Sunday 27 December 2020

Penguins of Madagascar: Cheezy Dibbles

 Yes, crispy snack fans, you’re all wondering why I never got around to posting the fabulous-looking Cheezy Dibbles before aren’t you? Dunno really. But Penguins of Madagascar was on TV again this Christmas and once again I spotted this fabulous cheesy snack. So now is the time.

So here’s a tribute to this wonderful-looking crispy snack, a maize puff, covered in yummy cheesy tastiness, probably chock full of E numbers, and looking just like our favourite Cheetos or Cheesy Wotsits, or even the fabulously fictitious Crunch Yeah.

This crispy snack is a favourite with our heroic penguins.

But E numbers have a disastrous effect, not only on small children, but also on penguins as we can see from the scenes in the film where orange flavour-dust stained penguins fail to concentrate on the task ahead. And go a bit loopy.

Probably extremely tasty if only they actually existed. Sadly I don’t think they’re real.

Saturday 12 December 2020

Grandma Wild’s Mini Bites Mature Cheddar

Hmmm... this little box of cheesy snacks looked as though it should be really good. I mean, baked without compromise since 1899? What could be wrong with that?

Sadly both the Chef and I felt these little biscuits were a bit dry. And not terribly cheesy.

I’m wondering if the posh-looking snacks have less taste than the mass produced ones aimed at us common or garden snackers? Or is it because Grandma Wild comes from Yorkshire and I have lived in London nearly all my life that I’m not mad keen? Yes, I know lots of people would kill to live in London: I just lived here because that’s where my mother brought me up.

Not at all nasty. Just a bit too dry for our taste.

Sunday 8 November 2020

Shore The Scottish Seaweed Company Seaweed Crisps Sweet Sriracha

I spotted these seaweed crisps outside my hospital ward as I was on my way to the lift. Unfortunately I really didn’t have time to stop off and battle with a smart-looking vending machine, so I just whipped out my phone and took a picture.

You can get Sweet Sriracha, Asian Pekin, and Lightly Salted.

I have to say that I have issues with crisps being sold in hospitals. However, if you are desperate for a crispy snack I imagine you would sooner grab a bag of Cheesy Wotsits or something else comforting rather than a fancy pants seaweed crisp.

Having said that, you already know I haven’t tried these crisps. Perhaps they’re amazing. And perhaps they are as healthy and tasty as their website claims.

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion

And here is the very final bag of crisps sent by kind Missouri Taste Tester. What a lot of fun we’ve had trying out a whole load of crisps brand new to us. Apparently this is Missouri Taste Tester’s favourite crisp.

Oh dear. I didn’t terribly like them. I don’t know why. I just didn’t. Sometimes you just can’t put your finger on whatever it is. But hey! See above: I don’t fancy this flavour but someone else does.

The Chef thought they were all right. Which isn’t the most enthusiastic review in the world. He did, of course, eat most of the packet. If I don’t like something I stop eating: it doesn’t stop the Chef. So it’s a lot harder to tell what he really likes. Or doesn’t.

Thursday 15 October 2020

7 Days Mini Bake Rolls Garlic

 Back in 2015 the Reluctant Taste Testers and I tried 7 Days Bake Rolls garlic flavour. And they are pretty fabulous. And tasty.

But here we have a mini version. The mini bake rolls are far smaller than the usual size which is fine, but what is not fine is that the taste seems a lot less. Maybe it was just this packet, but they weren’t very flavourful. So I would buy the regular size. 

The Chef was disappointed. He hadn’t noticed he’d bought a mini size.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Jays Krunchers! Original

This is the final packet of original (or salt) flavour crisps sent by kind Missouri Taste Tester. And just as when I used to get a lot of books out of the library and I always enjoyed the first book the most, and the last book in the pile the least, so with these crisps.

Not nasty, not unpleasant at all, simply not as special as the sensational Cape Cod crisps the Chef and I tried first. Just a nice lightly salted crisp. Out of a big packet.

