Wednesday 30 August 2017

Go Pure Natural Crunch Potato Chips Black Pepper & Sea Salt

Unfortunately the reluctant taste testers and I were not able to give this packet of crisps the good review it probably deserves. Because I bought the packet some time before I was taken ill (gosh, very nearly 6 months ago now) it has been sitting around for far too long. And was seriously past its sell-by date.

I didn't feel at all like trying crisps when I was really ill, and even after I started getting better it was a while before I fancied a crispy snack. In fact, for  really long time I didn't fancy lots of foods I would normally eat with enthusiasm. Being ill for so long has lots more side effects than you think.

Anyway, I think that under more auspicious circumstances these organic crisps from Dutch company Yellow Chips would be rather good. Possibly extremely good. A nice smallish crisp with the skin left on and lots (not too much) of tasty crushed black pepper and briny sea salt (or so the packet tells me).

Dutch taste tester agreed with me that the somewhat dull bite was a result of the sell-by date pastness.  So I hope to find another packet of these some day soon and try them fresh.

Go Pure and discover the goodness of the land says the packet. We'll try and do that.

Monday 28 August 2017

Kettle Chips Chef's Signature Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cox Apple Chutney

"Why do they taste of mince pie?" asked Slightly Red-Haired Bristolian taste tester. And she's kind of right.

I had high hopes for this cheese and chutney flavour crisp. Yorkshire Wensleydale is a Protected Geographical Indication which means you can't call your cheese Yorkshire Wensleydale unless it comes from Wensleydale in Yorkshire. Indeed these crisps are made in partnership with Wensleydale Creamery.

So it's a bit of a shame that the reluctant taste testers didn't really like these crisps very much in fact Tall Elegant taste tester thought them horrid.

I wouldn't go that far myself but there's an awful lot of flavour dust which seemed to us to be overly cheesy, and a bit too creamy. And here's weird; I had already though for myself that the crisps are oddly fizzy but I didn't say anything. And then Tall taste tester remarked on it too.

Wensleydale is a particularly creamy cheese (and a favourite of Wallace of Wallace & Gromit fame) but I'm not always sure that creaminess works very well with crisps. And the chutney is far too strong an element. I notice that one of the ingredients is ground cassia which I've not come across before. A quick look online tells me it's like cinnamon.

A quick sniff assures me these crisps smell of mince pie. I'm not sure this flavour is a good idea for a crisp.

Saturday 26 August 2017

Emily Veg Crisps Crunchy French Beans, Sugar Snap Peas and Black Edamame

You may have noticed that I don't often write about vegetable crisps. That'll be because I don't often sample vegetable crisps. I'd rather eat something made of potato.

But I went into Waitrose at lunchtime the other day and right inside the door where I (or anyone else) couldn't help but notice them, was a display of Emily Veg Crisps. And how could I resist this fabulously pretty packet? It reminds me of my Emma Bridgewater Sweet Pea jug.
The reluctant taste testers were dubious at best at the thought of crunchy french beans, and I couldn't help but remember the ghastly dried peas my great aunt used to serve when I was a child. My grand parents and aunt lived in the middle of the New Forest and never had access to good quality vegetables unless they grew them in the garden. My mother explained that any locally grown veg was sent up to London, and then brought back down to the country again to be sold in the local shop. By which time they weren't very nice. My aunt, a bad cook at best, served dried peas pretty much straight from the cardboard box they came in and they were hard as bullets.

However... However, we were quite surprised. The contents of the packet do look amazingly like frozen beans and peas so it feels a little odd when they initially taste almost like a potato crisp (it's the salt I expect) and then like a crispy crunchy vegetable. I thought the edamame beans were as hard as a boiled sweet; hence the thoughts on dried peas.

Senior taste tester grumbled that he doesn't care for green things and anyway they weren't proper crisps. I knew he would. But after trying extremely dubiously, forced into it by Tall taste tester who told him they were "not bad", he changed his tune and asked where I bought them. So I think we can count that as a success.
I wasn't very taken with them, and neither were Tall Elegant taste tester or Noble Friend, but I am fairly certain Tall taste tester ate a fair number. He complained there weren't enough sugar snap peas. He also moaned that the edamame had all fallen to the bottom of the packet which he stigmatised as a design flaw. I explained that there's not a lot you can do about the Muesli Effect (otherwise known as the Brazil Nut effect) which basically means that the small bits always fall to the bottom of the packet while the big bits stay at the top but I don't think he was interested.

Discover Bolder, Tastier, Crunchier says the packet. And believing that snacking should be fun, nutritious and tasty, Emily makes quality crisps with a crackle and crunch from her own favourite veg. Vegan, Halal and Kosher Pareve, these crispy beans and peas seem to be suitable for everyone, this 80g packet is 1 of my 5 a day, and only 95 calories per serving. Which sounds super healthy doesn't it? Except the packet contains 3.5 servings and that works out at 332.5 calories.

