30 June 2010

Loopy Laces Juicy Strawberry flavour versus Power Pencils Juicy Strawberry Flavour (By Spectre)

Wham Sweets Foodstuff Fight – which one’s juicer?

These Loopy Laces may seem old hat, but I’ve been assured these are a new product to Wham. They certainly made my mouth water to start with, and were immediately moreish. They are like long red spaghetti and took at bit to unravel in the pack. I tried not to make too many sucking noises whilst getting them in my mouth, arousing odd looks for my work colleagues. It is hard to look suave and sophisticated whilst eating these. They taste like artificial strawberries, which aren’t a healthy feeling snack, but they are classed as sweets, rather than an actual strawberry, which kind of makes you forgive them. I was glad there were loads in the pack and once started wanted to keep eating them. The more laces you put in your mouth at the same time, the more juicer, and the less dignified! The first few laces gave me a nice juicy feeling, but WARNING; the whole pack might make you feel a bit sick. They end up tasting like strawberry flavoured rubber bands. Cinabar assures me they should be oversweet, not chemically. Now I know why our esteemed postmen / postwomen / postpeople / postpersons (oh heck… they’ll go on strike if I get that wrong!) discard them on the pavement so frivolously.
The Power Pencils are long pink pencil thin sticks with a white filling. I was a bit disappointed on opening the packet that they didn’t have a pointy end. Maybe Wham should call them sticks instead of pencils? Biting into a stick I felt less foolish eating them in the office, as I did with the messier-to-eat Loopy Laces. They have a mouth watering, fuller strawberry taste to them, unlike the chemical taste of the Laces. I enjoyed polishing off the pack of these, and didn’t feel slightly sick once. Although I thought the Loopy Laces were slightly juicer, the Power Pencils definitely have the edge on strawberry taste and easy eating technique. Although I didn’t run around the block after eating them, I felt the power in the pencils wake me up for the afternoon, which is a good thing when you’re bogged down with paperwork.
By Spectre

29 June 2010

‘Pop Choc’ in Kit Kat and Lion Bar Varieties (99p Store)

Earlier in the month I found Kit Kat Pop Choc Yoghurt, and mentioned that the Kit Kat Pop Chocs that its made with are from a sharing bag of Kit Kat pieces available in Europe. I was wondering around the pound shops and sitting on a shelf in front of me was this, the actual Kit Kat Pop Chocs I was referring to, and next to them Lion Bar Pop Chocs too!
Obviously I was excited to find them, and when I got home I ripped the top of the bag open (following the indents showing me where to rip). Sadly this did not open the bag! It was still perfectly sealed, so I had to intervene with scissors. I hate packets that don’t work, but I’ll forgive them if the chocolate is good!

Kit Kat Pop Choc

These consist of a small ball of Kit Kat flavour chocolate with a lovely crisp light wafer crunch. They are sweet and easy to eat, and I felt a better flavour than those in the yoghurt, but this may be due to the fact I was eating these ones straight. They certainly are easy to munch on, and get my thumbs up! A good Kit Kat sharing experience.

Lion Bar Pop Choc

These confused me for a moment when I first saw them, because these chocolate have spots, which is not something you see every day! Full size Lion Bars are bobbly, so I guess when you mimic that in miniature the easiest thing is spots! Should these be leopard pop chocs though because of it?
Each chocolate has similar flavour to proper Lion Bar chocolate and this time the crunch is provided by crispies which is rather nice. What was missing from the Lion Bar experience was that lovely caramel to add a little chew, but all in all these are very nice chocolates.

I really don’t know why these aren’t on standard release in the UK. The sharing bags are really popular at the minute, and so are Kit Kats so it strikes me they would sell like hot cakes, even at a premium price in expensive newsagents. They are lovely chocs and well worth hunting down in the import / discount shops.

28 June 2010

Muller Greek Style Summer Fruits Corner Yoghurt (Sainsbury’s)

I do like Muller corner yoghurts, I always think that the yoghurt is particularly rich and creamy, and the selection of flavours is enough to satisfy anyone!
A new flavour in the range is always exciting, and this is actually a change in yoghurt rather than the fruit part. The new Muller range now has Greek Yoghurt in one corner, instead of the usual vanilla based yoghurt. I have to say when I tasted it separately it didn’t strike me as being that ‘Greek’. It was creamy, and it was fresh, and it was a seriously nice yoghurt, but I thought it was lacking that complex Greek flavour.
Having said that, it's a tasty pot of yoghurt, and the summer fruits added a wonderful raspberry and blackcurrant rich flavour that contrasted perfectly. I really enjoyed the pot, and it was definitely a different flavour to the usual vanilla, even if it didn’t quite meet my ‘Greek’ flavour expectations. Still yummy though, and I look forward to trying others in the range.

