Tuesday 28 January 2020

Paul Cheddar & Caramelised Onion Chutney

Oh dear. I've been so busy with one thing and another I absolutely cannot remember where this packet of crisps came from. It might have been another offering from Noble Friend (as was the packet of Chardonnay Wine Vinegar crisps which the reluctant taste testers liked a lot. They really did.

Or not.

So I'm sorry that I can't tell you anything about this crisp. But it comes from a good stable. So is very probably worth a try.

Thursday 23 January 2020

How to Eat: A Crisp Sandwich

This is an article from the Guardian Newspaper.

How to Eat is a monthly feature in the Guardian and in December 2019 it featured an article on how best to eat a crisp (potato chip) sandwich. It isn’t really my thing, but maybe you’re a fan?

Photo copyright The Guardian newspaper

Sunday 19 January 2020

Co-op Naturaplan Chips Romarin

Hmmn, interesting, this is a packet of crisps from the Swiss Co-op which turns out to have been made by Swiss crisp giant Zweifel. We all know, even if we don't think about it, that major crisp manufacturers make crisps for the major supermarkets, but you don't usually get the name of said comapny printed on the supermarket packet. But here we do.

So I tried this crisp, most of which are rather small and finely cut (in the style of Zweifel which I like), on Tractor Fan Taste Tester and on the Ski Instructor. The Ski Instructor (who isn't one any more but I don't want to change his name and confuse myself) thought these crisps tasted of chicken. Really? Yes, and what's more Tractor Fan agreed with him without having heard his views first. The Ski Instructor's argument is “why not?” You get packets of crisps labelled chicken that are actually vegetarian, so an alleged vegetable (or herb) flavoured crisp might as well taste of chicken.

The Chef couldn't detect any particular taste at all. But they all ate a fair number. Really quite a lot. With dip and without.

So I don't think it really matters what you think this crisp actually tastes of, let's just say it's a gentle flavour and all four of us rather enjoyed it.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

M&S Collection Hand Cooked Crisps Parmesan & Prosciutto

Really rather pleased I spotted a small packet of these Parmesan & Prosciutto crisps. Marks & Spencer crisps nearly always come in 150g packets. It’s only a few select flavours come in a smaller size and you find them next to the sandwiches for your crunch at lunch. Not usually, perhaps no surprise, next to the salads.

I think you can guess we didn’t find this a super successful flavour. The Ski Instructor nearly guessed (what is wrong with his taste buds?) roast chicken. Again. According to him everything tastes of chicken! Then he revised his thoughts and failed to find an answer. I’m not very surprised. This is a difficult flavour to pick even if you’ve read the packet.

The problem is that you can taste a lot of the ingredients but not really taste the whole. You can taste the cheese (actual Parmesan, also Cornish cheddar), you can taste the ham (genuine Prosciutto), you can taste the lemon juice. In fact that’s the taste that really hit me. It's quite an acidic flavour.

Neither Ski Instructor nor Tractor Fan taste tester was madly taken with this crisp flavour, nor the Chef neither come to that, but somehow the entire packet was eaten with hardly any assistance from me. And they were taste testing another crispy snack at the same time.

The crisps are good, a nice rich colour with a good bite but the flavour.... we think this is an example of the crisp development team trying a bit too hard.

Friday 10 January 2020

Tesco Crispy Coated Peanuts Pigs in Blankets Flavour

I wonder if you’re already thinking “hmmm... I bet she bought this packet of nuts because she couldn’t believe this flavour would work”? I wouldn’t be a bit surprised, because I kind of did.

And if you ask me; we were right.

Oh dear. The pigs in blankets (cocktail sausages with bacon wrapped around them) flavour isn’t really a flavour at all. It’s two different flavours smashed together and it’s hard to say if the Tesco crispy snack department have got the mixture right because the flavour just doesn’t work.

And hang on, was this meant to be a Christmas flavour? There’s nothing at all to stop you eating pigs in blankets at any time of year, but the market, and (whisper it) the American influence, has conned us into believing this is a dish/side (horrid expression)/flavour for Christmastime.

The bad thing is the peanuts don’t shine through because the alleged pigs in blankets flavour gets in the way. Even where the crispy coating has fallen off you can still taste it. So you can’t really appreciate the nuts.

What were they thinking? This Christmassy combo doesn’t work. And I don’t really like the way the crispy coating just comes off. The whole concept really doesn’t do it for me.

The Chef didn’t like these nuts either. Which is not a good sign because he simply loves peanuts.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Long Chips Crispy Potato Snack Sour Cream & Dill

What an unusual looking crispy snack. It looks a bit like lasagna: it's 7.5" or 90mm long for goodness sake with almost perforations so you can break it into four pieces, it's labelled principally in English and is made in Latvia. Our first snack from Latvia.

And (and this seems so weird to me) I found it at Geneva Airport which is of course in Switzerland. Swiss crisp giant Zweifel make the most wonderful crisps and crispy snacks but I don’t ever remember seeing their products for sale (airside) at Geneva Airport. I have, though, seen a number of British crisps (and not what I think of as the better British crisps - sorry guys), and now one from Latvia.

This is another crispy snack I tried out on Tractor Fan Taste Tester and the Ski Instructor. They couldn't quite pick the flavour but guessed sour cream and chive. I could tell the flavour wasn't chive, but the dill flavour was so fugitive as to be almost not there at all (although I felt there was a bit of washing up liquid in the mix). This is a bit of a shame.

Partly because I actually love dill and was excited to try a new dill-flavoured snack which are few and far between (but try Eat Real Hummus Chips) which the reluctant taste testers really enjoyed. And that's not what I felt I got; there isn't really very much taste at all. And partly because this snack was on sale airside so you might be eating it on the plane where your tastebuds don't work as well as they do on the ground, so really you need a lot more taste than you get here.

It's fun to try a crispy snack that looks completely different from any other the reluctant taste testers have ever seen. So if you see a packet give it a try and prove my opinion wrong. Although Tractor Fan ate quite a lot of the packet. No wonder she had no room for pudding.
This is the side view of the packet: an image of the internal plastic tray with the crispy snacks in it. Exactly how it looks when you open the pack.