Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, ‘Lashings of Salt & Vinegar’ Flavour, Baked Snack Mini Biscuits

Who would want salt and vinegar flavoured biscuits? Apparently there was a demand for these 1980s snacks to return. I don’t remember them ever existing. More to the point why play of ‘fish and chips’ but make them ‘salt and vinegar’. I have seen fish flavoured crisps before but I don’t think they were ever popular and eventually disappeared… shortly after the 1980s ironically.

They do however taste like the 1980s would do if distilled into a snack food. Dryly humourless despite the presentation. Unsatisfying despite the excessive effort made for the design of the biscuits and packaging. Unhealthy and unfulfilling without any real sense of taste. You buy for the packaging not the contents. you buy for the novelty not because it is something that appeals to you.

The biscuits come in two forms: Fish shapes and sticks meant to be ‘chips’. I don’t know what the ratio of fish to chips is but if you get mostly chips you will feel cheated. It may just be a ‘visual appetite’ thing (you eat with your eyes so visually appealing food will be more satisfying than something like a mulch of various shades of brown) but the fish seem more fulfilling and definitely pick up more of the salt and vinegar flavouring. The chips are just bland.

The texture of the biscuits is hard to compare with others as it is more of a cracker. I suppose Ritz biscuits, with their crisp but brittle shell and ‘puffy’ interior are the best comparison.

There is not a strong taste of salt and vinegar to them for the most part. I would describe it as being on a par with an own brand variety of crisps from a supermarket as it is present but not consistent across the contents in the packs it seems. In fact I got a small rock of compacted solid salt at one point which was surprising.

I didn’t enjoy them but they seem on a par with the sort of bland, inoffensive, finger snacks you get at a cheap buffet. These probably sell more as a novelty, and nostalgia to those who remember them, than as a ‘serious’ snack (if people ever actually think of snacks as ‘serious’ business). These will not satisfy you if you are hunger and probably serve better as an alternative to nachos or other snack foods used in conjunction with flavoured dips like salsa, humus, etc.

Packaging: The front of the packaging is like a newspaper with some ‘biscuit fish’ scattered across blocking the front page sotry abut a man catching mackerel (what this has to do with fish and chips I don’t know but they seem to want to be kitchey and appeal to the the hipster retro market):

Holy Mackerel! What a catch!
A man, Will Katchum, has recorded the biggest ever Mackerel haul in fistory! He hooked his mega fish while on a trip with his son. He said: “It was a quiet fishing day at sea and then suddenly I felt my rod spin out of control. I thought Holy Mackerel! It codpletely ___ght me___ ___ior helped him reel his _____________d block!!
Fish
1. Angling is___
2. Minnows have ___
Better to digest their food
3. Atlantic salmon can leap almost 5m___

What is the point of this amount of detail? It must have cost a lot to design and pushes up their production costs immensely in order to have the text be legible? Also they include the following ‘interesting’ fact:

Over 250 million fish & chips are sold in the UK each year!

Do they mean these packets (unlikely) or real fish and chips? (Which have nothing to do with these snacks). Random facts have been appearing on the packaging of snacks recently. Penguin biscuits always used to have a bad joke on the back of the wrapper but now on other snacks they have these ‘interesting facts’ front and centre as if to try and balance the unhealthy aspect of the snack with ‘mentally enriching’ general knowledge factoids.

Each 25g Pack contains:
Energy: 515kJ / 123kcal (per 100g 2059kJ / 493 kcal
Fat: 6.2g
Saturates: 1.4g
Sugars: 2.3g
Salt: 0.5g

Suitable for Vegetarians

Ingredients:
Fortified wheat flour (Wheat flour, Calcium carbonate, Iron, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamin (Vitamin B1)), Vegetable oils (Sunflower, Palm, Rapeseed, Coconut), Wheat starch, Glucose syrup, Lactose (Milk), Raising agents, (Ammonium bicarbonate, Sodium bicarbonate), Autolysed yeast, Barley malt extract, Whey and whey derivatives (Milk), Sugar, Flavourings, Salt substitute, (Potassium chloride), Salt, Flavour enhancers (E621, E635), Citric acid, Acidity regulator (Sodium acetate), Malt vinegar extract (Barley), Perservative (Sodium metabisulphite).

