Wednesday 24 January 2024

Cottage Delight Garlic Italian Crostini Crackers


The Chef and I found this nice looking little snack in a local shop. It was just before Christmas and the shop was jam crammed with present buyers. Maybe buying some of these.

Although the Cottage Delight company seems to be based in Leek in Staffordshire, the little crackers are actually made in Italy. The label describes this crispy snack as ‘light and crisp hand crafted Italian crostini’ created by an authentic Italian family baker. Hmm… what a pity they aren’t actually light and crisp. In fact, and I really don’t enjoy giving a poor review, if you ask me this snack has a seriously heavy bite. And a very dull crunch. This is disappointing.

And what a pity they don’t taste of anything. Oh, there is a sort of garlicky aftertaste, but I can’t tell you how disappointed the Chef and I were. Because it’s nice to support small brands.

Friday 19 January 2024

Takis Volcano Cheese & Chilli

We found this little 100g packet of Spanish snacks in a big branch of the Co-op in Switzerland. Made by a company rather bonkersly called Bimbo Donuts, this little packet of maize based Takis (one taki, several takis perhaps?) is a nice surprise. Basically rolled up corn chips dusted with heaps of quite hot cheese and chilli flavour dust. Yum. I couldn’t stop eating. Quite a hard bite, but you expect that with corn chips so I’m not complaining.

The bar code is shaped like a chilli so if you are paying attention that’s a bit of a giveaway. It’s always nice when the design incorporates details like that.

I don’t think I have ever seen a Bimbo Donut product before. I checked the ingredients list and it comes in English, Turkish, Swedish, Polish, Italian, German, French and Dutch. So plenty of opportunities for you to pick up a packet. The purple and orange is quite noticeable so you may be lucky to find some. I’d buy these again… and the poor Chef wasn’t feeling too good and didn’t get a look in. I scoffed the lot. We better get some more.

Monday 8 January 2024

Tesco Sweet Maple Honey Roasted Nuts

And…. here we are again with another special snack flavour for Christmas, or as our American friends will insist on saying: the holidays. We have to shop at Tesco sometimes because our regular supermarket has strange gaps on its shelves. For example, it hasn’t stocked Cheese Footballs for years. So anyway, last time we were in Tesco, I picked up quite a lot of Cheese Footballs and Treeselets and several new, probably limited edition, crispy snacks, and this is the last.

Well, deep breath. I hardly know what to say. I love salted peanuts or cashew nuts, and honey roasted nuts and dry roasted nuts. But I really do feel Tesco’s development department have gone too far with this sweet maple honey roast. In fact they’ve only gone and jumped the shark.

What? I mean, seriously what? How come these nuts taste of bourbon biscuits? And if you don’t live in the U.K. you may not know the chocolatey sandwich that is a bourbon biscuit (named for the French royal family not the drink), so here’s a Wikipedia page. There are lots of recipes online to make at home if you can’t just run out to the shops for a packet.

The Chef, who you know will eat almost anything crispy snack related, and is a true devotee of anything nutty, thought these honey glazed nuts very strange. Even, gasp!,would you believe it, too strange to continue snacking. Cliffs of Moher Taste Tester was not at all impressed. Full disclosure: neither of them could detect the taste of bourbon biscuits but trust me, I definitely could.

I asked Cliffs of Moher to take the still almost full packet home with her for boyfriend / partner (I don’t know which she prefers), Aillwee Caves, a new recruit to taste testing. We’ll see what he has to say. Before we got married the Chef used to describe me as his partner. And I always felt it sounded as though we were running a business together, selling cushions and maybe fancy lampshades. Of course he was running around skiing and cooking dinner and I was just going to work every day. 

Anyway, Aillwee Caves Taste Tester reports that these seriously weird nuts remind him of an overly sweet breakfast cereal. I suggested Sugar Puffs, which I could totally see, but he says no, some stuff called Golden Nuggets. I don’t think I have ever come across Golden Nuggets (they taste yeee haa! apparently), but it’s obvious that Cliffs of Moher doesn’t like them any more than she liked the nuts. 

So that’s not really a success is it. What a pity. However, the actual nuts seemed just like nuts.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Tesco Tree-Shaped Sweet & Salty Pretzels

I rather like a pretzel now and then. I’d rather have a small pretzel than a large, and I thought it might be fun to try a tree-shaped pretzel for a change.

I hoped this would be a packet of half regular salty tasting pretzels and half pretzels encrusted with sugar. But you know how it is when you’re in a busy shop; you don’t always have the time to read the label properly. What I actually got is a bag full of golden and crunchy tree-shaped pretzels all of them covered in a sweet salty seasoning. What a disappointment. Because you don’t get the contrast.

Yes the pretzels are crunchy, and yes they’re golden, but there’s an awful lot of sweetness going on and not nearly enough saltiness. I expect my doctor would applaud that: less salt is better for my blood pressure (the second number apparently).

The Chef agrees. Pretzels are supposed to be salty he opined (sorry), and there isn’t nearly enough saltiness. Also, the impact of this tree-shaped crispy snack is only impactful if they are actually tree-shaped. And all too many are broken and thus shaped like broken things.

Isn’t it odd how things come along in clusters. The Reluctant Taste Testers haven’t tried anything from the Tesco crispy snack aisle for simply ages and here we have three of them, all at once, and maybe more to come. Like London buses.

Sorry Tesco. I think this is a wasted opportunity.