Tuesday 31 December 2019

Vico Kettle Cooked Gaufrette Chips Sel de Mer

After much trial and error, considerable taste testing and a lot of thought, I have definitely decided that I prefer crispy snacks that don’t taste of very much. As in this example simply flavoured with sel de mer: sea salt.

The reluctant taste testers and I have tried lattice design crisps before. We tried Seabrook Sea Salt flavour and liked them very much. We tried other Seabrook flavours and liked them but not so much.

And now we have a similarly delicious lattice crisp from French snack company Vico (an Intersnack subsidiary). I really thought we must have tried them before because they’ve been around since 2017, but apparently not.

A good bite, a light salty flavour, and I do like the lattice design. What could be nicer? And they do work well with a dip.

Apparently the 120g packet contains 4 servings. Well, the Chef and I have very nearly polished off 2 whole packets between us. Perhaps we’re just greedy.

This really is a great crisp. Highly recommended.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Happy Shopper Burger Bites

I found this cheap and cheerful crispy snack when I was in Budgens in North London searching (in vain) for Cheese Footballs.

Let’s start with the basics. No way do these crispy little balls taste of burger. Not at all.

However, they are extremely tasty; full of yeast powder, onion powder and beef flavour and yet still suitable for vegetarians. So, umami yumminess with a nice crunch. Plus they don’t gum themselves to your teeth the way some maize snacks do.

Pretty much the perfect accompaniment to a glass of white wine and the Penguins of Madagascar movie on TV. And in case you didn’t know, the movie features crispy maize snacks as an important plot device.

I'm impressed.

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Tesco Sausage Roll Flavour Puffs

Goodness me! What giant 250g packet of crispy snacks! Which is an enormous amount when you consider that each of these little maize puffs hardly weighs anything at all. I would hesitate to buy such a large packet of a snack I knew I liked so I did boggle a bit at the size, but who could really resist trying Sausage Roll flavour?

Of course you know you all know that little maize puffs like this are usually cheesy puffs; think the fabulous Cheese Tasters from M&S for example. Although there is the well-known Israeli peanut snack from Bamba. So this sudden departure into sausage roll as a flavour was a bit of a surprise.

And obviously had to be taste tested.

So I put this crispy snack to the Ski Instructor and Tractor Fan taste testers. Neither of them could hazard a guess at the flavour but they ate quite a lot of them. I never expect my taste testers to eat any snack if they don’t like the taste, and little maize puffs are not to everyone’s taste, so I count this as a handsome endorsement.

Subsequently I asked Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester to try. Amazingly she guessed the flavour correctly at once. She reckoned she could detect the taste of sausage roll pastry as well as the sausagey stuffing. And I think she's right.

The snack is rather dry, and it does gum itself to your teeth in a remarkable fashion, but it is a very clever flavour.  Who can say, though, if it will be a success? Tractor Fan was all set to rush off to Tesco in pursuit of another packet, but I wonder if most UK crispy snack consumers will be baffled at the thought of a cheesy puff that doesn't taste of cheese? Most people are very conservative and don't like  anything different. Change is hard.

Well, it'll be interesting to see if this crispy snack is around in a year's time. I hope so.

Sunday 22 December 2019

H.W. Lay Sea Salt

I had a terrible problem with this little 40g bag of crisps. I couldn’t stop eating them. I kept thinking that I really ought to say some for the Chef so that I could ask his opinion. And I just kept eating. Normally you will find me complaining that most packets of crisps are far too large. I mean, look at those grab bags you're meant to share with your friends. You know you're going to eat the whole lot yourself. It's not healthy. However, in this particular case, I wished I had a bigger bag.

If I find any more I will certainly buy them; but I'm pretty sure this packet came from (you guessed) a French motorway service station. And I'm not at all sure I can remember which one. Fingers crossed we can find them again because the Chef was pleased to approve the meagre 4 crisps I left for him. He was quite gracious about how greedy I'd been.

