Friday, 31 May 2013

Pipers Crisp Co – Chorizo Flavour (@TebayServices @Piperscrisps)


We have recently come back from one of our road trips, and as always made sure we stopped at the fabulous Tebay Services on the way back. It’s a lovely place, smart, homely, has views of the countryside and is complete with its own food hall. Amongst the goodies we picked up were these crisps from Pipers, in a flavour we haven’t seen before. In fact I couldn’t ever remember trying Chorizo crisps before, until Spectre reminded me that I had tried some from Boots!
The aroma from the bag was rich and impressive. Before trying you could tell that these crisps would be super tasty and full of flavour. The crisps were the usually excellent quality too, the potato was cut just right, not too thick but enough to deliver a decent crunch. They weren’t greasy crisps, just nicely seasoned. The spices just work so well, there is a fair amount of chilli heat which is lovely, followed by a barbecue taste, garlic, paprika, onion, pork and lots of other herbs and spices all packed in and making a very believable Chorizo taste. It even has that telltale slightly bitter edge like the sausage, which was particularly impressive. It’s so refreshing to find a proper hot taste with these crisps too, as so many spicy flavoured crisps just don’t deliver. They were an absolute pleasure to eat! It’s a bit of a drive to get some more, but I’ll certainly pick some up next time I see them. :-)
By Cinabar

Aero Flavour Challenge – Sugar Topped Golden Syrup Porridge Chocolate


Aero got in touch with me about flavour pairing and asked if we at Foodstuff Finds would like to try and come up with some ideas for some new combinations. I had a bit of a think about the kind of flavours you could mix together from some crazy ideas like chocolate and smoked paprika, through to the more mundane but essentially nothing really stood out for me. Somebody at work suggested chocolate dipper Flaming Hot Monster Munch, but I wasn’t so sure! Over a meal out I asked my family if they had any thoughts on flavour combinations and without a moment’s hesitation my eldest niece said they should make Golden Syrup Aero Bubbles. A clear moment of genius.
Once I got home I started to think about how to combine golden syrup with chocolate and couldn’t really think of a good way of doing it. I realised that the minute you add a sticky liquid substance to chocolate it would all be a bit wet. After having a look through the store cupboard I spotted some porridge oats, and behold a crazy idea popped in my head:

Sugar Topped Golden Syrup Porridge Chocolate (what a catchy name) ;-)

Recipe

Ingredients
75g porridge oats
Water – tablespoon (or so)
Golden Syrup – tablespoon
Aero milk chocolate large bar
Sugar Crystals (enough to decorate)

Method
Melt the chocolate carefully, I used the microwave on a low setting, but a bain-marie works equally well. Add about a third of the porridge oats and work those into the melted chocolate, then add the golden syrup.


Once this is mixed in add the rest of the porridge oats and stir until it is well mixed. Add a little water, to help loosen the mixture, mine needed about a tablespoon.
In a mould, sprinkle half the sugar crystals in the base. On top of this pour on top the chocolaty mixture and allow it to set over night. The finished product doesn’t fully set, but make sure you give it enough time to do the best it can!


Carefully ease the substance from the mould, and press the rest of the sugar crystals into the top to serve.

Result
This stuff actually has the consistency of fudge, which was a rather nice surprise! It’s very sweet, but the golden syrup flavour really makes it. My sweet tooth knows no limits! The addition of the porridge oats seemed to work wonders with the texture, and the pieces did sort of melt in the mouth. They weren’t sticky, just soft and quite clean to eat. This shouldn’t have worked as well as it did, as I was winging it, but the success was a lovely surprise! One thing is for sure, golden syrup and chocolate go together. I’d love it if the next limited edition Aero Bubbles were golden syrup flavoured!
By Cinabar

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Kellog's All Bran Chocolate / Red Berry Crunch [by @NLi10]

Hooray - it's exciting breakfast cereal time! And what do we have today? Oh - All-Bran.


But wait - what is this - NEW All-Bran contains Chocolate or Red Berries!  Also the crunch implies that more like Bran flakes this won't turn into a mush if you take slightly too long to eat it.

First up we have the Red Berry Crunch.  This has an almost strawberry yogurt flavour to it, and the texture is much more solid and - well - crunchy.  It clusters together in lumps and has a much sweeter flavour than I was expecting.  The fruit is also quite nice - it's not a Dorset level of luxury but these are real fruit chunks and save you mixing something into traditional All-Bran.

The Chocolate Crunch really is quite different.  It's more of a chocolate milkshake thing and is actually quite a fun cereal.  If it wasn't for the All-Bran thing you could slap a cartoon on it and sell it to the kids! Again it's got a nice texture and sits in clusters and has little chocolate chips floating around that are genuinely chocolatey.

I'm not convinced that this would have the same health benefits as regular All-Bran (pun intended) but it certainly has a lot more flavour and excitement.  It only seemed to last for a few bowls - I think I may have had double portions by mistake.  This would make it quite expensive.  As a cereal topper maybe this would work long term, but it's not something I'd buy weekly.  A nice occasional weekend treat (when it shows up on special offer).

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Border Biscuits – Strawberry and Cream Shortbread (Local shop, Yorkshire) [By @SpectreUK]



The “Deliciously Different” range were produced by Nicola Hainie at Border Biscuits and with the promise on the box of being “meltingly moreish” I just couldn’t resist but try them. The 175g box contained 10 biscuits or slices of rounded shortbread per box. The box had a very smart transparent punnet design where you could see all the biscuits racked up and ready for eating, which made them all the more tantalising. These biscuits were made with strawberry pieces and diary cream. There were 85 calories per biscuit, which were 18g in weight, with 3.8g of sugar and 4.7g of fat. Suitable for vegetarians, these biscuits contained, wheat, gluten, cow’s milk, and soya, and were baked in an environment that processed nuts, egg and sesame seed products. Other ingredients included; butter (30%), sugar, vegetable oil (palm and rapeseed), cream powder (1%), cornflour, salt, cream (1%), and flavouring.

