Well, I tried these at lunch time today and had to rush home to review them because they are amazingly deliciously and a bargain at £1.60 for a 175g bag!
The crunch on these crisps is amazing and as typical of M&S crisps, they are very fresh smelling before you have even had one your salivating from just having opened the bag!
I am not a massive fan of this flavour crisps in general but I would definitely recommend M&S's version if you are having a cheese ploughmans (as I was this lunch time) becasue the taste together is really sublime. The vinegar isn't just any vinegar (oh my gosh I am starting to sound like the adverts)! Well, it isn't! It's balsamic vinegar and sea salt and I know this is a small point but it makes all the difference as the flavour is kind of sweet and savoury all at once, as it should be. You can taste the sweetness in the balsamic vinegar and the smell is divine!They are a good balance of salt and vinegar and are indeed a tasty but not taste bud killing crisp and incredibly morish!
A lady I work with also commented that the bag itself looked like a fashion accessory and I am not sure if I agree but I know what she means. It is a foil style bag with a subtle tradition feel and design. Very nice it is too but I must be honest, I don't really care about the bag design when I am eating crisps this good!
The nutritional information is 840Kcals for the whole bag!
Half the battle in food manufacturing and retailing is making the product sound appetizing, you may well have the best crisps/cakes/soups in the world but unless the consumer is enticed into choosing your product above all others you are in trouble. Marks & Spencer have embraced this tactic with the majority of their products enticing in both look and description, and none more so than their Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Handcooked Crisps. No mere Salt and vinegar crisps these, no the salt on these little treats has to be sea salt, and normal vinegar just would not do in the production of these crisps, it simply has to be Balsamic Vinegar and nothing else. But these little nuances go to produce a far more superior sounding crisp which is much more likely to end up in your shopping basket than the common or garden Salt and Vinegar mass produced kind, it did with me, which is why I find myself reviewing them now. Packaging Packaging wise these crisps come in a homely looking cream foil effect bag with rustic looking pots of sea salt and balsamic vinegar on the front. ?Marks & Spencer Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Handcooked Crisps? is written in a small and understated font to the top of the bag with the best before date sitting nicely in the bottom right hand corner. The back of the bag is given over to nutritional information and ingredients in common with most bags of crisps with this 175g bag containing 840 calories, which is not too high in comparison to other crisps. Ingredients are completely natural with potatoes unsurprisingly topping the list, and with the emphasise in today?s world very much against high salt content in foods this bag contains just 3.4g which works out at little over 2% of the total product weight. Finally there is no allergy advice displayed on the bag which should mean that those with nut, gluten or dai
ry intolerances are able to enjoy these crisps. Appearance Pulling open the top of the bag releases a subtle yet mouth-watering scent not dissimilar to vinegar soaked chips; the crisps are a multitude of shapes in keeping with their homecooked heritage with all of them curled up at the sides to further accentuate that fact. All of the crisps are darker in colour than the mass produced variety due to the less uniform cooking time homecooking is sure to produce. Finally, the seasoning is in the guise of a light powder dusting which seems to have coated each and every crisp in a fair and complete way to really deliver the very best eating experience to every crisp eaten. Taste Popping a crisp into my mouth I am at once impressed with the subtlety of the flavour. The vinegar is sharp but not uncomfortably so and the salt is used to compliment the crisp rather than swamp it. On biting I am struck by the tough crispness of the crisp, much nicer than the aforementioned mass produced crisps that turn to dust in the mouth the moment pressure in applied, with these crisps you really have to chew to get the crisps to break up. This in turn produces a far nicer eating experience because the crisps are in the mouth longer prior to swallowing and thus a real potato taste develops on the palette to sit comfortably alongside the subtleness of the salt and the pleasant tang of the vinegar. The crisps do seem to be slightly greasier than other brands due to the cooking process but again it does not detract from the fact that these crisps really are delicious in every possible way. I found that I could only eat about half of the bag before feeling full which is probably a good thing as I would guess that the crisps are rich if eaten in large quantities. Conclusion Well there will be little surprise when I say that I love these crisps. At £1.59 a bag the
y are not the cheapest available but the extra price is more than warranted with the shear quality of the product. Natural ingredients and a fairly low salt content mixed with an enticing description and a flavour that actually tastes as you expect it to adds up to the full five stars from me, and yet another Marks & Spencer food product to add to my ever growing list of favourite foods. www.marksandspencer.com