26 March 2017

Ooh! Sweetie. Zingy Lemon Fizz (by @NLi10)

While in Lichfield I spotted these pre-packaged boiled sweets in the Oxfam shop. I took them with me to Digital Dragon Games and popped them on their scenery for some photos.


The sweets are folded layers of lemon sweets, sherbet and possibly a few other things all lovingly parcelled into little lemony explosions. 

And they are pretty good, they start off fairly tame and then go through peaks and troughs of flavour so you don't forget they are there. My only issue is that I wouldn't want to keep eating them one after the other. One of the great strengths of Fruit Polos was the joy of having a berry one followed by a citrus one and so on, the complimentary flavours mingling playfully. 

While the range includes all kinds of jazzy flavours this box only has one. 

http://www.loveooh.co.uk/shop/category/new-ooh-sweetie


These were in the sale when I picked them up fro 99p which was a steal.  At the usual price of £2.40 I think I'd have to be a bit more selective - but I'd absolutely love a £5 jar with a mix of flavours for my office. In fact I've already had requests to pop back and see if they have any left at the bargain price.

A lovely, well branded idea which is interesting and something that certainly makes me want to find other things by the Ooh! Team.

25 March 2017

Red Rye Ale (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK


I've written about a couple or so of Red Rye ales recently, and Hook Norton Brewery, in Oxfordshire, produced this one. This 4.7% volume red ale had Maris Otter Pale malt, Crystal malt, Crystal Rye, Enzymic malt, and wheat malt added in the brewing. That's quite a list of malts there for a 330ml bottle, but it doesn't stop there, as oodles of fruitiness was promised on the label with Willamette, Sovereign, Citra, Amarillo and Chinook hops also being added in producing this Red Rye extravaganza. I seriously don't know how they fit it all into one bottle, but they did and now I'm slightly worried about opening it. The pressure of flavours in there must be ginormous.

After putting on some safety goggles from the shed, I apprehensively prized off the bottle top. The aromas from the top of the open bottle were lipsmackingly alluring. There was malt in the initial smell followed by a mountain of fruitiness from the sheer amount of hops added in the brewing. On pouring as expected the ale glowed a healthy glowing red. First taste was like being hit by a freight train of flavour, and it just didn't stop, just rolled straight over my tastebuds, over and over. There was thick malt, then fruitiness which a touch of bitterness from the hops, then sweet malt, then more fruitiness with a touch of citrus for a final whistle into the tunnel of my gob. The aftertaste oozed with fruity malty goodness. Wow! What a Red Rye ale extravaganza this is!

24 March 2017

Katsu Curry Sticky Rice Chips (Marks and Spencers) By @Cinabar



Having recently had Katsu Curry a number of times out and at home it has quickly become a favourite meal for us. It consists of sticky rice, a piece of breaded chicken with a slightly spicy sauce covering it all over.
When I was browsing the new crisps in Marks and Spencer I was curious to see these new Chips flavoured with Katsu Curry. We picked up a bag and shared them out with sandwiches one lunch time. We didn't have a dip with them although afterwards realised it might have been a nice idea.
The crisps aren't potato based they are made with rice and maize, and shaped like slightly curled and bubbled squares, and you can see all the spices embedded in them.
They had a fairly mild flavour, and started off tasting quite creamy, which is in keeping with a Katsu curry. The heat did develop a little the more you munched and they ended up with a gentle warmth of chilli. The flavour I hadn't been expecting was the coriander and as that is one of my favourite herbs I thought these worked really well. The texture was a little dry, but they were pleasingly crunchy. I had also realised they are flavoured with just the sauce element of a Katsu Curry, and felt they would have been amazing if they had a hint of chicken in their too, but I do love meaty crisps!

23 March 2017

Power Rangers Movie Official Krispy Kremes (@NLi10)

With cinema tie ins there are occasionally a few snack goodies, but I spotted a FaceBook sponsored post for a new movie that has gone the extra mile - Krispy Kremes!