Interestingly, these crisps smell great in the packet. Some crisps taste great but smell quite nasty. I’ve never worked out how come. But the packet still smells rather good even though all the crisps have been eaten.

If you are looking for a kettle cooked chip that explodes with bold potato flavor and offers a krunchy texture, says the packet, try original Krunchers! Select, premium potatoes are sliced to the ideal thickness and sprinkled with the perfect amount of salt, resulting in a “wow” for your mouth. 

Say goodbye to wimpy chips and BITE into Krunchers!

You’ll probably enjoy them. The Chef did, I know. I’m fairly sure he ate most of these crisps when I wasn’t looking. 

Monday 5 October 2020

M&S Vampire Fangs 2020

Obviously the Reluctant Taste Testers and I have tried Vampire Fangs before, but I notice that this year's version is much more realistic in the tooth design than before. If vampire teeth can be realistic. Which obviously they’re not....
But just as tasty as before.

The Chef was swift to appreciate the more realistic toothiness, and shoved a set of “teeth” in his mouth to impersonate a vampire and entertain the Family Vegetarian. Yes, that’s a Friday night family dinner chez nous.

Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester, newly home in London after 6 months in Ireland, snacked down the remains of the packet with enjoyment.

Give them a try. Yum yum! Far too easy to eat... 

(For some reason they used to be called Vampire's Fangs, and are now called Vampire Fangs. Nevermind. The taste is just as good.)

Wednesday 30 September 2020

Uncle Ray’s Ripple Potato Chips

Uncle Ray’s Ripple

Here’s another fascinating crisp gifted to me by kind Missouri Taste Tester. It’s another crisp which doesn’t have the flavour (salt) on the front of the packet, or indeed on the back. The only place it says salt is in the list of ingredients. Weird.

On the back of the packet we get a chapter from the life and times of Uncle Ray. Our chapter 11 is Thanksgiving on the Line and we learn about a disaster with 12 turkeys on board the USS Bristol. Fascinating stuff.

Also fascinating for me is that this is the official crisp of Minor League Baseball. I know nothing about baseball. To me it’s obviously a version of rounders; played by schoolgirls in the UK, but in the USA by men in pyjamas. It sounds terribly dull to me but then I absolutely hated being forced to play rounders and never once hit the ball.

 But how many times have I seen a TV character reach for his baseball mitt and a ball in order to connect with an anxious child or a colleague under stress? I suppose there must be something in it. What though? Answers on a postcard please.

This is a beautifully simple crinkle cut crisp which the Chef and I enjoyed very much (hence no photo of the crisps). The crunch is a little light but we aren’t complaining. Very nice.

I wonder why it’s not for sale in California? That’s weird too, isn’t it?

Thursday 24 September 2020

Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Lightly sea salted, this crisp is a little bit thicker cut than some, but not too much. A very simple crisp. I ate the whole packet (only 38.9g) all at once. I tried to save some for the Chef, honest!, but accidentally ate the lot.

Made with love & care. And very nice too.

Some time ago we tried another Miss Vickie’s; sweet chilli and sour cream flavour, and quite enjoyed it.

Saturday 19 September 2020

Trader Joe’s Organic Kettle Style Potato Chips

Most unusually this packet of crisps sent by Instagram friend in her exciting parcel from Missouri (let’s call her Missouri Taste Tester), doesn’t have a flavour. In fact, if you read the back of the packet you can see they’re seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt. But it’s most unusual to find a crisp packet without the flavour front and centre.
To be extra kind, Missouri Taste Tester sent a Trader Joe’s brown paper bag too.  So here it is in the background. In fact I already have a Trader Joe’s bag, which is famed and hanging in our spare room. A form of recycling if you will.

I sent this packet of crisps to the office via my ex-colleague Noble Friend. Because of social distancing and the Rule of Six I can’t see most of the Reluctant Taste Testers IRL, but I value their opinions.The report is that these crisps have just the right crunch, and just the right amount of saltiness. So I think that’s a recommendation.

