Product Type: McCain Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... in the oven longer than the manufacturer recommends), but they aren't tough to chew on. Despite McCain's 'soft and fluffy' claim regarding... more
Keep your skin on!
McCain Rustic Oven Chips Skin On
Member Name: ryeb
McCain Rustic Oven Chips Skin On
Advantages: Chunky, good sized chips, taste nice, lower in fat than many others
Disadvantages: Drier and less fluffy inside than regular chips, and they do not all cook at same time.
I bought a bag of McCains Rustic Oven Chips solely because they were the only chips my Sainsbury's Local had in stock when I wanted them. They were available for a special offer price of £1 for the 1 kilo bag which normally sells there for £1.50. I didn't even notice the "rustic" part on the label until I got home! This means that the chips have some of the potato skin left on. I would still have bought them anyway, as I often leave the skins on when I make my own chips, for a bit extra flavour and maybe fibre too.
These particular chips are frozen, and so come in the usual plastic bag. This packet doesn't re-seal after use, so if you don't want to use all of the chips at once, you have to clip or seal the bag together yourself. When I tipped the chips out of the bag for the first time I was impressed at how big many of the chips were. Although they aren't all the same size, some are 3 or 4 inches long. This makes them satisfying to eat but the lack of a uniform size means that they do not finish cooking at the same time. I am used to putting a tray of chips in the oven and more or less forgetting about them, until the kitchen timer goes off. With these, I had to turn them often and remove the smaller ones in stages as they cooked. This makes them slightly less convenient if you are busy preparing something else. The cooking time is 16-19 minutes, and surprisingly given their size, even the larger ones cook within that time.
As well as long, these are very chunky. They remind me of a cross between potato wedges and steak cut oven chips. The potato skin is obvious along one edge of the chips. They do look a bit more interesting than regular chips, and they smell just as good when they are cooking. On taking them out of the oven, the chips are a nice golden brown colour, with the skins being darker and a rougher texture. They were also nice and crispy, despite the fact they were cooked without oil. I thought they may stick to the oven tray but they were fine. I appreciated that when it came to washing up time.
Taste wise, I think these taste more "potatoey" than standard chips, perhaps because they are thicker as much as anything. The potato skins taste more earthy - I think if you like eating the scrubbed skins of jacket potatoes as I do, you will really like this flavour. I did find them drier than average though, with a less fluffy interior. I didn't mind this myself, as I was eating them with a tomato sauce. They are not at all greasy or fatty in taste or touch so they are perfect for eating with your hands. They also hold together well if you want to dip them! I thought the extra potato skins could be tough, but they are only a bit more chewy. As they reminded me of long potato wedges in a way, I cooked the second half of my bag with a chilli sprinkle and they tasted great. I think the rougher potato skin helps to trap flavour on the chips which means they seemed to have a more intense taste than normal.
The chips are prepared by McCains with sunflower oil, and contain less fat than many chips. A 165g serving gives you 216 calories, and 2% of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat, and 3% of your RDA of salt. I think this is reasonable for a chip, and it means I feel that I am having something that is both a treat and relatively healthy.
I would recommend these to anyone who would like to try a healthier chip, or one that tastes a bit different. If you want a classic tasting chip only, the difference in taste may not suit you though. I will happily buy these again, whether on offer or not. They are a useful food to keep in the freezer and a interesting change from the usual oven kind. They need more attention when cooking than other chips, but I think they are worth the trouble!
[This review also appears on Ciao, under my user name.]
Summary: An interesting twist on regular chips from McCains
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