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It's fair to say that we like a nice packet of crisps in our household and it is for this reason that my tummy is bigger than I'd like it to be and that we are always willing to try something new. I was first drawn in to buying these crisps when doing a Tesco shop and was disappointed when they were all sold out and we received an alternative. This anticipation probably increased my interest in trying these crisps and I ended up purchasing a 6 pack multipack from Sainsburys as part of a 2 for £2.00 special offer.
These crisps come in a standard foil packet and six of them came contained in a plastic wrapper that was easy to remove. The crisps are individually packaged in foil wrapping which helps to keep them fresh. The best before date is a good 8 weeks away meaning there is no rushing to get these eaten and I can always stock up when I see a good special offer. The packaging of the crisps is a bright yellow colour and is the same colour as the cheese flavour 'Lays' that are sold in lots of countries abroad, the packets have all the usual ingredients and nutritional information displayed on them.
Ingredients: Potatoes, Sunflower Oil (33%), Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Seasoning, Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Seasoning contains: Dried Milk Whey, Salt, Dried Cheese (from Milk), Dried Onion, Flavourings, Milk Derivatives, Glucose, Smoke Flavourings.
When I opened the bag I could immediately smell a deep cheese flavoured smell, this was strong without being too overpowering. The bag was about half full, as these always are, and the crisps were a pale-medium brown colour with a light coating of cheese flavouring. The smell is still quite strong as I select a crisp and it's definitely the predominant flavour of the crisps. I found that the crisps had a deliciously moreish crunch, like most 'Walkers' products with a generous amount of flavouring. The cheese taste does have an artificial feel to it but it is still delicious. I must say that the bacon flavouring is not very strong and not very like bacon, more just a generic meat smell/taste, however, this does add something else to the crisps that goes nicely with the cheese flavouring.
Each 25g bag contains 131 calories, 12.7g of carbohydrates (of which 0.4g sugars), 8.3g fat (of which 0.6g saturates), 1g of fibre and 0.3g of salt. I must say that while the calories are fairly high at least the salt and saturates are reasonable. Obviously you don't want to be eating these constantly but as a snack once or twice a week they are just fine!
Overall it is fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed these crisps. They were crunchy without being too thick and I thought the flavour combination worked very well. It is hard to pinpoint the exact flavour of cheese and bacon, however I still thoroughly enjoyed these crisps and it is fair to say that they are almost as nice as cheese & onion, my favourite flavour.
The crisp eaters in my house are a fairly picky bunch, who know exactly what flavours they do/don't like, so we tend to stick to the "same old same old" in the flavour department, but as everyone in the house likes either cheese or bacon flavours, we thought that a combination of the two would be bound to be liked by someone, so decided to give them a try! Although I have since found out that this flavour has been around for a while, I personally only noticed it last week when doing the usual weekly shop...I'm not sure whether that is because I am extraordinarily unobservant, or due to the fact that when I buy crisps, 99% of the time I buy multipacks, as a friend has since commented that she had only seen them in single pack format before, so perhaps it isn't just me and they are fairly new in the multipacks!
Disappointingly they aren't in the multibuy saving in Sainsburys at the moment, so this also makes me question whether they are a new addition to the Walkers multipacks family, as pretty much every other single flavour and even mixed flavour mulitpacks of 6 bags were in the offer. This particular flavour was only sold as a "stand alone" item and was around £1.35 if memory serves! The multipack contains 6 bags of 25g crisps, and is packaged in what I can only assume is a cheddar cheese yellow! Other than the colour the packaging is identical to the style that Walkers have been using for ages, with the big logo followed by a picture and the name of the flavour of crisps.
The cheese theme continues as you open the pack...straight away a strong waft of cheese flavouring hits you. Whilst this definitely smells of cheese crisps rather than "real" cheese, the pack states that it does contain cheese flavouring made from dried cheese, so I think that means there is some real cheese in these somewhere! It is a strong cheesy smell and may put off people who don't like strong cheeses before they taste these, but in actual fact (and to my personal disappointment), Walkers seem to have used up anything cheese related in the packaging and aroma of these crisps, as there is very little cheese (if any) to be discerned on eating the actual crisps themselves!
In all honesty I think anyone short of Gordon Ramsay may have trouble, in a blind taste testing, to tell the difference between this flavour of Walkers crisps and the old classic "smoky bacon"..well, maybe the smell of them might give you a clue but other than that, the only diference I could taste was a slight bitterness in the aftertaste of the crisps, and I was trying to find the cheese in these so concentrating more than I may normally do on the flavour of these crisps! The bitterness wasn't unpleasant, to my tastebuds at least, (although I do like bitter things in general, so someone with a sweeter tooth may not like this about this flavour).
One 25g pack (for people who worry about nutritional gubbins) contains:
8.3g fat (of whicch 0.6g are saturated fats)
And I assume there is zero bacon in them (which is odd given what they taste like!) as the pack states they are suitable for vegetarians. The crisps were of the good quality I would expect from Walkers, crunchy and not at all greasy, and very moreish. The flavour wasn't bad either, but it just didn't make me think cheese in the slightest. In some ways you have to admire the genius of a crisp which smells of nothing but cheese, but tastes of nothing but bacon! Unfortunately I was rather hoping to get the two flavours combined, rather than a seperate assault on different senses from each element!
I definitely do not think they are worth paying extra for (which is necessary if like me you mainly buy multipacks), and probably wouldn't purchase them again unless they were the same price as the other flavours, and even then, would probably opt for smoky bacon rather than these as they taste pretty much the same, but at least with good old smoky bacon I know I am going to taste what it says on the pack! So I am knocking 1 star off for being more expensive than the other flavours, one star off for not tasting like they say they should, and one more just because they gave me the hump by taking up my personal daily cheesy snack allowance yet not being at all cheesy lol..so overall a not very good 2 stars for this product I am afraid!