Monday 14 September 2020

Old Vienna of St Louis Red Hot Riplets Hot Barbecue Flavored Ridged Potato Chips

Another exciting crisp in the parcel sent by Missouri Taste Tester. I had read about Old Vienna crisps in an online article, but never expected to try them.

This is a fabulously crinkle cut crisp with masses of rich red flavour dust. We’ve never had the opportunity to try St Louis Style Hot Sauce but it certainly imparts an impressive initial taste, and then a stunning afterburn or kick of heat. The Chef and Ski Instructor Taste Tester enjoyed a bowlful while discussing politics and found they had drunk a great deal more than usual (soft drinks thank you; it was tea time) to temper the heat.

This company produces hot sauce and seasoning as well as potato crisps, and popcorn, and also rather fascinatingly sells shower curtains! And T shirts, but you know, that’s not so exciting. I’m sure I could manage without a T shirt, but if I had a suitable bath I might be seriously tempted by the shower curtain. Check out the Instagram account for more tasty fun and games.

Coming soon: an even more super seasoned snack? Wow! How tasty can it be?
Personally I would spell it the Whole Shebang but never mind.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Tesco Mocha Peanut & Dark Chocolate Mix

This Tesco snack looked as though it might be rather a tasty packet of fancy peanuts and chocolate. It reminded the Chef and me of the fabulous KP Honey Roast Peanuts (sadly we think this is no longer available). But it’s nothing like so tasty.

For a start, I don’t much fancy chocolate coated peanuts. Nothing like so tasty as chocolate coated raisins or honeycomb. And then I really wasn’t taken with the chocolate cappuccino malt balls: I could manage without another ever again. And finally, there are far too many nasty little (sort of leftover) plain peanuts which if you ask me do not add to the experience.

Looks a glamorous tasty snack. Not sure it really is. Bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, the Chef absent mindedly ate almost the entire packet.

Friday 4 September 2020

Cape Cod Kettle Chips Original

What a beautiful little crisp this is.

Each crisp is smaller than your average crisp but has just as much, or actually rather more of a crunch than you might expect. With the delightfully simple Original flavour (basically just salt) you get pretty much the perfect crisp. Lovely.

I’m really sorry that the Reluctant Taste Testers aren’t around to share this packet with me. Or perhaps I’m not around to share it with them. But there’s always the Chef and he says he quite likes them.

A kind American friend from Instagram, Missouri Taste Tester, sent me a parcel of crisps and this is the first we have tried. And never even bothered with a dip. Very nice.

As you see; no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no GMO. And 40% less fat than the leading brand of potato chips. I wonder who that is? Apparently the Cape Cod Chips Company is based in Hyannis Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. To be honest that’s a bit of a surprise. Silly me. I thought it was just some marketing strategy. When your hand’s in the bag, your head’s in the cape it says on their website. They have merch!

Sunday 23 August 2020

Carrefour Boules à la Tomate

I wasn’t at all sure about this crispy snack. I mean, it’s a maize puff with added peanut so it should be a bit like these Peanut Flips but it really isn’t. Because it has added extra tomato flavour. Is this a good idea? 

I’m not sure. I think this peanut and tomato combo is a little odd.

This crispy snack has a very off putting smell (more snacks do than you might suppose) and the taste is.... like bolognaise sauce with extra added lemon, or chocolate. I know! Weird eh? The bite is lovely and light but the flavour dust is a sinister dark red which doesn’t look too good on your fingers.

I think I probably won’t be finishing this packet. 

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Copper Kettle Chips Sea Salt

 If you were reading my posts in early May you might remember I had been promised a packet of New Zealand crisps by the Chef’s Skiing Friend but they had been held up by the Spanish lockdown. Well, here they are!
Unfortunately this little packet of plain sea salted crisps went out of date at the end of April but the Chef and I thought they were pretty tasty anyway, and the crunch was still surprisingly good. Also they tasted good with a sour cream and chive dip, and without. Always a good test.

