Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Leader Price Tuiles Apero Gout Crème Oignon

(Sour Cream and Onion Snack Shingles)
So, in the United States we have Pringles, and in France we have…shingles?  Actually, shingles is a very apt name for them, given how neatly they stack on each other, although it does kind of evoke that rash you get from a virus.  But really, I approve.  And you know what, there are Pringles here, scads of them lining the shelves, and though I have nothing against them, I do have something against the price, which is 2.50 euros, which is way more than I’d pay for them in dollars.
Mmmm, makes me hungry just looking
at them.
And that’s where the Shingles come riding to the rescue, because, goddamn it, they are less than half the price.  Now despite my tough reviews, I’m still cool with the Pringles- yes, identical chips stacked like a rack full of battle droids invading Naboo are never going to rise to the same heights as thick and bubbly potato chips, but they are still enjoyable to eat, have interesting flavorings, and come in are neat little tubes.  But you can imagine I was wondering what I was putting myself in for by purchasing such a ridiculously price efficient product.

They're packed so tightly in those
carriers it's nearly pornographic.
Now the first thing I noticed when trying to open this was that the tub apparently had no plastic lid…until I realized the lid was made of the same cardboard as the rest of the tube.  Now that might sound like I’m complaining about its cheapness, but actually I find it amazingly nifty.  The lid perfectly seals the tube, and I can imagine I am being somehow ecologically friendly as I secure it snugly on the open mouth of the chip dispenser with a reassuring pop.  So, to recap for anyone taking notes, cardboard lids are awesome, and I want them on cereal boxes now.

Now the very nice discovery I’ve made concerning the contents, however, is that I prefer them to actual Pringles.  What heresy is this you ask?  Yes, these are basically a Pringles knock off, but I find them better in a number of small but significant ways that add up. 

First, the shape is slightly different­-Pringles are more circular, and these are more rectangular, resulting in a larger chip with a wider and more accessible surface area for tongue probing.

Second the crisps are a little thicker, and thereby provide a slightly greater degree of crunchy happiness as they disintegrate in your mouth with a buttery aftertaste.

You are more likely to have your
cream and onions in a sauce with
pork than as chip dip in the land of
 the Hexagon.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the flavoring is applied much more consistently, and a little more thickly.  Pringles frequently suffer from inconsistent and inadequately thick seasoning on the crisps as if they had poorly trained attention-deficit squirrels with spray-boots in charge of applying the spices, so that by comparison the tuiles deliver a more flavorful experience.  The seasoning was heavier on the Onion than the cream, which is odd considering the French fondness for both in just about any type of cooking (a predilection I assure you I’m happy to share.)

Now perhaps I’m overstating it, because every one of these improvements is subtle, but they add up to make something which left me more satisfied than I usually am with Pringles.  Combined with the fact they’re radically cheaper, and I’m quite pleased with this product.

Stars: 3
Spiciness Rating: None

- Larger, thicker crisps are subtly superior to the regular Pringles experience
- Flavoring is thickly and evenly coated
- Robust onion flavor

- Like all Pringles, lacks the sort of diversity in texture one enjoys in regular potato chips
- A little light on the sour cream aspect

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