Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Packet #93 – Lidl’s Deluxe Peri Peri

This is an unusual crisp with an unusual name. Definitely sweet. Definitely spicy. Definitely salty. Definitely potatoey. But there's also something else. Some sort of herb flavour. Maybe basil? Not the usual crisp herb, but a good flavour all the same.

Here's the slightly peculiar flavour profile: The sturdy posh crisp crunch is followed by that mysterious herby sweetness. Then there's the spicy punch, which lingers on the tongue along with a true potato flavour.

This is a posh crisp, but doesn't quite have the same depth of flavour as other posh crisps. Having said that, the bag still kept me coming back for more.

It wouldn't be top of my repurchase list, but if I ran into this crisp at a Ballybough BBQ or a Fairview Park picnic, I would happily indulge in a few handfuls.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Packet #92 - Kettle Chips Thai Sweet Chilli Lemongrass & Coriander

A while ago, I went down to Kerry for one of our glorious bank holiday weekends. When I'm on a long journey, my snack of choice is, of course, crisps.

Luckily, my fellow passenger Claire purchased Kettle Chips "Seasonal Edition" Thai Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass & Coriander. This particular crisp has a complex flavour profile. They have a distinct top note, reminiscent of Mild Curry Super Noodles. Then, as you chew, the flavour develops into a sweet, fragrant lemony, gingery sort of taste. And finally the spiciness of the chilli comes to the fore and stays for a few minutes -- a pleasant reminder that you've just had a satisfying crisp.

Overall, I'd recommend these crisps to people who want to have a real flavour journey while they snack. Especially good if you yourself are on a geographical journey.

However, you'd want to have your full concentration while you're eating these, so not one for when you get home from the pub after a few half pints of Smithwicks. Might be a bit dangerous for the driver to eat too...


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Packet #91 Ten Acre - How Chicken Soup Saved The Day

Putting things together can be amazing. Numbers when added together usually make bigger numbers - brilliant. Spreading a liberal amount of butter on to some toast, hello - delicious! Having a cheeky can on a bus while on your way into town of a Saturday night, pure class. So when I saw Crisps that claimed to taste like chicken soup I thought to myself this could well be one of the greatest inventions since numbers -  how could I resist? I couldn't! So I bought a bag for €1.10.

The bag is a nice dark shade of mustard, an almost calming shade which was good because these were bought on a Sunday night when calmness is always called for. There was a decent weight, which is always a promising start. Upon  opening the bag I immediately had a good whiff (which is partie du cours for a Crisp blogger) the smell, promising. Then I had an enthusiastic munch, the first crisp really bowled me over with it's amazing chicken soup like flavour, how they did it I'm not too sure, as I genuinely was expecting a run of the mill chicken flavoured crisp. Texture wise we're dealing with a semi heavy style, not quite as heavy and as thick as the usual artisan Crisp, which lends itself to the flavour perfectly.

All in all these are a fine addition to the Crisp market. They immediately leap somewhere near the top of the queue for the under appreciated Chicken flavour - are they as good as the humble Chickatee, not quite but then again what are.... numbers maybe? No way! Chickatees are way better than numbers.


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.