Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Rice Krispie Squares – [New] Rocky Road Edition (Nisa) [By @Cinabar]



I have had my eye out for this new flavour of Rice Krispie Squares since DavidH let me know that he had spotted them in Asda. I found mine on a trip to the local shop nearest work, on a hunt for cheap coffee. I discovered that they stocked these and all four flavours of the new Chunky Kit Kats – hurrah!
Anyway I got back to my desk and carefully unwrapped the Rice Krispie Square. I did have a moment of disappointment when I first saw the bar, as the description of the topping was shortbread, raisins and white chocolate but it wasn’t really visually represented. After a further look I worked out that although I was a little short changed on the white chocolate, the biscuit pieces and the raisins were actually within the mallow.
If you haven’t seen Rice Krispie Squares before they consist of Rice Krispies, all stuck together with chocolate mallow. There are various versions of the bars available, and the toppings are often quite creative. I never know whether they are meant as an alternative breakfast food – but I tend to have them as my elevenses snack!
This new variety has a good selection of goodies, and I think it is the first time they have used raisins. I liked the raisins with the chocolate, and of all the Rocky Roads goodies it was certainly my favourite. The juicy sweet fruit worked well with the sticky chocolate coating and broke up the texture and flavour. The texture of the biscuit was a bit more lost as the bar is so crunchy anyway, but the buttery taste did shine through when you got a chunk.
My only criticism is that I would have liked to have seen a bit more white chocolate on the topping, as it was barely noticeable on my bar. The chunk I had was nice enough with a creamy vanilla flavour, but where were the rest of them? To be honest I think I was just unlucky on that front, but for all the other ingredients I have to give the new flavour a thumbs up.
By Cinabar

Monday, 30 January 2012

Walkers – What’s That Flavour? Mystery Flavour A [Crisps] [By @Cinabar]



The new products just keep on rolling in... and I’m pleased to announce some new crisps from Walkers. I can’t tell you what flavours they are though – because it’s all part of the mystery!
Walkers have created three new varieties of crisps, but not labelled what they are on the bag. You can take a guess at the flavours (via Facebook or Text message) and then be in with the chance to win some serious cash prizes!
I can’t resist a challenge, so was eager to dive in. I started with the reasonably named bag ‘A’. The only clue on the packet was that this was a dairy based flavour. The ingredients list on the back didn’t offer any more clues than that!
I opened up the bag and was pretty sure I could pick up on a garlic smell and some cheese. When I actually tasted a crisp, I could no longer pick up on that garlic hint and the flavour seemed far more focussed on the cheese aspect. It was a strong cheese, something quite powerful and distinct, and perhaps that garlic I thought I smelt was a background onion taste, possible even shallots?
The main thing is that these crisps were really nice, and if you like Walkers Cheese and Onion then you’ll find these a good alternative. They are certainly similar to that classic taste, but still are unique and they have stumped me a bit. I’ll be honest I not sure what I’m going to enter as a potential answer, and I’m going to have to have another bag to give them a try before I settle on a final decision.
If you want to give them a try yourself they should be appearing in supermarkets and other shops very soon. Allan H has already spotted all three flavours packaged in a multipack in Tesco – if you want to hunt some down. If you do, please leave a comment, let me know what you think!
By Cinabar

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pokka Blueberry Tea (KK Mart - Bromsgrove) [by @NLi10]


A while ago I drank quite a lot of the Pokka lemon tea and decided to write it up for here. Essentially it's a bottled tea but made with actual brewed tea instead of tea flavours being added. This is similar but with Blueberries added instead of lemons!

I bought this a while back but saved it for when I thought I'd need a nice drink and took it to an all day gaming tournament in Birmingham, UK for Magic: The Gathering.

The tea flavour wasn't quite intense enough for me, but the blueberries ended up giving it quite a nicely interesting aftertaste. It was very drinkable, refreshing and perked me up a bit too. I think that while I prefer the original lemon variety I'll end up buying this again, it's more exciting than the typical fruit cordials we get as 'still' drinks here in the UK. It's just unfortunate that only Spar and speciality retailers like KK Mart & Yum Yum seem to stock them. Us Brits need to be more adventurous!!
By NLi10

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Fox’s Glacier Citrus (WH Smiths) [By @SpectreUK]


Fox’s have been producing sweets in the UK since 1897. Peppy the Polar Beer joined as their chief Quality Checker when Glacier Mints were brought out in 1918. I’ve always been partial to the odd packet of Fox’s Glacier Mints ever since I was a young lad. A year or so ago Cinabar reviewed Fox’s Glacier Limited Edition Mango Peach Passion Fruit Smoothies. These Fox’s Glacier Citrus recently appeared in my blogger’s in-tray between the iron bars of my cell in the Foodstufffind’s dungeon. There were four flavours to choose from, which were; lemon, lime, grapefruit and clementine. Clearly with such big sour fruit juice titles such as lemon, lime and grapefruit, I thought these glacier mints were meant as a bitter treat to dull the taste of whatever strange flavoured beer Cinabar had plans to torture me with. The Glacier Citrus were made in some part with actual fruit juice and with no artificial flavours or colours. It was good to see Fox’s were trying new flavours of sweets after so many years on the market. So I put down my beer bottle opener (fashioned from the skull of a previous Foodstuff blogger) and hungrily tore open the 200g Glacier Citrus bag. There was some confusion to start with as all the wrappers of individually wrapped sweets inside the bag were the same colour! I first thought that they were all four flavours rolled into each sweet, but I was just so wrong…

Clementine flavour

Unwrapping a sweet and taking note of the orange colour, I dumped it in my mouth and immediately noticed that it tasted just like orange jelly. This is great if you like orange jelly and don’t have one to hand. Fortunately I love orange jelly. I’ve always said that if jelly wrestling became an Olympic sport (London 2012?), then the bikini girls should wrestle in orange jelly. There was no sourness, just a juicy mouth watering clementine taste that was totally scrumptious.

Lime flavour

Green in colour and frustratingly in the same coloured wrapping as the clementine flavour, the lime flavour had a good sour taste to it, not face twisting, but enough to wake me up a bit whilst I sat bored at my desk at work. It had the same mouth watering tastiness as the Clementine flavour, with a delightful lime zing. Although I was beginning to wonder if I would have to unwrap most of the sweets to find the other two flavours!

Grapefruit flavour

Luckily the sixth sweet I unwrapped was an off yellow colour, and I popped it in my mouth figuring this would definitely be the lemon flavour. I was immediately taken aback by the face twisting sour heavy kick of pure grapefruit. Sucking down hard sent pleasurable shivers up and down my spine that I’d never felt from a sour sweet before. Usually sour sweets make me squirm or hurt the roof of my mouth with their acid sour strength. This was a strange ecstatic tingle that I’m certain no other food could ever reproduce. It was raining big freezing dollops of icy water outside at the time I began to suck on this mouth watering sweet, however inside the office at my desk I felt an oddly warming sensation as my senses delved into grapefruit and all its tangy goodness. Honestly, you have to try this sweet, as it was quite an experience!

