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.

Mark.

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.

Mark

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.

 Deano

 

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.

Deano.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Packet #84 - Burt's Guinness Crisps

Temple Bar. Those two words are enough to send a shudder through any sensible Irish person. It's grand during daylight hours but come nightfall it's home to over priced pints, plastic leprechauns and really, really drunk people. Unfortunately for this crisp lover, he found himself stuck in this particular honey-pot just last Saturday. Thankfully I survived and came away with a bag of crisps I've wanted for ages.

So Guinness is delicious and crisps are delicious but can the two work together? The answer is yes, they most definitely can. The crisps look dark and moreish and might put some people off but don't be foolish get stuck in and try them. They're tangy and sweet at the start but the flavour lingers with a kick of bitterness towards the end. The usual excellent crunchiness of Burts crisps carries through leaving you wanting to munch away as loud as possible.


I've just realised that this is my first review of the year, that's just not good enough. I promise to get my act in order and I've plenty of crisps lined up to review in the coming weeks. If anything I think we all owe a tip of the cap to Temple Bar for getting me off my arse and reviewing. Well either that or it was the Guinness.

Deano.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Packet #83 - Walkers Cheese And Onion


England. Home of many celebrities, footballers, and celebrity footballers. In this country (Ireland), sure we have a couple of celebrities, Cathryn Thomas and Alan Cantwell immediately spring to mind. But many of our dearest celebrities are of the fictional kind, particularly the ones that appear on the front of Crisp packets. The chicken from Chick-a-Tees the Banshee from Banshee Bones, Sam Spud, Mr. Tayto and of course the fella on the front of Wheelies, naming but a few. But in England they've gone a step further and combined three of their favourite things -  Football, celebrity and crisps to create a non fictional character, Gary Lineker. Gary has been the face of England's most famous crisp brand for over forty years, and it was with these thoughts swirling around my busy mind that I picked up a 6 pack of Walkers C&O (cheese and onion) for the price of 1.37 (a price not to be scoffed at?). 


This is the kind of deal, that Tesco assured me was quite special, so I wasn't too disappointed to find the bag a little light on crisps - I knew what I was signing up for. One thing I noticed almost immediately was that Walkers had changed the shade of blue that the C&O come in, a darker shade which I think add a statesman like quality to the new bag. But it's what's in the bag that counts, as they say, and the crisps inside this particular bag are simply classic. Walkers have a very distinctive style of C&O, one that you simply won't find anywhere else. And I find them to be a joy, not too over powering and never claiming to be anything other then what they are. The texture is uniform across every crisp in the bag, just the right side of brittle. 

Yes, they may not be the most artisan of Crisps out there, they simply accompany your sandwich in a calm and dignified manner, much like Prince Phillip does when he travels the globe with our the Queen. 

Mark. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Packet #82 - Caffrey's Mature Irish Cheese And Spring Onion


What would the world be without history? A confusing place. For starters we wouldn't know about any old wars -  they would just simply happen, then we'd forget about them, so we'd learn nothing about how to try and run a peaceful planet. Yes okay, the world isn't exactly peaceful, but most of us are giving peace a right good lash, which is great to see. What could of possibly brought on these historical whimsies? A packet of Crisps, of course! Caffrey's Mature Irish Cheese and Spring Onion, to be exact. 

Y'see, while rummaging through his grandfathers (legendary confectionary genius Thomas Caffrey) attic recently, Thomas' grandson came across an old recipe for Crisps. Why does this matter so much? Well, Thomas Caffrey is the man behind The Macaroon Bar, The Chocolate Snowball and the Big Time Bar, he basically made everything that's brilliant. And so, Thomas' grandson (yes, I don't know his name) went about making these crisps from an ancient recipe.

And they taste, delicious. From the moment I saw the massive moustache on the big bright red bag beaming at me from the crisp shelf in the newsagents I knew I was onto something quite special. The texture is a little lighter then similar crisps in this market (Keogh's and O'Donnell's) but this doesn't do these lads any diservice whatsoever. The flavour balance is just perfect and the spring onion adds a ever so delicious, but not overpowering, balance to the mature cheddar. Just how Thomas Caffrey knew how to balance these flavours perfectly, is well and truly beyond me, but then again most things are. 

Mark.