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Snacks to Buy


 

You don't have to get very far in a grocery shop today to be inundated with choice when it comes to snacks to buy for your family. There are snacks to please every family, every person, every lifestyle choice and they meet you right at the door inside the shops! We are a nation of snackers for sure!

Whether you are looking for healthy snacks to buy or wanting to indulge in something a little less healthy, we are truly spoilt for choice.

When I was in the UK, I used to dream about the snacks from home that I could not get and hope that someone would send me some. Now I am back in Canada I am sure that there will be things I miss terribly from the UK that I got used to enjoying.

Since I have been back in Canada I have made it my goal to try some of my old favourites and see how they stack up against my memories of what I was missing for those 20 years. I am also trying some new things which I have never seen before. I thought it would be fun to share my findings on a few of them!

 

Terra Sweet Potato Chips - Sea Salt 
I love sweet potatoes.  They are one of my favourite vegetables and I was really keen to try these chips.  Unfortunately they didn't live up to the hype. They were somewhat crisp, but not totally crisp.  I think this is because they are too thick.  I think a thinner chip would be a better chip. 
 
The ruffles do make them attractive, but in the long run I think un-ruffled would make for a crisper chip. I tried the sea salt ones and they were not quite as salty as a regular chip. This is probably a good thing in many ways, because we all consume far too much salt.  Not so good in a potato chip however, in my humble opinion.  
 
I did not really like these. Chips are the naughty snack and they should feel and eat as being incredibly moreish.  These did neither one. They were not a favourite.



Smart Food White Cheddar Popcorn

Smart Food Popcorn - White Cheddar 

This snack was something I had eaten before I moved over to the UK and it was something which I had missed while I was over there. It was always incredibly moreish with just the right dusting of white cheddar on it. You could easily lose yourself in a package of these.  Since my return I have noticed there are a lot more flavours of the Smart Food Popcorn.  Gouda & Chive. Jalapeno & Cheddar. Caramel & Cheddar.  Flamin' Hot. Sour Cream & Onion. Hot Buffalo. Movie Theatre Butter, etc. 

I have not tried any of those, but I did buy myself a small bag of the White Cheddar for old times sake and it was enjoyed. Nice and cheesy and crisp.  It tastes of white cheddar as always. My teeth are older however and it was quite husky. I don't think I can enjoy popcorn much anymore. Not to mention the problem with my diverticulitis. This is a younger person's snack for sure!

Storm Chips


Covered Bridge Storm Chips.

Old fashioned, Kettle cooked, these are chips I had read about when I was in the UK and was really keen to try. I was really excited when I saw them in the shop.  They promised to be a "flurry of flavours."  The contain four flavours of chips. BBQ.  Sea Salt & Vinegar. Homestyle Ketchup. Creamy Dill.  I love all of those flavours of chips on their own, so I really thought I would love these, and kettle cooked.  What could be possibly be wrong with that??

Nothing if each chip was individually flavoured.  They aren't.  Every single chip is coated in all four flavours, which may be to some people's tastes, but they were not to mine. I found them decidedly distasteful, so much so that I ended up throwing them away. (And they were not cheap.)  

I think from now on I will be sticking to my old favourites, storm or no.  

They were  nice and crisp however so on that score there were no complaints!  I have had their other chips and liked them. I just did not really like these. 

It is all a matter of taste I guess!

Lays Dill Pickle Chips

Lays Dill Pickle Chips - exactly as stated

Simulated flavour or not, these have not disappointed. Of all the potato chips, these are my favourite kind. I dreamt about these when I was in the UK. My son sent me a small bag once and they were incredibly enjoyed. If you like Dill Pickles, you will like these chips. They are crisp and moreish, with just the right amount of Dill Pickle flavour as well as the tiniest smidgen of garlic flavour as well.  At least I could taste the garlic.  Not over done, not underdone. Just right.  

Apparently there is a Flamin Hot variety of Dill Pickle Chips. I don't think so.  But a younger person  might be tempted.

What is it with Flamin Hot these days?  Does everyone want to stretch their tastebuds beyond their capacity of endurance?

 


Ritz Real Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Disappointment. There is no other word for it.  These were a disappointment. I could not taste the cheddar.  They were decidedly orange however, I suppose to help differentiate them from the regular Ritz cracker.  I actually expect a cracker purpoting to be real cheddar cheese to taste like cheddar.  Neither my sister nor I could taste it, but perhaps that was because they were quite salty. Maybe we just got a bad box.  These just tasted like orange coloured ordinary Ritz Crackers to us. Not that we don't like Ritz crackers, but we were expecting the flavour of cheddar.  We also both noted that they don't seem to be as thick as they used to be and they are now shaped as ovals, not round.  


