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Confirmed sighting: Golden Wonder Transform-A-Snack Spicy
Posted: 22:34 Sat 27-Aug-2011. Price: 99p for 6. Location: Waitrose, Fulham. Nutritional unusualness: 0.5g fibre, 5.2g fat, 12.3g carbohydrate, 0.17g sodium (per 20g pack).
"Simon Rugg" reports: Having spotted a bargain 6 packets for £1, this variant tastes like lightly spiced cheap crisps, with a hint of tommy k. Also answers once and for all the question of what would happen if you mixed Chipsticks with Space Raiders. Each pack contains [a?] crisp-shaped man as well as rings for wheels so you can, if you want to, create your own Sterling Moss-style racing car, resulting in minutes of fun.
...Cheers "Simon" - I've had a slight hitch with picture uploads recently so McCoy's Pickled Scrumion will have to wait for another sighting, but you could probably get stronger Scoville-scale scores from KP's Sweet Chilli Hula Hoops, Walkers' Mexican Fiery Sweet Chipotle Sensations, Subway's possibly on-limited-trial Sag Paneer Indian Sub, or the Spicy BBQ version of Blue Diamond Almonds which Zeddy paid £1.99 for in Lanark Tesco, quipping: Do you like your nuts? Do you like them spicy? Then you will love Blue Diamond's almond range.
I first discovered them in the USA on holiday and now they have come to our shores. Almonds are a far more refined nut than your common peanut and the different flavours added to this range compliments them perfectly. The BBQ ones have habanero in them, whilst the Wasabi version has soy sauce to add a bit of saltiness. Perfect and good for you too! All that vitamin E (12.5 mg per 50g) helps the skin. Try telling that to your partner when they refuse your nuts.
Confirmed sighting: Pringles Classic Take-Aways
Posted: 21:07 Sun 26-Jun-2011. Price: £1. Location: Asda, Bletcham Way, Bletchley. Sub-flavours: Chip 'n' Ketchup, Beef Burger. Nutritional unusualness: Monosodium Glutamate galore [allegedly].
(Relatively) hot on the heels of last summer's Kebab or Curry "Great British Flavours", and indeed 2009's Gourmet Beef Burger, this could be one of their single-supermarket exclusives and produced an almost-overwhelming smell of tomato sauce when I offered them around to my colleagues. Anyway, "Marc the second-time spotting machine" reports: Yet another range of Pringles from the continuous cycle. This time it's Classic Take-Away including Chip 'n' Ketchup and Beef Burger. Sold out of the other varieties so could not see. Very new!
...Still, in other imitation takeaways: McDonald's new Deli Wraps don't seem to be much quicker to make than their Subway-style sandwiches, but the "Wrap of the day" option isn't bad for £1.99; Mattessons are responding to Wicked Pig pork snacks with their own dog-treat-resembling Twisted Tails (in Hog Roast, Barbecue, or Roast Ham); and at least one advantage of the Egg Fried Rice with Peas Birds Eye Rice Fusion (currently £1 introductory offer in Sainsbury and Tesco) is that you can cook it simultaneously with Tillman's Toast Me! Burgers, a pre-cooked beef burger that can "be heated in a toaster" (seen at £1.39/2 in Uxbridge Tesco).
Confirmed sighting: Pringles Mamma Mia! What A Flavour
Posted: 10:37 Sun 22-May-2011. Price: £1 introductory offer. Location: Tesco, Feltham. Sub-flavours: Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil; Rosemary and Olive Oil; Mediterranean Salsa.
"Allan" says he also saw McCoy's Mighty Madras and Rogan Oh-My–Josh in a Marks and Spencer filling station, Cranford, inferring "Curry flavours back by popular demand" - he didn't have much more to add about these summery new Pringles, although colleagues of mine enjoyed the Rosemary and Olive Oil ones in the picture, despite being initially being put off by the idea that they might "taste of oil".
...In other picnic possibilities: Foodstuff Finds preferred these Oyster and Vinegar Kent Crisps to Tyrrell's oddly Vegan-friendly
English Summer Barbecue; Warburtons have reworked their troubled Chippidy DooDaas as a range of Baked Pitta Chips (in Chilli Jack, Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar, Sour Cream and Chive, or Oriental BBQ); and there's been almost suspicious enthusiasm recently for the sub-Strand sweetshop in London, as "eddy" cryptically adds: "At Charing Cross underground station facing the Northern line exit 9, found the American Crunchy Cheetos. They do stock three flavours of Cheetos," (as if anyone had ever argued otherwise).
