Sunday 31 July 2016

National Geographic Travel Magazine: Salt of the Earth

Yesterday I was sent some pages from National Geographic Travel Magazine by Dear Friend in Buffalo. And here they are.

Or you can click on this link to read the article online.

I notice that most of these crisps (potato chips) are from Lay's (owned by PepsiCo). Walkers (the Marmite flavour crisps) are, I know, owned by PepsiCo, so I imagine that Old Dutch and Mackie's of Scotland are too. But it's not always easy to glean this information from company websites.

I haven't encountered Old Dutch crisps. I see they make some (what I would call) crinkle cut crisps. Oh dear. I see Old Dutch call them "Rip-L". I've got to say I find that pretty deplorable. However, I daresay it is memorable. And they may be very good crisps. I see from their website they also make "Ripples" and a new flavour is Onion Blossom. Now that sounds rather tasty. 

Mackie's of Scotland I have only seen to buy in Sion, in Switzerland (which does seem a little odd). But I know you can buy them in Scotland because my brother sent me a couple of packets of their Haggis & Black Pepper crisps for Christmas two years ago. But I've not seen the Whisky & Haggis crisps or the grand sounding Venison & Cranberry.

I also don't know the Korean crisp company Nongshim who make the Octopus flavour but fishy-shaped crispy snack (number 5). I'm not sure I could bring myself to fancy octopus flavour crisps. Could you? I couldn't find an octopus snack on their website, so here's what they have to say about their cuttlefish snack!

The crisps come from:
1 Russia
2 Scotland
3 Canada (Tomato ketchup! yum)
4 China
5 Korea
6 Peru
7 England (the only one the reluctant taste testers and I have tried)
8 Japan
9 Mexico
10 Turkey
11 India
12 Brasil

The little clues down next to each crisp are interesting. The clue for Scotland is the Loch Ness monster; the clue for Russia is a set of Russian dolls; the clue for Canada is a Mountie's hat, and for Peru a llama. But the clue for Korea is a dancing man.... oh I suppose it's that internet dance sensation I can't remember the name of because I paid no attention.... erm..... Gangnam style!  I would never have guessed that. And the clue for English crisps (British crisps really) is Stonehenge! 

Saturday 30 July 2016

Seabrook Lattice Hand Cooked Crisps Sea Salt & Red Wine Vinegar

Well, the reluctant taste testers very much enjoyed the sea salt version of this lattice cut crisp, and I think they enjoyed this sea salt & red wine vinegar version too. Only not so much. Quite a lot of people don't like salt & vinegar as a flavour; the Chef doesn't care for it much nor Senior taste tester I think.

I remember liking the sea salt crisps a lot but I wasn't so taken with this crisp. The salt & vinegar flavour is quite subtle, not harsh as so often, and a very nice crunch. But I thought this crisp was a little bit greasy.

However, I don't want you to run away with the idea that this was not a nice crisp. The reluctant taste testers snapped up two large bowlsful of this tasty crispy snack (not really a crisp because of the lattice structure) with no trouble at all. And nobody mentioned any greasiness so possibly that's just me. One or two of the taste testers as I say, like the Chef, aren't mad for salt & vinegar as a flavour, but still this crispy snack was, er, snacked up enthusiastically.

Lovingly made in Yorkshire, and very nice too. Just not so good (in my opinion) as the sea salt flavour.

Friday 29 July 2016

Kent Crisps Ashmore Cheese & Onion

These crisps are made with Ashmore Cheese: traditionally matured Ashmore farmhouse cheese (I wonder if "farmhouse" is a technical term?) made by cheesemakers of Canterbury. Apparently Jane the producer of Ashmore farmhouse cheese loves the full-bodied flavour of these crisps.

And they are pretty tasty. I have found some of the Kent Crisp flavours a little disappointing but this fancy version of cheese & onion is pretty good. Yes, very nice indeed.

