There are no fewer than 15 – 15! – new crisp flavours competing in Walkers Crisps World Cup. IHGN is well known for its love of crisps, so it’s only right that we have a go at sampling the “delights” of the range. This is a vegetarian blog, though, and we don’t take kindly to crisps we can’t try. To this end, we have engaged a panel of anonymous reviewers who will give second, third and possibly zero opinions on what we bought. So, without any further arguments against doing this, let’s get to the first six flavours we could lay our hands on and see if we’re shouting “YES!” or crying “FOUL!”…
German Bratwurst Sausage
Straight away, I’m tempted to disqualify this one. Not because it’s not vegetarian but because of the reason it’s not vegetarian – it contains poultry extract. Now, these are meant to be sausage-flavoured; there is a chicken-flavoured one in the range which doesn’t contain any poultry extract at all. I don’t understand. Anyway, my omnivorous colleagues were almost unanimously repulsed by the smell of these, variously describing it as ‘oxtail soup’, ‘rotten smokey bacon’ and ‘f-ing disgusting’. The one person prepared to try the crisps more than once said they easily nuked the taste of blackcurrant Strepsils, only to then taste like a chest infection.
Tastes like the smell of a McDonald’s. Or maybe the floor of a McDonald’s. Or maybe a burger that fell on the floor. Actually, they successfully manage to do what all fast food strives to do – put you off food for a while.
How do Walkers take something that tastes good and make it taste bad? This shouldn’t have been possible to mess up and yet somehow they snatched revulsion from the jaws of adequacy. It’s like the potato has rejected the flavour and sent it packing to a part of your mouth that only recognises detergents.
French Garlic Baguette
Deciding to bypass the whole bread/garlic thing, they’ve gone straight for a bizarre, plasticky spring onion taste. Actually, it’s not bad at all – but if anyone wants to complain, they’ll no doubt blame Thierry Henry. He’s probably used to these things by now.
Japanese Teriyaki Chicken
“Japanese” and “Chicken” are probably stretching it but these are distinctly smoky with a small, Bovril-like sting at the back of the throat. In fact, they might be better off liquidised and sold hot at Scottish football matches.
Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak
These are quite extraordinary. Walkers taste gouchos have truly excelled themselves here. Imagine, if you will, the scenario: goucho gets off his horse and starts scraping the grill of a recently used garden barbecue, munches the burnt, greased charcoal morsels quickly, and then waits patiently until he starts belching. Eureka! Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak flavour!
Well, it was a nice reason for eating crisps. And we’re still game to try them all – we’ll buy more today and review them as soon as we’re peckish again. So help us.