28 February 2014

New Dairy Milk Lu and Ritz Bars (Available Tesco @DairyMilk) [By @Cinabar]

Yay - more new Dairy Milk bars!! And these fab new ones come in a rather smart rectangle shape perfect for snacking and bridging the gap when you can’t decide if you fancy chocolate or biscuits. Both of these two new bars have eight small biscuits pressed into them, four at the front and four at the back. Lu is a sweet biscuit and the Ritz edition is salty.
If I’m totally honest, I couldn’t quite place the brand Lu. I know writing this blog should mean that I’m totally up to date with all things biscuity, but the logo was at best familiar to me. Perhaps it is more popular in Europe and we are seeing Kraft’s influence here. Ritz biscuits I know well, but I’m also aware of their more savoury background.

Dairy Milk Lu
The bar breaks neatly into four, along its seam lines, with each quarter then having two biscuits pressed into it front and back. I think the thing that surprised me was just how much chocolate was involved. When I bit in although I could pick up on the buttery sweet biscuit the main flavour was good old Dairy Milk along with a pleasant crunch. It is something a bit different, with a very enjoyable texture, and a nice hint of biscuit. This Dairy Milk Lu is a nice bar and something I’d pick up again, perfect for the long afternoons at work.

Dairy Milk Ritz
This bar was the same shape and design at the Lu bar, and once unwrapped would be hard to tell apart based on appearance. In flavour though, it is easy to spot the difference. These biscuits are quite salty and that mixed with the chocolate makes the bar come alive. It is just a tingle, but that clever twist of sweet and salty works like magic. The texture is fab too, the crunch is lovely, and the thick chocolate melts perfectly as you munch.

It will be no surprise that with my love of the mix of sweet and savoury the Ritz bar was my favourite of the two bars. Both bars are innovative and attractive. I think the look of the biscuit topped chocolate bars are rather novel, and do stand out as being something a bit different. There is more chocolate than biscuit in the ratios, but there was still enough of a of crunch to make them enjoyable. It is one of the chocolates that are spot on with an afternoon coffee, it just seems to be the perfect afternoon pick me up. Have you tried the news bars yet? Which did you prefer?
By Cinabar

27 February 2014

Kezie Foods: Kangaroo Rump Steak [Review by @CaptainKindling]

We got offered a large selection of exotic meats that none of our regular reviewers were brave enough to try so I invited a good friend of mine, and fellow blogger CaptainKindling to give them a try.  If you want to read more of his stuff then head on over to his regular home of Games & Tea and see what you find...

Kezie Foods: Kangaroo Rump Steak

Following on from the rather nice Crocodile burgers, my next dinner choice from exotic meat supplier Kezie Foods was Kangaroo Rump Steak.  I mentioned previously that I've had Kangaroo once before but didn't really do justice to it, so this time around I was determined to do things properly and make a decent meal out of it!  Fortunately the cooking guide on Kezie's website tells you everything you need to know about making the most out of your exotic meats, and so I was only to happy to put the fate of my dinner in their hands.
After three days of defrosting the steak in the fridge, I removed it from the vacuum packaging, patted it dry with some kitchen roll, and then left it on the chopping board for 20 minutes to reach room temperature.  The product page, cooking guide and how-to video all suggest that exotic steaks are best cooked medium-rare.  Having chosen to pan fry the 'Roo I followed the guide, heated a little olive oil in the frying pan, and seared the meat all over before cooking it for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.  Afterwards I placed it on a wire rack to keep it from sitting in its juices, covered it with some foil to keep the heat in, and plated up the rest of the meal ready for the big taste test!  The Kezie guides suggested serving the steak with a little side-salad, but I decided to follow the traditional pub-grub approach of having it with chips and peas.
Initial thoughts?  Well Kangaroo definitely tastes much better having been lightly fried than it did having been half-cremated on a barbeque!  The gamey flavour comes through strongly, but it isn't overpowering.  I refrained from seasoning the steak as I didn't want to risk losing the 'Roo's flavour, but it's definitely a meat which could be lightly seasoned without losing its identity.  There was a small amount of gristle in the steak, but not nearly as much as you'll find in beef, so cutting around it requires only minimal effort.
One thing I would suggest is that if you like your steak medium-rare then it's probably better to cook it for slightly longer than the 1 1/2 minutes on each side suggested.  Using those guidelines mine came out rare which is actually my usual steak preference, but may not have been to my liking if I'd preferred my meat a little less red.  Having said that, even cooked rare it did come out pretty tough, so overcooking with Kangaroo is definitely something to be avoided!  I've spoken to a few friends who have tried 'Roo steaks, and they all agree that it's a meat that needs strong jaw muscles!  But tough or not, it was nicely juicy, and the flavour was a definite winner with me.  I'd thoroughly recommend them to any steak eater!
Kangaroo rump steaks from Kezie will set you back £4.95 for a 225g steak (as shown here), or £5.50 for a pack of 2 smaller steaks (250g combined), which means there's not a great deal of price difference between these and good-quality beef steaks.