The average apple contains 95 calories and that I suppose is also 1 of your 5 a day.

The reluctant taste testers tried a packet of Crunchy Apple Crisps from Emily Crisps; back in May of last year. We quite like them. And here's the Emily Crisps website.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Torres Selecta Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is a bit of a turn up. I never saw a non-M&S crisp or crispy snack or bag of popcorn in Marks & Spencer before today. But lo! Here we are with this wondrous packet of Spanish crisps on the top shelf of one of the four shelves of crisps in my local M&S.
The reluctant taste testers and I tried a packet of Torre crisps before: truffle flavour. I thought they tasted disgusting! Possibly because I really don't like truffle as a flavour. Most of the taste testers don't like truffle either:so not a success.

But I did think the crisps themselves were lovely. A beautiful golden colour. Very handsome indeed. And this olive oil flavoured crisp is just as lovely to look at. And luckily the flavour is lovely too: not so much olive oil, more a very pleasant simple saltiness.

It's one of those crisps that don't taste of very much - but are all the better for it.

Tech taste tester was pleased to approve as were Tall and Tall Elegant taste tester. I liked them a lot and I'm sure the Chef will too.

I noticed that M&S are selling the truffle flavour. And.... guess what? Caviar flavour crisps. Caviar! Whatever next? I can't believe they'll be nice but I think we have to try. Don't you?

Monday 21 August 2017

Popchips Ridges Smoky Bacon

Still a Student taste tester had a packet of Smoky Bacon flavour ridgey Popchips for lunch. I haven't seen this new (to me at least) departure on the Popchip front so I was interested to try. Almost all the packet had been scoffed before I arrived on the scene but Still a student kindly offered me the chance to try.
Quite tasty. And a good texture too. I'm not sure I was ever mad about Popchips; hmmn yes, this is what I thought about Popchips Barbecue flavour, however, this seems rather a good crispy snack. I think the ridges are a good thing.

Here's the Popchips website. It would be interesting to try some of the other flavours.

Big crunch. Bold flavour. sizzling, smoky, sinless says the packet. These popped chips are popped not fried. Looking for something fried? try your local chippy. you can get deep fried anything there. looking for bold flavour and epic crunch? you've come to the right place! Pop chips are actually called popchips (because they don't seem very keen on capital letters) but I find it hard to write without using caps. I feel that a headline always looks better with capital letters.

And the Popchip company is based in a building called The Mothership. Great.
I don't want you to feel short changed with only one photo, so here's one of a pastel drawing I got out of storage the other day. This is my father's deerhound Finetta. I was very young when we got her, not even 18 months, and I couldn't pronounce doggy. So she became Goggy or Gog.

Thursday 17 August 2017

Carrefour Tuiles Goût Hot Dog

Goût Hot Dog? In the olden days (ooh, about 5 years ago, maybe 10) it would have been  Goût Chien-Chaud although a website tells me this is Canadian French so only used in Quebec. However, that doesn't apply as this flavour is firmly "Hot Dog".
Still a Student taste tester (she's new) went to France and very kindly brought back this tube of faux Pringles from Carrefour for the reluctant taste testers and me. Especially kind as she doesn't know me very well and I keeping piling piles of mystery filing on her desk.

Well, you all know what Pringles look like and feel like, and basically what you have here is a tube of own brand "Pringles" from Carrefour which is a French supermarket. The branches I've been to are gigantic and sell masses of crispy snacks so well done Still a Student for buying something we had not tried.

I've never had a hot dog. Which I announced this morning is a foolhardy fashion; it's likely that Dutch taste tester and Slightly Red Haired Bristolian may drag me off for a hot dog some time very soon to correct this aberration.... anyway, I've not had a hot dog, but of course I've eaten hot dog style sausages. What we used to call frankfurters. And didn't they used to come in tins? 

Some friends may wish to point out that they have seen me eat a sausage inna bun. Yes, I'll admit to that, and very nice too. But I've never ordered a hot dog from someone selling frankfurter sausages in long buns with squeezy things of bright yellow mustard on hand to provide the decoration.

So I'm not sure these crisps taste of frankfurter. It's a pleasant taste, sort of gentle barbecue and was pronounced very moreish by both Tall taste tester and Slightly Red Haired Bristolian. Most of the tube had been eaten by the time I left to go home but I snaffled a few broken bits at the bottom for the Chef to try. And he thought they were quite pleasant. High praise from the Chef who doesn't really like Pringles. 
Top quality crisp shopping from Still a Student taste tester. I'm sure she'll go on to greater things in the future. Oh and by the way, I started writing this blog almost exactly 4 years ago and this is post number 752. How did that happen?

Sunday 13 August 2017

Deep River Snacks Zesty Jalapeño

Tall Elegant taste tester went to visit a friend recently and brought back this small packet of crisps. Friend lives near Boston in the United States so that's where this packet comes from.

