Walkers, to coincide with the 2010 World Cup, have released 15 new flavours, asking eaters to buy them, supporting their favourite and potentially winning ‘a packet’ in the process. It’s a mix of national pride for the eater along with the curiosity of trying new flavour and in the Walkers Flavour Cup, the flavours are going ‘bag to bag’ to find the Walkers Flavour Champion. Obviously I wasn’t content with just hearing what the winner was, I wanted to find out for myself, so I bought the packets, opened a beer (Marble Manchester Bitter, of course) and had my own little tournament.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
The World Cup of Crisps
There are 15 flavours but three of them I haven’t seen: Scottish Haggis, Welsh Rarebit and Irish Stew. As those nations/teams aren’t actually in the World Cup, it probably doesn’t matter too much, but it did leave the problem of having 12 flavours to format into a competition. To combat this I started with a group stage (three flavours in each group, one goes out, the other two are placed first and second) then to a usual quarter/semi/final (the winner group 1 plays runner-up group 2, winner group 2 plays runner-up group 1...). I picked the groups blind and randomly.
Italian Spaghetti Bolognese
French Garlic Baguette
Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak
English Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
Dutch Edam Cheese
Spanish Chicken Paella
Australian BBQ Kangaroo
South African Sweet Chutney
Group 1: German Bratwurst tastes like sausage and is actually pretty good; Japanese Teriyaki is sweet and peppery and a good flavour; Italian Spaghetti Bolognese was a bit boring and just a little herby. German Bratwurst tops the group, Japanese Teriyaki is second, Italian Spaghetti Bolognese goes in the bin.
Group 2: American Cheeseburger is literally like eating a McDonalds cheeseburger in potato chip form, it’s a little smoky, there’s cheese, mustard and gherkins and it’s actually brilliant; French Garlic Baguette is a little garlicy and a little parsley, but ultimately weak; Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak is steaky and flamey, exactly what it should be. American Cheeseburger is number one, Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak is in second, the French drop out.
Group 3: English Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding is a little beefy and a little of something else which is possibly the Yorkshire pudding, sadly a little disappointing, maybe some horseradish was needed in the end; Dutch Edam Cheese tastes a lot like cheese; Spanish Chicken Paella tastes like nutty rice, paprika, pepper and peas and is actually reminiscent of a real paella. England leave the tournament early (through gritted patriotic teeth) then it’s Spain in first and the Dutch in second.
Group 4: Brazilian Salsa is sweet and herby; Australian BBQ Kangaroo tastes like BBQ and unknown meat; South African Sweet Chutney is both sweeter and spicier than the Brazilian salsa and just a bit tastier. Brazilian Salsa goes one, Australian BBQ Kangaroo wins, South African Chutney is second.
Quarter Final 1: German Bratwurst vs Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak
Close game, tough battle but ultimately the bigger power of the Germans beats the slow-build quality of the fiery Argentineans.
Quarter Final 2: Japanese Teriyaki vs American Cheeseburger
Another tough battle and the Japanese were strong but the American just tastes too much like an actual Cheeseburger to drop out; America go through.
Quarter Final 3: Dutch Edam Cheese vs South African Sweet Chutney
The Dutch stand out like their orange shirted equivalents, beating the spicy South Africans.
Quarter Final 4: Spanish Chicken Paella vs Australian BBQ Kangaroo
Actual classy paella flavour versus the burnt meat brashness of the Aussies; Spain go through.
Semi Final 1: German Bratwurst vs American Cheeseburger
Sausage plays burger in one of the ultimate food battles. The presence of mustard and gherkins in the burger sees them comfortably into the final.
Semi Final 2: Dutch Edam Cheese vs Spanish Chicken Paella
Long, hard-fought battle; Spain authentic and excellent from the beginning but the Dutch grow stronger as they progress. We had a penalty shoot-out (meaning Lauren stepped in to try them and choose the winner) and Spain make the final.
Final: American Cheeseburger vs Spanish Chicken Paella
The big one and the two flavours which tasted the most authentic got to play each other. The fun, enjoyable quality of the burger powers past the paella and they are my Flavour Champion.
So American Cheeseburger wins for me purely because it tastes so much like a burger and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can make something else taste like a cheeseburger. Some of the packets were surprisingly good and some were just a bit rubbish, but the overall competition is good fun and it’s made my crisp eating a little more interesting. Now I guess I just need to find a relevant beer for each pack of crisps...
If you've had any of these then what do you think of the flavours? What’s your Flavour Champion?