Saturday 31 October 2015

Cheetos Cheese

This packet of Cheetos Cheese came from the world foods section at Tesco. I wasn't sure at first glance whether it was a world food from Ireland or Poland. I mean, at first glance you see Cheetos Cheese, Big Bag, and Hotel Transylvania 2. And this was on the shelf between the Polish and Irish products.

However, on closer inspection, you see w kinach od 9 pazdziernika which, however odd you may find the Irish language, is patently not Irish.

So, here we have a packet of Cheetos from Frito-Lay Poland and imported into the UK by a firm based in Wokingham.

These Cheetos look pretty much how I would expect them to look. And they do taste pretty good with a wonderful light crunch. But I'm not impressed that they are a bit dry. You might say, well all crispy snacks are dry aren't they? Yes, of course. But somehow I felt the after-mouth (if that's a word), and it's not to do with the taste, is a bit dry.

It's also worth pointing out that according to the English language sticky label on the back of the packet there is no actual cheese in the recipe. There is "cheese flavour seasoning" but it contains no cheese. There is monosodium glutamate, disodium gaunylate, and disodium inosinate. Which sounds entirely too much sodium to me. There is milk and whey powder though; which may account for the interesting buttery taste.

It's odd. The packet says cheese so when you crunch in you think you taste cheese. But if you concentrate it's obvious that the taste is in fact butter. Not nasty at all just not what I was expecting.

The Chef, somewhat unhelpfully, says this crispy snack reminds him of something but he can't think what. But he did eat a few and not under duress.

I'm not sure if this packet was issued purely to advertise Hotel Transylvania 2, or as a Halloween tie in. So I thought I'd post them today.

Happy Halloween crisp fans.
PS There's a competition to visit Sony Pictures Animation Studio which (I think) runs until 16 November. So still time to enter if you fancy battling with

Friday 30 October 2015

M&S Vampire's Fangs Salt & Vinegar

This is the 2015 Halloween offering from Marks & Spencer. Corn grits extruded and puffed into Vampire Fangs are a departure from last year's scorpion shapes. And the toothy shape is pretty good. One of the taste testers mistook them for false teeth and was quite put off.

 The crunch is not so light as it should be; it's rather dull and heavy. So all in all not a massive success there. But the salt & vinegar taste is not too strong and the reluctant taste testers and I found that we ate a few more than we meant to.

But after all, this is a snack for Halloween only.

The packaging is actually a much brighter, lighter orange than shown here. So this is yet another example of the scanner doing weird things with colour. But the ravens and the bats and the skulls and the (presumably haunted) house show up pretty well.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday 29 October 2015

Globus Tortilla Chips au Chili

When we were in Bern in the spring I picked up this packet of crisps from the Food Hall at the big department store Globus. It wasn't so much that I thought these tortilla chips would be fabulous, more that they were the only Swiss crisps on offer.

Only, they aren't Swiss at all. Globus, based in Zurich, have their tortilla chips made in The Netherlands.

So finally I have dredged these crisps out of my basket of goodies because it's about time we tried them. Don't worry. They aren't months past their sell by date so we won't die a horrible death. Or not on account of this crispy snack.

I am really very impressed at the chilli taste of these tortilla chips. You won't be surprised to learn that I'm not mad about chillies. But that doesn't stop me being impressed at this taste. It's absolutely right.

According to the Blogger search function, over the last 3 years or so we have tried 42 different crisps and crispy snacks featuring chilli. And this is the first to taste like a fresh chilli. Remarkable.

Aside from the remarkable taste this is an ordinary tortilla chip: triangular, orange and crunchy.  The Chef and I tried them with a selection of dips from Waitrose: onion & garlic, pecorino & basil, and sour cream & chive. All of them worked very well and I think we were pretty happy with our taste test.

The packaging is clear with a very small Globus label so I'm going to show the paper carrier bag we got from the Food Hall instead.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Joe & Seph's Crisp Gin & Tonic Popcorn

In order to celebrate the joint birthdays (same day, slightly different year) of noble friend and the tall elegant taste tester, I thought I'd provide a treat. Much anticipated by some, Joe & Seph's Gin & Tonic flavour popcorn had been sitting in my basket of crispy snacks. Waiting for a suitable opportunity.