These are of course themed Krispy Kremes for the Power Rangers movie which from the trailer appears to be a total reboot of the whole thing - and it looks pretty reasonable considering the original series...


The box is pretty cool - lots of Branding, lots of movie shots.


The doughnuts are essentially the chocolate topped white cream doughnuts, but with a lovely glittery topping and a chunky icing lightning bolt on top. Cool design, but the flavour is the same as it ever was.


And the thing is it's kind of enough! Krispy Kremes really don't need much changing from the classic formula and the addition of the cosmetic glitter and the crunch of the bolt is pretty cool. There are only 500 dozens in the UK and this weekend is the last one to try them so Go Go if you are a big fan.



22 March 2017

Pea Snacks Sweet Chilli (ALDI) By @SpectreUK


Always on the lookout for healthy alternative snacks to crisps and nuts, these Pea Snacks seem to fit the bill nicely. They were specially produced for ALDI by Passion Deli, were baked not fried, and are gluten free and a good source of protein. That all sounds very healthy, but do they taste good? Well there was only one way to find out. On opening the packet there was a heavy chilli pepper smell from the runner bean shaped pea pocked greenish baked rice coated slightly paprika orange coloured snacks (see photograph). They looked like someone had pushed Kermit the Frog through a mini sausage making machine and then stuck him in an oven to make sure!
The slightly crunchy coated pea snacks had an initial cayenne peppery taste which tickled my nose hairs on first bite. After this primary nostril teasing there was then a sweet chilli flavour lending a medium burn to my mouth followed by a mild ginger taste and a hint of peas, with that pesky cayenne pepper moving all the way through into the aftertaste. This chilli burn increased whilst I gobbled the packet, making my nose run a little. Still these Pea Snacks are flavoursome, rather than some chilli snacks and sauces that attempt to burn your mouth out without having any real flavour. So if you fancy a healthy, tasty alternative snack that may make your nose run a little, these Pea Snacks could be for you.
Information on the packet;
The 21g packet contains 87 calories, having 2.7g of fat, 0.8g of sugar and 0.23g of salt. See photograph for ingredients.

21 March 2017

Aunt Bessie's Knickerbocker Glories (Morrisons) By @Cinabar


You know that feeling when you buy something online and it doesn't quite match up to its picture... well that is sort of what happened here for me. I spotted on the Morrisons website that Aunt Bessie had brought out a new Knickerbocker Glory dessert. Aunt Bessie’s aren't particularly a make known for being low fat, in fact I associate them with good food that is a bit of a treat. Think goose fat covered roast potatoes, and even huge apple pies. With this knowledge, and not looking at the online listing of a photo of a box shot for more than a second, I had made a series of subconscious assumptions. This meant that I was planning at the back of my head how to rearrange the top drawer of the freezer in order to fit in huge ice cream based goodies, and trying to work out where the extra long spoons were. When the delivery man came, he dropped off a small box with two equally small mini desserts in it. Such a disappointment. A Knickerbocker Glory is a dessert consisting of cream, ice cream, fruit and sauces, served in a long tall glass - basically it is the sundae of all sundaes, this however was not. It was in a very short pot, with not a lot of room to pack many goodies in at all. There was no glory in this Knickerbocker Glory.
Quite why Aunt Bessie has ventured into the world of portion controlled desserts is beyond me, there are lots of low calorie / low fat options available, I think an occasional indulgence should be allowed.
Disappointment number two came when it was time to tuck into the Knickerbocker Glories, and I went to get them out of the freezer, to eat straight away and it said to defrost them for 20-30minutes. I’m not patient either, and I just assumed an ice cream based dessert would be ready to eat. Oh well. When we did finally get to them they were pleasant enough. The flavours were quite muted, with lots of vanilla. The topping was like that in a cheesecake, so even this seemed to have been made with health in mind. The fruity sections were nice and the taste of peaches and pears were a good edition.
I’m just not sure what market this is going for, I’m not sure that those shopping for calorie controlled portions would give them a second glance, and those of us after a proper Knickerbocker Glory won’t be sufficed either.