Lemon flavour

After unwrapping another three sweets I found a very yellow coloured sweet that just had to be lemon. I popped it in my mouth and was first pleased to be kicked by another face twisting sour sweet and second that I’d located the last of the four flavours amongst the individually and identically wrapped sweets. I almost gave out a cheer, but remembered that I was at work and that my office was far too serious for such a thing! The tangy sourness of the lemon flavour, made me think of pancakes in the spring time covered in brown sugar and lemon juice. The sweet was far more sour and face twisty than the grapefruit, and although it didn’t give me the same ecstatic back tingling feeling, I reveled in the squirming zingy sensation that ran around my senses like a hamster on steroids.

These Fox’s Glacier Citrus sweets were mouth wateringly genuinely fruit juicy tasting and fantastically moreish. Whilst sampling them my mind went on an adventure from the (Olympic) joy of orange jelly wrestling, to being shaken awake by fresh lime ready for a Tequila Sunrise, replaced by the previously unknown ecstasies of grapefruit and brought thudding back down to earth by the squirming awkwardness of lemons! These individually wrapped sweets also presented a certain anonymity that was kind of fun to discover what flavour I’d be eating when I unwrapped it at the time. I’m definitely keeping these sweets in my draw at work to suck on whilst I trawl through endless paperwork and dream of the next weekend.
By Spectre

Friday, 27 January 2012

Kit Kat Chunky Orange [New] [By @Cinabar]


As mentioned earlier in the week there are four new Kit Kat Chunky bars on the market as Limited Editions, the most popular of which will become a permanent member of the Kit Kat Chunky family. I am working my way through the varieties and the next one on the list is Kit Kat Chunky Orange. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
The bar is brightly packaged in an orange wrapper, which of course matches the flavour. Once opened I discovered that the bar had a nice sweet smell, with a pleasant natural citrus aroma, which made it rather appetising. I think it is safe to say that orange and milk chocolate work well as a flavour combination, and it is nice to see Kit Kat giving it a try.
The bar is lovely and Chunky, and when you bite in the chocolate and orange blend together perfectly creating a cocoa filled fruity sensation. The orange flavour is soft; it’s not sharp or tart, but pleasantly sweet. It is reassuringly natural in taste too, and I’m pleased to say that the packet states that there are no artificial flavours which is always nice to see. The good solid large wafer inside the Kit Kat gives the bar the substantial feeling you’d expect from one of the Chunky bars.
I felt that the orange worked really well, and made the bar much easier to eat. The fruitiness breaks up the flavour and stops the bar from being overpowering or too rich. It instead had a lovely freshness about the chocolate that made it feel like a proper treat.
If I didn’t know that there was a Peanut Butter Chunky remaining to be tried, I think I’d be real excited about this new Kit Kat!
By Cinabar

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Um, Big Chocolate Star? - The Cocoabean Company (Boots) [by @NLi10]


I don't have much details about this, it being a Christmas present, but due to the little green gift sticker I'm guessing it came from Boots and as the ribbon says the cocoabean company I'm going to guess it comes from this place up in Scotland!

I'm not a massive fan of milk chocolate, it's something that's always been around and just doesn't excite me that much. This fulfils the 'add an angle' and makes boring old milk chocolate exciting by adding little rice crispies in chocolate to the outside, adding some deceptively chewy toffee to the points and spraying titanium dioxide in the middle.

As with most Christmas things I'm only just getting around to starting eating this and it's actually quite enjoyable. I'd say that it's more of a Hotel Chocolate style experience than I'd expected, and the website shows that these guys go all the way to the extreme luxury slabs of chocolate end too! The rice was plentiful enough to give me a crunch but not so overwhelming that the chocolate was flooded. I'm also working under the assumption that eating titanium gives you super-powers but I haven't checked Wikipedia yet so fingers crossed on that one.

It's a bit much for one sitting, but sitting watching all the TV programs recorded over Xmas and playing all of the Xmas games I picked up this was a nice thing to reach for and aggressively bite a chunk out of while steadfastly avoiding all the real food in the kitchen. I'd hapily try other things in this range, especially as they do fruity chocolates by the look of it too.
By NLi10

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Feel Good – Cloudy Lemon Flavour (Westmorland Service Station ) [By @SpectreUK]


I bought this lemon drink from the Westmorland Service Station just outside Penrith, on the way back from a recent trip to Northumberland. Cinabar had a good hunt around the farm shop there for Foodstuff Finds goodies after we’d sat down for a first-class meal. I had a hearty curry and chips and fancied a drink that was refreshing, healthy and zingy to keep me awake on the long drive home. The 100% natural ingredients and no added sugar caught my eye on the bottle label. This drink was made with water and 82% fruit juice, of which is apple, lemon, grape, orange and aceroia (a type of cherry apparently).
To start with I can definitely confirm that this drink is cloudy. The drink tastes sweet with an underlying sour lemon flavour, giving it the zing I needed. It did make me “feel good” and had a healthy feel to it. It was easy to drink and I felt refreshed once I’d finished it. The only problem was that I wanted another one straight away. I would certainly buy this cloudy lemon drink again, and not just for a long jaunt down the motorway.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

MaltEaster Mini Bunnies (W H Smiths) [By @Cinabar]



Back in 2009 the MaltEaster bunny was launched and it was an amazing success. I can tell that it does well, because my short post from January 2009 still proves to be one of the most popular here at Foodstuff Finds!
The thing about bunnies is that they tend to multiple, and now instead of just being available singularly, you can now buy multiple chocolate creatures in a bag, albeit ones that are a bit smaller than the original. Yes, MaltEaster have expanded their range this year and inside this bag are mini bunnies all individually wrapped. They weigh in at just under 12g and contain just 62calories so they are perfect if you fancy a smaller chocolate treat. Other than that the bunny is much the same as the previous year’s versions; with thick creamy chocolate a malt cream filling and pieces of honeycomb to give it a bit of a crunch. It does essentially taste like a large bunny shaped Malteser but with a softer filling, and absolutely lovely it is too. These are great for sharing, but also as they are individually wrapped they would be good for popping into a lunch box as a small chocolate treat.
Finally I hope everyone realises the name of this product contains the word Easter... oh my, the seasons gets earlier and earlier every year!
By Cinabar

Monday, 23 January 2012

Galaxy Bubbles Orange Bar (Boots) [By @Cinabar]



