21 August 2017

Mini Cheddars - Red Leicester Edition (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

I have to admit to being a little sceptical about these Mini Cheddars. They seem to have a very specific flavour, one that perhaps sounded to difficult to recreate in the form of a seasoned mini biscuit. Don't get me wrong, I recently wrote about the new Mini Cheddars Stilton version and was very impressed. However Stilton is a very distinct flavour, it is strong and blue and worked really well. Red Leicester on the other hand is a fairly mild cheese not that different to Cheddar itself.

I opened up the bag, which was a bright shade of red, to give this new edition a try. The looked like Mini Cheddars and the smelt like regular Mini Cheddars. I poured them onto the plate to have with my sandwiches for lunch.
Now I have to admit I was yet again impressed. Somehow they have managed to pack the characteristics of Red Leicester cheese into these biscuits. The flavour was richer but still smooth and had a certain nuttiness that did make me think of the cheese they were trying to portray. They were very tasty too and I loved munching on them with my lunch.
The last remaining new flavour is Smoked Applewood, and given how well I’ve got on with these new ones so far, I can't wait to get my hands on them.

20 August 2017

More pea-stick snacks, Off The Eaten Path - Crunchy Pea and Pesto Balsamic Snacks (@NLi10)

When invited to a BBQ it's always wise to come prepared.  In most cases the food takes that little longer to prepare than you'd think so always take a long some sharing snacks!

Here we have a mini 'greatest hits' of the FoodStuffFinds snacks section - Pizza Pretz, Green Tea filled wafer tubes, the always welcome Monty Bojangles and the new item - Off The Eaten Path Crunchy Pea & Pinto Bean Sticks - Caramelised Onion & Balsamic Vinegar Flavour.  That's a lot of words to say crunchy tubes!  How do they stack up to the others?

Buying crisps in a box is odd, and only buying 100g of them for a party seems odd too, but these are a clear luxury item and a talking point as soon as they are passed around. No one hated them, which was a good sign and everyone seemed to o back for extras - and the bag kept giving! Being hollow tubes these went a lot further than I had suspected and there were certainly some left by the time the meat was sufficiently burned and the rain heavy enough to force us inside.

The flavours vary by the colour of the stick, but at no time is the onion and balsamic more than a delicate overtone.  This really works, and as I seem to keep saying these would be great with a salad at a BBQ.  We just had Pimms and burgers instead, but the thought was there.  So if you too are planning to have a summer BBQ under the umbrella then this could just save that awkward first portion of the night where the chicken looks a little too pink and the clouds a little to grey.

Certainly worth a look, but one thats more for sharing outdoors than eating alone in front of the TV.

19 August 2017

Sea Fury (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

This Sea Fury Special Ale was brewed by Sharp's Brewery in Cornwall. It was first brewed more than twenty years ago to warm up Cornish fishermen after long stints in the rough Atlantic during the dark cold Winters.

Now I'm no fisherman, but I do remember a very rough crossing on a ferry back from Calais when I was boy. As soon as we left the harbour I noticed the crew tying down the gambling machines. Deeper into the relatively short voyage the sea became incredibly rough as the car ferry struggled along through the Channel.

I remember everyone had little paper bags as we sat in front of a forbidding gallery of windows at the bow of the ship. Every time the ferry climbed a mountainous wave we would see the darkening cloud ridden sky. Only to plunge down the other side into the depths of each watery ridge as the sky became an almost vertical wall of greenish swirling sea. Weirdly I don't remember being afraid at the time, maybe I was too young, either that or just concentrating on trying to keep hold of my last meal!

Anyway, on opening this 5% volume Sea Fury Special Ale there was a strong traditional bitter smell of sweet roasted malt and fruity hops. On taste this deep amber almost brown ale splashed my tastebuds with full bodied sweet roasted malts followed by fruity berry hop flavour. These two flavours rippled around each other into the aftertaste. I could feel see why the fishermen would look forward to few hearty pints of this brew whenever they hit port. I'm sure I'll be back for more myself!

18 August 2017

Cloggs Coffee Shop, a visit to Dewsbury [By Uxorious]

It’s Saturday! And what could be more exciting than a day trip to Dewsbury? For those of you who don’t live in Yorkshire and are perhaps unfamiliar with this historic green county, Dewsbury is a small town south of the city of Leeds. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book, with the name meaning David’s Fort. Anyway, I want coffee!

Recently, well it depends on how you view time, I reviewed Cloggs House blend beans and quite liked them. Noticing that Cloggs coffee company was actually based not far from me, Dewsbury to be precise, I thought I’d visit them at the weekend. A short drive later and we are parked in Dewsbury. By “we” I mean my wife and daughter, they say hello by the way. Soon we have found Cloggs Coffee Shop. It is a little bit hidden, but worth finding.

It seems other people had also successfully found this shop; it was surprisingly busy. You can buy all sorts from here: Belgian waffles, infused teas, milk shakes, hot chocolates, cakes, and of course an extensive range of coffees. A chocolate orange cake for my daughter, decaf latte (my wife can’t cope with caffeine, she goes all hyper, have you seen that squirrel in the movie Over the Hedge???) and for me a flat white.

As you’d expect, the coffee was lovely. A flat white is sort of a latte but with a higher proportion of coffee to milk. (The flat white was either invented in Australia or New Zealand, people disagree on which, back in the mid 1980s. It could even have been the result of a failed cappuccino!) Next to a good espresso this has become my favourite way of consuming caffeine. Full of energy and recharged we then explored Dewsbury, which actually has a good town centre, market place, minster and town hall for you to explore. Parking was quite cheap too.

I shouldn’t fail to mention, that the staff were lovely! (I’m not even paid to say this. On a completely unrelated note, I do quite like their ROK Espresso maker.)
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