It seems I left my camera at home the day the reluctant taste testers and I tried this very tasty crisp; so no photo of the actual crisps. But I recall a rich golden colour and lots of flavour dust.

And once again the Kent Crisp team have come up with a lovely packet design. All the packets are wonderfully designed and if I ever saw this on a supermarket shelf (remember I have only ever found them on a cross channel ferry) I am certain that they would stand out.

Thursday 28 July 2016

N.A! Nature Addicts Rice Crackers Poivre Noir

These strangely communion-wafer-like crispy snacks are a lot paler in real life than they are on the packaging. Weirdly both Slightly Red Haired Bristolian and Tech taste testers were reminded of communion wafers and I could see just what they meant. But (luckily) this circular snack does not glue itself to the roof of your mouth in the way that wafers do. 

However, the taste is much stronger and more appealing than communion wafer (which as I recall tastes of nothing very much): quite salty and very peppery. Very peppery indeed. Lots of taste. And quite a good crunch too.

It seems the reluctant taste testers were happy to snack on this mystery rice cracker which is obviously intended to be a healthy snack. I'm not sure that I was mad for it myself, but it is quite tasty. Don't know if I would buy it again... if I were in France (which is where I found this crispy snack).... but I would not despise to try it again if it were offered. Interesting.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Landau Natural Foods Potato Poppers Sweet BBQ

I really have to say that in my opinion this is a horrible packaging design. The snack on the packaging is grey or maybe beige and looks like mushrooms. Or maybe those weird mushroom-shaped meringue thingies you sometimes find.

But what do you find inside the packet? Yes, these little bright orange crispy snack circles. Nothing like the picture on the packet. I know. We are used to the packaging image being somewhat different from the actual snack... but this is ridiculous. 

And the snack itself? Well, I can tell you that Extremely Senior Volunteer taste tester ate quite a lot. I think the reluctant taste testers ate a fair amount, but Tech taste tester who was out of the office that morning on a confidential legal mission only got crumbs. Probably because of Extremely Senior Volunteer's enthusiasm.

Not a bad BBQ flavour and quite sweet but I thought there was an odd acrid aftertaste that spoiled the snack for me.

This is a low fat potato snack with 90% less fat than regular potato chips! Non GMO, all natural and cholesterol free. Potato Poppers are popped not fried. Landau... where good-health meets great taste. Or so the packet tells me.

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Ital Food Bruschette Maretti Mushrooms & Cream

And another intriguing flavour from Bruschette Maretti. Who would have thought of mushrooms and cream as a flavour for a crispy snack? What could the answer to this crispy conundrum be?

Apparently Bruschette Maretti (duh!) thought it a good plan. And we think they were right. It's an interesting taste this. A little surprising to the UK educated palate this mushroom flavoured crispy snack is really quite surprisingly mushroomy. Giraffe Fan taste tester suggested mushroom risotto, I think it was Senior taste tester who thought mushroom soup.

I think Giraffe Fan was pretty much on the spot, and several taste testers admitted that while their first taste was a mega surprise and they really aren't sure they liked this crispy snack, a second and third taste demonstrated that this is a very pleasant tasting crispy snack.

So if you spot it, give it a try.

Monday 25 July 2016

Ital Food Bruschetta Maretti Spinach & Cheese

Well, some of the reluctant taste testers didn't try this interesting snack because it was green.

Green! I mean, what's the matter with green food you cry? Spinach, for example, is green. What other colour would you expect?

The trouble is that I often don't tell the reluctant taste testers what's in the bowl in the kitchen and this can lead to horror or disaster if they snack on something unexpected.

However, while this crispy snack is undeniably green (on one side of the paper only) and it does taste kind of green, it's a sort of garlicky, maybe pestoey green. Quite nice and quite different. Again I found it at the new and improved food shop just down the road from where I live.

So some of the taste testers missed out. And some of the taste testers finished the bowl thinking it rather a tasty snack.

