Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tesco Finest Hand Cooked Sweet Chilli Crisps

Classic fragrant spices for a real taste of Asia it says here.

I was going to say that I've not been to Asia so I can't comment. Well, that's not quite true. I spent a stinky and very hot 3 hours or so at the old Hong Kong airport in 1994. If you ever flew in there you'll remember the incredibly scary sight out of the plane windows: apartment blocks apparently only 20 feet away.... and I never ate anything there (it was much too stinky).

And I also spent the night in the Japanese version of a hotel at Stansted Airport. Which was part and parcel of my flight home from Sydney to London Heathrow with Japanese Airlines in 1999. Wow. Breakfast was amazing. I never saw such an astonishing collection of food: breakfast cereals, the usual eggs and bacon etc, stewed fruits and so on; you know the style of thing. But also stewed lotus (which I should have tried but didn't), bowls full of miniature fish: heads and tails and all, tinned spaghetti bolognaise, and chips. It was great. I think I had bacon, scrambled eggs and chips. Well why not?

Anyhow, none of that qualifies me to comment on whether these crisps are a classic taste of Asia or not.

So what have we here? Hermes potatoes grown in Devon. Each potato is peeled, sliced and fried in small batches under the watchful eye of specially trained fryers. No artificial flavours, colour or MSG. Suitable for vegetarians.And the flavour is made up of sugar, salt, onion owner, yeast extract, spices (unspecified), garlic, coconut, bell pepper, flavouring (again unspecified), herbs (no idea which herbs), chilli extract, paprika and lemon grass. Another amazingly complicated recipe.

Not a bad taste. Quite a good chilli zing and a good chilli aroma when you open the bag. Good chilli aftertaste too but not too hot. Lots of flavour dust and a fine reddish orange colour which doesn't really show in the photo. Thick cut crisps. Mostly larger than average. No too many breakages.

It's a good quality crisp. But with all those different ingredients jumbled up together to make the flavour I'm not sure what I should expect. And I do wonder what Tesco was aiming for. Are they looking for a future classic? I think this is too complicated.

Not a bad taste. We quite like it but we're not certain we want to try again. I think maybe some of the very complicated flavours are fun to try but not something you want to go back to again and again. I think the answer is that this is quite a nice flavour but we'd rather stick with something simpler that we know and love like cheese & onion or salt & vinegar. Even though I try loads of different flavours all the time I'm not sure most people are ready to move to something more fancy on a regular basis.

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