Monday, 14 March 2016

Highlander Tomato or Nothing! (Gusto Pomodoro)

Looking at this packet of crisps you would suppose it was a Scottish crisp. Well, it is, and it isn't. I think that Highlander Crisps used to be made at Bathgate in West Lothian but production there was closed in July 2013 and the owners (Italian crisp giants San Carlo) moved production to Italy.

It's all a bit confusing as the Highlander website has a address but is in Italian. And you can't help but notice that the brand remains very Scottish looking. I mean, check out the kilt! In fact, the guys on the packaging all look as though they are taking part in a highland games somewhere; about to heft an enormous crinkle cut crisp in search of a world record.

Wearing a kit is not enough to be a Highlander, you need grit says the packet. These are ideal crisps for those with character, thick and crunchy with strong and intriguing flavours, with no compromises. Be crunchy, be brave, be a Highlander!

We found these crisps at Pisa railway station in Tuscany, and ate them on the short journey back to Florence where we stayed last week. And I must say I thought they were really tasty (even though they do feature celery which as you know is to be deplored). The Chef enjoyed them too.

Nice fine crinkle cut, good crunch although I really would not call them thick and crunchy, and the taste is a lot stronger than you usually get in a San Carlo crisp. In my experience Italian crisps tend to have a lighter flavour than most UK or US crisps, or even Swiss crisps so the good strong taste here was a welcome surprise.
Everyone knows the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so I have included two other Pisa monuments with today's crisp. If you ask me, the fabulous Baptistry (seen here with a little stretch of the Mediaeval walls) would be a world-renowned building if it wasn't for the Tower, and this little church on the bank of the Arno, Santa Maria della Spina, is pretty special too.

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