Confirmed sighting: Kingdom BBQ Meat
Posted: 18:04 Sun 04-Nov-2012. Price: £1.60. Location: See below. Nutritional unusualness: "Chinese marinated dried meat product similar to jerky, made in the form of flat thin sheets".
"yschean" reports: Biltong, jerky yes, but BBQ Meat? Never heard of this product before but came across this at the Speciality Food Show the other day and it tastes fantastic! It's kind of a ready-to-eat meat snack just like beef jerky. But these are made from pork and have some real flavour to them. 2 flavours on offer - original pork and black pepper. Personally love black pepper.
Spoke to the guys at the stall and can only get it from their online store for now. Lovely guys and with a very exciting new snack, hope they will get onto the supermarket shelf soon!
...Hmm, maybe there is a slight taste of press-release speak to "yschean's" first-time sighting - but, in other vaguely sausage-inspired surprises: I thought I'd previously been underwhelmed by a
McDonald's Spanish Grande with Chorizo
(part of their current Great Tastes Of The World 2012 campaign), but I could be thinking of Burger King's 2008 Chorizo Angus; and Pret A Manger's new breakfast rolls (with Bacon, or Ham and [boiled] Egg, before 10:30 am only) are nicely done, but still not quite in the league of Leon's Poached Egg Pots (toppings include various combos of Ham, Truffle Gruyere, Chorizo, "Saucy Beans").
Confirmed sighting: Walkers Deep Ridged
Posted: 18:31 Sat 15-Sep-2012. Location: Tesco, Hayes (and currently £1/ multipack in Sainsbury). Sub-flavours: Ready Salted, Cheese and Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Grilled Steak.
Walkers' bare-faced attempts to dominate all crisp categories continue - these are currently co-existing with last
year's Walkers Crinkles and the more recent Walkers Ruffles, although additionally feature, as "Allan" reports, "Massive ridges like I've never seen before!" According to "Allan", Tesco Hayes also had Walkers Extra Crunchy in "At last some new flavours. New packaging design too," (specifically, Cheese and Red Onion, or King Prawn Cocktail) - presumably a Walkers Deeply Crunchy Ruffley range can't be far behind.
...There's no arguing with the potent flavours of the Deep Ridgeds, though I wondered if they'd been extruded Pringles-style from potato dough, as the surface texture is like KP Skips? In other substantial savouries: I was pleased to see some branches of Greggs The Baker joining the pre-prepared hot sandwich wars with these reasonably priced baguettes (usually not much more than £2, even in central London) - plus I'd just like to pay tribute to the sadly no-longer-updated Gobble Monkey blog that specialised in Percy Pig (and other snack) news. The mint that tastes twice as extra strong, burns only half as extra long, Gobble Monkey - and you have tasted so very, very strongly, come back soon!
Confirmed sighting: Tesco Chicken Bites
Posted: 18:08 Sat 14-Jul-2012. Price: 99p per bag; 3 "snacksize" bags currently on offer for £2! (60g each = 180g total). Location: Tesco - Ready to Eat. Sub-flavours: BBQ (tested); Roast Chicken (pictured); Hot and Spicy; Southern Fried. Nutritional unusualness: 100% chicken breast, bit of oil, flour and starchy stuff - 3.4g fat, 105 calories, 2.9g sugar.
Sorry for the delay on these, they were oddly tricky to photograph - though thanks to "Marc Carran" for providing a glimpse into his internal monologue, as he reports: "Points of Interest... Bag size: Perhaps it could replace a bag of Crisps? And it's far healthier?"
"It doesn't taste like Chicken: 'Ready to Eat' - It's gonna be chopped up a bit and have a few add-on ingredients to make it a bit more convenient, but that doesn't mean they are bad!"
"But... they are quite more-ish! There's not enough in the bag, and 3 bags will go quick!"
"That's... 10.2 grams of fat! That's £2!
Couldn't you get better for the price?"
