Thursday, 22 November 2018

Packet #102: Ruffles Double Crunch Zesty Cheddar

Today is Thanksgiving! It is a day where, I'm told, people put marshmallows in their dinner in the United States of America. WHAT A DAY.

To celebrate this big USA day, I decided to treat myself to a packet of Ruffles Double Crunch Zesty Cheddar.

The bag of Crisps, or "Chips" as they say in America, is very American looking in its design. It looks very "High School" or "Baseball" or something.

The packet also promises "RRRidges" and "2x The Crunch Compared to Ruffles Original Potato Chips".

The first thing that you notice when you open the bag is a very, very bad smell. A terrible smell. It's difficult to describe. Maybe a bit like fermenting corn mixed with rotting mayonnaise. They could be the worst smelling Crisp I've eaten all year.

Surprisingly, the taste is actually pretty good. It has more depth than a regular cheese Crisp and the Zesty Cheddar flavour is complemented by a selection of spices and a large whack of garlic.

The texture is TOP NOTCH. I don't know if these really have exactly double the crunch of Ruffles Original Potato Chips because I've never had them, but they are definitely very crunchy. A thick, substantial crunch. It feels like two Hunky Dorys smushed together.

This leads to a really loud crunch. And there are few things more satisfying than a really loud crunch of a Crisp.

They are also orange in appearance, which has been the unofficial colour of America for the past two years or so. A very fitting shade for the times we live in.

I don't know if I'd choose to eat another packet of these Crisps anytime soon. They leave a very unpleasant smell on your fingers and your breath. But there are also somewhat pleasing.

In conclusion, if you like a cheese Crisp and you have a heavy cold, or just a poor sense of smell, give these Crisps a crunch.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Packet #101 - Walkers Poppables Sweet Chilli

It's too late to have lunch. It's too early to have dinner. And you're waiting for a bus. What do you do?

Well, this dilemma came upon me only today and I decided to do the only thing that felt right.

I opened up a bag of Walkers Poppables Sweet Chilli.

These Crisps are WILD. When I saw the picture on the front of the packet, I was skeptical. How could these Crisps hold their shape? Especially considering they survived a journey to and from The Plex, Coolock, I didn't quite think it was possible.

But it was. Incredibly, almost every single Crisp inside the bag was intact. They're like dense Waffles moulded into the shape of an American "football".

Speaking of Waffles, these potato-based snacks have a very similiar texture to their Irish bacon counterparts. They're definitely a little more solid though, which I suppose is necessary from an engineering point of view in order to ensure the structure of each Crisp is secure. And they don't stick in your teeth for too long, which is a nice plus.

The flavour is also very intriguing. The bag says Sweet Chilli, but in my opinion it's closer to that of a spicy Skip. Inoffensive and not overly powerful. Maybe it would be more accurate if they called this Spiced Prawn flavour? I've never tasted a prawn, but I'm guessing if paired with a spice, it would taste a bit like this Crisp.

In conclusion, I would recommend this Crisp. A thrilling shape, impressive uniformity throughout the bag and a flavour you don't come across every day. Unless you eat a lot of Skips.


Friday, 24 August 2018

Packet #100 - Walkers Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings

100 Crisp reviews is a lot. So for this Crisp reviewing landmark, we thought we'd go all out. We'd go for a bold, hard-hitting Crisp that promises to shake things up.

After the moderate success of our last Crinkle Cut review (Keogh's Irish Cheddar and Red Onion), we decided to continue with this seemingly insatiable Crisp trend. That's why we decided to sample Walkers Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings Crisps.

Well, when we say we decided to sample them, we actually just got them for free off a guy selling cartons of water at a festival. He only had one flavour of Crisps in his shack and we accepted them gladly.

But maybe the fact that he was giving them away for free should've indicated the sad truth about these Crisps. They are kind of horrible. And when I say kind of, I mean REALLY HORRIBLE.

In my opinion, chicken flavour Crisps are usually more miss than hit. You might think that as a vegetarian reviewer I'm biased against all meat flavoured Crisps. On the contrary, dear reader. My favourite Crisps are usually meat flavoured. Smokey Bacon, BBQ Beef and Flaming Steak all rank highly in my esteem. But I don't think I've ever met a chicken flavour Crisp that I liked. Well except Chickatees. They're lovely.

Anyway, I really thought that these Hot Chicken Wing Crisps would be the ones to change my mind. I love hot wing sauce. I like the fact that they are rated on the packet as a two flames out of three flames level of spiciness. And the crinkle cut format is always fun to eat. At least that's what I thought before I ate these crisps.

If you look carefully at the packet you'll see the tagline "Perfect With Beer". As friend of A Blog About Crisps, human rights fan and reveller Niall put it: "We had beer. They were not perfect.".

He's right. There is nothing perfect about these Crisps. They weren't even spicy. They didn't have the vinegary tang that you get off a good hot sauce. They just tasted a bit musty. Kind of like old soy sauce or something. Maybe vaguely herby. Weird anyway.

The texture was actually grand. A good thick Crisp with a bit of bite. But because the flavour was so unpleasing, I couldn't even stick with them for the satisfying crunch.

