30 June 2009

Marston’s Pedigree Marmite (Sainsbury’s)

This Marmite is a special edition flavoured with Marston’s Pedigree, presented in a very smart jar the shape and colours of a cricket ball for the Ashes. I actually purchased this jar in Sainsbury’s, but noticed that Selfridges are running a huge promotion with this Marmite, so if you are having trouble locating some those are two good places to start. I remember a few years back when a Guinness edition became available and it was really hard to find in the shops.
The Marmite itself starts off in flavour in a very similar way to regular Marmite, but the aftertaste that follows it is mellower. The softer flavour is that of the beer, and it actually makes this Marmite a little less sharp than regular Marmite. I could imagine that this would actually be a good place to start if you had never tried Marmite before as the flavour is a bit more forgiving. I really liked the Marmite, and could happily convert to the new flavour. Well worth seeking some out, hopefully this should be easier to locate than other previous Marmite limited editions.

29 June 2009

Wagon Wheels – Caramel (Tesco)

The trip to Tesco’s I wrote about yesterday did indeed pay off as it allowed me to find a few of the things which I have had my eye out for. I first heard about these Wagon Wheels a couple of weeks ago, and have been looking forward to finding them ever since.
Wagon Wheels have been around for a long time, but this is the first time I have seen them with added caramel. Wagon Wheels usually comprise of two biscuit layers, a layer of soft mallow and a coating of chocolate.
The packaging shows these biscuits to have a lovely thick layer of caramel, but inside mine the layer seemed thinner. The flavour was apparent though and the caramel mingled well with the other ingredients. It is an indulgent biscuit, that you can’t help but like, and the caramel version is an excellent addition to the range.

28 June 2009

Finest Belgian White Chocolate Mousse (Tesco)

I took a special trip to Tesco’s this week, which is quite a long drive away, but I was on the search for items I hadn’t seen before. I was really pleased to find this, as it is becoming increasingly hard to find white chocolate mousse in other shops. The only other white chocolate mousse that I’ve seen commonly available is Nestle Aero White Choc Bubbly Dessert.
So I tucked in to Tesco’s offering, and to be honest I was disappointed with the contents. Although the mousse smelt lovely, just like Milky bars, I felt the taste itself was overly sweet. Actually I think overly sweet might be an understatement, it was more the kind of taste that was so sweet my taste buds tingled. Obviously a flavour so rich is not a good thing, but on top of that I didn’t like the texture either. It was almost powdery, like there was something of the consistency of cornflower mixed in with the mousse, very strange. It’s a shame about this, but there is definitely an opening in the market for another white chocolate mousse.

27 June 2009

Walkers ManGo-Karting Chutney Crisps (Sainsbury’s)

The slightly strange name of these crisps refers to the new Walkers promotion in which you can collect voucher codes towards days out, including of course go-karting. Strange name aside, they are Spicy Mango Chutney flavoured crisps.
As these crisps are made by Walkers, they have the usual thickness and potato base flavour. The other flavours of these crisps are a little bit strange. To me I thought they tasted like spicy orange crisps, rather than mango chutney. The spice level is about right for representing the chutney, but there isn’t any mango flavour at all. The spice just leaves your mouth with the gentlest of tingles and is the best thing about the crisps but the weird orange aftertaste just doesn’t help them. I thought they were a strange crisp, and not one that I would get again, but I’d love to hear others opinions on them.

26 June 2009

More - White Chocolate and Macadamia (Waitrose)

My first impression of this bar was marred by the fact that when I opened the packet, I made the discovery that the packaging is poor. The bar got stuck to its cardboard sleeve, making it very messy, sticky, and come away in multiple pieces. Cardboard and a sticky bar do not mix.
In taste though, all is forgiven. There are yoghurt lines decorating the top of this bar and also white chocolate chips and there are so many other ingredients it would be hard to mention them all. Items range from papaya and pineapple through to pumpkin seeds, and those are just the ones that begin with ‘P’! There is a wonderful range of textures and flavours from sweet and chewy apricot through to crunchy sunflower seeds. The bar is an absolute pleasure to eat. Sweet, moreish and every bite different to the last, it is just filled with such fabulous flavours.