It would be nice to think that the spinach content in this crispy snack was one of my 5 a day. I suspect not although recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables do seem to vary quite a bit. And some of the quantities do seem a little unreasonable: I was making a salad for dinner the other day and the bag the lettuce came in told me one of my 5 a day was.... a lettuce. A whole lettuce! I couldn't eat one whole lettuce in a day let alone five of them.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Propercorn Sweet & Salty Popcorn

Proper popcorn, properly popped and simply flavoured sweet and salty. Simple and tasty. Nothing fancy. The reluctant taste testers quite enjoyed this honest snack.

There really is not much more to add except to thank Tall taste tester for contributing this little bag of popcorn.

Friday 22 July 2016

KP Nik Naks Rib'n'Saucy

I don't think I really get Nik Naks. They were never part of my childhood snacking (possibly not invented yet), or indeed my snacking at any time. I don't spot a packet and cry "Amazing I haven't seen Nik Naks for ages!" in an enthusiastic fashion as did Slightly Red Haired Bristolian taste tester the other day. Tech taste tester likes them too. I'm pretty sure they were a childhood treat for him.
However, it's always good to try something new, and this is a new Nik Nak flavour for me. Rib'n'Saucy. Hmmnnn..... We think this is a Chinese style rib not an American barbecue rib. And to me it tastes a bit sweet and sour, or aromatic crispy duck-like.
Not being a big eater of Nik Naks, neither a big eater of ribs (not even Chinese ribs) I am struggling slightly here. I think if you are a fan of Nik Naks you are likely to enjoy this crispy snack a lot. If not, perhaps not.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Willy Chase's Fit Corn Cacao & Coconut

I'm fairly sure I saw this air popped popcorn at the Gloucester Services on the M5 and I didn't buy it because I thought this flavour sounded suspiciously nasty (I'm not a fan of coconut). However, Noble Friend went to Fortnum & Mason yesterday and bought this packet.

So instead of simply suspecting it might be nasty... we were able to test my theory.

Well, the packet is made of something that feels like a posh version of grease proof paper. No idea what it is, but it has a lovely matte texture and looks very smart. And the unusual chocolate brown of this packet was very carefully chosen for this particular popcorn.

The popcorn itself has a very unusual look. It's as though someone has sifted coco powder over it but obviously something more complex has gone on.

I have to admit the overpowering aroma of coconut (remember I really don't like it) put me off completely. In a cowardly fashion I couldn't bring myself to try. Tall taste tester tried one puffed kernel and flinched away. Most of the reluctant taste testers really didn't like this popcorn. However, Slightly Red Haired Bristolian taste tester said she thought it wasn't as nasty as she had been expecting.

I put some of the popcorn back in the bag for the Chef to try. He is a fan of coconut. And he ate about a handful, but even he was not that fetched. He remarked on the very strong aroma, and also pointed out that the popcorn isn't right.

All the reluctant taste testers have said, about all three of the Fit Corn flavours we have tried, that the corn is not properly popped. It isn't light and fluffy with a light quick bite. The Chef said he would have liked it better if the texture was better.

Sadly I don't think that air popping works for us. What a shame.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Ital Food Bruschette Maretti Italian Ham Flavour

Another tasty snack from the new and improved local food shop. And they seem to have quite a selection of these Bruschette from Bulgarian (I think) company Ital Food.

Excellent. Because I really liked this crunchy little crispy snack. Quite a lot of breakages in this packet, not sure that's a good sign but maybe it is just this particular packet, but lots of very tasty flavour dust. And I loved the taste. I thought it was very true to the advertised flavour. Italian Ham. Yum. And Dutch taste tester liked this a lot too.

However, Noble Friend and I think it was Tall Elegant taste tester didn't like the taste at all. Noble Friend said the taste was far too strong. And overwhelming.

