Archive for May, 2009

Beer Review: Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier

28 May, 2009

Grolsch Weizen, the first of my three European wheat beers, from Crossharbour ASDA was a good one. No, wait, “good” is the wrong word. It was outstanding. Almost, but not quite toppling Hoegaarden White Beer off of its delicious throne.

If you only check back here on the rare occasions when you remember to, you may be wandering why I’m not being cynical. Usually by the second paragraph, I’ll be well into mocking your favourite lager. Frankly, it’s shocking me too.

Sadly, my microscopic knowledge of beer offers few answers. The only explanation I can proffer is that it is “live”. Specks of yeast are floating around inside the bottle. So much in fact, that they make the beer cloudy. That’s why it looks different to most other lagers, beers and ales which have had everything filtered out. And, somehow, that yeastiness turbo-charges the flavour, making it tastier and more interesting. If you can offer a better explanation, the comment section at the end of this post is the place to leave it.

So, what is the second of my three wheat beers? It is Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier, which is also the second most expensive of the lot, at £1.84 pence. And it looks like this.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier bottle

Sticking to conventions, it is brown. Look at it just right though, and you can see a white cloudiness within. And that sight makes my mouth water.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier neck foil

It doesn’t have a neck label. What it does have is a huge piece of neck foil with the word “Imported” written all over it. Don’t get me wrong. “Imported” is a very welcome word. Especially in a world full of licensed foreign beers from Luton. But, it would be nice to have some kind of useful information up here instead.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier front label

The front label gets all German. The roundel has writing so Germanic, that it’s hard to read. Inside the roundel is a hearty monk looking into a tankard. If you’ve got a beer made to an ancient recipe, you want to know that European monks are involved.

Under that are some German words. Deploying the technique of guesswork and Google to deduce the meaning, “Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu” must be the full name of the brewery. “München”, I think, is the city of Munich, which places Franziskaner in Bavaria.

On the left hand side of the label is a taste of things to come elsewhere. It only says where on the bottle to find the ‘best before’ date, but because it does so in several different languages, it’s the length of a medium sized paragraph.

The right hand side is the same. Picking through the impenetrable block of multilingual text, one finds the vital statistics. Not that you’ll feel rewarded for the effort. This is the ubiquitous 0.5L bottle with the standard 5% alcoholic volume. That does make it a tiny bit stronger than some of the other white beers though. There’s also the full address of the brewer, in case you want to write them a letter.

The big-block-of-multilingual-text syndrome gets even worse on the back.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier back label

The closest it gets to an ‘story’ is the sentence “Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Hell is brewed in accordance with German Purity Law”. Would that be the same obsolete Reinheitsgebot that Grolsch Wetzen is made to? All I know is, it’s unfortunate to have the word “Hell” in your company name.

In the big block of text is a list of ingredients. That list is “water, wheat malt, barley malt, yeast, hop extract”. I don’t know about you, but I love how these European beers are obliged to give a full list. Not the “contains malted barley” that you get over here.

The only other bits of information are addresses. One of them is the postal address. The other is a web address at www.franziskaner.info. Sadly, I can’t get past the age check screen, because it was designed for resolutions higher than what my monitor is set to. That makes the website a paragon of awfulness. Nevermind, the most important facts are there on the front page. It turns out that Franziskaner has been made with Bavarian brewing tradition since 1363, which was literally a very long time ago.

With nothing else to read, we get to the fun bit. What does Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier taste like? Is it better or worse than the brilliance of the other wheat beers? I’m looking forward to finding out.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier poured into a glass

Yes, I know, it’s the wrong type of glass. Until I get the ‘right’ kind of glass, this one will have to do. Forget the glass though. Just look at the beer.

A cloudy, amber colour with a thick, foamy head make Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier just exactly how you want a wheat beer to look. Compare it to Grolsch Weizen and it looks almost identical. And that’s not a bad thing.

What does Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier smell of? It smells much like the other live beers. And that, again, is a very good thing. Because it smells delicious. Pungent too, so you won’t miss it. Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier does smell more wheaty and less of fruit and citrus than some, though. For some reason, it’s making me think about bread. Is that a hint of the taste?

