“ Brand: McCoys / Type: Crisps „
Every now and then, the major crisp and snack companies release a trial flavour which differs from the normal. This was highlighted last year with Walkers holding a new flavour competition, in which the public voted for which flavour would be the winner and produced as a regular flavour. This is all a novelty of course, so the snack firms can shift more stock, (have you seen Builders Breakfast on sale recently?) and so trial or 'special' flavours very rarely last more than 6 months. I picked up a new 'limited edition' flavour the other day, McCoys Ridge Cut Lamb Vindaloo flavour, here are my findings.
--Fancy a McCoys Ruby Murray Geezer?--
McCoys's crisps are a brand name for United Biscuits, based in Hayes, England. The most memorable flavours are the Flame grilled Steak or Salt and Vinegar varieties, and they are also known for their off-the-wall TV advertising campaign promoting McCoys as 'Man-Crisps'. To my knowledge, they have tried different trial flavours before, but I cannot recall these for any significance. Currently, (November 2010) they are promoting two new flavours, Chicken Jalfrezi and Lamb Vindaloo, and seeing as Mutton/lamb vindaloo is one of my favourite meals, I thought I'd give these a go. They cost me 65p from my local BP garage M&S hybrid store, so I'm assuming they will cost less at a regular newsagent or supermarket, I would guess around the 50p mark. I saved them for my lunch break the following day, and was looking forward to tasting them. So, can a potato based snack really replicate the taste of a piping hot Vindaloo from your favourite curry house?
These crisps come in a standard 50 gram foil packet, which is sealed nicely to contain the freshness. It is green in colour (in a flock wallpaper design), has the McCoys logo emblazoned on the front along with a stereotypical silhouette of the Taj Mahal. The flavour titling is in an orange gradient Indian style font, presumably to emphasize the hot nature of the crisps. On the reverse are the usual dietary information, as well as a coupon for a competition McCoys are currently running. The packet opens easlily and doesn't split or rip in any unexpected places.
--Taste and Texture--
I think I'll do this section in two parts, firstly, the texture. These crisps are nice and thick, crunch well in your mouth, and don't create that annoying and sometimes painful shards-of-glass effect on your gums (See Kettle Chips!). They also dissolve nicely, emitting the flavour as they go, but do tend to stick in the gaps of your teeth. I've always liked crinkle cut style crisps and chips, so these are nice to eat in general, but be aware that because of their shape, many crumbs and shards will appear at the bottom of the packet, thus cueing the British tradition of pouring the packet into your mouth much like a drink.
Now, onto the taste, and this is where I have an issue. 'Lamb Vindaloo flavour', the packet proudly states. If I can find a taste of lamb in these I'd be searching for a very long time. Don't get me wrong, they are not foul tasting in the least, but I really can't match the flavour claim to the actual taste. Once I had eaten just one crisp, It was a hit of Mustard, Paprika/cumin and Pepper. The mustard is the primary antagonist, and yes, it does taste nice, leaving a burning kick at the back of your throat, I like mustard after all. The pepper and paprika then make a showing, and you get an after-taste of a heavily peppered potato. As for any vindaloo seasoning, or anything even remotely tasting of lamb? No, sorry. None of these flavours become apparent, until (and sorry for this) I, erm, burped. A very slight, and I mean very slight hint of lamb seasoning came through, but shouldn't I have tasted this while I was eating and not winding myself? Very peculiar indeed. One positive however, there is not much of a strong salty taste to these crisps, probably because the mustard is cancelling it out.
Another odd thing is that the aroma from the packet is generally an intense pepper smell, with an after effect of the paprika/cumin, reaching for your nose glands instantly. It's a rather nice smell, but is again misleading to the actual flavour. There is a slight twang of tomato hidden in there also.
--Ingredients and Nutrition Information--
Potatoes, Sunflower Oil (27%)
Lamb Vindaloo Flavour - (Flavourings, Wheat flour, Mustard Flour, Celery Seed, Dried Whey, Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, E627; Dried Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Sodium Diacetate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Tomato, Cumin, Dried Yeast Extract, Dried Onion, Spices, Herbs, Paprika Extract) Vegetable Oil (3%)
Allergy Information: This product contains Milk, Wheat, Gluten, Celery, Mustard and May contain Soya.
Quantity per packet.
Energy - 1079kj / 258 kcal (13% of GDA)
Protein - 3.5g
Fat in total - 15.2g (22% of GDA)
Of Saturates - 2.0g (10% of GDA)
Carbohydrate in total - 26.9g
Of Sugars - 1.4g (2% of GDA)
Fibre - 2.0g
Sodium - 0.3g
Salt Equivalent - 0.8g (13% of GDA)
I don't think I will be buying these crisps again, for want of a better reason I feel I have been duped. If the flavour was marketed as "Mustard and Paprika", then I would be giving it the thumbs up, but these crisps taste nothing like they are suppose too. Of course, I'm not expecting my best curry in a foil bag, but still would have liked to have something slightly resembling the flavours. I always kind of think that when these snack companies are brainstorming new ideas, they take a pot luck of flavours from the stores and say "What's this taste like then?" If somebody says, "Oh, lamb vindaloo?" they go with it, weather it tastes like that or not. I remember that Walkers Builders Breakfast tasted wholly of eggs! Egg flavoured crisps?? All these new flavours never can compete with the big 5 flavours, but if you are a big fan of mustard, these will be for you. If you fancy a lamb Vindaloo however, head for your local Indian restaurant.
These were originally available in November 2010, so they may not be available now.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Also Posted on Ciao.co.uk.