26 February 2014

Shapers Sour Cream and Jalapeño Popcorn (Boots) [By @SpectreUK]

Cinabar is usually the popcorn taster on this blog, but as I'm always looking for alternative snacks to crisps, and hot snacks are my favourites, I thought I'd give Shapers Sour Cream and Jalapeño Popcorn a go. Made for The Boots Company in the United Kingdom for their Shapers range and Vegetarian friendly, the 20g packet had 82 calories, with 2.4g of fat and 0.6g of sugar, which couldn't do my ever increasing waistline much harm. There was chiefly a popcorn smell on opening the packet, no surprises there I guess, and a mild hint of sour cream and onion. The first few tentative bites of this popcorn didn't yield much in the way of flavour. There was not much heat at all or even a wisp of jalapeño. And so in true popcorn tradition I decided to try to fit as much popcorn in my mouth as possible. On the first big mouthful there was a decent hit of paprika with a mild jalapeño heat, finishing with sour cream and onion. The more mouthfuls I tried the more the jalapeño heat started to make my nose tingle a little. There was a pleasurable sour cream and onion aftertaste also. This popcorn flavour was obviously designed for gorging. If you find these on a shelf, I'd recommend buying a few packets and having a contest with someone to see how many you can fit in your mouths each turn. Don't sniff and pick at this popcorn, shove as much in your gob as you can, it may be the only way to get a full taste sensation and just don't worry as they're light as a feather and low in calories!
By Spectre

Foodie News Burst 26/2/14

There is loads of interesting food news this week, so lets get started with some of the stories that have come out in the last few days. First up we have Birdseye Mashtags potato shapes. When I was a kid potato smiley faces were just smiley faces, these days they are emoticons and come with an array of other social media symbols too! OMG!

Carlsburg is expanding its range with a fruit beer, and a very British berry too, the humble blackcurrant. This is a drink I’ll be looking out for Spectre, so expect his review to be coming up soon!
Source: http://www.talkingretail.com/products-news/alcohol/carlsberg-uk-launches-blackcurrant-trade/

I just love the look of the new bagels from New York Bakery Co, they are smaller and super cute! They come in bags and are an ideal sized snack for lunch boxes, and did I mention one of their
flavours is Cinnamon and Raisin - heaven!

If you want refreshment with your chewing gum, Wrigley are adding Extra Ice Citrus to their range. There strawberry edition has sold well so it is no surprise they re expanding with a new fruity flavour.
Source: http://www.sweetretailing.co.uk/index.php/new_sweets_chocolates/view/wrigley_extra_ice_citrus

It isn’t long to pancake day, and I’m not much for the tradition of lemon and sugar (sorry folks). I will try and pick up a limited edition Lyle’s Golden Syrup Pancake Bottle, and I’m thinking of adding a chopped banana to my pancakes too! Don't forget if you are catering for someone who is on a gluten-free diet we reviewed the rather fab Mrs Crimbles pancake mix last week.

Finally if you are of a certain age having a Wall’s Funny Feet ice cream from an ice cream van was a right of passage. Well they are back in a single packs for 90p, and I can’t wait! If you’d rather have something new in the ice cream isle Calippo also have a new variety and are stepping away from their usual fruity offerings and going for bubblegum flavour!
Source: http://www.conveniencestore.co.uk/product-news/unilever-unveils-new-childrens-ice-creams/354649.article

Thanks to everyone who has contributed this week. Let me know if you spot any interesting foods or see any interesting news items and I’ll try and give them a mention next time! Email me at: admin@foodstufffinds.co.uk or tweet me Cinabar

25 February 2014

Degustabox - Foodie Surprise Tasting Box (@DegustaboxUK) [By @Cinabar]

I’ve received a Degustabox! For those that don’t know Degustabox is a service which for £12.99 delivers you a box of surprise goodies, consisting of new or interesting products, so you can see why I love the idea of the service!
Degustabox very kindly sent me a box so that I could have a look at the sort of goodies they send out. My first impression on opening the box was that it seemed very good value, as there was loads of things packed in.