20 March 2017

Shaka Zulu Restaurant (Camden, London) By Fey


In the heart of Camden’s stables, Shaka Zulu takes you out of the city for a moment and transports you to South Africa. The restaurant is on two levels and has a great, entertaining atmosphere.


We first had cocktails at the bar, all of which had interesting flavours. We tried the Shark Alley (vodka, pomegranate and rosemary) and the Safari Martini (gin, elderflower and passionfruit). They were strong in flavour without being too intense and these were a great way to start the evening.



For the first course we tried the beef carpaccio and the lamb samosa’s. The beef was incredibly tender, with an added tanginess from the goats cheese purée. The lamb samosa’s came in a really delicate pastry, with great quality lamb.


We then had the spatchcock chicken, which came with a dipping gravy. The chicken was really moist and the gravy added a delicious side note.



We also had the kingklip which was cajun spiced- this added a really great kick. We also shared the peri peri fries - which had a perfectly generous amount of seasoning.


For desert we had the dark chocolate tart with honeycomb crackling. This had a real rich flavour, and the honey comb added a sweetness. The scoop of cream kept it all fresh!


There was live music which started playing, which again really created a great atmosphere.
I would definitely recommend giving Shaka Zulu a visit, as there are so many incredible dishes to try.

19 March 2017

Disappointment Wars: Gusto Mega Surprise Vs Pokemon Go Egg (@NLi10)

Occasionally on Food Stuff Finds I come across items in the store that I know are going to be disappointing, the only question is the exact nature of that disappointment and it's scale.  A slightly different multi nationality store has opened up near me in Cape Hill, Birmingham and instead of buying all the wonderful Turkish baked goods, and even passing up 4 fresh naan for a pound I went for the children snacks.  


Up for review then in today's Disappointment Wars is a bag of Romanian crisps with a toy, and a knock off Pokemon Go surprise egg.  Both were around the same price of 50p.  The challenge is this - which has the most disappointing food element, and which has the most disappointing toy element?  Would either actually be considered good value?

Place your bets now!

Gusto I've not seen before, the internet assures me that it's Romanian. This is essentially a bag of puffed up crisps, where the single appealing factor on the packaging is the Mega Surprise toy.  The bag is 59p though - and it's pretty large too.  Factoring in the price of the crisps, and that some poor lorry driver had to drive these over from the mainland the prizes seem unrealistic.



If I got a pound-shop Barbie, a knock off Toy Story set - or the holy grail - a Gusto Lorry and then the crisps are worth 9p then that's got to be a win, right?  Surely it's not in their best interest to show these things unless they are actually in the bag.  At this point I'm assuming that they are tiny, and made of that really cheap brittle plastic.


This Pokemon Go themed egg is not made by Kinder, or Nintendo or Niantic or anyone associated with anything other than cutting and pasting pictures off the internet.  For a start the two Pokemon pictured aren't in the game yet - Piplup & Smugleaf are Gen 5 Pokemon and they are on Gen 2!



There were other wrappers available (indeed some of them were non Pokemon themed which means I'm not holding out for a knock off plastic Charmander) I think those were Disney style things.  I'll bet these are a more normal import and can be found in many corner shops so there may be less money going into import here and could lead to higher quality goods.

So lets open them up!



And here is the first surprise - this thing is pretty large! Yes it's cheap plastic, and the detail is all fairly basic, but this actually looks like a toy.  If you'd gotten one of the plastic cars then It'd be fairly basic but OK.  The lorry (and the tank that was hiding at the bottom) would have been pretty cool desk toys.  This is a little babyish and doesn't really bob up and down as it's supposed to do when you wheel it.  If you gave this to a child under 6 it would at least hold their attention on the drive home from the supermarket.  Confusing, but not a disappointment!