Copper Kettle Chips is a brand owned by New Zealand crisp company Bluebird Foods, which in turn is, of course, owned by the mega marketing monster that is PepsiCo. The potatoes for these crisps seem to have been grown in Pukekohe (one of New Zealand’s major spud growing areas), and processed by Vince’s Team. It’s hard to tell from the information on the packet whether Vince and his team harvested the potatoes or slow cooked [them] in small batches... to create the ultimate flavour and crunch.

Rather a small packet, only 40g, but obviously easier to post than anything larger, so we accidentally ate all these crisps before I got around to photographing them. But rest assured they look just like any other crisps you may have tried.

By the way, while researching this crisp, I learned that  2008 was The International Year of the Potato.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Dr Oetke Ancel Bretzels d’Alsace Mini

When I was about 5 or 6 we lived in Germany and used to drive to Bielefeld in North Rhine-Westfalia fairly often, and every time we saw the Dr Oetke factory. At the time I had no idea that Bielefeld was the headquarters of this giant baking, pudding and frozen pizza company. I also had no idea that there is a seriously strange conspiracy (dating from 1994, so long after we moved away) that claims Bielefeld does not exist. It seems the conspiracy stems from the fact that nobody ever goes to Bielefeld, or knows anyone who has been there. Well... I have been there and the 300,000 people who live there must be a bit baffled by the whole thing. It’s a bit odd.
The Chef and I found this little packet of French pretzels in Carrefour outside Reims. We weren’t at all sure about buying a Dr Oetke product but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. 

Twistez vous apéros avec ancel! says the packet. These mini pretzels have a good initial taste; well, you can’t go wrong with salt, and a good crunch, but an odd metallic aftertaste and indeed middle taste too. This product is made in Alsace, using French wheat, “cleverly sprinkled with salt” (although I don’t really know what’s so clever about that) and apparently has “an authentic taste”. These last two facts according to And “this irresistible crispness makes happiness of all” well you can’t say better than that can you?

But not as tasty as the pretzels we’ve tried from the Co-op recently.

Saturday 8 August 2020

Walkers Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings

Photo by Tech Taste Tester (stolen off Instagram)
Tech Taste Tester contacted me with news that he had just tried this crinkle cut crisp from Walkers. And he can confirm the taste is as hot as indicated on the packet. I am waiting for news on whether the taste is chickeny or not. It might not be. 

However, he points out that this is another crisp which suggests you pair it with beer. And therefore we think it qualifies as a “man crisp”. Tech Taste Tester, an actual man, deplores this. He says, in a swift Instagram message, “ladies do drink beer, but there’s a few too many other macho stereotypes and symbols used [on the packet]”. Why Walkers? Why do you do this? Does it really matter who enjoys this flavour? For goodness sake: it’s 2020 not 1975.

I looked in my local supermarket and discovered that both this Walkers Max flavour, and Jalapeño & Cheese, which the reluctant taste testers tried a couple of years ago, are on special this week. I wonder if they’re not very popular?

Monday 3 August 2020

Co-op Qualité & Prix Snac! Bretzel Salés

Recently the Chef and I tried a small pretzel from the Co-op in Switzerland. It was very good indeed (especially impressive as I have a history of not really enjoying pretzels), but somehow we couldn’t get another packet so we thought we would try a packet of these instead.

Well, I don’t know why, but this version isn’t as nice as the first we tried. Slightly (only slightly) larger, with slightly fewer little chunks of salt (the best bit if you ask me), and a slightly doughier taste. It’s not bad but I suspect it’s the budget version. And not bio. But with a slightly more complex knotty design than the bio version. And it also comes in a much larger packet.

Quite nice. But not as nice as the first packet of pretzels we tried. The Chef agrees. Of course, these not being as nice as the bio pretzels doesn’t stop us eating them, especially with a bit of butter.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Chio Flips Peanut

I never had a peanut flavour crispy snack (that wasn’t an actual peanut) before my friend Giraffe Fan Taste Tester (who is Jewish) bought me a packet of Bamba peanutty snacks from the local Jewish deli. I learned these are a staple for Jewish children, certainly in North London, probably all over the world. And the ex-chairman of my ex-work told me he was convinced eating this crispy snack prevented Jewish children from suffering the really nasty peanut allergy that afflicts so many British kids. Who knows? It’s just his theory.