The contents:

3 x Maggi cooking packs. Two So Juicy cooking bags, one for sticky barbecue and one for Mexican chicken. The other Maggi product was called So Tender and it contains seasoned papyrus cooking papers. I have to say I can’t wait to try this, as I’ve not seen anything like that before and it looks a really fun way of cooking chicken breasts.

Drinks: a bottle of coconut water from Zico, which is a chocolate edition. I shall take this to the gym with me tomorrow, and see how I get on. They also included a bottle of Kombucha, which is fermented tea. I’m not sure what to do this a quick google highlighted several health benefits for the drink, but I think it might fascinate Spectre more!

Other savoury: There was tin of chunky tomato soup, which will come in handy with all the cold weather we’ve been having, and a packet of quinoa. The quinoa microwaves in two minutes and I’m thinking i will make a great accompaniment to the Maggi Mexican Chicken.

Sweets: Two packets from Goody Good Stuff, one Tropical Mix and one Sour Mix. These are a new brand of sweets to me, but are all natural and vegetarian. We are looking forward to giving these a try during a film night in.

Other sweet items: Also included in the box were a packet of Dorset granola and a packet of wafer Butter Crisps from Jules Destrooper. Both of these items were from brands I have tried before, and enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to giving these items a try too.

I thoroughly liked the selection of goodies, and have to say the value is really good, but you have to accept that there is going to be some random items in there. I was impressed by how many things there were from brands I hadn’t tried before, and that the quality of everything seemed top notch.

If you fancy trying out your own Degustabox do take a look at their website for further details: http://www.degustabox.com/en/

By Cinabar

24 February 2014

Five Valleys Coconut & Kaffir Lime Cordial (@Five_Valleys) [By @cinabar]

Five Valleys very kindly sent us a bottle of this Coconut & Kaffir Lime cordial to try out. I loved the sound of it as it just seemed really rather different to anything I've tried before. Lime is often included in cordials, but coconut is a first for me.
I poured a generous splash into a glass and topped it up with cold water. It is a clear pale cream in colour, which becomes even lighter when diluted down. The official ratio is one part cordial to ten parts water, but I did just estimate it a bit. On a side note one of the lovely things about Five Valleys drinks is that they are all natural, hence the lack of colour.
After my first sip I immediately regretted not having a sprig of mint to pop in the glass. The flavour was seriously refreshing. It starts with a zingy, almost bitter, lime blast which softens gently to a sweet creamy coconut taste. It's a mature complex flavour and I liked the way the two tones of flavour within the drink entwined each other. It really grows on you the more you sip. It reminded me of drinking cocktails, because of it's interesting mix of tastes, specifically being with my brother in a cocktail bar in Manchester and my mum offered to get him a drink, he chose a £13 Martini, but apparently it was good! :-D
Anyway although this drink was lovely straight it would also make a fab cocktail mixer. For me though making up a jug of it on a hot summers day, and adding ice and mint would make it the perfect barbecue accompaniment as it is just so refined and refreshing.
By Cinabar

23 February 2014

Rice Krispies Multi-grain Shapes, Strawberry Flavour [review by @NLi10]

I do love a good, fun breakfast cereal. I remember the excitement of a new box of cereal being brought home. I remember being told that I couldn't go rooting through the boxes for the toys and trading cards as it was unhygienic. I've lamented before that those days are long gone, but Kellogg's have somehow decided to revive the glory days and put free stuff in with the kids cereals.

Here we have a Multi-grain shape cereal that is only tenuously linked to Rice Krispies - it's Multi grain for a start, AND doesn't go snap crackle or pop. It does make the milk strawberry flavoured though so I'd have probably allied it with the coco pops range. That said it's like a version of Cheerios that actually has a flavour and with the strawberry milk kids will actually love this. Great family cereal, probably higher in sugar than the adults would want, but actually lower than the kids think.