"Sure you can, but the milkshake aisle is round the corner, they do go well with anything, after all, it's just a snack... :)"
...Anyway, in other vaguely avian conversations: "Definitely one of the best Pot Noodles I've tried" is Foodstuff Finds' verdict on Jamaican Jerk Pot Noodle; Deli 24 have diversified into these slippery square rectangular chicken sausages that actually taste pretty good; and Burger King are still celebrating their fellow monarch's recent Diamond Jubilee with the bravely authentic Coronation Chicken Royale, there crediting the original recipe to Miss Rosemary Hume [MOU1][MOU1], which is either some text markup gone wrong or a royal honour that I wasn't previously aware of.
Confirmed sighting: Golden Wonder Special Edition HP Sauce flavour crisps
Posted: 09:45 Sun 20-May-2012. Price: £1.48 (6-pack). Location: Asda, Longwell Green. Nutritional unusualness: Contains "caramelised sugar powder".
I liked the sound of Marks And Spencer's Parmesan, Asparagus and Truffle flavour, and have also spotted McCoy's Sausage Striker and Chicken Winger in Spar - but now it's time to welcome back another old favourite, as "Rev. Stuart Campbell" reports: It's nice to see Tayto resurrect the GW brand, particularly as it means you can still find the legendary Sausage and Tomato flavour if you look hard enough, but this is the pinnacle of anything achieved under the Golden Wonder name since they sadly abandoned their Worcester Sauce flavour many a year ago.
HP Sauce is the finest new crisp flavour since Caramelised Onion And Balsamic Vinegar, but with the added benefit of appearing on nice normal crisps rather than horrible greasy brittle "posh" ones that are actually about as sophisticated and classy as eating shards of broken glass, splintered plywood and bone off the floor of a rough Glasgow pub at the end of a Saturday night.
They're not a million miles away from a good Worcester Sauce, only sweeter, tangier and fruitier, and you really do get an identifiable aftertaste of HP Sauce off them. In a country undergoing all manner of political trauma, this is the only thing that might happen this year connected to the Houses of Parliament that doesn't make you want to kill everyone in the country, and for that alone it's some sort of triumph. But mostly it's just an incredibly tasty crisp. I bought three six-packs, and I'll be going back for more.
Semi-international sighting: Herr's Potato Chips
Posted: 19:36 Sun 29-Apr-2012. Price: 20p/bag. Location: Home Bargains, the shopping arcade, Ripon High Street. Sub-flavours: Ready Salted; Salt n' Vinegar; "Texas Pete" Hot Sauce.
"James Quin" reports: Found these on a shopping trip on 21/04/2012. No "imported by" label, making it difficult to pinpoint a UK distributor. Though it does say on Herr's official website (the apparently Pennsylvania-based http://www.herrs.com) that they will ship out cases of 24 bags at a time.
...A no-nonsense sighting there from possible first-time spotter "James Quin", though UK crisp enthusiasts are also catered for in the form of: (current Waitrose-exclusive?) PopChips; the battle between Kettle Baked Crisps and Walkers' Baked Stars; plus the similarly oven-origined Jacob's Oddities (NB: that last link goes to Stuart Campbell's website, containing continuous strong language directed at the Commodore 64, and deservedly so in my opinion).
Or, in more substantial savouries, "Marc" seems very excited about the Chixxs A Taste Of The World Italian Pesto Chicken Bites he paid £2 for in Tesco (also available in Indian Masala Chicken Goujons, or American Hot Chilli Chicken Wings). I couldn't quite make out what was going in on his photo, but as "Marc" explains: "Posh Chicken Nuggets - what's posh about them? Well, inbetween batter and breadcrumb... not sure what it it's called, smells mildly spicy, 20 odd minutes in the oven! Verdict: A good honest product, I can see these doing well."