25 June 2009

Tango With Added Tango

Drinks cans aren’t usually offensive, but Tangos new packaging design, seems to be causing trouble.
The new title on the tin is ‘Tango With Added Tango’ and the initial letters are all lined up, spelling a slightly offensive word. Tango says it is just an unfortunate coincidence, but I do wonder if there is somebody who works in their design team having a quiet giggle.


Panda Licorice [Mint / Lemon / Plain]

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the lovely people from Panda Licorice for sending me some delicious samples of their products. The three bars they sent are:

Soft Licorice
This is Panda’s regular liquorice which is full of flavour, and has a good soft texture. It also is ‘fat free’ according to the packaging, and it is so nice to know that it is a healthy tasty snack.

Mint Licorice
This has the usual good quality panda liquorice but filled with a refreshing minty fondant. It has a good balance of flavour, although not as cooling as the menthol variety. The flavours still worked well together.

Lemon Licorice
As per the mint, this is the usual Panda liquorice but filled with a lemon fondant. This was a fantastic bar, the lemon was both zingy and sweet, and the flavour bought the licorice to life! Easily my favourite, and well worth giving a try!

24 June 2009

Oreo’s Chocolate Creme (Sainsbury’s)

This isn’t a completely new product, as it has been available in the States for a while, but it is new to the UK market, and it is also new to me. I was very pleased to find these biscuits on the shelves of a UK supermarket.
As opposed to normal Oreo’s which have a white creamy filling, this edition has a chocolate crème instead. They still have the fantastically dark chocolate biscuit either side of the centre, giving that renowned Oreo’s taste. The filling is a lovely milky chocolate creme which still is creamy enough in flavour to make a contrast with the stronger biscuit. It just gives the whole Oreo biscuit an extra shot of chocolate, which is never a bad thing! In conclusion, just when I thought Oreos couldn’t get any better I was proved wrong! I wonder how long it will be before the other interesting flavours that are available abroad make their way over here? Peanut Butter Oreos anyone?

23 June 2009

McVitie's Strawberry Jaffa Cakes (Sainsbury’s)

There is something wonderfully summery about strawberries; they make me think sunshine and Wimbledon. McVities obviously agree as their limited edition new flavour for Jaffa Cake contains just that, strawberries! The box is very bright and colourful and stood out nicely on the shelf.
The Jaffa Cakes themselves have a dark chocolate on top, and the ‘jelly’ section which sits on the sponge is surprisingly sweet but not as full of the flavour of strawberries as I had imagined. I think they were trying to balance the sweetness by increasing the cocoa flavour in the chocolate. I just felt that they needed to have more of a fruiter taste and to be toned down sweetness wise. These are nice biscuits though, but not an orange Jaffa Cake beater.

22 June 2009

Nandos Hot Peri-Peri Crisps [Hot]

I have been looking forward to trying these crisps for so long! I think I first started searching for them in April, and am now so excited to actually have them! Many thanks to the people from Nandos who sent them to me.
I love the writing on the front of the packet of these crisps:
“These ones are hot. Think Mr Universe giving your tongue an almighty Chinese burn”.
I think it is a fun warning, but I have to admit it did make me approach them with caution! Firstly I decided to test the aroma coming from the bag, and the flavours I picked up on were lemon, paprika and garlic. In fact they have quite a vibrant smell up close, almost making your eyes water!
After a pause I built up the courage and tucked in. I do indeed have to say these crisps are hot! They have a good flavour mixed in with the heat though which consists of slightly sweet paprika, followed by a zingy lemon sharp taste and then of course the burn. I found that so long as you keep eating the crisps the spice remains hot, but in a tingly acceptable way, but if you stop - your mouth sets on fire! The heat lasts for a fair few minutes after you finish too. They are lovely crisps, and perfect for those people who are adventurous and love their chilli, but they are not for the timid!

21 June 2009

Taste The Difference Tiramisu (Sainsbury’s)

Now there is nothing new about Tiramisu, but Sainsbury’s have seen fit to give the dessert a bit of a makeover. The puddings look very luscious in their pots, and I couldn’t resist buying them.
The pudding is made up of coffee soaked sponge topped with mascarpone and cocoa powder.
I was really very impressed with this dessert. The mascarpone layer was thick, lightly sweet and very creamy and a lovely contrast to the sponge layer. Actually saying ‘layer’ implied that there was just a thin layer of sponge, and this isn’t true there are chunky cubes of sponge soaked in a lovely coffee liquid. I have to say this is the nicest shop bough Tiramisu that I have tried, it’s really good, and slightly disappointing when you finish the pot.
I have also seen that Sainsbury’s have launched a few other puddings in the same range, and I am really looking forward to trying those too.