Enough about the boring food - the box has activities! 

Here we have all about discovery cards. You can scratch them, get them wet, make them glow in the dark and in return you are rewarded with underwhelming facts about things. Still - they have collector numbers and you get 4 in a bag which is quite generous.

Plus it's proper old school and the prize is buried in the cereal itself which is somewhat magical. But now I've paid for the cereal and I know to tip the bag on its side and to shake it gently to make it rise to the top so I can get it straight away. For review purposes naturally...

22 February 2014

Heinz Cream of Tomato soup with Fiery Mexican Spices (Asda) [By @SpectreUK]

You know that feeling when you're doing something that pushes your limits and you have that moment you think; "If I stop now I think I'll die!"? For instance recently Cinabar convinced me to go back to the gym, either that or my ever increasing waist size convinced her to convince me to go back to the gym. It had been the first time in ages and I thought; I'll see what this fat ageing tub of lard can do. So I found this skiing climbing running machine of destruction (I'm not sure if it was called that, but bear with me) and put fifteen minutes on the clock. Fifteen minutes doesn't sound that bad, I hear you say, but for someone whose primary exercise for three months had been XBox and watching movies, this was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. I started off running like hell. I didn't know why or what I was running from or where I was running too, but I knew deep down that I wasn't going anywhere. Two minutes forty seconds in and I thought I was going to die, but I figured if I stopped I would probably fly off the machine in a random direction and do serious damage to a random beefcake or busty gym babe.

I've had enough hot chilli snacks and "fiery" meals to sink a battleship. Hence why I was back at the gym. This new Heinz Cream of Tomato soup with Fiery Mexican Spices is one of a pair, the other is Cream of Chicken Soup with Aromatic Thai Spices which was recently reviewed by NLi10. We decided to have this soup with a selection of goodies to see how they would fair taste wise. We usually have a big bacon sandwich with soup, but this time a huge loaf of Tiger Bread was just about to go out of date, there was some Brussel's Smooth pate which was also going the same way, some German Salami curtesy of Aldi and a couple of weird sounding cheeses that we had picked up somewhere.

On opening the can I noticed that there were flecks of red chilli dotted in the creamy tomato fire engine red soup. On first taste there was a slight chilli con carne feel mixed in with the usual thick Heinz tomato soup. The Tiger bread was lovely dipped in; perfect really as the bread didn't drop apart either. The soup drew out the garlic in the German Salami leaving a pleasing aftertaste. The soup also drew out the ginger in the Wendlseydale with Ginger cheese. The best cheese to go with this soup was the Applewood Smoke. The soup really brought out the smoked flavour taking my mind straight to a Mexican restaurant somewhere smelling the smoky spiced barbeque foods, whilst enjoying my own lightly spiced tomato chilli con carne meal. It's certainly convinced me to give grated smoked cheese a try on my next chilli con carne dinner. Grated cheese should not be kept souly for pasta dishes so it seems. The worst food to go with this soup was the Brussel's Smooth pate. The pork liver and tomato just didn't match at all and there was just too much liver flavour for my liking in the pate anyway! Blargh!

I would say this Heinz Cream of Tomato soup with Fiery Mexican Spices had a winter warming feel with it's very mild chilli heat and spicy seasoning. I couldn't say it was "fiery" though as it didn't make me sweat like the skiing climbing running machine of destruction or think if I stopped eating it I would die. The soup was very tasty and it did warm me up though. And let's face it without gyms if we tried to exercise outside in the British climate we'd probably freeze and drown in a massive puddle!
By Spectre

21 February 2014

Mrs Crimble’s Home Bake Pancake Mix (Avail Asda) [By @Cinabar]

It is really not long until Pancake Day! Shrove Tuesday is 4th March. Every year we have pancakes on Pancake Day, really enjoy them, and say that we aught to have them more often. Then a year later we repeat the cycle!
This year the folks from Mrs Crimble’s got in touch and asked if we wanted to try their Home Bake Pancake Mix, which was an excuse to at least have pancakes on two occasions this year! We gladly said yes, and wondered what their take on pancakes would be, as they are gluten-free.
The box is 200g, and states that it makes 10 pancakes. We managed to make 9 from ours, but I guess it depends on your pan size.

