Saturday, 31 October 2009

Cadbury’s Halloween Mallows (Tesco Express)


Happy Halloween!!

This is the last of this year’s Halloween products which I have found, and today seems an appropriate day to write about it. These Halloween mallows have blackcurrant as their spooky blood red ingredient. On a side note I am always surprised by the lack of blackcurrant products available in the States, blackcurrant is such a good flavour and I feel for those missing out on it.
Back to the mallows, they have a tasty but soft biscuit base, a huge splodge of rich sweet and sharp blackcurrant jam. The blackcurrant adds a lovely taste, which adds the main flavour for the product. The mallow stacked on top is fluffy and light, and the chocolate coating cracks nicely when you bite in. A lovely product and with a bit of luck may well be reduced in price sometime soon! Have a great Halloween everyone! ;-)

Halloween Ring Cakes (Greggs)


Just thought I’d show these lovely cakes I just purchased from Greggs, as they are so Halloweeny!! The cakes are yummy too... vanilla sponge, sweet icing, chocolate sprinkles and a free plastic ring, what more could you want!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Lucozade Cherry (SuperDrug)


I don't often buy energy drinks, as I usually choose diet/low sugar products to compensate for the other stuff I eat! ;-)
Having said that I have been having a long day, was weary and will be going swimming so I thought this would be the perfect time to try the new cherry flavour Lucozade.
Firstly I realise this is an energy drink, but it took me a minute to come to terms with the calorie content, in 380ml there were 262 calories, probably perfectly normal for such drinks, but a little higher than my usual practically 0 calorie diet cola.
The drink is wonderfully fizzy, it didn't fizz over when opened, but the drink had lots of bubbles which I really like. The flavour is good to and reminded me of really nice cherryade, it is very sweet and very fruity, with a nice slightly sharp cherry taste. Well worth trying if you fancy a change from your regular energy drink. The caffeine kick helped me through the last hour or so at work, will have to let you know how I get on at the swimming pool later!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Cadbury's Scary Orange Cake Bars (Sainsbury’s)


Last year I remember the Fiendish Fancies arriving at Halloween, but I don’t remember many other products in that style. This year the Fiendish Fancies are back, and we have also seen Cinder Toffee Cake Bars and Toffee Apple Bakewells.
In addition to the Scary Orange Cake Bars above, I have also seen one other seasonal cake product which I’ll be writing about very soon, so they seem to be very ‘in’ this year. I quite like the idea of the individually wrapped seasonal cake products, as they will make a nice item to give out to trick or treaters, and they are a little bit different too.
These cake bars are a scary orange flavour, which essentially means that the jam inside them is blood red (well dark pink/red if I were to be picky). The vanilla sponge is light and sweet and the jam layer has a decent strong zingy orange flavour which I really liked. In combination with the chocolate coating the whole thing really works, nice flavours that all blend together. How did they miss out on creating this product as Scary Blood-Orange Cake Bars? That would have been really cool!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Twix Pods (Cybercandy)


This is another purchase from that lovely import shop Cybercandy. It is the first time that I have seen the product ‘Pods’ which look like a shell of biscuit with a filling. I’m pretty sure I saw some other varieties other than those filled with Twix as I was leaving (I will check next time I’m in).
The biscuit shell reminds me of a Cornetto case, it’s not a light wafer or biscuit, but it is very similar to the thicker and more flavoursome wafer you get on the expensive ice cream cones. When you bite in, this shells is thin but crunchy, with the flavour of Demerara sugar, and it melts pleasantly in the mouth. The caramel inside the pod, is exactly as you would find on a Twix, fairly thick but full of flavour, and then the milk chocolate layer brings it all together. Each biscuit is smaller than I imagined from the packet, and as such each one only takes a second or two to eat, making them dangerously moreish!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Walkers MAX Cheese-Burger (Wilkinsons)