Thicker than the usual potato crisps from Lays, made with premium quality potatoes, slower cooked, and with a beautifully simple Sea Salt flavour, this is a really great crisp. I highly recommend it. Delicious.
The packet photo has come out a bit dull. Look for something a richer sky blue.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Choco Frutas GoNuts! Triple Berry Fruit & Nut Mix

This name as shown on this packet is not the same as the name given on the website. I can't find Triple Berry on the packet but this interesting snack from Costa Rica does contain freeze dried strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. So definitely three fruits.

Brought back specially from Costa Rica by Tall Elegant Taste Tester this isn't really a crispy snack. But it does contain nuts so I think we can stretch a point. As well as the chocolate coated fruits there are pecans, almonds, peanuts, and cashew nuts. And quite a lot of cinnamon.

This is another snack brought back from a far flung country (far flung from North London - look I don't want to get into trouble the way the folks behind Star Trek: Deep Space 9 did because that area of space didn't feel particularly deep to any of the locals) with a really interesting packet.  It says Please Recycle. It feels kind of papery on the outside but I'm not certain what it's actually made of so I don't know if it is recyclable, but the interesting thing is that it is genuinely resealable; unlike practically everything allegedly resealable in the UK. Why don't snack producers in the UK make properly resealable packets?

The packet design features a charming sloth on the front named Henry and a bird, I think perhaps a toucan (but it has a spot on its breast which I'm not sure toucans do, nor toucanets) on the back. And slightly oddly the text is mostly in English. There's a banana version of this snack in a yellow packet that has a cute monkey in place of the bird.

You can buy Henry merch (cuddly sloths, T shirts and much more) from the Choco Frutas website which is partly in English and partly Spanish. Or, obviously, you can buy their snacks. Importantly this packet tells us that 50% of the profits are donated to wild life and rain forest conservation. I couldn't find out more about that on the website but I did notice the organisation is involved in planting trees, helping to clean polluted rivers and rescuing macaws.

To tell you the truth, this is not the snack for me not least because I only really like nuts covered in salt, and I'm not mad about cinnamon. The nuts would (for me) be better if they were a bit more like KP Frosted Maple Syrup Roast Peanuts & Cashews with pieces of Belgian Milk Chocolate Honeycomb  (which we loved) but instead we have cinnamon.

However, there's no denying this is an interesting option. Take a look for more Choco Frutas products next time you're in Costa Rica.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Alka Elephant Squeezed Pretzels with Pizza Taste

I couldn’t work out why I didn’t like this Pizza version of Alka’s Squeezed Pretzel snack as much as the Salt flavour.  

For some reason Pizza flavour doesn’t always work as well as you think it might in a crispy snack. But it wasn’t that. You can see what I mean about Pizza flavour if you look at these Cheetos Pizzarini snacks from Poland.

And somehow I thought these Pretzels tasted quite strongly of celery. But it wasn’t really that either. And naturally the texture and bite were the same as in the Salt version. So it definitely wasn’t that.

In the end Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester put her finger on the problem: there is simply too much taste going on. The more crispy snacks I try, the more I find I prefer simple flavours. And this would-be Pizza flavour is just too complicated for its own good. At least, that’s how I see it.

I think they should have stopped with the plain and simple salted version.

Saturday 7 December 2019

KP The Real McCoy’s Muchos Nacho Cheese

New! Weird looking folded crispy tortilla snacks. Hmm.... did I think these are going to be tasty? No.

No, and I was wrong.

What an interesting crispy snack. Quite a nice crunch, quite a nice cheesy flavour, worked very well with a dip. As you can see from the packet detail below, this crispy snack is based on Mexican street food. Well, I've not been to Mexico, and while I have been to a well-known restaurant that claims to serve Mexican street food, I wasn't that impressed. But these are OK.

Not perhaps really my thing but might be yours. Give them a try.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Co-op Irresistible Hand Cooked Cornish Cheddar Cauliflower Cheese Crisps

Sorry, what?