All you have to do is tip the contents of the pack into a large bowl, add two eggs and 400ml milk and whisk. You then pour just enough of the mixture into a hot oiled pan and cook on both sides until golden.
From this point you can choose to go savoury and add tuna with sweetcorn, go traditional with lemon juice and sugar or my personal favourite spread them with jam before rolling! Ice-cream on top is then optional.

These were easy to make, and certainly looked the part, taste wise they were spot on too. Despite the ingredients including maize, rice and potato starch they tasted just like regular pancakes. The texture was right, fluffy, but just needed a little effort to break apart with a spoon. If you hadn’t told me they were gluten-free I wouldn’t have know, so that does make them a total success. So if you or a loved one is gluten intolerant and is worried about missing out on the great Shrove Tuesday tradition, you needn’t be as Mrs Crimble’s Pancake Mix gets a total thumbs up.
The only very slight negative point, and it is me being a bit pedantic is it is called Home Bake Pancake Mix, and there wasn’t any baking, as such, involved. :-D
By Cinabar

20 February 2014

Kezie Foods - Crocodile Burgers [Review by @CaptainKindling]

Kezie Foods - Crocodile Burgers

A few short years ago, if you told someone you'd had a nice juicy llama steak for last night's dinner you'd be given a strange look at best, and considered an inhuman monster at worst.  More recently, however, there seems to be a growing trend of weird and wonderful meats making their way to our dinner tables and onto our barbeques.  In fact it's not uncommon for Christmas markets to offer up a reindeer burger for those who think Rudolph just looks too tasty to pass up.
I have, in the past, had the pleasure of sampling zebra and kangaroo steaks (which I probably didn't particularly do justice to, by dicing them up into kebabs and throwing them on the barbeque), as well as ostrich burgers, and these early experiences of exotic meats have certainly gone down well.  I am a self-described "enthusiastic carnivore", so when Kezie Foods offered to send Foodstuff Finds a selection of their wares, I was more than happy to step up to the plate (literally) and see how they stacked up.
Whilst Kezie do have a wide range of more traditional meats on offer, it's their substantial exotic section which turns heads, featuring steaks, sausages, burgers and ready meals from sources most of us wouldn't normally consider at mealtimes.  The generous selection provided for the review consisted of the following:
  • Crocodile Burgers
  • Zebra Meatballs
  • Game Hot Pot
  • Rosé Veal Vindaloo
  • Thai Green Seafood Soup
  • Mahi Mahi Portions
  • Marlin Loin Portions
  • Kangarooo Rump Steak
  • Octopus Tentacles
  • Horse Striploin Fillet Steaks
  • Ostrich Fan Fillet
If I want to do justice to these tantalising offerings then there's no way then can be squeezed into a single review, so I'll be splitting them across a few articles as I slowly empty my freezer over the coming weeks!
Crocodile Burgers
After an afternoon of indecisiveness and torment, I finally settled on Crocodile Burgers to be the first on the plate!  Crocodile may be new, but burgers on the whole are comfortable and familiar, so they seemed like one of the safer options to ease myself in.  And crocodile is something I've been wanting to try for a long time, as Hollywood has made it abundantly clear that alligator barbeques very well, so I'm taking a leap of faith that their toothier cousin is just as delicious.

With a couple of exceptions, most of Kezie's products are covered by their cooking guides and videos on their website and Youtube channel.  I have to confess I'm not usually the most patient of cooks in the world - I don't rush cooking times, but I'll run roughshod over the preparation stage to get my dinner in the oven or on the hob asap!  To justice to this selection, however, I'm going to exercise some rare self-restraint, and follow Kezie's instructions to the letter - I have to assume they know what they're talking about!
So with this in mind I took the unheard of step of removing the burgers from the fridge and allowing them to reach room temperature for 20 minutes before putting them under the grill.  In an ideal world I'd have liked to try barbequeing them, but given the weather and my lack of garden this seemed like an impractical option to say the least, so the grill became my fallback option.  Kezie also recommended brushing the burgers with oil to help them sear - again this isn't something I usually do with my burgers, but I wanted to do this properly and so stuck with their guidance.  Normally I'm a big fan of olive oil, but I didn't want to overpower the taste of a new meat with such a distinctive flavour, so I opted for simple sunflower oil.