January is normally a slow month snack wise, but things seem to be going a bit crazy at the minute. I have SO many new items to tell you about, I can foresee it being a good week ahead at Foodstuff Finds so keep your eyes open!
First up is a new product from Galaxy, that I first saw sitting quietly on the chocolate counter in Boots. Sometimes when a new product comes out there is a big fanfare about it, and the shops have promotional displays and advertising boards, but this new bar appeared without fuss on the shelf. There was no more than the word ‘new’ written on the wrapper of this Galaxy Bubbles Orange Bar to mark its arrival.
I opened up the bar and as you would expect from Galaxy it was neatly marked into pieces so that you could snap off bite size chunks. The aroma was mild, but I could certainly pick up on the chocolates sweet citrus tones. I picked up one of the chocolate pieces and gave it a try. The first thing I noticed was that as the texture of chocolate wasn’t as clean with its bubbles as other bars such as Wispa. I guess this is because the pieces are thinner and that the chocolate has a much thicker melt, I noticed when I wrote about Galaxy Bubbles for the very first time (i.e. without the orange flavour) I also picked up on this. The Galaxy bar still had its indulgent feel when combined with the heat in the mouth, as the soft bubbles melted and coated the tongue with a very indulgent thick smooth finish. The flavour was spot on, the orange taste was fruity and sweet working well with the rich chocolate bringing balance instead of cutting it up with a sharp zesty flavour. This gentler orange flavour didn’t distract from the super creamy chocolate it complemented it and added a new level to the Galaxy chocolate. This bar is a total success, and really did deserve some fanfares at it launch. It is nice to see a bit of variation with some lovely new chocolates on the market – although this one is surprisingly similar in name to the other recently launched: Aero Bubbles in Orange.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sobe V Water - Shield, Lemon & Lime (Tesco) [By @NLi10]


Usually when I pick up multiple flavours of the same drink I do a joint review, but this one is a bit different so will come in two parts. This is part 2 - part 1 was on Thursday!

Having picked this up as the plus one to a special offer of a drink I'd found disappointing I wasn't holding out much hope for this. I'm not even sure why I picked up this flavour to be honest! The previous drink had been deep in colour and slight in taste and lemonade style drinks that are flat are something that it's hard to get right.

I picked this up after returning late from work instead of making a cup of tea, I figured it was easier and frankly cutting back on caffeinated drinks is probably wise. I did my usual web surfing and video watching at the computer and barely even registered the fact that I was drinking it. And after a short while it struck me why - this is fundamentally Pocari Sweat! I didn't write the entry for that product, mainly because it's one of those odd things that I'm a little evangelical about - I can't get enough of this stuff!

Don't get me wrong though, this Sobe Shield isn't Pocari Sweat, it doesn't have the smoothness and I think it's a note or two less sweet, but it's pretty close and doesn't have to be bought from import shops which is a bonus. Given the choice I'd happily choose the original over this every time, but I'll certainly pick this up again.

I'm not sure how you'd describe the taste of this other than unsweetened lemonade with the sourness tuned down - and flat. The aftertaste is possibly a little flat for my liking, but that really is nitpicking. Oddly this contains lemon, lime and chilli flavourings and several natural herbal extracts (echinacea and astragalus) AND zinc sulphate which suggest that Britvic has put a lot of thought into the health angle for these drinks (for people who don't go on PubMed and check on the efficacy of these things as part of their jobs anyway...).

When a new range is launched I tend to either like or dislike the whole thing, but with these V Water things they produced one disappointing weak cordial, and one surprisingly nice delicate lemon drink. That's not a terrible strike rate if you ask me.

But oh - what is this - there are SIX flavours... and two energy drinks? I'm not sure I can risk that...
By NLi10

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Alpro Soya Chocolate Flavour (Sainsburys) [By @SpectreUK]


I have tried soya milk previously and wasn’t that keen on it, therefore I’ve always been put off trying other soya milk products. When Cinabar suggested I try this Chocolate flavoured soya alternative to chocolate milkshake, I was pretty much against the idea from the start. This chocolate flavoured soya milk was packaged in a 1 litre carton with 77 calories per 100ml, and was rich in calcium, and vitamins B2, B12 and D. Reading the carton further, I found that this chocolate flavoured soya milk was vegetarian and a vegan friendly, produced in a nut free environment, and was dairy, lactose, wheat and gluten free. It was also free from dairy fats, artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives. Alpro Soya is also a good source of plant protein, and is “planet friendly”, using less land and water, and five times less carbon dioxide than 1 litre of diary milk. Alpro Soya uses ethnically sourced non genetically modified organic (GMO) soya beans. Apparently increased soya in your diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women, and also improves cognitive and verbal memory.

Realising I was starting to sound more like a health food advertisement I decided to open the carton. On opening I noticed the brown milk smelt like chocolate, which I figured was a good start. It had a thick texture, but didn’t have a sweet chocolate taste, as it tasted almost identical to chocolate rice pudding. There was definitely a heavy rice pudding aftertaste with a hint of chocolate, which made me feel a little thirsty. Having said that, I was still pleasantly surprised by the satisfying chocolaty taste of this chocolate flavoured soya milk, and believe it would make a good healthy alternative to chocolate milkshake and chocolate puddings in general. So next time you see a carton in the fridge section in the supermarket don’t be shy and give it a try, it’s not bad at all and it’s good for you!
By Spectre

Friday, 20 January 2012

Kit Kat Chunky Double Choc (By @Cinabar)


Let me start by sharing some fantastic news – Kit Kat have launched four new limited edition Chunky bars! The most popular of which will be added to the permanent range! Its popularity will be based on an online vote on their facebook site, so after you’ve tasted the bars – vote for your favourite there.

The four new bars are pictured above, but just to clarify they are:
  • Double Choc
  • Orange
  • White Choc
  • Peanut Butter!!!
First up though we have:


Double Choc

As far as flavours go, this one probable sounded the least diverse in the selection. I don’t mean to be unnecessarily negative towards the bar before I begin, but as an addition to the permanent selection I think I’d prefer something a little bit more different.
I pulled back the wrapper and found that the large stick of Kit Kat was marked into three pieces. I broke one piece off, which was still quite a hard task. It took more pressure than expected to snap and it felt wonderfully substantial. Once open I saw that some of the wafer had been replaced by a layer of thick chocolate fondant that looked quite dark. My first thought was that I had hoped that the wafer would have been chocolaty too, but I guess that would have made it a triple chocolate bar!
I bit in and have to say the layer of extra chocolate did make this a seriously indulgent Kit Kat. The cocoa tones fill the senses and the huge wafer gives it a very satisfying feel. The extra chocolate worked like a dream, and actually impressed me.
I would find it impossible to say anything bad about this Kit Kat Double Choc as it just tasted so darn nice. The chocolate layer gave it an edge on a regular Kit Kat Chunky, and to say that I originally felt this bar sounded the least interesting I now have to confess to liking the extra chocolate and the difference it made. I still have that thought in my head though about there being a real chance to get Kit Kat Chunky that adds some proper variety to the brand, and as much as I enjoyed this bar, I’m not sure it is different enough for me to get excited at voting it in as the permanent member to the range. I will however wait till I’ve tried all four before I make any decisions on where to place my vote.
The write-ups of the other three bars will follow shortly, and if this one is anything to go by, I am rather looking forward to tucking in!
Have you tried the bars yet? What do you think? Which one will be getting your vote?
By Cinabar

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sobe V Water - Glow, Pomegranate & Blueberry Flavour (Tesco) [by @NLi10]


Usually when I pick up multiple flavours of the same drink I do a joint review, but this one is a bit different so will come in two parts. This is part 1 & part 2 will be up Sunday.

