I was pleased to be contacted by Pastinos and asked to write a review about their snacks. I've seen them before, I believe in Selfridges and a small Italian cafe in my old town. Here is a list of all the places stocking Pastinos at the moment. They have four flavors:
Lemon & Black Pepper, Chianti & Olive, Arrabbiata and Tomato & Sweet Basil.
These are made with real pasta, and I have no clue what they do to render them into crunchy but not tooth-shattering crisp style snacks. It's very cool, though! I also really appreciate the unique flavors that remain true to the pasta roots of the snack.
Perhaps my favorite flavor of them all was the Lemon & Black Pepper, which was tangy whilst remaining savory, with a strong hit of black pepper. It's a classic combination in life, but not so much so in snacking form, so if you like lemon & pepper with meat, chances are you'll like it on crispy pasta snacks as well. What's really nice about this one too is that you can sort of taste the 'pasta' behind the flavoring, which makes it seem even heartier of a snack.
I also really enjoyed the Tomato & Sweet Basil, which was a very accurate name. This one had all the familiar comforts of red sauce kind of Italian food, your marinara, your tomato sauces of all shapes & varieties. I enjoyed it - I shared this one out with a couple of co-workers who also liked the flavor, so it seems like an easy pleaser.
The Arrabbiata flavor was a lot like the above Tomato & Sweet Basil, but with an added chili backdrop. They come in as a close second favorite, but the Lemon & Black Pepper just pips it - in part because it was such a unique taste.
The Chianti & Olive was interesting, tasted a lot more like an olive than I was expected which was good news for me as an olive fan. The chianti, well, can't say I've ever actually drank it (also never had fava beans, funny enough) but I think perhaps it made them a bit sweeter? If these had been just olive flavored I probably would've really enjoyed it, but the combination of something slightly sweet with olive just didn't do it for me as much as the others. I will definitely give it this - it was a very different flavor!
Over all, I really enjoyed these snacks and I think there is lots of room to grow in terms of flavors while staying true to the pasta roots - flavors like macaroni & cheese, saffron cream, and maybe best of all...vodka sauce? Sounds good to me! These are a great change from regular crisps, and definitely feel more filling with more exotic flavors.
(Pastinos provided me with these snacks for a fair and square review)