Cauliflower cheese flavour potato crisps?? Apparently yes. Is this flavour almost as weird or even more weird than the wonderful M&S Reduced Fat Buttered Potato flavour crisp? Who can say.

But seriously, who on earth thought of this? The packet design has stars and glitter (a picture of glitter - don’t get over excited crisp fans) so perhaps it is intended to be a special Christmas crisp but who knows. I mean, do you have a Christmas Eve cauliflower cheese tradition? We certainly don’t (we have our Christmas dinner on  Christmas Eve if at all possible. It means that if family insist on coming round on Christmas Day, and they do, it’s a whole lot less stressful than it might be).

So.... cauliflower. Cauliflower cheese. Not sure any of the reluctant taste testers could detect that. Nor detect an aroma of cauliflower neither.

But this is an extremely cheesy crisp. It tastes so cheesy that I keep expecting each individual crisp to be completely coated in a thick layer of flavour dust. In fact they look like perfectly normal crisps. The bite is a little hard which I’m not mad about, with the skin left on which I like.

I’m not sure this crisp is actually irresistible, but it’s certainly less weird than we were expecting. And it works OK with a dip. Quite a lot of them were folded (which you can see on the packet). Interesting.

The Chef really liked them and insisted on finishing the packet all by himself.

Friday 29 November 2019

Waitrose Turkey & Stuffing Christmas Tree Shaped Tortilla Chips

Regular readers will probably remember that Turkey, or Turkey & Stuffing is a pretty good flavour for potato crisps. Well, it turns out the flavour works very nicely with tortilla chips too.

This tasty Christmas Tree-shaped snack from Waitrose is an excellent offering. The flavour is good (although your first thought may not be ‘ooh! Turkey & Stuffing’ but that doesn’t really matter), the bite works well, and there isn’t any of that floury effect you find so often with tortilla chips.

Plus it works amazingly well with our favourite sour cream and chive dip.

I tried these on the Chef: he liked them. I tried them on Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester: she liked them too. Even the Family Vegetarian liked them, and usually she prefers not to eat crispy snacks when they’re named for any kind of meat... even if they are labelled vegetarian: this she once explained to me at length. To be honest I was a bit surprised because I know she eats vegetarian sausages, which after all look like meaty sausages,  but there you are. Anyway, oh the triumph, in this case she seemed quite enthusiastic.

As so often with a shaped snack there were a number of breakages, although not as many as you often get, so good marks for that. And the tree is a great shape that works really well with a dip and is slightly larger than shown on the packet.. And feels Christmassy to boot.

We’ve worked our way through several packets (and several pots of dip), so a successful snack but sadly bad for our combined waistlines.

Obviously a special flavour for Christmastime so snap yours up now.

Monday 25 November 2019

Kambly Les Ficelles aux Tomates & Fines Herbes

Kambly make a lot of lovely Swiss biscuits and crispy snacks too. The reluctant taste testers and I tried this heart shaped snack in 2014 and now I see that Kambly are celebrating their 25th birthday, I thought it was time to try another (we also have Kambly biscuits quite regularly but that’s not we’re here for).
Les Ficelles, basically a Swiss version of cheese straws, come in 6 different flavours. I looked on the website, which a bit strangely is in English (the Swiss have 3 main languages to choose from, a couple of lesser used languages, and a whole array of patois associated with local valleys or individual cities. And then quite a lot of people speak English... but not the ones you'd expect like the waiters in the station buffet at Basle railway station for example). Anyway, lots of information on the website including other products and recipes. Kohlrabi soup anyone? I've never eaten kohlrabi but apparently it’s an ideal accompaniment if you fancy a cheese straw or two.

I’m not sure I am really convinced by this crispy snack. For a start, and we all know this shouldn’t make a difference (but it does) most of the cheesy twists were broken when we opened the packet. This could have happened on the flight home from Switzerland but I’m not sure.

Then the tomato and herb flavour isn’t the most tomatoey ever. It’s OK but... The worst thing is that this snack is very dry. It feels a bit mass produced; which of course it is. But I’m sure I’ve tasted
similar cheese straw style snacks which feel a lot more homemade, where you can taste the butter, and they’re less crunchy and more flaky.

