Thursday 16 March 2023

Seabrook Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

There are few British condiments as iconic as Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Overflowing with flavours which send your taste buds hurtling in all directions, it's capable of transforming the humblest meal into a gourmet, mouthwatering experience - see beans on toast. So, surely, combining this unique and playful flavouring with a potato - the most humblest of foodstuffs - would be a dream come true for British Crisps.

However, many years ago, when I tried a packet of Walkers Worcester Sauce crisps, it was nothing more than a harsh, acidic tang which left my tongue battered and bruised like a rugby player's ear. As a result, I steered clear of anything similar for a good two decades. But then I started British Crisps, and everyone kept telling me it was CRUCIAL I tucked into a bag of Seabrook's Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce crisps. So, I had no option but to oblige and tuck in.

My experience with these curious crisps began with the packet, and I loved it, perhaps more than a man should love a crisp packet. Seabrook's packet designs have always combined simplicity with tradition to deliver a striking design, but here they add a new complexity to the equation. And this comes in the form of a big, bold bottle of Lea & Perrins on the packet. This, alone, with its classic orange and brown composition is design nirvana, but up against the generous whites of Seabrook's packet, it pops like never before.

Despite being impressed by the packaging, there was something even more important to do: crunch the contents. The trademark British Crisps sniff test - now imitated in playgrounds and workplaces up and down the land - gave a strong indication of Lea & Perrins on the nose. Undoubtedly, this was going to be an experience and a half.

The crisps, themselves, are typical of Seabrook's crinkle cut range, all ridges and intermittent patches of translucent potato where spillages of sunflower and rapeseed oil have infused the crisp with an unctuous feel. As ever, this leads to a mighty, satisfying crunch which is packed full of texture. In terms of taste, you'll be pleased to know that Seabrook's solid potato taste is in place. Quite how Seabrook get the potato to stand out, what with everything else going on, is, as you'll soon find out, an utter mystery.

When it comes to the overall taste, these crisps are all about Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. And it's remarkable just how well the flavour translates into a solid snack, especially when you read the ingredients and realise Seabrook have, for some reason, failed to include anchovies in the recipe. Nonetheless, although it would have been truly heavenly to include anchovies - and anchovy powder is readily available - these crisps deliver in spades when it comes to flavour.

The warm, sweet molasses go hand in hand with the tangy tamarind, whilst the sweet, complex depth of the sherry vinegar combines with numerous spices to send your tongue's umami receptors into overload. It would be easy, and incredibly satisfying, to write a whole dissertation on the wonder which each ingredient brings, but I know the readers of British Crisps are busy people. Ultimately, the overall flavour is the sum of its parts, and it's a flavour which will leave your tongue tingling.

If, by some strange quirk, you're not a fan of Worcestershire Sauce, then I wouldn't bother picking these up. For those who haven't suffered a malfunction in the old tongue calibration stakes, these are a spuddy delight and, once again, Seabrook must be saluted. And, so, a new firm favourite of British Crisps is born.

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