Confirmed sighting: Golden Wonder Rough Cuts
Posted: 11:03 Sun 27-Nov-2011. Price: 50p. Location: News Shop, Leicester. Sub-flavours: Bang Bang Spicy Thai [tested], presumably other Tayto Rough Cuts Flavours (ie, Cheese and Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Chargrilled Steak).
Foodstuff Finds has been "missing [the] burn" in
Levi's Caribbean Chilli Beef Grove Cut Crisps and UB/KP are replacing Pickled Onion in 6-packs of Nik Naks with our old friend, "stinky" Scampi'n'Lemon. But today's headliner is the ever-articulate "Nick T", who quips: "Everybody likes a little Thai, and everybody likes a little Bang Bang. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now entering the Benny Hill zone."
"I'm assuming Rough Cuts are a test product: well if there's space in the crowded adult end of the market for them, they may be onto a winner. For the past few years Golden Wonder have sadly lounged in the lunchbox/pocket-money snack space but maybe with the change of ownership - and I notice the contact address is Scunthorpe, often called The Athens Of The North - these ridged crisps are definitely moving into McCoy's territory, and 15p cheaper too."
"Taste-wise they're very, very similar to McCoy's recent excellent Ruck of Ribs, but not quite such a full-on flavour. There's a little more sourness and a lot more sweetness but still a very tasty crisp. The coating isn't very even though: occasionally you'll get one with hardly any seasoning at all, then you'll find the one with all the chilli. That could be seen as a big fail, but I just like to think of it as Thai Roulette. If you like a little Rough, these are well worth tracking down."
Confirmed sighting: Walkers Doritos Ultimate Cheese Burger New Late Night Flavour
Posted: 09:18 Sun 13-Nov-2011. Price: £1.99. Location: Asda, Chatham. Sub-flavours: Meat Feast Pizza. Nutritional unusualness: Contains "Ultimate Cheeseburger Flavour" (natch), suitable for vegetarians.
I think I've since seen this gherkin-tasting Rihanna-tie-in in Asda at £3 for 2x 250g bags, but even full price didn't discourage first-time spotter "Pilch" from reporting: £1.99 a pack is a bit above my usual budget for Doritos but I liked the sound of these. Only tried the Cheese Burger ones - they're pretty bang-on, although you have to eat quite a few before you start really getting the flavour of them.
...In other South-Eastern feasting: I didn't get this much cheese when I tried Byron's Grizz-Mo Welsh rarebit burger, and "Pilch" provides further tantalising glimpses of those Macaroni Cheese, Spaghetti Bolognese, Steak and Onion Pie, or Mexican Fajita Pringles, ie: "Picked these up about a month or so ago - not got round to trying them yet though, I have a pretty substantial Pringles back-log. They all said 'Tea-time Favourites' on the tube, and are exclusive to Morrisons (according to their advert, which drew my attention to these)."
Stricter vegetarians have the option of these "chicken style" Quorn Light Bites I recently saw reduced to about a pound in Asda, while the Tesco in Orpington provided the Pom Bear Teddies Pizza Flavour that "Helen" declared: "Mmmm... [a] very yummy addition to the Pom Bear range. They come in a bright yellow packet so I thought they were going to be cheese flavour but they are lovely pizza flavour. The taste is reminiscent of Walkers' pizza crisps from back in the '80s."
Confirmed sighting: Tayto Today's Special Ulster Fry flavour crisps
Posted: 18:24 Sun 16-Oct-2011. Price: 20p. Location: B and M Bargains, East Kilbride.
Zeddy reports: B and M and their
bargain European acquisitions! What the heck is Ulster Fry? Well,
"A traditional Ulster Fry consists of bacon rashers, eggs, sausages (either pork or beef), vegetable roll, white pudding, black pudding or lamb's kidney, fried tomato, the farl form of soda bread (the farl is split in half crossways to expose the inner bread and then fried with the exposed side down), boxty or potato bread and wheaten farl. Other common components include mushrooms, baked beans or pancake."
