Although I do like crisps, I don't eat them very often. Maybe I have become disillusioned by the commercial crisps you can buy at supermarkets. You know the ones that are thin and taste like cardboard or have so much salt on that they make your mouth feel like a desert? This may now all change, thanks to Kent Crisps.
I will be completely honest and say that I have had Kent Crisps before. I have only ever tried one flavour - Oyster and Vinegar - and thoroughly enjoyed them, but I thought it was about time I wrote a full review, which of course meant I had to try every (well almost every...) flavour. What a shame ;)
What Kent Crisps do, and do extremely well, is not only create lifelike flavours but also bring out the flavour of the potato itself. The crisps are thicker than normal commercial crisps which give them a very satisfying crunch as well as actually making you feel like you have eaten something. How many times have you had a pack of commercial crisps such as 'Walkers' brand and then thought 'I'm still peckish' because they are like eating air? Yes most times I am sure, just as I do. But you don't get that feeling with Kent Crisps. They are substantial in the most perfect way and, well, they are crispy!
So seeing as I have already tried Oyster and Vinegar flavour, let's start with that one.
Let me say one thing straight off the bat! These are not 'fishy' in any way. When I first tried these a couple of years ago I was intrigued by the flavour as living in Kent and my parents at one point living in Whitstable, I have been brought up eating oysters. A good fresh oyster should not taste fishy, it should taste of the sea and this can be said of these crisps too. The oyster flavour gives the crisps a savoury saltiness just like the sea but without the overwhelming taste of fish. The vinegar flavour comes in and this taste takes me right back to being a kid walking along Whitstable harbour.
The sea salt you would imagine to be similar to a plain ready salted. However, the sea salt is delicate and not harsh at all. The one thing I really noticed with this flavour is how fresh the potatoes must have been when the crisps were made. The crisps themselves tasted like freshly baked or fried potatoes. I do not like ready salted crisps normally, but I have to say, Kent Crisps have converted me with their Sea Salt flavour.
Do not expect Kent Crisps Sea Salt & Vinegar with Biddenden Cider crisps to taste like standard commercial salt and vinegar. They don't. At all. They are simply delicious. The cider is a very subtle background taste and gives the sea salt and vinegar a roundedness and depth of flavour. These are awesome 'nibble' crisps, because the taste is so moreish!
Roast beef and spitfire ale flavour is a revelation! I cannot stand beef crisps. I was yet to find a beef flavoured crisp I actually liked until these. They remind me of a hug on a winter's day. You know the type of hug you get when it's cold outside and it's dinner time and in comes a plate full of steak and ale pie with lashings of thick gravy with mash potato? Well think of that plate, the taste and the smile you get when you think of it.... welcome to Roast Beef and Spitfire Ale flavour crisps.
Last but not least, Smoked Chipotle Chilli. And I have to say, my new favourite. Oh my goodness, what an amazing smoky flavour. I adore smoked paprika and they reminded me of the chunky roasted potato wedges I make that I season with smoked paprika. The colour is vibrant (and natural!) and the chilli flavour certainly wakes up your taste buds with a good kick but not so strong you cannot eat them. I could eat these all day if I am honest ;)
So, if you want a good crisp, and I mean a proper old fashioned crisp, that tastes like it has been handmade and beautifully spiced, then Kent Crisps are for you. We have such an amazing field of food creators and producers in Kent. It makes me so proud to be a Kentish girl.