27 June 2010

Fruit Lifesavers [by Nli10] (CyberCandy, Birmingham)

Growing up I ate A LOT of fruit polos. Many people have told me that they are OK, but that LifeSavers were the original and superior version. As both are essentially just boiled sweets in a packet then neither is especially original, but as both have a hole they must be linked somehow. i don't see this as a USA vs England thing (that football match has already been and gone) but an exercise in understanding each others cultural flavour differences.

On spotting these in CyberCandy on a return trip to pick up more ManaPotions (see http://www.bit.ly/HPreview ) I had to buy them. It's a no loose situation for me - I've either been right all along that Fruit Polos are superior, or I've discovered something that's better than one of my favourite childhood sweets.

Sitting in front of my computer during the World Cup matches on Saturday I've slowly made my way through the 5 flavours. I've been helped along by watching http://www.mariomarathon.com where they are spending 3 days solid playing Mario games as a group for gamer's charity Child's Play. If you are reading this on the Sunday or Monday then they are probably still at it as they were behind schedule during Super Mario World that is playing now so go visit & watch/donate.

First to appear in the packet was Green. This is watermelon which isn't your typical UK sweet flavour but I've had a few nice sweets by the lovely people at Wonka's of a similar flavour so knew what to expect. It's quite smooth and the very opposite of the lovely sharp Lime of the UK fruit polos. As far as flavours go I'd have to call this one a tie with them being too different to compare. Both are highlights of their respective packets though.

Red threw me. Red in English food means Strawberries, it's an intrinsically British thing and I'm sure even the England players red shirts have a feint whiff of the fruit about them before they play. This red is cherry, disappointing to my tongue and brain. At least on the first taste - the second one I found after a few more flavours and when I was expecting it was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It didn't have the sweet hit of the strawberry, but the taste wasn't synthetic and was a pleasure.

Next up was purple, blackcurrant or blackberry in the UK version (depending on who you ask) and easily the best of the packet, with the red berry a close 2nd. In the USA this tasted odd, and I originally wrote down Grape as the flavour as I know that this is something America likes. According to the packet and the picture I'd taken this was Raspberry! On my second attempt I could tell that this was indeed the case, with the woody flavour of the raspberries coming through, but in an odd way it wasn't that nice, or that similar a taste. Raspberries are easily my favourite of the small soft fruit, and superior to strawberries in every way despite what my sister might think, but there is just something odd about this one that I didn't like. Edible, but not something to hope for when opening the packet.

Up next in the UK is the yellow sweet, which was either lemon or pineapple depending on when you bought it. The lemon was too acidic and not enjoyable, and the pineapple just tasted odd in the context of the other fruit. Lifesavers have gone for Pineapple which caused me a small amount of trepidation, but like the watermelon it was a smooth pleasant experience. The sweet however looks almost white, which is a little odd, but this is the first sweet I'd happily swap into the UK polo packet for the existing flavour.

Finally was orange, another of my favourites in the UK pack (all except the yellow ones are my favourites depending on my mood) but the orange Lifesaver was far more like the UK Lemon and too acidic to be enjoyable. I like sour sweets, but this had none of the sharp flavour of the lime and all of the burning dullness of the lemon after-taste. Fruit polo orange all the way for me.

In summary my ideal pack would be UK fruit polo (Blackcurrant, Strawberry, lime, orange) Lifesavers (Watermelon, Pineapple). That'd be 6 flavours instead of the usual 5 but I feel that I could cope with the chance of only getting one of certain flavours in the mix.
by Nli10

26 June 2010

Argentinean Flame Grilled Steak versus English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding [By Spectre]

A little talked about war happened between the invading Argentineans and us British over the Falkland Islands in the early 1980s. I was only a wee lad at the time and remember being fascinated by the images being sent back on the news of tough looking British troops and burning ships. The war lasted for 74 days and the Argies came off rather ignominiously. Let’s see if they can do better with their famous Flame Grilled Steak flavour against the stalwart of British traditional food; Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. It must be a rather imposing battle for the Argentineans, as I play on Xbox Live most nights and have been accosted by the French (who are renowned food lovers) on many occasions hearing “Roast Beef! Roast Beef!” shouted down microphones in accents crossed between Hercule Poirot and Inspector Clouseau. A cry of sheer terror from the French, I’m sure, at the thought of the Great British stiff upper lip and Blitz spirit.
I thought I’d give the Argentineans a fighting chance and let them go first. My initial impression of these crisps was not the hoped for image of a big fat juicy steak sitting on a flaming grill. The flavour was quite subtle, but not unpleasant. Some of Walkers’ other red meaty flavours, such as Steak and Onion and Chargrilled Steak could be considered overpowering compared to this, perhaps submissive, offering from one of the world’s greatest crisp manufacturers. Having said that, I really enjoyed these crisps, the packet didn’t last long at all and I was quite disappointed they’d all gone. Thank the Gods we have a multipack!
Next up was the English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding flavour. I have to admit that I was very sceptical about how Walkers could capture the taste of both Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding in a crisp. Nevertheless on opening the pack a decent meaty whiff slapped my nostrils. On first taste I was surprised at the strong pastry mixed with meat drippings flavour. Not much in the way of Roast Beef here, mainly Yorkshire Pudding. This is nothing like the shy, reserved and somewhat effeminate Argentinean offering, but a rude in your face type flavour that would happily say “boo” to a goose. This flavour makes patriots salute and be proud of our long disappeared empire. It’s the slightly foreboding aftertaste that remains in your mouth that kind of makes you feel like you’ve had a good meal. No wonder the Argies had such a rough time of it in the Eighties. Now, where’s my apple pie and custard?
By Spectre