Thanks Wiki - so, anyhow, these are reminiscent of Golden and Wonder's Sausage and Tomato variety. Good old-fashioned crisps with a traditional flavour from the UK's one-time crisp manufacturer. Oh, and STILL no Pringle Pickled onion flavour.
...And speaking of traditional flavours, Tyrrell's Proper Popcorn includes a Sour Cream and Jalapeno Chilli variety - you know, just like your local fleapit cinema used to sell in the "good old days". That said, the chilli isn't that prominent in the mix compared to, say, Mackie's Scotch Bonnet crisps ("Weren't as hot as Barry Norman's Hot and Spicy Pickled Onions" - Foodstuff Finds), and
Seabrook's Hot and Spicy Desi Curry ("Good crisps, and I would be totally raving about them if I didnít have the prior knowledge that the 2 Chilli ones are superior" - ibid.)
Confirmed sighting: Doritos Jalapeno Fire
Posted: 22:06 Sun 02-Oct-2011. Price: 55p. Location: Local shop on Main Street, Winchburgh.
As if we needed reminding that Walkers is owned by PepsiCo, here they are apparently "integrating flavour-matching with huge through-the-line support to drive penetration and trial in a normally quiet period" - ie, advertising hot Doritos in conjunction with cooling lime Citrus Freeze Pepsi Max, plus a competition to visit either Las Vegas or Iceland. Or, as possible first-time spotter "Phill Donaldson" puts it: Saw these advertised on a bottle of Diet Pepsi the night before I found them. Although they're OK, they have a slight beefy taste to them, and the Chilli Heatwave ones seem spicier.
...Elsewhere in savouries: sadly I don't yet have photographic confirmation of the Pringles Teatime Favourites (in Macaroni Cheese, Spaghetti Bolognese, or Steak and Onion Pie) that "Allan" says he saw in Morrisons, Hounslow ("Yet more special flavours from Pringles. Still no pickled onion though,"), while Foodstuff Finds reports that Pret A Manger's Curry Lime Pickle Crisps "taste predominantly of curry powder, but there is a tangy citrus hit which appears as an aftertaste". KP have followed up 2001's ill-fated Hula Hoops XL with three flavours of Big Hoops (160g/£1.93, in Original, Sweet Chilli, or Sour Cream and Chive), and Kettle Chips have recalled four of their varieties carrying a best-before date of 29 October 2011 for containing "pieces of plastic that appear similar to the crisps" - presumably identifiable by the fact that they're not as savagely tough to eat as their crisps usually are, ahahaha.
Confirmed sighting: McCoy's Pickled Scrumion
Posted: 09:56 Sun 11-Sep-2011. Price: 79p or 2 for £1. Location: RS McColl, Carluke, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Ruck of Ribs. Nutritional unusualness: 261 kcal per pack (50g).
Zeddy reports: Wow! Where did these come from? Pickled onion crisps seem to have a bit of a student-like (KP Space Raiders?) association. They don't have the sophistication of Balsamic vinegar and sea salt for example. Well bollocks to that! They are a taste sensation that is rarely bettered by any other flavour. McCoy's have now joined the party, albeit in Ltd Edition fashion but they sure pack a tartish punch. My only (delusional) hope is that Pringles will one day realise the gap in their range.
...And top marks to Zeddy for not mentioning whatever rugby-related tie-in prompted the "scrumion" pun in the first place. In other dodgy tackles: KP have also combined
honey-roasted peanuts, chocolate and mini McVitie's Hobnobs to create Nutty Nibbles; Mostly This contrasts McDonald's "back to the future" 1955 burger with Byron's £7.50 Limited Edition Uncle Sam; while "NevRev" claims to have located both Golden Wonder Ringos (£4.39/box, plus VAT) and American Cheeseburger flavour Golden Wonder Quarterbacks (20p or £3.95/box of 36) in Makro Reading and Southampton, describing them as "Great and taste exactly the same as they used to!" and "The original cheeseburger flavour crisps!", respectively.