Saturday 11 March 2023

Burts Mature Cheddar & Onion

If you discuss cheese and onion crisps with mere mortals, you risk finding yourself drawn into an unwinnable debate regarding whether said flavour should be in a blue or green packet. But, dear reader, British Crisps knows you are different. You are the crisp afficionado, you are the type of individual who knows the only important things regarding crisps are taste and quality of crunch. So, rather than waste your valuable time on the validity of colour schemes, I'm going to take you straight to the good stuff: Burts Mature Cheddar & Onion.

Burts, despite beginning production back in 1999, had completely passed me by until now. But, the moment I saw the rich blue packet nestling on the shelves of the work snack van, I just knew I had to dig out a pound coin from my pocket and make a swift purchase.

Like many of its premium contemporaries, the Burts packet design is one which exemplifies modernism, being all big, bold and, as evidenced by the reef knot image, simplicity. The packet does, however, break with this modern style by including, at the very top, a panorma of, I assume, a Devonshire landscape. Pretty as it is, it does make the packet feel a little cluttered in terms of stylistic signature. But, as ever, you can't judge a packet of crisps by its cover and, in all honesty, it only really loses the most minimal of marks for this transgression.

Upon tearing open the packet, you're greeted by a strong, cheesy aroma which startles your salivary glands into action. Assuming you're a fan of cheese, it's a welcome that few will fail to engage with. Digging out a handful of the crisps, I was struck by their appearance. Whilst they may not be, as the packaging suggests, overly thick cut, they possess a pleasing size and the appearance is equally enticing. Cooked in sunflower oil, the individual crisps are close to translucent at times but, rather than being a greasy mess, they maintain a solid shape and are gently flecked with green herbs.

Moving on to the taste test, Burts Mature Cheddar & Onion deliver a solid experience. This is a world away from the harsh (yet pleasing) tang of Walkers Cheese & Onion, where the onion flavour has equal billing with the cheese. Instead, Burts put the emphasis on the rich, piquant aromas of mature cheddar - provided by master cheesesmiths Quickes - which create a long lasting cloud of strong cheese swirling around all the nooks and crannies of your mouth.

But, don't worry, the onion is still present. A sweet background tang is provided by spring onions, one which combines harmoniously with the cheese to produce a fine symphony of flavours. The potato, too, must be given praise for somehow managing to stand out against these strong flavours, so Burts clearly have an eye for a quality spud.

Burts Mature Cheddar & Onion - which is available in 40g and 150g packets - achieve their premium aspirations with ease and, more importantly, deliver a solid crunch between your teeth alongside a raft of savoury flavours. Caution, as ever, is important when it comes to post-snack breath and having chewing gum on hand is essential, especially if you have romantic endeavours planned.

They're perhaps not the very best cheese and onion crisps which money can buy, but they hold their own in a crowded market and represent a delicious pack of crisps.

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