What are the craziest crisp flavours this Christmas?

The new Kettle Chips Truffled Cheese and Champagne flavour Picture: Archant

The new Kettle Chips Truffled Cheese and Champagne flavour Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Our food editor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis checks out this year’s Christmas crisps and snacks.

Are you a crisp purist or do you like to go a bit ‘out-there’ with flavours?

Because if you fall under the latter category you’re certainly in for a proper treat this festive season with a record number of novelty savoury snacks recently launched and vying for your attention – from the absolutely luxurious, to the downright bonkers.

Locally Norwich-based Kettle Chips has gone down the gourmet route, launching a limited edition Truffled Cheese and Champagne flavour made with real truffle, real cheese and (more importantly) real Champagne!

We’ve tried them and they’re cracking. First you get the tingly, almost salt and vinegary tang of the Champagne, then there’s a mellow warmth of cheese and truffle, leaving a taste in your mouth redolent of a really decent mushroom risotto.

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Fairfields Crisps from Essex have brought back their Kelly Bronze Turkey and Stuffing crisps which are always a big seller in East Anglia, being made with real turkey extract from the region.

But what about the others?

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For a bit of fun, the Co-op has brought out colourful Brie and Cranberry trees, and Pigs in Blanket crisps – bacon rashers and sausage-flavoured corn puffs.

Walkers has just come out with its three festive flavours of Brussel Sprout, Cheese and Cranberry and Pigs in Blankets, which have divided opinion.

Tesco and Iceland have also jumped on the pigs in blankets bandwagon, and it’s perhaps Iceland which has gone the most ‘off the wall’ in terms of flavouring this autumn, offering customers Luxury Christmas Tree flavoured crisps, dusted with pine infused salt. Not for me thankyou!

If you’re having a posh ‘do’ Waitrose has luxury snacks covered with its Iberico Ham and Fig, or Pink Peppercorn Gin hand-cooked crisps, while M&S has brought out five flavours it considers the height of decadence – Black Truffle and Olive Oil, Port and Stilton, Parmesan and Prosciutto, Beef Wellington, and Glazed Gammon and Whisky.

Sainsbury’s has kept it a bit more down to earth with Taste the Difference Roast Turkey and Herb, or Wensleydale and Cranberry snacks.

Love a pretzel? How about Asda’s Maple Bacon tree-shaped variety?

The choice is yours.

Keep crisps traditional

Nick Richards is fed up with festive flavours.

“I can well understand crisp companies wanting to add a little festive revenue with their Christmas-inspired flavours, but I for one won’t be stocking up on any of them.

I’m a crisp traditionalist and firmly believe that there is really only room in this world for three flavours – ready salted, cheese and onion and, if you must, salt and vinegar.

Who wants a crisp that tastes of fish, bacon or chicken? The more bizarre and crazy crisp combinations to me just means more and more flavourings – crisps are simply there to make you want to drink more beer – they don’t fill you up, they’re not good for you, they’re essentially a potato-based pub-friendly garnish.

So why do we need to have crisps that taste of gin, Brussels sprouts, truffled cheese or, even worse, beer? People buying these Franken-crisps for a bit of Yuletide novelty will soon be longing for the simplicity of a crisp without these crazy flavours.

According to YouGov stats, ready salted is the most popular flavour in the country, followed by cheese and onion and that’s good enough for me. Six packets of each will happily see me through the 12 days of crisp-mas.”

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