31 March 2016

Good 4U - Superbites, cocoa and Orange and coconut (by @NLi10)

After the fabulous Monty Bojangles truffles I decided that I'd be happy to pick up some similar products. These big bags seemed similar, but suspiciously a lot more fruity.


I foolishly presumed these would be mostly cocoa but they are in fact 40% dates and contain my most behated thing - raisins! They do however have a recipie and everything is blended together so the predominant taste is indeed chocolate orange. The texture is soft and gritty, but not unsatisfiyingly so, there are seeds in here and they give it more texture than just a mushed fruit bar. The cocoa on the outside also means these are easy to handle even in the cinema.

They have all kinds of goodness in them like seaweed and algae and despite essentially being balls of much do have a hint of variety in the flavours. I like them but I couldn't eat a bag in one sitting.


I also picked up the coconut balls at the same time - confusingly not like the picture at the bottom but more constant all the way through. These have the same ingredients 40% date and then sunflower seeds then raisins but before we get to the cocoa powder we have coconut. This changes the texture a bit and leaves a satisfying amount of Bounty like bits to pick out of the teeth. 

Again these are very much a healthy snack and have the chia seeds and dietary fibre at the bottom of the list but don't taste too much like something children would refuse.

Both are fun little snack bags, and while I can't see people opting for these over Maltesers or Minstrels as the big bag cinema snack of choice they are a surprising little addition. A treat that has a bit of a nutritious edge rather than something to eat to turn your life around, but I think better for it because of that.

30 March 2016

Gingerella Ginger Ale (Ocado @KarmaColaUK) [By @SpectreUK]

Gingerella Ginger Ale
Don’t tell Cinabar, but there’s something about redheads! Here we have a bottle of Gingerella. A name I’m going to find it difficult not to call all redheads from now on. Produced by Karma Cola in Herefordshire, this ginger ale was made with Fairtrade ginger from Sri Lanka, a dash of lemon, a touch of Fairtrade vanilla, a few spoonful’s of Fairtrade sugar and the promise of a fiery smack on first cheeky taste. On opening I was at first surprised not to have my nose hairs scolded by ginger. There was some lemon in the aroma, as well as vanilla mixed in with the ginger. On pouring the fizzy bubbly concoction the ginger shone through in the smell and I cheerfully felt my nose hairs curl. In fact I sneezed after my first tentative sip… twice. The fiery ginger hit my tastebuds first and the jumping dancing bubbles popped straight up my nose. The drink didn’t taste overly sweet to me, which didn’t distract from the natural flavours. The lemon and vanilla mixed well together were waiting patiently behind the passionate ginger spice as the flavours all moved into the aftertaste. All in all a very refreshing fiery fizzy ginger ale packing a passionate punch from Gingerella. I can just imagine the cat suit and whiskers!

Information on the bottle;

330ml bottle has 149 calories, no fat, 34.7g of sugar and 0.3g of salt. Ingredients included; carbonated water, organic sugar, organic lemon juice from concentrate, ginger, vanilla, and natural flavours from clove extract, and capsicum extract.

29 March 2016

Kettle Chips Chef Signature Burrata Mozzarella & Sweet Chilli Jam (Sainsburys) [By @Cinabar]


I was quite excited to find a new flavour from Kettle Chips in their Signature range. When I first saw these crisps I have to admit the first thought I had was that I was going to have to google Burrata at some point, and I say that as someone who thought she knew her cheeses. So it turns out Burrata is a type of soft cheese made from mozzarella but softened down even further with cream, for an extra delicate smooth finish. Who's have though mozzarella would need it. The crisps flavour combines that cheese with Sweet Chilli Jam, and specifically Stokes Chilli Jam as the two brands have collaborated to bring us these new crisps.