25 June 2010

Lindt Lindor: Stracciatella and Roulette Lait (Gardenland, Bridgnorth)

Although a garden centre may well be an unlikely setting for a Foodstuff Find, this particular one has a fabulous foodhall with an amazing range of goodies. Not only is it the only place within ten miles of my home from which you can purchase Nandos Hot Crisps and Mrs Bridges Honey Marmalade, it also has a Lindt Lindor Pick And Mix stand!!! Also, if you insist on such things from a garden centre, I can confirm they smell plants too!
Since my last visit to this garden centre the Lindt Lindor stand had gained two new colours, a pink packaged ‘Roulette Lait’ and a light blue ‘Stracciatella’.

Roulette Lait – This is a milk chocolate coated ball, covering a milk chocolate and hazelnut truffle with tiny pieces of crisped rice inside. The flavour is that of a rich dark chocolate hazelnut, with a lovely toasted flavour mixed in. The consistency is nice too, smooth from the truffle, and with the delicate texture from the pieces of crisped rice. They are small but I love their presence as it adds an enjoyable micro crunch.

Stracciatella – This is a white chocolate coated Lindor ball, with dark chocolate biscuit crumbs inside the white chocolate filling. The white chocolate truffle is the creamiest, tastiest white chocolate truffle ever. I know that Lindor signifies a thoroughly indulgent truffle, and this certainly lives up to that reputation. Its sweet white chocolate tones are just perfect, and melt in the mouth with a wonderful thick creamy texture. Heaven. The chocolate pieces are like crumbs of dark biscuit and just add a little hint of cocoa and texture. A very enjoyable chocolate!

Both new flavours are fantastic, as you would expect from this range from Lindt. The Roulette Lait and is filled with hazelnut goodness and flavour and a very clever texture. I have to take my hat off to the white chocolate Stracciatella Lindor too, it is a fantastic addition to the range, and in my favourites list!

24 June 2010

Mr Kipling Neapolitan Bakewells (Morrison’s)

I have previously written about Raspberry Ripple Slices and Tutti Fruitti pies, this is the last of the ice cream themed Kipling creations.
Like the ice cream, there are three predominate flavours in these Bakewells, a bright pink strawberry icing, a soft vanilla sponge and a layer of chocolate sauce. There is also an extra cube of chocolate icing neatly decorating the top of the cake. These three flavours combine, like the ice cream, to give a very sweet wonderful taste concoction. The strawberry icing is definitely the main flavour, with the chocolate flavour following through, and the vanilla sponge adding just a hint of sweetness at the end. The pastry is good too; soft full flavoured and easy to eat, but I’d expect nothing less from Mr Kipling!
All in all a very pleasant cake, and good for those with a sweet tooth. They are bright and pretty, and I think these would go down wonderfully well at a Summer children’s birthday party.

23 June 2010

Starburst Tongue Tangles (Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton)

I have an eye for the word ‘New’, and even on an evening out to the theatre I’m still looking. These caught my eye behind the bar, and having no intentions of being a theatre wrapper-rustler, I purchased them to take home.
The concept is that each sweet has a soft and chewy fruit flavour case with a sour sharp liquid fruit filling within. There are three varieties within the bag as follows:
  • Gold Wrapper – Banana and Mango: The outer case is a sweet and creamy natural banana taste, it has a good rich flavour. The inside is a surprisingly sour mango, full of zing and its taste blends well with the banana shell. Mango isn’t something I associate with sour, but it certainly delivers!
  • Purple Wrapper – Blueberry and Lemon: The outer part of this has a lovely sweet blueberry taste; it is rich and almost reminiscent of fruits of the forest. The lemon adds a good kick, with a lovely sharp biting taste. A fantastic combination!
  • Orange Wrapper – Apricot and Cherry: The apricot case is sweet and delicate, and does have a good natural flavour. As the shell is so delicate, it gives the cherry centre the opportunity to shine, and it does. Well by shine I mean, explode your taste buds! Surprisingly sour this one!
A lovely collection of fruit flavours, with a wonderful tangy surprise centre. The fruit flavours are carefully put together and all work really well. I thoroughly enjoyed the bag, and found them wonderfully moreish. I love having one, letting the sweetness sweep over me, waiting for that temptation to bite and the sharp zing that follows! Yum!

