Brian Stormont remembered pickled onion crisps as a child. Did Mackie’s pass the test when he sampled their take on the classic flavour?
When I was growing up, there were four main flavours of crisps – ready salted, salt and vinegar, cheese and onion – and the iconic salt and shake.
And woe betide anyone who wanted to change that line-up.
However, gradually other flavours began to be created such as prawn cocktail and pickled onion.
Pickled onion was a game-changer back then in the early 80s for me. It was unique and, like Marmite, you either loved the crisps or hated them.
I loved them!
And now a new twist on the cult classic has hit the shelves.
Mackie’s Crisps are hoping to give consumers across the country a taste of childhood nostalgia with its new pickled onion share bags.
And when I heard that, it immediately had my attention.
Now, it must have been 20 years, maybe longer, since I had eaten pickled onion crisps, as when you get to a certain age and begin that search for a life partner, pickled onion, as a flavour, along with foodstuffs such as garlic, tend not to be on the menu.
I was keen to see if they tasted how I remembered them or if Mackie’s new twist was a completely different experience.
The lovely people at Mackie’s sent me some to try and I wasn’t disappointed.
The trademark eye-pop as I put the first crisp into my mouth and my tastebuds went on fire reminded me of what I had enjoyed about the flavour all those years ago.
The piquancy of the combination of the onion, the spices and the vinegar took me right back – and the ultimate examination didn’t disappoint either.
Maybe it’s just me, but a real indication of how good a crisp flavour is achieved in two ways – sucking it from the crisp and when you lick your lips afterwards!
And both passed the test for me.
Mackie’s, in my opinion, are on to a winner with this flavour, which has an initial run of only 150,000 bags. I would imagine that might be extended if consumers’ reaction is the same as mine.
The pickled onion creation follows in the footsteps of Mackie’s recent evocative special flavours: Lorne Sausage and Brown Sauce, and Haggis, Neeps and Tatties.
When national wholesale account manager Mel Hack joined the team in 2019, she was confident pickled onion would be a great flavour and fit for the brand.
This resulted in two years of taste-testing and hard work to create a strong, salty and sour flavour that perfectly complemented the thick cut texture of Mackie’s Crisps.
Mel said: “I couldn’t be more excited to see pickled onion join the Mackie’s line up. It’s a classic crisp that’s particularly loved by Scottish tastebuds.
“The new flavour certainly packs a punch and delivers on flavour in a way only we know how to.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing them hit the shelves and our consumers trying them – but a word of warning, they’re highly addictive!”
Shelley Reid, brand manager at Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “As well as coming up with new and innovative flavours, it’s important that we master the traditional concepts and include the classic, cult favourites as well.
“Pickled onion is that nostalgic flavour we all loved as kids, so we’ve worked especially hard to do it justice and put our own Mackie’s twist on it to make it stand out. It has a moreish salty and sour zing I think our customers will love. “
Produced at the fourth-generation Taylor farm in Errol, Perthshire, Mackie’s Crisps has become the leading Scottish crisp brand with a dedication towards making high-quality, delicious crisps and snacks.
James Taylor, managing director, runs the family-owned business alongside his father, chairman George Taylor.
It employs a team of 50 staff – and recently became Scotland’s third best-selling premium crisp brand following growth that bucked wider market decline.