I expect Noble Friend wouldn't have cared for the aroma either if she had sniffed the bag. I was really impressed; the aroma was the same as the taste. Now, you might say how silly, of course this crispy snack smells the same as it tastes. But not silly at all. It is remarkable how many crispy snacks smell quite unpleasant when you open the packet. Don't try smelling your packet of crisps unsupervised unless you are an experienced taste tester.

I spotted the Chairman taste tester sneaking a tasty morsel from the kitchen as he passed by and worried a little as I know he keeps quite strict kosher. But luckily I am fairly sure this crispy snack is vegetarian. The ingredients are mostly in languages I don't speak and probably never will but there is a little sticky label in tiny type which does not list ham. Just ham flavouring.

A very nice crispy snack. I look forward to trying other flavours. I think the reluctant taste testers do too.

Monday 18 July 2016

Purina DeliBakie Oven-Baked Stars Cheese & Beef

Taste tester Honey highly recommends this fancy star-shaped snack. Goodness only knows why Purina thought it a good plan to produce doggy snacks in a star shape: I am sure Honey only cares about the taste. However, there's no denying, they do look rather smart.

And check out the name. This doggy snack sounds (reads) just like a human snack. DeliBakie (from the delicatessen perhaps?), Oven-Baked (speaks for itself) and then beef and cheese flavour. I have to say they do smell pretty good.

But. But they are for dogs.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Sizzling Hot

The reluctant taste testers and I had previously seen crisp packets from Nando's (Spicy Chicken and BBQ) but not actually been allowed to try the crisps. Because Senior taste taster brought in two empty packets. But I think we felt the aroma was pretty good.
Here we have actual crisps, not just a packet to sniff! 

This sizzling hot flavour is quite hot, but not too hot, with an attractive citrus burst before the hot sizzle hits your taste buds. Nice crinkle cut crisps with a good crunch and a lovely rich colour. Plenty of flavour dust. I think the reluctant taste testers thought this a rather nice crispy experience.

Incidentally, Senior taste tester had completely forgotten he'd brought in those packets. He has grander things on his mind.

Saturday 16 July 2016

M&S Wholegrain Snacks Sour Cream & Black Pepper

This is only part of the packaging. I chopped the bottom off because it was see through and there was nothing to see but the inside of the back of the packet.

This corrugated-cardboard-style crispy snack (thanks Tall taste tester) looks a bit dull. And truth to tell, it isn't very exciting. Pleasant but dull you might think.

But somehow it grows on you. And the black pepper aftertaste becomes more interesting. And gradually I found I could have eaten quite a lot of this little packet.

Do you remember how the terrifically dull-looking Kelloggs Bran Flakes used by be advertised with an annoyingly memorable jingle they're tasty, tasty, very very tasty, they're very tasty or words to that effect? That's sort of what you get here. Although actually I think Bran Flakes were even more flavoursome.

Anyway, not bad at all, and possibly better for you than you think because of course it's a wholegrain snack.

Friday 15 July 2016

7Days Bake Rolls Bacon

Hurrah! At last our local early morning/late night/all day Turkish shop has opened its big new store. Moving about 3 doors to the left this really good food shop now has at least twice as much room and has sprouted lots of exciting new stock. Including, you will perhaps not be surprised to leant, quite a lot of interesting crispy snacks. So I bought 3 packets. Don't want to get over excited.

We've tried 3 different flavours of 7Days Bake Rolls before (Garlic, Pizza, and Tomato, Olive & Oregano) and liked them a lot. Standing in the shop I couldn't quite remember which ones had seen the reluctant taste tester treatment but I was fairly sure we hadn't essayed the bacon flavour before. Luckily I was right.

And what a great crispy snack this is. Modelled I suppose on slices of bagel this is a very crunchy crispy snack with the flavour mysteriously on one side only. Sadly you do see a lot of breakages but that does not affect the taste.

Lovely, was what we thought. A very nice bacony taste. We enjoyed these a lot and decided we didn't mind at all about the broken bits. Such a good taste, who cares about the shape?