22 June 2010

Lemon Sherbet Dessert [New] (Marks and Spencer)

Following on from last week’s Turkish Delight Dessert review, I have had a few requests to write about other items in the range. Next up then for me to try is the Lemon Sherbet Dessert, consisting of a layer of lemon sauce topped with a layer of lemon mousse. It is trying to mimic the popular UK hard boiled Lemon Sherbet sweets, which have a zingy sherbet centre.
This pudding is nicely presented, and the top layer of lemon mousse is sprinkled with a pretty dusting of icing sugar. The mousse itself has a lovely sweet lemon flavour that is rather refreshing, but still sweet. The texture of the mousse is very fluffy, light and creamy, dissolving effortlessly in the mouth.
Underneath this is a layer of lemon sauce. The packaging labels it as “super sour” but you’ll forgive me for assuming that an M&S “super sour” product would be simply “flavoursome”. I was wrong. Oh my, they outdid themselves; it is impressively zingy and sharp. It will make all your taste buds stand on end!!! Wow!!
In short - I loved it, I’m just so impressed by the wonderful tangy lemon taste, it’s gorgeous, especially in conjunction with the lemon mousse. Absolutely loving the new M&S puddings, can’t wait to try the others too!

21 June 2010

Cadbury’s Coconut [Canada] (Cybercandy)

Now it is hard to proceed with this write-up without mentioning the similarities with this bar and that of a UK Bounty bar. This bar comes from Canada, where I assume it doesn’t have to directly compete with the Bounty bar.
Inside the wrapper are three mini bars of chocolate coconut goodness. The coconut section of each bar is full of flavour, with a good sweet coconut taste. The texture is soft, but the grated coconut gives it a bit of substance. I like the flavour of the centre; it was similar to that of the Bounty, but a little sweeter to my taste buds.
Being Cadbury I would have thought that the chocolate covering would have been where this bar excelled. Sadly, although a very nice coating of milk chocolate was present, it was just a little too thin to give that full Cadbury’s taste.
So what we have here is a tasty coconut bar, which is undeniably decent, but I find myself preferring the more accessible Bounty bar. If I didn’t have easy access to Bounty bars I’m sure I would be going back to Cybercandy for more of these, but as it is I think I will be purchasing some of Cybercandy’s more curious offerings on future visits instead.

20 June 2010

Bahlsen - Hit Cocoa Creme {by @Nli10} (Asda)

I take biscuits to work. It's not an altruistic act, I eat most of them and while lots of people share them I do feel I get good value in return cakes and snacks other people bring in. Occasionally something odd happens though and a particular brand or snack captures people's mood perfectly and is destroyed in record time.

These Bahlsen Hit certainly fall into that category. Essentially they are slightly puffy wafer style biscuits (like you'd have with cheese, only sweeter) with a Nutella style spread in between. They are very tasty, crumble perfectly on biting and have the added side effect that they feel as if they are not that fattening. Or so I am told by the females that ate them.

Bahlsen came to my attention as they are one of the many European manufacturers that do the Choco Leibniz biscuits where the buttery biscuit has choc that sticks out on all four sides. These have a similar flavour really, but with the focus on the wafer biscuit rather than the spread. Added to the nice flavour is the fact that you can easily eat a couple due to their lightness and you have a dangerous snack.

The break room easily worked its way through the entire packet pictured in one 15 min break and I had to rescue the rest to add to my squirrel stash for my own sampling. Also I have subsequently seen these and similar biscuits brought in by others for sharing too so I think the style is catching on for other brands too. I will try to get hold of one of the less premium brands to see how they stack up.
by @Nli10

19 June 2010

Meantime Chocolate Beer and Zotter Beer Chocolate

Mixing beer with chocolate seems like some unthinkable crime has been committed, yet no-one was caught, no-one was arrested, and no-one was strung up by their dangly bits. I try to be open minded on these blogs… no really! But ever since the early days of me blogging for Cinabar, I’ve gone through weird tasting beer trials that read like some duff horror movie set in a dodgy pub. Chocolate flavoured beer, beer flavoured chocolate? Come on… that’s not even funny! Last time I made the error of drinking chocolate tainted beer, in a Scottish mix up, whilst eating a bag of crisps. This time I decided to go the whole hog and have the beer and chocolate bar for pudding. I sat down to a hearty and quick meal of mixed meats, olives, a spicy samosa, a fat Onion Bhaji, and some kebab things on sticks. I must admit, I was strangely looking forward to my pudding beer and chocolate bar treat at the end of my dinner. I could feel the hairs in my nose begin to tingle, or this could have been the spice in the samosa.
On finishing the meal I popped open the beer, immediately noticing the chocolate smell from the brew as I poured it. Brewed by the Meantime Brewing Company at the Greenwich Brewery, this strong, almost stout beer has a dark chocolate liquor type taste to it. I’m sure this would make the perfect liquid pudding for any beer lover or perhaps it could be mixed in to make a rich fruit cake. I savoured the taste of the strong chocolate beer for a few moments (feeling Christmas had come early this year), and then pealed back the wrapper on the Zotter Organic Beer Chocolate bar. Quoting the inside of the wrapper; “the organic beer Lava Rossa lends the dark chocolate a taste of malt and caramel.” On biting into the light soft texture of this dark chocolate bar, I could instantly tell the similarities between the two products. Whereas the Chocolate beer tasted of strong beer mixed with dark chocolate, this bar tasted like dark chocolate mixed with strong beer. This might sound fairly obvious to you, but sadly I was left with half a pint of beer and one half eaten chocolate bar… hardly an epic self indulgent session. The beer in the bar is so strongly flavoured that some may say the chocolate bar had a Guinness truffle taste to it. The rich flavours of this double act made me thoroughly regret my choice of meal. If you try this combination, I highly recommend to start with a good roast beef or roast pork meal, with a Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes, some greens and carrots, a strong meaty gravy, maybe a glass or two of red wine, followed by several bottles of Meantime Chocolate Beer and several Zotter Beer Chocolate bars, whilst watching an atmospheric black and white movie. I’d recommend “The Day the Earth Stood Still” the 1951 version, of course, not the silly new one!

