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.


  1. Well, the fizz would be really weird I would think. Love the star idea though...just that alone on a yummy chip would make them special enough for Christmas!

    1. Yes the stars would be great on a yummy crisp. But these are definitely too weird to qualify as yummy. Sorry about that!

  2. is there any could help me to buy this and send it to me? i live in hong kong and i looking for it whole week. pls help me. my email: thank you so much

    1. Are you really sure? The reluctant taste testers and I thought these crisps were seriously weird.