This product seems to be available in the UK, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. A slightly odd selection of countries but again who cares? You can buy them in our local shop.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Willy Chase's Fit Corn Goats Cheese, Red Onion & Thyme

Oh dear. I don't think this popcorn was a success with the reluctant taste testers.

Put it like this: Noble Friend refused to try (she doesn't like goats cheese), Tall Elegant taste tester spat hers out (she doesn't like goats cheese either), and Giraffe Fan (who loves goats cheese) did not go back for more. I confess I wasn't mad keen myself.

The problem is that the popcorn itself isn't nice. The texture is all wrong. It should be light and fluffy with a light quick crunch. And it isn't.

And the flavour... to be frank I don't think the flavour is goats cheese. Some sort of cheese maybe, yes, some sort of cheese with herbs. Dutch taste tester said she felt it could be a good flavour for a crisp. But not for popcorn. I think perhaps she's right.
This is a real shame. I wanted to like this popcorn. It seems to be doing all the right things. Or is it?

The packet tells me this product of free from gluten, frying, wheat, peanuts, MSG, GM/Frankenstein, twee stories, and guilt.

Honestly I would not normally expect gluten, wheat, peanuts or MSG with my popcorn. This is air popped so I see how you can eliminate any suspicion of frying. Getting rid of twee stories is easy, and I don't fee guilt when I try a crispy snack. So basically I am pleased to know there is no GM corn in this packet. But come on, don't congratulate yourself for not adding ingredients that shouldn't be there in the first place. It's like saying this popcorn contains no fish. Of course it doesn't; and fish popcorn sounds horrible. Oh dear. I hope no-one invents that!

Is this me being grumpy and difficult? Probably. But I feel disappointed that this obviously carefully made product is not as good as it should be.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Lay's Bugles Nacho Cheese

This crispy snack is a bit of a cheat. Because it is basically exactly the same as Smith's Bugles Nacho Cheese which the reluctant taste testers and I tried in April 2015. The thing is, Lay's appear to own Smiths these days. And so the packet design is almost exactly the same (except with a name change) and without the sombrero wearer.

However, we like bugles, and we like the cheesy taste. And this packet was specially imported from The Netherlands by Dutch taste tester. So here we are enjoying bugles again.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Jilly Goolden Taste Testing Crisps in The Daily Mail

I don't quite know why I left this article from the Daily Mail lie around in my pile of stuff since November 2015. Possibly because my pile of stuff is lots and lots of bits of paper. And stuff gets lost.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Jilly Goolden is a wine and food critic. She used to be a regular on the BBC TV show Food & Drink and was celebrated for her crazy descriptions of taste and aroma when she talked about wine. She is said to have described wine as tasting of grass clippings and compost heaps. Or possibly bonfires and wheelbarrows. Whatever, Jilly was famed for her innovative taste reviews. Obviously she was the person to go to for an unbiased view of crispy flavours. And here (in November 2015) The Daily Mail newspaper asked her what she thought of some of the more... unusual crisp flavours you can find these days.

So here's the link and then here's the scan of the printed page.

The reluctant taste testers and I have tried a number of these crisps. We've tried Burt's Thick Cut Guinness crisps;  Tesco Finest Hoisin Duck crisps; Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Hand Cooked Roast Turkey & Herb Stuffing crisps, and Marks & Spencer Pork, Sage & Scrumpy Cider Hand Cooked crisps. We have also tried Tyrrell's Hand Cooked English Crisps Summer Butter & Mint; Marks & Spencer Salt Marsh Lamb & Mint Hand Cooked crisps; Marks & Spencer Scottish Langoustines with Dill & Lemon crisps; and Tesco Finest Limited Edition Prosecco & Elderberry crisps. These last I found frankly disgusting and more like a child's sweet than a crisp. But you can read all our thoughts by clicking on the links.