18 June 2010

Lindt Roasted Almonds (House of Fraser)

Chocolate with 'burnt' almond is a fantastic combination. Bournville used to make a version of it, but it is no longer available in this country sadly. When I spotted this Lindt bar I was convinced that it was going to be similar in flavour, but within seconds of biting in I realised my mistake, roasted and burnt are two very different things! The almonds within this bar taste just like regular almonds but are slightly more crunchy, burnt almonds are flavoursome and taste toasted. I’m not sure what the benefit of roasting the almonds in this way was, it didn’t enhance the taste, partially because the pieces are so small.
Having said that as an almond and dark chocolate bar, it is very tasty. As odd as it sounds I couldn’t find a percentage for the cocoa content, but would estimate it to be 60%. The dark bitter chocolate and nut flavours taste good together, but because nut pieces are little the chocolate does over power the nut a little. Now, if only the almonds had been 'burnt'...

17 June 2010

Warburtons: Chippidy DooDaa Chilli Jack [Pitta Chips] (Nisa)

Now I’m not going to pretend that I loved the Warburton’s Snack-A-Doodle snacks that I tried last week. I thought they were a little dull on my taste buds and found the flavour a bit muted and, dare I say it, healthy. I purchased these Pitta Chips at the same time and felt that I should stop putting off their inevitable testing.
All the flavour missing from the Snack-A-Doodles has definitely been hiding in this Chippidy DooDaa bag. My word these products have strange names! The Chippidy DooDaas are absolutely full of flavour, a wonderful sweet paprika taste and a decent hit of chilli too, they are very tasty. The crunchy base is nice, and the underlying taste reminded me of French Toast. Although it is hard to distinguish the base taste from the heat of the chilli, what a fab full flavour! I’m so pleased to find a product marked as containing chilli that actually has some heat , they are the complete opposite to the Sweet Chilli Snack-A-Doodles, which is a good thing if you like a chilli burn.
Okay, so now I’m tempted to see what other options are in the new Warburtons range!

16 June 2010

Turkish Delight Dessert [New] (Marks and Spencer)

I spotted this fine dessert in M&S while trying to find a low fat treat. This was not in the healthy section, but it did distract me – and then shout ‘buy me’ at me... so I caved in and made the purchase.
I was just so surprised to see a Turkish Delight flavour pudding that I really couldn’t resist.
It smelt beautiful when I opened it, full of sweet chocolate and floral tones, and very appealing. The chocolate fondant layer on top was surprisingly good. It had a lovely rich clean cocoa flavour, which was sweet and full bodied, but wonderfully smooth. I found that it was surprisingly dark in taste, and much surpassed my expectations.
The jelly is that of a lovely sweet rose flavour, although milder than the pure filling of an actual Turkish Delight bar. It went rather well with the chocolate fondant topping, and the combination of flavours did recreate the taste you would expect from the chocolate bar. One thing though, the pot is quite generous, and by the end of it I felt my taste buds were in overload from the richness. As lovely as it was, it is one of those desserts that I think less is more.

15 June 2010

Mountain Dew Energy [UK Product!] (Total Petrol Station)

