Saturday 23 December 2023

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Honey Sriracha Flavour Hand Cooked Crisps

Here’s a packet of crisps from the Tesco Finest range, provided by the Ski Instructor and the Farmer’s Daughter, together with a tub of sour cream and chive dip. Delicious.

But the dip was so good it quite got in the way of a serious appreciation of this Limited Edition crisp flavour. So I had to abandon it. Nice crisp, not too large but a rich colour, nice crunch and a good kick of heat to the sriracha flavour. Very nice, however, I doubt this will ever become a regular flavour. Pity. I think it’s a whole lot nicer than all those sweet chili crisps that are so common. I can’t say I approve much of any of them.

I think the Ski Instructor was amused that I didn’t recognise the flavour. But I have never tried honey sriracha flavour anything before. So how could I? And actually, how can I tell if this is a genuine sriracha flavour at all? You will have to find out for yourself.

Monday 18 December 2023

Tesco Salted Caramel Party Mix

Hmm…. I thought this Party Mix from Tesco might be worth a try, and it kind of was, but, er, it is a bit of an odd mixture. Tasty, definitely tasty, but a lot of the bits are broken which is a shame. It’s hard to appreciate a small pretzel if it’s broken into 6 pieces. And the mix is a lot more sweet than it is savoury. I think I would prefer it the other way around.

According to the back of the packet we have maple flavour caramel peanuts with white chocolate with caramel buttons (complicated), milk chocolate buttons, salted caramel toffee popcorn, salted wheat pretzel knots and decorated milk chocolate coated cereal crisps. OK then. Are the shiny pink balls the “decorated milk chocolate coated cereal crisps” do you think? I’m not sure. It really is hard to tell.

All the elements are tasty, but everything is just a bit too sweet. More like what you might serve at a child’s birthday party, not so much to snack on with a glass of wine. Definitely wouldn’t go with a beer.

Yes it’s sweet. No it’s not very salty.

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Brets Saveur Yakitori

Notre recette de super craquantes! says the packet, Saveur Yakitori.

Now, I don’t eat Japanese food. There’s far too much fish involved, and I don’t eat cooked fish much less raw. A lot of people assume I must be a vegetarian because I don’t eat fish. How wrong could they be*. So, anyway, I had never heard of yakitori until I came across this packet of crisps from Breton crisp manufacturers Brets. 

So, well, I suppose we are looking for a sort of chicken kebab sort of a taste… and I’m not certain that’s what we got. Quite nice, fairly tasty, definitely not nasty, no, no. But not terribly anything in particular IIRC. To be honest, I’m not sure why a Breton crisp company would think of making a crisp that (sort of) (might) taste of a Japanese chicken kebab. I have seen Chinese restaurants in France but never Japanese, although a quick google search tells me there are quite a few in Paris. Perhaps they will spread across the country.

However, see my previous post but one, the article from the Guardian. It’s all about how you choose new flavours for your crisps. If you are a multinational crisp manufacturing behemoth, which I am sure most of us are not. I wonder if this flavour will still be available next year.

Obviously the fine crinkle cut of the crisps themselves is lovely. Brets do make an extremely good crinkle.

Not certain I would bother with the Yakitori flavour again, but you might really love this French crisp. 

*Still trying to avoid vegetables. Except potatoes obviously!

(Not sure that’s my best photo ever. Oh well.)

Friday 8 December 2023

Brets Saveur Aïoli

A new crisp flavour, aïoli, new to me and the Chef anyway, from Breton crisp manufacturer Brets. And once again it bothers me that they have jettisoned their apostrophe. OK, let’s try not to be picky about that.

A lovely light garlicky tasting crisp. The usual fine crinkle cut that Brets do so well. And they combine beautifully to give a very tasty crisp. I liked them a lot, so did the Chef and the Ski Instructor, but most of them were scoffed by the Farmer’s Daughter. She was 9 months pregnant and used that as an excuse for eating so many crisps, but it seemed to me that she wouldn’t have eaten quite so many if she hadn’t enjoyed them so much. 

Very nice. I would be happy to try these again.

Not much more to say except obviously you find these in France. I cannot remember if we found this packet in the supermarket or at a motorway service station.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Article in The Guardian newspaper about crisp flavours (worth a look)


Oh dear! I hadn’t realised I had abandoned all of you crisp fans for so long. There have been so many other things to keep up with. I must write up some more crispy snacks very soon.

But forgive me and do read this article from The Guardian this weekend. It’s very interesting, well, I say very interesting, and of course to me it is…. So let’s say you might find it an interesting read. It’s about crisp flavours.

