Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Packet #90 - Walkers Max Flamin' Hot

I would wager that the 18th of March is the day in which the most crisps per capita are consumed on the island of Ireland, and possibly worldwide. If the 17th is all about celebrating all things Irish, the 18th is all about the crisp. As soon as I woke up this morning, I knew I’d be indulging. The only question was what pack I should go for? When faced with the overwhelming choice in the Spar near my work, a helpful Englishman assisted me in choosing out a pack of Walkers Max Flamin’ Hot.

What struck me first when I opened the bag is the sheer size of many of the crisps. They are some of the largest crisps I’ve seen anywhere. Good crunch, ridged, nice firm texture. Like a slightly more weighty Hunky Dory.

These crisps pack an extraordinary punch, flavour-wise. They are the spiciest crisps I have ever had, bar none. They have a deep, tomato flavour and a kick that leaves your mouth tingle for at least 15 minutes after you’ve finished them. I had them in work and couldn’t concentrate for a number of minutes after I finished the pack. Even now on the Luas home, my mouth feels slightly warmer than it usually does on a Wednesday.

Outrageous. That’s the word I’d use to describe these crisps. They really shocked me. I thought I had tasted it all in the crisp world, but these have opened up a whole new range of possibilities. It just goes to show that the crisping business is full of surprises and that even crisp reviewers can’t predict what’ll happen next.

They’re nice and all, but they’re not for the casual crisp consumer or a person who only ever orders mild curries from their local Indian. If you’re into the hotter things in life, I’d suggest that you give these crisps a go. But maybe clear your schedule for half an hour or so and stock up on a couple of Yops to cool your mouth down after.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Packet #90 – Tayto Velvet Crunch Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion

I’m a woman. I love crisps. However, I do not love Tayto’s Velvet Crunch Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion crisps.

I bought these crisps in a vending machine in Pearse Dart Station last Friday night and the first thing that struck me as I took the bag out was just how light it was – on further inspection, I saw that they come in at a feather-weight 20g.

They have a puffed up consistency, similar to that of a Snax crisp or a Skip crisp, and I have no problem with that. Sometimes it’s nice to have a different texture in your crisping wardrobe, variety is the spice of life after all.

What I cannot get behind is the flavour. They’re very sweet. Much too sweet. If I wanted to have a sugary snack, I would’ve opted for a chocolate bar or maybe a packet of fruit Polos. I wouldn’t have chosen crisps.

Now you should never judge a book by its cover, but I also don’t much care for the design of the pack, clearly aimed at women. As I said before, I am of the female variety, but just because you stick a flower on the front, boast about low calories and use purple packaging, doesn’t mean you have the perfect crisp for women. The disappointing taste clearly proves this right.

However, I should probably mention that I was discussing these crisps with a friend of mine and she wholeheartedly disagrees with me. She says she loves them, and often pops open a packet of Velvet Crunch when she’s feeling peckish. But she’s also from the midlands, so we can probably discount her opinion.

All in all, I’d give these crisps a miss if I were you.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Packet #89 - Lidl Deluxe Smoky Barbecue

There are fewer greater things to smell like than a barbecue. Maybe smelling like cut grass? Yet the only realistic way to smell like cut grass would be to roll around in it for hours, and not many people have the time or dedication to do such things. These days everyone's got business to do. Like me, and that's what I was up to when I bought these Deluxe Smoky Barbecue Crisps from Lidl. A big bag that cost somewhere between €1 - €2. A bargain? Well let's find out.

Share bags are always an event, you know something good is about to happen when you pop open a bag. And as I popped open this lovely warm orange bag great things did happen. The smell exciting, the colour of the crisps mirroring the bag - orange, in a good way. The taste was super! Nice and savoury with a hint of sweetness galloping off the palette as you delve in for another crisp load. The Crisps themselves aren't uniformly shaped there's big ones, small ones and some are even slammed together to make what can only be described as a super crisp. The range of flavour intensity also varies from crisp to crisp which should be applauded.

Lidl have achieved great things with these crisps. Forget the World Cup win, this is Germany's finest achievement of the Summer.

Ich liebe deise Crisps.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Packet #88 - Keogh's Sweet Chilli & Irish Red Pepper

If time travel was an option and you could go back to an Ireland in the 80's telling someone that in a matter of decades they could walk into a shop and buy bag of Sweet Chilli flavoured Crisps in a pink bag they would of thought you'd lost your mind.