The first thing which I couldn't help but notice after cooking is just how lean crocodile meat is!  I'm a man who enjoys his burgers, but I can always guarantee that when I remove them from the grill after cooking there'll be a veritable lake of grease in the bottom of the grill pan.  With the crocodile there was barely a drop, setting the burgers off to a very promising start!
Whilst I know it's typical to garnish burgers with relish, salad and so on, I served these up just on plain and simple rolls so that nothing would interfere with the croc's flavour.  With dinner plated up, it was time to see if they were worth the anticipation...

Absolutely!  As you can see above, crocodile is a white meat, and its flavour was far more delicate than the tastebud-assault of your typical dark-meat beefburger.  The consistency was just what a burger should be - it didn't disintegrate at the merest hint of contact with a bread roll, and it wasn't like trying to tear chunks out of a steak.  I had tried sticking to the barbeque guideline of cooking for 4 minutes on each side under a medium grill, but after that period they still didn't quite seem cooked, so I gave them an extra 2 minutes on each side and this seemed to have them cooked to perfection.  Being so lean, there was no issue with grease leaking out from all sides with every bite, but this by no means left them dry - "juicy" is perhaps not a word I'd use to describe them, but certainly not dry.
And as for the flavour?  Well that's a tough one to put into words!  The term 'unique' gets used far too often, as in "It's got quite a unique taste, a bit like venison", but for crocodile it's the only word I can use!  It's unlike anything else I've ever tried by a long shot, and it's definitely something I'd be happy to eat again (insert obligatory "and make it snappy!" joke here).  At around £4.50 for a pack of two they're a shade pricier than good quality butchers' burgers, but are a nice alternative to the typical humdrum of cow or lamb.

19 February 2014

New UK Review: Skittles Wild Berry Flavour (Asda) [By @SpectreUK]

Skittles chewy sweets have always been a favourite of mine. I love their juiciness without the teeth breaking crunch that Tootie Fruities have that can scare the older folks like me, and my multitude of fillings and brittle teeth. Of course Skittles do have a crunch of their own and do get stuck in my teeth, but that's why I have an old Boy Scout penknife with a toothpick! These Skittles new Wild Berry flavour came in five flavours, which are supposed to be; Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild Cherry, Berry Punch & Melon Berry flavour (Melons would make very big berries) Skittles. Red tasted like a blend of strawberry and raspberry, and were very nice. There were loads of them in the packet too. Green was a very fruity apple flavour with a hint of melon. Not very berry-like, but certainly very tasty. Dark Orange, well, red with orange speckles tasted citrusy like orange mixed with grapefruit. These were also very tasty, but I was getting a little confused by the Wild Berry name on the front of the packet. Blue was a very heavy yet almost natural blueberry just a little bit sweeter, but nonetheless we were back to the Wild Berry topic. The last flavour was Purple, which was black cherry flavour. Regular readers will know that cherry sweets are a worst enemy of mine where sweet flavours are concerned. Having said that, I'm sure someone who does like black cherries would like these purple Skittles. Having said that, the purple flavour was my least favourite, but I did enjoy all these Skittles and would have them again. I'd just have to palm off the purples to someone... Cinabar?

Information on the packet;
55g packet with 222 calories, 2.3g of fat and 49.6g of sugar. Ingredients included; sugar (no surprise there), glucose syrup, palm fat, citric acid, dextrin, maltodextrin, flavourings, modified starch, acidity regulator trisodium citrate, glazing agent carnauba wax, emulsifier soybean lecithin, and a bunch of E-numbers.
By Spectre

Foodie News Burst 19/2/14

So first up this week, Ben and Jerry’s have new Greek Style Frozen Yoghurt on the way. There are three flavours coming, Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Chocolate Chunk and Vanilla Honey Caramel.