A strong and beautiful summery smell of strawberries and cream engulfed the room as I opened the box. I instantly wished everything everywhere always smelt this good. They could pump this aroma out into every street in England, especially throughout the dark grey of wintertime where dowdy frozen windswept faces would sniff the air and smile once more with glee. “Melthingly moreish” was definitely a phrase that sprang to my mind when I first took a bite. These shortbread biscuits melted like creamy delight in my mouth, with some added crunch from the strawberry pieces. The strawberry and creamy flavour mixed perfectly with the buttery shortbread taste. These biscuits reminded me of the height of the growing season, they simply taste of summer, where everything tastes so fresh and full of love and life. Hot summer days and long summer nights, ducking through the showers, to languish in the gorgeous green garden of England. Sitting on a cushioned garden seat as the sun pokes through the clouds with a pot of Afternoon Tea by my side, munching some favourite shortbread, whilst reading a favourite book, and listening to some Elgar from a radio in the background. Perfection.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Snickers Shake [By @cinabar]


One of my favourite food combinations in the world is peanut (or peanut butter) and chocolate. So when I found out about the new Snickers Shake, Spectre stood aside and let me try this one out. He drinks more milkshakes than me, but Snickers is more my territory.
I gave the bottle a good shake before taking my first sip. This milkshake is of quite a thin consistency, thicker than milk, but still thin enough to be enjoyed through the sports cap that comes with it. The predominant flavour is peanut, sweetened peanut at that, but mainly peanut. There is a chocolaty aftertaste, and the flavour develops into a creamy cocoa flavour towards the end of each sip. The result of a chocolate and peanut shakes is remarkably nice, and I pretty much hogged the whole bottle to myself. Spectre was allowed the odd sip, but this really is more my kind of thing!
The back of the bottle describes the product as “peanut and chocolate milk drink” and this description is spot on. The peanut is the main flavour, not the chocolate and that’s the part where it seems to not be quite on the same wavelength of an actual Snickers. For me the bar has the chocolate as the main flavour, followed by the peanut and some very distinct sweet flavours of caramel and nougat that don’t seem to develop in this drink.
I don’t want to be negative though, I loved every sip of it. It’s something I’ll buy again and would love to have as a treat on a hot day. However I know there are some Snickers aficionados who read this blog who would note that the formula doesn’t quite match the bar flavour. Seriously though if you have a place in your heart for peanut and chocolate this drink will make you smile.
By Cinabar

Monday, 27 May 2013

Oreo Ice Cream Cones (Sainsburys) [By @Cinabar]



Having had a very successful taste test of the new Oreo Ice Cream available in tubs, there was no way I was going to be able to resist their new ice cream cones. Packaged inside the bright blue box are four cones, all wrapped in the usual blue Oreo paper.
I was quite excited to see that the wafer of each cone was actually made with a super dark cocoa, and looked like the colour of Oreo biscuits. Then there was also a decent helping of vanilla ice cream (packed with Oreo bits) topped by crumbled soft Oreo biscuits, they looked fabulous!
Firstly I picked off the pieces of Oreo crumble from the top of the ice cream. Each piece tasted like Oreo biscuit, but was a much softer affair, almost cake like in texture. They were a very good start to the cone! Next up I went for the more traditional part, the ice cream and found it to be the same wonderfully creamy substance that I sampled in the tub. It was super creamy and the soft Oreo bits added a little bit of richness to the mix. The wafer was wonderfully dark, it was lined with dark chocolate too which was a nice contrast with the creamy ice cream filling. I loved that the ice cream went all the way down the cone, as did the chocolate lining in the wafer. In fact the chocolate lining accumulated in the bottom of the wafer, so that my final bite was a lovely chocolate hit.
Every bite of this was delicious and even Spectre, who is not a big Oreo fan, thoroughly enjoyed his which is always a good sign. These are definitely going to be a repeat purchase!!
By Cinabar

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Good 4U - Lentil Pea & Bean Shoots.


The drink I reviewed on Thursday smelt a little like compost - this product looks like it should be planted in it!

When I received a box of essentially juvenile bean-sprouts I really didn't know what to make of it.  Did I eat them like grapes? Stir fry as they suggested? Or just use as a Vegetarian (vegan!) topping?

As you probably guessed from the picture I decided to go with one of the cuisines I know uses lots of beans and cook Mexican style.  In our house we are a big fan of the OldElPasso (or cheaper store brand alternative) dinner kits.  Bung wet fajitas in the microwave, stir fry all of the things and then add them to the salsa for a take-away grade meal for less money and only slightly more effort (these are pretty quick too).

But I mean - what's a carnivore supposed to do when presented with the below other than get creative!


I know that these are just the step between the 5 variety baked beans andbean-sprouts  fundamentally so all it took was a bit of recipe creativity to find them a home.

I didn't think to take pictures of them post cooking but we made them up as you'd expect and chomped away.

Their natural flavours were a bit swamped by the mexican spices but the texture was more interesting than just using veggie mince or quorn strips.  I'm sure that these are much healthier than baked beans due to the reduced sugar and freshness too.

The remainder of the box were left for another meal of vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognaise. Before making this I tried a few without cooking or sauce.  The flavour was a bit too overpoweringly bean like for me, but I can understand the appeal.  The Dolmio bolognaise sauce was less overpowering than the spicy Mexican fare and these bean-like flavours added to the taste quite well and the texture was more exciting than just with Quorn alone.

I didn't think these would be that easy to cook with and worth the effort, but they were surprisingly hastle free.  I think that I could see myself using these as a 'fresh' version of Quorn and adding a little variety to the protein part of my veggie cooking.  Well worth a try!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Innocent Tropical Juice (Tesco) [By @SpectreUK]



I’m definitely hoping for a hot summer this year and I’ve been routing around for some summery sounding meals and drinks. Recently I reviewed the Innocent Caribbean Veg Pot: Caribbean Jerk Curry flavour. If only I’d have noticed this 900ml bottle of Innocent Tropical Juice in the same store. It sounded absolutely perfect to wash the spicy vegetable Jerk Curry down. This Tropical Juice drink had 43 calories per 100ml, with 8.1g of sugar and 0.1g of fat. With a mix of four pressed apples, four squeezed oranges, and a slice of pressed pineapple, a lump of crushed mango and a third of a pressed passion fruit there was one portion of the daily dose of fruit in every 150ml. This was a seriously fruity good for you pasteurised juice drink that whisked me away to a desert island somewhere watching the sunset on a beech lounger, with a spicy barbeque smoking in the background, an umbrella in my drink and Cinabar for company. I loved the random photograph of a goat stuck up a tree on the bottle to avoid some fluff about how good the drink was. The proof was definitely in the drinking. Let’s face it once I’d started to drink this invigorating Tropical Juice drink, it was difficult to stop. There was a hint of mango to start with, then a heavy tang of passion fruit, followed by pineapple and orange. This moreish juice drink was perfect for refreshing me against the spring sunshine outside as I was working in the garden thinking of that far off tropical beach somewhere whilst I planted the seeding potatoes!
By Spectre

Friday, 24 May 2013

Mentos – Strawberry Mix (WH Smiths) [By @Cinabar]



This new variety of Mentos is a strawberry special, with three different strawberry flavours in the pack: sweet, original and sour. Mentos are a hard sweet that turn chewy as you eat them. As Mentos are often on offer in our work shop at two packs for £1 (like these) I do usually have some sitting on my desk.
With this new set I couldn’t quite tell from the shells which sweet was which, so I hopped right in going for the palest coloured one first.