What does Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier taste of? The first couple of sips are pleasant ones. They don’t disappoint, but they do reveal a different range of flavours and tastes. The hints dropped by the smell were right. Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier seems to be about a straightforward wheaty experience, and less about complex citrussy fruitiness. This is going to need a few more gulps to pin down.

A couple more gulps and some of my suspicions are confirmed. Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier is mostly about the wheat, but also about maltiness. This is one of those beers where you’ll struggle to find the join between the flavours and the aftertaste. Neither are particularly powerful. About half-way through, and Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier is as rich and smooth as I’d hoped, with no lingering bitterness.

What am I enjoying about Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier? There is a lot to enjoy here. I’m liking how honest and straightforward it is. It’s as if the Medieval monks decided to make a simple wheat beer, and make it as well as they could. I like how you can taste the wheat, which gets lost the complexity of others. I like how these things make it different from the other wheat beers. I like how rich and full bodied it is. I love how well made it is. All of which come together to make it an outstandingly satisfying and drinkable bottle of beer.

What don’t I like about Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier? There are one or two tiny, niggly, issues. If, like me, you were hoping for the complex wave of fruity and citrussy flavours and tastes of its competitors, you’ll be a tiny bit disappointed. Not very disappointed. Just a tiny bit. You might think that because of that, it wasn’t as light and refreshing as you’d hoped. Beyond that, you might not like how gassy it is; to which most wheat beers are particularly prone. Most of all, you’ll balk at how expensive and hard to find, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier is, here in Britain.

How to sum up Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier? It is very, very good. It delivers three-quarters of what I hoped for, but it completely nails the things it does. I opened the bottle hoping for the same complex blend of wheatiness, citrus and fruit that Hoegaarden White Beer and Grolsch Weizen won me over with. Instead, it focussed on the wheatiness and did it better than that other wheaty wheat beer, Erdinger Weißbier. I’ve learnt a lot from this roundup. I’ve learnt that there are wheat beers that have lots of fruit and citrus. And others that stick to the basic wheatiness. And, of the ones I’ve tried, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier is the tastiest of the wheaty wheat beers. So far. Does that make any sense?

Rating: 4.4

Have you tried Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier? What did you think of it? Can you translate anything from the label or explain what makes wheat beers special better than I can?

If so, do please leave your opinions, translations, explanations, requests, recommendations and places to buy, here in the comments, all of which I do read.

Beer Review: Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer

22 May, 2009

WHEN I go exploring London, I like to pop into a local shop. Usually an Eastern European or Caribbean store, where I buy one or two new beers from someone who can serve change and bag my bottles whilst typing a text message. This time, in the East End’s Docklands, the local shop closest to hand was Crossharbour ASDA. Expecting maybe two or three unfamiliar bottles, what I found was astonishing. First of all, Crossharbour ASDA is the size of a medium sized village. Second, their beer aisle was the length of a runway. Making a mental note to come back as soon as possible, I faced a new challenge. Where to start?

With limited funds and only a small back-pack to carry them in, I started with the three bottles that I figured would be hardest to find elsewhere. And those which I would enjoy the most. So, here is the first of the three cloudiest, wheatiest, European bottled beers I could carry out of Crossharbour ASDA. Here is Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer.

Why starts with cloudy wheat beers? Simple. They are the best. And by best, I mean my personal favourites. Hoegaarden White Beer addicted me to them and Erdinger Weißbier, among others, have kept me hooked ever since. And, judging by the comments from other people who agree with those posts, I’m part of a big club of other intelligent and handsome people. If you’re not, then you have our sympathies.

Back to the Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer, and here is what it looks like.

Grolsch Weizen bottle

The only Grolsch you can find here in the UK is their Premium Lager. The one with the swing-top that tastes okay but not special. Presumably, in the Netherlands, they have a whole range of beers, of which this and that are only two. And Weizen is not the big volume export one. Not very shouty looking, and that’s good.

Grolsch Weizen neck label

The neck label is all about celebrating an award they won. Specifically, Weizen won “World’s Best Wheat Beer 2007” at the “World Beer Awards”. And that is a big, prestigious award. That is a genuine achievement on the part of Grolsch. It also brings expectations for Weizen right up.

Furthermore, it is “Brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot”. I didn’t know what it meant either, until finding a Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinheitsgebot. Apparently, it has something to do with obsolete purity laws. Readers, if you have a strong opinion on this, feel free to vent it in the comments at the end of this post.