Oh dear. What a disappointment.

Joe & Seph describe this as "the finest air popped corn coated with our classic caramel, infused with 5% gin & 5% tonic".

I am sorry to have to report that none of us liked it.

Popcorn should be light and airy. OK, I understand that caramel coated corn is chewier than your basic butter or salted popcorn, but this was soggy and soft. I checked the packaging and I'm pretty sure no air was getting in, and the sell by date is next year. So there can be no excuse for sogginess. Unless that's what you get when you add gin to the recipe.

There is a faint taste of juniper or quinine or possibly both, but really and truly the reluctant taste testers and I felt this product doesn't really work.

It smells a bit weird too; it gets right into your sinuses.

Sorry Joe & Seph; we were not impressed.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps Black Pudding & English Mustard

All my life I have studiously avoided eating black pudding.

It's on the list of things I really can't bring myself to fancy; pork belly, pig or beef cheek, tripe (once tried never forgotten), hot cooked tongue (cold pressed tongue is quite a different matter), ox tail (a speciality of an old boyfriend's mother - oh dear), and cod throats (seriously?? how do you cook a throat?). Of course there are many other thing I won't eat, but I don't want you to get bored.

So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I opened this packet of crisps.

First thought: it's a beautifully designed packet. Lovely grey and yellow combination. Very swish. Whoever it is designs the packaging for Fiddler's has done a top job.

Second thought: the most obvious taste is mustard. Now it's not that I won't eat mustard, I quite like the kind that comes with mustard seeds and honey, but all too often I find it an overpowering addition to a recipe.

The mustard was not overpowering in this flavour but it did mean that I was not particularly keen. However, the rest of the reluctant taste testers, once they had overcome their anxiety about the black pudding, seemed to quite like this flavour.

I say quite like because we felt it doesn't meet the supremely high standard of the Creamy Lancashire Cheese flavour. Which is just superb.

Monday 26 October 2015

Levi Roots Levi's Caribbean Chilli Beef Groove Cut Crisps

Sometimes you try a crisp and you aren't sure, so you try another. Sometimes you try another and you still aren't sure. Yes, the reluctant taste testers and I weren't sure.

We weren't sure why this crinkle cut - sorry - groove cut crisp doesn't seem to taste of much except sort of spicy heat. The beef flavour doesn't feature much. Which is a shame.

These groove cut crisps are quite nice. But not very special. I think I rather prefer the Reggae Reggae crisps the Chef and I tried last year.

I wonder, should Levi Roots have stuck with that?

Sunday 25 October 2015

Walkers Deep Ridged Salt & Malt Vinegar

When the reluctant taste testers and I first tried this deeply ridged crinkle cut crisp we thought the taste was very strong. Maybe too strong. So then we tried another small crisp, a small bit of broken crisp. You know, just to check.

And then, well it wasn't just me because noble friend certainly did the same (I saw her), we had another, and possibly even another crisp.

Because, yes, this is an old fashioned strongly tasting salt & vinegar crisp. But really it's a very moreish crisp. Very tasty indeed. Positively addictive in its moreishness. Impressive.

Pretty good crunch, not too hard, lovely deep crinkle and lots of tasty flavour dust.

OK so this is probably not going to be the most favourite salt & vinegar crisp that the reluctant taste testers and I have attempted. However, we can reveal that it is pretty good. And you won't be able to stop eating until the packet is finished.

Truly, you can't say much better than that.

Saturday 24 October 2015

M&S Wasabi Popcorn

Do you know, I completely forgot to write up this popcorn. Yes, I scanned the packet, and yes, I started a post. But did I write anything? Apparently not. Can I remember anything about it? No.

So I am posting this simply because of the packaging. I always liked the Summer of Flavour logo but somehow the design of this bag looks strangely out of date. Even though it is only a year old.