20 June 2009

Nando’s BBQ Peri-Peri Seasoning Rub [Medium]

The lovely people from Nando’s have to come my rescue in my search for their hot crisps and they very kindly sent me some. In the parcel with the crisps was a selection of other goodies too, including this rather lovely BBQ Peri-Peri Seasoning Rub. I just want to say a big thank you to them for sending the items to me, I really do appreciate it.
I decided to season a selection of chicken joints and give this Seasoning Rub a try, I also added a slice of lemon, to keep the chicken moist. This made the most delicious chicken, really nice and spicy, and a good hint of sweet barbecue taste too. The spice was spot on for me, a nice tingle without needing a fire extinguisher. It made a nice healthy dinner, as we had rice and salad accompanying it, and yet it was every bit full of flavour.
I will be braving the Nando’s hot crisps very soon along with the other items I was sent to try, and I will let you know how I get on!

19 June 2009

Antonio Federici Pistachio Gelato (Sainsbury’s)

When I wrote about the Panna Cotta variety of this ice cream I may have been a little lacklustre, but I was left a comment suggesting I give the brand another chance and try the Pistachio variety.
Well if somebody recommends I try something it feels only right that I should give it a go.
Also the Pistachio variety sounded lovely, as regular readers will know I am a big fan of nuts.
As I found the previous tub difficult to serve, I took this one out of the freezer a little while before serving, and this helped it to spoon out of the tub with no trouble at all. The texture of the ice cream is a little thicker than regular ice cream, but I liked it and it made it feel quite luxurious. The ice cream is really lovely, a sweet nutty taste in a lovely creamy base. The nut taste is well defined, and can easily be recognised as Pistachio. I was very impressed by the product, and very glad I gave the brand a second chance. I do hope this flavour isn’t a ‘Limited Edition’ like the packaging suggests.

18 June 2009

Guinness Luxury Fudge / Toffee (Past Times)

Past Times isn’t the first place I usually look when I am trying to find an interesting foodstuff find, as I didn’t think they sold much in the way of food. However when I was last in there, these two items caught my eye.
Firstly I opened the bag of fudge, and I was met with a lovely smell of butter. In taste too the fudge was creamy and sweet and thoroughly enjoyable, but I really couldn’t taste any Guinness.
The toffee felt hard when I gentle squeezed it, but when I bit in found that it was lovely and soft, and only moderately firmer than the fudge. Like the fudge, the toffee was also lovely and buttery with a sweet creamy taste, but also missing the promised flavour of Guinness.
Both items were good in their own right, but both lacked the strong wheaty dark distinguishable flavour that was promised on the packaging. If they are going to make items that are covered in Guinness marketing there needs to be a little more evidence of that taste within the product.

17 June 2009

Lyle's Golden Syrup Popcorn [Cornpoppers] (Morrison’s)

When I saw this product, my first thought was- why hasn’t this been done before!? It is such a good idea, yummy golden syrup coating popcorn!
The product itself is well put together, and lived up to my expectations. Each piece of popcorn was fluffy inside, just as it is supposed to be, and with a light slightly crunchy coating of cooked golden syrup. The golden syrup added a lovely sweetness to the popcorn, without over powering the taste of the corn underneath.
This product is lovely for sharing, as the bag is big enough, and would happily accompany any DVD or film night. I always think that this sort of popcorn (i.e. pre-packed like this and Butterkist) are always so much nicer than the popcorn you get at cinemas. These popcorns have more coating, and you never end up with a load of unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag.

16 June 2009

Cadbury’s Caramello (TheIrishShop.co.uk)

This is another of those fine goodies that I purchased when I was recently buying Irish products. Despite the feeling that it might just be a Cadbury’s Caramel in different packaging, I was still curious enough to want to try it for myself.
I am very glad that I did, because it was remarkably different. The chocolate is of course the Irish version of Dairy Milk, which is a little thicker in consistency and with a subtle hint of extra cocoa.
The caramel within the bar is notably different too. It is thicker, richer and sweeter. It reminded me of a Caramel Pudding, in that it tasted milky somehow too. There is no saltiness to clear the palette, just pure sweet goodness. As it was so rich I found I couldn’t finish the bar in one sitting. Half (four squares) of the small bar was a perfect treat!