We decided to share them at lunch time and had them to accompany some sandwiches and goodies. The crisps are fairly red looking from their seasoning, if anything more so than in the picture. They smelt slightly spicy, and were quite pleasingly fragrant. Kettle Chips are fairly thick cut, and feel quite hard and sharp to munch on. This is supposed to be a sign of quality but if I'm completely honest with you I prefer crisps a little thinner cut... clearly I'm not cultured! :-D
The crisps were very tasty though, they were warm and spicy, and the ingredients from the chilli jam shone through. I liked the gentle heat, just giving them a nice buzz and the sweet pepper taste, worked rather well. The aftertaste was slightly creamy, which must have been the Burrata Mozzarella, but it was such a light taste and the chilli jam was full on and over powered it a little. Thats not actually a negative comment, I wouldn’t want to change these crisps at all, I throughly enjoyed the flavour, and it is one I’ll pick up again as they are a great lunch time accompaniment.

28 March 2016

High Street Coffee Foodstuff Fight (Greggs vs Costa vs Starbucks)


The lovely folks at Greggs asked if I wanted to try out their coffee and see how it compares to their rivals. They wanted a fair review and comparison. This meant I had to go and get caffeinated, and had Lattes from Greggs, Costa and Starbucks.
I do like Lattes and often have them a treat at the weekend, so I thought it would interesting to do this direct comparison.


First up I went to Costa and ordered a “medium” Latte. I know size varies, but I thought I’d ask for medium and just see what I got. The coffee was made freshly in front of me, with a fresh espresso being stacked into the machine. I noticed that the lady who went on to make it used the heated milk from the previous customer without re-heating it for me. Consequentially my Latte was not hot. I asked for take-out which I think needs special consideration for temperature, if any drink should be hot it is this, the customer intends to walk somewhere with it. A warm latte is such a disappointing thing and I have to say it isn’t the first time this has happened to me in Costa.
On a more pleasant note the drink had a nice flavour, it was very smooth and creamy and quite mild in terms of the coffee. I’d have preferred a stronger flavour, but the coffee was fresh. The takeout cup was good, it was deeply coloured, and had corrugated wrinkles to keep the heat. To be honest the drink needed all the help it could get with this.

Costa
Cost for a medium: £2.55 2 / 5
Temperature: Warm 1 / 5
Taste: Mild 4 / 5
Fresh: 5 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 4 / 5
TOTAL: 19


Next up I went to Starbucks, and ordered a medium Latte and waited for my drink. As I was standing in line I noticed that the tables weren’t cleared and that people sitting down had stacked up mugs and plates on the one remaining empty table. It is such a simple thing to keep the tables clean and it makes the experience when it comes to having a drink out on a Saturday afternoon.
The drink came quickly enough and felt nice and hot. Again it was made with a fresh espresso and in a traditional machine, the milk being heated separately, but this time it was good and hot.
The paper cup wasn’t corrugated, so it actually had the opposite problem to Costa’s, it was hot to handle. The cup was just thin card but had the Starbucks logo on it.
I very much enjoyed the drink. The coffee was stronger, and the milk made the drink smooth, so again a very good Latte.

Starbucks
Cost for a medium: £2.60 1 / 5
Temperature: Hot 5 / 5
Taste: Rich 5 / 5
Fresh: 5 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 2 / 5
TOTAL: 21


Greggs was up next. When I saw the prices of Lattes I opted for a large, but have noted the price below for a medium, it is significantly cheaper than the other two shops. My latte was made in a machine, which seemed to add the milk itself via the button. The coffee is fresh though as there was a sign saying it used fresh coffee.
The cup it came in was just thin card, with the logo neatly on it, and the coffee (and therefore cup) was good and hot. The flavour was good, the coffee was strong and the milk plentiful. I think the coffee was of good quality but the hot milk aspect wasn’t quite as frothy as in the other drinks. It was a good Latte though, and the coffee did stand up to its competitors.

Greggs
Cost for a medium: £1.75 4 / 5 (I went for a large as it was only £2)
Temperature: Hot 5 / 5
Taste: Flavoursome 4 / 5
Fresh: 4 / 5
Smell: 3 / 5
Aesthetics: 2 / 5
TOTAL: 22

On a side note I was asked to rate the drink on aroma too, which as you can see I have done. I think with Lattes their aroma isn’t very strong and as such none of the drinks received high points. I think it is a Latte thing, I’m guessing Espresso or Americanos would have a far more aromatic smell.