Then I discovered the French also fancy a peanut snack like this one from Carrefour. And here’s another from Serbia. And here’s a great big guess: it’s likely there are lots of peanutty crispy snacks produced all over the world. So why can’t you buy a peanut snack in the UK? (Unless you have access to a source of kosher food.) Well, gosh! Probably because we are all so set in our ways there isn’t any danger we might try something a bit different.

So here’s a peanutty snack from Germany which the Chef and I found in Switzerland.
It looks as though it would be the same as a Bamba snack, but it has a harder bite. The Chef thought it would be saltier, but it wasn’t. He also thought it would be sweeter like the fabulous M&S Cheese Tasters, but it wasn’t. And obviously it wasn’t cheesy either. Oh dear. I have discovered that quite a lot of the reasons why you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) a crispy snack are about expectations. The Chef expected something else and so he didn’t really like this peanutty snack. 

I rather enjoyed it. So long as you expect a peanutty taste and a crunchy bite you might enjoy this too.

Friday 24 July 2020

Zweifel Waves French Fries Sauce

I think this new crisp flavour from Swiss crisp giant Zweifel is a version of the Dutch Joppie sauce that all Dutch and Belgian snack fans add to their chips (French fries). This sauce has morphed into a successful crispy snack flavour in The Netherlands, and apparently now Switzerland. And therefore, here we are.

I do not know if the Swiss put a sauce like this on their chips. I have never come across it in Swiss Romande and I suspect that it’s more likely the German speaking Swiss would do this and Zweifel is a company based in the German speaking area so... The Netherlands, and particularly Belgium, are not that far from the north of Switzerland and one should also consider the large numbers of Belgian and Dutch tourists who travel to, and through, this part of Switzerland every year. So, perhaps this flavour has been created as a tribute to their influence.

I find this flavour quite tasty but to be honest I am not crazy about the taste. It’s a sharp, pickley, mustardy taste (although apparently no mustard in the recipe) which isn’t really me. The Chef likes it better than me and says he could eat the whole packet. But I am saving some for Noble Friend, who I think will enjoy this Swiss crisp very much.

I think this crinkle cut crisp has a softer flavour than the Dutch version (see the link above) and the crisps themselves have a very satisfying crunch so I do recommend you try them if you can even though they aren’t really for me. Probably only available in Switzerland though.

PS Noble Friend tells me she thinks this crisp has a more subtle flavour than the Dutch original she loves so much, and is a little more salty. But nevertheless she thinks it’s very delicious.

Monday 13 July 2020

Co-op Naturaplan Mini Bretzel

You might think there’s nothing very exciting about a mini pretzel. Perhaps not. But a small pretzel, just exactly the right size? With the right crunch and exactly the right amount of salt? You really can’t go wrong.

What more can I say? The thing is, it’s a whole lot more difficult to write at length about a crispy snack you liked and enjoyed than about one you didn’t like. Naturally if you really disliked whatever it was, there’s always lots to say. So just imagine me sitting on the sofa idly watching a 2009 stage of the Tour de France on Swiss TV with the sound turned off (don’t ask), snacking my way through half a packet of these surprisingly morish little pretzels.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Zweifel Kezz Kessel-Chips Salt

Wow! What an amazing crisp this is.