The crisps are essentially packing peanuts, with a little salt. They dissolve in the mouth and the aftertaste isn't offensive.  I wouldn't really pay 10p for the bag of them though.  I will probably put these in the communal snack area at work to generate confusion.

Interestingly though, their appearance and the size of the toy means they could rebrand this as an unboxing! You get your pretend Amazon parcel and rummage through the packing peanuts to find out what gift you got. Oh! It's a child's beetle toy! And you can even eat the packing peanuts if you really want to.  

I'm sure this has been imported due to some nostalgia value and not as I initially hoped because the crisps are good.  Seems a quick google confirms this - I suspect that over 90% of the crisps end up in the bin.  

59p then is fair. I mean - you wouldn't actually buy the toy for 50p if you saw it, or the crisps for 10p if you'd tried them.  I don't feel ripped off, and I was mildly surprised by the prize.

Score: Mild Surprise

You can watch someone open a whole load of the bags here. I'd say looking that their ten toys that mine was one of the worst available - they had Marvel AND Pokemon rip-offs on offer. Pretty much any of those toys would have risen the score sharply and caused repeat purchases.  Still tempting.



The prize from the Pokemon Go egg was a three piece construction project that gave you this football pencil topper.  I put it on a pencil *liberated* from the Aston Villa football hospitality suite during a conference, but even AVFC's poor run of form doesn't deserve this.  Even if you found a person that liked football, and whose team played in the odd choice of blue and yellow (I can't think of one?), and still uses pencils I think they'd be disappointed. The capsule was so flimsy it went straight in the recycling - not even sturdy enough to give to the cats.  I may have to drop the whole thing int he recycling - it's not something I could assign any value to at all.

And yet. Somehow..


The chocolate is actually worse...!

It looks like chocolate, but it tastes like it's made with oil and sugar and artificial brown.  I'd feel bad letting the people at work eat this (I let my partner try some to confirm I wasn't being a chocolate snob, some-day she may forgive me).  This makes the Gusto packing peanuts seem more like food.  I'm not even labelling this review with the tag chocolate because frankly it isn't chocolate. This brown goo would make children cry.

All of the 50p asking price seems to have gone on the foil. The foil is very pretty - in fact the most suitable way to deal with this product is to smooth out the foil, keep that and to bin everything that it contained!

Score: Abject Disappointment

The only reason I can't score this lower was that my expectations were pretty low going in.  And the item still was disappointing.



So this means that it's a landslide victory for the Gusto offering. Even though I got no pleasure, only surprise, and don't intend to eat the actual food.

I'm off to watch more Gusto pack opening videos on YouTube and to lament that I got a toddler's beetle toy and not the Hulk Vs Batman rip-off playset (an actual prize in the video!)







18 March 2017

Maritime Salted Caramel Porter (Marks and Spencer’s) By @SpectreUK



This is a pretty posh sounding beer from Marks and Spencer's. The Meantime Brewing Company brewed Maritime Salted Caramel Porter in Greenwich, London. The sea theme on the label compliments the name of the beer, and of course location of the brewery nearby the London Maritime Museum. Cinabar and I visited there some year's back and also the Cutty Sark, and had a very good time indeed, so I'd recommend it.

Anyway, seven malts and hops were added in the brewing of this 5.5% dark brown porter using a recipe that dates back to 1750. A Belgian twist was then added in the form of salted caramel. I've had caramel in some form or other in beer before, but not salted as far as I can remember. There was a heady chocolate malt smell on opening the 330ml bottle, with a hint of caramel and citrusy hops, and the lightest intimation of salt on really giving the full glass a good deep sniff. You find yourself sniffing all sorts of open bags and bottles when you're a blogger!