There seems to have been a lot of hype about Mountain Dew here in the UK over the last couple of weeks. Many of us that tried it in the mid 1990s when it was released here missed it when it was discontinued. Others have tried it on holidays to America, and wish that it was available back here. So when the announcements were made that it was being re-launched, lots of excitement stirred with websites requesting sightings. I had it on good authority that it would be available in BP petrol stations and branches of Sainsbury’s, and I tried several to no avail. Big thanks to Spectre for humouring me and helping in the search!
One Sunday, we were on our way back home from a morning out and we drove past a Total Petrol Station with signs outside declaring “Mountain Dew Energy - Sold Here”. Finally! Spectre turned the car around, and we were in business!
Now one thing to note, this is not Mountain Dew, this is Mountain Dew Energy, it has added extra caffeine and is sold as an energy drink, next to the cans of Red Bull etc. I tend not to buy energy drinks, my daily coffee consumption means that I rarely need any extra caffeine adding to my blood stream! Still, this particular one was too exciting to miss.
The unsubtle luminous yellow / lime green bottle left me worrying about the colour of the liquid inside, but I can assure you it is a warm lemon colour, and not day glow! The drink was suitably fizzy, with a lovely rush of citrus flavours, orange, lemon and lime were all present and the taste was very sweet and refreshing. I like Mountain Dew because it is a nice flavour in-between lemonade and orangeade.
I actually drank the bottle having had a full day at work, and while walking to the swimming baths so I felt the sugar and caffeine rush could be put to good uses. Generally though, as I said I don’t buy energy drinks, so will have to have this as an occasional treat. It would make me really excited if we were to get proper Mountain Dew over here, now that would become a regular purchase!

14 June 2010

Terry’s [Smooth & Creamy] Milk Chocolate (99p Store)

Terry’s used to be a big brand of chocolate manufacturers here in the UK, but alas its stock seems to have reduced over the years and now comprise mainly of the Chocolate Orange range and the All Gold boxes. The reduction of items seems to have followed the closure of the site in York which occurred after the Kraft takeover. It was quite a surprise when one reader DavidH said that he had found a bar of regular milk chocolate from this company as this isn’t a readily available product, and then he very kindly sent me some too for me to try.
The chocolate is in a big bar, with lovely sweet aromas. The chocolate breaks easily, and isn’t overly brittle. It melts nicely on the tongue and seems to remain quite thick on the palette. There are nice rich flavours from the cocoa and a good hint of sweetness too, although this bar isn’t as creamy as Dairy Milk for example. I found the bar to be easy to eat, and the texture made it feel sort of soothing. A lovely bar of chocolate, and it would be lovely to see some more activity from the brand.
Dearest Kraft, please can we have some more Terry’s chocolate products? If you wanted to get onto the nostalgia bandwagon Terry’s Pyramint and Terry’s 1767 would be fantastic!
Also I can’t really finish this without a big thank you to DavidH for finding this bar, and for sending it – it’s much appreciated! :-)

13 June 2010

Quorn Vegetarian Frankfurters [by Nli10] (Asda)

I like meat. My fiancee is vegetarian. I tend to do the cooking. This combination means that I tend to want to find a few more exciting things to add to recipies to spice up meal time. I managed to convince her that quorn can be nice when cooked correctly with a good sauce, as bad quorn can be mushy and bland. I really like herta frankfurters. You get 100g of pasta, put in a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add 5 frankfurters with a few cuts to make them explode out and go back to the xbox for 10 min. Drain and add sauce and leafy greens and you have a propper meal with no effort. I did the same with the quorn frankfurters, the only difference being that you get 4 sausages in a pack to share instead of 10 and we had smiles instead of pasta. This seemed stingy when cooking but on eating this was ample. They were really really firm and massivly filling. It's like vegetarians didn't realise that even the best sausages aren't solid meat. My fiancee managed half a sausage before giving up due to their general texture and taste being alien to her veggie stomach. I ate the remaining but it sat really heavily and I didn't enjoy it. I love quorn but they are at their best when not copying meat dishes directly and just being influenced by them.
by Nli10

12 June 2010

Scottish Haggis Flavour Walkers Crisps and Scottish Ale [By Spectre]

Just wanted to start this post with a big thank you to Dreich who very kindly sent the Haggis crisps over to us and made this possible. Thank you for sending them and for your continued support, it is really appreciated :-)

Beer and crisps is one of my favourite snacks during a film. So whilst watching the rather long winded, over in-depth and faintly boring Watchmen, I cracked open a few beers to numb the pain and a bag of Haggis flavoured crisps. I’m sure Haggis is a food that has brought dread to many a table in the past. It could be just the concept of mixing ingredients such as; a lamb’s heart and lungs, beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean, onions, oatmeal, coriander, mace, nutmeg and stock from the lungs and trimmings, all wrapped in a sheep's stomach or ox cecum, that could make the sturdiest of eaters heave. However, I like Black Pudding, and the concept of that is pretty grim. Besides, these are only crisps, so I put the bucket away before opening, but positioned myself nearby Cinabar’s kitchen sink just in case. The crisps have a herby chicken smell about them, that doesn’t seem to marry up with the afore mentioned ingredients. They have the same kind of taste, and I’ve been assured they don’t taste of Haggis. I couldn’t tell whether to be disappointed about that or not, but was slightly distracted by Cinabar’s eyes burning into me when I dropped the crisps in favour of watching Silk Spectre get her jollies out for a particularly energetic scene. The crisps are reminiscent of an old sausage flavour that Walkers brought out a few years back and then discontinued. I’ve been told Haggis doesn’t taste bad, rather like a spicy / herby sausage flavour. Just these crisps don’t taste like Haggis, or the German Bratwurst flavour, or like Black Pudding for that matter.
The beer I chose to gulp down with these inauthentic flavoured crisps was a Scottish Ale. Not just any Scottish Ale either, so I’ve been assured, but THE Scottish Ale. This beer is brewed with thistle for some crazy reason. If that’s not enough, the mad Scottish brewers have mixed in ginger and chocolate! The beer has a sweet smell about it, which explains the chocolate. I’ve never eaten a thistle, and suspect not many people have, but there is a plant type taste to start with when drinking this beer. The plant taste is then replaced by the ginger and chocolate, which stays in the mouth for a long drawn out aftertaste. This doesn’t help when you’re eating meaty crisps at the same time. The savoury really does bring out the ginger and chocolate in this strong beer. This should be considered as more of a pudding beer, whereas I was simply eating the wrong thing with it. It is suggested that this beer should be served best with an apple pie (and custard?), which doesn’t sound typically Scottish. I was happy to finish off the crisps in favour of this sweet and healthy tasting beer. Then I remember saying at one point, “is this movie actually going anywhere?” this was just before the bad guy was finally revealed and something actually happened. Sadly it didn’t involve Silk Spectre’s jollies.
By Spectre

