Wednesday 29 August 2018

Regent's Park Lady Chips Melange Thai

Hmmn.... I discovered the packet of crisps in a French motorway service station. Of course I did. This is a packet of crisps purporting to be British, may even English. Regents Park is of course in London. And they are indeed made in the UK. But I can't help feeling this is a giant French con.

I don't really know what sort of mix of flavours Melange Thai is supposed to be, but I am pretty sure it includes lemongrass. Thai food is frequently described as fragrant and I think you could possibly describe these crisps like that. But not in a good way.

Like an old lady's bathsalts said Tall taste tester grumpily. And I can see what he means. There's not so much a taste here as a fragrance.

And as Cliffs of Moher taste tester pointed out; the crisps themselves aren't very nice.

Amazing crunch by lovely farmers it says on the packet. Very sorry but no.

This is a rare example of a crisp aimed directly at women. But Lady Crisps. Really?

Sunday 26 August 2018

Tasto Seaweed Korean Style Sauce

Here's another packet of crisps specially imported by Still a Student for the reluctant taste testers and me. All the way from Thailand. I'm really impressed she managed to bring home 6 packets of crisps without any of them exploding in her luggage (it's worth stuffing your crisps into a ziplock bag for the flight if you're worried about this scenario). I'm also impressed she had the room for 6 packets of crisps!

I'm told Still a Student has yet to sample any of these crisps, so here goes on the second choice.

This crisp was a great hit with the taste testers who like seaweed. Tall Elegant taste tester was very taken with the flavour but Cliffs of Moher and I were not. But then we aren't seaweed fans. Personally, I thought the taste was just horrid. Just like taking a mouthful of beach. But as I said, the seaweed fans amongst us enjoyed this 75g packet quite a bit.

I have battled with google translate, and I think I can assure you that Thai for potato มันฝรั่ง does appear on the packet. However, I am slightly hampered by knowing nothing of the Thai language or culture (no, I've not been), and the way the translation software takes out all the gaps between the words in my English text. Still, finding มันฝรั่ง is a bit of a triumph.

No, not for me but yes for others.

Apparently Tasto's signature crisp flavours are Crab Curry, Pla Sam Rod and Salt & Sour.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Entree Barbecued Crispy Pork Classic Rock Extra Crunch

I'm afraid I am struggling with this crispy snack. I don't know who makes it and I'm not sure which parts of the English text on the packet should be included in the name.

Still a Student is back for a bit more holiday work and has just been to Thailand. She hasn't seen any of us for a year, and some of us not at all, so what does she do but bring us 6 packets of crisps. Amazing!

Anyway, knowing nothing about the Thai language or alphabet, I luckily stumbled on a website that will sell me this square crispy snack. Apparently it's made of pork, oh wait a bit... it actually says that on the packet. How silly of us not to notice.

That will interest Slightly Red-Haired Bristolian who said it reminded her of pork scratchings which she loves but can't eat (much too hard) and she really liked the taste. Graffiti Artist (the Chef's son-in-law and actually a Chef) was also reminded of pork scratchings, and pork crackling too.

And one of the reluctant tastes testers said the texture reminded her of skin. Now we can see why.

Apparently this snack is made by an old and trusted Thai firm called Sor Khonkaen  famed for their pork products. I hope the website I've found has got this right! I put that name into google translate to see it in Thai lettering but could not find anything similar on the packet.

Not sure I was made about his pork snack. Not sure we were prepared for it. To be honest I thought it looked more like a breakfast cereal than a crispy snack.

Monday 20 August 2018

Walkers Max Strong Jalapeño & Cheese

These extra hot crinkle cut crisps from British crisp giant Walkers are described as being "perfect with beer".  I don't know about that as I only drink beer as a last resort, but it does seem that these crisps are (probably) aimed at men. The black packet, the beer glass shape in the middle of the O of the word Strong, and the go faster flames.

Now the reluctant taste testers haven't tried one of Walkers' Max Strong flavours (unless under their own steam and not reported back to HQ), but the Chef and I tried the Chilli & Lime on a plane to Geneva. I said then that I wasn't encouraged to try the Jalapeño & Cheese version. But apparently I forgot and here it is.

"Extra hot" says the blurb above an image of three red flames. And extra hot is right. Only two of the taste testers (including me) noticed the cheese part of the flavour. It comes first before the huge whack of chilli.

Tall Elegant taste tester choked at the first hurdle and coughed and spluttered to a glass of water. The rest of us managed a little better, and most of the 50g packet was snacked up.

I quite liked the flavour. As did taste tester from the New Forest. But we agreed we'd have liked it better if the heat had not been quite so intense.

They really are much too strong.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Cheetos Spirals Cheese & Tomato Ketchup

Wow! this is a giant in the world of spiral-shaped snacks.