So the winner then was Greggs. I think this stems from the fact that the drinks were all quite similar in taste, there wasn’t much in it at all. Don’t get me wrong I think I’ve learnt to ask for ‘extra hot’ in Costa, but taste wise it was all good. The major difference was price, and these days when we are all watching the pennies it is a significant factor.
By Cinabar

27 March 2016

Isea Pasta - seaweed that thinks it's pasta! (By @NLi10)

Unboxing Video



A while back we got asked if we'd like to try some new style pastas. First up this week we have seaweed that you treat like pasta. 

Seen here in the blue bag we have the tagliatelle form. I love pasta, I love nutrition and I love the idea of taking a natural sustainable thing like Irish seaweed and turning it into food.


In the recipie book it suggested carbonara so I grabbed some quorn bacon lardons and sun dried tomatoes and mixed up my own sauce.


The quorn seemed to do something odd with the sauce and it didn't really work well.

The seaweed seemed to be heating well - but it smelt a little more strongly than I'd anticipated.


The kitchen smelt decidedly like the seaside which could be great for some people but I'm splitting this meal with a vegetarian so for her it was a little more off putting than we'd have liked.


The sauce really disappeared and the seaweed expanded more than I'd anticipated and dominated the meal.


The flavour was just too off putting for my partner, and I agreed - I'd put too many salty things together and then added in the fishy seaweed. It wasn't great. She piled most of hers on to my plate and I couldn't finish it.  I resolved to try again.


On opening the pack this second time snack kitten Luna was very interested. She does like veggies and decided to take some out of the pan. I soaked some for her but she didn't do more than play with it.


I cooked the seaweed a little colder this time to keep the smell in, which made the texture a little firmer and possibly less to my liking.


I used lovely Herta frankfurters and a strong spicy Lloyd Grosman sauce to fight against the seaside taste...


In fact I put a whole jar on a single portion! (My partner refused to try it again)


I'd still done too much seaweed pasta! It was edible for me, but not enjoyable. It felt too much like an endurance style test. I guess this just isn't for people who don't love shellfish.

With that in mind I mentioned it to some of the healthier people at work and gave the remaining portions to someone I know. By all accounts she absolutely loved it and intends to get more! I think it's very much a personal taste thing - I went into this wanting to love it and fully intending to integrate this into our meals. A top quality product, but one that really doesn't fit into my tastes!








26 March 2016

Yakima Red Beer (@MeantimeBrewing Waitrose) [By @SpecteUK]



I absolutely adore Meantime's Chocolate Beer, and also their Indian Pale Ale, so I was pretty excited when I saw this Yakima Red beer by the same brewery in my local supermarket. This 4.1% beer was brewed with both German and British malts giving it a dark ruby colour. I first thought Yakima sounded Japanese, but this beer is brewed with five different hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State, in the USA, which the label tells me gives it a bitter fruity citrusy flavour. On opening the bottle there was an initial malted barley smell, with notes of fruit and a hint of citrus from the hops. The beer was a definite deep ruby red on pouring with a complex set of hops for flavour. The bitterness from the hops dove right in from the get-go pouncing on top of any thoughts of malt in the initial taste. The bitter citrus hops struck first moving into the fruitier hops towards the aftertaste. The bitterness keeps giving with this beer straight through to the aftertaste, where a little malt whispered peekaboo. I found my lips smacking after each sip. Wanting more. Wishing I had a bigger bottle or just bought more bottles. I will have to pop back to the store soon...

