* Prices may differ from that shown
I am a massive crisp fan and to be honest, tend to favour savoury snacks over sweet ones. When at work, I often pop to a shop just around the corner to buy snacks when I am hungry and this is where I came across Brannigans Ham and Pickle flavour crisps.
These crisps come in your typical foil style packaging but they actually look quite different to most of the typical brands such as Walkers, Quavers etc. The packaging looks quite traditional and old fashioned. The packet is a dark salmon pink and beige colour with a picture Mr Brannigan (I assume) in the middle of the packet. The Brannigans logo is in big white letters across the front and the words smoked ham and pickle are written in bold pink text. The usual nutritional information is written in short of the front of the bag and on the back it is described in more detail. These crisps come in 40g bags.
In my local newsagents where I buy these crisps they cost 50p per 40g bag.
The crisps are a golden colour and are quite thick compared to other brands such as Walkers. The crisps were all of a reasonable size and for some reason, there never seems to be very many broken crisps lingering at the bottom of the packet. I assume this is because the crisps are much thicker than your average crisp which stops them from being broken in the packet.
Taste And Smell
The description on that packet informs us that these crisps are "proper thick cut potato crisps made from specially selected potatoes and are bursting with strong classic flavours. Each bag contains mouth-watering flavours, carefully checked for quality, crunch and fullness of flavour."
Upon opening the packet, you are hit with the lovely mix of the smoked ham and picket flavours. I would say that the ham is the dominant smell that comes through first and then you can smell the underlying sweetness of the pickle.
These crisps are just as they are described on the packet; they are thick cut and have a good crunchy consistency. What really makes these crisps appealing to me though is the taste. You can really taste the smoked ham and it doesn't taste at all artificial. I think that the saltiness of the smoked ham flavour really compliments the sweet, slightly tangy taste of the pickle.
I would highly recommend these crisps to any crisp lovers. The flavour is unique and strong without being unpleasant. These crisps are somewhat different to your average packet and they certainly taste of a better quality. My only grumble is that as far as I am aware, they only come in two flavours, which are Ham and Pickle and Ham and Mustard. One disappointment is that these crisps don't seem to be stocked in a wide variety of shops and I have only found them at one shop in my local area.
These Crisps are so nice, but so hard to find thesedays. I find these most times in my local Good news shop where I also find Spira bars, which are great as well.
These aren't cheap. Perhaps this shop is a convenience shop, and most of the things in here are more expensive anyway. I think I paid 50p for the 40g the last time, and the bag was only about half full of Crisps.
The bag is quite a thick bag. Not the usual greasy feeling bag that you get for Crisps. This felt a bit old style and had a bit quiality feel to it. It was foil lined and the Crisps seemed fresh enough inside. The bag isn't too eye catching. It is just a light brown colour like a paper bag type. There is a picture of a man on the front, and again looks a bit old style.
These Crisps are quite thick and a not bad size. You can feel the grain of the flavour on them and although a few of the Crisps had the odd black speckle on them, they looked good enough quality Potatoes.
The flavour from these was lovely. A nice heavy smoked ham taste with a nice Sweet Pickle through it. They were full of flavouring and no bland bits in here.
They have the usual amount of Calories per bag, which is around 180g and the normal fat content.
Great tasting Crisps and all of them in the range are nice. Just a shame they are so hard to find.
These have to be some of the tastiest, but hardest to find crisps ever! So much so that my friend and I have a pact that whenever we see them on sale we have to get each other a packet... or two....
They are thick and crunchy, and actually have the texture that they are from a real potato - so many crisps these days are moulded into shapes, or so thin that they could be made from any reconstituted substance. But these are proper potato chips. They are cut thick that they do not crumble - they snap as you bite them.
The flavour is strong and full-on to say the least. Certainly not for those looking for something light and delicate. You will need a breath mint or two after eating a packet of these.
The bags they come in have a waxy texture to them, and look very old fashioned, but that only heightens their appeal even more.
Different places sell these at varying prices, but you should expect to pay on average 65p per bag (in London) if you can find them at all. But worth every penny.
I'd love to see these available much more in general, but in pubs in particular. They would be a great accompaniment with a pint or a half on a Sunday afternoon. Yum.
A tale about the rise and fall of Mr Brannigan...
Date: Tuesday 3rd November
Today, it has been announced that Mr Chris P. Brannigan, the notorious former local shopkeeper and purveyor of fine crisps has been spotted in Staverton Park hotel near Daventry. He threatened a vending machine attendant who was stocking up the machine at 3.01 PM, and later took a guest hostage and held the guest in his room. He forced the guest to review how good Brannigans Smoked Ham and Pickle crisps were using the popular review site "Dooyoo". Mr Brannigan later fled the scene at 7.05 PM. The hostage was too traumatized to be named, but enjoyed the taste of the Brannigans crisps.
The police have issued a statement:
"If you have seen Mr Brannigan, or know his whereabouts, please contact the police immediately. Do not approach this man, he is considered as a dangerous and unpredictable character."