Having said that, it’s not a bad snack and I don't want to be too nasty about it. I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself eating more than you expected.

Thursday 21 November 2019

Carrefour Gaufrettes á la Ciboulette et á l’Ail (footballs)

As you probably remember I am mad for cheese footballs. For some reason, practically everyone I know despises them and/or refuses to even try them. And one person went to the trouble of leaving a very poor review on this very blog, practically Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, to say how horrible they are.

Don’t pay any attention. I fully admit that the squishy stuff you get inside the little waffle is nothing like real cheese, but that’s not the point. And in this case the squishy stuffing is flavoured with chives and garlic which makes them a little bit different.

In fact, the difference means that there’s a whole lot more taste than in the cheesy versions, which in turn means you (this means me) can’t eat so many little footballs at once. Which means the little silver baggy you get in the cardboard box lasts longer.

I liked this new to me taste very much. But to be honest I love the cheesy version so much that I wasn’t that sure about this different version.

As ever, the footballs look exactly as they do on the box so I didn’t take a photo. Although that could be because I ate the whole packet rather quickly despite what I wrote earlier. But believe me, they do look the same as the illustration on the packet.

Monday 18 November 2019

Alka Elephant Squeezed Pretzels with Salt

Here’s a very nice pretzelly snack which I found (you guessed) at a French motorway service station. Really, I feel that almost anybody should factor in a visit to a French service station as part of their holiday: you never know what you’re going to discover. I usually only mention crispy snacks here, but you can find fabulous tins (really nice tins if like me you are a tin fan) of biscuits, interesting wines, great guide books (albeit in French but that doesn’t bother us), good nougat and so much more.

Anyway, I don’t have everyday access to the reluctant taste testers these days (because I stopped working and they haven’t), so I tried these Pretzel snacks on the Ski Instructor and brand new taste tester: Tractor Fan. I wasn’t at all sure about this because the Ski Instructor historically hasn’t seemed really that interested in crispy snacks, and I really don’t know Tractor Fan that well. But not to worry, because Tractor Fan snacked in enthusiastically, as did the Chef. I ate quite a few myself but definitely came in third on the snacking front.

I think that these flat (yes, squeezed by elephants) Pretzels worked really well. A nicely subtle pretzel flavour and a light bite which I appreciate. Although it does make crispy snacks easier to eat and should therefore be classed as a bad thing. Well, that’s a pity.

There are other flavours available in the UK, and possibly elsewhere,  and I have a packet of pizza flavour tucked away for future reference.

Thursday 14 November 2019

Manomasa Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Tortillas with Spirit

These fancy oval tortilla chips were on special recently so naturally I put a couple of bags in the trolley. And when two of the reluctant taste testers came round for Cinema Night - we watched Arsenic and Old Lace - this was what I reached for. And a tub of dip.

Although I am never quite sure about tortilla chips these are rather good. Apparently this is recipe number 86 (although I am not convinced Manomasa makes 86 different products) and is called the tostada.

They do have that weird floury bite I’m never really sure about, but the citrus zing is pretty fabulous. A very nice flavour with lots of flavour dust. Slightly Red Haired Bristolian and Cliffs of Moher taste tester ate quite a few and the Chef warned me to take a photograph before he ate them all.

Very nice indeed. I would prefer them to be less floury. And not so nice as the Quesa Blanco & Lemon Drop Chilli chips.

And farewell to Slightly Red Haired Bristolian Taste Tester as she has now moved home to Bristol. Happy snacking Charlotte.

Sunday 10 November 2019

Monomasa Queso Blanco & Lemon Drop Chilli Tortillas with Spirit

Here's another rather good tortilla chip from Monomasa. And another pretty packet. I do enjoy the way they play with their ingredients to make the kaleidoscope-style designs.

Actually I’m going to change my mind and call it very good. Even excellent.

