Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hellfire Plum Chutney (@RaydalePreserve) [By @SpectreUK]

This Hellfire Plum Chutney was bought by Cinabar's brother at a farmer's market near Leeds and sent to me via express delivery to either blog about or just to torture me in some bizarre way! Ashamedly it's sat on a shelf in the Foodstufffinds grotto ever since. Until one brave moment (okay so it was going out of date) I plucked up the courage (couple of weeks and it would have been in the bin) to try this Hellfire Plum Chutney on a lunchtime sandwich for work. I could see the dark purple colour of the chutney through the transparent jar, there were plenty of chilli seeds bobbing evilly around in there like a multitude of baby demons waiting in plain sight. Despite the scary hot look of the chutney there was a pleasant sweet fruity smell of plums, and I could see that there was plenty of raisins and chopped up bits of fruit and onions in the purple chutney. I put a brave (dumb) hefty dollop on my corned beef sandwich. I foolishly forgot at that point and licked the knife before putting it next to the sink for washing. First of all a good safety tip would suggest not licking knives (I did cut my lip the other day, which suggests a lack of learning from one's mistakes). Secondly don't lick anything that is covered with something that's called "Hellfire". Having said that, this chutney had a sweet plum and appley fruity chutney taste to it with a chilli bite at the end of the flavour that caught at the back of my throat. I had spread the chutney pretty thick on my sandwich, so I began to worry a little (okay, more than a little). I needn't have worried though as the plum chutney really brought out the flavour of the corned beef, complementing the meaty taste in such a way as to make me feel stupid (even after licking a knife a second time that week) for not trying this chutney immediately after I had unwrapped it. This Hellfire Plum Chutney made my corned beef sandwich almost unputdownable. All the flavours of the chutney were present from the fruity plum and apples, the onions, the raisins, the zing from the vinegar, the ginger tongue tickle, and the final throat catching chilli heat at the end of the flavour. An excellent healthy feeling chutney I must say. I don't know about hot as Hellfire, but this Plum Chutney was devilishly pleasurable to eat!

Information on the label;
210g. Produced by Raydale Preserves, established in 1978 by Lesley and Derek Kettlewell on their family farm in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Ingredients included; plums, apples, onions, raisins, sugar, white wine vinegar, chillies, ginger and salt.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Nescafe Spiced Orange Mocha [By @Cinabar]

I know this drink may feel a bit Autumnal in its flavour but I couldn’t resist giving it a try the minute one of the lovely ladies at work brought the box in. She knows I have a passion for drinks with a spiced element, so knew it would be up my street. I drink a lot of chai!
Even before opening the sachets there was a lovely hint of cinnamon spice, which only enhanced when the powder was poured into the mug. When the hot water was added the powder dissolved easily and a lovely frothy topping appeared whilst stirring. The aroma by now was that of christmas; ginger, cinnamon, orange, chocolate and coffee. All those smells you associate with autumn/winter and that time of year.
When I took the drinks back into the room the comments were that it smelt like gingerbread, and I agreed, the proper stuff, like you get at German Christmas markets. The taste was very much on the ginger side of things too, not too strong, and with a lovely hint of sweet orange to give it a citrus bite, and an aftertaste of chocolate. It is a good mix of tastes, and quite a different combination. It is the sort of drink that will warm us up over the coming months as we all hit Autumn.
Big thanks to Lorraine from work for bringing it in, she is the provider of the greatest selection of hot drinks available in any office. Seriously folks, you should see our tea shelf! :-)
By Cinabar

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Original Pulled Chicken - Ultimate Burger (@KFC_UKI) By [@Cinabar]

As ever it has been too long since my last visit to KFC, and this I time I could wait to tuck into their latest creation; The Original Pulled Chicken Ultimate Burger. We have all heard of pulled pork, but KFC has used this idea to create pulled chicken. Basically a shredded chicken in a barbecue sauce which tops two chicken fillets in their latest burger. The other new additional features are that there is a layer of coleslaw and the bread is a brioche bun.

When I opened up the cardboard box the first thing you notice is just how shiny the bread is, it almost has a glare. Brioche bread is French in origin and the dough is made with a high egg and butter content, which makes it quite rich. The bread is toasted, and although richer than a regular bread bun the KFC version is still quite light, thankfully as it otherwise it might be a bit much with all those toppings.
I gave the burger a try and oh my it had my tastebuds singing. I absolutely loved all the extras in their, the fresh salad and cheese were lovely, but the coleslaw was fresh and crunchy and added a whole new element, this alone would have been a fab extra, but lets talk about the star of the show, the slow-cooked pulled chicken. It appears in a light brown sauce, and tops the fillets under the lettuce. The flavour was excellent, sweet sticky barbecue sauce with just a hint of spice, paprika I’d say. It was heaven. This is a seriously posh and tasty burger and something rather different from KFC. I take my hat of to KFC for this new creation and I just hope it stays on the menu. I’m looking forward to trying the Original Pulled Chicken in its wrap version next, I’m seriously hooked.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Wellman High Performance Drink [by @NLi10]

Some exercise drinks are protein based and aim to help you get to the end of the exercise and to mend afterwards. Some are highly caffeinated and energised and seem to be based around giving you the buzz to get to the end and a quick boost to help.

Today I look at an odd one, it has the stimulants and vitamins but mainly seems designed to help the body cope with the shock of the exercise.

