Friday, 2 May 2014

Walkers Pops: Melted cheese & crispy bacon

Product name: Walkers Pops: Melted cheese & crispy bacon
Purchase details:
£0.50 for a 23g bag (Tesco)
102 per bag

I loved Popchips so much that I was really keen to try the new Walkers Pops range when they were released. ‘Air-popped’ rather than fried, they claimed to have ‘all the great Walkers taste’, but with 50% less fat than ‘standard potato crisps’. They also contained no artificial colours or preservatives, and no MSG.

Now, I’m a weird member of the human race, in that I don’t like bacon. I wish I did – I like the smell but that’s about it on a standard rasher. However, I do enjoy crispy bacon as long as it is so crispy it can be snapped in two. The fact that this flavour specified ‘crispy bacon’ was a bonus, then, although really it’s the texture rather than the taste that causes me problems the rest of the time!

I should also add that I’m not generally a fan of meat-flavoured crisps, so I was taking a gamble with this Melted cheese & crispy bacon packet – it was definitely the melted cheese aspect that swung it for me.

Made for the UK and Ireland market, this ‘potato snack’ came in an orangey-brown bag and featured a nice and low calorie content. Despite the flavour, they were suitable for vegetarians, and 45% of the product was simply ‘dried potato’.

The Pops were presented as quite large discs with a red powdery dusting on top – they were almost identical to the Popchips Barbeque  but were more flat. Inside, they looked more white in colour, and were almost fluffy.

The strong scent of these Pops fascinated me. There was an element of a standard smoky bacon crisp aroma (not something I’m overly fond of), but I could genuinely pick up a cheesy tang too which was different to many other cheesy crisps available. The latter really lifted the overall smell for me so it certainly didn’t put me off trying this meaty snack.

On trying my first disc, the potato itself seemed to have the bacon flavour and, as soon as my tongue hit the build-up of powder, the cheese came through. Surprisingly, and slightly strangely, the taste was pretty creamy – I didn’t even know that was possible in a crisp! However, I did find the flavour a bit odd, and the melted cheese aspect tasted more like butter to me. The Pops were a bit salty too (as they should be) but, thankfully, not to the same extent as Frazzles. For me, though, the best thing about the flavour was that, whilst meaty, this was a subtle aspect rather than being overpowering.

The texture of this snack was great. Bumpy to the touch, they were fantastically crunchy and crispy in the mouth – maybe not something to eat when sitting next to another person, though!

On the whole, these Walkers Pops: Melted cheese & crispy bacon were a hit. I don’t think I’d call myself a fan of the attempt at a cheese flavour but the overall taste did improve as I worked my way through the bag. 

Appearance: 7.5/10
Overall score:

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