Very Pale Pink (Sweet?)
This particular sweet did taste quite mild, certainly of strawberries, but it was a very sweet pleasant taste. It reminded me of a mild version of strawberry laces. I liked this sweet, but had my fingers crossed it wasn’t supposed to be the sour version!

Medium Pink (Original?)
As a regular consumer of Mentos Fruits, this sweet was very familiar to me, and as such it was definitely the original variety. It was juicy and fruity, and had a good strong strawberry taste. I buy the regular edition as I like the selection and the usual strawberry from that set is one of my favourites.

Dark Pink (Sour?)
Well my previous guesses of flavour must have been correct as this one was the sour one in the bunch! The flavour was zingy and sharp and very tasty. It wasn’t as sour as some of the fizzy coated sweets you can buy, but it still delivered a good strong sharp strawberry hit. It was the most refreshing in the pack, and quickly became my favourite!

The sweets are different enough to provide some variety, without steeping away from the strawberry base flavours. Strawberry is the flavour of summer so I can see why these are the summer edition. If your favourite Mentos are the pink ones, you really should check these out!
By Cinabar

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Vegesentials - Beetroot & Pomegranate, Linda McCartney Chillie-Non-Carne with Rice [by @NLi10]



As you probably know already it's National Vegetarian Week!  In fairness I didn't know either and I live with a full time vegetarian.  As for me - as regulars will know I do like vegetarian cuisine and I probably cook veggie meals more frequently than I do carnivorous ones.

The items in today's and Sundays veggie reviews were sent to me as part of this week which highlights the health and environmental benefits of being vegetarian - even if only partially.  It's pretty surprising how easy it is to do these days - in the UK at least - in other European countries the choice is frequently less enticing.

First up we have a raw vegetable drink.  This sounds naturally unappealing.  As things like carrot juice and beetroot juice are fairly innocuous a quick read of the bottle puts your mind at rest and we can go in for a taste.  Well - that is if you can get past the smell.  This smells like vegetables, more specifically compost!  I believe this is as they haven't added the sugar and smells that most companies would to help with that first gulp.  As a dedicated SnackHead I was not put off and the flavour is as expected, nice but not sweet.  The beetroot and the carrot are the main flavours, with each taking a turn in the spotlight and the pomegranate just perks up a little at the end.  I wasn't convinced on the odd-looking red liquid before I tasted it, but I made it through both bottles without the original plan of donating the other bottle to another fan of healthy drinks.  I want to try more varieties of this so will need to keep an eye on the chiller cabinets.  It's 'Raw' as it's pressure treated instead of heat treaded (which from a science point of view increases the temperature anyway - just without adding heat) which is fairly meaningless to me, but I'm guessing doesn't break down the vitamins and minerals as much.  I'm happy to consume anything that is nice, convenient and healthy so this is a win all round.

I do have a tendency to like all decent ingredient drinks, and dislike all ready meals so the second item was always going to have a hill to climb.  This is a plastic-tray style lunch-pot where everything is in one and there is nothing to go soggy so it at least has a fighting chance.

Essentially it's beans, veggie mince (not Quorn unfortunately as that truly is the steak mince of the veggie world) and rice - all things I'd enjoy separately.  It's also got chilli in which I duly noted and prepared for ahead of time with a large, cold water.  This proved somewhat unnecessary.  The meal was hot due to the microwave, and less so due to chilli - but it was a pleasant level for a work lunch so it's not something I'd complain about.

The ingredients themselves held their textures well.  It wasn't a grey mush but a vibrant mix of separate things.  There just wasn't that much flavour.  One of the unfortunate side effects of the microwave is that flavours tent to become muted, and with this that was a little too apparent.  It turned what was probably a rich mix of tastes into a spicy but unexciting lunch.  It was more filling than I expected, and also more interesting to eat - I expected mush - but not a flavour winner.  It did however comprise three of my 5 a day fruit and veg (Eat as many as you can!) and took me up to four portions that day with the drink during the morning.  This is pretty impressive for such a modest microwave meal.

While I shouldn't be recommending things that lack flavour I think that carefully sticking to the time guidelines and 're-spicing' the meal after cooking would make this a cheaper and healthier alternative to most canteens.  I've resisted having a work spice rack (it's hard as the canteen can be hit and miss unless you use the lovely wrap/sandwich bar) but if I invested in these I'd use Schwartz Peri-Peri mix to make it zing again.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Fish & Chips Crisps (Marks & Spencer) [By @SpectreUK]



The Great British summer screams the sunshine soaked seaside sitting on a beach somewhere with a bag of fish and chips. On the front of the bag of these Fish and Chips flavoured crisps from Marks & Spencer was a jolly scene of a cheerful couple sitting on a bench on the vast beach of Blackpool whilst fending off some hungry Seagulls. Served in a 150g bag these crisps had 510 calories per 100g, 1.7g of sugar and 29g of fat. The ingredients contained no artificial colours or flavourings, were suitable for vegetarians and included potatoes (funny chips without them), sunflower oil, fish and chips flavour seasoning (ah... ze secret ingredient!), dried barley, malt vinegar, yeast extract, sugar, dried onions, salt, and citric acid, amongst other things. There was a salty fishy smell on opening the bag that instantly reminded me of being at the seaside, or the Black Country Museum depending on where you are in the country. The salt and vinegar flavour hit me straight away making me easily imagine gorging on the chips first whilst waiting for the battered fish to cool. Anyone who dives into a battered fish first in a fish and chip meal is asking for a burnt tongue. The salt and vinegar was followed by a fishy taste as I munched on the crisps. I couldn’t help but savour the salty, vinegary fishy flavour of these crisps. There was sweetness to the aftertaste with a hint of onion and lemon to the fishy taste. These crisps had a lovely summer flavour to them, being very moreish, I would definitely have them again. I didn’t feel the need to dip these crisps into any sauce as I ate them, but I’d recommend a mayonnaise or even tartar sauce if you must. The salty seafood flavour lasted for ages after I’d eaten them making me wish I was at the seaside and making me wish even more that I had another bag of these Fish and Chips Crisps to munch on there.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New - Mars Mix (WH Smiths) [By @Cinabar]


