28 May 2017

Disappointment Wars - Three Eggs & an Onion (@NLi10)

Disappointment Wars I

Occasionally on Food Stuff Finds I come across items in the store that I know are going to be disappointing, the only question is the exact nature of that disappointment and it's scale.  Living in a very multicultural area I can often find a lot of knock-off and obscure import things to add into this category - and because this is the second time I've done it we now technically can call it a series!

Here we have a DC Super Hero Girls Egg, Another Pokemon Go Ball, WITH TOYS! by Vira, and an Indian onion that I also happened to buy at the same time.

The challenge is this - which has the most disappointing food element, and which has the most disappointing toy element?  Would any actually be considered good value?

Place your bets now!

This edition took place in Birmingham Children's hospital where I was visiting a young relative, she has helped to grade the disappointment of the things inside the containers.

First up we have the DC Super Hero Girls Egg - which must have been about 70p.

Inside you get a puffy sticker of a character I didn't recognise, a super girl sticker and some tasteless coloured sugar.  I'd assumed that this was a knock off, but I think it must actually be official.  Yes - all of the production quality is on the outside wrapper that went straight in the bin, but these are reasonable quality things.  And there was a range of things you could have found inside so you could force an adult to waste money on the whole series.

Our junior tester was quite pleased to get stickers as she can put these on the furniture in her bedroom if she didn't lose them before she got home.  The sweets were tried and discarded - as expected they were the weakest part.

Surprise score: Slight Surprise

I'm sure that had I spent £1 on stickers in The Entertainer I could have come out with much better girly hero related things and so I didn't feel it was good value.  After the shockingly poor Pokemon knock off last time I really didn't want to spend £1 on this Pokemon Go Ball, but it was in a different section and although it looks even less official than the chocolate version I guessed it wouldn't be as bad.

This was reasonably impressive! You essentially got three 'prizes' and sweets.  The car is generic plastic rubbish reminiscent of the other Pokemon Go tat we had.  The stickers are cheap and nasty, but will decorate the house at some point.  The sweets actually had flavour and were worth the money just for the fun of guessing what colour was supposed to be what (they had seemingly grass and mint as green, and lemon and banana as yellow which is bizarre).

The highlight has to be the chubby, faceless pikachu.  They clearly took an existing molded Pikachu, and then just cast their own told from that figure - with holes in odd places so you can sit it on a pencil.  Our Junor Tester didn't like it until she drew eyes on it with a sharpie.

Surprise score: Minor Surprise

If you could have seen the contents ahead of time you'd never willingly spend £1 on this, but the sweets were edible and shared, the Pokeball snapped open and closed so we could pop the stuff back in, and half of the contents were actually on theme.  I don't feel the need to see if there are mutant versions of other Pokemon inside other versions, but the Junior Tester was pleased (once eyes were added) and going into the final item hopes were high.

The Vira chocolate cream WITH TOY was the cheapest of the lot at about 40p (didn't get a receipt so I'm only 100% sure about the Pokemon one) and promised to be a knock-off Kinder Joy.

The most complex of all the offerings this was totally the wrong thing to take onto a children's ward.  First of all it doesn't reseal. And the toy...

...is proper old school Kinder where you make it yourself.  I miss those days (choking hazards and all) but understand why we've moved on.  Trying to make this fiddly thing with my arthritic hands resulted in one key piece bouncing across the ward.

He lost his head!

The dip certainly smelt the part, and the cereal stars were a lovely touch although 100% stale and inedible.  Clearly designed to be smelt by the parents, and only eaten by the children it tasted foul.  Im not sure whether this was also stale, but nobody wanted more of this and we binned it.

But when we tidied up we did find the guys head - and realised he was supposed to have a trumpet.  Much better than the odd plastic car then.

Surprise score: Disappointed Surprise

The hard to get wrong Nuttella style dip was terrible, and the cheap plastic kit was actually really endearing (if not completely inappropriate for small people).  As the cheapest and only non branded item I expected the focus to have been on the food, but really - again - the cost was mostly the packaging and as such it was a disappointment to the Junior Tester most of all.