Since those days Ireland's been through a lot. The 90's gave us an explosion of Chinese Takeaways complete with the exotic flavours of The Orient. And the 00's made it just fine for lads to wear pink. So here I stood in 2014 after decades of toil and trouble - the very epitome of a modern man - eating Sweet Chilli flavoured Crisps from a big bright pink bag, without a care in the world.

But what of the Crisps? That's what we're all here for right? The texture was bang on, not too brittle not too heavy - retaining a strong spud taste which can only be gotten from using North Co. Dublin's finest. Flavour wise, there's nothing wrong with these lads at all. There are pinches of sweetness dotted with footprints of spice that leave that pallet excited for more -  each crisp varies in flavour intensity which adds to the experience.

Crisps in 2014 don't get too much more exciting then these, could we have an early contender for Crisp of the year 2014? We just might! Is there such a thing as Crisp of the Year? Who knows.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Packet #87 - Barça Patates Fregides (Ready Salted)

Nothing says "life is top" more than sitting in a stadium watching a soccer team play football and eating a bag of Crisps. And so it was a satisfying occasion indeed when I found myself at the Nou Camp to watch Barcelona play a game of football. Happily, I spied on my way to my seat that the good Barcelonanites of Catalonia  have their own brand of crisps. Would I buy a packet? Well how could one of Dublin 7's premiere Crisp Bloggers refuse? He didn't. And bought a pack for just over one euro.

The people who make the crisp obviously prefer one man up front opting for just a single flavour in the crisp - ready salted. But does it work? The answer is, well, kinda. Ready salted is an usual flavour in that nothing much really happens but in the heady environs of a football stadium you wouldn't want much to distract you from the match. Plus the flavour goes well with beer, which was also to hand during the consumption. The texture was brittle, think of the standard Crisp you get when you're away - think Lay's - and you're on the right track.

As I watched Xavi and Iniesta dissect the Malaga defence I couldn't help but think if these Crisps were a footballer who would they be? Would they be one of the greats - Messi? George Weah? Ruel Fox? None of them I'm afraid, they'd be more a workman like player, an all rounder. Maybe John O'Shea - just grand most of the time.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Packet #86 Darling Spuds Sea Salt & Italian Balsamic Vinegar

We here in Crisp HQ have travelled far and wide in search of the finest crisps the world has to offer. We've even been to Leitrim. Well this latest packet comes all the way from the great Dublin area of Fairview via Chesham (I've no idea where that is either) with ingredients being brought in from exotic places such as Italy. I'm not sure if it's all the travelling or the way they make them but these crisps also happen to be gluten free, ideal for all you gluten haters out there.

 The crisps are of the hand cooked variety, I wonder if that's a skill you can learn on JobBridge? Cooking crisps with your hands. This particular cook must have magical hands because the crunch on these crisps is spectacular. They make such a crunch that everyone in close proximity can also hear and enjoy the delight. Flavour wise the trip to Italy paid off. They aren't as moorish as some S&V crisps, it is more of a subtle, welcoming, calming splash of flavour. Like a nice Italian giving you a hug.

 This is the third different flavour of Darling Spuds I have tried, all three have been delicious and worthy of a review, I just happened to eat this bag today. So keep your peepers peeped when you’re out and about and when you see them buy as many packets as you can because, you know, crisps are bleedin lovely.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Packet #85 Veronica's Baked Organic Crisps Barbeque

Baked organic crisps? Gluten free? 96 calories? You may think the blog has gone a bit mad or that we're on some sort of crisp diet but don't worry we're not. We're simply living up to our mission of trying every crisp possible in the world ever. It's a fine philosophy to live by. You should try it.

So with that in mind I decided to try Veronica's crisps. Veronica seems like a very sound lady, I mean she must be she makes her own crisps. Many have tried to make a decent lower calorie crisp in the past and most have failed miserably. But crisps are crisps and they must be eaten. The first thing I noticed is the shape of these crisps, they are easily the flattest crinkled crisps I've ever seen. I also noticed that the flavour looks to be packed on, time for a taste. Woof! The strong spicy barbeque flavour hits the back of your taste buds with a two footed tackle. The spice is a much welcomed surprise which warms the soul. The crisps crunch easily, making the structure of the shape even more impressive, there’s not a broken crisp in the bag. Actually there’s no crisps left in my bag. I’ve eaten them all.

Now overall, they won’t beat that third bag of Meanies of a Sunday when you’re dying but sure nothing can. What Veronica has introduced is a fine crisp to the Irish market and I think she’s achieved exactly what she’s going for. A lower calorie, tasty crisp. Which in fairness the blog could do with once in a while.