Confirmed sighting: Walkers Pick My Flavour crisps
Posted: 19:33 Sat 12-Feb-2011. Price: 50p. Location: Sandwich shop, Leicester. Sub-flavours: See below.
Maybe we'll cover some of the weirder post-Valentine's bargains in the comments, but for now it's time for "Nick T" to spice things up, as he reports: It must be great to be a comedian, eh? From the lark-a-minute Greek classicist Aristophanes, through legendary double-act Hope and Keen, right up to modern proper comics like Tommy Cooper and Chic Murray, these jolly japesters bring a little sunshine into our lives before taking to the bottle and failing to break into Hollywood (them, not you). But now TV's favourite chucklemeister Gary Lineker has invited four rib-tickling pals to launch flavoured crisps in aid of the ever-contrived Red Nose Day charity. Bless.
First off is closet-posh Al Murray with Steak and Al, or "Just Another Beef Variety" as it's normally known. Anyone mourning the loss of last year's Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding will be keen to snap up Frank (Skinner)'s Roast Dinner courtesy of West Brom's favourite son, because I thought it was darned close despite allegedly being roast chicken with bacon rolls. Nope, couldn't taste any of that.
Happily, creepy-looking Jimmy Carr's Jimmy Con Carrne brings something new to the table. I found this to be the most interesting flavour of the bunch. The smell is a pretty convincing attempt at chilli (crossed with Seabrook's tomato ketchup) and at first you think the flavour is a bit of a let-down... but then the throat-tingling chilli kicks in, showing there's hidden depth to this - a real winner for me. Fellow Chubby Brown protégé Stephen Fry brings, ahem, up the rear with Stephen Fry Up. Again, close to the old Builder's Breakfast but without its overpowering egginess, which is no bad thing. So much promise, but sadly just a bit bland and fey. Pardon?
It's a fair selection, and for a worthy cause, so catch you while you can. A good start for Walkers in 2011, and I'm looking forward to their Summer seasonal themes already. One question: if they can regard Stephen Fry as a comedian, why didn't they invite side-splitter Lenny Henry to do one of the packs? I can't imagine, can you?
Confirmed sighting: Mackie's Scotch Bonnet crisps/ Thundercats Potato Snack
Posted: 10:57 Sun 30-Jan-2011. Price: £1.54. Location: Tesco, Dunfermline. Nutritional unusualness: Specifically made from "Lady Claire" potatoes.
"Taras Young" reports: These are attractive in the supermarket due to their claim to reflect the flavour of the Scotch Bonnet, one of the hottest known peppers. However, in practice they just taste like any other variety of 'posh' Sweet Chilli crisps. They might think it's canny marketing, but why would I buy a second packet when most other Sweet Chilli flavour crisps are cheaper?
..."Taras" puts the burning sensation back into Burns Night here, though I've also seen Mackie's Haggis flavour (and one other) in the Camden Lidl in recent weeks. Anyway, in other spicy possibilities: jalapeno is being added to everything from Ginsters' Large Pork Roll to Tyrrell's Proper Popcorn, and I've seen but not tried Mango and Lime Chutney, Achaari Paneer, and Chicken Tikka Anita's Chips in Selfridges, which are of course another "false flag" operation from Burts. Or, for reminiscences of a milder, more civilised age, "Catt" got in touch to announce that: "A friend of my boyfriend's, whilst clearing a house, found a unopened packet of Pickled Onion Thundercats Potato Snack with a sell-by of 01/02/1992, we're quite proud of it. Pictures to follow if you're interested :)"
Confirmed sighting: Asda Jacket Fried Take Away Flavour crisps
Posted: 11:02 Sun 21-Nov-2010. Price: 2x (6 pack) for £1. Location: Asda, Hamilton, Scotland. Sub-flavours: Jacket Potato, Peking Duck, Chipshop Curry.
Zeddy reports: Are these new? I certainly had not spotted them before. The promotion was the eye-catcher for me. Kinda like the Walkers World Cup variety. I think there was 2 different varieties of 6-pack. Needless to say, I just bought the ones I fancied.
The Jacket Potato ones are very similar to Marks and Spencer's own brand crisps of the same name from a year or two ago - nice and buttery.
The Peking Duck are strong with five spice and it seems to overpower any other flavour that may be there.
The Chipshop Curry? Well, I don't like "curry powder" so I will take my boy's word that they are "nice".