I have seen lots of averts on the tube for these Wellman products but I'd never been tempted until I saw this drink in special offer in Holland & Barratt. I think it's supposed to make me run at peak performance, and actually says it's not for ladies.

It even comes with a recommendation by a sports person! It tastes a bit like red bull style drinks without the taurine, and is nice enough while still tasting like it will do work. We drank this while out walking around some very steep hills. I did get tired, but less so than my partner who had only had a sip to try it.

I think that this is similar to a Purdy vitamin drink mixed with Matcha green tea. I'm guessing that if you are short on vitamins then it may help, but it's nothing that a good diet and some motivation wouldn't do. Not one I'll be having again, but it may be just what you are looking for to get you out to the hills and to walk a bit further before having a sit down.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Crabbie's Strawberry & Lime Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Waitrose) [By @SpectreUK]

I've written about Crabbie’s Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer before which was an excellent winter warmer. This Alcoholic Ginger Beer was blended with strawberries and lime and sounded like the ideal cooling down factor I needed after a hot day in a stuffy office, which had been followed by a hot sticky workout at the gym. There was a sharp sweet strawberry smell on opening the ginger beer which had a zing of lime at the end of the odour. On pouring this brew into my beer glass this fizzy ginger beer had a hot pink colour that would make the toughest guy blush. You'd have to be pretty self assured of your own sexuality to drink this ginger beer down at your local public house. On taste there was hardly any ginger to begin with, certainly not the fireiness I've come to expect from other ginger beers. There was a very sweet yet natural strawberry flavour followed almost meekly by a mild ginger taste, which was completed by the strong lime twist at the end of the swig. Despite the hot pink colour and strong fruity flavours almost overpowering the mild ginger side of this ginger beer, this drink was tasty and refreshing albeit slightly popesque in flavour. Not one for the kids of course, or guys who'd prefer a pint of Mild and a packet of crisps at the local boozer!

Information on the label;
500ml bottle at 4% volume. Produced by John Crabbie & Co., Leith, Edinburgh. Established in 1801, Crabbies have imported their ginger from the Far East for more than two hundred years. Crabbie's steep their ginger for eight weeks and then blend in natural strawberry and lime flavours.
By Spectre

Friday, 12 September 2014

Cadbury Eclairs - Velvets Coffee Flavour (Tesco) [By @cinabar]

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the combination of coffee and chocolate? A few times I suspect, the flavours just work and it a flavour duo that there just isn't enough of on UK shop shelves. How we morn the passing of Lindt Coffee Intense bar, but I digress.
Cadbury has seen the light and their new Eclairs flavour is coffee. These are in the Velvets range which aren't quite what I'd call an Eclair as they are a soft toffee, with a liquid filling but coated in milk chocolate (which is the part that doesn't feel so traditional). Cadbury has been adding to the Eclairs range recently and have had orange and toffee varieties out, but I was very pleased to a coffee edition.
I unwrapped the sweet and popped it in my mouth. The first thing I noticed was the sweet chocolate coating which melted pleasingly in my mouth. This was followed by the golden toffee flavour, that was super sweet and creamy with a good toffee flavour, but I didn't pick up on any coffee at this point. As I ate the sweet further it became more pliable and eventually was soft enough for me to get to the liquid centre, where there was a burst of sweet coffee taste. It was pleasant, but not as strong as I had expected or hoped for, it was mainly just sweet. Don't get me wrong I liked these new Eclairs, and the coffee filling was nice, if it had just been a little stronger then they would have been perfect. They are probably still my favourite variety in the Eclairs range, just because they contain a bit of a coffee taste.
By Cinabar

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fentimans 19:05 Herbal Tonic Water [review by @NLi10]

A while back I reviewed the original Fentimans tonic water. It was interesting, but not my favourite tonic, nor my favourite Fentimans.  I was contacted about a new drink in the range and sent a bottle to try.

The first thing to note is the tiny portion. 125 ml of tonic doesn't go very far, I'm more a fan of bottles of the stuff and have been known to order pints.  This did however suggest that it was again intended as a mixer so I made a special trip out and got a bottle of vodka.

I found one of my partners bottles of gin out of the cupboard (we tend to get it for parties and not finish it) and set up a lovely grid arrangement of the two types of tonic and the two alcohols - Smirnoff a vodka and Gordon's Gin.

I mainly focused on the vodka pair and my partner the gin - although not being a fan of tonic she didn't try much at all!

The vodka and original Fentimans tonic was as I remembered it. I think I was a little heavy handed with the alcohol and the flavours were initially tipped a bit that way.  In contrast the 17:05 tonic was much more floral and uplifting. The vodka again was very present throughout the flavour, but the tonic changed with it instead of been a single flat taste. Of the four drinks this mix was my favourite, and something I could certainly drink again.

The original tonic with gin was also as I remember it - and even though I like vodka more, I prefer this to the vodka/original. The reason I had a bottle of the original tonic still floating around was to use with the gin.  The herbal flavours of the 17:05 tonic again complemented the gin really nicely. While I would say I also preferred this mix to the yellow/gin mix I'd say the difference is less pronounced than the vodka was.

I was a little disappointed with the original yellow label tonic that Fentimans produced. It wasn't as strong as fever tree and wasn't as interesting as their other drinks. The 17:05 bucks that trend and is a very it interesting drink indeed. The only real complaint I had is that one bottle didn't give me enough of a sample to try much without alcohol. I will certainly buy more to find out.