October 15th, 2012


Interesting Links for 15-10-2012


The word "Real" should, I feel, mean something.

On Friday night Julie and I looked after Noah. By which I mean that we arrived at 8:15, got shown his collection of awesome animal masks, unpacked while his Mum put him to bed, and then stayed overnight so that his Mum could go out dancing until 3am.

In order to let her sleep in in the morning we got out of bed reasonably early (8-ish) and played Lego Batman 2 with him for a couple of hours, before heading off to do some morning shopping. Along the way I picked up some Real Crisps in John Lewis, which is where my tale of woe actually begins.

Because, it turns out, Real Crisps aren't Real. No, they're Real™. Which means that the "Real" bit doesn't mean "We use genuine ingredients", it means "We're made by the "Real Crisps Company", and can contain anything they damn well like, even if you wouldn't expect it.

If you look at this packet:

then you'd expect that they would contain potato, sea salt, and malt vinegar. Maybe a couple of preservative type things to keep them fresh and crunchy, but at the very least, those things.

Nope. What they contain is "Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Salt and Malt Vinegar Flavour (Acidity Regulator: Sodium Acetate, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Salt, Lactose (Milk). Flavourings, Flavour Enhancer: Monosodium Glutamate, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Sunflower Oil)"
You'll notice that what you've got there is "Salt and Malt Vinegar Flavour" - no mention that it has actual sea salt in it, no mention of any kind of vinegar, let alone actual malt vinegar. And why do they need Monosodium Glutamate or Milk?

Let's compare that with Kettle Chips (which, by the way, taste a lot nicer). The ingredients of their Sea Salt and Vinegar crisps are "Potatoes, vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower oil), vinegar powder (maltodextrin, white distilled vinegar), sea salt, maltodextrin, citric acid."
So, the things you'd actually expect, and can see on the label, with a little maltodextrin/citric acid thrown in to keep things fresh.

Or Tyrrell's Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar crisps (absolutely gorgeous, if a little overpowering at times)- "Potatoes, sunflower oil, potato maltodextrin, sea salt, potato starch, dried cider vinegar, dried spirit vinegar, sugar, natural flavouring, dried malt vinegar, apple powder, natural antioxidant (rosemary extract)."
Again, the things on the fucking label, plus some extra bits that are mostly made of the stuff you get in, well, potato, salt, and vinegar.

If the label hadn't had the word REAL™ on it in large letters I suspect I would have been less incensed. As it is, I'm damned grumpy about it, and shall be avoiding them in the future. And whining at John Lewis to buy in better crisps.

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