Grolsch Weizen front label

The front label is a roundel picture of European restraint. The borders have the words “Royal Grolsch Holland” and “Natuurlijk Gerijpt Bier”. Inside the roundel are nothing but the simple imagery and bare minimum of text that you can read in the photograph. Still, it would be nice to at least have the alcoholic volume printed on it.

Grolsch Weizen back label

The back label is a narrow strip with only the most important details on it. No stories about ancient traditions or monasteries, sadly. The English language ingredients list includes “water, malted wheat, malted barley, yeast & hops”.

Further down, they advise you to “Store upright, cool & dark”. Only on live wheat beers will you read that sort of thing.

Further down again are this beers vital statistics. The bottle size is, unsurprisingly, 500ML. And the alcoholic volume is a slightly above average 5.3%.

Besides those small facts, that is it. There is nothing else to read on what is promising to be a delicious bottle of beer. But just how delicious is it? What will it taste of? Let’s find out…

Grolsch Weizen poured into a glass

First of all, the glass. I don’t own the right sort. Until I do, this one will have to do.

If you’ve enjoyed yummy wheat beer before, you’ll know to expect a gigantic head. If not, then be prepared or you’ll end up with a table covered in foam. Other than that, look how cloudy it is! What a refreshing change to the usual pale yellow water that calls itself beer.

And the smell is even better. Strong too. It is, in fact, the first thing that struck me as soon as the top popped off. How can I describe it? It is the closest to the smell of Hoegaarden White Beer I’ve smelt so far. It smells rich, malty, citric and fruity. The blend of odours is gorgeous. It puts Grolsch Weizen into the small group of beers that I would happily use as air fresheners around the home.

What does Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer taste of? The first couple of sips are outstanding. This is indeed turning out to be an exceptional beer. The flavour is malty and wheaty. Smooth, rich and full-bodied, the way you hope it would be. That taste then effortlessly turns into the aftertaste.

The aftertaste is like a bigger lump of the initial flavour. Delivered in a more intense, but not unpleasant lump of taste that lingers for a while afterwards. A few more sips, and you realise that it is more complex than you first thought. You start to notice all sorts of traces of arable crops and fruits you didn’t notice at first.

More than half-way through already, so what am I enjoying about Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer? I like the smell, the taste and experience that you get with this kind of wheat beer. I love it partly because it’s not mainstream. You feel like you want to keep it a secret from the dimwits who only drink big name lager.

I like how it didn’t disappoint, even with expectations as high as Everest. If you came to Grolsch Weizen wanting a tasty wheat beer, it will deliver. I like the complexity in the flavours and taste, even if you don’t notice them at the start. Besides those things, it is immensely well made, tasty, refreshing, original tasting, clean, crisp and very, very drinkable.

What don’t I like about Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer? There are one or two issues. For a start, that taste isn’t quite as well balanced, roundel or colourful as, say, Hoegaarden White Beer. It’s not far off, but the lumpy aftertaste could be sanded down to make it a little easier to drink. Mind you, you do quickly get used to it. Besides that, Grolsch Weizen, at £1.50 pence, is expensive and hard to find. If it were on more shop shelves, it would have a big following by now.

How can I sum up Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer? Admittedly, I’ve not had many wheat beers to compare it to. And I’ve had even fewer live, cloudy wheat beers. Grolsch Weizen sits between Erdinger Weißbier and the sublime Hoegaarden White Beer in my humble estimation. Whether you are an aficionado or casual beer fan, I think you will be highly impressed with Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer. This is one of the very best.

Rating: 4.4

Have you tried Grolsch Premium Weizen Wheat Beer? What did you think of it?

Do please leave your translations, corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations and places to buy here in the comments. And yes, I do read every single comment. Even the abusive ones.

Beer Review: Pilsner Urquell

19 May, 2009

YOU are reading my most suicidal post to date. Regular readers will know that I’m not shy about giving uninformed opinions. This upsets some people. So much so, that they feel compelled to leave a multitude of obscenities in the comments section. Duvel Golden Ale and Budvar Czech Lager got so bad that the posts themselves escaped, never to be read and abused again.

