I really love crisps. They are my ultimate favourite snack, ever. Did anyone read this recent article in the Guardian, about the potential fall of crisps due to the rise and shine of posh popcorn? Well I did. And it made me a little sad. I for one don’t think Brits will ever fall out of love with crisps. And I don’t think they will every be fully replaced by ‘poshcorn’ either.
Which is exactly why, when a company called Ten Acre snacks (who specialise in both varieties of snack) contacted me I was excited to taste them, and see just how a brand can target both crisp lovers and popcorn addicts simultaneously.
Surely one product would be stronger than the other? Surely most flavours would be savoury, thus making them not so appealing to all the sweet-toothed Tessies out there?
I simply had to investigate…
A Manchester based company with a ‘free from’ attitude
Brought to us by Yumsh Snacks who say they make snacks that everyone can enjoy, and when they say everyone, they mean everyone. Pioneering a concept they call ‘free-from plus’ their snacks boast an impressive list of things they are free from:
Gluten, dairy and MSG. Plus, they are vegan, halal and kosher.
So, if that’s what they are free from, the what are they full of? First of all they are British. All of their potatoes, flavourings and packaging are sourced from the UK. And they are made in small batches in the UK too, which I think is very impressive.
I was very generously sent their full range of 10 flavours of hand-cooked crisps, and seven flavours of hand-picked popcorn. Here’s my summary of their stand-out flavours (the full list of flavours is at the bottom of this post).
The Secret Of Mr Salt – Ready Salted Crisps
I know what you’re thinking. Why is she starting with the boring flavour? Well, my friend. These are not boring. They were the first packet I sampled and they were delicious. It was mainly the texture that got me (which is applicable to all other flavours I sampled).
They have the most delicious crunch – but aren’t too hard like some other hand-cooked crisps out there. Lightly salted but enough so that the seasoning can cut through a decent scoop of plain hummus (which I enjoyed alongside the packet). A fine bag of crisps indeed.
When the Pepper Crack’d – Black Pepper and Sea Salt Crisps
As above, but with lashing of freshly ground black pepper. Which gives them a great little kick. Also sensational alongside a good pot of hummus for dipping.
When Bombay Got Spicy – Bombay Spice Flavour Crisps
I love Bombay mix, and have honestly never come across a bag of crisps this flavour before. They were delicious, warming, spicy and a great balance of flavours that really did remind me of a handful of Bombay mix. These would be great by the bowlful when you have friends over as something a little different and unexpected.
Pastrami In The Rye – Pastrami Flavour Hand Cooked Crisps
These little beauties were peppery and salty and meaty, all with the same great texture and crunch. Again, another well executed and innovative flavour. Making Walker’s weird and wonderful range look even more horrendous!
The Story of When the Cheese Met the Onion – Cheese and Onion Flavour Crisps
Cheese and onion are my favourite flavour crisps, and I have to admit I like the Walker’s variety. Other attempts at cheese and onion just seem to take it too far. Kettle Chips’ mature cheddar and red onion are too intense: too cheesy, and too onion-y. These ones however don’t try to be overly fancy. They are just cheese and onion, very well done.
Sweet and Salty
I’m starting with this one, as in our house, we consider ourselves connoisseurs of sweet and salty popcorn varieties. I know that’s not a thing, but trust me – it should be. We have tried alllllllll the brands. And we have our favourite. Here’s how this one holds up: The balance between sweet and salty is good. The sweet pieces are in the form of crystallised chunks that have a light crunch to them. And the rest are dusted with a light salty powder.
So they haven’t quite replaced my favourite brand yet, but their other inventive flavours more than make up for it…
Well, this flavour is amazing. The best wasabi flavoured product I have tested to date (apart from the real thing). Hot, spicy, gets up your nose a little bit like English mustard. Again, this flavour features the light, crunchy, crystallised kernels which had an almost sweetness to them. Mindbogglingly full of flavour. Nailed it.
I took one look at this flavour in the extensive collection and thought ‘no’. Just no. Cappuccino flavour? That will be awful, I said. There’s no way that one will work, I said. So I left it until last. Boy, on boy, was I wrong. It was my second favourite after the wasabi and completely different. Much sweeter than I had imagined, with a subtle coffee flavour that added a welcomed bitterness. Delicious and very clever indeed. Hats off, chef.
Overall, I really enjoyed this taste test
The fact that these products are made self-contained here in the UK is great – it’s nice to see a company really embracing what we have here instead of importing bits and bobs from elsewhere.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the crisps and the popcorn, but slightly more so the crisps as they are pretty much my Achilles heel. Their flavours are inventive, well executed and their branding is cute and honest. Packaging lovely. I am not surprised they have won awards. They are a really great product, and there is something for everyone.
You can read more about Ten Acre snacks on their fun and cute website.
All available flavours:
- The Secret Of Mr Salt – Ready Salted Crisps
- When the Pepper Crack’d – Black Pepper and Sea Salt Crisps
- When Bombay Got Spicy – Bombay Spice Flavour Crisps
- Pastrami In The Rye – Pastrami Flavour Hand Cooked Crisps
- How Chicken Soup Saved The Day – Chicken Soup Flavour Crisps
- When the Chilli got Sweet – Sweet Chilli Flavour Crisps
- The Story of When the Cheese Met the Onion – Cheese and Onion Flavour Crisps
- The Amazing Adventures of Salt and Vinegar – Salt and Vinegar Flavour Crisps
- When Hickory Got BBQ’d – Hickory BBQ Flavour Crisps
- The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends -Sweet & Sour Flavour Crisps
- Cousin Maisie’s Fennel and Lemon Popcorn – Fennel and Lemon Flavour
- Ambrose Popperley’s Wasabi Popcorn – Wasabi Flavour
- Aunty Winifred’s Sweet and Salty Popcorn – Sweet and Salty Flavour
- Captain Theodore’s Lime and Sea Salt Popcorn – Lime and Salt Flavour
- Cornelius Popperley’s Sour Cream and Chive Popcorn – Sour Cream and Chive Flavour
- Lucia Popperley’s Cappuccino Popcorn- Cappuccino Flavour
- Cousin Penelope’s Strawberry & Cream Popcorn – Strawberry & Cream Flavour