Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The 'Bad Old Man' of Updates

Despite what some might say about us being the world’s second-most irate Sky+ users, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, people send us free beta versions of crisps. This causes us to perk right up.

Like Christmas in March. (Yes, we're easily pleased.)

Yes, beta versions of crisps. Due to the benevolence of the Seabrook family (and due to us ordering a boxful of their wares in the past), we recently received several sample packets of a proposed new range of spicy crisps. Experimental crisps. But, coming from the House of Seabrook, these were crisps of a standard much higher than your regular Walkers. In short, then: the BBC HD of crisps. Which means they tenuously fall within our remit of writing about television but not really actually saying anything about actual television programmes.

There are four flavours in the box, and two packs of each.

Wasabi flavour

Exuding a pleasant spicy smell once the bag is open, you tend to expect more of a kick once you tentatively fling the first morsel through your jaw. Slightly surprisingly, the initial rippled slice of potato packs little of a spicy punch, although the taste is pleasant enough. This may lead one to become complacent, but crisptasters beware: as you make your heady way through the bag, you edge ever closer to the congregation of flavouring lurking on the surface of the lower crisps. By the time have reached the bottom of the packet, the whole experience may have become slightly wearying, unless your tongue has made contact with a crisp containing an especially large clump of flavouring, in which case you may be too busy wondering why you can't feel your tongue any more.

For the interests of balance, BrokenTV’s tasting panel comprised two other persons. Their findings were as such:

“Cor, these are really nice.”

“Eugh. These taste like aftershave.”

Balanced opinion there, we’re sure you’ll agree.

If This Flavour Were A Programme On BBC HD, It Would Be: Torchwood. Eager anticipation and early promise soon makes way for a slight sense of disappointment. You feel resigned to stick with it until the end of the series (or packet) just in case it gets better again, but deep down, you know the whole experience will leave you empty and unfulfilled.

Two Chilli Peppers Flavour

Package design not final, we imagine.

Compared to the (as far as we’re aware) unique choice of Wasabi flavouring, the Chilli flavoured crisp market already has a clear leader; Pringles Gourmet Thai Sweet Chilli & Lemongrass Flavour, a tube of which can frequently be found on the desks of the BrokenTV office. Are Seabrook about to encroach onto the territory of someone they clearly shouldn’t be dicking around with?

Well, no. There is a nicely distinct chilli flavouring to the Seabrook effort that is lacking in the brand with the moustachioed mascot, more akin to the taste you get when you pluck and consume the chilli pepper topping from a pizza. And, unlike the non-existent spiciness of the Pringle offering, it’s quite splendidly fiery. Providing the snack makes it to the marketplace, this could be the culinary soundtrack to many a Saturday afternoon spent in a cramped pub watching an illicit foreign feed of Premiership action.

If This Flavour Were A Programme On BBC HD, It Would Be: Expecting more of the same old, same old, only the find that things are going to be every bit as wonderful as you were secretly hoping, but had been afraid to express. Wales beating England in the Six Nations it is, then.

Mustard flavour

It’s mustard flavour. We hate mustard. Will this catch us by surprise, and prove to be enjoyable? No. These crisps are horrid.

If This Flavour Were A Programme On BBC HD, It Would Be: Hotel Babylon. You’re expecting it to be woeful, but you decide to check it out anyway. You know, just in case. But no, in the same way Hotel Babylon ‘stars’ Dexter Fletcher, and once guest ‘starred’ Chris Moyles, Seabrook Mustard Flavoured Spicy Crisps have mustard in them, and taste of mustard. Pleh.

Oriental Flavour

Quite a vague description of what is to come, wouldn’t you say? The list of ingredients on the back of the pack is certainly one to get the BrokenTV taste panel either salivating, or running for the hills. Cayenne, Pimento, Cinnamon, Fennel, Star Aniseed, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder. Yes the aroma released when opening the packet suggests that things may not be so bad after all. They might be tame enough to feed to a tiny little kitten, one might wonder. Five crisps into the packet, and you soon realise that they’re about as tame as being strapped to the bonnet of Ford Mondeo and driven face-first right through a selection of stalls in a Mumbai spice market. Only in a really, really good way. We’d suggest you have a drink handy.

If This Flavour Were A Programme On BBC HD, It Would Be: The HD broadcast of Kill Bill: Volume One. In short: The Winner.

How you can play this game at home.

If, for some ungodly reason, you’ve never bought a box of Seabrook crisps direct from the manufacturers, and you haven’t been sent a box of beta crisps, how can you get a wonderfully piquant crispy fix? Our preferred method is quite simple, and can be played at home.

What you will need for this hobby:

One packet of Sharwoods mini prawn crackers with chilli

One tub of Tesco spicy mango chutney

Our new readers may want to get used to this sort of thing. Or depart, never to return.


Simply dip the former into the latter, and then eat. Mmm.

If Doing That Were A Programme on BBC HD, It Would Be: Not Going Out. Given the ingredients (which, for the purposes of comparison, we’re going to say are Lee Mack, Tim Vine and Andrew Collins), you’re hoping this is going to be a very enjoyable experience. And it is. Hurrah.

Number of packets of crisps consumed while writing this update: 3.5



2 .:

Oli Tomas said...

Hi, I found your "piracy advert" and I just wanted to tell you that I think it is fucking brilliant.

adam_aitch said...

If the Boîte Diabolique was some sort of Klingon ceremonial weapon then we wouldn't be in this situation now would we? -10 points for the fact curmudgeons at Wikipedia for gunning at such a small and obviously false entry.

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