11 June 2010

New McVities Digestives Medley Bars (Sainsbury’s)

Mcvities, famed for their lovely range of biscuits, have decided to branch out and enter the cereal bar market. I like my cereal bars, I eat one almost every day for breakfast with my morning coffee, so am always pleased to see a new variety on the shelves.
These particular bars are the Mcvities Digestive biscuit edition, but also contains hazelnuts, chocolate and cereals. They feel like quite a substantial bar when you are eating them, they are firm, with a varied texture, and sweet wholesome flavours. Each of the ingredients can be picked out nicely, the hazelnuts being a particularly nice treat. Over all each bar is sweet and tasty, and has the distinct taste of yummy Digestive biscuits through and through. The chocolate is at a nice level, very much present, but it doesn’t over power the other tastes. These are lovely, I will certainly get them again and I am on the lookout for the other Hobnobs variety – can’t wait!!!

10 June 2010

Adnam’s East Green Carbon Neutral Beer from the Coast [by Spectre] [Sole Bay Brewery] (Tesco)

This is a blonde beer we picked up in a supermarket in North Wales on holiday just outside of Caernarfon. What stole my eye from the start were the carbon friendly claims on the lighter weight bottle. Adnams are members of CRED-UK, for Carbon reduction and were the Carbon Trust Innovation Winner of 2007. The beer is brewed in a new carbon friendly brewery and the hops are grown nearby. On first taste I noticed how clean and fresh the beer tasted. It had an almost mineral water pure feel, with no bitterness, and no bite. At 4.3% volume you’d think it would have a slight kick at best. Whilst drinking this beer I felt like I was drinking something that was good for me, as well as for the environment. I can see this beer being at home in a spa. After relaxing in the steam room or sauna you could have a good swig before retiring to the Jacuzzi. Not sure it would go down in a working men’s pub though. “I’ll have a bottle of your finest Green Carbon Neutral, Darlin’. No, no a tall glass will do jolly nicely…”
by Spectre

9 June 2010


And the winner of the exciting competition is:
  • Leigh, F from Leicester
I have also chosen some runners up who get a smaller mystery prize:
  • Karen, S from Gloucester
  • Keith, S from Woodford Green
  • Amy, M from Bradford-on-Avon
  • Loretta, C from Portishead
  • Sue, S from Walsall Wood
Your parcels are on their way - do hope you enjoy!!!

Loacker Coconut Wafer Biscuits (Waitrose)

I love the foreign goodies that make their way into Waitrose, I do love finding things I can’t get elsewhere. These biscuit originate from Italy and consist of light and crispy wafers which give way easily when bitten. They have a wonderful thick creamy coconut filling, and further coconut flavour is added by the desiccated coconut covering the outside. Which reminds me, these biscuits are dangerous, the coconut topping creates a snowfall wherever it goes! I ended up with a tissue close to hand to avoid getting it everywhere!
The chocolate on the biscuits is thin but of a very good quality and compliments the creamy rich filling perfectly. They sort of melt when you bite them, and coconut fans will be in heaven. The only negative thing I have to add is that there aren’t very many in the box. They are in layers of one, and spread out inside the packaging, but there doesn’t seem to be many for your money. I’m torn though because despite this, I loved the biscuits and will probably repurchase.