I happened to be out and looking for a drink to take with me to a games night (which turned out to be a venue that didn't want you to bring your own drinks...) and saw this Sobe V Water drink. It had geckos on the bottle and contained pomegranate, it was also on a buy two for a bit more than one offer in Tesco so I picked up a second flavour too.

As mentioned I didn't get to drink it on that day, but as the photo shows I got chance to drink it while out shopping the following day. I'd not really thought about the prominence of the word water in the name and so was very surprised by the weakness of the flavour. Not only could I not tell that it was pomegranate or blueberry but I think I'd have struggled to guess even close if it wasn't for the colour. It tastes like when you've had a nice bottle of Ribena and then reused the bottle without washing it by filling it up from a tap. Except the Ribena flavour would probably still be stronger.

It was certainly refreshing, and I didn't really put the 'glow' part to the test as my brain refused to believe that something so mild in flavour would have medicinal properties. If you want something that is one step above water in the flavour department and is fairly expensive for what it does then try this out! I think there is probably a market for refreshing things with a sporty edge that you can just drink large quantities of like Lucozade Light and other non-sugar sports drinks but I'd need a bit more oomph in the taste department.
By NLi10

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fig Newtons (American Soda @americansoda) [By @SpectreUK]


These Fig Newtons are cookies (or biscuits to us Brits) with a fig centre, and were made in Mexico by Nabisco, for Kraft Foods. The 226g box had sixteen biscuits inside it. Two biscuits were considered a serving size, which was 110 calories. The fig biscuit’s ingredients included; figs (bit strange if they didn’t), wheat flour, milk, soy, sulfites, baking soda and sugar. On opening the box and tearing open the biscuit’s plastic wrapper, there was a strong and gorgeous smell like cookie dough (er… biscuit dough?) mixed with fig. I mentioned to Cinabar at the time that I could have quite happily breathed in that smell all day. It was a heavenly newly cooked fig biscuit smell that could easily be used as an air freshener. I have never understood why air fresheners generally have a strong flowery or fruity smell that doesn’t truly cover up a stink (whatever it is…), but rather adds to it, creating an all together new chokingly fruity flowery stench of doom that could have without doubt been used in trench warfare…

Anyway, these biscuits have a very soft and slightly crumbly outer biscuit that had a very mild wheat flour flavour with a hint of soy. The main flavour of the biscuit concentrated almost entirely on the juicy fig wrapped inside, which shined through ecstatically. There was a moistness that some dryer biscuits on the market don’t have, giving these fig biscuits a fresh chewy texture and whetting the palate, willing you to have just one more… and then another, and another. With the knowledge that I could have effortlessly pigged out and eaten the whole sixteen biscuits in one sitting, I decided to be controlled when eating these imported biscuits, savouring their taste and only having a few each day. I’ve always raved about how Sainsbury’s own fig rolls are the best fig biscuits on the market (and trust me, they are really good), but Fig Newtons had a soft sumptuous luxury feel to them, pushing Sainsbury’s fig rolls to second best and dwarfing Jacob’s hardened biscuit fig rolls. I must get some more of these Fig Newtons sometime soon. Once you find something so good, you just have to indulge… Well, you just have to!
By Spectre
Want your own Fig Newtons? They are available here!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Aero Orange Bubbles (Sainsbury’s) [By @Cinabar]



Aero Mint Bubbles are my first choice of chocolate snack if we go to the theatre as they are such an easy chocolate to eat (as an added bonus they have no wrappers to rustle and annoy other theatre goes). Aero Bubbles are obviously popular as Nestle have expanded the range and released these new orange flavour ones to sit alongside the mint version. It is an obvious brand continuation as they re-released the Aero Orange bar just last year and people were very pleased to see that back on our shelves.
These new milk chocolate coated bubbles may look like Maltesers from the outside but the citrus aroma and light weight give some clues to the contents. I was impressed to see that the bubbles inside each of these new chocolates is a lovely orange colour, and matches the more famous Aero bar.
The thing I love about Aero Bubbles is the texture. The light ball of bubbly chocolate just melts away in seconds in the mouth when you bite in, leaving the most amazing chocolate orange flavour behind.
The chocolate is sweet and milky, and the orange flavour is fruity and zesty. Spectre enjoyed the Orange Bubbles but wanted a stronger zingier orange flavour, like you might find in a Quality Street Orange Cream, but the recipe is the same as the Orange Aero bar which is a softer warmer orange flavour.
Each Bubble may only be light but it is just enough chocolate to fill the taste buds, and after the sweet chocolaty orange flavour gentle dissolves and subsides you find yourself reaching for another Bubble... and another... until the bag sits empty in front of you... and you find yourself blaming somewhere else for the disappearance of the chocolate. This is perfect snacking chocolate, easy eating and very moreish. They are ideal for sharing, but you might just find yourself fighting over the bag!
By Cinabar

Monday, 16 January 2012

Anchor Elevenses Competition



Anchor Butter is bringing back Elevenses!

Well… It never really went anywhere; it’s just been a little forgotten. We want to inspire people who feel the need to have a nice little sit, with a cup of tea and a nibble at around 11 o’clock.
You might call us crazy, but we find that a buttered crumpet or slice of cake at this time of day is just what’s needed. The kids are at school, you’ve made countless packed lunches, the dogs’ been for a walk and before you start your day (as if it hasn’t already been going for hours!) you need a bit of a recharge.
We want people to embrace this mid morning snack, in all its glory and we want you to join us! To help bring Elevenses back we’d like to offer all the readers of Foodstuff Finds the chance to win a full set of Anchor memorabilia! That’s a butter dish, a pair of egg cups, a cake stand, a cake tin, a tea towel, an apron and a toy van!

All you have to do is tell us what’s your favourite elevenses snack?
Please email you answer to admin@foodstufffinds.co.uk and mark the subject line Comp

They’d love to talk to you more so why not hop over to Anchor's Facebook and Twitter for a chat.

NOW CLOSED

Competition closes - Friday 20th January 2012 at 8pm
Good Luck all!

