Sunday 2 April 2023

M&S Sticky Glazed Pork

Marks & Spencer have come up with a classic gem in the form of their Sticky Glazed Pork crisps, and it's one which makes up for the somewhat disappointing experience British Crisps had with their Pepperoni Pizza crisps. Yes, these Sticky Glazed Pork crisps have restored my faith in one of Britain's oldest and most trusted brands, so it's crucial you understand just how good they are.

An unplanned visit into town after work gave me a good excuse to go hunting for crisps. And, for some reason, Marks & Spencer was calling to me. Heading in, I went straight for the snacks aisle in the food area. There were certainly some tempting offerings here, but nothing which really engaged my taste buds on a damp, dismal Tuesday evening. Maybe, I thought, there would be some more interesting offerings over in the meal-deal section. And that's where I was confronted by the most enticing packet of crisps.

The Sticky Glazed Pork packet is one which blends an atmospheric sense of artisanal delight and the trusted stylings of M&S, all British and suave confidence. The graphics may feel a little crammed in, and the best before date would be better stuck on the back, but the centrepiece photo is, assuming you eat meat, visual dopamine for your pleasure receptors. Two pieces of pork, absolutely slathered in a sticky glaze, are surrounded by crisps and garlic. If you don't know what to expect from such an image, then I suggest it's time you see a doctor.

I was already salivating as I opened the packet, I'd paid the required 90p for this 40g packet by this point, but my first experience had alarm bells ringing. The aroma coming from the bag was, well, not sticky glazed pork, it was more smokey bacon. Now, don't get me wrong, God knows I love smokey bacon, but I had paid for Sticky Glazed Pork, an entirely different flavour experience. Just in case, I quickly Googled the phone number for Trading Standards and made sure it was on hand. Thankfully, it would not be required.

The visual contents of the packet, alone, should have been enough to convince me that I was onto a winner. Yes, these are crisps which are rich in oil, almost saturated in some sections, but they're no greasier between the fingers than any other hand cooked crisps. Colour wise, they're an appetising shade of early evening sunset, a superb choice by M&S as it only heightens the anticipation of transferring crisp form hand to munching mouth.

And, now, the flavour. I'd been wrongfooted by the smoky bacon flavour as these crisps are full on sticky glazed pork. The molasses, fennel, pork extract and garlic come together to deliver a mouthful which is simultaneously meaty and sweet. Much like the Pipers' Kirby Malham Chorizo crisps, the meat flavour here is curiously realistic.

As ever, crunching a good handful of these at once will release wave after wave of sticky, sweet glaze perfectly balanced with pork. The potato flavour appears lost in all of this, but they're of a decent enough quality to provide a crunch which matches the intensity of the flavour.

A mighty classic of a crisp, M&S have served up a winner with their Sticky Glazed Pork crisps and I implore all British Crisps visitors to pick up a packet.

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