Recipe No: 18, the Curado layered with creamy Queso Blanco, yellow Hominy Corn and the citrusy heat of Lemon Drop Chilli. All served up in a smart crispy rectangle. Provided the chips haven't broken, and sadly, as we have learned from experience,  tortilla chips so often do break.

The taste is rather good. I tried it out on the Family Vegetarian (luckily this is a vegetarian snack) and she was pleased to approve this slightly hot, slightly lemony, slightly salty crispy snack.  The word "slightly" downgrades the flavour somewhat but "very" would be an exaggeration, and no adjectives at all just looks boring. The Chef quite liked it too. we tried it with a sour cream and chive dip which worked very well but I note that the packet recommends guacamole. Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester finished the packet.

I think I first tried this tortilla chip when the Senior Taste Tester had some as part of his lunch. He promised to save me the packet but the office cleaner threw it away. Cleaners often fail to recognise the importance of saved crisps packets; yes, you may have finished the snack, but packets are a fount of information.

So here we find that this recipe was the 18th attempt  to get a perfect combination for the  Lemon Drop Chilli (apparently a favourite in Peru). Well, I never heard of Queso Blanco ( I presume it's a species of white cheese but my Internet access is acting up no end this weekend so I can't investigate now - I did try - honest, and for some reason my google comes in French), but it certainly works well. What's more, these tortilla chips don't suffer that nasty floury effect I dislike so much.

Quite moreish.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Eggy Kathy Salted Egg Potato Chips

Just about everything to do with this packet of crisps from Myanmar (Burma as was) is a bit weird.

The packet looks like brown card but is lined with silver foil and has a handy snap shut feature that you sometimes find on packets of raisins and sultanas. In fact it’s a genuinely resealable pack which I really admire. Honestly, I’m fed up with the amount of allegedly resealable packaging I’ve come across: it almost never works properly.

Then the packaging design is very unusual. Chinese lanterns, and those other lanterns that you light and send off into the night sky. And then some random leaves. I thought they might be curry leaves (on the list of ingredients) but they can’t be. “Shake me” it says, and “insanely yummy”. About 6 different typefaces and of course, 2 different alphabets gives a cluttered look.

But why am I niggling about all the little things? Because I couldn’t bring myself to fancy these eggy crisps. I couldn’t fancy the eggy Spanish crisps donated by Still a Student either. (And BTW Still a Student is a student no more. I understand she got a first and is enjoying travelling for a while.) And I always feel guilty if I can’t appreciate a packet of crisps brought from afar, especially for the reluctant taste testers and me.

If I remember correctly, it was only taste tester from the New Forest who appreciated this packet of crispy... well, like the frilly crunchy bits when you fry an egg. When you fry an egg properly. No point in a fried egg if it doesn’t have crunchy brown frilly edges. Well, we had one fan but this crispy snack was too weird for the rest of us.

I feel particularly guilty here because not only did Tall Elegant taste tester bring this packet of crisps home from Myanmar, but another little packet she bought from a boatman on the Irrawaddy River. And what did I do with it? Don’t know. Very guilty about that.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Snac! Cracker Mini Pizza

So here's a little packet of crispy snacky crackers which we found in the Co-op in Switzerland. but which mysteriously were made in France. Maybe I haven't been looking closely enough, I thought most Swiss crisps were made in Switzerland so I imagined most of the crispy snacks were too. But in this case, not so.

I'm sure we have tried pretty much this exact same snack in France. In fact, yes, we had some Crackers Gout Pizza from Carrefour. And the reluctant taste testers and I snacked enthusiastically on that version.

But this is not so good. Let's not complain too much though. If I hadn't tried the Carrefour version earlier this year I think I would likely have been quite happy with this crispy snack. The pizza taste is good. The crunch is fine. It's just the other snack is better.

But, you know, if you haven't got a local Carrefour, why not pop down to your local Co-op (in Switzerland) and grab a packet of Snac! Crackers?