Don't some of the names drag on forever? This list might as well be a menu in a swanky restaurant. Much as I enjoy trying fancy flavours of crisp I often come to the conclusion that a really good simple flavour is the way to go. Take a look at the Reluctant Taste Testers Recommend sidebar and you can see that almost all of our favourites are very simple flavours, in fact most of them are simply salted. 

Of course I don't imagine that will stop us trying lots more crazy flavours if we can find them, in fact I'm really sorry I haven't tried the Aldi Gin & Tonic crisps. They sound horrible! 1/10 is an amazingly low score so they are definitely worth a go if I can find a packet. Trouble is, I have no idea where my nearest Aldi is.

But I thought you might find this article interesting, and thanks to Tall Elegant taste tester for finding it. Because I don't read the Daily Mail and of course I missed it.

Monday 11 July 2016

Yorkshire Crisps Chardonnay Wine Vinegar

Sadly this is the final packet of Yorkshire Crisps for the time being. I really need to find a local source because they really are very good indeed.

And the Chardonnay Wine Vinegar crisps out of this amazingly blue packet are basically a fancy version of salt & vinegar. But a light and gentle salt & vinegar. Applied to a terrific crisp. Whatever else they do, Yorkshire Crisps know how to fry a slice of potato to perfection.

The reluctant taste testers did point out that this is just a salt & vinegar crisp, but they also agreed that it's a great salt & vinegar crisp.

As so often with a great product there is little left to say. Except to repeat "I really need to find a local source" and wonder if this potential source might also sell Yorkshire Popcorn which I have yet to try.

Sunday 10 July 2016

ROKA Gouda Cheese Bites

OK. I read the packaging really carefully and ROKA suggest you heat these cheese bites in the oven for 2½ minutes before starting to eat (AKA start crunching). So I'll try that now and be back in a bit.

Well that was quite some wait. Even so short a cooking time requires the oven to heat for what feels like an age. But I'm really not convinced that heating this snack for such a limited time (although would you want to do that for much longer?) makes a huge amount of difference to how you feel about this cheesy snack.

Tastily cheesy but quite a hard crunch. For some reason I really expected these Cheese Bites to have a soft and squishy inside: crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. But no. They are just crunchy. Even after heating (which you kind of feel ought to make a difference.) And I found that rather disappointing.

It seems odd to feel cheated after trying a cheesy snack. It's just that for whatever reason you kind of expect (make that I kind of expected...) a soft centre - which you don't get. Probably because this crispy snack was never intended to have a soft centre. Expectations eh? Not always a good thing.

But again thank you very much ROKA for the fabulous food parcel they sent me from the Netherlands.

Saturday 9 July 2016

Walkers Baked Cheese & Onion

You might think this Walkers Baked crispy snack was a potato crisp. but it isn't. It's a crispy snack made from potato flakes instead of slices of potato. And I wonder if that's why all the flavour seems to be on the surface of the snack.

I felt that I could lick all the flavour off the crispy snack and be left with a nothingy crunch. And Tech taste tester said as much too. Not that the flavour is bad - because it isn't. It just somehow doesn't seem to permeate the snack.

Nice crunch, a little hard perhaps, a very strong aroma of cheese & onion,, and an attractive cheese and onion taste. Oh, and a slightly ridgy texture. I liked these a lot. Tech taste tester told me he loves Walkers Baked (despite being able to lick all the flavour off); and I can see why.

I didn't get too many other comments from the reluctant taste testers. The 70% less fat and the baked-ness doesn't seem to be an issue. But I did get an empty bowl. Which is always a sign of approval.
And so today we say "so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!" to History Graduate taste tester. Farewell forever (possibly; because he's left us 5 times before). Thanks for many insightful comments on crisps and crispy snacks (and real world events too). The reluctant taste testers are sure that History Graduate will be running the world in short order, or possibly running a radio show which is what he seems to want to do. And to remember him here is a link to a song he reminded me I really like: Budapest by George Ezra. The Chef likes it too.