15 June 2009

Seabrook Hot and Spicy Wasabi (Waitrose)

I am really pleased to announce that I have tracked down another packet of Seabrook Hot and Spicy crisps, this time in Wasabi flavour (Japanese Horseradish). They are a crinkle cut crisp with a good crunch, and aren’t too brittle.
They have a wonderful taste and a full flavour, with all the zingy tang of horseradish, and the kick too. There is a good burn with them that tingles for a little while after you finish each one. As a comparison, they are a little bit stronger than Nando’s Smokey BBQ crisps, and definitely a notch up on the heat factor compared to the Oriental Peking Ribs. They are a lovely strong flavour crisp, worth keeping an eye out for if you like the heat.

14 June 2009

Jack Daniel’s [Quality Tennessee Style] Barbecue Sauce - Rich Honey

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the nice people from Jack Daniels for sending me a selection of their sauces, and to Katie for suggesting me! Thank you!! :-)

I was sent a lovely selection of the Jack Daniels sauces; Original, Smokey, Rich Honey and Hot Chilli, but first up I decided to give the Rich Honey variety a go. The sauce is runnier than a ketchup, but still thick enough not to splurge everywhere. I could clearly taste the garlic, the honey, Jack Daniels, and something sweet which I first thought was molasses, but from reading the ingredients found it was dates. I was impressed by the flavour, and thought they all worked rather well together making a sweet tangy sauce.
I also used the sauce as a marinade and baste for some rather lovely pork skewers, and the flavours worked amazingly well there also. I am hoping that we have some more sunshine so I will be able to use some of the other sauces with a barbecue! I am looking forward to trying the other varieties that were sent, and will definately let you know when I do!

13 June 2009

Hershey’s Syrup - Strawberry [Sauce] (Selfridges)

I have to confess, I have been visiting that wonderful foodhall at Selfridges again, and this time I purchased a product by Hershey’s that has nothing to do with their chocolate.
You know how some products pride themselves on all natural ingredients; well this item proudly states “Artificial Flavor” on the front of the bottle. I don’t actually mind that, the items that bother me are the ones that pretend to be natural/healthy, but aren’t really.
Anyway, this strawberry syrup has been designed to have multi-uses, from a cordial to make milkshake through to a sauce for ice cream. I decided to give it a go as a topping on some vanilla ice cream. First thing first, it is very runny. It is so watery in fact that when you squeeze it, it could shoot everywhere if you aren’t expecting it!
Despite the slightly off putting overly red/pink colour, the sauce is very pleasant in taste. It doesn’t taste of natural strawberries, more like strawberry sweets but it was still rather nice. It actually wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting though, and this made the flavour all the more pleasing. I will have to give it a try as a milkshake syrup and report back.

12 June 2009

Nakd - Cocoa Loco (Waitrose)

I decided to give these bars a try as a quick easy breakfast before work; it’s nice an easy food before an 8am meeting! I like the concept of a bar called Nakd (naked) and containing all natural ingredients, makes it feel like you are starting the day properly and I obviously can’t resist the chocolate version.
The bar itself wasn’t like a cereal bar as I had expected. It was quite soft in texture and reminded me more of the Sun Maid Fruit Fingers, although no way near as sweet. The flavour I felt was quite muted, the bar smelt of cocoa, but only had a mild hint. However there was a rather nice nutty aftertaste that made up for the missing cocoa hit. Nice enough as a bar, but not something I would rush out to buy again.

11 June 2009

Magnum Temptation Caramel & Almonds (Waitrose)

Eating an ice cream in June, inside with the radiators on because it’s cold is a bit depressing to say the least. This is not the ice creams fault though, so I won’t hold it against it!
These ice creams are beautifully packaged, and they scream luxury. Each one is in its own box, which isn’t something I have seen before and each box looks like a bar of gold.