Writing this blog ‘new’ is a trigger word for me. I scout round supermarkets looking for the word ‘new’ so that I can find interesting new goodies to write about here. The idea being that if it’s new it has some interesting quality that makes it worth reporting on. To me new means novel, original, different, fresh. New does not mean taking a bag of Mars Planets (chocolates already available), limiting the choice in that bag by taking out the chocolate wafers and then calling the result ‘New Mars Mix’. To be honest it’s a bit disappointing. I realise that there will be people out there that don’t like the wafers and for them these will be a revelation, but I quite liked the crunchy bits. I suppose it’s the same as making a bag of Revels without the coffee ones. Some people would be pleased, others would be complaining.
I do like the chocolate coated caramels, and I do like the chocolate coated soft nougat, and I did enjoy munching my way through the bag, but I was missing those chocolate wafers. I suppose it is a purer Mars experience, as Mars bars don’t have wafers so why have wafers in the grab bag edition. Luckily Mars still makes Mars Planets, both varieties were available in my nearest branch of WH Smiths, and while that’s true it’s the Planets that will be getting my purchase.
By Cinabar

The Lake District Dairy Co. Quark (@LDDCQuark) Lemon Cheesecake Recipe [By @Cinabar]



I was very kindly sent some Quark (a type of soft cheese) by the lovely folks at the The Lake District Dairy Co. Although they also sent a recipe for a baked cheesecake, I thought I’d try it out using a non-baked recipe. This is one of the things that Spectre and I always disagree on, he much prefers non-baked cheesecake where as I prefer baked. As it’s me that makes cheesecake, he has begrudgingly put up with baked cheesecake for years! So, just for him, I had a go at the other type! I do however always use Quark for my baked cheesecake as it the taste works really well there too and it’s so much lower in fat.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients:

100g digestive biscuits
50g melted butter (plus a little extra for greasing)
250g mascarpone
500g Quark
250g icing sugar
3 lemons for juice and zest
4 sheets gelatine (or equivalent)
Spring-form cake tin

Method:

Use a little of the butter to grease the spring-form cake tin.

Break up the biscuits in a food processor until they are quite fine.
Mix the 50g melted butter with the biscuit crumbs, then press this down into the cake tin. Press the biscuits crumbs really firmly and pop the tin in the fridge at least 15mins or so to chill.

In a large bowl use an electric whisk to mix the Quark and mascarpone together. Stir in the sieved icing sugar, then use the whisk just to mix that in fully too. Stir in the lemon zest from all three lemons.

In a pan add the 4 sheets of gelatine and a little cold water, just enough to cover them. Do not heat at this point, just let them swell in the cold water for 5 minutes first. Add to the pan the juice of the 3 lemons, and heat just enough for the gelatine sheets to dissolve. This is very quick, and it won’t need to be very warm at all.

While whisking the ingredients in the bowl add the liquid from the pan gradually.
Once this is fully mixed in, pour the contents of the bowl into the cake tin, topping the biscuit base. Give the cake tin a few gentle nudges to make sure the contents are smooth across the top and evenly distributed. Chill for at least 4 hours, but overnight is ideal.

Result:

Heavenly lower fat cheesecake, and one very happy Spectre!
By Cinabar

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tayto – Milk Chocolate Bar With Cheese & Onion Crisps (Limited Edition) [By @Cinabar]



I’ve reviewed a lot of strange chocolate. I’ve tried Marmite chocolate, vinegar chocolates, wasabi chocolate and a whole host of other ingredients that you wouldn’t immediately think would go together. Some have been successful, others not so. The one thing that is consistent is the fact that I can’t resist giving these new flavour combinations a purchase! So when I heard Tayto Ireland had released this odd concoction of a bar, I found myself on Ebay paying an extortionate price to import a tiny bar.
Tayto is one of the larger crisp manufacturers in Ireland, and are the main make you’d find on supermarket shelves there. They don’t usually make chocolate however, and this weird bar is strictly a Limited Edition. Despite it costing a fair amount of money for just 35g of chocolate, I didn’t immediately open it. I was trying to find the right moment but oddly enough that never came. Eventually I did cautiously open the pack. The chocolate looked harmless enough, just a regular milk chocolate bar, with patterned pieces marked out. When I broke the first piece, and I mean down to just half a cube, I could see some little flecks of yellow sitting within the chocolate... oh boy, I knew where this was going.
The aroma from the chocolate wasn’t too bad; it was mainly of chocolate, with just the tiniest giveaway sign of musty cheese. I choose to stare at the bar a while longer, then eventually went for it and ate the half a piece. Now the flavour is strange, but not as bad as I’d feared it might be. It wasn’t quite pleasant, but I didn’t hate it. The musty cheese is quite strong, as is the onion, and the crisps texture does add a bit of a crunch to the milky sweet chocolate. This bar doesn’t quite work, those flavours weren’t meant to go together. The only positive part was that it triggered a bit of nostalgia in me, it returned me back to being a kid on Friday night and being allowed to snack on both chocolate and crisps. As a kid I’d sometime open both together and alternate between chocolate and cheese and onion crisps, and the flavour of this bar took me back to then. I’ll be honest it’s not something I’d buy again, but it was ok, not fantastic, not amazing, but weird and almost pleasant weird.
My mum tried some of this chocolate and was unimpressed. She comes from Yorkshire a place where they mix sweet and savoury like no other “fruit cake and a chunk of cheese” is a common snack there... but she couldn’t palette this chocolate. She’s right though it’s a long way off being great.
So what should I do with the rest of the bar? I think it will be going with me to work, as they are quite open to trying out some of our weirder Foodstuff Finds. I’ll report back, and see what the office opinion is! Surely it can’t go down worse than the Hersheys?
By Cinabar

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Muller de Luxe Corner - Creme Praline [by @NLi10]

Muller de Luxe Corner - Creme Praline [by @NLi10]

Muller have a new range of slightly posher corners.  These ones come as a pack of two banded together, and have black plastic containers so you know they are Deluxe (or de Luxe as the trademark says).