The rise and fall of Mr Brannigan is an unfortunate tale of a small local businessman who just could not compete with rival manufacturers of fine deluxe crisps. Under the simple but effective tradename "Brannigans', Mr Brannigan was one of the pioneers of deluxe crisps and carved a niche by producing tasty thick cut potato chips without any hint of a blemish on the crisps. He produced two main flavours of gourmet crisps, Roast Beef and Mustard and Smoked Ham and Pickle. Both of these flavours had a tremendously loyal fanbase in the 1990s and the future of Mr Brannigan and his family seemed rosy. However, despite the popularity of the Brannigans crisps, the fortunes of Mr Brannigan took a turn for the worse towards the end of the 1990s. The normally cheerful shopkeeper, with a trademark moustache and beaming smile was rumoured to have run into financial difficulties. Mr Brannigan was being outmanoeuvred by his major gourmet crisp rivals who kept on encroaching on his most loyal customers by saturating the market with a greater range of substandard crisps with more flavours at a cheaper price. This eventually squeezed Brannigans crisps off the shelves. Mr Brannigan struggled to compete with his rivals, and soon the supply of Brannigans exceeded demand. The business started to run into debt and Mr Brannigan could no longer afford to pay his bills or feed his family. Faced with bankruptcy and eviction from the flat above the shop that has been owned by the Brannigan family for centuries, Mr Brannigan went on the run from the bailiffs and the taxman.
In recent years Mr Brannigan has resorted to increasingly desperate measures to try and "persuade" his customers to start stocking his crisps again. This latest incident is a disturbing new twist. Under the threat of a carving knife, the vending machine attendant was forced to fill the machine up with one his renowned flavours, smoked ham and pickle flavour crisps. He also made another innocent guest buy a bag of the crisps for 50p where he forced the guest to write a review on these crisps so that he could try and claim back some of his now deserted customers. Despite the lack of a full account from the hostage, the review on the crisps shows that despite Mr Brannigans increasingly desperate state, he can still make high quality crisps that are superior to any of the more popular brands. Police have released a copy of the review below, as it may contain vital clues that could lead to the whereabouts of Mr Brannigan.
Brannigans Smoked Ham and Pickle Crisps - Buy them (please...)
I was looking for a tasty mid afternoon snack and was "persuaded" to try out a flavour of crisps which I thought were extinct - sorry no, not extinct, I mean a sleeping giant of the crisp world. The crisps are Brannigans Smoked Ham and Pickle Crisps, made by the legendary figure of Mr Brannigan, a genial friendly man that would do anything for his customers.
The foil packaging is quite old fashioned looking, with a picture of the genial Mr Brannigan on the main display panel. The Brannigans logo is in bold white letters, and the smoked ham and pickle text is written in bold pink text. The colour of the bag is a light brown cardboard colour. The nutritional information is summarized on the front of the bag and is described in more detail on the other side of the packet. The weight of the packet is generous compared to other crisp brands, 40g.
APPEARANCE, SMELL AND TASTE
The packet describes the crisps as "proper thick cut potato crisps made from specially selected potatoes and are bursting with strong classic flavours. Each bag contains mouth-watering flavours, carefully checked for quality, crunch and fullness of flavour."
This is a very accurate description. The crisps are a pleasant looking golden colour and are quite thick. The smell is quite distinctive and flavoursome. Both the ham and pickle flavours and prominent and the overall smell is very enticing. There are very few broken crisps in the packet and none of the crisps contain any blemishes, green patches or dark patches.
The taste is superb, and the slightly salty smoked ham flavour is really noticeable and does not taste artificial. The crisps give a very satisfying crunch and do not particularly stick to the teeth. There crisps are very filling and actually taste like potatoes. There are a generous number of crisps in the bag, and after eating these crisps, I want to start launching a campaign to get more shops to start stocking Brannigans excellent crisps.
As an added bonus, this variety of crisps contains 65% less saturated fat. In summary each pack contains:
Calories: 204 (10% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Sugars: 1.4g (2% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Fat: 12.0 g (17% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Saturates: 1.1g (6% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Salt: 0.9g (15% of an adults guideline daily amount)
Given the large number of crisps present, the above nutritional values are quite favourable for crisps. However, like any crisp products, they should be enjoyed in moderation.
To all those shopkeepers out there - Bring back Brannigans! Mr Brannigan produces excellent quality crisps that actually taste like potatoes and are packed full of flavour. The smoked ham and pickle flavour is superb, and the crisps are really filling. The crisps are also quite low in saturated fat, an added bonus considering the excellent taste.
© CJG, 2009
I used to love Brannigans Crisps, but they seemed to disappear about 5 years ago. Now I have tracked them down in 2 places - My Workplace and the handy corner shop up the road. Since both places are kinda expensive for their goods, these cost 55p in each shop, but I remember these being a bit more expensive than other Crisps.
The pack is like a normal packet of Crisps. The bag is thick and sort of feels like a thick paper bag. It is crinkley, but just had a non shiny, paper feel to it. The pack is a light brown cololur and has a picture of a Butcher on the front. The old style pakcaging used to have a story on the back of them saying how they were founded by a Butcher and how they were made, but these didnt have any story on them.
Upon opening the bag you get a good sniff of the flavour.It smells quite strong, nice and Meaty Ham with the sweetness of Pickle, which smelt like Branston Pickle. The crisps aren't huge, but they are thick cut and have a good crunch to them. You can feel the grain of the flavour on the crisps, and there wasn't any bad bit on these crisps, so no discoloured bits on them.
You also get these Crisps in another flavour, but I can't think what kind they are.
These Crisps really are nice, but since they are more expensive and you only get the normal sized bag for the price, then some people may not want to pay for these, but they are tasty, flavoursome and just a bit different.