25 March 2016

Pecan and Amaretto Brownie (Brown & Blond @BrownNBlond)



Every year at around Easter-time, my work holds a “Suppliers Fair”; the idea being lots of our current and potential Suppliers man stalls in our Exhibition Centre and talk to our staff about the goods and services they can provide. However, most of the people I know that go, have a wander over for a bit of a break from work, to see what freebies are on offer this year and a have a bit of a catch-up with friends and colleagues.
Now, I’m always a sucker for a freebie, and therefore try never to miss this event. I’m a picker upper of the branded stationary and novelties as well as the chocolates and competition entries, at the same time chatting to the representatives of the various companies – and in general it’s a pleasant way to spend an hour with at least some useful information being picked up along the way. (I actually did go with the purpose of talking to someone about buying a new shredder this year, but completely forgot once I got there, doh!)
Anyway, as we were just leaving, we passed by the “Brown & Blond” stall, with its stands of umpteen varieties of Brownies and Blondies. The stallholder offered us a sample, which we were happy to accept ;-). This got us talking about the Brownies and other things, and in the discussion I cadged one (in the name of work for this blog of course!) and the stallholder asked which variety I would like to try. I went for the one with the most nuts on top – as you can see from the photo above - Pecan and Amaretto – nom nom nom. He bagged one for me, and I took it home :)
So last night after tea, I cut the Brownie into four tiny squares to share with the family, and we all tried a piece…and all really enjoyed them. I’m a bit of a lightweight, so that amount of rich, chocolately, alcoholly, almondy nuttiness was about right for me, but the rest of the family would have liked a whole piece to themselves – so it must have been good! It was the perfect Brownie, crisp on top with a rich, almost bitter chocolate gooiness inside.
I had a look at their website (http://brownandblond.co.uk/) and it is full of fabulous-looking and sounding Brownies and Blondies, food porn at its best, I reckon! They also have an active Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/brownnblond/) if you want even more foody goodness, and are on Twitter (https://twitter.com/brownnblond). They supply at various events in Yorkshire, so look out for them if you come and visit God’s own country, you’ll be glad you did :)
By Mrs Ux

24 March 2016

Rainbow Vegetable Salad with couscous & edamame soybeans(by @NLi10) @marksandspencer

Marks and Spencer really have upped their game recently. Opposite the traditional lunches in the a Grand Central Station Birmingham store they have this lovely collection of green things.


This particular occasion I chose this Rainbow Vegetable Salad with couscous & edamame soybeans with Honey and Lime dressing. Worth typing out in full as it shows the variety of nutrition on offer. As ever it's two for £4 so I always take advantage and get two so I can have one for lunch and a snack later.


Look at how amazing that is. I want to eat these for lunch every day. M&S is too far and I'm too poorly organised for that to happen on a regular basis but that would be the ideal.


I accidentally took this picture of my drink but it was very arty so I figured I'd share - hashtag juices of Instagram - we already know these are good.

The textures and sauce of the salad were both fantastic and while I'd probably go for the nut one on some days, on other days this would be first choice. Similar to the cosmonauts lunch from the science museum this has an amazing variety and M&S should be commended.


23 March 2016

Pork, Sage & Scrumpy Cider Crisps (Marks & Spencer's) [By @spectreUK]


These Pork, Sage & Scrumpy Cider Crisps are part of the "Tastes of the British Isles" range at Marks & Spencer's. They are made from British potatoes grown in Herefordshire, Somerset scrumpy cider and British pork from farms across the UK. I could almost hear the National Anthem on opening the packet. Of course it wasn't time for the Queen's speech and even though I'm a bit of a royalist I don't know all the words and I couldn't be bothered to hum it. On opening the packet there was a hefty smell of pork and sage to these crisps with a light hint of appley cider in the background. The cider came forth in the initial flavour of these crisps merging very well with the pork and sage flavours. These crisps were like a whole pork roast Sunday dinner rolled into one. The potatoes were obviously present (although not roasted), the pork also, the sage stuffing (if you can stuff a pig), and an ample supply of apple sauce on top. Perfect. Don't forget some cider, ale or red wine to wash it all down with or if you're not so inclined, whatever your liquid fancy is.

Information on the packet;
150g bag with 30g servings having 146 calories, with 7.5g of fat, 0.7g of sugar and 0.40g of salt. For ingredients please see photograph. Not for vegetarians.