Magnum ice cream have a 25 year anniversary and are celebrating by bringing out a Marc De Champagne edition ice cream, complete with a silver shell!
Source: http://www.conveniencestore.co.uk/product-news/unilever-to-unleash-a-raft-of-ice-cream-npd/354625.article

If the red ones in Starbursts are your favourites you are going to want to keep your eyes open for the new all red edition Starbursts FaveReds.
Source: http://www.talkingretail.com/products-news/confectionery/wrigley-launches-starburst-favereds/

Cadbury’s Eclairs had a successful new Orange flavour last year and new for this year are Velvets, with a silky caramel filling.
Source: http://www.conveniencestore.co.uk/product-news/mondelez-releases-indulgent-cadbury-eclairs-variant/354623.article

Finally Typhoo is launching a best tea, called Typhoo Gold. It is a blend of Assam and African teas, so should be quite similar to English Breakfast.
Source: http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fmcg/typhoo-launches-gold-for-premium-tea-lovers/354544.article

Thanks to everyone who has contributed this week. Let me know if you spot any interesting foods or see any interesting news items and I’ll try and give them a mention next time! Email me at: admin@foodstufffinds.co.uk or tweet me @Cinabar

18 February 2014

Milky Way Magic Stars Hot Chocolate (Asda) [By @Cinabar]

Okay so I admit it, I’m going through a bit of a hot chocolate phase at the minute. Sometimes I don’t touch the drink for months, others times I seem to be buying something new to try every week. This weeks product that caught my eye was this pouch of hot chocolate based on Milky Way Magic Stars. The picture even clearly shows them in the contents, although they do dissolve into the drink, rather than float to the top or sprinkle on.
This reminded me of a friend at work who visited Belgium, she said when she ordered a hot chocolate there they gave her a cup of hot milk and a dish with grated chocolate so she could just add what she liked to it. It is a lovely pure idea for a drink!

I popped 3 teaspoons of the powder/chocolate concoction into my mug, and the Magic Stars were clearly visible at the bottom. I then filled the mug with cold milk and microwaved it until it was good and hot, and then gave it a good stir. It mixed up easily. The packet said to pour on hot milk, but my method worked really well and was easier to make.
The drink is lovely and sweet and flavoursome enough to even satisfy my sweet tooth. It did have that sweet chocolatey flavour like Magic Stars, but was also creamy. To be honest I was impressed by the taste, I was half expecting to be topping up the flavour with a spoonful of instant, as I do crave a proper chocolate boost. I often make hot chocolate, sip it and then return to the kitchen to enhance the flavour, I am seriously fussy! This drink was spot on though, despite the fact it only required three teaspoons of powder.
It is a soothing drink, and one that will appeal to those of us with a sweet tooth and a love of the Milky Way chocolates. I would have loved it if they had included some sprinkles for the top - for that extra indulgence.
Oh yes, there is still one more pack of new hot chocolate sitting in the Foodstuff Finds cupboard - so don’t think the reviews on the subject will be running dry any time soon! ;-)
By Cinabar

17 February 2014

Burtons Fish and Chips (Asda) [By @Cinabar]

When Spectre said to me one evening, “Let’s have fish and chips for supper” I have to admit to expecting something a bit different to what appeared from the Foodstuff Finds cupboard. These fab snacks are going to bring about some nostalgia with some readers as they are a re-release of a classic snack from the eighties. I have to confess I am old enough to remember them, just.
First thing is first I absolutely the packaging. It is made to look like they contents are wrapped in newspaper, as per the style of proper fish and chips. There are even mock articles on the pack! The multipack contains five small bags, but they are perfect for the lunch box, the individual packs continue the newspaper theme. There are 124 calories per bag.
Inside the wrapper are small biscuit puffs shaped into fish and chip shapes. These aren’t crisps technically as they and don’t have any potato content. Now I have discovered I have a bit of a false memory in that I’m sure that these used to be fish flavoured, but clearly that is my mind playing tricks on me. I was after all rather young in the 1980s. ;-)
Anyway these Fish and Chips are salt and vinegar, and quite zingy with it too. Each one had a lovely light texture, it is firm to crunch and them seemingly melts away leaving a salty and acidic vinegar taste, which leads you to reach for another.
I like the novelty of these Fish and Chips, and think that they have an excellent taste and texture, enough to hook another generation! For those of us who are rather nostalgic about them you won’t be disappointed, and I heartily recommend picking up a multi pack so you can have some to take to work or just to have with your anti-pasta… ("Pretentious, moi?")
By Cinabar

16 February 2014

Hand-made Argan Oil Atlas Mountains, Morocco [review by @NLi10]

Often on an organised tour there will be one or two stops that you don't really think fit in, and are probably there to pad it out or provide extra retail opportunities.  This one was similar, but turned out to be fairly interesting and reviewable.

