29 February 2012

Tasty Little Numbers [Crisps / Potato Snacks] [By @SpectreUK]

If you met me and saw my waistline you would rightly guess that I am quite a snack fanatic, especially where crisps are concerned. Tasty Little Numbers pride themselves on producing; “Real food, perfectly portioned” and “snacks that take the messin’ outta guessin’!” The brand promotes healthy living, with smaller portions for the fast paced Go-Getters out there, rather than a diet heavy calorie counting lifestyle. Tasty Little Numbers is the first wholesale brand to only have whole numbers of calories in all of their products, such as 200 calorie Heat and Eat Snack Pots, and 100 calorie chocolate bars and crisps. I had three crisp flavours to try and am reliably informed (from their website) that Tasty Little Numbers also offers Bacon Rashers. As they are a relatively new brand on the market, I was naturally routing for Tasty Little Numbers. Of course, there are the big hitters out there, like Walkers, Kettle Chips, and Seabrook Crisps, but there’s nothing like a new brand with a slightly different angle. An average crisps packet holds around 30g of crisps. Tasty Little Numbers claims that less is more, but taste can be everything in the snack market. Maybe I could lose some flab off the old waistline whilst I eat and write?

Chip Sticks – Salty Malty Flavour

I’m a huge fan of Smith’s Chipsticks, so when I saw that Tasty Little Numbers’ salt and vinegar crisps were chip sticks; I was obviously interested in what this new competition to the chip stick world would bring. With the company’s philosophy of whole numbers for all their products these 100 calorie chip sticks were a mix of maize corn and potato. However, low calories can often mean high fat content, but for 21g of crisps, there was 4.4g fat, which is quite low. The front of the crisp packet stated; “Give me the salt or the vinegar gets it!” which made me smile and imagine chip sticks in a hostage situation. There was helpful allergy information on the back of the bag, stating that the chip sticks contained milk and gluten, and that they were suitable for vegetarians.

Tasty Little Numbers’ chip sticks were a little darker in colour than the Smith’s variety, and with slightly more crunch to them. They also had the same sumptuous saltiness that Smith’s Chipsticks have, but there was an oily flavour that followed the initial salty burst. I found Tasty Little Numbers’ chip sticks to be a good tasty alternative and would buy these again, but for clean honest saltiness and multipack cheapness, Smith’s would win in a supermarket showdown.

Cheese and Onion Crisps

Tasty Little Numbers Cheese and Onion potato crisps are bagged in a 19g serving that equated to the usual 100 calories. Like the Salty Malty flavour, there was a cute phrase on the front of the packet; “Cheese not leavin’ without the onion!” which made me wonder if the gangster’s Moll had onion breath? Again, these crisps where cooked in vegetable oil, which made me a little concerned for the overall taste. There had been an oily taste to the Salty Malty flavour, of which hadn’t been unpleasant, but had taken my concentration away from the main salt and vinegar taste. The allergy information on the back of the packet mentioned these crisps contained milk and were also suitable for vegetarians.

On opening the packet there was a mild smell of cheese and onion, where alternatively Walkers’ Cheese and Onion crisps are rather strong smelling. On tasting there was an initial heavy onion flavour, which was closely (and I mean closely!) followed by the cheese. The overall taste was heartily polished off with a perfect burly mix of cheese and onion in the aftertaste. I realized that it went against Tasty Little Numbers’ code, but I really wanted a big grab bag of these. I could have quite happily sat down to an epic movie with a huge bowl full of Tasty Little Numbers’ Cheese and Onion crisps, and a big blob of salad cream on the side for dipping. I doubt I’d get many kisses from Cinabar by the bottom of the empty cheesy oniony bowl, but hey, you have to make the odd sacrifice for quality snacking now and then! ;-D

Texy Mexy BBQ Grills

Tasty Little Numbers’ Texy Mexy BBQ Grills were a smoked BBQ flavour maize corn snack in a serving of 21g equating to the prescribed 100 calories. The cute phrase on the front of the packet stated; “Hands off my maracas!” which gave me the impression that I may be in need of big cojones to eat these crisps. Ingredients included; maize, wheat flour, soya protein, onion, garlic, smoked flavour, chilli powder, and paprika. This corn snack had also been cooked in vegetable oil, which had effected the taste of the Salty Malty flavour, but the strong flavour of the cheese and onion crisps had masked any possible oily flavour. Consequently I was expecting a powerful chilli hot and smoky BBQ flavour from these crisps and no hint of oil in the taste. The allergy information on the back of the packet stated that this corn snack contained milk, wheat, gluten and soya, and was also suitable for vegetarians.

On opening the Texy Mexy packet there was a welcoming strong smoky paprika smell. There were lots of approximately two centimeter wide mid brown shells in the packet. On tasting the corn snacks, the vegetable oil had first look in, which certainly surprised me, but this initial taste was quickly replaced by a smoky paprika flavour followed by a mixture of garlic, onion and spices. The smoky paprika mixed with garlic, onion and spices transcended graciously into the aftertaste, with a slight, but not unpleasant oily flavour. There was no chilli heat in these corn snacks, but I wasn’t all that disappointed. The shells were rather crunchy, bordering on tooth jarringly crunchy, but nothing my old teeth couldn’t handle. The texture and taste of these corn snacks reminded me of a mixture of snacks from my childhood, perhaps Space Invaders or Wheat Crunchies (both still available), mixed with paprika spiced nuts (for extra crunch). This was no means a bad thing, as I’ve always loved those crisps, and I don’t mind my nuts spiced either (stop making up your own jokes!). In fact I caught myself dumping these crisps wantonly into my salivating mouth. Again, and I know it goes against the grain with Tasty Little Numbers, but if you’d given me a bucket full of these Texy Mexy BBQ Grills and a spade, I’d have been well away. It’s Tasty Little Numbers’ fault; if you’re going to go and manufacture snacks with specially weighed and calorie sized portions, then don’t make them so tasty! ;-)
By Spectre

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