Saturday 30 March 2019

Zweifel Filu Original

I nearly didn’t pick up this packet of crisps in the Co-op in Switzerland because it does look as though it’s aimed at children, and I sometimes find children’s crisps not so nice (maybe a bit lacking in flavour). But luckily we did buy the packet (to bring home for the reluctant taste testers to try), took it home to the flat, looked at it.... and then the Chef and I pretty much ate the whole packet all at once. Yum!

So we bought another packet which survived the flight home (handy hint: prick a little hole in the packet so it doesn’t burst on the plane and then pack it inside a ziplock bag expelling as much air as possible. I always carry a 3 litre bag in my luggage) and the reluctant taste testers fell upon them enthusiastically.

This crispy snack has the same sort of texture and bite as a Pom Bear, and a slightly weird owl shape. I know owls have been super popular on the design front recently. Well I couldn’t avoid noticing all the owl vases and lamps and ornaments and whatnot on sale from every single catalogue and website, many of the owls a similar un-owl-like design as the snack. So perhaps that’s the inspiration behind this.

What a great snack though! They don’t taste of very much, although there is a bit of curry in the recipe, but you probably already know the “not very much” is no bad thing. Too much taste can be as bad as a taste you don’t fancy. But not much taste of nothing in particular (it’s hard to describe) can be simply delicious.

Yum yum!

Monday 25 March 2019

Regent's Park Lady Chips Poivre Noir

Oh dear. Senior taste tester was very unimpressed that these French crisps are called "Lady Chips".

"Where are the man crisps?",  he asked grumpily. Well, Senior, I'd like to point out that the world is stuffed full of crisps aimed at men. Lots and lots of great big crinkle cut crisps advertised as going well with beer.... you get the picture. Like Walkers Max Strong Jalapeño and Beer perhaps, or the Real McCoy's crisps.

But here we have a small crisp with a gentle crunch and a pleasant taste of black pepper. Nothing fancy, nothing super exciting, just a pleasant tasty crisp. Not necessarily just for ladies.

Check out this blurb from the back of the packet. Did you learn French at school? I did. It didn't include the phrase "le not so bad" but that's modern French for you.

I'm not sure that I'm mad keen on "Lady Chips" as a name for a crisp brand any more than Senior taste tester; it feels a bit patronising doesn't it? The reluctant taste testers and I tried a Lady Chips flavour before: Melange Thai. We weren't that impressed. Not at all sure about the flavour.

But this crisp? Pretty good actually.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Stark Smoki with Fresh Peanuts

I was a bit surprised to find this peanutty snack from Serbia in our local Turkish deli. Actually I really don’t know why because I’ve discovered all sorts of goodies there in the past.

This snack looks exactly as it does on the packet, which is not always the case, and reminded the reluctant taste testers of Bamba, the popular Israeli peanutty snack, beloved by Jewish families everywhere. Or so we were assured by our dear departed (busy being a mother to two very active little boys) Giraffe Fan taste tester who ought to know.

Living as we do in North London we can buy Bamba any day at a selection of supermarkets and delis, and we have tried a Macedonian version, so maybe a peanuty snack is always a good bet in the former Yugoslavia?

I’m also pretty sure we have tasted and approved a French version,  so it’s always a bit of a surprise to the reluctant taste testers that there isn’t a British version of this tasty snack.

Friday 15 March 2019

Cypressa Rosted and Salted Broad Beans (Habas Fritas)

I really don’t get broad beans.

I don't like fresh broad beans (with or without the outer shell), fresh or frozen, and I definitely don't like fried or roasted broad beans. It's a Spanish snack, probably enjoyed by millions of Spaniards and visitors to Spain, but I don't know. For me they're just too tough. Too hard a bite. Too... not made of peanuts. Which is probably extremely picky because, thinking about it, there's not a lot of difference between broad beans and peanuts.

That's just me though, and personal preferences are often weird. I know that Noble Friend really likes Habas Fritas, and it seems Tall Elegant taste tester liked them too. Possibly other reluctant taste testers , although I have failed to interrogate them all.

This packet of roasted and salted broad beans seemed to hit the spot for reluctant taste testers who aren't me. So why not try them for yourselves?

Sunday 10 March 2019

Corners Popcorn Crisps Mature Cheddar

Trust Tall Elegant taste tester to come up with yet another crispy snack you never knew existed. She's always going out shopping at lunchtime for lunch (and food for the rabbit which likes fresh garden peas please), and discovering some fancy new crispy snack I never saw before.

Yes, it’s a strangely triangular crispy snack made out of popcorn. Who thought of that? The new shape of popcorn eh? Well, who know?

Not us obviously. I didn't try more than one of this crispy snack because I go home at 2 (just after lunchtime), but I did rather wonder why. Why did anyone think to invent this snack? What's wrong with popcorn that it needs to be squashed into a triangular snack?

I don't think this crispy snack was nasty or anything. I just couldn't really work out why you'd want it.
Great design on the bar code though. I always appreciate a good bar code design (or little guy throwing his rubbish away responsibly).

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Sweet Potato with Cheese Fondue Hand Cooked Vegetable Crisps

Oh dear. What was Mr Tesco thinking?

Tall Elegant taste tester and I took a snap decision to throw these sweet potato crisps away before the rest of the reluctant taste testers had the chance to try. Noble Friend smelled the overpowering... I really hardly know how to describe it... and didn't try to stop us.

These crisps had a far too strong would-be-cheesy taste, and an aroma that pervaded half the office before we had a chance to stop it. And a frankly horrible taste not far off soap. Let’s just say we were very unimpressed. Oh dear.

Tall Elegant taste tester was much more polite than me: she didn't open up the bin and spit hers out.

I’ve got to say that I had my doubts about this flavour when I saw the packet but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so nasty. Perhaps a lucky escape for all of us that this was a limited edition flavour.

The Chef's brother (not technically my brother-in-law but you get the picture) gave me this packet of crisps for Christmas. Impressive! One of the very nastiest crisps the reluctant taste testers and I have tried.

We spend quite a lot of time in Switzerland (lucky us) and have fondue quite often. It never tastes like this.

Saturday 2 March 2019

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Camembert with Rosemary Hand Cooked Crisps

No I'm sorry. This flavour is just too weird for me. The crisps smell far too strongly of rosemary (obviously rosemary is in the title so you expect some, but just the same...such a huge waft.. I wasn't expecting that). And a waft of Camembert too.

Seriously, what possessed the crisp development team at Tesco that this combination of flavour was a good idea?

The reluctant taste testers’ Christmas lunch was at a nice little restaurant in Hampstead and featured rosemary bread. Which was simply delicious. To be honest, I could have eaten just the bread (with butter) and been perfectly happy, and pretty well fed. I’d go back for the rosemary bread alone.

But rosemary doesn’t work well here. And the crisps were not popular with the reluctant taste testers. Or me.

Sorry about that, Mr Tesco.