Wednesday 31 July 2019

KP Hula Hoops Big Hoops BBQ Beef

Hmmn... not sure I would have bought BBQ beef flavour if there had been other to choose. It's a really hard flavour, built on yeast extract and dried tomatoes and salt:which appears on the list of ingredients 3 times (3 times? that's a lot of salt).
Now, as a lifelong lover of yeast extract (that's Marmite to many of you) I was horrified to learn the other day that it's partly made of celery (which you may recall I can't eat). I never noticed that. And I have to say that although there is no suspicion of celery in the list of ingredients here, this crispy snack smells quite strongly as though it should be there. Which is a bit odd.

So what makes these Hula Hoops into Big Hoops? They're just bigger. I was looking for a bigger ring so you could fit the hoop on your thumb not just on your little finger but it's not really like that. The ring looks bigger, but not too much. I think the bigness is in the width of the band.

This crispy snack has a great crunch. I'd like to try the plain salted version.

And I'm pleased to see that this grab bag isn't too huge. Some grab bags of crisps and crispy snack are just gigantic but this is only 50g so not too bad for your crunch at lunch. Which I bet this will be for many.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Kettle Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper

For some strange reason the reluctant taste testers and I have never got around to trying this crisp. Possibly because it appears to be a perfectly normal flavour: because you know we love to try the weird ones. However, that doesn't seem to have stopped Tall Elegant taste tester from attempting this packet as a crunch with her lunch. She didn't eat the entire packet though, and gifted me with the leftovers to see what I thought.

Not a bad crunch, as is usual with Kettle Chips, and a nice simple flavour. I am not at all sure if there is (or could be) a difference between sea salt & black pepper or sea salt & crushed black pepper as a flavour. I think it's just the words. Why not? The more words the better. Or not. It depends on your point of view.

On the back of the packet we are told this is "Lightly Salted's darker mysteries alter ego".  Mmmn... I'm not sure that encourages me. I am more interested to learn that 100% of the potatoes used to make Kettle Chips are British, most from within 30 miles of "our Norfolk home".

But absolutely nothing artificial is an annoying claim. I suppose it is meant to tell us we are getting a super healthy crisp here. Made with proper ingredients grown on farms filled with wildlife and birdsong.

But hang on, I always wonder what a crisp without this label would be made of? Potatoes grown in industrial revolution style gloomy factories? Fake potatoes carved out of wood? Of course not. All crispy snacks are made of real ingredients... it's just that some of them (not usually in the UK) has E numbers and stuff. Which might perhaps be considered artificial.

Anyway, despite the unnecessary claims this is not a bad crisp.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

U Mini-Choux Saveur Chèvre et Poivre

And here's a review I wrote of a similar product last July but mysteriously forgot to post. What a difference a year makes eh?

Hmnnn, I'm not sure this was the most successful purchase I made in the U supermarket in France. It looked like a good idea but you never can tell until you try. And that's what taste testing is all about.

Part of my problem is that Noble Friend won't even attempt chèvre, and Tall Elegant taste tester isn't mad keen either.  And then when you read choux you rather expect something soft (softish) like an eclair or a choux bun. But what you actually get here is a hard little biscuitty bite.

And while there is nothing wrong with a little cheesy biscuit, there's a lot to be said for a snack tasting how you think it will, and having the texture you were expecting.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Zweifel Filu Paprika

Quite simply one of the tastiest crispy snacks the Chef and I have tasted in a long long time. And Cliffs of Moher taste tester agrees with us.

Yum yum yum.

This is just as tasty and just as crispy, and just as good as Filu Original... only better. Better? Yes, indeed. This is a truly fabulous crispy snack.

Of course if you don't enjoy this sort of puffed potato starch snack it won't really be for you, but we think it's pretty good. Not much else to say really.
Highly recommended but sadly probably only available in Switzerland. So book your holiday now!

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Carrefour Mini Choux Goût Chèvre et Poivre

I wasn't sure if I had tried this crispy snack before... but apparently not. Or at least if I have, I called it something else. The Chef picked up a couple of boxes of crispy snacks for me the last time he drove through France. The ones the French call aperitifs. I really like this style of snack a lot. I learned to my cost that the reluctant taste testers are very suspicious. And quite often won't even attempt these snacks (they don't care for goats cheese).

