Friday, 16 July 2010
McCain Sweet Potato Chips
On 19th July 2010, this blog will be three years old. I can't say that the blog has brought me fame and fortune (not that it was ever intended to) but it has been fun. It's been the best excuse to go exploring various providores and markets and also to try different foods and learn new things. Thank you to all of the people who come here and read about my little adventures.
Recently, the people at McCain very kindly provided me with some sample packets of their new Sweet Potato Fries to try. No one has ever asked me to sample their products before, so I was very excited.
D and I love sweet potato. The texture and the flavour are all there. D also loves the sweet potato fries you can get from burger restaurants like Burger Urge and the now defunct Chimis. We have tried making sweet potato fries at home in the oven but have never been able to get a crispy chip. We've tried parboiling, all different types of temperatures, different kinds of cuts, different ways to distribute the chips on the tray... We've been able to get a nice roasted sweet potato in the shape of a chip, but that's about as far as we've gotten. So, we've had quite a bit of experience in trying to find a nice sweet potato chip.
The McCain Sweet Potato Superfries come in two varieties, the straight cut and the crinkle cut. They are designed to be cooked in the oven like the other varieties of Superfries, which makes them very convenient. Both varieties only require 15-20 minutes in a 230 degree C oven, which straight away makes them quicker than preparing fresh sweet potatoes.
In terms of other comparisons, the Sweet Potato Superfries are higher in fat than their regular potato counterparts (unless you buy the beer battered ones). They also have a few additional ingredients like canola oils, potato and tapioca starch and baking powder and also some additional sugars. The Superfries are 76% sweet potato.
After 20 minutes in the oven both trays of fries were starting to colour nicely. You could get a more even colour if the fries were more evenly distributed on the trays. My oven is pretty crap so I left them for a few more minutes but I think they could probably do with a little longer.
The winners for us were definitely the crinkle cut. They got nicely crispy on the outside with their soft orange sweet potato centre. The straight cut didn't really measure up for us, staying pretty much like roasted sweet potato and the chips we make ourselves. If I was going for a roasted sweet potato chip, I'd just use fresh sweet potato and not worry about the additional ingredients or higher fat content.
We will buy the crinkle cut chips again though. We loved them. In fact, D saw them at the supermarket and bought the three packets remaining in the freezer so that we would have some stored away if the product doesn't catch on.
While McCain did provide the samples for us to try, the opinions are my own. We really did like the crinkle cut Superfries!