I will now tell you what didn't disappoint us as far as Cheese Crackers went.

Cheeze-it Crackers

Cheeze-it Original

These crackers were crisp and tasted exactly like cheese.  They were a bit higher in calories than the Ritz ones, coming in at 10 calories more per 20g, but they were lower in sodium.  We much preferred these. 

 I also tried their Cheeze-it Crunch Crackers in the Zesty Cheddar Ranch flavour and they were quite good as well. Both varieties got a thumbs up from me.  

Let's face it, when you want a CHEESE cracker you want a cracker that tastes like cheese and these did not disappoint!

Dare Veggie Crisps. 
 
I saw these one day in WalMart and picked up a package. I am afraid I am a person who likes to munch on something when I watch television in the evenings and I am always looking for something a bit healthier than the potato chip.
 
From their page: Dare Veggie Crisps are made with the goodness of real vegetables like yellow and green peas, tomatoes and carrots. Vegetables like these contain fibre, making them a nutritious snack. Enjoy the delicious flavour of Sea Salt in every crispy bite.  Made with real vegetables with no artificial colours or flavours  and  90 calories per serving (14 crackers)
 
These were okay. I have found them to be very similar to those rice pop crackers.  They have a pleasant crisp texure and are  not overly salty like some of these things can be. I can taste the vegetables in them. They have a "green" flavour, which is not overwhelming, but really they kind of taste like the rehydrated vegetables in a dry packet of vegetable soup mix. So, in my opinion, they are not in line to take over the potato chip type of snack corner of world.


Ace Bakery Mini Baguette Crisps. 
 
I spied these on special at the Atlantic Super Store over the holidays. I think I paid $7 for two packs. I got the Aged Cheddar ones and the Cinnamon Raisin ones.  Essentially they are thinly sliced baguettes, seasoned accordingly and then baked until crisp.  

I have to say I found both kinds to be incredibly moreish, on their own, without anything added. (although I can just imagine how wonderful they would be with dips) I really liked the cinnamon raisin ones. So much so that I finished that bag first.  They were not totally crisp however, probably due to the raisins.  
 
 I really enjoyed the cheddar ones as well.  Beautifully flavoured, although they need to work at keeping the toasted cheddar on top of the baguette slices. Most of the cheddar had fallen off into the bottom of the bag. Having said that however, it hasn't stopped me from buying another bag of them at full price, or enjoying those lovely little crunchy cheesy bits at the bottom of the bag!

Kraft  Pizza Kit.  
 
Pizza kits were something I miss in the UK. They are always really convenient to have in the cupboard for when you are in a rush or when you just want something simple and uncomplicated for your supper, etc. With the package of crust mix, tin of sauce and package of cheese, you really can't go wrong.  I fear their packaging is a bit misleading however along with the instructions. It states on the package that the mix will make two 12 inch pizzas. WRONG! There is no way this would make two 12 inch pizzas. And I tried.  

First fault, the dough mix is in one package so there is no option of baking one now and baking the other one later. You do need to mix it all up at once.

Second fault, halved the dough did not come even close to spreading out to fill a 12-inch piece pan.  I ended up putting it back together and we had a baking sheet pizza. Our baking sheet was approximately 11 inches by 17 inches in size. It fit perfectly into this pan and was neither too thick nor was it too thin. 

The sauce is, well, Kraft Pizza sauce. Not as good as a homemade sauce or a Pizzaria sauce, but as good as you could expect from a pizza mix.

We did not use the cheese, preferring instead to use our own cheese. 
 
This was as good as it had ever been. We all enjoyed it, having adapted to use our own favourite toppings etc. This is still something I would have in my own cupboard for emergencies, etc. even if it didn't actually make two pizzas.

From what I could see this was the only complete pizza mix available.  I didn't see any others, although you can certainly buy crust mix and sauce separately and the cheese of course. Buying all those things separately is much more costly than buying a complete kit however, so the kit will always be a bargain in comparison. 


Old Dutch Popcorn Twists.

These were something I had missed terribly when I was in the UK.  Essentially they are like cheesies or wotsits (British version of cheesies) but they taste like popcorn without any of the angst of kernels and hulls getting caught in your teeth. I have always loved them. They are incredibly moreish and they literally do melt in your mouth. 

Looking at them you might be tempted to think that they would be squeaky like styrafoam peanuts, but they are not.  They do melt.  They are nice and salty.  Buttery.  Addictive.