I took my half of this to work to have as a nice pudding at lunch time. It got quite a few comments, as it stands out on your tray and isn't the kind of thing that a hospital stocks.


The corner is basically giant rice crispies covered in rough chocolate.  These are very nice and add the texture but the flavour individually isn't much.  The white stuff is a sweet creamy substance.  I worried it would be a bit trifley but actually is was really nice - it's made with whipping cream and it definitely shows.  Underneath this is a thick chocolate substance which is stickier and thicker than the cream so even during the trip to work everything was where it was supposed to be.

I'm not a fan of the sickly sweet M&S style pudding portions, but this has just enough balance to make it nicely edible.  I liked the cream the best, but at the end I had a lovely marbled mixture of swirls with the balls floating in it which I guess is the intention.  Very much worth a look.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Innocent Caribbean Veg Pot: Caribbean Jerk Curry (Tesco) [By @SpectreUK]



I’m always on the lookout for a healthy and quick to cook snack at lunchtime or dinner when I’m home late from work or after a trip to the theatre. This Innocent Caribbean Veg Pot: Caribbean Jerk Curry flavour seemed a perfect find in my local supermarket. Although the Caribbean is famed for somewhere not to act so innocently when you go there on holiday! At four minutes to cook in the microwave this promised to be a quick meal. It sported on the label that this meal contained three of the required five portions of fruit and vegetables per the day, so it sounded pretty healthy too. The 380g pot consisted of 334 calories, with 22g of sugar and 10.6g of fat. The vegetable pot was vegetarian and vegan friendly with ingredients that included; cooked coconut rice, carrot, tomato, onion, red pepper, sweetcorn, mango, pineapple, pimento beans, coconut, demerara sugar, corn flour, coriander, vegetable oil, curry powder, ginger puree, red chilli, garlic, white wine vinegar, sea salt, pimento, paprika, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, black pepper and cinnamon. Phew! Quite a mouthful of ingredients there then...

After heating and stirring the meal and leaving it to cool, I found it had a medium spicy jerk flavour with a touch of mango and some pineapple pieces to cool any chilli heat down. There was plenty of vegetables and rice making it a very tasty and healthy feeling filling treat. I would definitely have this again. The pot’s cardboard label had heating instructions on the inside, as well as one of 101 things to do with your pot suggestion of filling it will dried beans, little stones and old buttons to make a maraca. There were also instructions with a little folding and cutting of the label to make a desk goal to while away the boring hours stuck at work after enjoying this spicy Caribbean Jerk Curry Veg pot for lunch.
By Spectre

Friday, 17 May 2013

Eton Mess Muffin (@CostaCoffee) [By @cinabar]


Costa is my coffee chain of choice. There is something about the friendly nature of the shop, and the fabulous cakes that always draws me. On a recent visit I spotted that there were one or two new goodies on the menu, and picked up myself an Eton Mess Muffin as an afternoon treat.
The muffins are very pretty to look at, it is decorated with a white icing, which is topped with berries and sugary meringue pieces. Some of the ones on the shelf had quite a few berries adorning them, but the one the server picked for me just had a couple. That is the perils of having cakes which someone else chooses for you! Oh well, it still pretty good to me. The soft sponge has soft berries speckled throughout anyway, with the centre piece being a lovely dollop of fruity berry jam in the middle. The fruit within the muffin is mixed, but it does have a predominantly strawberry taste which is fitting for Eton Mess. The topping with its mix of icing and crunchy bits does add the essential meringue, and add a lovely sweetness to the muffin. The sponge is moist and soft, and the berry blast that it delivers is wonderful and summery. I enjoyed this with an Iced Latte, and pretended it wasn’t raining buckets outside!
The other item that caught my eye in Costa was a Giant Belgian Chocolate Teacake, but that will have to wait for another day... another day very soon. :-)
By Cinabar

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Quorn Simply Add - Carbonara [by @Nli10]



I love Carbonara - it's my baseline Italian dish.  If I want to see if a restaurant 'gets' what Italian food should be like then I choose the Carbonara.  If I've had a long day and just want something I know that I will enjoy I make it myself.  I've concocted veggie versions too - I replaced the bacon/ham with with either quorn bits or sun-dried tomatoes.  When I saw that Quorn themselves had a go I thought I should be open-minded and try it.

Turns out it's a bit different from carbonara's accepted recipe.  There is cheese in the actual sauce, which isn't supposed to be there - and they even declare that it's got 4 kinds as if it's a bonus.  There is pepper in the sauce, but it's a small amount of white pepper - the 'carbon' in the carbonara is generally considered to be the cracked black pepper.  This has none.  This leaves us with a sachet of Quattro Stagione sauce, which doesn't really have many herbs at all, but does have little pink cubes.

I've not seen pink Quorn before.  I didn't think to see how they coloured it, but it does psychologically help to make you think this is a meat based dish.  Unfortunately this has probably been taste-tested by people who haven't understood that the saltiness of the bacon is it's only reason for being there.  The zing of this in the creaminess of the sauce creates a lovely contrast and none of that is here.  

The texture of the Quorn cubes is good, and these are very edible, but even Mabel the cat wasn't fooled into thinking these were meat.


If you want an instant, lightly cheesy cream sauce to go with pasta for a vegetarian meal then this is fine.  Be prepared to season it heavily to get any real flavour out of it (Schwartz to the rescue!) but it's edible and it's 1 portion claim is a little generous if anything - I think with sufficient pasta this could be shared.

I added one sun-dried tomato which I had left over to the bottom and it brought the thing alive.  I suggest cutting them into thin strips and stirring them liberally so that the flavour comes alive.  If Quorn did the little pink cubes separately you'd probably just be better off buying and frying those with some cream and black pepper then adding any cheese you want to the top of the dish as intended.  