These cheese burger crisps have taken a fair bit of tracking down, so many thanks to David Hollis for the tip on where to find them.
The crisps look really bright as they are presented in a large yellow single serving bag. They are part of the ‘MAX’ range, which I think relates to the fact that the crisps have ridges and therefore can hold more flavour. The crisps also seem slightly thicker cut than a regular Walkers and I preferred the crunch on these crisps.
The flavour is very true to form, it has a decent strength and clearly resembles the grilled beef burger flavour, with a nice after taste of cheese and I thought even a hint of mustard.
It all just came together, these crisps are very meaty, have an excellent taste, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bag! One of the nicer new flavours released this year so far.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Galaxy Pieces [Caramel] (SuperDrug)


Only last week did I write about Cadbury’s Nibbles (i.e. Buttons filled with caramel), and I had a comment left from Paulham hoping for a Galaxy version. These chocolates are a fair bit chunkier than the Nibbles, but I think this might just be what he was after.
Each chocolate consists of a dollop of Galaxy caramel enrobed in Galaxy chocolate, individually wrapped in foil, with a message inside the wrapper. The outer packaging is a cardboard ‘bag’ with a tear to open strip, which is a little bit different and a nice contrast to the usual plastic grab bags of sweets.
I liked the touch of having a message in the wrapper, it made them into feel good chocolate Fortune Cookies. The messages were all quite sweet and ranged from highlighting the importance of smiling through to enjoying the indulgence of the chocolate itself.
The chocolates are indulgent too, the caramel is rich and sweet and the chocolate is the expected silky Galaxy. They are an absolutely lovely product and I like individually unwrapping each one, biting through the chocolate, hearing it crack and then allowing the chocolate and caramel to mix in the mouth. Yummy.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mysterious Korean Biscuits (International Shop, Birmingham University) {via Nli10}


The happy scientist on the box and his smart tie lured me in on this one. Coupled with the almost day-glow pink box and writing I overlooked the strangeness that is hidden in this product from http://www.lotteconf.co.kr/ (who also make imitation Pocky called Pepero - http://www.pepero.co.kr/talk/fun/song.jsp ).
These small biscuits with a chocolate fondant centre are fairly common in eastern foods. I remember eating a few varieties in Thailand, and have picked them up over here as imports since. I had never noticed however that throughout the branding and marketing for these little sweet treats that the biscuits are actually the heads of the cartoon characters on the box!
This Soylent-Green style revelation puts a whole new spin on the product. The jolly cartoon showing the biscuit-heads at school inside the box is now distinctly more sinister, with their classroom rebellion now looking like a bid for the freedom from the jaws of hungry snackers. My former friend the jolly scientist with his slogan of 'Promise The Best' is now the cruel master of some kind of biscuit- head breeding program selecting only those with the right attributes to be shipped off to stores.
In fact, if they were not so gosh darn moreish I may actually stop buying them out of some kind of biscuit-head rights protest. That crunchy first bite into the gooey innards is just too tempting though.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Mr Kipling Toffee Apple Bakewells (Sainsbury’s)


This is a seasonal version of a regular Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewell, made with the flavours of toffee and apple in order to get us in the mood for Halloween and Bonfire Night. Toffee coated apples being popular at this time of year.
The pastry is the same as you would find on a regular Cherry Bakewell, so it is crumbly and tasty but I always find a little bit too thick for my taste buds. The filling is ever so slightly sweet! And by sweet, I really do mean sweet! The toffee flavours hits from the icing on the top and a layer on the bottom, and the apple flavour is the middle layer within the Bakewell. I do like the combination of tastes though, the apple is quite strong so it seems a little bit artificial to me, but it doesn’t really matter as the toffee offsets and complements it. Each Bakewell is quite small, and to be honest is exactly the right size, it delivers a good sugary kick, but eating two may be sickly. I wonder which has more calories, this or a regular toffee apple?
Anyway, this would be an excellent treat for those with a sweet tooth, or ideal for anyone throwing a seasonal fireworks party or similar.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Cadbury’s Cinder Toffee Cake Bars (Sainsbury’s)


