30 October 2012

Black is the colour of my true love’s crisps*

It's about time I reviewed this new remarkable offering from Burts: Guinness crisps.



They do have a rather curious, grey-brown colour. (I suppose black would have been a step too far.) Yeast extract, as you might expect, is a prominent flavour note, so these are ideal for Marmite fans, but there is a very definite otherness about these crisps. They taste dark and stouty. Sort of. Very tasty, with a touch of bitterness. I've had a couple of packs, and if I see them again I will definitely be tempted to purchase. Consider that a recommendation, but your taste buds may vary.

Remember, kids: eat crisps responsibly.

[ * The title is a homage to my current earworm, the Jaffa remix of Nina Simone's Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair, which features some rather superb Fender Rhodes handiwork. I first came across this track a couple of weeks ago on Nigella Lawson's current series Nigellissima, and thanks to Shazam was able to track it down. Plus, Nigella herself has recently blogged her love of these Guinness crisps. The circle is complete.]

24 October 2012

Bleaurgh. And once more, bleaurgh

I propose that chocolate flavouring be added to all eye ointment, so that when it has found its way through one's various ducts and tubes to the back of one's throat, the reaction is no longer

Urgh, eye ointment!ˇ

but

Óh, eye ointment!ˆ

22 October 2012

Corsican: the struggle continues

As you may have gathered from the mention in the sidebar, I’m currently attempting to read a guide to Corsican, entitled La langue corse en 23 lettres: Précis alphabétique de grammaire, d’usage et de vocabulaire du corse. Yes, it’s written in French, which is an interesting challenge. I keep my French dictionary at my elbow and look up odd terms from time to time, but generally I can get most of the gist. It’s proving fascinating on the whole; there are longeurs – a multi-page list of adverbs ending in -mente springs to mind – but there’s plenty to fascinate the serial linguavore.

A particular feature is consonant mutation, which is far too complex and confusing to discuss here. Sadly, the Wikipedia article on Corsican is pretty silent on the matter, so maybe once I’ve got my head round it I can contribute a couple of paragraphs to the greater good of the hive mind.

Meanwhile, I'm going back to reading about words that begin with ghj-.

03 October 2012

Tyrrell’s “Rather Hot English Chillies” Tortillas

It’s been a while since my last chilli crisps update, so here goes with a sort-of-crisps update.

First impressions of these “TorTyrrells” aren’t great. If anything, they look overdone, with dark green-black streaks (chives?) and scorch marks. Then the flavour is immediately disappointing. Bland, even – 1, if that, on the insertcrisps.com heat scale. (The auxiliary taster describes them as “horrible”.) But wait... what’s that happening on the back of my tongue?


And so the flavour and heat build, subtly reeling you in. On closer inspection, the darkness of the chips is at least partly attributable to the generous coating of spicy, herby flavourings. And they prove surprisingly moreish, the taste growing in appeal as the heat accumulates to a pleasing 3 or so. Maybe even the “Rather Hot” of the billing. Yum, I think.

Need to buy another packet to confirm my findings.

01 October 2012

Wild boar been useful

It's not nice to laugh at foreigners' mistakes when they are trying to communicate in English. So I'm not laughing here. Rather, I am utterly bewildered at this menu I saw outside a restaurant in Corsica.



There is a certain charm and delight in the mistranslation of ou (or) as "where" (French: ). The starter's chips of Corsican volume sound interesting too. But the wild boar stew "been useful with warp ends" is something to be treasured. They meant "served with penne pasta" ... I think.