Tastin' With The Tramps: Seabrook's Desi Curry Crisps!

The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their now-outdated title of Curry Lovers Of The Year 2010. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps. So what spicy product is in the hot seat this time? Why, it's only Seabrook's Desi Curry crisps! A worthy counterpoint to our recent encounter with Doritos Fire!

(Click here to read on ...)

The Product: Seabrook's is a fine, long-established firm, originally from ... haud on a second! The Seabrook company originated in Bradford, newly-crowned Curry Capital 2011! Is there nothing this city cannot do? Anyway, Seabrook Crisps recently celebrated their 65th anniversary, but back in 2007 they launched a Hot And Spicy range of their distinctive crinkle-cut crisps. The Hot And Spicy range has just expanded to include a Desi Curry variety, which set TATTGOC's spice sensors a-tingling. After a friendly email approach, Seabrook's were kind enough to send up a box of Desi Curry crisps – and even threw in a few packs of the Wasabi flavour, since two of our proposed tasters were recently back from a lengthy spell in Japan. It should be pointed out that this particular Tastin' coincided with "Walter Wednesday", an all-day marathon of Walter Hill movies curated and hosted by The Tramp, hence the projected images of Extreme Prejudice. Otherwise, you will find no prejudice here ...

The Pitch: While you might assume that Walkers totally dominates the UK crisps market, Seabrook's were officially the fastest-growing UK crisp brand in 2009. The long-running company is canny enough to harness the power of nostalgia – an informal survey shows that most folk remember getting their first bag of Seabrook's at eight years old after swimming practice, probably paired with a carton of Ribena – but they have also been pro-active at putting their stamp on new markets. Instead of featuring just one hot flavour, Seabrook's have an entire Hot And Spicy range, which includes mustard, Chinese and double chilli variants. And, of course, the other thing they've got going for them is the unique ridged texture of their crisps, which always seems to be lighter and yet more flavourful than the norm.

The Packaging: On traditional Seabrook's packs, the company name and logo was front and centre, with a transparent window so you could see the actual product. Things are slightly different now, with the "Hot And Spicy" trade dress on each pack being noticeably larger than the flavour information, and that old Seabrook logo positioned slightly smaller, but surrounded by flames to make sure you get the idea. One thing that isn't obvious from these pictures is that the packets themselves feel a little different – thicker than their rivals, although not quite wandering into brown-paper Brannigans territory. But what did our team of tasters think?

Trampy says: "My first experience of Seabrook's crisps was while doing a paper round, inherited from notable TATTGOC alumnus Lime Pickle. It wasn't quite canna have a coupla packets of Tudor oot ma wages, but a reasonable amount of my pitiful pay packet went on those flavourful, distinctively crinkle-cut crisps. This was well before the Hot And Spicy range came into being, and I'm pleased to report that the Desi Curry is probably the best curry crisp I've enjoyed as part of this grand, ongoing crisp experiment. The Wasabi wisnae bad either."

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The Tramp says: "It says on the back of the pack that these crisps would send Mr Seabrook, the founder of the company, running for a jug of water and while I think he would have been able to take it, they do have a bit of spice to them. It's nothing to be alarmed about, though, and I would probably buy the Desi Curry again if I saw it on the shelf."

Extreme Prejucrisp with Korma, Makhni and Rogan
Makhni Knife says: "I disagree, I think the curry flavour is a bit forgettable, it just feels a bit dusted-on. But I really like the wasabi flavour. My own personal taste now leans toward hotter, because while I was living in Japan I was building up a tolerance to wasabi and ended up taking quite a lot of it with my sushi. I like the peculiarly nasal burn you get after it. So I would actually seek out these crisps and recommend them to others."

Obligatory arty shot
Korma Chameleon says: "I liked the wasabi but while they initially seemed authentically tasting and hot, I didn't think there was much of an aftertaste. But crinkle-cut crisps are my favourite, and I think these might actually go down quite well in Japan, because they don't sell crinkle-cut crisps over there. In fact, all their crisps are rubbish."

Rogan Josh Homme says: "I liked the Desi Curry crisps, they were tasty, although I would say they were more spicy than hot. The wasabi crisps had a bit more burn to them. Maybe the wasabi would be good to try along with some beef flavour crisps?"

The Verdict: Everyone agreed that Extreme Prejudice was a competent but ultimately inconsequential entry in Walter Hill's booming action canon ... but there was also a general thumbs-up for Seabrook's crisps, possibly amplified by the fact that they were light but properly tasty, rather than the usual mass-market mulch or mouth-wreckingly sharp farmer's market fare. The Hot And Spicy range is available in Tesco, Asda, Spar and even the odd One-O-One offy.

So it's a hearty TATTGOC salute to Seabrook's. And another spicy feather in the cap for the city of Bradford ... can it do no wrong?

Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from appropriate enthusiasts might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at trampyandthetramp@trampyandthetramp.com and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!

Doritos Fire!
Chilli Papas Spice Mixes!
Fiery Irn-Bru!
Mongoose, Aboot The Hoose!
Waitrose Hot And Fiery Salad!
Anita's Chips!
The Pot Noodle GTi! 
Mr Singh's Curry Pies!
The Pot Noodle Fightback!
Mr Singh's Punjabi Chilli Sauce!
McCoy's Vs Golden Wonder!
The Nation's Noodle!
Mr Singh's Bangras!


The Tramp said...

And for those who want to know what the other films watched during Walter Wednesday were, here you go: The Long Riders, Southern Comfort, Extreme Prejudice and Trespass. It's worth noting that this was the 2nd Walter Wednesday - the first (held a few years ago) took in The Warriors, Southern Comfort, 48hrs and Red Heat. Badass.

Quite fancy a packet of Seabrooks now...