Pom Bear Pizza (Sainsbury’s) [By @cinabar]



I have to be honest, as a kid Pom Bear skipped me by. I can’t actually remember every having tried them before. I know this is shocking, and I’ve certainly seen them in the shops many times, but they have never made it into my basket before now. The thing that encouraged me on this occasion was the exciting word ‘new’ on the bag, and I felt that this seemed like a good place to start with the brand.
I poured some onto my plate at lunch time and have to be honest, smiled at the sweet shape of these crisps, because they do look like smiling bears. They seemed be made of an aerated potato base, that made them look quite light and a little bit like Quavers.
I bit into one and was impressed by the texture. It was very light, but also pleasantly crisp and crunchy. The flavour was more complex than expected and had tomato, cheese and a nice hint of Italian herbs such as Oregano. The taste is fairly mild, but certainly had the major ingredients for recreating a pizza taste. The lightness of the crisps makes them very easy munching, I thoroughly enjoyed the bag. I know they appeal to children because they are rather cute, but as an adult I can’t resist the fact that they are less than 100 calories a bag too!
There was something very refreshing about trying a new brand of crisps, and I will be looking out for the other flavours in the range. A little birdie tells me that there are more new varieties on the way too – so keep your eye out for Smoky Bacon and Prawn Cocktail coming very soon.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Lychee Flake Pocky, Glico [By @NLi10]


At the end of last week's review I remarked how similar the Mango Pocky Mouse was in taste to the Lychee Pocky and stated that I should try them together to see the similarities. I hadn't realised at that point that I hadn't actually reviewed the Lychee Pocky (but had eaten a few of the boxes!) so that should be the next one to write up. I also had a Thai red curry with Lychees in from Ma Ma Thai last night so it's been a very lychee week.

Lychee is one of those odd fruits that doesn't seem to crop up that often in UK foods. It's very sweet and fragrant and hides in a soft red shell and has a hard stone in the centre. It also looks a little like an eyeball. One of the most palatable ways to try a lychee flavour is to get the Rubikon Lychee juice drink from the Caribbean section of your local supermarket. This really does taste like the real thing.

This tastes similar, but with the emphasis on the cream for the deluxe Pocky style the taste is a little richer than normal and consequently this is a snacking Pocky rather than a consume the whole box in one sitting thing. Also this is Thai Pocky where as the Mouse is Japanese Pocky. The flavours vary but the essential experience remains the same.

As this has actual flakes of dried lychee on the sticks they are a little crunchier than you'd expect and the flavour has a sharper edge similar to the blueberry or dried strawberry varieties. Directly compared to the mango there are indeed similarieites, but the lychee flakes mean that after a few bites this is the more lychee experience. The mango flavour is still suspicious but when directly compared there is more of a mango hint and the lychee is maybe more of an aftertaste.

Lychee Pocky is one of the great summer flavours and one I've been happy to pick up and munch on for a good while.
By NLi10

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Wonka Laffy Taffy Mystery Twirl (American Soda @americansoda) [By @SpectreUK]


I’m always excited when Cinabar passes me another of Wonka’s fine sweet inventions. This Laffy Taffy was a two flavour Mystery Twirl from NestlĂ© USA. The long stick was half purple and half green in colour. It was around the same length as a thirty centimeter ruler and less than a centimeter in width, weighing in at 22.9g. The two coloured flavours were stuck next to each other in a line, rather than twirled around each other. I noticed that there was no juice mentioned in ingredients, like Rowntrees pride themselves on adding at least some juice into the manufacturing of their gums. The Laffy Taffy was very sticky to touch and I had to completely destroy the packet to get to the sweet. Fortunately the wrapper didn’t rip like some chewy sweet wrappers can and you end up eating half the packaging. I worried that the sweet would pull my fillings out, but the Laffy Taffy was nice and chewy, like Starburst or Chewits. The purple colour had a false, but not unpleasant grape flavour that mostly overpowered the green colour, which I figured was apple flavour. The wrapper did state “Mystery Twirl”, and there might not have been a “Twirl” involved, but the second flavour did keep most of its “Mystery”. Having said that, I did enjoy this sweet, it had a pleasant flavour and didn’t pull my teeth out. It made me feel young for a while, as I had fun tearing apart the wrapper on the bus after another busy day at work. So thanks, Wonka, I can always rely on you to make me smile. :-)
By Spectre
Get you own Laffy Taffy from American Soda: There are plenty to choose from!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Cadbury Wispa Gold [It’s back and it’s permanently!] (WH Smiths) [By @Cinabar]



Wispa Gold is one of my favourite chocolate bars of all time. It has had an uneasy past, being discontinued, then brought back for a short period of time and then discontinued again. I’m pleased to say it has now been brought back to the shops as part of the permanent range. I’m not sure what permanent means to chocolate bar manufacturers, but it certainly sounds hopefully that it will be around for a while yet! I get the impression that someone at Cadbury HQ saw the Olympic tie-in of gold medals and gold chocolate and gave this bar a new lease of life due to the name.
The bar is actually slightly different to its last release, but only subtly so. The biggest difference I spotted was that on the old bar (in its last incarnation), one end always had a large section of bubbly chocolate before you got to the caramel bit. This meant that if you bit in at the wrong end you could be fooled into thinking you were eating a regular Wispa, as the caramel wouldn’t be revealed until the second bite. I have tried a couple of these new ones and can confirm that there is no such issue with this new variation and that the caramel goes all the way through!
The chocolate is as you would expect, and is the usual sweet creamy stuff from Cadbury, formed into soft bubbles so it gives willing when you bite in. The caramel is super gooey and oozes pleasingly as you work your way through the bar. It is a flavoursome filling and Cadbury do always seem to hit the right note when it comes to caramel. The fabulous golden concoction in the centre makes this bar, that and the rich chocolate just work together in perfect harmony. A sweet treat that has a good mix of textures and the perfect caramel chocolate ratio.
I would like to say a big Foodstuff Finds welcome back to Wispa Gold, and may it be with us forever more! ;-)
By Cinabar

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Pocky Mouse, Green Tea, Chocolate, Mango – Glico [By @NLi10]


Happy New Year - Happy New Pocky!

I've had these sitting in my work drawer for a while and thought they'd be perfect for a quick review.

Pocky Mouse is essentially a thicker layer of Pocky coating on the same stick, meaning these are closer to the Meiji Lucky Stick that I reviewed earlier. This gives you a squishier experience and changes the taste levels too. Each box has two individually wrapped packs of 6 bars, similar to other Japanese produced Pocky.

The chocolate one is very much your basic Pocky but in a deluxe box and coating style. If you've had a regular Pocky then this is pretty much the same thing, but chewier. The flavours are nice though and it's very compulsive and tempts you to finish the packets in a single sitting.

The Green Tea one is something I've sought for a while but the flavour is pretty unusual. This tastes like the green tea at the end of the pot when the flavour is at its most intense. As there is some actual green tea in the recipe the coating is a little pastier than usual and changes the experience up a little. Non-Pocky eating people were a little freaked out by this one, but those of us who like both parts were suitably impressed after that first odd bite. I'd like a Jasmine tea one now please Glico!