Cinder Toffee (i.e. the wonderful filling you get in a Crunchie bar) is by way of its very nature: crunchy. However this Cinder Toffee cake bar, is completely soft, and I have to say this did somewhat put me off.
The cake bar consists of a layer of vanilla sponge, soft cinder toffee filling and a chocolate flavoured coating. I was pleasantly surprised to discover when I tucked in, that these cake bars really do taste of Cinder Toffee. There is the wonderful flavour of burnt butterscotch, and it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, instead it is mellowed by the light fluffy sponge and chocolate tastes. The consistency to the Cinder Toffee flavoured layer is soft and creamy, and I actually rather liked it, it genuinely does taste of Cinder Toffee despite not having the texture.
Think I might get another a pack of these, as they would be nice to give to those participating in Halloween ‘Trick or Treat’ as they are decorated with pumpkins on the pack. If there are any left over from that, I’m sure I could find them a home!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Milka Luflée (Germany)


If you haven't read my blog before I think I should warn you I am a Milka Fan Girl. It is just such lovely chocolate, and my taste buds just can't get enough.
This chocolate bar's name Milka Luflee roughly translates to Milka Airy, and is an aerated bar of chocolate rather like we have Aero or Wispa. I’m not 100% sure of my translation so please correct me in the comments section if needs be!
Opening the pack and that wonderful Milka smell appears, offering a fresh cocoa scent. I was surprised to see that this chocolate looked a bit darker than I was expecting, but is still labelled as milk chocolate. Biting in and I found that the texture was absolutely spot on, firm, but it gives way easily to your teeth and then just melts in the mouth. The taste is gorgeous too, creamy, sweet, with well defined cocoa and that classic nutty after taste. A truly lovely bar and another one to add to my growing list of favourite products!
On a side note I just wanted to say how wonderful it is at the minute to see all the new Milka products becoming more widely available here in the UK, I hope this bar joins them soon.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Real Jalapeno Pepper Hand Cooked Crisps (Asda)


I have to admit to having a preconception that these crisps would not be up to my expectations. I have found the hunt for ‘hot’ crisps up until now has been filled with disappointment (with the notable exception of Nandos Hot which really do pack a punch). Apparently my definition of ‘hot’ and crisp manufacturers, in general, does tend to differ somewhat.
The first bite of these crisps I picked up on a rather nice initial taste of sweet tomato and salty onion and did find this underlying flavour rather pleasant. I was just noting down my thoughts on the texture, i.e. thick cut and crunchy potato, when something started to happen. Slowly but surely, my mouth could feel a decent kick of heat developing. In fact they had a surprisingly lovely hit of chilli mixed in and the warmth was rather nice. They are by no means the hottest crisps ever made, or hot enough to make your hair stand on end like the photo on the packet, but oh my, they are undeniably fiery and tasty.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Cadbury's Caramel Nibbles (WH Smiths)


I love Cadbury's Buttons - a small dollop of chocolate that just melts quickly in the mouth, no hassle, no messing just good old Dairy Milk chocolate. I love that the Buttons are also available in the larger sharing bags too these days.
This Cadbury's Nibble product is rather like upgraded Buttons. In the bag are small discs of chocolate, not that much thicker than a Button, and each one looking rather similar but with an extra layer of caramel concealed within. The caramel isn’t thick, as there isn’t much room for it to be, but it is full of flavour and gives each one of these ‘Nibbles’ a lovely sweet taste. It is the same sumptuous caramel usually found in a Cadbury's Caramel bar, so it is safe to say it is the good stuff.
Each disc gives the required shot of chocolate, and then bursts a small portion of the rich gooey butterscotch caramel, genius. These are my new favourite from the sharing bag range, and they are just sweet, chocolaty and scrumptious! Buttons will always feel like they are missing something to me now, and I can’t work out why these haven’t been done before.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Duchy Originals – Organic Figs (Waitrose)


Today I would like to talk to you about the healthy fruit known as figs. However Duchy Originals present their organic figs in a way that makes them more appealing to me, they are dipped in chocolate!
Inside the bag there were several figs, some of which were dipped in dark chocolate and some in milk chocolate. The chocolate on each fig was set solid, but the fig underneath is of course malleable, meaning that as you bite in the chocolate crumbles off – everywhere. I found it impossible to eat these figs without triggering dangerous chocolate crumbs! I like the chocolate around the figs though, as both versions had a good cocoa content, but my preference is the dark chocolate as it has such a full flavour. The figs underneath weren’t as sweet as I had hoped but do go well with the chocolate which enhances them.
A nice, but slightly difficult to eat treat – does anyone know if this counts as one of my five a day!?!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Pokka Lemon Tea - Singapore {Guest Post via Nli10} (International Shop, Birmingham University)