I guess the point of this is quick and convenient though so it fails in that respect if you want authenticity, but not if you want speed.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Rowntree’s Rip’ems (Boots) [By @SpectreUK]




These new Rowntree’s Rip’ems came in a flat packet with two sets of four flavours of stuck together strips. First of all you have to rip open the packet, and then you rip off each yummy strip. Pretty violent sweets these. They’ll help take away any stress and strain you may have during your working or school day. There’s even a “serving suggestion” on the back of the packet for lassoing your finger before eating it (the lace, not the finger). With no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and 25% fruit juice in the ingredients, these sweets were pretty healthy sounding at 58 calories per strip. The orange coloured lace had a mild orange flavour, whereas the yellow lace had a lovely fruity pear flavour. The pink lace had a decent strawberry flavour, which was very pleasant, mild and natural, whereas the purple lace had a strong fruity and juicy blackcurrant flavour. Although I didn’t try any lassoing whilst at work when I ate these fruity strips, these Rowntree’s Rip’ems had the fun aspect of ripping and slurping them into my mouth, which made me feel young and gave me a cheeky giggle whilst I tried to concentrate on the many reports piling up on my desk. Next time I’ll try tying the laces all together to lasso a report or two into the bin!
By Spectre

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ice Cream Free Ice Cream Products - Cornetto, Magnum & Mini Milk (Tesco) [By @cinabar]


In Britain we are never guaranteed a good summer. In fact I’m struggling to remember when the last one was! This puts ice cream companies in a bit of an awkward position as everyone knows ice lollies sell better when it’s hot. Unilever (who seem to manage some of our bigger ice cream brands) have allowed their ice creams to be turned into chocolate treats so they can be enjoyed whatever the weather. Seems quite sensible given the climate, but on the other hand it may be missing the point. When I spotted them in Tesco (by the tills) I decided to pick them up and give them the taste test.


Magnum – 3 Chocolates
I decided to try the Magnum first, and found that there were three Magnum chocolates inside the wrapper. Although obviously a lot smaller than a Magnum ice cream they did have the right shape. The chocolate was quite thick, and had a rich taste which was pleasant but certainly not the best chocolate I’ve ever tried. It was the filling that made them though. The fluffy vanilla creamy centre worked like a dream. It was smooth silky and had such an indulgent creamy taste that all thoughts about the quality of the chocolate coating where forgotten, it made them pure yum.


Cornetto
In terms of cuteness or novelty out of three products this one wins the award. It looks just like a miniature Cornetto and even opens in the same way. I.e. you unwrap the sides and have a cardboard circle protecting the top.
The filling in this seemed to be remarkably similar to the filling in the Magnum chocolates, it had the same fluffy texture and ultra creamy vanilla taste, and was absolutely gorgeous! The wafer is crunchy and pleasant and lined with chocolate which is a nice extra touch, as are the nuts on top. Both in terms of taste and novelty this ticked both boxes.


Mini Milk
This last bar was the one I felt was not quite true to it original ice cream form. The ice lolly is creamy and this is more on the side of sweet. There is a good thick chocolate coating, underneath which there is a smooth soft chocolate filling. The chocolate is good, and the filling is enjoyable, there is plenty of chocolate flavour but quite a bit of sugariness too. I liked it, but it seems less sophisticated than the other two products and not quite similar enough to the original ice lolly.

I actually enjoyed all the new products, and would certainly pick up any of them again. Yes they are a novelty, but they were still rather nice. It has to be said though; only in the UK would you get ice cream free ice creams! Oh come on British summer – please make your presence known and prove these companies wrong!
By Cinabar

Monday, 13 May 2013

Cadbury Pots of Joy – White Chocolate Buttons Dessert (Tesco @CadburyUK) [By @cinabar]



When I was a kid I used to love white chocolate mousse. I think my favourite must have been a Sainsburys own brand, but I know at some stage it got discontinued and I’ve been missing it ever since. When I saw these new Pots Of Joy desserts from Cadburys, I snapped up the white chocolate version. There was also a milk chocolate version and even one with Cadbury caramel, both of these are on my list try in the very near future.
Once the lid was off the pot, I realised that the dessert was smooth and thick, and not quite a mouse, but this moment of disappointment was soon over come. The texture works really well, it was slightly thicker than expected but this made if feel quite sumptuous and added to the indulgence. The flavour was just divine too. It was full of the creamiest rich white chocolate flavour I could have imagined. I guess the fact that it was made with real white chocolate buttons really does shine through. There was a good creamy vanilla background taste, but the it was the sweet taste of white chocolate that made it work so well. I found myself scraping out the pot, to get every last bit out!
I’m looking forward to trying the other varieties but I think have a preference for white chocolate desserts may have made me a little biased on this write up, and I can’t imagine them coming anywhere close. I have to say, I do hope I’m proved wrong though! :-)
By Cinabar

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pipers Crisps & Zest Pesto [by @NLi10]

We recently visited local shop One Earth in Birmingham  and raided their snackables.  The last few things we picked up are here below.

First up are these by Pipers Crisp Co with the flavour Anglesey Sea Salt.  I hadn't seen these before but the Pub we were in yesterday (in the historical city of Lichfield) much to my surprise they had them behind the bar.  These are like a thinner Kettle Chip with the similar sparse ingredients list and basic flavour.


I had to double check the front part way through eating as my brain is so accustomed to having posh crisps in blue packs having vinegar too.  These have the strong saltiness that you'd expect but also a warmth to the potato which is very tasty.  I think I'd appreciate a large bag of these!  And if they are in pubs and cafes that I like then I will probably slowly trek through the flavours.


I chatted about Pesto recently, in it's super convenient squeezy form  which we finished eventually, but it was surprising amount of effort to get that last little bit out of the squeezer and we had to open them up and use a knife.  Here we are at the other end of the scale.


This looks great as it's another one of those 'free from' brands that basically gives you the rawest form of the product without all the artificial stuff.  Here the oil is almost completely absorbed into the pesto and it's more of a rough-textured paste than I've ever experienced before.  It's also gorgeous.  As pictured I popped it on a freshly baked baguette with a few sun-dried tomatoes and had an amazing lunch.  This is a little bit luxury and possibly harder to locate than the typical varieties, but if this is available I think it maybe worth it.

I can't wait to try this with salads and mixed into a few different kinds of pasta.  There is not much to say about it, but it's one of my most favourite savoury things I've reviewed in a long time.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Quorn Lunch Pots (Tesco) [By @SpectreUK]



I am a meat eater, always have been. I can understand people who don’t like foods of varying kinds, one of which being meat. Some people don’t like red meat, some people don’t like fish, and some people don’t like particular meats like plaice from the local chippy. It surprises me if someone doesn’t like any kind of meat at all, but I can understand that. Many people out there just don’t eat meat on principle. I guess some of these people like or miss the taste of meat, but don’t like the idea of an animal dying to feed them. I guess as a meat eater all my life, I can understand that. I’m not a hunter and don’t like the idea of killing what I eat. I’m too lazy for that, and besides bashing something fluffy’s brains out with a rock doesn’t hugely appeal either. I even send Cinabar and her mom to the local supermarket as I’d prefer to do just about anything else. Created by Marlow Foods and Vegetarian Society approved, these Quorn Lunch Pots would appeal to those people who have morals for the rights of animals to live rather than feed themselves with the animals, but still crave the feel and taste of real meat. They are made with mycoprotein which is a member of the fungi family and is low in fat at less than 3%, and high in fibre and protein. So as a meat eater (I know, I may have said that a few times during this paragraph) I wanted to see if this mycoprotein really does taste like real meat and mixes well in any kind of TV dinner.