22 March 2016

You Crack Me Up Extra Thick Egg (@HotelChocolat) [By @Cinabar]



Well folks it is almost Easter and if you are looking for a special treat, this could be it. Hotel Chocolat kindly sent us another of their fab eggs to review. It is called You crack Me Up and is in the Extra Thick range, with shells in milk chocolate and a combination of white and caramel.
The egg is impressively packed in a box with a black bow on top, it makes an impression and looks superb. Inside you can see an egg wrapped in gold foil.


The egg is in two halves each of which are filled with six chocolates, so twelve in total. The chocolates are fun and Easter themed, from egg shaped chocolates filed with buttercream or praline and biscuit through to white chocolate soldiers filled with praline. There is also mini slabs of white chocolate with and an egg design and bunnies filled with praline or caramel. It is a good selection of goodies. The white chocolate praline soldiers are just fabulous, the chocolate is thick and so very creamy, and the praline is smooth and super nutty, these are the chocolate I'd fight you for. Okay and the praline bunnies. Yeah, I’m not sure I’d share! :-D
The egg shells are both different and extra thick too, which means you do get a decent amount of chocolate. The only negative part is it makes breaking chunks off difficult, but these are just some of the trials a blogger has to go through!


The first half I tried is milk chocolate, and it is embossed with the Hotel Chocolat logo. Their milk chocolate is in a league of its own, with its clean but creamy taste, the cocoa is always perfectly balanced. If you haven't tried it, I heartily recommend it.


The second half of then egg is a mix of Hotel Chocolat caramel milk chocolate and their white chocolate. The inside of the egg is predominantly the caramel milk chocolate, but the outside looks very white. It is quite an even split though, it just depends which piece you pick up.


The taste of this chocolate is one for those with a sweet tooth. The caramel sings out in unison with the creamy sweet white chocolate, and this side of the shell feels naughty and indulgent, which an Easter egg really should.
I can't recommend this egg enough, the mix of shells means it caters for a range of tastes, and the cute chocolates inside are perfect for a fun loving recipient, but the flavours are still perfect for the mature audience too. I know I’d be over the moon to receive one this easter.

21 March 2016

Cafe Asia Handmade Chicken Tikka Wrap (Iceland) [By @Cinabar]


The lovely folks from Cafe Asia got in touch and wanted to know if we wanted to try out their range of goodies stocked in Iceland. I wasn’t sure what to expect but as someone who rather likes samosas and onion bhajis I couldn’t resist saying yes. When I looked in store it turned out that their range was far more vast than I’d thought and I found myself picking up this Cafe Asia Chicken Tikka Wrap. I also got a bag of samosas and chicken pakoras for the freezer, for later.
The Chicken Tikka Wrap had caught my attention so I went for that first. To heat it you can oven bake it for 20 minutes, or zap in the microwave for 2.5 minutes, so it simple to cook.
The wrap was fully covered at either end, which is a good thing, as it means that nothing falls out when you are eating your way through it!


The wrap is filled with chicken tikka pieces, pilau rice and chutney. I gave it the taste test and let the spices mingles on my taste buds. There is loads of flavour to absorb, the chicken is very fragrant and has a good whack of chilli heat. The rice and green peppers makes the wrap feel substantial and the chicken was moist and tasty.
Did I mention the coriander chutney, because it was spot on. I think it is safe to safe that coriander is one of my favourite herbs, it has such a fab bitter but fresh taste, and I loved its addition in the wrap.
If the quality of this Cafe Asia Chicken Tikka Wrap is anything to go by, I am rather looking forward to trying out the rest of the goodies from the brand in my freezer.

20 March 2016

B.Fresh #Sweetgreens apple spinach lemon kale (by @NLi10)

Asda have started strategically putting some healthier drinks into the fruit and veg aisle - including this wonderful looking thing. I'd seen a few people pick them up and give them a shake and then put them back, so I figured it was worth being the one to give it a try.


This is its initial state, note the green dust at the bottom.

Flip it upside down and you get this (12 sec video)






This looks a lot more menacing, and is a better reflection of the colours. That said this is very much an entry level green drink, it both smells and tastes nice!

