Gary Lineker helps Walkers crisps get an authentic taste of Cheddar
Romanian horse in your meatballs? Pork in your beef lasagne? Never fear, for at least Walkers can now boast real Somerset Cheddar and real Dorset sour cream as ingredients in its new range of crisps.
With the current scare over what exactly has been going into processed food Walkers must be blessing the day, two years ago, that it began its search for the best British ingredients to go with its 100 per cent British potatoes.
Its flavour experts agreed that home-grown Somerset Cheddar tastes the best.
Dorset proved the crème de la crème of cream counties, while the Vale of Evesham was reckoned to produce the best tomatoes.
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To see if the proof really was in the pudding and to find out what goes into making a delicious crisp, Gary Lineker, longstanding face of Walkers Crisps, and his father, Barry, a market fruit and vegetable trader, sampled and learnt how to grade Cheddar cheese from a Walkers’ cheese producer in Somerset.
Lineker recalled: “My dad was the perfect partner. We clocked up over 800 miles in our trusty campervan and stopped off in Somerset to taste the finest Cheddar that Walkers have specially selected… my dad’s map reading wasn’t up to much, though!”
Walkers claims it is “putting Somerset Cheddar on the map”, which is surely a little silly when Cheddar has long had an international following and Somerset producers export to France, but let’s not be churlish, let’s try some of the new crisps from the range named “Unmistakably Cheese and Onion, with Cheddar from Somerset”.
I love crisps and enjoy Walkers’ but have always preferred plain ones to any flavoured variety. After all, I come from an era when plain old Smiths crisps included separately packaged salt, wrapped in a little twist of blue paper.
I found the new cheese and onion crisps a little disappointing. There was a hint of onion, but considering a press release described the Cheddar as “mature” it was hard to identify.
The ingredients listed include dried milk whey, dried milk lactose, sugar, and Somerset Cheddar cheese powder (from milk). I think the paprika extract also listed comes across most strongly.
On to the Walkers Extra Crunchy Cheddar and Sour Cream, only available in a large £1 bag at Ilchester’s petrol station and shop. I have to admit I did not like these at all, yet I ate them all in under five minutes, which shows how much I love salt. There is also a Temptingly Cheese and Bacon flavour, also using Somerset Cheddar.
British ingredients are now used in all Walkers’ crisps flavours and alongside the new tasty flavours and revamped packaging, Walkers have also reduced the salt content across many flavours.