Friday, 27 February 2009

Crunch time

There's only so long a journalist can sit around waiting for the PR mavens at Walkers to realise that her blog is called "Secrets from the Squirrel" (and kindly put a complimentary packet of their new Cajun Squirrel flavour crisps in the post) before she has to take matters into her own hands.

Well, readers I regret to inform you that either the snack manufacturer's lame "do us a flavour" campaign is sadly lacking in intelligent e-marketing strategies, or this credit crunch is really biting.

Whatever the cause, the effect is the same, and it has left a nasty taste in Secrets from the Squirrel's mouth.

In order to blog about this naff publicity stunt I have had put my hand in my own pocket and pay 60p for a bag.

And frankly, I'm ashamed of myself - on many levels. For a start I'd have been better off buying Razzle for the dirty looks carrying a bag Cajun Squirrel afforded me. Secondly, I'm doing what the PR people want me to do. Thirdly, Charlie Booker has already written the definitive critique on the Cajun Squirrel abomination.

Self-loathing aside, I have bought said snack, eaten it and arrived at an opinion: It is horrible.

On first whiff they smell like Tesco value steak crisps, burnt toast and paprika - it turns out that's what they taste like too, to begin with. But then after a moment they start to burn the back of the throat in an offensive synthetic chilli manner.

The overall effect is best likened to a hangover where you wake up realising you didn't brush your teeth before you passed out and the last thing you ate was a dicey Indian. Less Louisiana, more "where is the nearest loo - I think I'm going to be sick."

Of course, I'm being melodramatic, the flavour actually owes its unique, um, taste to milk lactose, salt, sugar, flavourings, dried onion, dried garlic, dried lemon juice (is that even possible?), cardamon, ginger, coriander, chilli, cumin, oregano, thyme, allspice, and parsley.

But far more importantly, squirrel lovers: "Thankfully no squirrels were harmed in the making of this crisp!"

Although truth be told, if there is some super-strain of mutant Cajun kick ass squirrel then this blog would love nothing better for them to be hunted down and turned into crisps. We've got enough on our plate with the advance of the greys to even contemplate a war on two fronts.

So to conclude, Secrets from the Squirrel has bravely taste tested these crisps on your behalf - just in case in a moment of petrol station weakness you were ever tempted to buy a bag while no one was looking - and has this message for you all: Don't Do It.

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