Tea is an eminently British thing. If you want to make your video game character more British then feature them drinking tea - Prof. Layton, Henry Hatsworth etc. spring to mind. This is why it confounds me that the British do not appreciate that tamed and caged beast of bottled tea.
My partner maintains that this is due to the temperature, that it’s unnatural to drink cold tea, and to a certain extent this may be true. Nescafe and other purveyors of instant drinks have tried and failed to market self heating coffee and tea in the UK. These fail due to the price and the fact that real hot coffee is a lot nicer.
My belief is that bottled tea fails because it is made en masse with tea powder and not specifically brewed. Also you can't have milk with it which makes it less British. Having had bad bottled tea that was made from powder from Spar quite recently I picked up the Pokka bottles as a last ditch attempt to replace the Twinnings Earl Grey with Lemon that I used to love a decade or so ago.
The first thing I noticed was that this actually tastes like strong tea. It has a consistent flavour, and a lovely aftertaste of actual lemon juice. The sweetness is just right for me and balances the sour of the lemons. It's a perfect blend for carrying around with you for mornings where a real cup of tea just isn't possible, and a great pick me up for during work or lectures.
Unfortunately I've not seen this around many places and fear that once I buy out the stock at the shop I'm currently buying it from I may never see it again. Such is the nature of food finds!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Christmas Tea [Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company] (Selfridges)


In the last year, something changed with my tea drinking habits, and I started to experiment a bit more with different tastes and varieties. I went from someone who had only previously really had English Breakfast, to someone who loved all different teas from green tea through to Chai.
Like Chai this particular tea is very aromatic, and there is the wonderful smell of cloves when the tea brews. I added milk and sugar, I assumed it was okay to do this as it usually is with the spicy teas, but oddly there were no instructions on the packet. The tea itself had a lovely orange taste mixed in with it too, this and the sweet-scented spices were rich and warming and it made a wonderful fragrant drink.
I don’t know why we associate flavours like cinnamon and orange with Christmas, but we do, and as such this drink fits right in! However it also makes a lovely everyday alternative to Chai, and if you like those sorts of spices you won’t go wrong with this tea.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Mars Dark (WH Smiths) & Mistletoe Kisses & Fiendish Fancies


Back in July I wrote about Mars Midnight, which was a Polish Mars bar imported by Pound World. I really liked the dark chocolate bar, with my favourite thing being that the white nougat was really soft and light and made it sort of melt in the mouth.
When I saw Mars Dark I was convinced that this was the UK release of the same bar, but it just wasn’t at all. Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly similar, but the white nougat is lacking that fluffy texture and so I found it just a bit disappointing. The texture in this bar has the same consistency as a regular Mars, but with a hint more vanilla in the flavour. Mars Dark is not a bad bar by any means, but personally I will be sticking to buying Mars Midnight from the pound shops!


I also just wanted to let you all know that there have been a couple of re-releases and links to older reviews:

Galaxy has re-launched Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses for the Christmas season.

Mr Kipling’s have brought back Fiendish Fancies for Halloween.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Hand Cooked Crisps – Sea Salt Malt Vinegar and a Twist of Lemon (Waitrose)


It is nice to see that adding a slightly different ingredient can bring to life to such a traditional flavour. Salt and Vinegar is a time-honoured favourite flavour of the crisp buying public, but adding lemon to the mix gives these crisps a nice zingy aftertaste, and really brings them to life!
The crisps are from a Waitrose own range and are tasty and thick, with a decent crunch and I liked their texture and consistency. The only negative point I had about these crisps, and I am quite willing to believe this may only apply to the bag which I purchased, was around the flavour distribution. Some crisps I tried where very mild and had almost no flavouring, and others packed quite a sharp full on punch! If you’ve tried these crisps before – did you experience this?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Benedicks BitterGingers (Selfridges)


