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.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Packet #95 - Bénenuts 3D's Bugles

Moulin Rouge, football and bugles all have one thing in common. That's right, LOUD NOISES. And if there's one thing we like here at the blog it's LOUD NOISES. In fact sometimes we have competitions to see who can make the loudest noise. So when my eyes came across this bag of 3D's Bugles in a busy side street of Paris I roared the immortal catchphrase of Kriss Akabusi, AWOOGA! Victory was surely mine.

How wrong I was. Not only could you not play this particular type of bugle but they were almost inedible. It was as if some one curled up tiny pieces of cardboard and packaged them as crisps. Imagine eating a mix of sawdust and shredded wheat and you're nearly there. The one positive I will give the gang at Bénenuts is that there's an almighty crunch when you bit into their bugle. This was the reason I didn't stop eating after the first handful. In fact I got so carried away with the crunch that soon there was a cement like paste forming in my mouth. Fortunately I was surrounded by refreshments and was soon back making a racket again.

I'm pretty sure this is the only bag of crisps I have never finished. This has to be a sign. A sign that they are a terrible crisp and to avoided at all costs. Unless you like eating things similar to sawdust, then go for it. You've got my support.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Packet #94 - Boots Shapers Rendang Curry Flavour Cracker

While half of my brothers are on honeymoon in Asia, I decided to indulge in a little Asian cuisine myself. This Rendang Curry flavour crisp is sweet, gingery, a bit salty and has a whisper of a spicy kick.

It is terrible.

Most of the crisps are lightly coated in the flavouring, which is a blessing as the flavouring is awful. When you have a sneaky one with tonnes of flavouring, it's a disaster. Very, very unpleasant.

Texture-wise, it's like eating hard styrofoam. According to the packet, these are made out of tapioca and cassava.  God knows what they're like in their raw form, but in this snack, they are a losing combination.

On taking a second look at the packet, I note that these are billed as 'crackers' as opposed to 'crisps'. That explains it. No crisp could ever be this unpalatable.

So, readers, I was duped by not fully reading the packet before I chomped and ended up with discounted, low fat crackers made by a chemist. Let this be a lesson to us all.

Next time, I won't be so hasty.


Tuesday, 24 May 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, 30 August 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...