Chicken Style Biryani

This Chicken Style Biryani was served in a 300g plastic pot with a colourful outer card label. This meal contained 345 calories, with 10.5g of sugar and 15g of fat, and had to be kept refrigerated. The ingredients consisted of Biryani sauce, which included tomato, water, low fat yoghurt, coconut milk, onion, refined rapeseed oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, coriander, savoury stock, red chilli, turmeric, maize starch, salt, garam masala, cumin seeds, cardamom, nigella seeds and cinnamon. There was also basmati rice, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, red and yellow peppers in the pot mixed in with the chicken style pieces of mycoprotein. Recommended at three and a half minutes microwave time for 800w microwave ovens, I took a chance at cooking it for nearly three minutes in Cinabar’s 1000w machine. Stirring the pot proved quite a challenge as the portion filled the container admirably, but once I had eaten some “chicken” pieces and some rice it was easier to mix the sauce and rice together. The sauce had a spicy medium heat and I was most impressed with the “chicken” pieces, if someone had put the meal in front of me and said; “enjoy your Chicken Biryani TV Dinner.” I’d have said; “thank you, that was lovely,” afterwards without a murmur or accusation of it not being chicken! The meal was very tasty indeed and very filling. I’d definitely have this again. I can heartily say that no animals were injured whilst eating this meal, but my meat eating persona took a bit of a pounding!

Pasta Bolognaise

Again served in a 300g pot and requiring refrigeration, this Pasta Bolognese contained 285 calories, with 7.5g of sugar and 6g of fat. So if you’re looking for the healthiest option between these two TV dinners, this would be it. The ingredients included the Bolognese sauce, which consisted of Quorn mince, roasted barley malt extract, natural caramelised sugar, tomatoes, sunflower oil, spirit vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, red wine, carrot onion, olive oil, celery, garlic, thyme, and basil. There was a whole cherry tomato on the top of the sizable portion, bits of diced red pepper, and lots of curly pasta. The sauce had a lovely rich tomato and red pepper spicy flavour. The beef mince style Quorn didn’t taste exactly like meat though, but was still very tasty. This mycoprotein mince was a good substitute for beef mince, but not precise enough to fool. If you made me taste a beef mince Bolognese against this TV dinner in an “eat off”; I reckon I’d notice the difference pretty quickly, where with the Chicken Style Biryani you could mix them up and I doubt I’d be able to pick between the two. Still, having said that I’d have this meal again and besides it’s the principle damn it!! ;-)
By Spectre

Friday, 10 May 2013

Win A Giant Slice And Share Snickers Bar!!!


NOW CLOSED

When I saw this epic sized ‘Slice and Share’ Snickers Bar I couldn’t resist picking it up and offering it up as a competition prize. I've never seen anything like it before, it’s such a huge bar of chocolate, it is totally stunning. The bar is far too big to be eaten in one sitting; even the greedy would want to pace themselves over a few days! It is however designed to be sliced and shared, and would be perfect for a treat between friends watching a film or on a special occasion.
Given the size (and weight) this prize is only open to UK readers – purely on the grounds that the postage would cost too much to send overseas (sorry folks).

In order to enter all you have to do is LIKE our Facebook page or join our mailing list (there is a link on the right where you can enter your email address). Then email us: admin@foodstufffinds.co.uk with “Comp” in the subject line, let us know your name as per Facebook or if your email address is registered on our mailing list and answer the question below:

Email: admin@foodstufffinds.co.uk
Subject Line: Comp

Question: Of all the products reviewed at Foodstuff Finds which other one would you like to see in giant format?
Include the name you used to like our Facebook page or use the email address you used to subscribe to our mailing list (link on the right).

Terms/Conditions
• One winner will be chosen at random
• UK residents only
• Entrants must include the name of a product reviewed on Foodstuff Finds that they would like to see in giant format, any item will do there are no wrong answers.
• Entrants must have liked our Facebook page or have joined our email mailing list (link on the right).
• Competition closes 31st May 2013 at 10pm
• If we can’t get in touch with the winner in a reasonable amount of time to obtain an address another winner will be selected.
• If you have any questions about this competition, please send me an email or leave a comment below.

Walkers: Baked Hoops And Crosses – Roast Beef (@walkers_crisps Sainsburys) [By @cinabar]


After trying the Prawn Cocktail version of these new Hoops And Crosses crisps from Walkers, I couldn’t wait to try the Roast Beef variety. The crisps all come in the shapes of noughts and crosses, and do look quite appealing, especially when poured out into a bowl. The magic of these new crisps is that they are actually quite healthy, but still remain ever so tasty.
The roast beef flavour is very rich and meaty, and definitely reminded me of the flavour of Monster Munch. The taste is quite strong, and these little crisps really are full of flavour. The texture is a nice balance between crunchy and fluffy as they sort of melt in the mouth, which makes them rather moreish.
I had these at work and a couple of work colleagues tried them too and were impressed with the flavour. One of them even asked if our work shop stocked them, sadly they don’t as of yet, but it was a good sign. I think the Roast Beef had the edge on the Prawn Cocktail version, but Spectre thought the opposite. Either way, the new Hoops And Crosses are a big success, and the fact that they are lower in fat is an aside, as they still stand up to the competition.
By Cinabar

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Kallo - Rice and Corn Cakes, Blueberry & Vanilla, Caramel [by @NLi10]



There are a lot of low calorie foods out there, the most tasteless of which is the rice-cake.  This in it's original form was essentially styrofoam with a bit of flavour sprayed on.  Fast forward to the present and we find that the product has evolved, past the point at which it was merely edible and has arrived  as we se it above - a premium product that people who aren't even concerned about calorie intake may consider.

Kallo are a brand I'm not all that familiar with but appear to have been around a while.  These are part of a wider range of other rice-cake based snacks of a variety of flavours and sizes. As snack popcorn is becoming quite popular I can see these being a hit, but are they any good?