With this in mind, diplomacy and tactful genius helped me get away with a Guinness post. Sadly, that Irish luck is about to run out. You see, every angry lager enthusiast, in their passionate critique of my intelligence and taste, would mention something called “Urquell”. So when I found this bottle of Pilsner Urquell at the ExCel exhibition centre in East London’s Docklands, I couldn’t resist the challenge. Would I love it as much as the angry mob? What would happen if I didn’t? I had to find out.

Pilsner Urquell bottle

So. What can I say about the way it looks? Bearing in mind the angry mob reading this, I’ll say it looks magnificent and noble. And that’s not much of an overstatement. The green bottle and classy labelling make it look better than most.

Pilsner Urquell neck label

The neck label, again, does exactly what you want it to do. It tells you a little bit about what’s inside the bottle, so you get an idea before you buy it if you’ll like it. The shield looks intriguing. No idea what all the characters and symbols mean, but no doubt an Urquell fanatic will answer that question in the comments at the end of this post.

The best things about what it says are where it came from and the date. 1842 is a reassuringly long time ago. The words “Imported” and “Brewed in Plzeň Czech” are, as ever, incredibly welcome. The world does not need more licensed beers pretending to be genuine. What’s more, even I can tell that Plzeň bares an eerie resemblance to “Pilsner”. As Pilsner style lagers go, this is genesis.

Pilsner Urquell front label

The front label is similarly elegant and concise. There’s an attractive red seal saying…  something. And it is proudly “The Original Pilsner”.

Pilsner Urquell back label

Over on the back label, and this imported version takes the mysterious approach of having tiny lettering on a big label. That aside, it has an excellently informative description of what the beer will be like.

They describe it as having “a uniquely rewarding taste, intensely hoppy, with a balance of subtle sweetness & velvety bitterness, wrapped in a gloriously crisp body”. Even for someone like me who is not that keen on lager, it sounds appetising.

Under that is the start of the small-print. The full name of the brewer, Plzeňeskŷ Prazdroj, a.s. is on there. The Surrey based Miller Brands imported address is on there. As are the brief list of ingredients which are water, barley, malt and hops.

Under that are the much easier to read vital statistics. This 330ml bottle has a 4.4% alcoholic volume. Which, isn’t that strong frankly. Presumably that has no bearing on the taste, because they label also says “Discover how beer is meant to taste at www.pilsnerurquell.com”.

If you haven’t been to their website, then do so. Positioning themselves as the Bang & Olufsen of beer, their website is all about perfection. Keen not to poke the angry mob reading this review, I studied the pouring instructions carefully.

With a chilled bottle, a rinsed glass and lots of tension, I went for the pour and produced this:

Pilsner Urquell poured into a glass

Okay, I didn’t get the second part of the pour right. I beg for forgiveness from the angry Urquell fans out there.

First impression? Like they mentioned on the website, and like some of the classier lagers, it doesn’t have that cheap, pale yellow hue. I’m going to describe it as copper coloured and delicious looking. It really is quite unlike the big name lager I detest so much.

How does it smell? Unusually for a lager, the smell was one of the first things I noticed about Pilsner Urquell. It is an order of magnitude more pungent than most lagers. Yet it manages not to smell synthetic and horrible. Impressive.

Sniffing closer reveals more unexpected odours. Virtually every lager I’ve smelt has had that familiar malted barley smell. This kind of has a rich and nice variation on that, but topped off with a smell of hops. Lots of lagers boast of hoppiness but fail to deliver, so I’ve stopped believing them. Pilsner Urquell honestly smells more like the mouth watering ales that I love so dearly.

This is the big one. What does it taste like and can it match the stratospheric expectations? The first sip is a very pleasant one indeed. Usually at this point, I say “it’s a lager so it has no flavour”. Not this time. The website describes it as honey, nutty and malty. I can’t disagree. It has a mild flavour of all those things.

Then the aftertaste comes into play. This is what Pilsner Urquell is all about. The gentle hoppy aftertaste dominates the taste. Not least because of how long it lingers. The most remarkable thing about it is that it’s bitter, but not too bitter. I’ll describe it as bittersweet.

What am I genuinely enjoying about Pilsner Urquell? A lot of things. I like how much better it is than nearly every other lager I’ve endured. It receives massive kudos from me for having something called flavour, which the brewers of most lagers have forgotten about. The experience is more like drinking an ale. Which is good if you enjoy ale type beers. There’s no horribly bitter “bite” to the aftertaste. The quality of the brew and ingredients are plain to see with no unpleasant artificial smell or taste to be found. Compare it to a Polish “Mocne” or UK super-strength lager for an entertaining contrast. All of which help make it clean, crisp and refreshing. All qualities a Pilsner style lager should aim for. And together, make Pilsner Urquell a tasty and easy beer to drink.