See what you think.

Friday 28 July 2023

Belin Rolls Goût Crème & Oignon

Well now, here’s interesting. This is a French version of a crispy snack we have previously bought in North London, but made in Bulgaria or Greece. It appears to be identical, and indeed with a very similar name to the fantastic 7days Bake Rolls we enjoyed so much back in 2015. New!

Perhaps Mondelez, owner of Belin, has snapped up 7days and decided to launch the product under a well known French brand.

The Chef and I rather liked the cream and onion flavour. Very French. Belin are also making this tasty snack in Original (presumably salt), bacon, pizza, and garlic and Italian cheese. I hope to discover one of these next time we are in France.

I suppose these are just thin slices of crisply baked bread with flavour chucked on top but they do taste pretty good. The Chef has enjoyed them too. With butter and without. Nice.

Sunday 23 July 2023

Thaas Chips Oignon de la ferme


Oh dear, what a disappointment.

A new French crisp company, Thaas, that I hadn’t come across before, onion flavoured crisps - again, not a flavour I have come across before. They also do lemon flavour crisps (not available to buy the day we visited the Carrefour outside Reims) but…. What, we ask ourselves, is not to like? 

Thaas crisps are grown in a place called Thaas, pronounced “ta”, the packet tells us so, in the Marne which is in north east France. Two brothers, Manu and David, run the farm, and grow their own potatoes, and the onions too. By the sound of things anyway. At any rate I think they grow and process the potatoes themselves.

Well, I am extremely sorry to report that I was not very excited by this packet of crisps. I would love to tell you that they’re great, but to be honest I am not that impressed and nor is the Chef. Too thick cut, with a dull crunch (I would much prefer a crisp bite), and most importantly, they don’t taste of onions. Oh dear, oh dear.

I was hoping for a great new crisp from a company I hadn’t seen before. I was hoping for a lovely crispy onion flavoured snack. But this heavy crisp doesn’t taste of much except, I don’t know, some sort of default crispy snack flavour. Certainly not onions. I wish I could give you better news.

The Chef, of course, although he’s not too impressed, continues to snack anyway.

Friday 9 June 2023

Tyrrell’s Hand Cooked English Crisps Coronation Chicken


We went for dinner with the Ski Instructor and the Farmer’s Daughter and they produced a bowl of crisps. To be honest I couldn’t decide what flavour I was trying. It seemed like Roast Chicken, but perhaps not, and obviously it turned out not.

A tiny bit of curry flavour, a smidgeon of chicken, I’m not certain this is a true representation of Coronation Chicken, but not to worry, it tastes perfectly pleasant even if you can’t work out the flavour on the packet.

Obviously we have had a coronation here recently. I don’t think I would have chosen this crisp as part of the celebrations.

Sunday 4 June 2023

Koikeya Pickled Plum Original Premium Japanese Potato Chips

The (ex) Ski Instructor and the Farmer’s Daughter Taste Testers brought me back this interesting packet of crisps from their travels across the U.K.. It looks to me very much as though they bring me packets of crispy snacks they don’t fancy themselves. Well, OK, we are here to try.

Ooh! Or do I mean Urr…? These crisps, mysteriously manufactured in Belgium, definitely qualify as weird. Very weird. At the very least they are quite different from any other crisps I have tried.

I hadn’t heard of Koikeya before, but the packet tells me it is a long standing producer of Japanese crisps. Is that different to being a Japanese producer of crisps? Apparently they have a vast group of loyal consumers in Japan and wish to spread their flavours across the world. And the packaging blurb hopes that we will “enjoy the potechi with its refined and sophisticated flavours, representing Japanese cuisine and tradition”.

When I asked my iPad to give me the meaning of potechi it told me firmly that it’s Bulgarian word meaning ‘steps’. When I just typed potechi I discovered it’s a transliteration of a Japanese word meaning potato crisps. Or for you lot in the rest of the world: potato chips. 

And did we enjoy these Japanese crisps? Erm, enjoy is not exactly the word I would employ. It’s such a different flavour from what I was expecting, so different to any flavours in my life. So…. sour. Am I supposed to be tasting plum? I think there’s a bit too much lemon oil in the recipe.

Right, well, perhaps I am failing to appreciate the flavour because I don’t eat Japanese food. All my friends love sushi but I don’t eat fish and have never ventured to a Japanese restaurant. I completely failed the test when I travelled Japanese Airlines some years ago, carefully ordering the European menu. A fellow passenger* who decided on the Japanese menu impressed her (Japanese businessmen) neighbours so much they bought her a pretty brooch from the duty free trolley. Good for her. 