...Thanks Zeddy - Asda Wembley Park also had the similarly-pioneering Unilever Pot Noeldle, which may not have a completely convincing roast turkey and stuffing "Christmas Dinner" flavour, but comes with a sachet of "Mulled Wine" sauce plus an "authentic cracker joke" and elaborate instructions on how to make a "super deluxe decorative bauble" out of the foil lid. In other winter warmers: Aberdeen Angus chip is the first of Burts' "new range of crisps that changes with the seasons"; and Crabbie's have created three varieties of Crabbie's Ginger Nuts, all the better to accompany their non-alcoholic Cloudy Ginger Beer. Or, for those above legal drinking age, Fentimans now offer their own Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer, and Kopparberg even think there's a market for Frank's Alcoholic Root Beer, a blend of beer with "added wintergreen oil, liquorice root, aniseed and vanilla extract". Cheers!
PR-flavoured sighting: Penn State Limited Edition Festive Pretzels
Posted: 12:16 Sun 31-Oct-2010. Price: £1.19-£1.49. Location: Morrisons, Nisa, Asda, B and M's.
To her credit, "Jayne" has made some attempt at sounding like a real customer here, though her email address appears to be from this PR company - anyway, "Jayne" reports: Whilst visiting my local Morrisons store recently, I was very excited to discover Penn State Snacks have released new festive flavour pretzels in preparation for Christmas snacking. Morrisons are selling the Cheddar Cheese and Festive Pretzel Mix, which comes in very attractive Christmas-themed packaging for £1.49. I also spotted Penn State Sea Salt and Black Pepper Stars in Nisa which were £1.29 and the original Sea Salted Pretzels in a new giant size for £1.19 in Asda! After buying all three I would highly recommend to all you crisp and pretzel lovers out there, the new Christmas flavours are delicious and I will be stocking up again soon for cosy Christmas nights in snacking with friends.
...though personally, I can't hear the words "Penn State" without being reminded of the "state pen(itentiary)" from Police Squad and other US cop shows. Anyway, in other suspicious-sounding savouries: "Oh my god. Oh. My. God. Omigod omigod omigod," was the somewhat ambiguous reaction of "Nick T" to the "Does not require refrigeration" canned-sandwich Candwich that was all over the internet a while ago (in BBQ Chicken, Pepperoni Pizza, or Peanut Butter and Jelly, available "Fall 2010" in the US?); and Pigs In Blankets or Roast Turkey will be this year's limited-edition Merry Pringles, though let's hope they end up as reasonably priced as Burger King's apparently-unseasonal Texican Whopper and Wrap range, which can be found for as little as £2.49 if you look further than, say, central London railway stations.
Confirmed sighting: Jacob's Twiglets Limited Edition Tangy Worcester Sauce Flavour
Posted: 19:35 Sat 18-Sep-2010. Price: Around £1.26/150g. Location: Asda; Waitrose, Hitchin.
Another busy week for first-time spotters, with "The Curious Orange" breaking the news that the Twiglets: "Say limited edition on the bag, taste the same as when they were last available," effectively confirming the musings of "Melanie Felgate", who thought "these used to exist a few years ago (I vaguely remember them), but I was really excited to see Twiglets have bought them back! They taste really good, with a nice tangy flavour you would expect." Plus the pic comes courtesy of Foodstuff Finds, who concludes: "It is a shame that those (crazy) people who aren't usually a fan of the regular Twiglets taste probably won't pick these up because of the assumption that the flavour with still have an aspect of yeastiness. Instead these have a totally new flavour – they are absolutely fab, and should have a much wider appeal."
...In other September spiciness: Pot Noodle are unleashing their first meat-based GTI meaty snacks (in Tikka, Chilli, or Spaghetti Bolognese, £1.59), and Unilever are also launching microwavable Peperami Pizzas in Tesco (in Original, Spicy, or BBQ, £1.99) - Honey BBQ Relish, along with Monterey Jack Cheese, also pops up in KFC's convincingly-upmarket Kentucky Jack sandwich (£3.59, or £4.59 meal deal). Domino's Oven Baked Subs (various fillings, £3.49) would be a fascinating study in creating Subway-style sandwiches using only pizza equipment, if they didn't take 10 minutes or more to make - and I was a bit taken aback to discover Pret A Manger charging more than 3 quid for their new Toasties range but, having tried the New York Deli one, they might just get away with it.