Essentially it's apple juice, with a touch of kale and lemon juice which keeps the greens looking green. My own smoothies have a lot more kale in them, and taste a lot less like apple juice, they also smell like Farage (the juice at the bottom of the bin) where as this is much more appealing. 

This doesn't feel as worth the money as some other brands do, purely because it feels too similar to a (good quality) apple juice, but as its a refreshing and uplifting combo I'm likely to have more in future.  There are other versions too, and if they contain things that I don't have in stock at home I may buy one and steal their recipes.

This is cold pressed and not pasteurised so will keep its nutrients, so is perfect for when fresh is not available.



19 March 2016

Boris Citrov (Waitrose @SadlersAles) [By @SpectreUK]


Seemingly a fantastic character with a handlebar moustache who boxed with oranges for gloves, Boris Citrov has passed into legend and now appears on the label of this orange marmalade ale. At 4.7% volume this golden pale ale was brewed with English Maris Otter barley, American Amarillo and also Chinook hops and English First Gold hops. From reading the label I could tell that this thrice hopped ale was going to be a flavoursome treat. It made my mouth water in anticipation. On opening there was a definite orange smell mixed in with the malted barley and hops, as well as an added floral aroma. On tasting the three hops worked well together. There was sweetness in the initial flavour, a nod towards the floral hops, there was a light orange citric zest throughout which danced merrily around the bitter hops and also met the barley with a courteous bow into the aftertaste. This is a very refreshing beer the greets the spring and summer months. The label suggests lamb, duck and shrimp dishes, as well a marmalade bread and butter pudding. I'd like to add in most other fishy dishes, such as salmon, tuna steak, sword fish and bass, as well as a good Thai King Prawn curry. Oh, now I'm really hungry!
By Spectre

18 March 2016

Santa Maria Quick and Easy Pulled Pork Dinner Kit [By @Cinabar]


So we thought we'd try out something different for dinner, and the lovely folks from Santa Maria sent us their Quick and Easy Pulled Pork Dinner Kit to try out. It promises pork soft enough to be pulled in just 90 minutes.


Inside the pack was a cooking bag,mulled pork seasoning, tortillas, red onion seasoning and some barbecue sauce. To go with this we purchased a pork joint and a red onion. The instructions are easy enough to follow, you place the pork in the bag with the pork seasoning and a little water, mix it around a bit, and oven cook for 90 minutes.


Meanwhile chop the red onion and use the onion seasoning with this, then leave this to adsorb the flavours. It says the longer the better, but we gave it the 90 minutes.


When the pork was ready to come out there was a moment of worry that it would be difficult to pull apart, but the cooking bag had done its magic.


I've never pulled pork before, so grabbed a couple of forks and just tore in. The pork fell apart beautifully, it was no hassle at all, I have to say I was very impressed. Then all you do is serve the pork in the warmed tortillas, top it off with the barbecue sauce and onions, and anything else you want to add in. We had some crunchy salad, as I like a mix of textures and this worked really well. I guesing green peppers would fab here too.
The flavours were lovely, the pork was meaty and melted in the mouth, with lots of rich smoky seasoning. The barbecue sauce was sweet and spicy and the filled tortillas were an absolute pleasure to eat. I have to admit we hadn't really considered making pulled pork at home before, as we had the assumption that it would be complex and take all day to make the pork soft enough. Now we've tried it we are converted and it has added itself to our regular favourites. We were licking our fingers by the end of the meal.

17 March 2016

Happy lemon premier, Birmingham (by @NLi10) @happylemonuk

Walking home while out late one night I spotted a neat little tea shop I hadn't seen before and resolved to pop back at a more sociable time.  That shop was part of the international happy lemon chain and that day was today. As coffee drinkers have millions of chains with luxurious varieties it's always surprised me there isn't an Indian or Chinese tea chain, and now we have something that appears to fit the bill.

Happy Lemon

For those of you (like me) that haven't heard of happy lemon it's basically the Subway of tea. It even has a loyalty scheme and the ability to customise absolutely everything. Here are their popular drinks.