The filling has vanilla ice cream with liquid caramel and almonds (coated in chocolate) mixed in, in a chocolate shell. The thing I loved about this was the almonds, I am a big nut fan, and found the chocolate coating around them inside the ice cream to be just wonderful. In contains a mix of my favourite flavours, caramel, chocolate and almonds and just presents them perfectly. A totally indulgent ice lolly, that would brighten up any cold day.

10 June 2009

[Irish] Mikado (TheIrishShop.co.uk)

The Irish readers among you will have worked out that these aren’t a new product as such, but they are new to me! I was first aware of them after I wrote about the Oriental style biscuits that have launched recently with the same name - Mikado. When I bought the Tiffin bars from the ‘TheIrishShop’ I took the opportunity to purchase some of these biscuits too.
First thing is first, they are very pretty biscuits, and deserve to be served somewhere special like a children’s birthday party. The biscuits each have two lines of marshmallow on them, topped with coconut, and red jam. The biscuit layer on the bottom was surprisingly soft, and made these very easy to eat. I really liked the mallow, coconut and jam flavours blending together. Although quite sweet I thoroughly enjoyed them!

9 June 2009

Rowntree’s Randoms (Sainsbury’s)

I was just thinking recently that there aren’t really enough sweets on my blog, and then I stumbled across a new Rowntree’s product in the supermarket!
The basic idea of this product is that there are a huge selection of different jelly sweets in various fruity flavours, textures and shapes available and each bag contains a random mix.
My sweets were certainly a mix of shapes, from a paintbrush through to a banana shape (that tasted of lime)! All the sweets were sweet zingy, easy to eat and moreish and the mix of shapes added a nice element of fun.
Mostly my sweets were soft jelly, or half jelly and half foam. There was only one completely foam shape and that was an ice cream shape and it was lovely. I would like to see more foam shapes in the mix! Perhaps if I purchased another bag I might get a few more. .. I may have to test out this theory!

8 June 2009

Nando’s Smokey BBQ Peri Peri Crisps [Medium] (Sainsbury’s)

It was a little while ago that I wrote about Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Crisps, and my search for the ‘hot’ version which is also available. I still haven’t found the ‘hot’ crisps, but I am pleased to announce that I have found another new flavour, these BBQ Peri Peri ones.
The crisps are allegedly the same heat temperature as the chicken flavour, but I felt that they were far more zingy and spicy. Both types are labelled as having a medium heat. I thought the barbecue flavour was sweet and smoky and with just a gentle saltiness too them too. As you eat them, the heat from the chilli builds up in to a lovely buzz on the tongue. The spice is perfect for me, but certainly stronger than the Peri Peri Chicken ones, as these ones have a pleasant burn. I love the crunch with these crisps too, well defined but not overly brittle. I thought these crisps were superb, some of the nicest I have had.
It does make me worry a little about finding the ‘hot’ variety though, if they are much hotter than these it might just be a little uncomfortable for me, but my search will continue!

7 June 2009

Cocoa Bean Chocolate Co – Lime Zest & Black Pepper (Harvey Nichols)

Having thoroughly enjoyed the Irish Honey version of this bar, I think I have done well to resist opening this one until now. The bar is a 70% cocoa version flavoured with lime zest and black pepper.
I was actually slightly disappointed with this product when I finally tucked into it. I felt that it lacked body somehow. The base cocoa flavour was nice, with a strong but not overpowering taste. Sadly though the promised lime zest wasn’t well defined which was disappointing. It felt like the bar was lightly scented with lime, rather than full of zesty flavour, and the lime added no sweetness at all. The bar also had pieces of black pepper mixed into the chocolate. The pepper flavour is mild unless you bite into a piece of peppercorn and then it does give a hint of spice. The idea of lime and black pepper in dark chocolate does sound appealing, but I think if I were making this bar I would turn up the intensity of the lime flavour.

6 June 2009

Willies Delectable Cacao – San Martin [Peruvian 70% Chocolate] (Harvey Nichols)

Firstly, I found it quite hard to track this chocolate down and had been looking for it for quite a while. I have to confess to not watching the programme on Channel 4 (no idea how I missed it), but I did hear the obvious hype about the chocolate. Anyway I made a special journey to Harvey Nics to find myself some and guess what, a day or so later before I even opened my bar, I found it is now stocked in Selfridges too!
There are two bars inside the box, each emblazoned with the Willies Delectable Cacao logo. The packet claims that this bar has subtle fruity notes, and when I smelled the chocolate I could agree with this. I felt that there was an underlying scent within the cocoa that was somewhere between a kiwi fruit and a pear.
In taste there is quite an initial bitter hit, which isn’t unpleasant, and gives the chocolate that 70% cocoa grown up flavour. The aftertaste is a little sweeter, but no where near as fruity as I had hoped from the aroma, if anything it was a little smoky. I didn’t feel that the texture was impressive, letting a piece melt and roll around in my mouth I thought it was ever so slightly grainy, I would have preferred a smoother texture.
The chocolate is good, and the quality is high, but I’m not sure I’ve found a chocolate that I can’t live without. I also purchased the Venezuelan 72% from the same range, and the lady in Harvey Nics told me many people prefer that out of the two. I will let you know how I get on with that shortly!

5 June 2009

Panda Raspberry Liquorice

Many thanks to the lovely people from Panda for sending me this new product to try.
This liquorice is a deep red in colour (darker I think than the picture implies) and is patterned and tubular in shape. I liked the flavour as it had a good taste of liquorice, with a raspberry after taste. It is so easy for flavoured liquorice to fall into the trap of having an overpowering taste, which eliminates the liquorice flavour. I am pleased to say that Panda liquorice doesn’t fall into this category, as the balance seems just right. The texture is good too, soft enough to make for easy eating, but it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth (too much)!

4 June 2009

Red Bull Cola (Asda)

Recently I wrote about Pepsi Raw, and the idea of creating a cola that is all natural. Strangely enough Red Bull (usually famed for their sweet energy drinks) has launched such a product. The ingredients are indeed all natural, and include an impressive mix of flavours, from cardamom through to liquorice.
I found the drink quite pleasant and I liked it as it contained a nice lemony base. Although sweet, it wasn’t quite sweet enough though for my taste buds, and I felt it was missing a wow factor. However it is a nice refreshing drink, with a nice natural concept, I just don’t think it would be my first choice.

There seem to be some controversy in Germany over the ingredients too!

3 June 2009

Uncle Roy’s Chocolate Chip Mustard (Gardenland, Bridgnorth)

To be honest, I purchased this mustard a little while ago, and I popped it in the cupboard until I found the perfect thing to eat with it. Various sandwiches, cheese and biscuit meals and other possibilities passed by and I couldn’t quite bring myself to open the jar. It is so hard to work out what flavours it would go well with.
Finally, during a barbecue, I decided to give it a go. I so wish that I had opened it earlier, the mustard inside is lovely. The chocolate element is bittersweet, and blends well with the mustard. There is a good spice with the flavour, and it is like a mild English mustard with a hint of cocoa. I can hearby reassure any potential purchasers that this mustard goes very well with beef, and I would imagine that it would also be lovely with a cheese platter too.

2 June 2009

Cadbury’s Wispa Dessert (Sainsbury’s)

The return of Wispa bars seems to have been a huge success for Cadburys, and I for one am pleased to see them back on the shelves. I was also rather pleased to find this spin off product, a Cadbury’s dessert with Wispa pieces to mix into it.
The liquid chocolate section is exactly the same as it is with this entire range of desserts, sweet and chocolaty. There is a good portion of Wispa pieces, and as each one is quite small they mix in well. I really loved this dessert, and the softness of the Wispa makes it work. For those of you who are also big Wispa fans, I understand that later in the year Cadbury’s are re-releasing Wispa Gold!! I know I’m excited about this, and will hunt a bar down as soon as they are available. Watch this space!

1 June 2009

FAB Orange (Sainsbury’s)

Well the sunshine is truly here, and I have had more barbecues so far this year than I have had in the last three years put together. After a barbecue, my favourite dessert is to have an ice lolly, and what better choice than a FAB.
This is a new product from FAB and it is their orange edition. Like the usual FAB lollies, there is a layer of chocolate coating covered in hundreds and thousands and a layer of vanilla ice. This particular ice lolly then has a layer of orange ice underneath, instead of the usual strawberry flavour.
The orange ice is refreshing for summer, and tasted very natural and sweet. It is a gentle flavour, almost like it is flavoured with mandarin. I really like the new edition, and it was the perfect end to a lovely barbecue.