Author of the Time Rep Series and Note To Self

A review of a bag of crisps

I do like a bag of crisps, you know. And I also think I’m a bit of an expert on them, what with the fact that I used to be the crisp buyer for Sainsbury’s in a previous life, buying and selling A LOT of the bloody things. (I also used to buy chocolate for Sainsbury’s for a couple of years, which made people stare at me in disbelief at parties when I was asked what I did for a living. Spolier alert – it was stressful, though I did get to go to Belgium and Switzerland now and then and stuff my face.)

Anyway, I know this has nothing to do with books or writing or being an author or Time Rep or any of that, but nontheless I want to start a new regular segment on this blog called Crispwatch™, where I review different crisps I’ve discovered. So this week on Crispwatch™, I want to draw your attention to the Co-op’s limited edition Gourmet Burger Crinkle Cut Crisps. For anyone reading this from outside the UK, the Co-op is a chain of supermarkets who used to have the slogan ‘good with food’, but on the TV adverts the narrator rhymed ‘good’ with ‘food’ so it actually sounded like they were saying ‘gud with fud’. Anyway – back to the crisps – they look like this (or at least, the packet does):

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s the same thing I thought when I bought these crisps – all meat crisps generally taste the same, and the only reason your brain makes you think they taste any different is how the flavour is described on-pack. A key offender for me in this regard is Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Limited Edition Maple-Glazed Duck crisps, which sound amazing but basically just taste like a generic meat crisp. And this is fine (and I still ate the entire 150g sharing bag to myself, as is standard for me), but you could have just as easily told me the crisps were BBQ Beef Brisket flavour and I would have believed you.

However, with these Gourmet Burger crisps, it really is amazing how much they actually taste like a burger. And take a closer look at the ingredients listed on the front: beef, cheese, tomato, dill pickle AND chilli? Surely a humble crisp can’t contain all those flavours, and for your mouth to be able to pick them out all individually? Well, no – I can’t say I got all those flavours, but I could taste the cheese and the burger (which actually did taste like a beef patty and not just a generic meaty flavour). And most importantly, I could also taste the pickle, which cut through the underlying meaty/fatty flavours and gave the crisps a nice tang, a bit like a more tame pickled-onion Monster Munch, but with more depth as the sharpness of the pickle mixed with the other flavours.

Another plus-point of these crisps is that they are crinkle cut, meaning all that lovely seasoning sits in those grooves and packs that extra punch if you lay one down on your tongue flavour-side down and let it all soak in. And the crisps themselves had a satisfying crunch.

As I’d just had dinner before eating these (I do like eating crisps for my pudding), at the time of writing I haven’t finished the pack and as such haven’t got round to running my finger along the bottom of the bag and scooping up all the dregs of seasoning to suck on – but once I do, I’m sure it will be amazing.

In conclusion, these crisps do a remarkable job of recreating the flavour of a gourmet burger. I didn’t quite register all the different individual flavours promised on the bag, but nonetheless these are the best crisps I’ve had in terms of living up to the description since the M&S Chicken Katsu Curry ones, which I also recommend and may talk about in the next episode of Crispwatch™…

Pete’s score: 9/10

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