Monday 30 July 2018

Osem Popco Butterscotch Corn Snack

This is popcorn. So why call it a corn snack? That seems odd.

Tech taste tester told me he doesn't do popcorn (fair enough) and not many of the reluctant taste testers seemed mad keen but the Chef has happily snacked down most of this 75g packet without complaint. Trust me: he complains if he feels the need.

I couldn't quite grasp why I didn't really like this crispy snack. The popcorn itself is perfectly fine. Nothing odd there at all; and some popcorn can be really bad. I think it must be the butterscotch. I was expecting toffee. No matter that the label says "butterscotch" in fairly large letters I still expected toffee flavour.

If I had been expecting butterscotch I think I'd have been happy. Expectations are weird aren't they?

Kosher for passover.

Friday 27 July 2018

TGI Fridays Potato Skins Snacks Baby Back Ribs

Well this is a strange one and no mistake.

It's a pretend potato skin (basically what you get when you bake a potato in the oven and scoop out all the tasty white flesh). And in many countries you eat the skin or throw it away - your choice - but it's not a dish that anyone would buy. But in the USA it seems to be a snack food. You take a potato skin and load it with grated cheese and bacon and stuff.

But this is a completely pretend potato skin. So pretend it's made with maize and tapioca (from the cassava root) as well as potato starch and potato flakes. And since it's an American product it's also chock full of MSG, dextrose, maltodextrin, potassium chloride and other non European stuff. So not a huge potato content it seems.

One of the reluctant taste testers told me that Baby Back Ribs is a Justin Timberlake song. That'll be Baby Come Back I think. But you can enjoy this interesting TV commercial  for Chilis Baby Back Ribs Sauce from Justin and NSYNC if you fancy.

I confess I din't like the rather dull bite of this not so crispy snack. And I wasn't mad about the flavour either but somehow the entire packet got snacked up.

Managerial taste tester, who as we know hardly ever comments, was not impressed at the design or shape of this snack. And I agree it is perhaps not the most alluring snack ever.

I confess I don't get why you would market a faux potato skin crispy snack. I guess it's just not to my taste.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Kettle Discoveries New York Deli with Pastrami, Dill Pickle & Mustard

Here’s another complicated flavour crisp from Kettle Chips (who you can follow on Instagram if you fancy).

Discoveries is all about exciting flavour combinations inspired by food from near and far says the packet. Like Broadway and yellow cabs, the New York Deli sandwich is an authentic part of the ‘Big Apple’ experience. Hmmm....

At first crunch I wasn’t sure I was going to like this crisp. And Slightly Red Haired Bristolian told me she really disliked it. But, as so often, a second try, and maybe a third, changes your mind and in the end I really found myself enjoying this crisp. I like dill so thought the pickle flavour was very nice. And actually the pastrami flavour works very well: actual pastrami is on the list of ingredients so these crisps are not suitable for vegetarians.

Quite to my surprise I really enjoyed this crisp but perhaps it isn’t a flavour for every day.

Saturday 21 July 2018

Snatt's Mediterraner Snack Tomate und Oregano

More of a biscuitty crispy snack than what we usually taste test, this brodsnack mid tomato und oregano (German) or pane con pomodoro e origano (Italian) or bread with tomato and oregano... bread? What an off-putting way to describe a snack.

So, more of a biscuitty snack. And very tasty with it.

I have been very slow writing up what the reluctant taste testers thought. And I hardly remember what they said. But I think it was pretty positive. But I know the Chef liked this Spanish snack very much. Hang about... this snack was made in Valencia (Spain) it says here. Why no Spanish text on the packet? That's a bit odd.

Well anyway. I thought this was rather moreish and so did the Chef and so I daresay we'll be seeking out another packet next time we are in Switzerland. Which is where I found this.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Keogh’s Crickle Cut Irish Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper

A great big crunchy crinkle cut crisp; this was specially imported exported from Ireland by Cliff's of Moher's mother who seems very keen to assist in the crisp tasting activities of a bunch of people she's never met.

Grown with love in Ireland. Deliciously fresh Irish potato crisps. Gluten free. Handcooked on our Family Farm. The Keogh family believe that good things come from Mother Nature and that is why we have been working the land growing delicious Irish potatoes for over 200 years. We are now hand cooking Ireland's finest crisps in small batches on our farm, 'from crop to crisp', grown and cooked with love in Ireland. Loads to read on the packet which, as ever, is full of more information than you might expect.

My crisps here were grown in a field called Malahide (you can see pictures of your named field on the Spud Nav page of the Keogh's website), the potato variety Lady Claire, and cooked by Magdalena. And the sea salt comes from the O'Neill's, at Irish Atlantic Sea Salt.

But why is this crisp so sweet? And really peppery. I think the reluctant taste testers would have preferred more salt less sweet.

But, you know. Still a tasty.

Sunday 15 July 2018

Popchips Ridges Buffalo Ranch

Coming to write up this crispy snack I am struck with the idea that ten years ago I wouldn’t have had a clue what the name meant.

The me of ten years ago would ask “What’s a Popchip? Because maybe we didn’t have popchips then. Perhaps not.