I've tried Deep River crisps before: New York Spicy Dill Pickle, which I found very spicy indeed. And now here we have Spicy Jalapeño. Which the reluctant taste testers and I found extremely spicy. Small and very crunchy but what a lot of taste.

Senior taste tester liked them a lot and thought them very spicy, Tall Elegant taste tester tried them and said they were extremely spicy, I thought the chilli taste was very hot, the Chef tried the last of the packet and said they were very strong.

You know how chilli often creeps up on you after you've eaten it. And you didn't think it was that hot but then suddenly it is. Not these crisps. No, you get the hot strong chilli taste at once. It's a very nice taste but it is a big taste. A very big taste indeed.

Mind you, the packet does have a warning. It says: Fair warning: the fresh heat of our jalapeño chilli pepper will leave your tongue tingling and your taste buds begging for more! And Did you feel the fire? I'm pretty sure our answer is yes.
Deep River Snacks support lots of very good causes and this packet encourages you to support the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Van Doesburg Cheese Filled Krisps Tin

So annoying. I wrote a whole post, filled in the labels section, published the post, shared it on face book and Google+ and wandered off to eat supper. After supper.... no post. All gone. Why does this happen? I have no idea.
Anyway.  Have you ever put a lot of stuff in storage for a while? It's very easy to forget what you own. OK, so it's hard to forget about sofas and dining room tables, but the bits and bobs and ornamental pigs fade away quite easily into the no-mans-land of memory. And when you went and picked up a bunch of boxes did you open one of them and wonder why?

Why did you save this lengthy correspondence with your friend in Morocco, why didn't you throw out this broken china dog ( I know it has a pretty face but...) or, oh look at this hat. It's got your mother's silk scarf tied around the brim. I know. It's tough throwing out your past life. The letters and cards from Morocco I have recycled. I'd be here 3 weeks from now still reading if I even started looking, and neither of us is famous (unless you could me: 135,000 readers and counting - no probably not) so someone would have to recycle it all some day; and the china dog has found a home with a friendly dog lover so I don't have to throw him away. And I'm going to keep the hat.

But sometimes you think amazing! I'm so pleased to find this again!

And here's an amazing one. I had completely forgotten about this little tin, and I don't remember where I got it, but what could be better?

This isn't a tin for my favourite KP Cheese Footballs. Instead it's for some football-like cheesy snacks made by Van Doesburg in the Netherlands. I've never seen them to try. Look tasty don't they?
On the tin there's an image of a windmill and a woman in Dutch national costume. She's even wearing clogs and clutching a handful of tulips to show how Dutch she is. So far so Dutch. Then there's a glass with a fizzy drink in it, and a .... strange kind of oval container with a sort of spout. What is that? Seriously, what is that strange container? Can it be a cocktail shaker?
Today's photographs aren't very good. The light was all wrong wherever I tried. I'm too impatient to wait until tomorrow and actually the forecast for tomorrow isn't much better so here we are with photographs taken too close to the window and the too much reflection. If you look hard enough you can even see that my camera is pink.

And here's the lid. It's a lovely little tin. A shame it looks as though these Krisps were made in the 1940s (websites in Dutch, which I don't speak).

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Savoursmiths Champers and Serrano Chilli

Oh dear, I'm not at all sure this brand of crisps was created with me in mind. Champers flavour crisps? Which is to say Champagne flavour.

I don't think I know anyone who calls Champagne "champers" but unless you make your wine using the methode champenoise actually in the Champagne region of France you use the word "champagne" at your peril. The lawyers who protect the Champagne brand are just as jealous of the name as those who protect Disney or Elvis's estate. So maybe it's best to stick to Champers.

Even though the flavour of these crisps derives partly from Champagne. Which I find quite hard to believe because I thought they tasted of soap. Soap with a hearty kick of chilli which was a nice touch. Not thrilled with the soap flavour though. And Dutch taste tester? She thought these crisps tasted of banana.
The crunch is nice but....

The packet says tastier than the cat's miaow and Cool cats love to live on the edge, so we've turned up the heat with this flavour, adding a scream of Serrano Chilli to the fizz of Bubbly & pinch of Sea Salt. The bee's knees have nothing on these! No, not sure about that.

Actually I don't usually drink Champagne in England because unless the Chef has chosen the bottle himself it can be quite poor quality. We are lucky enough to drive through the region of Champagne several times a year and some of the hotels keep a dazzling array of different wines in their cellars. They don't baulk at opening a magnum of Champagne to pour one glass for me and if I'm lucky there will be leftovers with my breakfast orange juice. Anyway, my luck includes trying a number of fabulous Champagnes and I am not convinced that these crisps do anything to encourage the drinking of a great wine.
Top tip: if you have dinner at a swanky French restaurant and they have a dedicated Cheese Waiter: on no account refuse the cheese course. Paddington Bear's famous hard stare has nothing on that of a Cheese Waiter spurned. It's alright. When we stayed at this hotel in January 2012 we knew better than to refuse the cheese.