Oddest of them all was the Mango Pocky. Far from being unappetising or having a bad flavour this is one of the fruitiest and most appealing Pocky I've had - it just appears to taste of lychee instead of mango! I was given some lychee flake Pocky for Christmas which contains actual physical pieces of dried lychee on it and they taste startlingly similar! Not a complaint due to the fact that the little eye-ball imitating fruit is one of my favourites (especially in curry - yum!) but somewhat unexpected. I shall take the Lychee flake Pocky to work and compare the two (if I must... :D ).
By NLi10

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Year’s Eve Chocolate Beer and Chocolate Cigar Celebrations [By @Spectre]


Orange Flavoured Venchi Cuba Chocolate Cigar

I usually have a Meringato Venchi Cuba chocolate cigar on Christmas Eve, but Cinabar treated me to an orange flavoured Venchi Cuba chocolate cigar amongst my Christmas presents, so I decided to break with tradition and eat it on New Year’s Eve washed down with a couple of chocolate beers. We watched Jools Holland’s Hootenanny and I enjoyed my bottle of Barnstormer before midnight. Once the New Year’s celebrations and fireworks had died down I unwrapped my 100g gold labeled Venchi Cuba chocolate cigar with orange peel flavouring. Like the Meringato this chocolate cigar is made with a double layer of chocolate, which equates to 20% pure milk chocolate and 20% dark chocolate, with candied orange filling and other ingredients. Before I opened the first bottle I had a quick taste of the chocolate cigar. It had a smooth combination of milk and dark chocolates with a decent hit of cocoa, and a subtle yet sweet orange flavour mixed with vanilla and a hint of almonds. The chocolate cigar was very nice indeed. As per usual I quoted Hannibal Smith from the A Team; “I love it when a plan comes together.” I then reached for the bottle opener and the Double Chocolate Stout…


Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (Waitrose)

Staying with the theme of double chocolates, this Double Chocolate Stout was brewed by Wells and Young’s Brewery, in Bedford, which was established in 1831. The stout was 5.2% volume, and its ingredients included; pale ale malt, oats, hops, yeast, malted barley, and natural chocolate flavouring. “Double Chocolate” in the title meant that it had been brewed with chocolate malt and real dark chocolate.

There was a strong chocolate smell on opening the bottle. I excitedly poured the almost black stout into my beer mug, whilst holding the huge chocolate cigar in my mouth like a mad dictator (well, they usually are mad anyway). On tasting the stout, the initial bitterness from the mix of sturdy malts and hops was quickly replaced by a luxurious soft, smooth, creaminess, which was merged with a dark chocolate flavour. The dark chocolate flavour wasn’t overly sweet and lightly tickled my taste buds, leaving a deep malt chocolate aftertaste. Whilst this stout easily complimented the chocolate cigar, I could have happily cast the cigar to one side and enjoyed the chocolate stout on its own. I’m sure this would be a gloriously indulgent pudding replacement for anyone. All I can think to say is a quote from another film, which is Sleepless in Seattle; “Tiramisu? What’s that?” Who cares…?


Cheshire Chocolate Porter (Waitrose)

Once I’d finished the Double Chocolate Stout and much of the chocolate cigar, I reached for this Cheshire Chocolate Porter. It was brewed in collaboration between Frederic Robinson Limited’s Unicorn Brewery, in Stockport, which was established in 1838, and the renowned Chocolatier Simon Dunn. This Chocolate Porter was based on a recipe that dated back to 1899. It was described on the bottle as; “Full bodied with a ripe malt and velvety smooth chocolate taste”. Dark brown in colour and 6% volume, this Porter’s ingredients included; yeast, malted barley, wheat syrup, wheat, hops, and natural chocolate flavouring. The bottle recommended this Porter for main courses of roast pork or gammon, as well as chocolaty puddings.

I washed my empty beer mug for tasting fairness before pouring. I found that this Porter was not as strong smelling of chocolate as the Double Chocolate Stout. There was an initial beery bitterness and malt taste followed by a sweeter hit from the chocolate than the Double Chocolate Stout. This was followed by a decent malt and rich chocolate aftertaste. I certainly found this Porter to be a very tasty and very moreish beer. My beer mug seemed to empty all too quickly and I wished I’d had another bottle to replace it. This Porter went very well with the other half of my chocolate cigar, but again, whilst not as creamy and smooth as the Double Chocolate Stout, I’d have been happy to enjoy this beer on its own.

Both chocolate beers and the chocolate cigar undoubtedly helped me celebrate the New Year in style. Thanks Cinabar and I hope you all are having a great New Year and enjoy the blog for another year and for many more! Cheers! :-)
By Spectre

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Dina Baklawa Snack Pack (Sainsbury’s) [By @Cinabar]


Baklawa (also known as Baklava) is a Turkish delicacy consisting of filo pastry sweetened with syrup until it is sticky and often with added nuts. It covers a multitude of slightly different variations on that theme, and in fact this very snack pack had three Baklawa varieties within the box. I was more than a little surprised to find Baklawa in our small local Sainsbury’s, especially on the snack section (i.e. not the import isle) and took the opportunity to try something new. The image on the packaging shows them being eaten with a cup of coffee, so I brewed a mug for myself and opened the box.
I started with the one with the rounded top (right in the photo), and as I picked it out of the pack realised it was quite sticky to touch. I bit in and found that it was almost completely pastry, stuck together with a very sweet syrup. It was nice, but I could imagine it would be rather rich if eaten in any vast quantity.
The next one I tried was the middle one which looked like it had a pinched top. Although there was still a lot of pastry this one had a syrup and pistachio based filling. It was less flaky and not as sticky as the previous variety and was much easier to eat. The nut flavour broke it up a bit and made it a delight with coffee.
I accidentally saved the best to last as the final one (left in the photo) was a total treat. It had a substantial amount of filling and tasted strongly of walnuts and syrup. It reminded me of pecan pie, as the strongly flavoured nuts and syrup just worked so well together. I liked the fact that there was less pastry and more filling and that the nuts had such a good defined walnut taste, it really was superb.
I thoroughly enjoyed trying this Baklawa and have to say as per the serving suggestion on the packet, a cup of coffee works well with these. The bitterness contrasts the super sweet flavours so well and a sip of coffee after the sugar worked nicely. They are rich and different and very nice in small quantities, unless of course you stumble across a huge box of the walnut ones, in which case I think you might be surprised by just how many I can eat!!
By Cinabar

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Dormen Savouries: Indian Korma Flavour Snacks (Sainsbury’s) [By @Cinabar]


If I was to start writing this and say that these ‘snacks’ are mainly made of lentils, you’d probably wouldn’t be that excited. Snacking and lentils don’t sound like they would go together, but as it turns out they really do.
Despite the main ingredient the base of these snacks are like a light and crispy Quaver in texture. You wouldn’t notice the lack of potato at all unless you read the ingredients list (like me). They seem to dissolve after the initial crunch and blend away pleasantly as you eat. The best part is the taste, as it so closely represents the intended curry flavour. The crisps have an amazingly creamy, but mild spiced flavour. There is plenty of seasoning with Cumin and Coriander seeping through, and then there is the gentlest heat from a little chilli just to give that authentic curry taste. The aftertaste is what makes them though, as it is a smooth flavour which is buttery with coconut that just finishes the taste and leaves you with an amazing desire to crunch into another!
They may well be mild, but don’t for a minute think they aren’t full flavoured. I was very impressed by just how closely they recreated the Korma taste, and absolutely loved every one of them. By the time you’ve finished the bag you won’t be worry about the lentil base, you’ll be worrying that you don’t have another pack in the house!
By Cinabar

