Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Battle of the Crisps

Even though the votes are now closed and the winners announced, I thought I'd still post my late, very, very late review... at 5am. Ah, such is the life (or lack thereof) with a newborn.

In a blind taste test with the boy, we put a few crisps from each flavor in identical glass bowls and tried to identify them based on smell/taste. We're happy to say that we were able to identify ALL of them based on taste, which goes some way to show that Walkers did try very hard indeed to get the flavors spot on. Like a geek, I made notes so I can accurately transcribe how the test went (edited to make it more family friendly, I am not the most, um... fine, I have a potty mouth and yes, I kiss my mother with it).

Me: Ur, no question, this is Chili Chocolate. Ick.

Boy: Yup, it's Chili Chocolate alright... (takes a small handful and shoves in mouth barbarically) with a spicy aftertaste.

Me: No more for me, tastes greasy and like a chocolate air freshener with a bad spicy aftertaste... kind of like a burp after eating spicy Korean food.

Boy: No, wouldn't buy this.

Me: This is odd... definitely Fish and Chips, can taste the salt and vinegar... the slight fishiness is very off putting.

Boy: (Munches on a handful rather than the dainty single chip I had) It has a lemony much though. A bit like scampi crisps but with a lemon zestyness. Wouldn't buy it again though.

Me: Definitely not. Ok, I have to stop you for a minute, what's up with the handfuls? It looks so caveman-esque. Eat one chip at a time like a normal person!!

Boy: What are you talking about?? This is normal! This is JUNK food, you're supposed to be indulgent and shove handfuls at a time in your mouth, what do you think this is? Fingers sandwiches and tea? How else are you supposed to get a good MUNCH?

Me: A MUNCH? What the hell? It's a CHIP!!! A single one munches fine and is the way to eat chips, eating a handful just looks greedy and rude!

Boy: Can we get on with it? (shoves an annoying handful of the next flavor into his mouth) Oooh, this is definitely the squirrel one.

Me (sulkily): CAJUN squirrel. It's very woodsy.

Boy: I'd buy this again (shoves ANOTHER handful). Smells like camping.

Me after a dramatic sigh: It has some woody paprika flavors. I'm not sure I'd buy this again. Its very squirrelly.

Boy: Squirrelly?

Me: Yes... a bit gamey like. Develops flavor as you eat.... (I have a few more... ONE at a time). I like the woodyness but it gets a bit much after a while.

Boy: Oh, you won't like this next one.

Me: Is it the Onion Bhaji? I don't like Onion Bhaji as it is....

Boy: I'd buy this one again as well.

Me: This is gross!!! It's like a burp after a bad Onion Bhaji! Ewwww, I need something to wash out my mouth. You CANNOT kiss me after eating this... same rules that applies to when you eat Onion Bhaji or have a lot to drink. Stay away!

Boy: This is so romantic...

Me: Moving on... OH! This is interesting!

Boy: Good hearty munch...smells like those bacon crisps you can buy.

Me: I like this... very interesting and tastes like it sounds. Builder's Breakfast, I get a hit of bacon and then develops into eggyness.

Boy: Could do with more bacon flavor.

Me: You think everything can do with more bacon flavor.

Boy: Your point being?

Me: This is interesting, I quite like this! Couldn't eat much of it though. The eggyness would get to me.

Boy: I'm not sure I'd buy this to eat regularly but would be fun to buy for others to try.

Me: This next one is interesting as well.

Boy: Papery munch. Smells like hoisin. I like it, its pretty good!

Me: I get cucumber and then the duck with an aftertaste of hoisin.

Boy: Well no mistaking the Crispy Duck and Hoisin flavor. Tastes a bit like paper though.

Me: Might be the pancake wrapper for the duck they are trying to emulate? It's interesting but I wouldn't buy it again.

So in conclusion, it was really good fun actually! I am very impressed at Walker's ability and reach to make such odd/interesting flavors and on the whole, I think they did a good job. It might all be a marketing ploy but it's a good one and I'm impressed at the effort they went to. They are priced the same as their regular flavored crisps (which is cheap as chips anyways... har dee har har). The only niggling complaint I have is that you can only buy a pack of six with 2 of three flavors rather than a packet with one of each of the flavors, which I think would be more appealing as you can road test them all.

Finally, as you may or may not know, Builder's Breakfast won and will be a staple on the shelves. I would recommend trying it as it's a fun flavor.

One last question: do you eat your chips by the single or your crisps by the handful??