about the flavour but the crisps are great and I'd like to try another flavour. Maybe Thai Sweet Chicken or Salted perhaps. Maybe those flavours would work out a little bit more girly (what am I saying?).

Unbelievably these flame grilled steak flavour crisps are suitable for vegetarians. Although I don't suppose any veggie would buy them on the off chance.

McCoys Crisps are made by KP Snacks (who make the fabulous Cheese Footballs), and they belong to United Biscuits. Once upon a time United Biscuits had an in house radio network which operated from 1970 to 1979. I was surprised it wasn't longer because when I used to listen to Capital Radio in the 70s it seemed quite half the DJs came from United Biscuits. These days they play independent local radio stations instead (says Wikipedia).