“What does ‘Ridges’ mean? Well, maybe I was a bit behind the times on the crispy snack front. I usually think ‘crinkle cut’ but obviously these days I can accept either.

I’ve been to Buffalo NY because I have a friend who lives there (handy for Niagara Falls and there’s a nice art gallery too but what has that got to do with snacks? Yeah, again I was really slow to discover what ‘buffalo’ means. This is because I discard the wings of a chicken as all but inedible (seriously... nothing but skin and sinew) so never discovered the alleged delights of the buffalo wing and hence, of course, buffalo to mean chicken as a crisp flavour. Which when you break it down like that does seem pretty weird. I do have a friend who says chicken wings are the best bit. But I’ve told her several times that she’s wrong and I’m sticking with that and Cliffs of Moher taste tester agrees with me. Luckily with a crisp you get the chicken flavour but not the sinew.

And ‘Ranch’? Well obviously it’s a dressing. But did I know that ten years ago? I think probably not.
Well maybe, but I don’t think I’d have had the opportunity to try.  So nothing to do with ranching buffaloes then.

So what did the reluctant taste testers of 2018 think of this crispy snack? Some of them are young enough not to realise that the name of this snack is a very modern concept in this country but naturally that didn’t stop them crunching in to this quite hot snack. It was hard to pick the chicken flavour through the ranch flavouring (which seems to be mostly cayenne pepper) but if you concentrate hard I think you can taste it.

The crunch is pretty good, and once you’ve grappled with the heat, the taste is pretty good too. Yes, not bad at all. But truthfully? A bit too hot.

Thursday 12 July 2018

Seabrook With a Twist Barbecue Flavour Spiral Popped Snack

What is it about spirals as a shape for crispy snacks? Why do I somehow feel I ought not to like them? I don’t really know why that is. But I always seem to enjoy spirals quite a lot.

And despite, as regular readers well know, not being mad about barbecue as a flavour I found myself rather enjoying this packet of spirals too. Which is a good thing as I like to support Seabrooks as (I hope) a proper British company (with any luck) not owned by a mega-giant multi-corp. Made with pride since 1945.

And here's a major surprise though. I didn't notice until just now as I sit here writing, and I'm pretty sure none of the reluctant taster testers noticed, that this crispy snack is made with peas. Peas?

Now you may recall I've written up pea-based snacks before and not had much good to say about them. But this is a whole nother story.

The back of the packet (always read the back of the packet crisp fans: it probably tells you more than you thought you needed to know) tell me this crispy snack is made of yellow pea flour. Also potato starch and rice starch. What a surprise! I guess that's the twist in the name.

Seabrooks tell us they have unleashed the power of the humble pea. Popped and twisted for a crunch that's lower in fat (80% less fat than regular potato crisps apparently) and full of flavour. Some say it's impossible to make such a healthy snack so tasty. For us it's easy peasy.

Judge for yourself! Stop reading and start eating. Well, I really have to say I am impressed. I'm willing to bet the reluctant taste testers will be too. And the Chef was mightily surprised.

Slightly odd that the lilac packaging is decorated with images of tomatoes and garlic cloves but this crispy snack is suitable for vegetarians.

Monday 9 July 2018

Croky Paprika

This handsome blue packet of paprika flavoured crisps is the last packet brought home from the Netherlands by Noble Friend. And I for one thought them rather tasty.

I’m not sure why, but Noble Friend didn’t have high hopes for this crisp. Maybe it was the packet design? Maybe “Croky” didn’t appeal as a crisp name? Maybe it was the parrot? Who knows. No, no... I get it. She doesn’t eat red peppers. (No more do I, but that’s another story).

A simple crisp. A Belgian crisp, and a tasty one, this was quite popular with the reluctant taste testers.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Goalden Wonder Golden Balls

This snack from Goalden Wonder (usually Golden Wonder) may or may not be linked to the forthcoming football World Cup in Russia. The packet makes no mention of the World Cup. Although obviously there is a big green football pitch strewn with golden footballs on the packet.

 It does say You're bound to score with these all-round favourites that deliver more punch than crunch. They are fully flavoured with our tongue tingling cheesy oomph which goes round and round and round.

Yes. C'mon and share some golden cheesy balls from Goalden Wonder. It is a bit odd that the football imagery is so obvious and yet not mentioned. You might think you were imagining it if it were not for the football pitch and the goal. And... the Goalden Wonder.

I am sorry to report that despite much anticipation the reluctant taste testers and I were not terribly impressed with this crispy snack. The golden balls don't have the fabulous dusting of orange flavour dust we expect from Wotsits or M&S Cheese Tasters which is disappointing. And the texture is far too dry. I ate one golden ball and founded myself choking on the dust dry puffed corn and potato snack. And not very cheesy.

What a pity. Because they look so tasty. But all is not lost because taste tester from the New Forest was very taken this this crispy snack.

I'm still thinking of the seriously fabulous Kims Ostepops. Trouble is, if you've tried what seems to be the very best, the also rans struggle to win any taste test.