Extra crunchy (as advertised on the packet), and with a very nice simple salty taste. I have seen ads on Swiss TV telling me this crisp merits 11/10 or even 12/10 on a scale of 1-10 (probably). The Chef, who has paid more attention than I have, is unable to tell me whether this score relates to taste or crunchiness, or both. It doesn’t matter. Searching for the ad online gave 4 results for Zweifel crisps followed by dozens of results showing Prince William enjoying a pint of cider and a plate of chips in his local pub. That’s French fries for North American readers but obviously in Norfolk where the Cambridges live they definitely call them chips. Possibly Prince William was demonstrating that it’s possible to visit a post-lockdown pub without getting completely smashed and beating up a police officer. But it’s a shame William is unlikely to taste this crisp any time soon. Maybe the next time he goes skiing though.
Kessel-chips are kettle cooked crisps which is usually crisp-speak for cooked in small batches, and often means a good crunch. In this case you get a very good crunch. Thicker cut than the regular Zweifel crisps and with the skin left on (de façon rustique), sans lactose, sans gluten and suitable for vegans. 
I knew this crisp would work well with a dip and we were lucky enough to find a very acceptable garlic and herb dip at a large branch of the Co-op. Yum yum. But honestly? This crisp is fab on its own. It’s a really authentic and delicious crisp. Definitely yum yum: very nice indeed.

And the Chef has already bought another packet.

Friday 3 July 2020

The Most Unusual Crispy Snacks?

I was going to start by saying that there is a surprisingly large number of crazy people out there in the blogosphere, and on Instagram too, writing about crisps and crispy snacks. Although as I am one of those crazy people I think perhaps the less said about that the better.

And there are some interesting articles if you can just be bothered to look. And while I was wandering the internet I came across a post from Bored Panda listing what he/she/they consider to be the most unusual chip flavors, which is to say, crisp flavours they have picked from around the world. Although I think it’s a pity the person who compiled the list didn’t supply any of their own opinions.
Well, it’s an intriguing selection but I don’t think the crisps listed are as unusual as all that because the Reluctant Taste Testers and I have tried some of them. And as this cartoon from Berger and Wyse shows, one person’s favourite crispy snack may be delicious to them but qualify for your personal unusual/weird/too disgusting to try list. I mean; I really do draw the line at Mint Mischief (from India)
or Blueberry from Bored Panda’s article. At least I think I do. What would happen if I found a packet to try? Obviously I would try them. But I definitely do draw the line at Victorian Oyster. Probably.

However, I think it’s important to note that one person’s unusual/weird/too disgusting to try crispy snack may be the flavour of choice for someone who lives in another part of the world. Or another state, another county, or 5 miles away where they speak a different language: you can bet that with another language you get a different set of flavours. And shapes too.

So anyway, let’s take a look at Bored Panda’s list: what about Lay’s Wasabi Ginger? Actually most of the Reluctant Taste Testers rather enjoyed this unusual flavour. I didn’t! But that’s because I dislike  wasabi and horseradish. I don’t understand why you would eat them on purpose. So I was doomed to dislike this crisp.
Or what about a cinnamon flavour crisp? From Monomasa  perhaps?
Or maybe from Marks & Spencer? It’s really not as mad as it sounds. Just don’t try dipping these cinnamon rolls into your sour cream and chive dip.
But I think we wouldn’t try Cappuccino crisps again. Seriously; who on earth thought of this? I do realise it was part of a “do us a flavour” campaign where crisp fans suggest wacky new flavours but surely this is a ridiculous flavour for a crisp? How did it ever get into the final selection? None of the Reluctant Taste Testers enjoyed this crisp, including Dear Friend from Buffalo who bought it. Mind you, when she came to stay I did ask her to buy the maddest flavour she could possibly find. Well, it was worth trying

Here’s  a comment from Grub Street on this one.

Friday 19 June 2020

Lay’s White Mushrooms with Sour Cream

The first thing to say about this Russian crisp is that it emphasises the colour of the mushrooms. Do you suppose there is another crisp featuring brown mushrooms? It’s quite possible.
The packet advertises a ФУТБОЛ (football) themed competition. With exciting prizes including yellow Lay’s branded hoodies and suitcases. 