I would never usually buy ginger chocolates; I’m just not that big a fan of that flavour at all. However after I tried Benedicks BitterOranges I was just a bit more than impressed by the range, and felt myself obliged to try these ones too. Naturally I purchased another tube of BitterOranges at the same time...
Anyway, the BitterGingers tube was similar to the previous product, in that it was rather awkward to open. Once the lid came off there was a lovely aroma of sweet and spicy ginger from the pack. The chocolate has the same bitter 95% cocoa hit, and the filling is soft, creamy, sweet, tangy ginger, and just works so well with it all. I think that is what makes these products, the contrasting flavours in each chocolate, all blending together to create a wonderful combination.
Despite not being ordinarily blown away by ginger products these just get the taste buds going and create another fantastic taste experience. Another must try from Benedicks!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Butlers Hot Chocolate Drink (Ireland)


Wow – these have taken a bit of finding, and I have really wanted to try them since Derval suggested them back in March! These are a solid hot chocolate that you dissolve straight into hot milk. They are beautifully presented, and each one is moulded into a thick disc shape embossed with a cup and saucer. I resisted the temptation to eat one raw out of the box!
I was very careful to make the drink exactly as per the guidelines, which included measuring the amount of milk to use. I was a little bit surprised that each disc only used 150ml of milk, i.e. around two thirds of one of my regular smallish mugs. The drink itself was of superb quality, and had a lovely chocolate hit. It was a creamy sweet drink that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is just a shame that each disc doesn’t use enough milk to fill my mug, it is also a shame that adding two discs would make too much for one mug.
In conclusion a good quality drink that delivers a rich cocoa taste, but the ratios and measurements meant I couldn’t have a full mug of hot chocolate without attempting to break a disc!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Cadbury's Snow Bites (Co-Op)


This is another early Christmas find, and it is part of Cadbury’s seasonal line up. The product consists of a ball of Cadbury’s chocolate, coated in a white candy shell and then dusted with icing sugar; the idea is to make them look like a bag of mini snow balls!
I feel obliged to draw comparison between these and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, as these have more than a passing resemblance. The centre is lovely and is the expected sweet creamy chocolate, the candy shell is the same thickness as a Mini Egg, and the only difference is the dusting of icing sugar and the round instead of oval shape.
I like them, the icing sugar did make them a little bit sweeter, but they are essentially a bag of chocolate bites, perfect for sharing and ideal for anyone who fancies a more seasonal version of Mini Eggs. The packet also makes reference to Cadbury’s support for the charity: Make-A-Wish, so it is feel good chocolate too.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Pocky {Guest Post via Nli10} (Specialist Import)

And now for something a little bit different. For the the next few weeks we will be having a Sunday guest post from Pocky and Eastern snack specialist Nli10. I'm sure we will all make him feel very welcome... ;-)




Hello - My name is NLi10 and I'm a Pocky addict. I think it all stems from a love of eastern culture and novelty convenience snack foods. Pocky is essentially European salted bread sticks coated in Asian style fondant chocolate, and is that mix of savoury and sweet that can be so intoxicating. The above is my current collection of Pocky - artificially more than usual due to a visit to Yum Yum on Bank Street in Worcester (cheapest place for Thai Pocky that I know) and the recent opening of Cyber Candy (who sell the much more expensive Japanese Pocky).
The staple Pocky collection has been discussed on this blog before (http://foodstufffinds.blogspot.com/2008/09/pocky-available-by-specialist-importer.html) as has the odd EuroPocky Mikado (JP Pocky made with Uk friendly Milk Chocolate - http://foodstufffinds.blogspot.com/2009/03/kraft-foods-glico-mikado-sainsburys.html) which I found at a local paper shop in the smaller 49p boxes as opposed to the £1.10 supermarket box in the previous review. I will stick to talking about the three exotic flavours I've had sitting around for special occasions which I picked up at a comic convention.