*We met at breakfast in our Tokyo hotel: the buffet featured a bowl of tiny fried fish, stewed lotus root (I think), tinned spaghetti bolognaise, bacon, eggs, chips, and a vast selection of other food I can’t remember nearly 25 years later..

The Chef wasn’t mad keen on Pickled Plum flavour, Cliffs of Moher declined a second crisp, and apparently the Ski Instructor and the Farmer’s Daughter weren’t fans either. 

As you know, this is just what we thought. If you are a big fan of Japanese food, and I know a lot of people love it, this Pickled Plum flavour might be just the thing for you. If you can find a packet. You might have to go to Brussels.

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Walkers Baked Wotsits Giants

Really cheesy. Well, not exactly tasting of actual cheese, but definitely tasting of the fabulously fake ‘cheese flavour’ of so many crispy snacks. But don’t take this as a criticism. I love cheese flavour snacks and this is a very good one.

Yes, they are just like the original Cheesy Wotsits, just about three times the size. And they taste the same and are just as moreish (which someone from Ohio once told me is not a word used in the United States - can that really be the case?).

 Very moreish indeed. Very hard to avoid having another one. 

Except… and for me I’m afraid this is a very big except, they really do gum themselves to your teeth like cement. With a regular sized Wotsit you can rid yourself of the squished puffed corn sogginess gummed to your teeth with your tongue. The giant version required much poking and prodding with a searching finger. So that is a bit of an issue for me.

I should have photographed the glossy blue packet before it got all scrumpled up but never mind, you’ve all seen a crisp packet before.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Nibblies Double Gloucester & Chive

It’s surprisingly difficult to find who actually owns Jacob’s, the company who own Cheddars and Mini Cheddars, or used to. Jacob’s used to be owned by United Biscuits who have a rubbish website that looks as though it was designed in 1975, but it seems they were bought by a Turkish company called Yildiz Holdings or more likely pladis Global (happiness with every bite). Look, I could have tried harder and spent more time investigating but life it too short.

And why is there almost no information about Mini Cheddars Nibblies online? I was really puzzled. There must be a website I failed to find. They look just exactly the same as any old ordinary Mini Cheddar so…. well, apparently it’s just that they have 30% less fat than other baked Mini Cheddars (which are all baked these days anyway) while looking exactly the same as regular Mini Cheddars. And the text on the packaging telling you this important fact is quite small: perhaps they don’t want you to realise your crispy snack is healthier than you thought? Who knows. 

To be honest, I would prefer my unhealthy crispy snacks to be fried like in the olden days. If you are going to eat unhealthy you want the full fat experience (but make sure you don’t eat too much of it).

Kids! Don’t take my advice on food and nutrition. I am just expressing a personal preference. When I was young we were allowed to eat all sorts and lots of it was bad for us.

Anyway, here we have the healthier Nibblies Mini Cheddar option in Double Gloucester & Chive. Hmmm. I can’t tell that this is the extra healthy option which is a good thing. Same size, same shape, same colour, same texture. Excellent. But honestly, I am not sure this little snack actually tastes of Double Gloucester (would you be able to pick that cheese?), or Chives either. They smell good when you open the packet but what you get to eat doesn’t quite taste like that. What a pity.

Not nasty at all. Just not quite as nice as I would have liked. I will finish the packet and another packet too. You might like the taste better than I do and the Chef thought they were fine but I wonder if they do a cheese version.

Saturday 13 May 2023

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Nacho Cheese & Jalapeño


As you know if you have been following this blog for a while, my iPad knows how to spell jalapeño correctly. And I have learned to appreciate the taste. Mostly from crispy snacks.

My family was a bit slow on the uptake when it came to modern cuisine: my grandfather absolutely refused to eat garlic and only ever ate rice or pasta as a pudding. I honestly don’t know how he managed this because he was brought up in South West France but he was a very determined man. And my grandmother even disapproved of feeding bananas to children. I can’t imagine what they would have thought of Nacho Cheese & Jalapeño flavour Mini Cheddars.

Obviously my mother didn’t get much of a start in life when it came to interesting foods. I think the most exotic thing she ever cooked was Vesta Chow Mein and that came in a cardboard box. I’m not sure she would have been any more enthusiastic about this crispy snack than her parents.

However, when I picked up a multi pack of Mini Cheddars last year it seemed perfect normal to find such a spicy flavour. How things have changed. 