As this was a Summer of Flavour bag the popcorn dates from summer 2014. Which just goes to show how long I can leave a draft blog post lying around.

Friday 23 October 2015

Roland Sticks

Roland Sticks are a delicious little pretzel style snack from Switzerland. And the Chef has been enjoying them all his life.

A lovely crunch, nodules of salt strewn along the little sticks, and a light pretzel taste.

Each not very large packet contains 200g of sticks. But they are hard baked (nothing but wheat flour, corn starch, salt, malt extract and yeast) and so presumably that makes them a lot heavier than your average crispy snack.

We tried the Waitrose version, which is much longer, last year.

Very tasty on their own. Extra tasty with a blob of butter. Yum! And the Chef even eats them with butter and marmite.


Thursday 22 October 2015

Kent Crisps Roast Beef & Spitfire Ale

Tall Taste Tester found this packet of crisps in his local Budgens.

The first time I went to our local Budgens I was very impressed at the interesting and unusual variety of crisps. Next time I went, only a few weeks later, the unusual crisps had all vanished so I didn't go back. Perhaps I should.

Because here is a packet of Kent Crisps, such as I found on the ferry from France and we rather enjoyed.

The packaging tells me that Shepherd Neame, which produces Spitfire Ale (made with Kentish hops of course), is Britain's oldest brewer. It also tells me that the flavour of this Ale gives the perfect zesty punch to the roast beef flavour.

I'm not so sure. As Tech Taste Tester put it, he'd rather had a pint of ale with a packet of beefy crisps. For myself I think I'd sooner have a plate of roast beef with a pint of ale... or a pint of white wine. Sorry! I mean a glass of wine.

Good quality hand cooked crisps, a good crunch and rather dark coloured flavour dust. Not a bad crisp at all. But we weren't sure that the ale added to the flavour, and we found the beef flavour only appears right at the end of your mouthful. Not a resounding success with the taste testers. And the Chef said the crispy part is OK, it's the taste part that's not so clever.

But another flavour from Kent Crisps might be brilliant. So we'll see what we can find.

In the meantime, I applaud Kent Crisps because the packaging design for these crisps is wonderful. Of course this flavour is illustrated with a Spitfire (an RAF plane famed for taking part in the Battle of Britain in WWII) flying over the Kentish coast. Brilliant.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

M&S Hand Cooked Turkey & Maple Syrup Crisps

This is the second packet of Marks & Spencer Christmas crisps we have tried this year. Turkey & Maple Syrup flavour eh?

Well, at least it sounds a bit more normal than the totally bonkers Prosecco flavour we tried the other day.

The list of ingredients includes turkey, sage, thyme and lemon. Despite trying really hard I'm not sure I can detect any of them. Which is a shame. And the flavour seems to be all about the maple syrup.

Very nice hand cooked crisps with the skins left on. Good crunch. Not nearly so much flavour dust as the Prosecco crisp but plenty of taste. Strong aroma of maple syrup.

But still pretty weird. The reluctant taste testers are fairly united in believing that potato crisps should be savoury not sweet. And I think the Chef and I agree with them.

Do we get the impression that the M&S crisp development department is trying a little too hard? Next stop Christmas tree flavour crisps! Frankincense and Myrrh perhaps? And why not Reindeer? Reindeer & Lingonberry. Now that sounds tasty....

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps Sea Salt & Ellsey's Malt Vinegar

Another very nice flavour from Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps. And a very pretty blue bag; it's a lovely subtle blue, gently shaded and very smart. I like the soft yellow text too.

The reluctant taste testers tried these with enthusiasm and wondered that the vinegar used in the recipe is a malt vinegar.  So often you get such a strong vinegary flavour that your mouth shrivels up and cries no more! But we were all pleasantly surprised at the subtlety of the flavour.

I see that Ellsey's vinegar has been made in Wigan since 1932. So I guess they know what they're doing.

A very nice version of salt & vinegar. A very good crisp indeed.

