The Tesco Finest range of Handcooked crisps has a bit of a history of bringing out some really interesting seasonal flavours. Last year they brought us the rather excellent Mince Pie flavour crisps, so my expectations were high! As it is winging its way towards Christmas I was pleased to discover that this year we have Christmas Pudding & Brandy Butter crisps! Oh yes, these were made for me!
The problem with the idea of sweet sounding crisps is that I couldn’t decide whether or not to have some with a sandwich at lunch time, or to pour some in a bowl for sharing. I went for the latter, but as these aren’t as sweet as I was expecting, I think they would work well with savoury too. Once they are in the bowl you immediately notice just how dark these crisps are. They reminded me in colour of the Guinness crisps we tried a while back, but these are a totally different taste experience.
The main flavour that shines through is a Christmas spice and a very burnt caramel taste. It’s such a dark caramel, that it is bordering on being savoury, and as such works well with the background potato flavour. I’m not trying to say there isn’t any sweetness, it’s just that it is subtler than I thought it would be. There is almost a twang of brandy, but again this slight alcoholic taste isn’t far from being like a very mellow vinegar which as we all know works remarkably well when paired with crisps. The aftertaste is a slight hint of salt, which brings down the spices from being sugary to a gentler taste with a hint of savoury. The crisps worked well, despite having sweet tones, they are well balanced and are somewhere between both sweet and savoury. I guess the best way to describe them is the flavours of Christmas pudding and brandy butter but re-mixed and toned down to work as a variety of crisps. Deliciously different.