* Prices may differ from that shown
If you've read my last post in the Dooyoo Lounge, you may well have been expecting this review. I went shopping with my father two days ago, and whilst in B&M, in Bangor, we realised it was lunch time and we hadn't planned anything. I snatched up a couple of egg mayonnaise sandwiches and took a look down the crisp aisle for something new and exciting. Whilst these aren't new, (they've been around for a few years, as far as I can tell), I'd not tried them before, and I was instantly drawn to the packaging, on the shelf. Simply, the packet is beige-cream colour with bright red writing across, saying "HOT PERI-PERI GROOVE CUT", with Nando's logo above this. This share bag (150g) was perfect for my dad and I. We ate roughly half the bag in the car on the way home, and there was still plenty left in the evening to share with my partner; couldn't leave him out, could I?! Reading through the paragraphs of writing on the back (Whilst interesting, there does seem to be a LOT of writing, explaining the whereabouts of each and every ingredient. Had I not been reviewing these crisps, I'm not sure if I'd have spent the time reading through this. However, they explain that their "Peri-Peri" comes from their African Bird's Eye Chillies. I'd never heard of these before these crisps, but even I could guess they're grown in Africa, but in case this isn't apparent enough, they do tell you that they can 'only' be grown in Africa. They also tell you that the potatoes used in their crisps are British grown, which is a nice touch, and also that they're hand-fried, which, again, makes me consider each and every crisp somewhat more than I would have otherwise. It becomes less of a manufactured product, in my mind, and more a delicacy, cooked especially for me by a worker somewhere at Nando's. I must admit, I just love the alternative hot scale, especially their description of "X-Hot", being "I like the taste of napalm in the morning." I don't think I'll be trying those crisps any time soon! These Peri Peri Crisps rate only as "Hot", rather than "X-Hot". They look darker than regular crisps, I don't know whether this is due do overcooking or overseasoning. Perhaps it's because they're 'hand-fried', as the packet claims; not that it matters because I still think they taste great. They weren't quite as hot as I'd expected, especially given that they rate as "I like to eat hot coals" on the Nando's scale, and I really don't like to eat hot coals... I usually can't stand anything spicy at all. My home-cooked curries are more like casserole and the spiciest I can manage is a Korma. But these crisps are surprisingly tasty, not 'just' designed to burn the flesh from the insides of your cheeks and throat. I did choke a couple of times, when I reached a particularly 'well' seasoned crisp, but it's all part of the experience, I guess. I can't say I wasn't warned! I have found that so long as you keep eating them, you continue to taste all the different flavours (notably lemon, garlic and hints of pepper and paprika), but if you stop, that's when the burning commences. No, that was not my excuse to just keep eating them, it's true! Try them for yourselves! It's a very effective guaranteed sales method by Nando's though; keep buying and eating these or you'll regret it..! But on a more serious note, if you like spices and generally hot foods, then you'll love these. Whilst I did enjoy them, I'm not sure if I'd buy them myself, especially given the size of the bag. I couldn't manage the lot by myself (obviously), and they did seem to go soft (stale-ish?) relatively quickly, despite my best efforts to roll up the top of the bag to stop air from getting in. Despite this, even when soft, there was still a slight crunch to them (When first opened, they are VERY crunchy, even more-so than McCoys, for example), and the taste suffered nothing, for sure. Calorie-wise, I was also quite impressed: I thought they'd be seriously higher in calories, due to their taste and the seemingly excessive seasoning, but they claim only 514kcal per 100g, which in comparison to, for example, Wotsits at 530kcal, and Walker's Cheese & Onion Crisps at 525kcal, is somewhat lower, and every little helps, I say! In conclusion, Nando's are great at making crisps; they can supply you with truly delicious flavour combinations, which leave your tongue feeling warm and tingly, and then at the same time, provide the immense burning that some people love (not so much me!, I prefer to be able to taste things afterwards...), in a strong kick in your throat, not literally of course. They're no less healthy than regular crisps and are made and packaged with quality obviously in mind. I'm only dropping one dooyoo star because of the hot'ness and the rate at which they went stale once opened. Whilst at first they didn't seem as hot as I expected, (my dad loved them, though, as did my other half), they then proceeded to provide that promised 'hot kick', and I couldn't possibly imagine it being any hotter, as the scale suggests exists somewhere... It's a shame about the 'going soft'-issue, as they are a sharing bag at 150g, and it's not often that they'll be finished in one go...