Monday 19 October 2015

Joe & Seph's Cheese on Toast Popcorn

Another totally weird popcorn flavour from Joe & Seph (established 2010).

I bought this to try because I thought the flavour was Cheese on Toast. And I thought why not? But. It turns out that the flavour is actually caramel popcorn coated in toasted cheddar.

Really? Don't you think it is a bit odd to add toasted cheese to caramel? I do.

"The finest air popped corn coated in toasted cheddar with a sweet topping and a savoury seasoning. Deliciously tangy and crunchy like Cheese on Toast." Says the packaging.

The aroma is definitely cooked cheese. Fondu perhaps, maybe even raclette. But I'm really not sure these two flavours work well together. The reluctant taste testers and the Chef weren't madly impressed either.

The dutch taste tester ate more of these than anyone. Said she was used to fermented Norwegian cheese. At least, I think that's what she said.

The packaging is once again of an extremely high quality. We could do with thick plastic bags that clip shut securely for some of the larger packets of crisps. Not to mention pasta, rice, dried fruits....

Sunday 18 October 2015

Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps Creamy Lancashire Cheese & Onion

As luck would have it noble friend chanced to be in the vicinity of Oxford Street once again and kindly took a detour through Selfridge's Food Hall to buy four more flavours of Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps; all that she could find.

And today we tried these delicious Creamy Lancashire Cheese & Onion crisps. What did we think? Delicious. Something to do with the Lancashire Cheese I suppose. Because they're not the same as your average cheese & onion crisp.

I can't say that I am surprised this crisp won a Great Taste award in 2014. I think, and the reluctant taste testers unreluctantly thought, and the Chef agreed, that this is an extremely good good crisp.

Top marks all round.

Slightly thicker than the average, these crisps are cooked in small batches by John. The packet says By 'eck you'll find them tasty! and the packet is right. We did.

We like the packaging design too. Nothing fancy just a different colour for each flavour, as is traditional.

Highly recommended. Try them if you can.

The packet also says lovely'n'local which leads me to think you may only be able to buy them in Lancashire, or at Selfridges (which is in London). But I'm fairly sure you can order them from Amazon. And seriously, I think you might find it worth your while to seek them out.

Saturday 17 October 2015

Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps Lancashire Sauce

I knew about Fiddler's Lancashire Crisps from tech taste tester who took a packet up one of the hills in the Lake District as part of his picnic lunch. He highly recommended these crisps and I was wondering how to get hold of a packet.

And fancy that, noble friend went to Selfridges Food Hall (of course she did, because you know how she gets about) and found a packet there. In fact, it seems she spotted several flavours, but sensibly only bought the one. After all, we might not have liked them. And if I want more of these crisps I can take the 82 bus down to Selfridges and buy some more crisps myself.

So the fascinating thing is that the flavour of these Lancashire Crisps is Lancashire Sauce. I have never been to Lancashire but I read that Lancashire Sauce is a big thing. Entwistle's Lancashire Sauce is the thing; Grandma Entwistle's Genuine & Original Lancashire Sauce. Which I have neither seen nor tried. Probably on account of having spent very limited time in the North of England. And none at all in Lancashire.

However, it looks to me as though this crisp is Lancashire Sauce flavour. Not flavoured with Lancashire Sauce. A nice distinction. I may be wrong of course.

Handsome looking crisps, a little thicker cut than normal I think, and therefore a slightly harder crunch. And the taste is... kind of curry. Sort of. A little bit too much curry for me, but the spicy taste (garlic, onion, cumin, pepper, coriander, lemon juice and "natural flavours") is quite pleasant.

This wasn't a large packet of crisps and the bowlful was reduced to a few crumbs of crisp by the time the tall taste tester woke up to today's crisp opportunity.

I see this flavour won a Great Taste Gold award in 2012. I'm not sure we would have gone so far as that; we were not totally thrilled with today's flavour. However, I feel a trip on the 82 bus may be in order; a test of other flavours beckons.