I thought at first this must be to celebrate the 2020 UEFA European Football Championships (which happen every 4 years just like the Olympics). But in fact I think it is the Champions League, in this case with special reference to the ultra famous Lionel Messi. Although, having looked at pictures of Lionel online, I am not sure I would recognise him from this packet. Of course I pay little or no attention to football but I am aware that all football competitions have been somewhat scuppered by the coronavirus this year.
So what do we think of the crisp? Quite fine cut, quite pleasant. Not a flavour the Chef and I had ever encountered before... mostly I think because we don’t get the opportunity to try Russian crisp flavours very often. Or at all. Rather subtle and gentle as a flavour but I could definitely pick the mushrooms and the cream (but not that it was sour cream). 

It’s interesting that the British like very strong flavours in their crispy snacks (try this delicious Salty Dog Salt & Vinegar crisp for example, and Italians prefer something considerably more subtle like this Gusto Chipsburger crisp. The French fall somewhere in the middle, and I haven’t yet tried enough Russian crispy snacks to draw any conclusion. This particular Russian crisp definitely falls into the subtle category, but perhaps a stronger mushroom flavour wouldn’t be an improvement. 

Saturday 13 June 2020

Lay’s Strong Hunting Sausage

Right, let’s start by saying that I am pretty sure the flavour of this crinkle cut crisp is Hunting Sausage; not Strong Hunting Sausage. I think the strong relates to the “heat-ometer” shown on the packet.
According to the super useful, but not always tremendously accurate, google translate, this is a packet of chips (or crisps) for beer. 

I find it an interesting idea that some crisps are apparently created specifically to eat while drinking beer. This discriminates against people who don’t drink beer, or can’t drink alcohol. And gives the weird idea that you cannot enjoy this crisp without a bottle of beer. And, much worse, shows that this crisp is marketed at men. I really don’t approve of sexism in crisps. Yes, I am well aware that a lot of women drink beer, but the concept of beer chips seems definitely aimed at men. The strong flavour is another clue.
This packet of crisps, which I found on eBay (it’s amazing what you can buy on eBay), has lists of ingredients in Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyzs, and Georgian, which is a beautiful script but I did draw the line at trying to plumb that one into google translate. Sorry everyone. So, anyway I guess Lay’s sell them across a great swathe of what used to be the USSR.

I know I said it would be cheating to order fancy crisps online, but hey! this is the time of coronavirus so how else am I going to find an exciting crispy snack to taste test?

And after a great deal of effort (using the Cyrillic alphabet) I can tell you that the flavour is built with beef, onion, garlic, chilli, coriander and rosemary. At least, I think I can. I’m sure you lot imagine the Chef and I just prance about munching crisps the entire time. In face I seldom prance. And in this case I put in quite a lot of effort copying the very tiny Russian script on the packet onto my iPad in order to translate it for you.

And silly me. I had imagined the sausage would be made from the hunter’s bag. Perhaps with the deer or pheasant or boar he shot. But a little research leads me to think it’s actually a tasty snack the hunter packs in his bag to sustain him (or her) on the hunt. There are German and Polish versions of these sausages too.

The Chef seemed to enjoy these crinkle cut crisps but I confess I’m not that keen myself. The drips themselves are fine, but I wasn’t that mad about the taste. Perhaps that’s because I don’t drink beer? But I would like Tech Taste Tester to give his opinion: he is a big fan of meaty crisps which I usually am not.

A fascinating crisp flavour though. Not something that would occur to UK crisp manufacturers I imagine. But perhaps that’s because you don’t get simply squadrons of people rushing out to shoot wild animals in the U.K. the way you do in countries like Poland, Germany, Russia, or even Switzerland.
Photo by Tech Taste Tester (stolen off Instagram)

PS When the Chef and I escaped Swiss lockdown and made it back to London I was able to pass on the remains of the packet (about half) to Tech Taste Tester. I have now received his report. He says, “I can confirm these are pretty lovely crisps. The crunch is nice - the texture reminds me of some other crisps and maybe it’s non British crisps? Our crinkle is usually denser or something. The flavour is nice - not sure why there’s a STRONG-O-METER as they’re not particularly spicy/hot. One nice fact is they don’t make your hands smell awful which some meat crisps do.” So now we have the opinion of a meaty-flavour crisp expert.