What don’t I like about Pilsner Urquell? It would be easier to submit to the furious mob and simply say “nothing”. But that would loose the integrity you came to this site for. So, here goes. As outstanding as it as, as one of the pinnacles of lager kind, it is a compromise. If you want intense and interesting flavour, have an ale type of beer. If you want a fizzy, easy to drink brew, then choose a regular lager. Pilsner Urquell sits in a throne, on a pedestal, on a fence.

If you’re still reading and haven’t wrathfully scrolled down to the comments to dispense your disgust, allow me to sum up. Pilsner Urquell, the genesis of Pilsner style lager and favourite of many an angry, and level-headed commentor, deserves its reputation. It is unique. It is the original. And it is an outstanding drink. But will I buy it again? If neither ale nor a regular lager is the right choice, Pilsner Urquell will be perfect.

Have you tried Pilsner Urquell? What did you think of it?

Do please leave your Czech translations, corrections, opinions, recommendations, requests and places to buy here in the comments.

If you take your beer so seriously that you insist on leaving angry comments on the blogs of people who disagree with you, then cheer up.

Beer Review: Chang Beer

17 May, 2009

THIS is Chang Beer from Thailand. Not the first beer I’ve tried from Thailand. That honour goes to the straightforward, well made but ultimately uninspiring Singha Lager Beer. It might not be the first, but it is the hardest to find. This one came from a small batch my local Tesco bought in.

Chang Beer bottle

The hardest thing about writing about these Asian beers, is finding anything interesting to say about them. Almost universally, they are well made, easy to drink lagers that aren’t memorable in any way. They are great with a spicy meal, but try to remember the taste a week later, and you’ll be stumped. So will Chang Beer be any different?

The neck-foil seems to think so.

Chang Beer neck foil

It says that this “Premium Quality” brew won Gold at the 1998 Australian International Beer Awards. And you can depend on Australians to give it to you straight. It’s a good start for Chang Beer.

The front-label sticks to roundel traditions by looking like this:

Chang Beer front label

It also manages to conjure up enough imagery to look South East Asian. Helpful for clueless supermarket consumers like me. Look a little closer and Chang Beer has more welcome information.

It was brewed by “Cosmos Brewery Co., Ltd”. Possibly in a place called Ayutthaya in Thailand. Assuming the word “Ayutthaya” is actually a place name. If you know more than I do on this, do please leave a comment at the end of this post.

The good news continues. This bottle of Chang Beer doesn’t appear to be an unwelcome licensed replica from Bedford. The label says quite clearly “Product of Thailand” with “Imported” written in red. Good news indeed.

The vital statistics are also around the bottom border of the label. This 11.15 fluid ounce 330ml bottle has the equally ubiquitous 5% alcoholic volume. Facts that, together with the total absence of Thai words on the bottle, tell us that this really is their expert version.

The back label sticks to Asian beer export conventions by having only the bare essential details. No bad thing, mind.

Chang Beer back label

What can you say about it? It is literally a list of facts. So, here goes… This is “Thailand’s Number 1 Beer”. It contains malted barley.

It was brewed and bottled by Cosmos Brewery in Thailand, but was imported by Chang UK from, where else, but Moffat Distillery in Airdrie, Scotland. Where else would it come from?

They have a web address at www.changbeer.com. It’s Flash-heavy, but tolerable. And, at 5% alcoholic volume in a 330ml bottle. it has 1.65 of your UK units of alcohol.

And those are the facts. There is nothing else to say about the outside of the bottle, so it’s time for the part you came here for. What is the inside of the bottle like? Or, to put it another way, how does it taste and will it be better than its competitors? Let’s find out.

Chang Beer poured into a glass

In the glass, it looks exactly how you’d expect: pale amber in colour. It had a head when I took the photo, although that dissipated seconds later. The most striking thing about it is how fizzy it is.

Does it have a smell? Yes it does. It smells of much the same blend of malted barley as any other pilsner style lager that you’ve smelt. This one smells a little on the strong and synthetic side.