And here is the little guy throwing his rubbish away responsibly on the back of the packet. I'm sorry but I cannot remember if we have seen this little guy before. Even if we have, he's a pretty good one. Or is he a she with very short hair? It's hard to say isn't it?

Friday 8 July 2016

Pedigree Tasty Bites Cheesy Nibbles

Taste tester Honey loves these little cheesy nibbles from Pedigree. Packed with Omega 3, vitamins and minerals, and with no artificial colouring (you can see I am reading the packaging) these Tasty Bites are treat sized so you can tempt (or bribe) your dog without feeling too guilty.

I learn that Honey is an experienced taste tester. Her favourite "Peamutt Biscuits" made with Duerr's Peamutt Butter (a special peanut butter made with dogs in mind) feature in Mrs Duerr's Kitchen on the Duerr's website.
This is Honey
Taste tester Frieda likes Cheesy Nibbles too. But I feel she would like them better if they were slightly larger.

This is Frieda

Thursday 7 July 2016

Lay's Edition Limitee Saveur Piment Basque

This limited edition crisp came from the supermarket outside Reims and purports to be a special Basque flavour.

Never having visited the Basque country I wasn't really aware that the Basque population traditionally wears a white shirt and trousers with a red neckerchief and belt or sash. That's the men of course. The women get to wear a selection of different outfits depending on their area of origin: despite the small size of the Basque region it seems to encompass a lot of little smaller regions all with their own costumes and even language. Wikipedia sometimes has too much information for the unwary seeker of facts. If you are interested in traditional costumes you find out more on this jolly blog here.

Wikipedia also has much to say on the subject of pelota (also known as jai alai and other names too) which is being played on the packet here.

However, Wikipedia cannot help me discover whether this crisp tastes genuinely Basque. Because if you ask me this tastes very like a traditional paprika crisp. Perfectly OK, good crunch, you know the story... but not particularly special. And I think the reluctant taste testers would agree with that.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Sunshine Snacks Sour Cream & Onion

This was our fourth and last Maltese crisp kindly brought home by Noble Friend after her cruise. And you know how if you get five books out of the library you will always enjoy the last book the least. It's one of those laws of nature. Somehow that's how it was with our crispy snacks from Malta.

Not that these crispy spirals are nasty, no, it's just that the reluctant taste testers and I enjoyed the other three snacks more.

Quite a hard crunch (just as with pasta spirals the centre is quite thick) and quite a lot of breakages (but I suppose this packet has travelled a bit). Not a bad flavour, appreciated chiefly by History Graduate and Tall taste testers; perhaps a little too much onion for me.

But don't pay any attention to me; Dutch taste tester says this crispy snack is nice and light, and subtle.

We have at least one regular reader from Malta so I hope whoever that is will be pleased to see how much we appreciated Maltese snacks.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

M&S Spirit of Summer Mojito Mocktail Popcorn

Tall Elegant taste tester found this popcorn on special and so picked up a packet. And I'm not terribly surprised it was on special. 

The popcorn seems fine, the toffee works OK but is very sweet, and then there's the mint. Which is surprisingly minty with a proper hit of aromatic mintyness going on. But it is kind of unexpected. And the whole thing is quite sticky.

I wasn't in the kitchen more's the pity, because apparently the colour drained from his face, but I did hear the howls of surprise (and horror?) from Tech taste tester when he tried this popcorn. He said it was all shiny and caramel-looking and he wasn't expecting the mint. He admits to noticing the mint, but was not expecting such a minty mintyness. Well, you wouldn't, would you?

Dutch taste tester said it made her want rum. Noble Friend said she quite liked it. Was it she who likened the flavour it to lemon and lime? I can't remember. But to be honest I couldn't give most of  it away. Even Extremely Senior Volunteer taste tester wasn't eating it. And seriously, he will eat almost anything.

So the reluctant taste testers and I cannot in all honesty give this popcorn a very good review.