Friday, 27 February 2015

Walkers Originally Smiths Salt & Shake

I suddenly saw these crisps on the shelf in Waitrose and had to buy them. Perhaps they've been selling them for ages but I don't usually look at the multi-packs. These crisps leapt off the shelf at me, and what a blast from the past!

The original style add-your-own-salt crisps. Just like when I was very small. Except when I was small the salt came in a little ball and the blue waxed paper that held it was twisted tightly to hold the salt in. These days you get a square package (still blue) with sealed edges. It's not quite the same but I guess it works in the same way.

Of course, one day someone in a crisp factory invented "Ready Salted" crisps and there was no further need for the little blue twists of salt. I think we all missed ferreting around in the crisps to find the salt and shaking it into the packet, but we got used to the ready made version.

I can remember at least one attempt some years ago to reintroduce the DIY salt but for whatever reasons it didn't seem to last very long. Perhaps everyone was mad for whatever flavour was fashionable at the time and didn't fancy the retro crisps.

These days the crisp market has exploded so much with so many flavours, even the so-called "naked" (no added flavouring) crisps. So I guess that these salt & shake crisps cover two markets: some people like naked crisps so they won't want to add the salt, and others like salted crisps so they can.

These are nice crisps. Nothing fancy but a good colour, a good crunch and a pleasant saltiness (if you add the salt). Only 24g in a bag too, which is always a recommendation for me. The packet describes these crisps as Best Ever, and they are pretty good. I handed out a small packet to everyone around and I think we all enjoyed them.

And it's good to see that the ingredients are potatoes, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and salt (in sachet). Nice and simple.

Following my discovery of these retro style crisps, the tall taste tester and I had a fun trip down food-memory lane. If you search for Crest Bear 'Teddy Bear' Advert  you'll find one of the most memorable commercials of my childhood. Cresta was a brilliant frothy (not fizzy) drink. There was something deeply fabulous about it, even the way it turned your saliva solid..... (I'm pretty sure it was Cresta that did this). My favourite was blackcurrant but the strawberry flavour was pretty good too. Cresta was promoted by a superbly cool polar bear in dark glasses, given to impersonating Elvis or shouting out "Rimsky Korsakov!" at the drop of a hat. His catch phrase was "it's frothy man'. Brilliant stuff.

Whatever it was that made Cresta so great was probably frightfully bad for you because sadly they don't make it any more. Of course this has nothing whatever to do with crisps but you know how memories breed other memories. And you might find the Cresta commercial rather fun if you've not seen it before.

I'm not terribly impressed at the little guy throwing his rubbish away responsibly on this packet. Walkers! What are you thinking? This really isn't good enough. So to spare Walkers' blushes I'm not going to show it. Oh alright then. Here it is.

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