What does it taste like? First impressions are okay for Chang Beer. At least compared to pilsner style lagers. Being a lager, it has no flavour. That leaves everything hinging on the aftertaste. Which, I’m pleased to report, isn’t as horrible as some other lagers.

What you taste is a gentle taste of barley with a gentle, tingly bitterness. No bittersweet “bite”. Just a mild and easy bitterness that you’ll hardly notice. Even though it lingers for some time.

What do I like about Chang Beer? Before even opening the bottle, I loved that it was genuinely Thai, not a licensed replica from Tyneside. I like gentle taste. It’s what make this, and so many other Asian beers so easy to drink. With no lagery “bite”, there is nothing to object to about Chang Beer. Make it easy to drink are how clean, crisp and refreshing it is. All of which can be traced back to the quality and ingredients.

What don’t I like about Chang Beer? Mostly the flipside of how easy to drink it is. It is one of the wateriest beers I’ve tried. It’s also failed to be distinctive or memorable in any way. Not just compared to other Asian beers, but some South American ones too. Put this in a blind taste test with its competitors, and you’ll struggle to identify it. Mind you, you’ll fail to identify its competitors, as well. Besides that, it is gassy, and, at time of writing, hard to find in shops.

How can I sum up Chang Beer? It is exactly what I thought it would be. Not bad, not great, but probably excellent with a spicy meal. If you want something to go with your spicy meal, Chang Beer will not disappoint. But if you’re faced with a shop shelf of other Asian beers, is there a compelling reason to choose this one?

Rating: 2.9

Have you tried Chang Beer? What did you think of it?

Do please leave your corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations and places to buy, here in the comments.

Snack Food Review: Mr. Porky Pork Crackles

1 May, 2009

AMAZINGLY, people started reading my quick reviews of pork scratchings. So, for those people, here is another one: Mr. Porky Pork Crackles.

Mr. Porky Pork Crackles front of bag

If you missed the story so far, let me re-cap. Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings were mostly big and tasty, but too salty. Mr. Porky Pork Scratchings were smaller, tasty and not as salty, but still too salty. MS Authentic Black Country Traditional Pork Scratchings on the other hand were big, tasty, not too salty and brilliant.

Mr. Porky Pork Crackles back of bag

The back of this small bag is much the same as the back of the other Mr. Porky bags. There’s a message telling you not to attempt them if you have dodgy teeth. There’s an address for their parent company, Red Mill Snack Foods Ltd in the West Midlands. There’s a website address of www.mrporky.co.uk. A list of ingredients which reassuringly for your heart, lists “Pork Rind, Pork Fat” and “Salt” as their chief ingredients. And there is a table of nutrition information with big numbers next to protein and fat.

How are pork crackles different to pork scratchings? What are they like? Should you try them? Let’s find out…

Mr. Porky Pork Crackles open bag close-up

How are pork crackles different to scratchings? They don’t have the chewy porky bit. These are just the crackly, fatty surface. The result is a much tougher, crunchy and harder to eat snack.

What do they taste like? Much of the porky taste came from the bit below the crackle. That makes these pork crackles lack any real porky taste. And, although seasoned, you can’t taste much else at all. Maybe there’s some hints of something peppery, but mostly it’s salt.

What do I like about Mr. Porky Pork Crackles? They might not be perfect, but they get the job done. They are a crunchy and tasty snack. If you’re not looking for anything more, these are perfectly fine.

What don’t I like about Mr. Porky Pork Crackles? Well, their too small. About the size of popcorn is too small to be a real, meaty snack. They don’t have enough porky material to deliver a porky taste. That leaves the taste in the hands of the underwhelming seasoning. And you just can’t escape how salty they are. Not as bad as some, but still saltier than you’d like. And your fingers get covered in grease and seasoning dust.

To sum up, Mr. Porky Pork Crackles deliver a slight variation on the pork scratchings formula, but, like the other Mr. Porky’s, they fall into the trap of being too salty. Yes, they’re perfectly fine. I’ll happily scoff many more bags of them. But maybe it’s time for a new and improved Mr. Porky with more taste and less salt?

Have you tried Mr. Porky Pork Crackles? What did you think of them?

Do please leave your opinions, corrections, requests, recommendations and places to buy, here in the comments.


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