Fresh honey lemon green tea sounded divine and something I could actually tell the quality of taste from so I went for that. To its right is black tea with rock salted cheese. I despise cheese but have resolved to take someone that doesn't on a visit to try that as it sounds pretty far out.


You get a funky little plastic lemon head to fondle while you wait with your order number on, and they also deliveroo so you can get tea brought to your office. Fab! Not sure what the rates are like on that but I will no doubt find out.


The weather was just about warm enough for me to get this as a cold drink, and as it had a lid on I could safely pop it in my shopping bag while going round HMV then resume drinking afterwards.

The flavour was indeed fresh and crisp, and the 20% sweetness I went for was about one spoon of sugar in a home brew tea. The honey and lemon worked well and reminded me of my favourite New Sum Ye lemon chicken dish that was just round the corner. It was very refreshing and certainly good enough for me to be picking up a loyalty card next time (£5 including one drink) and aiming for a badge!

I'll report back when I've had something more exotic!



16 March 2016

Portlebay Popcorn - Wasabi and Sweet Ginger Popcorn [By @SpectreUK]


Portlebay Popcorn was established in Devon in 2012. I’ve seen some bizarre flavours laying around the shelves of the Foodstufffinds’s larder over the past few weeks, with Cinabar and her mom working their way through them. This Wasabi and Sweet Ginger Popcorn flavour caught my attention and I managed to save them from the other two Munchers, hiding them away in my squirrel corner.

I do like the way Portlebay market their popcorn. They proclaim only premium popping corn is popped in small batches with a splash of rapeseed oil and raw cane sugar to give it the unique crunch they call ‘kracklecorn’. They then sprinkle whatever seasoning they have picked for that batch.

I’ve tried various types of wasabi snacks in the past. Mainly wasabi peas and some wasabi popcorn, however I’ve never tried wasabi popcorn with sweet ginger before and the concept really appealed to me when I saw the packet. The promise of that special wasabi intensity coupled with the fire of ginger topped off with sugar sweetness. There was a sweet sugary smell mixed with ginger to start with on opening the packet followed by a mild nose hair tickling wasabi. The popcorn had a decent crunch with the sweet ginger hitting my tastebuds first and as I chewed the wasabi kicked in. Whilst this kracklecorn lacked the sheer wasabi burn that assaults the nostrils on first taste, it did have the sweetness I prefer from popcorn and the ginger complemented the wasabi very well indeed. It made for a perfect sweet and spicy blend of snack that would go down just as well in a bucket with a good film, as it did with my lunchtime sandwich.

Information on the packet;
25g bag at 100g 461 calories, with 18.4g of fat, 31.4g of sugar and 0.7g of salt. The ingredients are suitable for vegetarians and include no gluten (see photograph).

15 March 2016

Limited Edition Trio Biscuits (@McVities) [By @Cinabar]



As I was a child in the eighties I remember the Trio advert well. The minute I spotted these biscuits nostalgia set it. I could immediately remember singing (lol screeching) “I want a Trio and I want One Now!”
As I did “want one now” and I had bought a couple of packs I decided to go for the taste test. First thing to note these are as I remember them visually.


There is a paper wrapper, over foiled paper which is true to the original and so very retro! Underneath the wrapper is a chocolate biscuit in three segments, each with the Trio logo on them. As I was looking the aroma of chocolate and toffee couldn’t help catch my attention, I really have missed these biscuits.
I broke a piece off, with a snap, and bit in. The flavour of toffee is just wonderfully rich and strong. There is no comparison to caramel, this is a proper rich toffee flavour. It is delivered in a soft layer over the biscuit, it isn’t hard or gooey. The chocolate is a nice thick milk chocolate and the biscuit is crunchy and tasty. I enjoyed my step back in time, and the rich toffee taste.
I am so looking forward to having one of these in my (now work) lunch box. They’ll take me back to my childhood for a bit, and be perfect with an afternoon cuppa. I’m hoping McVities will see the light and make these permanent, the phrase Limited Edition isn’t very reassuring.
By Cinabar
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