Pocky Crush (left) This is similar to Pocky Almond & Pocky Strawberry Deluxe in that the flavour is on the outside of the chocolate. The bread stick inner is the same as normal, maybe a little fatter, but the Crush part is like broken bourbon biscuits or Oreo stuck to the outside. This gives it a much more chocolatey taste than the typical Pocky and a much more interesting texture. The extra pieces mean this tastes similar to the holy grail that is Pocky Mens - a JP thick dark chocolate variety. As this is a deluxe Pocky you get two packets of four in a box - and at import prices that makes it a luxury. All three packets shown above have been opened especially for the reviews.


Pocky Blueberry (middle) This is a limited edition JP Pocky which is much more similar to the standard Pocky with the thin sticks and fruit in the chocolate/ fondant. The first thing you notice is how much the flavour pops and zings as you bite into it. As with the other fruit Pocky the addition of small chunks of actual fruit means that the taste experience is much more powerful and luxurious than the standard Pocky. Perfect for summer weather, but again few to a packet & 2 packets to a box. Incidentally I can't find the boxes for these flavours which is a shame!


Pocky Desert (right) These are I believe an approximation of tiramisu and other choc & custard based deserts, presumably in an eastern style. After the initial shock of there only being three sticks wears off, the overpowering smell of artificial banana kicks in and I was left wondering if I had finally found a Pocky I didn't like. Once bitten into all is forgiven, as the choco-banana Pocky's more exotic cousin does not disappoint. With the thickest bread stick yet (half a cm at least) and a generous helping of covering the flavours really work well together. The chocolate is darker and more satisfying and the banana is not as sweet, and due to the thickness the soft bite gives a satisfying crunch and is a great treat.


Overall I'd buy the Crush again first, but deluxe Pocky coming in at £3 a box at trade shows, I think I'd branch out to other new flavours first. Pocky Tangerine is my most wanted to try flavour.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Oreo - White Chocolate Covered [Limited Edition] (Sainsbury’s)


Oreos do seem to be doing quite well for themselves here in the UK, as it wasn’t that long ago I was writing about their new chocolate crème edition, and now there is a white chocolate edition available too.
The new product might be seasonal, but I shall try to ignore the references to Christmas and winter on the box, and just be pleased to have a lovely new product to try. So the concept behind this product is to take a regular Oreo (with white stuff) and dip it in white chocolate. When I first bit in I took a moment to appreciate the layers inside the Oreo. It is such a pretty biscuit, beautifully layered with white chocolate coating, dark Oreo, creamy stuff, another Oreo layer and a final coat of white chocolate. If that isn’t enough the flavours are gorgeous too. The creamy sweet white chocolate in conjunction with the dark cocoa rich Oreo really do make a wonderful combination of flavours! Sure the biscuits are quite rich, and there is no way I could scoff more than two, but wow - they are lovely!

Friday, 9 October 2009

McCoys Lamb & Mint [Pub Grub] (WH Smiths)


There is something very satisfying about a bag of McCoys. I love the thick potato, and how they aren't too hard when you bite in, and how the ridges gather all the flavour.
So it is always a pleasure when a brand such as this releases a new flavour. This one is from a new Pub Grub range and is Lamb &Mint.
I was impressed to find that the flavour does really taste specifically of rich meaty lamb. However the mint flavour was present, but the strength of it doesn't resemble the sharpness of some mint sauces, as the vinegar element was missing. I did picked up on an after taste of onion, which seemed to balance the whole flavour rather nicely though. These are seriously tasty crisps, and I look forward to trying other varieties in the Pub Grub range.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Toblerone Tobelle (Sainsbury’s)


I do have to say that I am a bit of Toblerone fan, and was quite excited to find a new product in the range! Inside the rather nice packaging is a tray which holds three stacks of chocolate thins. This tray slides out when you pull the ribbon (pictured). Each chocolate thin consists of the smooth alpine milk chocolate with the usual honey and nougat taste you would expect from the regular bar. In fact they are just like slices of the extra large Toblerone bars.
I guess the question then is if this is the same chocolate as a regular Toblerone, but differently presented, what is its purpose? I think the answer may well lie in the fact the huge bars are slightly hard to eat. They are difficult to break apart, and the chunks are quite tough on the jaw! This makes for a convenient way of eating the chocolate! It is ideal as a gift and idea for all those who never quite know how to cope with the huge chunky Toblerone pieces!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Um Bongo (Waitrose)