The packet says chrupki kukurydziane o smaku sreow-ketchupowym which I take it means cheese and ketchup smaku... I mean flavour. Not because I have amazing Polsh reading skills, but because there's a drawing of cheese and ketchup on the packaging.

The texture of these would-be cheesy Wotsits from the Polish branch of Cheetos is basically expanded polystyrene. Which sounds awful but it kind of grows on you. It is a little like biting into one of those packaging peanuts but odd as that may seem, that can grow on you.

Not an especially cheesy crispy snack, and frankly not very tomato ketchupy at all, but I found I was really enjoying this giant spiral snack much more than I expected.

This photo was styled (because, you know, I'm an internationally renowned food photographer) in the same bowl as usual. So you can see what a great big snack this is.

I'd buy this crispy snack again.  Annoyingly although we only taste tested this snack yesterday (as I write) I cannot remember who ate all the spirals. I think it was Slightly Red-Haried Bristolian but I might be wrong.

And just in case this might influence your thoughts, the packet contains a leopard patterned moustache temporary tattoo. Of course it does.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Pringooals Match Day Edition Pizza Flavour

I guess this is a World Cup tie in tube of Pringles.

Just the same traditional Pringles crunch but a pizza flavour. Yes, it's that packet of mini pizzas you keep in the freezer for an unexpected influx of small children.

Tech tate tester put his finger on the flavour. He was at a family party recently and small children were catered for with just such a snack. The pizza not the Pringooal.

Really very tasty.

Sunday 12 August 2018

Michel et Augustin Sablés Aperitifs Pur Buerre et Sel de Guérande

This is an extremely buttery crispy snack. Little biscuits that perhaps look as though they should be sweet and not savoury. Perhaps that was the problem. The reluctant taste testers were not expecting a tomatoes and chilli in a snack that looked like this. So I'm thinking this wasn't popular because the little aperitif biscuits looked all wrong... for how they ought to taste.

I wonder how the taste test would have gone had I employed a blindfold?

It is intriguing how we expect a "crispy snack to taste savoury and a "biscuit" to taste sweet. If the "biscuit"tastes savoury we find it hard to cope. Which is silly.

An interesting snack.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Co-op Onion Rings

I never realised I liked onion ring crispy snacks until recently because I never eat actual onion rings. But I find the fake onion ring snack is actually pretty tasty.

And this is a good example. Slightly oddly made with maize, wheat and rice. But I notice that increasingly crispy snacks (as opposed to potato crisps) are made with an odd selection of ingredients. I wonder what task the rice performs in making this snack?

Good crunch. Good oniony taste. One of the reluctant taste testers thought the taste lingered too long - but really, what did she expect?

Not gourmet but tasty. I ate quite a lot. The taste testers all (mostly) ate quite a lot. None of these tasty onion rings made it home for the Chef to try.

But the Co-op is just round the corner and open late so he can rush out and buy some more if he feels fretful.

Monday 6 August 2018

Co-op Limited Edition Irresistible Hand Cooked Gourmet Burger Crinkle Cut Crisps

Blimey that's a great big long name for a simple packet of crisps!

Irresistible? maybe; Hand Cooked? I'm sure; crinkle cut? obviously; Limited Edition? well, who knows? Depends how popular this crisp flavour turns out to be.

And I'm not sure how popular a burger flavour crisp that don't really taste of burgers will be.

Cheeseburger flavour is easier to replicate than plain burger I think. You have the cheese, the distinctive mustard and the pickle. With plain burger flavour, which is what we have here, we seem to have just the pickle flavour.

Specially selected potatoes grown in Herefordshire, hand cooked in small batches (I wish I knew how small that actually is) and seasoned with Aberdeen Angus beef, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, dill pickle and a hint of chilli says the packet. Why Monterey Jack I wonder? It's not a cheese you normally get in the UK.

This is a lovely crisp with a great crunch. Noble Friend told me she liked it because - well, "you know I like that flavour". Others of the reluctant taste testers snacked in quite enthusiastically so that only a tiny proportion of the packet was ferried home for the Chef to try. I was happy to eat this crisp... but disappointed that the flavour is mainly dill pickle.

Quite tasty. The Chef thinks "not bad" (you know how picky he is. But not burger flavour whatever the packet blurb tells me.

Friday 3 August 2018

Cheetos Pizzerini

Chrupki kukurydziane o smaku pizzy says the packet. Which reminds me of the Officer Krupke song in West Side Story.

Ahem... anyway, this is an interesting puffed triangle shaped Cheeto. Which is different. And another of these pizza flavour snacks that tastes oddly of cheap child-oriented frozen pizzas. Epic!

And it's one of those crispy snacks that you wonder why you're having another. And another.

It's a bit of a mystery that the local Turkish shop is suddenly stocking a bunch of Polish crispy snacks but that's great for international taste testing do let's take advantage now as I'm unlikely to visit Poland any time soon. I'm sure it's lovely but time is short and Switzerland is nearer.