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Branston: Cheese And Pickle Peanuts & Crackers (Sainsbury’s) [By @Cinabar]


Well this is a slightly complex sounding snack product. Firstly take some peanuts and flavour them with Branston pickle, which is odd enough on its own if you think about. Peanuts are regularly salted, and sometimes come with chilli but I’ve never seen them flavoured with pickle before! That on its own would be interesting enough for a new product but Branston went a stage further. The folks at pickle headquarters must have thought to themselves that it is cheese that Branston pickle goes so well with, so they added a mix of cheese flavoured crackers in the bag for good measure!
I poured some of these nuts onto a plate and had a look. I would say that the contents were about three quarters peanuts and one quarter crackers. I decided to start with a nut which had a dark dusting of seasoning. The peanut flavour shone through, and the pickle flavour was surprisingly sweet but with a nice tang of spice. I’d say it was a fair representation of the pickle and that it worked with the nut taste. The more I munched the peanuts the warmer the flavours became and gently heated up my mouth. The crackers were quite light bits of biscuit, with just a hint of cheese. They were quite distinct within themselves, but when combined with the peanuts the cheese taste became a bit more lost.
I have to say that I totally enjoyed these nuts, and they were good to snack on. The cheese biscuits in the bag had a novelty factor, and were certainly a nice idea, but they didn’t work as well with the nuts as I’d hoped. Personally I’d be rather happy to munch on just the Branston peanuts as they were a quality new taste experience. I hope these are around for a bit, and aren’t just part of the Christmas snack selection, as I think I’ll be off to buy another bag.
By Cinabar

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Belgian Abbey Beer (Tesco) [By @SpectreUK]


This Belgian Abbey Beer was produced by the Huyghe Brewery, in Belgium, which is the same brewer that makes the Orange Peel Beer I obtain (well, Cinabar treats me to a bottle when I’ve written tons of blogs for her… it’s a hard life!) from Marks and Spencer’s that goes perfectly with fishy meals. The orange peel beer is also available in Tesco in the same 750ml bottle as this Abbey Beer, with the same style label. At 6.5% volume, this Belgian Abbey Beer was described on the bottle as having a “rich fruitcake aroma” and “citrus hop notes, with a sweet finish and a hint of spice”. The ingredients included; water, malted barley, sugar, hops, yeast, and so I was interested to find out where the “hint of spice” came from, but suspected this would be from the hops, rather than some secret ingredient!

I cautiously unwound the metal wire guard around the cork at the top of the bottle, and gave a childish giggle as the cork popped out noisily and bounced off the ceiling. I wasn’t wearing a tin hat at the time (I’ve got one just in case I’m too cheeky to Cinabar), but fortunately the cork ended up some way across the room. On pouring I found this beer was light in colour, with a fresh and full bodied fruity pale beer smell to it. The yeast mixed with malted barley tickled my taste buds to start with, and then there was a sweet fruity taste followed by a suggestion of spice. It was a perfect warming accompaniment on Christmas Day evening whilst watching the snowy scenes in one of my favourite movies of all time, Where Eagles Dare, with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. It was a pretty long film and I was able to savour every beery fruity and lightly spiced mouthful. I will definitely have this beer again, and will also be hunting for other beers from the Huyghe Brewery in 2012.
By Spectre

Friday, 6 January 2012

Old Amsterdam Cheese [By @Cinabar]



Cheese seems to be quite seasonal at the minute with lots of different sets complete with mini bottles of port or pickles hitting the Christmas gift market. I too bought a box of crackers for cheese, and decided to try out this new Dutch variety. Old Amsterdam Cheese is a matured Gouda promising a full flavour experience. Although the slab of Old Amsterdam Cheese came with a smart cheese board and slicer, I actually cut fairly chunky pieces for my crackers, because I’m greedy like that!
The cheese has a good rich golden colour and is quite a firm to cut. I placed a sizable chunk neatly on top of a buttered cracker and tested it out. I have to say it has a very impressive flavour. The cheese is quite strong, and had a very developed taste. It was nutty and had a tangy after flavour that blended away to a softer creaminess when you finished the mouthful. As someone who likes mature cheese, I really enjoyed the fuller flavour of the cheese, and felt that it complimented the lighter buttered cracker taste perfectly. I paired some of it up with M&S’s Traditional Windfall Chutney which is rather sweet and the two flavours worked together like a treat. It was one of those moments when you realise you shouldn’t eat the hole block of cheese in one sitting!
If you are looking for something that’s a bit different, I do recommend it. Astronaut Andre Kuipers thought it was so good he took some with him on his last trip to the space station, so if it is good enough for NASA it really ought to be good enough for anyone!
By Cinabar

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Peanut Butter Creme Oreo (USA) [By @Cinabar]


The UK does have some excellent chocolate varieties available but there are two things notably missing in the UK market, chocolate & peanut butter and chocolate & coffee. Although we have seen examples of both in the shops upon occasion, neither seems to have caught on and most bars seem to be discontinued. As examples of bars I miss are Lindt Coffee Intense and Kit Kat Peanut Butter both have disappeared from our shelves leaving gaping holes in the market.
America seems to have different taste buds and chocolate & peanut butter is far more popular there. Luckily for me I have a contact, and the wonderful Jess from Foodette Reviews feeds my choc & peanut butter craving. This winter Jess sent a Christmas parcel, and amongst the Reese’s Christmas trees and other goodies sat this box of Peanut Butter Oreos. Oh my word. I ripped into the wrapper to sample the treasures within. The biscuits have the usual super dark (but sweet) rich cocoa flavour that I like so much, and as I bit in the biscuit broke releasing the soft peanut butter. The salty nutty taste spilled onto my taste buds and combined with the chocolate biscuit making the most amazing flavour concoction. Chocolate and peanut butter were made for each other! I loved the way the taste varied with every mouthful, sometimes salty, sometimes nutty and sometimes sweet, it is a clever mix and an amazing taste experience. I tried not to eat too many, but found myself reaching for one after another trying to savour each one and not scoff!
Peanut Butter Oreos are just about my favourite biscuit ever, I can’t believe they aren’t available in the UK. I also find it quite bizarre that import shops don’t stock these, but the import shops have always got it wrong with Oreos. They tend to sell regular Oreos or chocolate Oreos the only two flavours ALREADY available in any UK supermarket, what’s that about? I’m sure these readily available Oreos don’t sell too well at the import shops making them think that it isn’t worth stocking imported Oreos at all, and thus missing out all the other varieties… including these yummy peanut butter ones! I have seen mint, fudge, strawberry and a multitude of other flavours on American sites, but not in the UK.
After my binge I carefully packed the remaining Oreos into an air tight Tupperware box, so that I could keep them fresh and ration myself with the remaining elixir of biscuits. I can’t emphasise enough how much I hope 2012 is the year that the UK comes to its senses and sees peanut butter becoming the new caramel!
By Cinabar

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Pickled Cucumber in Soy Sauce (Day In supermarket) [By @SpectreUK]


I’m always looking for new snacks of the pickled variety to add to the ever increasing pile on my Sunday lunch plate. I like soy sauce and I like cucumber. I saw this jar in a Chinese supermarket that I like to visit now and then to look for foodstuffs. Now I’ve had Makok pickled, but never my cucumber! The idea of pickling a cucumber first and then leaving it to soak up the good honest taste of soy sauce sounded like genius to me. Produced by the AGV Products Corporation in Taiwan, this cute jar was begging to be opened and its contents added to my already full plate the following Sunday, which was piled high with salami filled salad sandwiches, Barry Norman’s spicy pickled onions, pickled walnuts, and a pickled egg, plus a selection of crisps. Trust me, once I’ve eaten all those pickles and with my legendary escaping wind problem, you wouldn’t want to sit next to me for the rest of the afternoon.