Friday 16 October 2015

Zweifel Spicy Tomato Original Chips

I know I have written about this before, but once upon a time before I knew the Chef and his family, Swiss crisp giant Zweifel used to make a tomato flavour crisp. It was with joy in their hearts at the thought of the skiing or snow boarding to come that the family set off for Switzerland each year, but they also very much looked forward to the tomato flavour crisps.

I never tried the tomato crisp because Zweifel stopped making it before I had the chance. Something that happens all too often when you really enjoy something or find it just exactly what you need. But the Chef has not forgotten so he was fairly excited to find a new crisp flavour from Zweifel: Spicy Tomato.

As chance would have it the Chef's family; the Family Vegetarian and her husband the Graffiti Artist, and her brother the Ski Instructor were due in town for their cousin's wedding so this packet of crisps was saved for their visit. And when they arrived a taste testing took place.

The family ate most of this packet. I got one crisp. And I understand (the Chef reports that) they felt that although these crisps are certainly very spicy, the underlying flavour is indeed the original tomato crisp.

Having tried just the one I thought this was a very spicy crisp. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to taste past the spiciness. I did save a tiny half-handful of crisps at the bottom of the bag so I could sit down privately and think about the taste, but the Chef thought I had abandoned them and finished the packet himself. I was rather cross about that.

So maybe I will have the chance to try this flavour again. Next year perhaps. In the meantime, I can report that the Chef and his family finished this 170g packet without any difficulty.

So I guess they liked them.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Cathedral City Baked Bites

I read all over the place that Cathedral City is the nation's favourite cheese brand. That may be, but as a (sort of) statistic it's a bit vague and doesn't take into consideration people like me and the Chef who just buy Cheddar cheese. Lots of shops simply sell Cheddar and that suits us just fine.

But I thought we ought to try this little 35g bag of Baked Bites. It's a little baked cheesy biscuit. An oval, slightly sturdier, slightly thicker version of a mini Cheddar. With a fetching Cathedral City logo stamped on the top.

And they are pretty tasty. The recipe has 20% Cathedral City Cheddar cheese. At least, I suppose the Cheddar is Cathedral City - the packaging doesn't actually say so.

And? Not bad. The packet I had seemed to have a lot of breakages but I must confess that the bag has been exported to Switzerland from Kent and then brought home to North London. But anyway, breakages don't affect the taste. or the crunchiness.

Tasty, cheesy, crunchy biscuity bites.

These biscuits are baked by Burtons Biscuit Co using (presumably) Cathedral City Cheddar cheese which is manufactured by Dairy Crest Ltd.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Walkers "Bring Me Back!" Barbecue

This is the final flavour from the Walkers "Bring Me Back!" campaign that the reluctant taste testers and I have tried.

Not liking barbecue flavour much I wasn't expecting to like this packet of crisps. But they aren't too bad. A little bit barbecue flavoured, with (I thought) a sort of tomatoey herby back taste. Despite there being no tomatoes in the list of ingredients and any possible herbiness disguised in the list as "flavourings".

I always find it a bit suspect when the ingredients list includes the words ...seasoning contains flavourings... One does rather wonder what Walkers don't want to tell us.

So the taste isn't bad, the crunch is as good as always, the crisps quite a dark golden colour, but the aroma! Do yourself a favour and don't sniff this packet of crisps before tucking in. It's just a smell of smoke and really not very alluring.

And once again the packaging is brown. Even browner than the "Bring Me Back!" Beef & Onion packaging. Is it just me or does brown packaging seem more likely to appeal to a man than a woman?

I wonder. Has any survey been carried out to see how the colour of a crisp packet might affect the way a man or woman chooses (or indeed likes) that flavour? If not I know someone who has carried out research on gender choices in pillowcase design and might be able to assist. I like plain white for myself.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Zweifel Snacketti Onion Rings

Here's another crispy snack from the Snacketti brand of Swiss crisp giant Zweifel. Onion rings. Which is apparently Swiss for, er, onion rings. 

So what do we have here? Yes, onion rings. Which do taste very oniony. A very good taste.

This crispy snack is made of potato starch and wheat flour and puffed up into great big bubbly rings with a lovely light crunch. 