I was aware that Um Bongo was available until just a few years ago, and after that I know that there was an online campaign to bring it back. I can only assume that as I have found this, the campaign was successful! It is good to see this drink back on the shelves, as I would class it as a staple of my childhood lunchboxes.
Sadly when I tried the drink, I was rather disappointed, it is not the same as I remember it. Notable this drink has a prominent banana kick which the original did not. The whole taste is different, and I did not get that wonderful nostalgia I was expecting. Casting a glance at the ingredients it only has three fruits and they are orange, pineapple and banana, gone is the magic formula from years passed with apricot, guava and mango etc like I remember .*
Having said that, we do have a tasty fruit drink, which is now 100% juice. However, if you are expecting the same old flavour this drink won’t allow you to reminisce.

*I remember these fruits because of the ever so catchy music associated with the drink (which no longer works as they aren’t in it any more). Allow me to save you googling:

Way down deep in the middle of the Congo,
a hippo took an apricot, a guava and a mango.
He stuck it with the others, and he danced a dainty tango.
The rhino said, "I know, we'll call it Um Bongo",
Um Bongo, Um Bongo, They drink it in the Congo.
The python picked the passion fruit,
the marmoset the mandarin.
The parrot painted packets,
that the whole caboodle landed in.
So when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle,
They all prefer the sunny funny one they call Um Bongo!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Strawberry and Peanut Butter M&M (Cybercandy)


Well this really is a curious combination, and even I was a little taken back by the strange flavour. I could imagine a product of either strawberry M&Ms or peanut butter ones, but this really is both in one bag. Just to clarify - this bag does not contain two flavours separately; each M&M has BOTH strawberry and peanut butter filling!
The M&Ms have the usual crispy shell, a thin layer of chocolate, and are filled with a soft creamy peanut butter with a hint of strawberry. The strawberry and peanut butter do actually work, but it took me a few to convince my taste buds. Sweet fruity strawberry, salty peanut, and chocolate let the flavours mingle and then allow yourself to acclimatise to them. After the initial curious flavour hit, I really enjoyed them. They even became rather moreish. They are kind of strange but rather good, and there is definitely more to the flavour than just the novelty.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Chupa Chups – Fruittella Lollipop [Strawberry] (Co-Op)


Two of the large sweets brands have got together. Chupa Chups famous for their lollipops and Fruittella famous for their chews, have (as you may have already guessed by now) created a lollipop with a chewy centre!
The shell of the lollipop has a decent strawberry taste, and is quite sweet, fruity and enjoyable. It also lasted a fair amount of time, which was nice as it allowed me to enjoy the first half of my sweet. When I could feel the shell getting thin, I took the plunge and started to chew. The lollipop stick came away, and my mouth was filled with the fantastic strong sweet zingy strawberry flavour chew. It was a lovely way to finish the sweet, and I rather liked the combination. I thought it worked really well, and hope they will release some more flavours too.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Benedicks BitterOranges (House of Fraser)


When I was buying these choccies I noticed they came in a large tube or a small tube. I will be honest; I read the pack and thought that the chocolate at 95% cocoa and the chilli didn’t sound that appealing to me, so I opted for the small tube. I was to discover that this was the wrong choice.
After a little bit of a struggle to prise the lid off the tube, I was ready to begin the testing. I noticed that the aroma from the chocolates was lovely; I picked up on rich dark cocoa, and wonderful fruity notes. Then I tucked in. Wow, these chocolate are really something. Each chocolate was firm when I first bit in but had a surprisingly soft fondant. The flavour was gorgeous with a fantastic sweet Jaffa orange taste, blended in with this is the gentlest hint of chilli and the amazing 95% chocolate cocoa hit. These flavours are balanced to perfection, they are just amazingly good.
During my taste testing not one person failed to make appreciative noises while first trying one of these. One of the testers even stated that they were the nicest orange chocolate he’d ever eaten. Benedicks have created the most wonderful chocolate and flavour combination and I don’t think I can send enough praise their way.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Milka Dark with Woodland Strawberry (Germany)


