31 October 2010

Blood, Blood & True Blood [by @NLi10] (Various Victims)

This extended FoodStuffFinds Halloween special review covers two kinds of food that looks like blood - drinkable blood & edible blood. There is no actual blood involved anywhere in the post, but if you don't like the sight of blood please skip this one and we'll see you tomorrow. :)

First up is Tru Blood, a fake blood drink. This was bought from Forbidden Planet for a friend’s birthday (the one who I got to help me with the Guinness reviews ages ago) and he was gracious enough to let me try some.

Essentially it's sold as a cash-in for the popular TV series of a similar name, and is fortified with various things to make it more nutritious and less of an ordinary drink. Colour-wise the blood donor really needs antibiotics and fast as it's pretty cloudy. Flavour wise it's essentially blood-orange Fanta with an odd kick of vitamins in there too. It's a cool thing to be seen drinking at parties, especially near Halloween, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it again. Nice, but not an essential.

Next up we have the food bloods, Emergency Blood Bag (candy blood) which is sold as a sweet, and Blood Orange Tasty Drip (liquid salted caramel) which is sold as a desert topping. Packaging wise the Tasty Drip looks and feels more authentic. Like those shower gels in reduced packaging that come in a similar format it's quite satisfying to hold and play with. The Blood Bag is in contrast much more friendly looking, you could give this to children without them getting too scared.

As the final goal was to try both of these with ice-cream I decided to pop these in my handy kitty desert bowls and see what they looked like. The Candy Blood was really hard to squeeze out of its bag. This is probably a good thing if you are giving it to the under 10s. It's really viscous and brightly coloured too - and it smells like the 90s favourite of Push Pops! It was a pleasure to dip my finger in and see what it was like, basically a fruity sweet centre that you would usually find inside some kind of chew. Too sweet to eat on its own I think but I had the whole frozen section to try with it later.

Next was the drip. This oozes out of the bag like a puncture wound, and pools unhealthily in the bottom of the bowl. It looks evil and menacing, and rather than looking like fresh blood it's more of a necrotic experience. If I found a piece of meat in the supermarket that looked like it I'd pick a different box. While in pictures it's making me queazy writing about it in person the smell has the opposite effect, being essentially a slightly orangey caramel scent - not unlike the Cadbury's Dead Heads that Cinabar reviewed earlier in the week. This means that while your eyes are screaming your nose is pleasantly intrigued so I dipped my finger in for a taste. The ingredients contain cocoa powder to make it more authentic looking and this with the salty caramel gives it an odd, almost burnt taste. The aftertaste is really odd and almost bitter, and you wouldn't eat this really as a typical food.

As you couldn't really appreciate the dripping, oozing qualities of the product in the bowl I decided to model it myself.

Ms. NLi10 doesn't like this picture.

While it runs quite fast and much scraping of hands in bowls was required for this shot it was simple to wash off and even without soap disappeared easily with no staining. The sink did look like I'd had a nose-bleed, but was easily cleaned up too.

For its theatrical and aesthetic properties this wins hands down, and anyone momentarily sickened by your antics will quickly smell the caramel and then probably try some themselves.

Next up I added them both too ice-cream, the Drip is pictured below.

As you'd expect it looked a bit gruesome and I'm sure inventive people like Mr. Blumenthal could come up with some quite sickening recipes to put this in. With Ice-cream it's a lot more edible, but less is most definitely more and you really didn't need the ice-cream to be swimming in the pools of blood. I finished it, but I was tiring of the burnt aftertaste towards the end. Review cat was really quite interested in this, but after a brief lick of a dot on my finger he ignored me and went back to sleep.

The Blood Bag was pretty much just thicker than normal ice-cream topping and more of a treat. I'd say that you could even keep it in the cupboard and serve it from the bag with a smile on your face where as the other product does have a hint of serial killer to it (especially if you run in with it dripping from your arms).

I'd say that this really depends on your audience.
Drinking at a party? Get the Tru Blood and wash & refill the bottle each year with Blood Orange Fanta.

Exciting the kids at tea time? Blood Bag Candy and ice-cream makes a great desert if you keep it away from the carpet & pets.

Trying to scare someone, do an adult fancy dress costume, or cause a stir at your dinner party then go for the Tasty Drip, but please - keep your guests from calling an ambulance or passing out - it really does look quite real.

Happy Halloween to you all, may all your treats be nice ones.
by @NLi10

No comments: