14 November 2018

New Rolo Snack Bar (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

I'm sure this is a Baader Meinhof, a phenomenon which is otherwise known as the Frequency Illusion. This is when you don't think of something for ages, then suddenly out of nowhere it crops up over and over… Well, I hadn't thought about Nestle's Rolos for years, which is crazy in itself, because they're great, right? It was coming up to Halloween and Cinabar had picked up a bag of assorted mini chocolates from the local supermarket. One of the brands that were in the bag were mini packets of Rolos. Cinabar's mistake was to show me the bag. Before she could tip them into the bowl for prospective Trick or Treaters, I nabbed all the Rolo packets and gorged on them all in one night. Mmm… I even forgot to share my last Rolo with Cinabar at the end of the evening, which as you can imagine I got into quite a lot of trouble for. I'm greedy! I often see it as an asset, as I probably have to bulk up during winter for hibernation or something…

These new Rolo Snacks have four in a box. They have to be stored in the fridge, which could be easily forgettable if left in there for a long time, so I should probably eat them all in one sitting… As you can see from the photograph, inside the wrapper it is almost a pyramid shaped chocolate bar covered in Rolo chocolate, with Rolo caramel at the top of the bar and squidgy cake underneath. The taste is reminiscent of a Rolo from the outer chocolate and the caramel, but the cake centre slightly distracts from that original flavour. It does taste rather good though, but don't squeeze it too hard as you bite it, as it could explode everywhere. So I guess with the added squidgy cake centre it is supposed to be a snack bar, rather than a full Rolo chocolate bar though… hang on a second… a full Rolo chocolate bar! Now there's a thought!! Mmm…

Information on the box;
Each 30g bar has 143 calories, with 8.6g of fat, 11.3g of sugar, and 0.05g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

13 November 2018

Specially Selected Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows (Aldi) By @Cinabar

I am a big fan of Aldi, we shop there a lot and I am always surprised how a smallish shop has so many interesting and unusual products that come and go. I go on about my Foodstuff Finds in Aldi so much I sometimes think the ladies at work must think I’m on commission, I’m saying this because I love Aldi and the review that follows does not represent my usual view of items stocked there.
It started out okay, we were wandering around the store doing our weekly grocery shop and in the specials section I spotted this box of very posh looking Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows. They are from the Specially Selected range which means they are usually to a very high standard. I’ve had chocolate truffles filled with Raspberry and Prosecco which I loved so I had high hopes for this packet of marshmallows.

Once home I opened up the box, I was aware that the aroma was very curious, it was a little sour and I think was supposed to be the prosecco, but it was nearly akin to vinegar. There were a lot of mallows in that small box, that much impressed me. The Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows were very soft too, ultra fluffy, but I can’t praise the texture really as I found the flavour inedible. They tasted sweet, but not of raspberry it was so very artificial. The box doesn’t seem to mention artificial flavours directly so I’m aware this might just be me. They had almost a plastic like flavour to their taste to my taste buds. It was so bad I binned them. I don’t think I’ve done that before to marshmallows so I think it is safe to say these were not for me.
It is just a personal opinion, and as I said I have had very few items I’ve disliked from Aldi. Here is is hoping next week’s shop brings with it a few more specials which are on target.

12 November 2018

Plum Pudding Chutney (Marks & Spencer) By @Cinabar

Well I’m officially stocking up and testing out Christmas products, but this time it doesn’t come with an apology about being early. Christmas is just around the corner folks, even if I haven’t quite got the tree up yet!
Anyway, one of our favourite quick lunches or teas is to have a platter of cold meats, cheese, olives and biscuits. There is always a nicely chosen pickle to accompany the meal. We do vary the selection of goodies, but this time I had picked up a Christmas themed pickle, this Plum Pudding Chutney from Marks and Spencer. It promises all the flavours of Christmas in a jar which is quite some promise, I’m thinking both turkey and peppermint candy cane! Ok, I’m not, I think this is more Christmas pudding related. We scooped some out to have with our cheese and biscuits. I could immediately see the fig seeds in this dark pickle, like it was from a plum pudding. I gave it a taste and the flavour was remarkably well balanced, slightly sweet, lots of fruit and a lovely underlying Christmas spice that just gave it a good depth of flavour. The spices worked very well with the cheese on my cracker but also complimented the selection of cold meats well. We will use this jar up very quickly I think. It might not be “all the flavours of Christmas” but this Marks and Spencer Plum Pudding Chutney certainly has all the ones I would want in a side of pickle. I’m thinking it will be perfect for left over turkey sandwiches on boxing day too.

11 November 2018

The FIVE advent calendars that I actually DID buy this year (with video) by @NLi10

This Remembrance Day morning I did what any other citizen of a peace-loving free country would do and videoed my advent calendars ready for December.

This is a video - we don't do many of these so click it and tell us what you think!

For those of you on phones, or who aren't really into videos here are the three cheapest options I got.

At 89p (Home Bargains) I got the 20(18) Very Badly Behaved Elf calendar with the smallest amount of chocolate (40g!) and very low expectations.

Of the three slightly odd Holland & Barrett calendars on offer I chose the far right one.  I thought no added sugar may have been a bit much (but I do love dark choc), and that the white choc one may taste a bit odd.  I'm hoping that the dairy free vegan one at least has a nice texture. It was £4.

The most expensive of these (£6.99 B&M) was the McVitie's advent calendar which instead of being biscuit based has it's normal choc bars.  This is great in theory but is a little bit like the ration boxes I described in the last write up.  I suspect it will be a solid base line.

The remaining two in the video were both £9.99 from Ocado.  A teabag one from Pucca which looks like a flat box of teabags (?!) and a cat treat advent calendar which has great art but smells really funky.  Check the video for those and the scoring system.  See you in Dec for more videos and roundup text.

10 November 2018

Citrus IPA Greene King (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I've gone for blogging about a bizarrely summer ale this week. It's been pretty grey outside and ducking between short bursts of a little sun and mainly long showers isn't much fun for anyone. We're into the grim stormy season now with cold dank days ahead until Christmas. I'm even planning to have a glass of spiced meed wine that I've been saving for autumn and the winter months with my mince pies later. So I thought I'd dust off the last of my summer ales to cheer everyone up a bit.

The label of this Citrus IPA explodes with colour. Described as 'easy drinking', the ingredients state anything but. This Citrus IPA is flavoured with grapefruit and mandarin. I do love grapefruit, especially grapefruit juice for washing down my Full English Breakfast as a waker-upper whilst on holiday. I also do love mandarin, mainly as the flavouring for jelly! I'm not sure how mandarin will taste with beer, but a decent punch of citrus is promised from the flavourings and the Chinook hops and Mandarina Bavaria hops that this beer from Greene King, in Bury St. Edmonds, was brewed with.

On opening the bottle there was a heavy citrus blast from the hops and also the fruit, which mixed well with the pale malt aroma. It was a delicious smell. It made me want to taste it. Impatiently I waited for the over fluffy head to go down a little and the ale to settle. It's been a long time since I've been a barman, so my pouring skills are sometimes a tad rusty. On taste this 4.6% volume deep golden India Pale Ale is quite strong on the fruity mandarin to start with. This fruitiness combines with the citrus bitterness from the grapefruit and also the two varieties of hops, before the sweetness from the pale malt and crystal malt shines through towards the aftertaste. This is a beer that I'm sure would go well with a spicy fishy dish. Not really for a dark stormy night, but it did cheer me up rather than warm me up. The spicy meed wine is for that later!

9 November 2018

Nestle Whip Dessert (Asda) By @Cinabar

I am in two minds about these desserts. Let me start with the negative side, I bought this product because I buy (and love) Nestle Walnut Whips, the packaging of these desserts and the branding of the logo made me think of these Whips. The ones they do in multipacks without any hint of a walnut for unknown reasons. They are in a blue pack and they have the same cursive writing of the name in white. I thought there would be some theming to match the chocolates. A Whip consists of a solid milk chocolate case with a white vanilla whip inside. The dessert consists of a smooth (no obvious bubbles) chocolate section and cream on top. I don’t get it, its not even close. It should have been a vanilla mousse with a chocolate topping surely? The other way around and different proportions.

The positive side of this dessert is that it tasted rather good. The chocolate section was smooth and creamy, with a nice level of sweet. The creamy topping was nice and went with the cocoa. They reminded me of chocolate desserts my mum used to buy when I was a kid, so I liked the nostalgia too. It tasted nice, a fun chocolate treat.
In balance I don’t think I can get passed the branding. I bought these because they looked like the chocolate Whips I buy, and there was so little resemblance to that product I was left disappointed. The chocolate dessert might taste good, but it didn’t hit the mark for me.