Experiments In Eating: Peperami Chorizo

Is the attempt to move Peperami upmarket doomed to failure or an inspired move?

Regular readers will be aware that I have a shameful taste for the spicier Peperami, which may never qualify as healthy eating but is nevertheless both less calorific and more of a protein burst than many a snack. It must be said that the regular, non-hot Peperami has never really floated my boat though and so when I saw that there was a new chorizo flavour available, I dithered that little bit before the introductory offer in Tesco swayed me to the point of experimentation. That and the knowledge that there are now Reprobater readers out there, just waiting for me to give it the thumbs up or thumbs down. With great power comes great responsibility.

A ‘Spanish-style sausage’  that we are told “is cured for a number of days” – a boast that stops being as impressive once you realise that the non-committal number could be as little as ‘one’ – and has been launched in order to bring adults into the – ahem – “meat-snacking category”. I wasn’t aware that adults were not already snacking on meat, but there you go – every day is an education. It’s 100% pork – more than 100%, in fact, as it reduces down in the curing and so starts off as more than the sum of its parts, is 99 calories and unpasteurised.

The good thing about the chorizo Peperami is that it tastes just like a chorizo stick. The bad thing is that it tastes just like a chorizo stick. I mean, chorizo is not an exotic new flavour and is available in a variety of formats already. Perhaps the familiarity of Peperami and the convenient size of a single stick work in making this seem novel – and arguably, a five-pack of these might well be less expensive and easier to carry around as individual portions – but nevertheless, the USP of this particular product seems a bit lacking in the ‘U’ aspect. Whether it will cut the mustard as a “more sophisticated” snack must be open to question too – I just can’t see a Peperami ever being seen as the classy option.

Chorizo is, perhaps, an acquired taste – I rather like it but also find it a bit chewy, sometimes to the point of being indigestible. This is at least a bit easier to swallow than some of the fattier versions but otherwise is interchangeable. You might say that Peperami is simply giving the people what they want, and certainly, it would’ve been more offensive to have had a stick that was only on nodding terms with the flavour it claims to be, a regular curse with novelty flavours I’m sure you’ll agree. I can’t, however, see myself adding this to the regular weekly shop. A nice try, but rather superfluous.


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