In fact the malted chocolate flavour was in the initial taste. There was also a hint of coffee next to the initial chocolate malt flavour. Then the citrus bitterness of the hops kicked in, although quickly giving way to a sweet yet salty caramel flavour. This porter certainly has a complex journey of flavours from malted chocolate and undertones of coffee to sweet and salty caramel finish, and it is very nice indeed. The label recommends some caramel brownie type pudding or other to enjoy this beer with. I'd recommend you drink it on it's own or with a good milk chocolate caramel bar, of which I may go and hunt out from my snacking corner now…

17 March 2017

Cadbury Mint Oreo Dairy Milk (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar


This is one of two new Dairy Milk editions, and I have to admit it was hard to choose which one to open first. Both new bars from Cadbury are Oreo themed, there is this one which is flavoured with Mint Oreo biscuits, and another based on Peanut Butter Oreos. I am a big fan of both mint and peanut butter, but tonight I felt like that I was more in the mood for something minty, so the other bar will have to wait (but not too long).
When I opened the wrapper I was surprised by just how strong the mint smell was, it was wonderfully aromatic and appealing. The bar itself looked from the ooutside like a regular Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, with no obvious clue to it's filling. Once I had broken a pieces off I soon saw the minty green filling inside, and the pieces of dark Oreo biscuits. Even visually I could spot that there was a high ratio of minty green stuff to cookie pieces.


The Mint Oreo Dairy Milk was indeed very minty in flavour. It had a good peppermint taste, it was quite strong and very refreshing. The bar was quite sweet too, and the mint and chocolate flavours worked well together. There was a lovely mix of textures from the soft mint stuff filling, to the crunchy biscuit and firmer chocolate. The bars definitely had more mint taste than Oreo, the biscuit flavour is a bit lost, but the crunch from it combined with the strong mint flavour is still a fab combination. I like mint and chocolate and as this had plenty of mint, and lovely textures I found it a delight. Can’t wait to try the Cadbury Peanut Butter Dairy Milk next.

16 March 2017

TREK - Protein Flapjack (by @NLi10)

When out wandering the wilds of England it's wise to take something a little bit more sustaining with you. I spotted these in the new section on the Ocado app and figured I'd give them a try.


I'm sure we've had TREK bars before but these are flapjacks not cereal bars, and with 9g of protein too it can certainly help with all that muscle growth from climbing hills. Or in our case sitting around in an office. I don't really have any walks planned at the moment so we just tried them out.


They are described as delicious, filling, nourishing and real - at least one of which is hopefully true. We've not reviewed many imaginary snacks so far!

It's also vegan and gluten free which is good to know (even if it should hopefully be obvious from the ingredients you'd be surprised what gets snuck into food).


At first glance it seems a bit skimpy on the chocolate, but it's nicely strong stuff so you get the flavour if not a thick soft topping.  The underside is a little bit like a cross between a cereal bar and a flapjack and doesn't have much moist softness. The flavour is decent, but the whole thing is maybe a little unsatisfying.


The coconut version is essentially the same, but with added coconut. The review group generally preferred the flavour of this one but we all agreed that it just didn't fill the gap. 


I think that as a snack these are ok, but if I was to take something on a walk with me I'd want it to be more substantial.

15 March 2017

Quinoa Chips Sundried Tomato & Roasted Garlic (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK


Sometimes I want something to snack on other than crisps. Don’t get me wrong because I love crisps. I reckon I couldn’t give them up if my life depended on it. Although I did give up smoking nearly twenty years ago, and overly boozing around the same time, and thought beforehand that I probably couldn’t give them up. Due to a change in dietary necessities I had to give up nuts a few years back, and cravings for coated salted peanuts still haunt me. Fortunately that hasn’t happened with crisps, but I do like to hunt around for alternative snacks to widen the range of my snacking. This Quinoa grain snack from the Eat Real range by Cofresh, in Leicester, is rather ostentatiously flavoured Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic flavour.
There was quite a heady garlic odour on opening the packet, which made me worry a little, as I was eating these wavy grain chips at work with my lunch. Never mind, my afternoon meeting sounded really boring so if I breathe over everyone it should shorten the conversation! Tomato came secondary in the smell, which was unusual to my senses as tomato can often be quite strong in crisp flavours, and this heightened the anticipation of a shorter meeting. On first crunchy tasty the initial tomato blast took over from the garlic in the race to my tastebuds. It certainly tasted like sundried tomato to me, and then came the garlic arriving for second podium and travelling into the aftertaste. These Quinoa grain chips are very tasty indeed. I hope to find some other flavours, but for now I’ll go and breathe all over my colleagues…
Information on the packet;
The 30g packet contains 165 calories, with 8.7g of fat, 0.9g of sugar, and 0.63g of salt. Suitable for Vegans, please see photograph for ingredients.