We were taken into a series of Berber buildings and given samples of an oil known as Argan Oil which is made by hand locally and then bottled and sold to tourists (as well as being done so more commercially and exported world wide.  The health benefits included eating, wearing and moisturising with the product and it had been used as the base product for all kinds of oil based products. It only does everything!

As I don't need another moisturiser in my life at the moment, and having been tempted with the lovely fresh Moroccan bread and oil dips I decided to pick up a small bottle to take home.  This worked out fairly expensive, but as the museum/experience was 'free' (well included in the tour) I didn't mind so much.

Here we see the Argan nuts (which only grow in this part of the world) and a giant grind stone apparatus which is clearly only for show.  There were ladies out the front grinding the nuts by hand which seemed to produce a reasonable amount, but I'm betting the process is a little more industrialised than they let on.

These bottles for example are definitely factory sealed and the labels are far too uniform for hand application... I know - I'm ruining the magic again, but I'm happy to subsidise small cottage industries and have no problems with those industries both scaling up to cope with demand (turns out this is a massive thing in the health and beauty sector now) and keeping a small front to show us tourists on our little bus.

Here we see our ingredients for a thai veggie curry, minus the Quorn pieces that had already be can frying in the Argan oil.  The produce itself is much like sesame seed oil in that it's a strong scent that is really, really pleasant to cook with.  You want your guests to feel hungry just by heating oil then this is for you! With a drop of balsamic as a dip this is really quite luxurious as the oil has a much stronger natural nutty flavour than say vegetable oil or sunflower which are notable for their ability to not impact on general flavour.

I tried flavouring some other sides such as noodles and rice with it as I would with my weapons grade Japanese sesame seed oil but it just didn't work so well.  This is best with breads and to give a nice nutty undertone to fried foods.

We will certainly enjoy our little bottle and then keep it as a souvenir, but I can't see this being a regular ingredient to buy.  If you end up in the foot of the Atlas mountains in Morocco then I do recomend looking out for some to try - especially if it's in a restaurant and you get to meet the great Berber people that originated it's use.

15 February 2014

Sadlers Ales: Thin Ice [Beer @SadlersAles] [By @SpectreUK]

This extra pale ale was produced by Sadlers Ales which is a favourite brewery of mine. The brewery was established in 1900 and is very close by to where I was born in the depths of the Black Country. I’ve never had a bad Sadlers beer, so I was immediately looking forward to trying out this brew. Looking at the food matching suggestions on the bottle I decided to drink this beer to wash down a Salmon Wellington with Prawn and White Wine Sauce wrapped in a crisp puff pastry by Northern Catch (courtesy of Aldi).

This pale ale was brewed with English Maris Otter barley and Green Bullet hops from New Zealand. The label mentioned aromas of orange, melon and kiwi leading to a tart citrus sensation, also pointing to a sweet malt character to dull the citrus twang followed by a bitter finish. Reading the label made me salivate. On opening I could certainly agree with the fresh citrus fruity smell, the odour had a light wheat beer after smell and hoppy bite to it. The smell didn't remind me of the usual pale ale smell, such as Marston's Old Empire; with its remanisence of meat sausage odour. So this brew didn't feel like a normal pale ale, rather like a fizzy wheat beer with a citrus kick. There was certainly a fizzy beer flavour with a wheat and barley taste initially, a citrus punch midway and sharp bitter hoppy taste at the end. Having said that this ale went very well with the fish meal. The citrus kick and bitter hops brought out the fishy taste, and the fizziness tickled my senses whilst eating. The ale also went well with the buttered potatoes and Caesar Salad too, washing the meal down in a polite complimentary fashion. This pale ale was very nice indeed, and I would have it again. It gave a sterling alternative to the Orange Peel Beer and Samuel Smith's Organic Apricot Fruit Beer for drinking with a good fishy meal. No wonder it's called Thin Ice so you can get to the fish underneath easily to wash them down with this beer!

Information on the bottle:
Extra pale ale. An extremely pale beer, finished with a hint of citrus orange hops. 4.5% volume, 500ml bottle. Cookery tip: Try this ale in beer-batter, bread or mustard. Food matching: barbecue meats, fish and Asian cuisine. Contains barley and wheat malt.
By Spectre