But I retired from work recently. I miss most of the taste testers a lot. But hey! I don't have to consider whether they are going to like things or not. I shall probably post a lot less now. Because it isn't good for you to eat too many crisps and crispy snacks. If you divide 60g between 10 people it can't hurt... but if you eat the whole packet each time it won't do you any good at all.

Anyway, this is a lovely snack. The mini "choux" pastry exterior is crunchy quite unlike real choux pastry, but it tastes right. And the lovely soft gloopy goat cheese and pepper filling tastes great. I loved it but I can think of several people who wouldn't like it at all. I say yum yum. But you need to make your own mind up.

Carrefour have branches all over France, and I'm sure I've been to one in Mallorca too. I guess they also operate in Belgium and the Netherlands. Minisoezen anyone?

Friday 17 May 2019

Pu-Thai Squid Flavour

I can't tell you how much I wasn't looking forward to trying this crispy snack. And when I opened the packet and there was a huge waft of fish food... that didn't help much.

But it turns out this crispy snack (presumably maize based although I don't know - blame my lack of expertise in translating the Thai language) is not squid shaped. There's a couple of crab snacks on the packet, and then a sort of squid logo.  But for no reason that I can see, this snack is crab shaped. And very handsomely too.

You might suppose that if the manufacturer can produce such good crab shapes they might have had a go at squid shapes but is that me being picky?

So, filled with trepidation we had a go at tasting. And discovered they actually taste a bit like prawn crackers. So not too terribly fishy or weird at all.

Despite me leaving the packet lying around for all to see a good many of these crispy crabs were eaten in an absent minded sort of a way.

Not bad at all. And a bit of a surprise.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Tsakiris Chips with Graviera Cheese Flavour

Tech taste tester went to Cyprus to stay with his girlfriend's parents. She seems lovely - I've not met her parents. You aren't surprised.

Anyway, well trained as Tech taste tester is (he brought back a couple of packets of crisps (they all bring back lots of fun crispy snacks from all over the place). The reluctant taste testers and I tried a packet of Tsakiris crisps before: oregano flavour.

Graviera isn't a cheese I ever heard of, but that doesn’t stop it being the flavour for a reasonable packet of crisps. A nice gently cheesy flavour together with a nice potato crisp. What's not to like? On the other hand we ask ourselves, and not for the first time, why do we not have cheese flavoured crisps in the UK? Cheese flavoured maize based snacks? yes. Cheese flavoured crisps? no. Other countries don't seem biased against cheese as a crisp flavour.

I'm not entirely sure where this crisp was made so I'm going to put Greece, because our last packet from the same manufacturer was made in Greece. Apologies if they were actually made in Cyprus.

Sunday 5 May 2019

Carrefour Mini Flûtes Pure Beurre Au Parmesan et a l'Ail

Reluctant taste tester from the New Forest tells me that cheesy twists or flutes (or cheese straws) are her vey favourite crispy snack. And this mini flute seemed to pass her personal taste test with flying colours.

To be honest, I can't really find anything wrong with a crispy snack that has a lovely bite, a flaky texture and a great cheesy taste. And in this case, added parmesan and garlic. Really and truly, what's not to like?

A mini flûte seems to be better even than a large (or regular size) because you only need to bite them once; or you can stuff them into your mouth whole if you're feeling greedy. Whichever, this means fewer crumbs. Because a good quality cheese straw style of snack will likely crumble and if you are like me you will end off with crumbs down your front.

I found this tasty snack at the Carrefour supermarket outside Reims in France. There's an aisle of little boxes like this one filled with an exciting array of crispy snacks. Far more than you normally find in a British supermarket. There's also a large selection of potato crisps but if you happen to be in a large French supermarket I think you'll find it worth your while checking out the little boxes of crispy snacks.

Made in Switzerland not France.

