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A few months ago I saw that Sainsbury's were selling off ice cream accompaniments such as wafers and cones for a very low price. So I stocked up on some cornets and sauces for pennies. One item on the display especially caught my eye as it was something I hadn't tried before - Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps. They were reduced from £1.09 to 29p, so I decided this was the perfect time to try them.
I have seen the Butter crisps described both as a biscuit and as a wafer. I think they can be used as both, but the texture is crispy rather than soft like a traditional ice cream wafer. They look like a thin unevenly shapd biscuit with rough edges and no two are exactly the same size. The picture on the box makes them look circular, but the ones I have had have been oval or oblong with rounded edges. They look hand made, even though they are not!
Each one has the letters J D stamped on them, standing for Jules Destrooper. The company has been around in Belgium since 1886, according to the box. The biscuits are still said to be made to a secret Destrooper family recipe, although some items in the range were based on traditional Belgian recipes. The packaging reflects the brands heritage, it looks classic in style with victorian style lettering. The cardboard outer box hides a foli sealed inner box which does a good job of keeping the Crisps whole. I have carried them home amongst heavy shopping, and despite the fact they are brittle, all the biscuits stay in perfect condition.
As soon as you open the packet, you are met by a rich buttery smell. The biscuits themselves look more attractive than ordinary wafers I think, because they are a warm coffee-and-caramel-colour, rather than pale. They are ridged, which helps to trap ice cream against the biscuit - an added pleasure! They taste absolutey delicious, full of butter and not over sweet. The flavour seems to intensify as you eat them, leaving a caramel like aftertaste. I love the crisp, crunchy texture as it provides a great contrast to the softness of ice cream. The fantastic flavour makes even cheaper vanilla ice cream seem special. I place a wafer on the side of each persons dish or balance one or two on a sundae glass. They keep their crispy texture surprisingly well rather than dissolving into mush when in contact with the ice cream. I have also used them to make an ice cream sandwich which tastes great but is rather messy to eat as the brittle wafers break up a lot when you bite into one! I liked them so much that I tried eating them as a regular biscuit with coffee and it works well. As you get so much flavour from each bite, you feel as though you are having an nice treat even if you only have half a wafer.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
I would strongly recommend these, as they taste fantastic. There are no artificial ingredients, flavours or colours used, which I think is reflected in the flavour. As they are made with plenty of butter, they are not a low fat treat, [15.1g per 100g, the packet is 75g], but I am happy to eat them every so often. You get 6 wafers per packet, so at full price they are not the cheapest option, but I am willing to pay a bit more for something that is such good quality. They were still being sold at a discount by Sainsburys as recently as last week. As the use by date extends into 2013, I have stocked up on them while they are 29p. In my experience Waitrose is the other supermarket that stocks the widest range of products from this brand but you can buy them elsewhere. Wherever you see them, put a pack in your trolley!