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

Manōmasa 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.