Confirmed sighting: Pringles Multigrain/ Walkers Extra Crunchy
Posted: 19:36 Sat 04-Sep-2010. Price: 0.99/£1. Location: Morrisons, Byker; Asda, High Wycombe. Sub-flavours: See below.
Confusingly, Pringles are doing a Scream and Onion limited edition for Halloween, but this week's double-helping kicks off with "Greg Lowe" and his news that: "They had these Pringles Multigrain on an in-store taste promotion and they were really good so I bought a tube. Made with rice flour, corn flour, malted barley flour and wheat bran - only 2 flavours: Ready Salted, or Sour Cream and Onion." Elsewhere, "Joanna Colby" backed up Foodstuff Finds' sighting of Walkers Extra Crunchy (also in Cheddar and Sour Cream, Flame Grilled Steak, Sweet Chilli Chicken, or Salt and Malt Vinegar), adding: "Nice strong flavour with a good crunch, I tried Cheddar and Sour Cream which I really liked! Think the steak will be a winner too!"
...Foodstuff Finds is also featuring the
Sizzlin' Fajita Doritos
previously mentioned by "Magnetic Ham Sandwich ", while McCoy's upcoming Chicken Jalfrezi and Lamb Vindaloo flavours will offer "a voucher for two main curry dishes at the price of one at participating restaurants". Oh, and "Greg Smith" has possibly missed the news of Nando's Peri-Peri nuts and Levi Roots' nine-strong range of ready meals, but did provide this charming still-life of what he presumably snacks on while watching Dragons' Den, toasting: "No boring old dry-roasted or salted peanuts for me, these reggae nuts are music in your mouth!"
Semi-international sighting: Lay's Paprika Chips
Posted: 11:42 Sun 01-Aug-2010. Price: £1.50. Location: Asda, Rugby. Sub-flavours: Onion. Nutritional unusualness: I have absolutely no idea.
"Nick T" reports: "Bez!" squeals the pack in crispy homage to the Happy Mondays' finest. Or not. My initial fizz of excitement at spotting Lay's chips on the Asda delivery web site turned out to be a little premature, as when it arrived the words "TV Papryka" gave the game away that this was off the Polish shelf. But no matter, I'm an equal-opportunities glutton and happy to graze anything from anywhere. To me, a new snack from faraway shores is like the surprise discovery of a rather exotic great aunt you never knew you had; you feel elated and proud. So after nodding sagely and going "Mmm hmm" at the unintelligible vowel soup on the pack, I dug in.
And, just as if you had been told that lovely old aunt was a lapdancer, pride turns quickly to disappointment, then disgust. Where's the exoticism? Where's the taste? Lay's make some good crisps, including the lovely Oregano crisps I fill my suitcase with when on holiday in Greece, but these tasted overwhelmingly of nothing and as for the paprika element, frankly I've had spicier Opal Fruits. In fact the Swiss probably do wasabi Opal Fruits that'll blow your head off. So a woeful thumbs-down from me. For the record, Asda also stock an onion variety, but I'll not be bothering.
...Thanks for the warning "Nick" - you may be partly consoled to hear that Hot Paprika and Smokey Bacon (£1.58 in Asda) is the other new kind of Pringles Xtreme, along with the improbable-but-true Spicy Sour Cream and Onion. For slightly milder appetites: 120 Tesco stores "throughout East Anglia and London" are stocking Jackpots - a new, patriotic range of premium crisps made from Essex potatoes (in Lightly Salted, Roast Beef and Horseradish, Mature Cheddar and Spring Onion, Sweet Thai Chilli, or Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar, £1.49/150g bag); Lionel Ritchie is to be pushed "through a glass window pane" to promote Walkers' Extra Crunchy Cheddar and Sour Cream; and Zeddy paid £1.29 for 150g of Finlays Pigs in Blankets potato crisps in Aldi, Carluke, Scotland,
grunting: "An Aldi 'own brand' discovered by chance in their limited product/specials area. Essentially pork with more pork and very tasty they are too. Quite realistic with the different flavours easily discernible.
Strangely named for a 'Scottish' product, as we know 'Pigs in Blankets' as 'Kilted sausages'."
Raspberry Cheesecake/ Coconut/ Rum and Raisin Carte D'Or
Dormen luxury handmade crisps
Betty Bassett's Red Liquorice Allsorts
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Mr Kipling's Big French Fancy
Smarties Party Ice Cream/ Calippo Fizz
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Ginsters microwavable ready meals
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Minara Micro Meals in a jar
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