I'm not sure if this has ever happened before, but I didn't even finish the Crisps. I just gave them to an unsuspecting festival goer and went on my way.

So no. I wouldn't recommend these Crisps. But I am intrigued by the rest of the Max Strong range, so maybe I'll give the other flavours a bash at some point.


Friday, 17 August 2018

Packet # 99 - Keogh’s Crinkle Cut Irish Cheddar And Red Onion

At A Blog About Crisps, we’ve been eating Keogh’s Crisps for well over seven years. That’s a long time, but do you know what, reader? We're not sick of them yet.

Occasionally, the brand bring out seasonal favourites – like the patriotic Shamrock & Sour Cream – but that's not the only the revolutionary Crisp they have in their Crisp stable.

Let’s get down to it. What’s so special about these Crisps? First off, they are a posh Crisp but they’re also crinkle cut. That means you get all the firmness of a posh Crisp with all the exciting textural experience that a crinkle cut crisp delivers. Imagine if Hunky Dory’s were denser, crunchier and perhaps 10% thicker. That’s the texture-profile of this crisp.

And now, on to the flavour. I’ll be honest. When I saw cheese and onion on the packet, I thought I’d like them. But I didn’t think they’d be anything new. I thought maybe they’d be like the regular Keogh’s Dubliner Irish Cheese & Onion. A nice Crisp that’s like a more flavourful version of a non-posh C&O Crisp.

Keogh’s Crinkle Cut Irish Cheddar And Red Onion Crisps are not like that at all. They are MUCH CHEESIER than the average cheese and onion Crisp. To tell you the truth, it threw me a little. But I was also sneakily eating these Crisps under the table at an upmarket drinking establishment, so it was fairly easy to throw me.

I was too freaked to finish the rest of the bag in the pub so I took the end home. And even from the comfort of my own couch, the cheese still blew me away. It’s almost more parmesany than cheddary. Delicious, but probably not for a casual C&O eater. These are designed for hardcore cheese lovers.

I’m not sure what the difference is between red onion and normal onion, but I could definitely taste a bit of onion off of these crisps. But it’s mainly cheese.

With reports of extremely cheesy crisps in Africa, I wonder is there some sort of trans-continental cheese Crisp craze going on?

But I digress. Overall, these are great Crisps. Bold and brave in both flavour and texture, these are best suited to cheese aficionados and adventurous Crisp fans.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Packet #98 - Lay's Cheese Gratin & Caramelized Onion

The crisp selection in Zambia is middling. Whichever way you look at it, you’ll rarely be satisfied. Fighting with expiry dates, intactness of product and correct-flavour-to-cure-what-ails-ye-ness is usually a battle lost. These oily little stink bombs however hit the spot.

The packet screams ‘Sunday dinner with the family' but the contents are exteemely ‘solo Tuesday with the fear’. The cheesy powder clinging on for dear life to each and every morsel in the pack is potent and stops just short of jumping the shark. The crunch is destructively satisfying and the ensuing mulch a treat.

Are kettle chips posh? Indisputably. Are Kettle chips delish? Occasionally. These lads definitely score a point for the attempt at elegance in crisps, even if they are more over-seasoned than your average spice-bag.

I wouldn't involve these in any way if you have any sort of smooch or career-based appointments in the coming hours. If you’re entertaining a old pal or an indifferent family member, crack em open.

I did finish the bag. It was def too much cheese. Still, class crisps.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Packet #97 - Lay's "乐趣 美国经典香精"

What can you say about China that's not been said already? Shall we talk about their tremendous Olympic team? How's about their unique work ethic and discipline that's seen China become such an economic power house across the globe? Or! What about their focus on family values and immense respect for the elderly?  All worthy for discussion, but as I'm sure you're aware nobodies every REALLY talked about Lay's "乐趣  美国经典香精" Crisps. So let's.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Packet #96 - M&S Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Hand Cooked Crisps

I was at a party on Saturday evening. My friend Dutchy handed me a packet of crisps and demanded I review them.

I wanted to do a good job, so I didn’t try them that night at the party. I didn’t even open them when I was hungover the following day. No. I waited until this very Friday The perfect time to try a new packet of crisps.

These are a mix between a posh crisp and a standard crisp. Not quite thick enough to be a craft crisp, but definitely more bite than one of the regular crisps.

The flavour is delicious – very salty with a just a touch more than a hint of vinegar. Not enough vinegar to make your tongue do that weird thing that happens when you have a very vinegary crisp.

When you get to the bottom of the bag, there are lots of little crisps that are extra flavoursome and extra crunchy. It’s a bit like the extra crispy morsels at the end of a bag of chips – a delightful surprise.

Perhaps these little delights were a result of Dutch and myself carrying around the crisps in our bags at the party for so long, or perhaps the crisps were designed that way. Whatever the reason, the outcome was very pleasing.

Any criticisms? They were slightly oily. Perhaps this allows the flavourings to stick onto the crisps better. In that case, a slightly oily crisp is fine by me.

Thank you Marks, Spencer and Dutchy. These crisps were the highlight of my Friday morning.