Wednesday 26 February 2020

So Chips la Fine Picarde Sel de Mer

OK, so here's a brand new (to us) brand of crisps from Picardie which is in northern France (so basically you can only buy them north of Reims) which I discovered at, you guessed, a motorway service station. Sadly I picked up a horrible throat bug in Switzerland (honestly, the first day, it looked as though I had developed mumps) so I wasn’t feeling much like shopping. Which was a shame as I only picked up one packet. Next time eh?

Délicieuses chips cuites au chaudron says the packet: kettle cooked to you and me. But definitely delicious.

This is a lovely old fashioned style of crisp. Fine cut, gentle flavour. Very nice. The Family Vegetarian, the Ski Instructor, the Chef, they all think this is a great crisp. Plus it works fabulously well with our favourite sour cream and chive dip. What could be better?

There are another couple of flavours, but I usually prefer the simple ones. If I see another packet we'll find out how they work.

Saturday 22 February 2020

Carrefour Crêpettes Fourrage au Roquefort

Here's an own brand crispy snack from massive French supermarket Carrefour. It's a fine and crispy pastry (sort of) wrap with squashy Roquefort cheese stuffing. And it reminds me of the 1970s favourite Findus Crispy Pancakes which are now made by Birds Eye. You bought a packet of small frozen crispy pancakes and whipped one or two out of the freezer in case of emergency, then struggled to eat them because, once fried or grilled, the stuffing was as boiling as boiling could be. Naff, and I'm sure not at all healthy, these easily cooked 70s snacks were something even my brother could cook up in the school holidays if he wanted something more sustaining than breakfast cereal while my mother was at work.

Of course, this little snack is miles smaller, and you don't have to cook it. More perhaps like a miniature spring roll. But there is a sort of a link with the cheesy pancakes which the Chef identified quite independently. So not just me for a change.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

H. W. Lay Mature Cheddar

Last year I ate almost an entire packet of the sensational Sea Salt version of these retro-style crisps from H W Lay, now here's the Mature Cheddar version.

For me there was too much cheesy taste, but the Chef was extremely impressed and snacked down the whole packet himself. I think we can rate these a success but I think I will stick with the Sea Salt version.

A slightly thicker crisp than Lay's (or Walkers) usual offerings and none the worse for that.

Both these flavours we found in France.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Walkers Poppables BBQ Rib Flavour

New! Perfectly poppable crispy potato bites says the packet, oh so tasty,  crunchy 3D shape, and Mmmm. Well, let’s give this a try.

Interesting. Looking at the packet you can’t really tell how much latticework is involved in these 3D crispy snacks. Some are round, some a pointy oval. Some coloured with a little red flavour dust, some not so much. And very few breakages which is always a good sign. But you probably know I am a sucker for a lattice snack.

And the taste: BBQ ribs... which doesn’t inspire much confidence in the old fashioned snacker or reluctant taste tester, is considerably more subtle than I was expecting. I am absolutely not sure how  BBQ Rib flavour differs from a BBQ anything else flavour but there you go. The Walkers website tells me this shape comes in Cheddar Cheese and Sweet Chili too. I haven’t seen either to try them.

A nice gentle crunch and a gentle taste too.

Taste the poppabilities!

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Co-op Turkey & Stuffing Legs

Well, well, here's a thing; three dimensional pretend turkey legs in Turkey and Stuffing flavour made with lattice style extruded potato starch.

Complicated? Yes, a bit. But you know, they've got the technology to make all sorts of shapes these days. You don't have to employ an army of underpaid workers to make your little shapes. The machines do it all for you. So why not?

And as we know Turkey & Stuffing is usually a reliable, if not successful flavour for crispy snacks, so again, why not?

Obviously I spotted these in our local Co-op when I went out for emergency washing up liquid on Christmas Eve (the lemon fragrance smells more like shoe polish - or is that just me?), so how could I resist?

The little leg shapes smell just right. The texture is light with a light bite. The flavour... a little too heavy on the herbs I think. But not bad. A fun crispy snack for children I imagine. And probably just for Christmas.

Thursday 6 February 2020

The Real McCoy's Chips Chip Shop Salt & Vinegar

Wow! these are vinegary. So vinegary that the taste gets into your nose.

The text on the packet tells us that shoppers have been flocking to local stores to get their hands on the latest full on Chip Shop experience - in a bag! Well, perhaps. But I'm not certain I'm going to flock anywhere.  This crispy snack is described as crinkled chips but they're not a crinkle cut crisp: they are obviously extruded from some fancy machine.

I quite like the look of the snack, but the flavour not so much. Apparently you can get them in Sea Salt and Curry Sauce flavours. Hmmn.. the Sea Salt might be OK. Not so keen to try the Curry Sauce.

I'm not a regular visitor to chip shops. I had some nice chips from a place in Cirencester a million years ago and was very unwell after eating them so ... well, obviously that doesn't encourage you to go back. Plus I don't eat fish and I wasn't brought up to eat a thing called a saveloy. I'm not even sure we have a local chip shop round here.

I'm not sure I'm going to recommend this crispy snack. Not nasty, but not to my personal taste. If you like the look of it, give it a try. You might think I a quite wrong. Let me know.

Saturday 1 February 2020

M&S The Collection Beef Wellington Hand Cooked Crisps

I was in Marks & Spencer buying their fabulous cheese boule (a loaf of bread not a crispy snack) when I came across this packet of improbably flavoured crisps. I made a Beef Wellington once, a long time ago, when I had a boyfriend who was much more impressed by show than the Chef is. It wasn’t bad but to be honest I thought it was a whole lot of work to get a fancy result. All that chopping of mushrooms and wrapping things in Prosciutto and then puff pastry: it’s all a little bit 1970s.

I haven’t gone to all that effort since but I did wonder how the crispy snack boffins at M&S would manage with their self imposed flavour.

At first bite: not a success. Because it’s M&S there’s nothing the matter with the crisps themselves although the colour is considerably darker than usual. But the flavour is definitely weird. If you know to look for it, I think you can detect mushrooms. Not perhaps the ideal flavour for a crispy snack.

I tried these crisps on the Chef, the Graffiti Artist (who is a genuine chef) and Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester and frankly, none of us was impressed. We don’t like to be snarky, but honestly thought them not very nice. Sorry about that.