Address: Duncombe Street, Bradford,
Yorkshire BD8 9BU, United Kingdom
Phone: 01274 546405
In 1939 Charles Brook was about to open his famous fish & chip restaurant in Bradford. A few days before he took some photos to be developed and when he collected them he found that they had got his name slightly wrong. Fantastically wrong.
The name on the photos was not Mr C Brook but Seabrook.
Charles said, "Sounds good, that'll look good outside my restaurant. I'll have it."
A few years later in 1945, his son Colin returned from the navy after the Second World War had ended. A few late nights later a small argument and a slapped leg, and an inspirational idea - they came up with a fantastic business idea: Seabrook Crisps.
They had the potatoes. They had the fryer. They had the recipes. They thought, why not?
Seabrook Crisps have enjoyed popularity in the north of England for over sixty years, and were only to be found south of the Pennines in the last couple of years.
Famous for their crunchy crinkle cut and their quirky, strong flavours, Seabrook pioneered the use of sea salt and sunflower oil long before it became trendy to do so.
There's no nonsense in a Seabrook Crisps packet. Today, they have the biggest range of clean-label flavours in Britain - and that's history in the making.
Seabrook Canadian Ham Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed the kind of aroma you might ordinarily identify with smoky bacon crisps. There was certainly a ham taste to the crisps, but it hinted towards a strip of sweet and rich bacon. Just as there was only one whole crisp, I have deducted a whole mark because the flavour had nothing remotely to do with Canada.
Seabrook Sea Salt & Vinegar Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a sharp vinegar smell. The flavour included salt and it included vinegar, but not in sufficient quantity to make it stand out. The over-riding flavour was potato. It was a mild and unremarkable experience.
Seabrook Cheese & Onion Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a quite strong cheese aroma. Most flavour combo varieties of crisp feature either a bounce from one ingredient to the other or a blend of the two partners to formulate a new flavour. In the latter variant, it is usual to expect one of the two flavouring additions to overwhelm the other. In this case, although there was a slightly dominant creamy cheese taste, the onion was noticeable. It was a more rewarding flavour than the majority of the main supermarket options, and one of the best of Seabrook's standard offerings.
Seabrook Sea Salted Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a mild, creamy potato aroma mixed in with the very slightest salty nose sting. While I do not actively seek or enjoy flavour free crisps I do my best to test them fairly. ‘Sea Salted’ is the new and modern description of what was commonly known in the UK as ‘Ready Salted.’ I expect a complete shift to the more modern and trendy description industry-wide, over the next few years. They tasted no different to before the days of sea salt. They were, however, fruitfully salty, and perhaps more warmly potato infused than many of their mass-produced rivals.
Seabrook Beefy Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a somewhat greasy meat aroma, that also hinted towards a Marmite strength of beefy stock. The flavour was similarly beefy, but it was very tame, and the full effect was only provided by several crisps at once.
Seabrook Prawn Cocktail Crisps
A Nose Plunge Test revealed a slightly spicy tomato aroma. Prawn cocktail is a popular flavour in the United Kingdom, but few taste of any sort of generic prawn or the sauce prawns are often accompanied by. These were no different. There was a similarity with Chinese prawn crackers, but the overall taste was of spicy and sugary tomato paste. There could have been a little more sweetness, but the tomato flavouring was still enjoyable.
Seabrook Lattice Cheese & Onion Crisps
There was a very nice, almost sweet balance to these crisps. There was a light to medium strength coating of cheese and a similarly moderate addition of onion. As they were fairly thickly cut, the warmth of the potato arguably seeped through a little more than desired, but it was a good sandwich accompaniment.
Seabrook Lattice Sea Salt & Red Wine Vinegar Crisps
I had to purchase two bags to make sure there was not an error with the first, but sadly my concerns were confirmed. There was very little flavour. The overwhelming taste was aged potato. Of course, there was salt and there was vinegar (even though the red wine aspect appeared to be a bit of descriptive bandwagon-jumping), but they were so muted that the overall impression was one of great disappointment.
Seabrook Fire Eaters Smokin’ Hot Smokehouse Cayenne Crisps
These mostly large, heavily coated ridged crisps certainly provided alluring possibilities. I have often wondered why more manufacturers do not pair cayenne pepper with smoked ingredients. It seems a more likely pairing than many variations on the spiced crisps theme. I was not disappointed with this example. The bag is a little misleading, but it’s hard to fault a manufacturer going all out on spicy heat promises. Four peppers were a little ambitious, but they were hot and spicy. And those winning ingredients were smoke essence and cayenne, in even proportions. The heat was also just about the hot side of marketable to the masses.
Seabrook Fire Eaters Flamin’ Hot Chilli & Lemon Crisps
On opening the bag, a good snort of the smell and I found chilli. Mild, but it was there. The taste was interesting. There was chilli, but not a particular variety of pepper, just a generic chilli taste. There was also lemon. Most pleasingly, an equal if slightly unwelcome partner in what could have just been hot and spicy crisps.
Seabrook Fire Eaters Scorchin’ Hot Trinidad Scorpion Chilli
There was a soft, thick potato munch with these crisps . . . Until the heat kicked in. And there was heat. A nice, warm and fuzzy heat. The bag promised the hottest crisp experience imaginable and as I said, it delivered, ‘warm and fuzzy.’ That was my initial thought and it remains the case. However, the aftertaste was long, and eating a small bag’s worth did provide a reasonably hot eating experience.