14 March 2017

The Dirty Louisiana Burger (KFC) By @Cinabar


I first heard about this new KFC burger from an advert on facebook that made me laugh. It was a tongue in cheek pieces about “clean eating” (ice cube relish anyone?), and it is worth a google if you like that sort of thing.
I wasn’t sure if the new KFC Dirty Louisiana Burger would be available in the UK, adverts online can sometimes be specific to the USA, but our local branch of KFC had a big sign up advertising the new burger, so we decided to go in and give it the taste test. Now to say I had been sold on an advert becomes more significant when you hear that at the point of ordering I had no idea what I was actually ordering. Yes I knew it was a big burger, and if boiled spiralized chicken was considered “clean” then this was at the other end of the scale.


The burger came in a nicely themed box and was wrapped in paper inside that too. I opened up the box and found a burger with a large piece of chicken, two pieces of cheese, a hash brown, salad, gherkins, and most importantly lots of sauce, and different sauces at that. It soon dawned on me that the dirty part may well refer to the state of your hands after eating it! All of these goodies were packed into a toasted bun.


I found this to be a bit of a flavour sensation. As there was several different sauces it meant that every bite tasted different. There was rich barbecue sauce, a cheese based sauce and a cooler black pepper mayonnaise. The mix of textures was spot on too, with the gherkin slices holding their crispy texture, the salad and the soft hash brown. As I was eating I noted that my mouth was heating up a little and realised that somewhere mixed in was also some chilli heat, this burger really does have everything. As predicted my hands were dripping in spilled sauce and those little clean up wipes they give just didn’t seem big enough! This might be a bit of a novelty burger, but it certainly works, who would have thought having all the sauces could produce such a fantastic mix of flavours.
 The only problem is that The Dirty Louisiana Burger is only available for 4 weeks, so get in quick if you want to give it a try.

13 March 2017

The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company Competition (@ChocPizzaCo) By @cinabar



The lovely folks from The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company asked if we wanted to try out one of their fantastic looking chocolate pizzas, and also said we could give one away as a competition prize! Details on this are below.
I can’t hep getting excited when the post comes and brings a parcel but receiving a pizza box in the mail really did make me smile. The box looks very authentic but you can see the chocolate pizza showing through. Although this is a chocolate pizza in name, there is not doughy base, the whole thing is chocolatey goodness. This particular one is called a Crunchy Munchy and has a milk chocolate base topped with white chocolate curls, fudge pieces and chunks of chocolate brownie.


I was worried for a second about removing the pieces from the box but was pleased to see that there was a handy thumb slot to ease the slices out and each one had already been pre-cut. You can see from the side view that the chunks of fudge are embedded fairly deep into the chocolate pizza to stop them from falling out.


I have written a few times before on here about my love of a mix of textures and this chocolate pizza completely satisfied that. The chocolate base has a thick melt that coats the tongue well, but the curls and soft fudge and brownie pieces all just mix things up perfectly. The chocolate is of a lovely quality, with a good defined taste and plenty of sweet creamy flavour. The fudge pieces are buttery and sweet and a pleasure to stumble on, as are the richer brownie pieces.
The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza brought a smile to everyone who shared it and it would be perfect for sharing with friends during a night in. It is also a bit of statement gift, sure to make the recipient smile from ear to ear.