The only things that she actually wanted to keep was all the stickers, and the plastic Pikachu (but she did keep trying to give that to her brothers) so for her - all the food was a disappointment but the DC girls stickers were the best surprise

To find out what happened to the Onion and whether that was any good tune in Thursday!


Being the sucker that I am I returned to the shop where the Gusto Mega Surprise crisps came from and got two more to give the the crazy colleagues who actually liked the crisps.

And their surprises were as follows

A large plastic green sheep - with a rabbit night time scene on it - and what do you see through the little window on the side?

Why - it's an aquarium of course!  Reasonably low tech, but fairly interesting and as a prize in a 59p bag of crisps it's pretty cool.  The crisps are still inedible.

The second prize was from the same range as my original prize which was in itself disappointing.  This one's head bobbing action worked a little better but otherwise still a toddler targeted toy, and not the super hero toys that everyone else seemed to open on YouTube.  Still a disappointment then.

27 May 2017

Caple Rd Cider (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

It's rare I drink a cider, as I'm more of a beer kind of guy. It's even rarer that I drink a dry cider, as I usually prefer sweeter ciders. This Caple Rd dry cider was produced by Weston & Sons, in Herfordshire, who were established in 1880. It was very kindly sent to us from the online supermarket Degusta within a box of treats. We've been very lucky to have three of these boxes so far and are still sifting through the Foodstufffinds' possibilities. It's been a fairly hot and damp day here, and after a long trip to the gym and whilst watching the rain drip down from the grey sky, a dry cider suddenly appealed.

There was a pleasant fizz on opening the can and that familiar fermented cider apples smell. This golden almost amber dry cider filled my waiting beer glass excitedly. I say "beer glass", but it doesn't always have beer in it, often soft drinks and this time cider. On first taste I was quickly reminded about the difference between dry and sweet ciders. Fresh pressed apples, double filtered and slowly fermented with the finest yeast over an eighteen month maturation period, this cider smacks the tastebuds with it's dry bitterness from the outset. There is complex flavours here however, as there isn't just bitterness, there's sweetness moving into the aftertaste and left to linger. Leaving me wanting to pick up the glass for another hearty swig!

26 May 2017

Hagen Dazs Mango And Raspberry on a stick (@NLi10)

phew - it's a scorcher! Or at least it is in England, and relative to the rest of our weather. Before the inevitable rain of the bank holiday weekend let us quickly review icecreams again.

We return to the Hagen dazs range that imitates but surpasses the Magnums that we love so much but to try the fruitier version.

Freeze dried raspberries are one of my favourite things so sticking them on something automatically promotes it in my eyes. And these are good - they don't detract from the overall idea and remind me of the dipped Pocky.

And look at that marbeling 
! The raspberry is deep and luscious and like the caramel has a unique (patented) deep swirl that means the fruit flavour builds towards a crashing finale. A superb way to spend the summer - all two days of it!

25 May 2017

Crackling Crisps (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar

Ok I actually tried these for the first time last week, but someone pointed out to me that last week was National Vegetarian Week, so I thought I best leave the review until today. Not that I did anything special for National Vegetarian Week it is just that it didn’t seem the most appropriate time to review meaty based snacks.
These Crackling Crisps were found in the chiller cabinet at Marks and Spencer and seemed to be in with the place where you would find posh picnic snacks, olives etc. They are not in a bag like most pork scratchings instead they are in a plastic tray and were kept chilled. There were enough to share in the pack, and indeed the idea of eating the whole contents would have been a bit much for me! The “crisps” are meat based and look like they are pork scratchings rolled to create a flat spiral.
I tried one and absolutely loved the flavour and texture. Although these are unquestionably crunchy, they had a lightness to them too, sort of like there was enough air mixed into stop them being too hard and instead they were nicely crispy. Flavour wise these were very much pork scratchings, they tasted meaty and fatty, and so a bit naughty but very tasty. They were seasoned nicely, with slat and pepper and were fun to snack on. These would be a great accompaniment to a picnic, but they felt a bit posh just to munch on as a casual snack.

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