I picked up two bags before Christmas and I used one to make the delicious Caramel Corn Recipe on the back of the bag.  Can you say INCREDIBLY EDIBLY DELICIOUS?  That it was. 

Old Dutch Caramel Corn


You can find that delicious recipe here.  Prepare yourself to fall utterly and totally in love. 
 
Talk about taking something totally delicious and turning it into something even more delicious and to love! 
Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds

Next to the Crispy Crunch, this was probably one chocolate bar I missed the most in the UK. I did find them on the odd occasion, but they never tasted like I remembered them tasting. There was a powdery taste to them and the chocolate felt a bit waxy in the mouth. Not enjoyable in the least.
 
There was a special on chocolate bars at WalMart the other day however and you could buy three packages for I think it was $8, with each package having four bars in it. A real bargain.  I picked up KitKats (who doesn't love those), Jersey Milk (the taste of my childhood) and Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds.  
 
Suprise!  They magically tasted as they always had in the past. Perhaps I just never got a good one in the UK.  These were rich and creamy, not powdery and the nuts perfectly toasted.  Score!!
 



 
Ketchup Potato Chips

They did have these in the UK, but in all honesty they did not come up to the memory of my North American onesm neither did the BBQ ones. I picked up a small bag in WalMart one day at the cash to eat in the car on the way home (I was starving).  They did not disappoint.  Same flavour that I have always loved. Just like ketchup.  Not too vinegary. Not too tomatoey.  Just like eating a plate of fries and ketchup. Yum! 

So there you have it. A few of the flavours I had been missing from home. Snacks I was missing.  There are many more of course, like Hickory Sticks, and I am sure I will try them in due course, but for now this is my list and thoughts. 

The things you do for love . . . I have come to realise that taste memories are subjective, and yes, sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder.

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

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Marie Rayner
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8 comments:

  1. All these snacks are making me hungry, Marie. My favourite snack are pretzel sticks with cheddar cheese. My favourite chocolare bar is Cadbury's Fruit and Nut. We just finished that big, beautiful box of Lindt chocolates you gave us. They were so good. We tried to ration them - one a day with our morning coffee. Sometimes that happened and sometimes it didn't. Thanks again.

    Hope your dad's appointment went well and you enjoyed your visit to Michael's. It's a special day today, Marie. It's nice you and Cindy can share all those happy memories of your mom together. Love and hugs, Elaine

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    1. Oh I do love Fruit and Nut myself also! So good. I am surprised your Lindt lasted this long. I would have gobbled them up in no time, but then again I am a glutton! Thank you so much Elaine! xoxo

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  2. What a fun post!! Like you, I am a champion snacker. I like to try all different types of snacks and, like you, have decided opinions on them. I don't see all the craze for the flaming hot anythings. Yuck. BTW - I tried your recipe for the caramel popcorn twists. My brand was different, I ended up having to use 2 bags to get enough popcorn twists, but oh how delicious!!! I'm now inspired to try making a chocolate version, when we were little my mom used to make chocolate popcorn balls. I'll let you know how they turn out. I also have a maple version to try. Many hugs and thanks for the great post. Raquel

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    1. I am so pleased you tried the caramel popcorn twists Raquel. Oh, I love the idea of the chocolate version! I have my thinking cap on here now! Maple, count me in! xoxo

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  3. Having left the UK in 1966 I had very fond memories of certain goodies. I lived in N. Ireland for a couple of years in the early 70's and was able to have all my favourites. One of our sons works for Air Canada and makes lots of trips (pre-covid) to England. He always sends me a text to say he's there and give him my shopping list. I would get huge parcels from him with Bournville choc. Cadbury's fruit and nut, chocolate covered ginger biscuits, ginger creams, club bars, tunnocks, oatcakes, Bisto gravy granules, and the list goes on. Oh, can't forget my absolute favourite-Soreens malt loaf. The list goes on and on. I usually check the Sainsbury's website to refresh my memory on what I need to add to my list!! Lots of things we can get here in Canada but they are soooooo expensive compared to UK prices.

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    1. You are very lucky there Janice! Yes, it can be really expensive to indulge ourselves in our beloved treats when we are living out of country and you never know what you are going to miss until you can no longer get them! xoxo

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  4. This is a fun post, Marie! I'm glad my fave, Cheez-its, made the cut! They really are so good! So many of these I am not familiar with -- next time I get to Canada (whenever that may be) I think a trip to the store will be in order!

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    1. One of the things I like most about travel to other countries is getting to enjoy their foods! You would think that with Canada and America being so close we would have more similarities, but happily we don't which still allows us to "enjoy" some culinary differences!! I hope it is not too long before we can get back to normal with our travel, etc. xoxo

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