The reluctant taste testers really loved this crispy snack and we ate at least three quarters of this great big 75g bag with no difficulty at all. The onion rings are mostly air with a great big hole in the middle so you get quite a lot for your 75g. The Chef likes them too so we have an all round vote of approval.
This is a plain and simple flavour and plainly we liked it a lot. Very moreish. Not much more to say.

Monday 12 October 2015

Walkers "Bring Me Back!" Beef & Onion

Another "Bring Me Back" flavour from Walkers. And I don't like the look of it. Beef & Onion. Sounds a bit too meaty for me, not the sort of flavour I usually like. The packet's a bit dark brown too.

However, tech taste tester recommends them.

And how right he is. How wrong can you be? And you know I often am. Wrong, that it.

What a tasty crisp! Not especially meaty but very tasty, herby too (although the list of ingredients simply says seasoning and flavourings). As so often, slightly oddly suitable for vegetarians. But it's a much lighter taste than I was expecting. And really very good.

The reluctant taste testers all agreed this is a pretty good crisp and we could have eaten a good many more of them than you get in a 25g bag.

I think I even heard a cry of "where can I buy these?". You can't do better than that.

I would certainly vote for these crisps.

And since we are talking about a Walkers crisp, here's a link to this amazing Walkers tin I found on Etsy.

Sunday 11 October 2015

M&S Winter Berries & Prosecco Hand Cooked Crisps

Merry Christmas crisp fans!

What? Christmas already? Surely not. We're not even halfway through October.

I know. But it seems that in larger branches of M&S they've been selling these crisps since the end of September, so the marketing guys apparently think that now is a pretty good time to start selling special crisps for Christmas. The senior taste tester stumbled across this packet of crisps this week, and although it doesn't say so anywhere on the golden packet, I would be astonished if this were not intended to be a festive flavour.

In full the name of this crisp seems to be Marks & Spencer The Collection Fizz & Sparkle Winter Berries & Prosecco Hand Cooked Crisps with edible gold stars and a touch of fizz. Amazing, eh? And something of a mouthful.

Made using specially selected British potatoes, sliced with their skins on and hand cooked in small batches to give a delicious and crispy snack. So far so normal for an aspirational crisp. But what about the fizz and sparkle? Hard to believe I know, but this fancy product really does feature tiny edible golden stars strewn across the crisps. Very sparkly indeed. They really are pretty. If slightly improbable.

And the fizz? Yes.... Not such a success I feel. You don't want the first sensation to be a weird fizziness do you? I mean, I would have thought you'd want taste testers to notice the flavour first. They really reminded me of nothing so much as those sweets from my childhood: Refreshers. Do you remember Refreshers? They used to fizz on your tongue. And so do these crisps.

I can only suppose that the fizz is designed to remind you of Prosecco. And yes, there really is genuine Prosecco in the recipe. However, I don't think dehydrated Prosecco produces a fizz; for that you have to rely on Sodium Bicarbonate..... And not to be picky - oh alright then, let's be picky; why break the habit of a lifetime? - the winter berries are raspberries and blackcurrants. Not very wintry at all. More like summer fruits perhaps?

Nice crisps in the crunch department and they do look hand cooked. Lots of flavour dust; perhaps a little too much. And when I took a handful out of the packet for noble friend to try (she missed the main testing), my hand was covered in slightly oily flavour dust and (quite attractively) little golden stars. Which get everywhere.

These are seriously weird crisps. What with the weird fizz, the fabulous (but weird) golden stars, and the quite weird sweetness of the fruit. And a taste of apples too despite no apples in the recipe.

The reluctant taste testers and I, and the Chef too, all feel that crisps shouldn't be sweet. So we didn't like them much. It is certainly a novel flavour for a crisp: but perhaps a little too novel for us.

As always, feel free to disagree.

Saturday 10 October 2015

Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Spicey Chicken & Smokey BBQ

The senior taste tester brought in two crisp packets. He tells me that he tried both flavours and he liked them quite a lot.

