Saturday 17 May 2014

M&S Summer of Flavour Hand Cooked Lemon Harissa Potato Crisps

Mmmm. Not sure that these crisps don't qualify for a yum. Yes, I think they do: yum.

After trying beetroot and kale crisps in quite succession it's good to get back to the traditional yumminess of potato. And the flavour here is very nice. Although some of the crisps are a little more flavoured than others. Which means really rather hot.

These crisps are large at the top of the bag and get smaller the lower you go. But that's chaos theory for you - or have I got that back to front? Anyway, they're quite strong with a hearty crunch, as so often with hand cooked crisps, and there's not too much breakage which is good. And there's quite a lot of flavour dust which is the rich orange of paprika and cloves.

Harissa is a Tunisian or Moroccan spicy paste mostly made with chillis, garlic and olive oil, plus a selection of spices which usually include caraway and coriander. The various recipes I've read online are all different and usually feature instructions such as "you can add [another ingredient] if you like". And the M&S crisp development team appear to have added a whole swathe of [another ingredient]s to create this very tasty flavour. So we have onions, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, black pepper, cumin, and lemon (but no caraway or coriander). And also yeast extract which I'm pretty sure is not an authentic North African ingredient and rice flour. I've seen rice flour as a crisp ingredient before and I have no clue what it's for.

These crisps taste great and smell good too. For some reason a good taste does not always come with a good aroma (or vice versa), but here you get them both. Lots of good heat and a great zing of lemon. Very nice. And suitable for vegetarians.

And I love the packaging too. The lemon yellow bag (all yellow on the reverse apart from the blocks of text) is bright and summery and the Summer of Flavour logo is very attractive.

But the packaging has a great big recycling symbol on it and a smaller logo with a note that says film - plastics not currently recycled. So which is it? Maybe if I had a smartphone I could scan the square scanny thing and that would give me more information. Maybe not. In the meantime into the bin it goes.

Oh, and I quite forgot. This is a new flavour for summer 2014. The summer of flavour. Which sounds great doesn't it? But bizarrely if you search summer of flavour on the M&S website you get 122 products across 36 categories of which 199 products are wine (or beer or cider) and 39 are clothes. Yes, I know that sum doesn't add up but even if my maths isn't too good I'm not far off. And obviously these crisps are not on the list at all (unless they come under men's hats gloves and scarves, or boys' formalwear). Sigh. Why is it so difficult to search online for M&S crisps?

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