If you want to buy one for yourself see: http://www.gourmetchocolatepizza.co.uk

If you would like to try and win your very own Gourmet Chocolate Pizza please enter using the RaffleCopter form below - Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 March 2017

Unicorn Carrots [Oaklands - @Lidluk] (by @NLi10)

 While looking for green veggies to halt my cravings (settled on sprouts - even though it's not Christmas) I came upon this wonderful little package for £1.


This is just essentially a box of smaller carrots of a variety of varieties but where they are all pointy ones.  As baby carrots go we tend to just get the orange ones.

Here we have a lot of orange, a few white (parsnips really) and some dark and light purple ones - like carrots originally were in the wild!


They look very aesthetically pleasing, especially on the trendy green chopping board.


And inside they look particularly cool.  I didn't really need carrots, but I've been enjoying this little bit of variety in the veg. 

Branding healthy, whole food in a way that appeals to children and makes the adults job a little easier is a great idea.  'Eat your veg' isn't really appealing, but 'do you want unicorn carrots tonight?' is a much more tempting proposition.  Can we think of other ones? Can we find a way to rescue the broccoli princess? Would boys want to eat Goblin Sprouts?  More creative ideas in the comments please!

At £1 these are reasonably priced too, from the UK and something I've not seen outside of Lidl so a reason to pop in to pick up the fresh stuff (the blueberries were amazing this week - yum!).

11 March 2017

Farmer Ray’s Ale (Cosford Food Show) By @SpectreUK



I picked up this Farmer Ray's Ale at the Cosford Food Show some months ago. Corvedale Brewery produced it just down the road at the Sun Inn between Ludlow and Much Wenlock, in Shropshire. This dark brown 4.5% volume ale was made from locally farmed hops by Ray Morris, hence the ale's name, and British Malting Barley. On opening there was a very fruity smell from the mixture of hops, such as pear, banana and pineapple, which made me worry slightly on the taste, as I can't stand banana in beer. I do, however, love pineapple on cheese sticks, on pizza and especially on top of a good large piece of gammon. Anyway, unsure I'd like the taste of pineapple and banana in beer, I tried to tell my brain that it was the hops playing tricks on my nose. There was a sharp bitterness on first taste, followed by strong fruitiness from the hops that fortunately didn't taste of banana or pineapple, and mixed well with the sweetness and roasted flavours from the malted barley into the aftertaste. This is a fresh crisp summer ale and certainly not just for farmers. Cheers!

10 March 2017

Easter Fudge (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar


I found this wonderful sounding bag of seasonal fudge in Marks and Spencer. Easter fudge isn’t the most specific description of a product, the flavours of Easter range from chocolate eggs through to Simnel cake, but this particular new product is fudge with a Hot Cross Bun flavour.
I’ve mentioned on the blog before that my favourite spice is cinnamon, and as Hot Cross Buns contain a decent amount of cinnamon I knew this was going to be a hit with me.
| opened up the bag and let the mix of spices fill my senses, and its sweet and heady tones filled my nostrils with delight. If it tasted half as good as it smelt I would have been quite pleased.
There were quite a few pieces of fudge in the bag and they were cut into fairly large cubes, each of which took me more than one bite. The texture was firm, but still in the realms of soft. They were dotted with raisins, but there weren’t as many of the currants as I would have liked, I think this is my only negative comment on the fudge.
The flavour was an absolute delight. First and foremost the taste was predominantly buttery and sugary, but as I’m remarkably sweet-toothed this was not a problem. What came next was a fabulous hit of warming spices, and yes there was plenty of cinnamon so I was in heaven. The next flavour are the lemon peel giving a pleasing amount of sourness on the odd bite and then there was the secondary warmth from nutmeg. If you have any love for cinnamon, and a highly tolerant sweet-tooth then I can’t recommended this enough. I’m going back for a second bag.


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