I am a huge Milka fan, but it is unusual to find dark Milka chocolate, and even stranger to find a thin bar. Usually Milka is quite a chunky and is a very sweet and creamy milk chocolate, but this particular bar is definitely one for the grown-ups!
The chocolate is 50% cocoa, but if anything tastes a little stronger, as it has a full flavour of cocoa. In texture it is smooth and the thickness of it makes it oddly satisfying to break and eat. There are small red crystals within the chocolate that deliver the natural tasting strawberry, they are sweet but add the needed balance to the dark chocolate. As the chocolate is slightly bitter, the strawberry enhances the flavour wonderfully. A lovely combination of flavours that just works really well.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Walkers Turkey & Stuffing [Festive Edition] (Sainsbury’s)


I think we should all just allow a moment of silence to accept the passing of summer, and then acknowledge the inevitable: it won’t be long until Christmas. To be honest I’m not there yet and the idea of ‘Festive Editions’ in October does worry me a little, but a new flavour should not be resisted!
These Turkey and Stuffing are really very nice, but they seem to have two very distinct flavours that I can taste. Firstly I thought I could pick up on the regular Walkers Roast Chicken taste, and the secondary flavour just seemed to be onion. I accept there was mild herby taste mixed in too, but it wasn’t that noticeable. I discovered that the meaty chicken flavour goes with the onion very well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bag.
To summarise though we have some seriously tasty crisps, but if I ate one blindfold I would never guess that they were supposed to be turkey and stuffing.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Toxic Waste [Hazardously Sour Candy] (Selfridges)


Recently I wrote about Warheads’ sour sweets which were ever so slightly zingy(!), and Laura recommended I find these Toxic Waste sour candies to compare. I have to say the packaging is ace! I love the novelty toxic waste can; it’s a cool way to present the sweets. Inside they are individually wrapped, and have more than a passing resemblance to Warheads themselves. The five flavours are the same and the wrappers are quite similar too.
Unlike Warheads though, these sweets have a sour coating, and a sour centre, that leaks through during the middle of the sweet. At the end of the sweet there is a tertiary kick of sour, just when you thought you were in a safe zone. With a Warhead, once you are passed the initial kick, you are safe, but with these it just keeps coming. Out of the two brands it is hard to say which was the more sour but I felt that the Watermelon Toxic Waste was by far most sour when compared to any of the Warheads. However the Raspberry Toxic Waste was the mildest of all the sweets put together, so they are a bit mixed up.

A review of the underlying flavours:
  • Blue Raspberry – (least sour) This was an absolutely lovely sweet, with a well defined raspberry taste and a moderate zing. This was the first flavour I tried; it lulled me into a false sense of security!
  • Watermelon – (really sour) I didn’t like the main flavour, I felt it was a little like rotting melon and I wasn’t keen on it at all. The sour aspect was SO sharp with this was the sweet I came closest to spitting out! Oh my, that was some crazy sourness!
  • Apple – (Medium Sour) Very very tart apple flavour, very much like a Granny Smith, but with a clean crisp taste. All in all a thoroughly decent sour sweet.
  • Black Cherry – (Medium Sour) Sweet and fruity, and not unpleasant, but disappointingly not that identifiable as cherry.
  • Lemon – (Medium Sour) After the initial sour lemon hit, it mellowed, not exactly sweet, but just not a strong flavour at all. Not bad though, and the initial sour kick was about right.
So all in all, if I were to buy the flavours individually (and was able to buy them without the Watermelon) most of these would win in the taste contest, as the zingy flavour keeps re-appearing. Having said that, I really disliked the watermelon, and would not want to purchase any more of them!
One thing I noticed after eating five of these in a row (which didn’t happen with Warheads) was that my mouth was very sore. My tongue and the roof of my mouth felt like I burnt them on some hot food, and this pain still lingered several hours after having the sweets. So my warning to anyone trying them, don’t eat several in a row, unless you are crazy or trying to review them for a blog! ;-)