I've never been to Nando's and indeed I had paid so little attention that I didn't realise these South African chicken restaurants (with a Portuguese/Mozambican theme - or should that be the other way around?) were so ubiquitous. There seem to be branches all over the place, at least in London. So why haven't I been? Possibly because professor friend with children used to complain dreadfully how often she was compelled to take hers (apparently they regularly clamoured for Nando's chicken so loudly she gave in just for the sake of peace) so I sort of got the impression that you needed a child to eat at Nando's - although I'm sure that's not really the case. Or could it just be that I'm not mad for spicy food? Seeing that almost everything on the menu appears to be flavoured with peri-peri it is, perhaps, a restaurant chain not aimed at my tastes.

Anyway, history graduate taste tester tells me that I can buy Nando's sauces and stuff in some supermarkets. So the Chef and I could give the taste a try in the privacy of our own home if we feel like it.

However, enough of this. Senior taste tester recommends these crisps. I'm not sure I fancy the Smokey BBQ (you know I don't usually like BBQ flavour) but the Spicy Chicken might be interesting.

Some of the taste testers have suggested I shouldn't post crisps if I haven't tried them myself. But I say why not? The senior taste tester has tried and approved these crisps. There is no more to say. No doubt if I happen try try either of these flavours in the future, I will post an update.

Thursday 8 October 2015

M&S Monterey Jack & Chutney Pitta Chips

Marks & Spencer seem determined to run with pitta chips which I'm not mad for. The texture is all wrong and much too crunchy. And I get the feeling that the taste is all on the shiny top of the chip, and not on the rough bottom.

And why they have chosen Monterey Jack as the cheese part of the flavour is a total mystery. As far as I know this is a cheese from the United States. And not normally marketed in Europe. Or not in the cheese sections of my local shops.

Crunchy baked bites made from authentic pitta bread with roasted onion pieces says the packet. And on the back it says Monterey Jack cheese and apple chutney flavour pitta chips with roasted onion pieces. Mind you, the packet also says Motel. Let's hope these pitta chips don't taste of motels.

But there's no apple on the list of ingredients (or chutney either), and I'm not sure where the dried roasted onion (1%) comes in. Maybe that's what the odd brown spots on some of the chips are? It's all a bit of a mystery.

As for the Calcium Carbonate in the list of ingredients... CaCO3 is limestone, limescale, chalk, and a major ingredient of paint and antacid tablets. So why is it included in this crispy snack recipe? Seriously, don't look to me for an answer because I have no clue. I think it's probably a preservative but it does seem odd. Don't read about the effects of too much CaCO3 because you might be alarmed, but I doubt this packet of pitta chips will cause you to suffer health problems.

The taste I like. Very tasty. The cheesy, oniony, cinnamony taste is pretty good. But the texture is way too hard until the packet has been open at least 24 hours. And leaving your food lying around for 24 hours probably isn't ideal. So basically I'd lick the taste off, and throw the chips away.

Not the best review in the world. I don't think the reluctant taste testers are mad for pitta chips either.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Walkers "I'm Back!" Marmite

Well now, one of the crisp flavours in the "Bring Me Back!" multipack bags is this one. Which seems to have been brought back already.

I wonder if Walkers are bringing back Marmite flavour crisps for good, or whether this "I'm Back!" bag is to encourage voting on the other flavours - and buying of more packets of crisps?

I liked this crisp very much. I thought the Marmite taste was pretty good (they are actually made with Marmite) and I like the nice dark marmitey colour of the crisps. A success.

Even the non-Marmite eaters amongst the reluctant taste testers were prepared to try. The history graduate taste tester said maybe he was paving the way to trying the real thing. But dutch taste tester said she thought that noble friend was right when she described the taste as Oxo cube. Hmmn...

Of the "Bring Me Back!" flavours I've tried so far this is the one I would vote for. But it seems that Walkers have already brought it back. I guess we'll see how long it lasts.

Last week it was wonderfully sunny. Here's the lovely shadow of our white climbing rose on the dining room wall.