Anyway, rather stupidly I tidied them away and thus forgot to try them. So, slightly out of date, this Nacho Cheese & Jalapeño flavour crunchy little biscuit is rather good. The cheese seems incidental, the chilli packs quite a punch. Very nice.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Walkers Quavers Salt & Vinegar

Quavers, a light curly potato snack, are usually flavoured with cheese. And I like them very much. I love the texture, I like the taste. 

But earlier this week, stopping off at a motorway service station in Kent, the Chef and I came across Salt & Vinegar flavour Quavers. It’s possible they’ve been available for ages but, for whatever reason, we haven’t come across them before.

And the verdict? Delicious. Really very good indeed. Although I wouldn’t recommend them if you don’t generally like salt & vinegar as a flavour. 

Highly recommended for everyone else. 

The Chef doesn’t really go for salt & vinegar, but he was pleased to admit they weren’t too bad.

I notice that grab bags have got a lot smaller since I last looked.

Monday 20 February 2023

Peter’s Yard Suffolk Cyder Vinegar & Sea Salt Sourdough Bites

Here’s another little bag of sourdough bites chosen by the Ski Instructor and the Farmer’s Daughter. 24 grams and 105 calories. And mysteriously flavoured with “cyder” vinegar and sea salt.

Waah!! These are sharp. And once again the sourdough taste is bursting through. That’s a bit of a pity.

No palm oil: good. 

Baked not fried: not always a good thing. Yes I know it’s probably miles healthier if your snack isn’t fried, but but does it taste as good as it should? Not always.

Less fat than a crisps: again, this should be a good thing. But so often the healthier option doesn’t taste as nice. I think we should be focusing on eating fewer snacks in the first place. There’s no point buying a snack you don’t really like just because you know it’s the healthy option.

Sorry guys.

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Peter's Yard West Country Sour Cream & Chive Sourdough Bites


So the (now ex) Ski Instructor taste tester and the Farmer's Daughter visited somewhere or other in the West Country (which for those of you who don't live in the UK can mean Gloucestershire or Wiltshire or Somerset. or maybe Devon or Cornwall, sometimes Dorset), and very sweetly picked up some packets of crisps as a birthday present for me.

it is a little unfortunate that all three packets are sourdough bites rather than potato crisps, but don't lets look a gift horse in the mouth. 

I thought this flavour a little thin. The sour cream and chive is pleasant enough, but not nearly enough to  battle past the somewhat thuggish nature of the sourdough base. That's a pity.  And the bite is rather dull for my taste. I really would have liked a a crisper snap.

Not nasty, not horrible. But not really my thing.

Still, two more flavours to try.

Made in Shropshire, which although it is in the west of England is not the West Country. And not quite far enough north to qualify as the North West. Perhaps you'd call Shropshire 'The Welsh Marches'? which somehow doesn't sound like a good marketing ploy. 

Well, anyway, you might like these sourdough bites. Everyone has a different idea of delicious. I think the Chef liked them better than I did but I know he prefers his crisps to be made of potatoes.


Friday 10 February 2023

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Classic Cheese Pizza Flavour

Why do crispy snack manufacturers keep producing “pizza” flavour snacks? I suppose they always hope their new pizza flavour will work, but 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t. And in this case I really think it hasn’t.

The reluctant taste testers always used to say that pizza flavour crispy snacks taste of the cheapest possible frozen pizza from the shop on the corner that you only buy in an emergency. And although I didn’t have the reluctant taste testers around to ask for their opinions, I do agree with what they had to say.  What a pity.

I think this Mini Cheddar flavour is supposed to be a flavour celebrating cheese. OK, well, maybe. But I am not convinced. Seriously, why mess with the perfectly good cheese flavour that you get with original (or classic) Mini Cheddars?

Saturday 28 January 2023

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Crunchlets Cheddar & Caramelised Onion Flavour


I saw these new(ish) Mini Cheddars Crunchlets online ages before I ever found a packet in real life. I wasn’t sure that I would like them because Mini Cheddars are very good just as they are, and sometimes changes aren’t a good thing.

The little supermarket down the road has a somewhat random selection of crisps and crispy snacks, and the other day I found this packet. And… I have to say that this new fancy puffed up little crunchy biscuitty snack is rather good. I like the crispy crunch. I like the texture. I like the lavish sprinkling of flavour dust on each individual Crunchlet.

However, I am not mad keen on the flavour. I think I would be happier with a bit less onion. It says caramelised onion, but although initially the level of onion seems fine, it turns almost strong enough to be pickled onion. I don’t really want that much aftertaste. But if I can find a different flavour I will certainly try it.

The Chef reports he has no problem with the flavour. And he really likes the crunch.