The only real way to test low-calorie food is to take it into work and see what happens.  As expected not everyone would try one - many are likely to have been scarred by previous texture free tasteless versions - but those that did were usually happy to try the second flavour.  I shall talk about them in the order that I tried them.

Being a fan of fruit over most things I went for the Blueberry and Vanilla first.  The disks are similar in appearance to other brands, if not a little more haphazard in the grain of the surface.  On these this is a purple sheen which got a few people more interested.  They look more edible than expected and the mixed grains give  more interesting texture and are much more pleasant  than I'd thought likely.

The vanilla flavour is really just a hint and not as noticeable as I'd hoped but this isn't an issue.  The Blueberry is zingy enough to banish all thoughts of tastelessness. In fact the rice/corn combo actually has a flavour of it own that works as a complementary base.  Overall this is a light snack that is tasty enough and enjoyable enough to eat.  Sure - the big disks are a bit unwieldy but as a desk snack this isn't a problem.


The second flavour is apparently caramel, but everyone who tried it said it was basically pop-corn.  I'm not a massive fan of caramel or pop corn but I have to say I enjoyed this too.  THe almost burnt caramel flavour worked well with the natural grain, and due to the production method there was no hard kernels to battle with.

While I wouldn't take the large disks to the cinema I think that you could find the smaller varieties and take those quite happily.

The general consensus was split - people were fans of both. Some didn't like one or the other, but most liked both.  I fully expected to eat one of each and then to consign these to the communal food area where they would sit for a few days.  I've taken them to lunch to share for one day only, they are now kept on my desk so that not only can I have more tomorrow, but I can take the remaining home to share with family.

They are only 36 and 40 calories so it's no good eating these to get energy, but if you want something to fill that gap and tide you over til the next actual meal then these are surprisingly good.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Grozet Gooseberry and Wheat Ale (@TebayServices Westmorland Service Station) [By @SpectreUK]


I had a bad feeling when Cinabar came up to me with an excited sadistic grin on her face in the Westmorland Service Station. She had something clearly hidden in one hand behind her back. Admittedly I was expecting something laced with chilli or some fluffy animal, rather than oddly flavoured ale. This Gooseberry and Wheat Ale was brewed by Williams Brothers Brewing Company, in Alloa, Scotland. A brewer that’s sheer quality and diversity of beverages I have recently become acquainted with. I took one look at the bottle and thought, “well how bad can it be?” This 5% volume blond wheat ale was served in a 330ml bottle. Further information found from a leaflet that Cinabar passed to me stated that this ale was brewed with lager malt, wheat, bog myrtle, which is a native herb to Scotland, hops and meadowsweet, and then secondary fermented with Scottish gooseberries. In old Scottish “Grozet” means gooseberry, and originates from the Gaelic word “Groseid”. This type of ale has been brewed since the 16th Century by Scottish monks and alewives (who sound like the best kind of wife!). A blend of malts, wild spice and ripe gooseberries were mixed together to brew the ale. Third year students at the Glasgow School of Arts designed the image on the label for a project, basing it on a first millennium Celtic maze design.

Chiding myself for my initial negativity, I decided to try this ale in the early spring time for its refreshing blond ale reputation. After leaving my bottle of Grozet in the fridge to cool for a while I found that the ale had gone a misty blond colour, which the bottle’s label warned would happen due to its natural fruit and cereal. This ale had a strong gooseberry mixed with wheat smell to it. There was an initial bite to this ale that had a metallic like acidic flavour that quickly moved to malted barley and hoppy bitterness with a finishing zingy citrus kick from the gooseberries, leaving a zesty hoppy gooseberry aftertaste. This ale easily met its reputation for being very tasty and refreshing indeed and would go very well with a fishy meal of any kind. I must try Grozet with a large salmon steak some time or better still; fish and chips!
By Spectre

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

McVities Digestives CheeseCake Creams Biscuits (Tesco) [By @cinabar]



The new summer edition of biscuits from McVities is hitting the shelves, and fresh for the change of season are these new cheesecake flavour biscuits. Now if you are intending to make cheesecake, buying McVities Digestives biscuits and crushing them up to use as a base is a fairly common part of the any recipe. So they have already established that their digestive biscuits are one of the two ingredients needed for cheesecake, so why not sandwich a cheesecake flavour filling in between two digestives? Sounds like genius to me!
I unwrapped the first biscuit and found two smallish round digestives cushioned together by a generous layer of creamy substance.
The filling does have an edge of cheesecake flavour about it, and a lovely smooth vanilla taste too. The creamy cheese taste works well with the wheat flavoured biscuit, and does go quite some way to recreating a cheesecake flavour.
The cheesecake part is mild, and these are about part way between cheesecake and custard cream which, as it happens, is no bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the biscuits and felt that they reminded me of posh custard creams. They have a nice edge of flavour, but the filling isn’t that much different so it wouldn’t put people who like the classic biscuit off.
McVities have also released a Lemon CheeseCake edition for the summer, which sounds perfect for a warm day. As I liked these so much, it’s definitely a product I’ll be looking out for.
By Cinabar

Monday, 6 May 2013

Honey Monster Stix Marshmallow Vanilla (Tesco @HoneyMonsterUK) [By @cinabar]



I was busy compiling an online order with Tesco and was searching for Honey Monster / Sugar Puff cereals and these caught my eye. I couldn’t quite work out if there were biscuits or cereal bars, but added them to the basket anyway as they were both new and on offer, my favourite combination! When they arrived I realised they were cereal bars and then feared that Stix mean that they were going to be tiny and thin. Although they are smaller than a lot of other cereal bars, they are by no means too small and they felt like they were a nice lunch box treat size to me.
The bars looked quite pretty; they were full of Honey Monster sugar puff cereals and were smartly decorated with pink and white marshmallow bits on top too. It looks like there is a coating of white chocolate on the base, but it is in fact a healthier vanilla yoghurt flavour layer. The bars are lovely and sweet, and did feel like a proper treat to eat. The texture is pleasant, the cereals give it depth and it is a little bit sticky too, but in a good way. I know the bars are smaller than some cereals bars, but not so much and they come in at just 60 calories which is impressively low.
Although they contain breakfast cereals, I had one in my lunch box but saved for an afternoon treat. It gave me a pleasant sugar fix, it felt naughtier than it was and was so low in calories there was no guilt either. They hit the spot perfectly.
By Cinabar