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.