There was a strong smell of soy sauce on opening the jar. I didn’t realize how much a cucumber could shrivel up once pickled! The finely cut pieces were quite small and crunchy, and had a luscious juicy taste of soy sauce. Feeling unusually generous, I shared a few out on Cinabar’s and her Mom’s plates. We all agreed that these pickled cucumbers in soy sauce were an excellent tasty treat and that we should always have a jar in the house. I don’t think the little jar will last long, so it’ll probably be another trip to the Chinese supermarket for me… ;-)
By Spectre

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tassimo – Twinings Chai Latte [@tassimo] [By @Cinabar]



I don’t intend to review every tea, coffee and hot chocolate available for the Tassimo machine, but it is a new toy in our house and so has got my interest up. Like the Milka hot chocolate, this drink was also too exciting to pass up!
One of my favourite drinks is spiced tea, and I thought I’d test out how the new Tassimo machine does things, it is actually the first tea I’ve tried in it. I popped the discs in and waited for my drink to arrive. The Tassimo uses a milk disc to mix up this tea, which may seem a bit unusual but is actually the more traditional method with spiced teas in India.
As you can see from the picture, the tea looked very pretty once it was made, with plenty of milk but a good warmth in the colour and a clever two-layer effect. The drink smelt aromatic with a lovely hint of cinnamon and spices, bringing a little slice of the exotic to the Foodstuff Finds kitchen.
The flavour was impressive, although there was plenty of spice, and it was fine for my taste buds, Spectre would have brewed his a bit longer had there been the option. He is the kind of guy who will leave tea bag in so long that you think that he was making tar not tea and the teaspoon can practically free stand in the middle!
I felt that the spices and the creamy milk made more of a soothing drink, with the cloves and star anise tickling the taste buds with the playful cinnamon. It’s a perfect comforting drink for a cold winter evening, with its warming fragrant spices and creamy taste.
Sweetness was something I thought might be an issue, I have one teaspoon’s worth in my cuppa, but Spectre thinks this is sacrilege and doesn’t touch the stuff. The Chai Latte seemed to be okay for both of us, without any addition of sugar from me which leads me to believe there is a tiny bit of sugar already in the brew, but only a very small amount. This is another product I will be buying again, as it is so different from the other drinks on offer for the machine. It is also the only one Spectre has tried as he is a little adverse to coffee and I haven’t yet tempted him with barista skills (which admittedly do consist of just pressing a button).
If you don’t have a Tassimo machine but like the idea of drinking Chai, I should point out that you can buy Twinings Chai tea bags from most big supermarkets. If you are tempted to buy a Tassimo machine, there are some great offer on Idealo at the minute.
By Cinnabar

Monday, 2 January 2012

Hand Cooked Hoisin Duck Crisps (Tesco Finest) [By @Cinabar]


The thing about writing a blog about snacks is that when you are faced with a totally bizarre sounding flavour of crisps, you realise it’s not the first time you’ve tried the variety. In January 2009 Walkers brought out Crispy Duck and Hoisin Sauce crisps which was part of a competition where customers could suggest new varieties. The Walkers Duck crisps didn’t win their competition, but they were some fine tasting crisps with plenty of Hoisin flavour but also a fair amount of onion.
When I opened the pack I could smell rich tones, like those you might find when entering a Chinese restaurant. The crisps had an aromatic flavour, sweet, but with multiple spices, such as star anise shining through. The after taste was a decent hint of soya sauce for that shot of authentic flavour, and a hint of duck to finish the taste. Although onion was listed on the ingredients, the flavour was a background one, and not dominant like the old Walkers flavour.
I was impressed that these new crisps managed to recreate the complex taste so well, it was one of those rare occasions where you would be able to guess the variety from a blind taste test. It is nice to see something a bit different on the market, and although it has been done once before there aren’t any other crisps currently out with this flavour. More than that these were very tasty crisps and they were surprisingly moreish too, definitely worth a try.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Festive Leftovers (Various Sources) [by @NLi10]

It's that time of year again, the time of year that comes after the other two times of year we've just had. This one is the one where you have lots of odds and ends of food left around. Often these are presents or things you took to parties that didn't get finished or just things you sampled while with friends. I took pictures of some of the more unusual ones that I tried and have collated them below.



Chip 'n' Ketchup Pringles

These were brought into work to share and with good reason - they taste a bit wrong. I'm not sure whether it's the brain misinterpreting the artificial flavours or just that Heinz ketchup taste is so pervasive but these were an odd mix. Essentially they are trying to taste like a fried chip with vinegar and ketchup and end up tasting like sweet, sulphurous crisps. Not sure why these haven't caught on!

Bahlsen Zum Fest

Now this is more like it! I'm not sure whether these were bought for Christmas Day or were a present but they appeared at Ms. NLi10's parent’s house on Christmas morning. Being a polite soul I only had a couple but all were of the usual high Bahlsen quality and actually tasted like Germanic festive treats you might purchase at a Christmas market.


Presentation wise they were also well done so these are easily giftable. I may check for these in Aldi/Lidl as that's the kind of place that excels in Euro snacks. A definite hit.


Lir - Fabulous Chocolate Florentines

We came (joint) second place in the Trust quiz and our prize was chosen to be these. We universally expected them to have a crisp base but essentially these are HUGE (5cm diameter) chocolate buttons with adult style toppings.


These included coffee, raspberry meringue, nuts and a dark fruits of forest one. As they are just choc you can see the very bottom light brown one has melted in the box! The choc was of a high quality but it was the smells that they produced and the toppings that raised these above the masses. A deluxe prize if there ever was one.


Border Biscuits Collection

These were a gift to our office by one of our beloved consultants. The tin and its contents are very well presented but a lot of the biscuits were broken due to their crumbly nature. This didn't impact on the taste and the only reason some of these survive is that there was so much else to try. I think the fruit in these was a little hard at times, but this wasn't a problem. Rare to see fruit in a chocolate biscuit work as a flavour balance too, which was a nice surprise.

And that’s it! Hope you enjoy clearing up all the last biscuits in the barrel as much as I did - Happy New Year!!
By NLi10