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Belin Crackini Saveur Fromage Frais & Oignon

A little baggie of tasty biscuitty snacks from French snack company Belin. Nouveau it says on the packet, and cuit au four.

Sometimes you look at a packet of crisps or crispy snacks and wonder just why they are cooked in the oven instead of fried. I guess it's a health issue. Although, to be honest, a crispy snack isn't going to be super healthy even if it's cooked in an oven. In this case, since it's a sort of a biscuit, perhaps it makes sense.

It's a slightly odd rhombus or parallelogram sort of shape, with quite a fine bite, and a light oniony taste. Fromage Frais is a bit less usual as a crispy snack flavour than the usual sour cream. But not so different really.

Nice and flavourful. The taste is not confined to flavour dust that you can't help licking off immediately; the snack itself seems to be tasty. Taste tester from the New Forest was impressed. Architectural taste tester ate quite a lot. Did we all enjoy this crispy snack? I think we did.

The French decided not so long ago to change the spelling from oignon to ognon.  I think because no-one actually pronounces the i. But in practice it doesn't seem that anyone has paid any attention. possibly it was just une fake news. Which is French for fake news. Just in case you weren't sure.

Thursday 25 April 2019

Lay's Σνακ Δημητριακών Ολικής Αλεσης Sour Cream & Black Pepper

Which appears to mean Lay's whole grain cereal snacks sour cream and black pepper flavour. It's complicated using google translate when you have to use a greek keyboard too. Complicated stuff.

This sort of corrugated or radiator design snack is just like the Marks & Spencer version of this crispy snack (also sour cream and black pepper). Sunchips whole grain snacks are the same shape too. It's obviously a thing.

But why is it a thing? Who decided that whole grain snacks had to be this shape? I imagine we will never find out.

It's not an exciting snack, but somehow you find yourself going back for another. And again. More than once. Because this sour cream and black pepper snack has a nice, gentle flavour, and a pleasant light crunch. Not bad at all. Yes please, I'll have another.

Brought back by Tech taste tester from Cyprus where he was visiting his girlfriend's parents. A good choice.

Sunday 21 April 2019

Carrefour Cracker met Gouda

This crispy snack is called “crackers” I don’t know why. Because on the back of the box it's called a biscuit in French, and actually, in English I would call it a crispy snack, or indeed a cheesy biscuit. It's more of a sort of a biscuit bite than a cracker bite

It's a crunch cheesy bite and very tasty with it. I liked this little box of gouda crackers very much indeed.

Carrefour is of course a French supermarket, with ties to the Netherlands (and Mallorca if nowhere else in Spain), hence the two language labelling.

I can't always tell the difference between cheddar and gouda or emmental once they have been incorporated into a crispy snack (in real life of course it's different).

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Carrefour Gaufrettes au Fromage (footballs)

OK, so this is confusing. Carrefour, a great big French supermarket, has produced two different products called Gaufrettes au Fromage. I have taken the liberty of renaming one we have already tried "squares", and I will name this one footballs.

Because one of them is square, and one of them is ball-shaped.

I just love cheese footballs. I really do. They are one of my absolute favourites. And I was pleased to try this French version which I probably picked up at the big Carrefour outside Reims. And if you too like cheese footballs this cardboard box of snacks will please you.

But.... here are two weird things.

Cliffs of Moher taste tester won't try this crispy snack. She says they (they?) don't have them in Ireland and she's not going to start trying them now. Maybe, she temporised, Lidl or Aldi sell this style of snack, but nobody shops at Lidl or Aldi because the Irish don't trust them. OK then.

And, then we have Architectural taste tester, who we have known for a while, but she doesn't comment much. She tried this globe-shaped snack as though she had never seen it before. She savoured it in a suspicious "I don't know what to expect here" sort of a way. She tells me that she had expected it to be sweet and not cheesy. Weird!

Has she never seen the fabulous British cheese footballs which I first wrote about in 2013? Apparently not. However, she really enjoyed this crispy snack, and ate quite a number of crispy little footballs.