I am a big fan of Nandos, my appreciation stemming from the fact I love hot food and pigging out. At my peak, I visited Nandos once a week at least - knocking back 1/2 a bottle of hot sauce on each trip. Those that know Nandos, know Nandos. Quite a limited menu, pretty much totally comprised of chicken and peri-peri sauce and seasoning. It you like those two things you will be back over and over again, if you don't you will be turned of pretty quickly. So, naturally as Nandos has built up a dedicated fan base, they have widened their product range and finally a few years ago their range of sauces and seasoning hit the supermarket shelves. Also, they brought out Nandos crisps - a product exclusive to the supermarket, you can't get these in the restaurant. A product great for those wanting a taste of the Nandos experience without leaving the sofa - so naturally, as I love pigging out and hot food these really appealed. I tried them a while ago, and thought they were OK. There is a limited range of really spicy crisps - when crisps are advertised as 'HOT', they rarely are that hot. Medium at best. These crisps however are finally something worth breaking a sweat over. Those not familiar with Peri-Peri seasoning, its a seasoning made from Birds Eye Chilli - a fairly respectable chilli to chow down when it comes to hunting for man points. Not the hottest, but its got a kick. Much more than your average red or green chilli, and not totally regrettable upon your next trip to the bathroom. They are also favored due to their taste. They actually have a considerable depth of flavor - popular in Thai cooking as they have a lot of citrus in the background, giving the burn a slight wince as well as a punch. Peri -Peri is an something many find an acquired taste, whilst not being that unpopular. I picked up a couple of packets of these as they were on offer on my weekly trip to Sainsbury this afternoon. Retailing at £1.79 a packet - I took advantage of the 2 for £3 offer. I don't usually chuck snacks into my trolley as I'm on a a strict budget (bloody Christmas) at the moment, but I had a couple of quid left so picked them up. They are great, but not outstanding. They sit between premium and standard when it come to the actual crisp. A little greasy, but quite thick. I don't personally enjoy healthy crisps - which is lucky, as these are not. I like my crisps to be a little greasy if I'm honest - if your going to eat unhealthy food you may as well go for it. These crisps are all about flavor though, and these packets are packed. As well as the Birds Eye Chilli, the Peri -Peri is also made with garlic - and this comes through well. The seasoning is piled on thick - almost a little to much - but not to the avid Nandos fan. They do however taste pretty heavy on salt, but again, only almost too much. For me, a good packet of crisps should leave you gagging for a lager. The only downside these crisps have is they need more chilli - I'd prefer them hotter and with more of a punch. The upside to this hot, but not over whelming flavor is it makes them really moreish and really heat up towards to the end of the packet. As I don't have the time or money to get to Nandos as much as I'd like, I will pick these up more frequently so I can enjoy the Nandos taste at home. As with all crisps of this type (big packet, quite unhealthy and heavy on salt) it obvious to say these are a treat rather than everyday snack. As much as I would love to scoff a packet of these for breakfast everyday, I doubt I'd last a month. I would recommend anyone looking for a genuinely spicy snack to munch on the sofa, to pick up a pack. They Halal, Kosher and veggie friendly, but not suitable for Vegans or wimps.
I wasn't previously aware of the fact that the Nandos brand is mainly a chain of Portugese food-themed restaurants, but apparently they also make startlingly bad potato crisps. So, Nandos Peri Peri flavour are 'premium quality' crisps, costing £1.59 for a big brown-coloured plastic bag of 150g. The packaging boasts that the crisps are free from artificial flavourings and colours, but the product is so unpleasant hat when eating it you begin to think that a dollop of good old artificial flavour-enhancing monosodium glutamate might've helped the situation no end. They contain 547 calories per 100g, and are over a quarter by weight fat. But what do you expect. These are deep-fried crisps after all. The blurb on the packet goes on to state that Nandos are: "about flavour too, which is why upon eating these you might experience the following: a crisp crunch of a chip, a delicate blend of lemon and garlic, a warm, gentle tingling on your lips, and a seriously hot kick in the back of your mouth." Yes, the crisps certainly are hot, almost inedibly so in fact, but the rest of that statement just doesn't ring true. The crisps do have a weird, slightly artificial sour taste but it isn't greatly reminiscent of 'delicate lemon'. They do have a slight hint of garlic flavour, but it's very weak, and they aren't even thickly-cut enough to make them properly crunchy either. It's the chilli taste predominates but all the crisps are is far too hot and salty. They have no depth of flavour whatsoever and are so strong-tasting that it's inadvisable to eat them 'on their own' - you need to eat them as an accompaniment to a (preferably, massively bulky and bland) sandwich, or with a dip to make them become anywhere near-palatable. What they also are is coated, absolutely coated on every single surface, with far too much dry yet slightly sticky vivid red-coloured seasoning. This is the Peri Peri flavour, and we could've done with having a great deal less of it all round. If there had been even a little patchiness of distribution of the Peri Peri flavouring - so that a few of the crisps were more potato-flavoured than Peri Peri - that would've helped. But no. They are all bright orangey-red from the flavouring salt and there is far too much of it on them as a whole - and bear in mind that this comment comes from a person who's quite happy to eat Vindaloo for breakfast, if there's enough left over of it from the takeaway the night before. Admittedly the bag these crisps come in looks quite attractive in its 'back to basics' plain colours but you shouldn't be fooled by that. These crisps are pretty much revolting.