8 June 2010

Warburtons: Snack A Doodle Sweet Chilli [Wholegrain Snacks] (Nisa)

It is always nice to see new low fat snacks on the market, well it is if they manage to combine the wonders of healthy and tasty. These particular snacks are made from wholegrain, and in appearance remind me of Snack-A-Jacks, and in name too I guess, Snack-A-Doodle is similar in style to Snack-A-Jack.
I like the texture of these snacks, they are lightly crunchy and dissolve nicely in the mouth. Sadly I wasn’t so keen on the flavour. For a product to be labelled as ‘Sweet Chilli’ I would expect a decent full flavour and spice. Oddly they smelt nice, they had a salty, sweet aroma, but the taste seemed very muted to me. Even a direct lick didn’t show up much of a taste sensation. What did come through when eating these was the base flavour of ‘wheat’ and cereal, not sweet but sort of dull on the taste buds. Sadly they tasted ‘healthy’ and I know that they are indeed good for you, but would some extra chilli flakes and seasoning really have upped the calorie content that much?
I have other flavours of the new snacks from Warburton’s to try; I do hope I get on a little better with them.

7 June 2010

Nestle Kit Kat Pop Choc Yoghurt (Nisa)

I was really pleased to see some innovation from the Kit Kat brand for the UK market. I realise that there are a ridiculous amount of strangely flavoured Kit Kats available in Japan, but just seeing this new yoghurt on the shelves made me smile.
This is a ‘corner’ style yoghurt where you have one pot of plain yoghurt and one pot of something to tip into it. The yoghurt base if a rather lovely sweet creamy vanilla, it has a good flavour, and is nice and smooth.
The chocolate section consists of Kit Kat pieces made of small chocolate coated chunks. This essentially is the same as a product that used to be available here in the UK, and is still around in Europe called “Kit Kat Pop Choc”. Eaten individually these chocolates lack the firm Kit Kat texture. Despite all the ingredients being present, the specific Kit Kat crunch is missing. When you bite in, these are a little crispier overall and not as solid as a regular Kit Kat. Also the chocolate is pleasant but doesn’t taste exactly like Kit Kat chocolate, nice but I think a fraction sweeter. The product is supposed to be eaten together with the yoghurt and chocolate all at once. When mixed there was a definite taste of Kit Kat and I liked the chocolate pieces with the yoghurt. It was a tasty treat, and a rather yummy concoction, proving the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

6 June 2010

Lightning Bugs - Cyber Candy (by Nli10)

Grown up birthdays are hard. Everyone has their own money and better ideas of what they actually want so to avoid spending lots on something disappointing I tend to give cash or vouchers. This is a little impersonal though so a little novelty gift is also required to indicate that I did try to think of something but failed. This is where these lightning bug sweets come in. They are just a bag of typical jelly sweets. Very nice ones as it turns out, soft and squidgy. The important thing is the plastic tweezers. These have a little battery and two led lights which cause the sweets to light up as you pick them up. This adds a lot to the experience and we were talking about how great it would be at Halloween to give out glowing sweets to visiting children. Over all these are well worth the inflated price for the few sweets you get and you can reuse the tweezers with future jelly sweets.
By Nli10

5 June 2010

Wham: Tinglers - Tongue Tingling Belts [By Spectre] [Sour Multicolour]

I’ve long been a fan of sour sweets, since childhood in fact, which was only a couple of years ago. Okay, okay… more like twenty years, but it feels like yesterday and let’s face it, I don’t seem to have lost my baby fat. This pack has a number of short flat strips with raspberry, strawberry, lemon and lime colours prettily lined up against each other in each belt. I was really looking forward to munching on these and violently tore open the pack. Sugar bits flew all over my desk, which aroused some odd looks from my work colleagues. On putting the first one in my mouth a strong sour strawberry and raspberry combined flavour hit me to start with, and then I was left with a sour lemon and lime aftertaste. Sugar falls off pleasingly as you curl the flat belt into your mouth. There’s no particular sensual way to do this, as I found out when the attractive woman opposite me shielded her eyes from the sight. These belts really do make your tongue tingle. After several belts the sourness really kicks in and you feel your face starting to contort with every mouth full. These have to be one of my favourite sour sweets of all time. They are both easy and slightly messy to eat, which helps to bring the child out in you. They are tingly to the taste buds and moreish to the point of obsession. You seriously wouldn’t want to share them with a friend, or even an attractive woman. Well, maybe, just one belt… nah!
By Spectre

4 June 2010

Clinkers Mini [Australia] (Cybercandy)

Cybercandy makes me weak; I cannot resist all the goodies from places far away. I saw this bag of chocolate coated sweets, each with a different flavour centre, and assumed they were an Australian version of Revels.
Unlike normal Revels these chocolates only have three different fruit centres and all of them are crunchy, with a honeycomb style centre.
The chocolate coating is of a decent thickness, and although nothing to get excited about on its own, delivers the necessary sweet and creamy cocoa goodness.
The three crunchy centres are:
  • Green - Lime, quite a sweet citrus taste, with a pleasant flavour.
  • Pink - Strawberry, not the most natural taste, but nice all the same!
  • Yellow - Pineapple, loved this one, good tropical taste. Why do we not get more pineapple flavoured choccies in the UK?
I really enjoyed the bag, but Revels still have the upper hand as they have a larger selection of flavours and textures mixed in the bag.