Salt and salt substitutes in one package… that’s interesting. Just can’t get enough salt but know salt is bad for you? Why not try salt substitutes!? (But they will still put in some salt just for you traditionalists too so they don’t use that share of the market). It’s like smokers choosing to use e-cigarettes instead of real cigarettes. It stops second hand smoke but all the other issues still remain, if not made worse, as you think ‘hey it’s not as bad as the alternative’ and so it’s used with wild abandon and ends up being worse than a measured use of ‘the real thing’. Some of the terms used like ‘autolysed’ and ‘metabisulphate’ make me want to look up and confirm my suspicions about what they actually imply. Quite the variety of vegetable oils used… why with these oils ambassador you are spoiling us.

Allergy Advice: For allergens, including cereals containing gluten, see ingredients in bold. May also contain Nuts, Soya.

Or as I always feel factory made foods need to say ‘hey you have allergies and we don’t want to take responsibility for anything. Just go make your own food at home and never venture to eat anything made by another human’s hand ever for the rest of your life.’

Storage: To keep me fresh for longer, once opened, store in a cool dry place away from strong light.

Why did they write it like the packaging is addressing you like a pet? I hate how designers are doing that with inanimate objects. I never owned a tamagochi. I don’t understand why inanimate objects need to be assigned ‘personality’. It must be considered cute but in the end it’ll just result in hooker-bots killing lonely old men and Marvin the Paranoid Android complaining about how cheerful the sighing doors are. Are Burton’s trying to make you feel guiltiy for eating the thing. Maybe that’s the plan: you just keep buying more and more and never eating it until in the post-apocalyptic world you are using it as bedding and telling tales of Will Katchum’s legendary mackerel haul founding a religion around it until the mackerel becomes a deified beast. Everything H.P. Lovecraft ever said about Cthulhu, Dagon and the Deep Ones will come to fruition… Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! I don’t know about you but I’m getting ahead of the crowd and joining my local Esoteric Order of Dagon today!

Fish ‘n’ Chips Nutrition:
Typical Values per 100g / per 25g
Energy (kJ): 2059 / 515
Energy (kcal): 493 / 123
Fat (g): 24.7 / 6.2
Of which saturates (g): 5.6 / 1.4
Carbohydrates (g): 59.9 / 15
Of which Sugars (g): 9.2 / 2.3
Fibre (g): 2.7 / 0.7
Protein (g): 7.9 / 2.0
Salt (g): 1.9 / 0.5
Reference intake of an average adult (8400 kJ / 2000kcal). 25g = 1 pack

This means nothing to me except ‘standard amount of fat for snack foods’. I get the impression they want to imply that because they are baked then they are healthier but I think they are a little late to the game as most people have figured out by now those concepts are not exactly true in the grand scale of things.

Non GM ingredients

No hydrogenated fats

Burton’s Biscuit Co. – ‘Making Every Day More Of A Treat’

That is their motto… I don’t feel it made my day a bit more of a treat. I mean there I was just thinking ‘I want a snack’ and WOAH IT’S LIKE THERE’S A PARTY IN MY MOUTH AND EVERYONE’S INVITED! AAAAHHH! WOO WOO THAT’S THE SOUND OF DA POLICE… Then you wake up somewhere you don’t recognise being referred to as Number Six even though you keep telling everyone you are not a number you are a free man! CONSUME! CONFORM! OBEY!

Burton’s Biscuit Co., is a trading name of Burton’s Foods Ltd.
We’d love to hear from you with comments or suggestions:
Consumer Services,
Burton’s Buscuit Co.,
PO Box 145,
Birmingham,
B24 8WR.
0151 676 2352

Email: Consumer.services@burtonbuscuits.com
Website: http://www.burtonbuscuits.com
Twitter: @FishnChipsSnack

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mrhearne

Poetry, theatre, literature, films, reviews and various other matters.

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