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Unfortunately this little packet of plain sea salted crisps went out of date at the end of April but the Chef and I thought they were pretty tasty anyway, and the crunch was still surprisingly good.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.