Since I’ve become a vegetarian, I’ve been carefully assessing the backs of packets to hunt down the little “suitable for vegetarians” disclaimer. I’ll skim over the frustration I have that they don’t make these things easier for me and my vegi-mates – I suppose we’ll have to carry on wishing for standardised packaging. Anyhow, more often than not, I end up reading the ingredients list hoping that I’ll spot something I understand to either be, or not be, a meat product. Which can sometimes be quite tricky. Take crisps. Definitely my favourite snack. Who would’ve guessed that Walkers Prawn Cocktail flavour, were suitable for vegetarians. Or Frazzles Crispy Bacon flavour, also suitable for vegetarians. But take a look at the ingredients:
Maize, Rapeseed Oil, Bacon Flavour Seasoning [Salt, Wheat Flour (contains Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (contains Wheat, Soya), Dextrose, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium 5’Ribonucleotide), Potassium Chloride, Yeast Powder (from Barley), Flavourings (contains Soya, Wheat), Lactose (from Milk), Sugar, Yeast Extract (contains Barley), Rusk (from Wheat), Whey Powder (from Milk), Colours (Paprika Extract, Sulphite Ammonia Caramel), Barley Malt Flour (contains Wheat), Smoke Flavouring], Colour (Beetroot Red)
If it wasn’t for the little check mark in the corner telling me this is meat free, I genuinely wouldn’t have a clue if these products were animal friendly. Surely, if you’re chucking hydrolysed thingymabobs and disodium 5 ribena’s in my food to make it taste like meat, that can’t be good for me. So I went on the hunt for a good alternative.
First up were some air dried apple crisps from Perry Court Farm, in both tangy and sweet flavours. Putting it simply, not an alternative for crisps. Nice snack. Not crisps. Ingredients were pretty good though…apples. That’s all. Imma stick to eating apples instead of paying more to have them dried though.
Next. Two of the Eat Real offerings. Wasn’t a fan of the creamy dill flavour but the textures of both the Hummus and Lentil chips were great. Seriously recommend the chilli and lemon with hummus because it’s scrummy. Admittedly, it felt like I had a weird fetish eating hummus chips dipped in hummus… I guess I’ll get the Lentil version next time.
Kent Crisps are, ya know, crisps in their usual form. Which is downright fantastic! They are also perfect for dipping in hummus*. No artificial flavours, no msg, just a damn good crisp.
Finally, Brown Bag Crisps, well done on bridging that gap between Walkers (which I still love) and Kettle Chips (which I think are too crunchy to call crisp). You are also a stunning bag of crisps with a fully understandable list of ingredients.
Lucky for me, a lot of companies offer “nothing artificial” alternatives to my favourite snack. I’m just gonna have to avoid the Pickled Onion Monster Munch for a while.
*I am aware you can dip vegetables into hummus instead of crisps, but that's just not how I roll!