I’ve been sat on these for a while. Not literally. But I was sent them by a PR team but have been more than a bit snowed under (once again, figuratively speaking) with university deadlines. However I’ve finally got round to eating them, which is good news because Golden Wonders’ limited edition HP sauce crisps, and their Heinz Tomato Ketchup option both ‘float my boat’ in theory. I laaaaav condiments in general, and aside from my beloved Henderson’s Relish, these two varieties come a close second as personal favourites.
Both of these varieties come in 32.5g packets which is a regular sized individual portion.
The flavours are exciting for me. For those who haven’t tasted them before, HP Sauce is a mix of vinegar, spices, sugar and a few herbs which complements…well, most things in my opinion. I’ve seen it paired with red meat in particular but it is used as an ingredient in soups and sandwiches too. Do I REALLY need to say anything about Heinz’ Ketchup? It’s an iconic brand, and there is a reason that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has just bought Heinz for (a mere) $23 billion…Heinz is one of the most successful brands in the history of…well, brands.
These first photos you’ll see are the HP Sauce variety. They are coloured with our good old friend Paprika extract (which seems to be in most crisps to give them that slight orangey hint) and smelt…well, very similar to HP Sauce. Shocking I know. They are a bit spicy, a bit sweet and peppery and salty too. Golden Wonder’s wonderfully ambiguous description in the ingredients list (apparently one of the ingredients of these limited edition crisps is “HP Sauce flavouring”…thanks for that!) definitely smells correct.
Both of these bags are obviously themed to the respective condiments. The colours of the packets match up with the brands, with the Ketchup crisps coloured a bright red and the HP Sauce a dull brown. Had I not been sent these, I would have seen them and bought them anyway purely because how often do you see Ketchup and HP Sauce flavoured crisps?
The HP Sauce flavour taste quite nice too. Golden Wonder have nailed the acidity of the dark coloured condiment. ‘Harsh’ sounds like a nasty adjective but HP Sauce is a harsh flavour and these crisps capture it quite nicely. They also have the hint of sweetness needed too, with loads of pepper and some ginger thrown in too. It’s an excellent recreation of the HP Sauce taste and I’m confident that any HP Sauce lovers will like these crisps. I’l definitely eat them again providing I see them around.
Onto the second flavour of crisp, I felt much less enthused when I opened the bag up. They didn’t really smell like ANY ketchup at all. Heinz’ red sauce is always fresh and sweet, but these were basically the polar opposite of that in smell- they were tired and bland to be frank. They did have A smell, but it more of a greasy potato vibe that you get when you’re in a chippy. (Non-English peeps won’t understand what I mean by that…fish and chip shops have one of the most amazing greasy atmospheres in the whole world!) I wanted these to smell zingy and alive but they really didn’t.
Thankfully they didn’t taste anywhere near as weak and lame as they smelt. I wouldn’t say that they were perfect recreations of Heinz’ ketchup specifically, but these crisps did have a pleasant tomato flavour with the hint of sweetness and refreshing fruity flavour of all good ketchups. I didn’t love them, I didn’t hate them…they were just ‘meh’….bang average…unremarkable.
In general I’d give credit to Golden Wonder for trying their hand at new flavours. It is very rare that you see any kind of new flavour launched by larger companies who stick to the tried, tested and delicious Ready Salted/Cheese and Onion/Salt and Vinegar varieties.
Both of these Golden Wonder bags had a nice texture to them; not too greasy and reasonably crunchy. But one of the limited edition flavours has a much better flavour than the other, with the HP Sauce version recreating the famous old brown condiment significantly better than the Heinz Tomato Ketchup attempt. The Ketchup crisps are ok, but essentially just bog standard and uninteresting. As I said earlier though, Golden Wonder’s HP Sauce crisps will go down a storm with any HP Sauce lovers.
They’re limited release and I don’t know how much longer they’ll be around. Recommended? Well as you’ll probably have guessed: HP Sauce- Yes. Heinz Tomato Ketchup- Nah.
Golden Wonder’s HP Sauce- Silver Wonder (7.5/10.)
Golden Wonder’s Heinz Tomato Ketchup- Bronze Wonder (6.4/10.)