Pong-ee! Amol Rajan tries the new Walker's potato crisps
Our writer, a bi-weekly restaurant critic for the Independent on Sunday (and not a massive crisp fan) tries the new "real food flavours" crisps
Amol Rajan is Editor of Independent Voices, a comment, campaigns and community platform across print and digital. He was earlier Deputy Comment Editor, Sports News Correspondent and news reporter. He writes a restaurant column for the Independent on Sunday, and has a column in the Evening Standard (Mondays), Independent and i (Fridays). He used to work on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff, and at the Foreign Office; and is a trustee of Prospex, a charity for young people in Islington. He also wrote a book called Twirlymen: the Unlikely History of Cricket's Greatest Spin Bowlers.
Wednesday 27 February 2013
The first thing that strikes you about tasting commercially manufactured crisps of any kind is the aroma. And these are no different.
Open either of the packets and it’s like, Pow! Whoosh! and Pong-ee! Foul vapours rise up to the nostrils, like the windy excretions of a cat without a conscience. All crisps stink: as little more than starchy agglomerations of grease and salt, they need to fool us into thinking they’re vehicles for genuine flavour, “real” or otherwise.
Crisp A (new school; “with cheddar from Somerset”): I’m getting transfats, notes of leek, a dominant, musty flavour coming through, more chimney than cheddar; more Somers Town than Somerset.
…A glug of water between courses…
Crisp 2 (old school; think Gary Lineker): much stronger flavour here; more grease, more salt, more whatever the opposite of mouthwash is; full on soot, in fact.
What I’m tasting in both cases is starch, oil, and salt. The old crisp, being artificially stimulated, makes a bigger, badder impact. But neither have serious pretensions to actual flavour. Alas for Walkers, the new crisps, like the old crisps, don’t taste of very much at all, though in fairness I could swear the aftertaste carried a faint whiff of something familiar. Could it be horse meat?*
*No. It's definitely not horse meat.
Life & Style blogs
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Living with Google Glass: what are they actually like to wear?
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
Splint made by 3D printer used to save baby’s life
The 10 Best road-trip gadgets
Google Glass: First images taken on Google's new glasses appear on Twitter
- 1 Breaking: Soldier killed in Woolwich machete attack named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.