30 April 2015

The collective - Scottish raspberry yogurt [by @NLi10]

Here we have a large luxury live yogurt.  It wasn't that expensive, and I wanted something to eat with other things over a few days.

I chose raspberry because it's my favourite and it does well in luxury products. 

The brand seemed cool.

And the packaging was fun.

Marylin approves - look at all the fruity bits! The texture was great, thick enough to stand up on its own but soft enough to be a contrast to the fruit.  There were layers and different flavours too so the creamy yogurt and the jammier chunks of fruit made a very varied experience over the few days it took to eat.

Overall it's something I'd certainly have again, and I'd probably be happy having the same flavour too. A nice change for me from the little Asda pots, but it did require a little self control to make it last.

29 April 2015

Cadbury's (American) Dairy Milk

Hershey make Cadbury's Dairy Milk under licence in America. Recently the USA has stopped the commercial importation of Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Meaning that this American Hershey's made version is the only Cadbury's Dairy Milk available in the USA. A friend of the blog brought one back for me to try to see if I could decide whether the USA is missing out on one of my favourite chocolate bars or if they'll be okay! Half of the people in Cinabar's office couldn't tell the difference when tasting a separate bar, and the other half could, but weren't that fussed with the difference. Having said that, one person didn't like it at all, and another preferred it.

On the back of the bar there is a brief history of Cadbury, which delighted us as UK Cabury's bars don't have the history on theirs, presumably Cadbury's presume we already know... The Hershey's Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar has the royal warrant twice on the packet, but I don't know whether the Queen prefers it or not or even reads this blog. If she does, can I have a knighthood please?

Anyway, Cinabar thought that this bar is less sweet than the UK Cadbury's Dairy Milk with a slightly bitter aftertaste. She thought it was not a bad bar, but it just isn't Cadbury's! Personally I thought the bar smells just like Cabury's Dairy Milk. Yes, I smelt it. I'm a professional (LOL). The square pieces within the slab of chocolate were not rounded like the UK version and seemed more traditional in design. I could see what Cinabar meant by a slight bitterness, it initially tasted a bit like a Cadbury's Twirl, which is one of my favourite bars. The more I ate the bitterness grew and lingered a little more in the aftertaste. Still I liked this chocolate bar even if it's not completely like Cadbury's Dairy Milk, but I can see why some in the USA are craving the proper Cadbury's Dairy Milk experience.
By Spectre

28 April 2015

Toffee Crisp Honeycomb (Local Newsagent) [By @Cinabar]

We don't get many new or limited edition Toffee Crisps here. In fact in over five years of blogging here, this is the first one we've featured on this site.
Honeycomb sounded a bit more adventurous than the usual UK limited edition flavour of either caramel or salted caramel, but admittedly not much. It still sounded like it was well in the safe zone. I like honeycomb, or cinder toffee, as I like to call it.
I opened up my bar and the chocolate had melted a little inside the wrapper, this made me smile. Not the chocolate bars fault in any way but the wonderful signs that the weather might just be improving!
Im sure I've mentioned before how much I like a mix of textures in a product, well this bar lit up my world. There is a softness from the chocolate, light crispy feel from the cereal and a more defined crunch from the honeycomb pieces. I really like the feel of the bar, but also the honeycomb added an impressive flavour too. I thought it might be mild, conservative and a bit lost, but the second the wrapper was off the aroma from the honeycomb was apparent. I liked the burnt sugar flavour it added, it stood out well and worked perfectly with the chocolate. All in all I felt that although teetering on the side off safe this had just enough newness to excite me and the honeycomb edition is a much welcomed addition to the shelves. Certainly a bar I'll be picking up again.
By Cinabar

27 April 2015

Chicken Tikka Pizza (@Dominos_UK) [By @Cinabar]

Over the weekend we were thinking of ordering a takeaway. The conversation came about what to have and we settled on pizza. Little did we know that there was a new pizza on the Dominos website offering the best of the takeaways world, curry pizza! Yes this new pizza is Chicken Tikka flavoured.
The pizza is properly themed, it isn’t just a tomato sauce on top with a few bits of spicy chicken.
The base sauce is a proper Tikka flavoured one, and the toppings are; tandoori chicken, onion bhaji, tomatoes and red onions. It seemed like a nice selection of goodies and the onion bhaji pieces seemed particularly intriguing.
We choose to have the pizza delivered, which meant I got to stare at the pizza tracker intently until it arrived. I’m like a small child; calling out “it's baking!” etc. The delivery man duly came and gave us our pizza and the nachos we ordered to have on the side. I thought the pizza look nice, with a good portion of goodies on top, including plenty of chicken. The onion bhaji pieces were small.

The flavour was good, there is plenty of tomato to the base but plenty of spices too. Both the onion bhaji and the red onions give this a nice onion taste, and work really well with the spices. The chicken was moist and mildly spiced, and added to the mix of textures. I was dipping the pizza crust in the garlic dip you get with the pizza, but it would have been heaven to dip them in a themed dip such a raita. Dominos should so bring one out for this.
I’m not sure this a curry replacement by any means, but as a curry flavoured pizza you can’t go wrong. It was tasty, the spice was warming and built up as you ate giving a lovely tingle in the mouth. It is not too hot, but certainly enough for a pizza. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would order it again.
By Cinabar

26 April 2015

Hunger Breaks Hot Pots "Chip shop" Chicken Curry & Rice [@Nli10]

In the quest to find a nice lunch I've been working my way down the ready meals aisle at Asda.  This one I bought based on the flavour alone - Chip Shop Curry sauce!

Interestingly it's in the same pots as the Fray Bentos range, but with different colours and a very different recipe.  This is the very height of bachelor chow and is essentially baby food for adult males.

It doesn't need added water AND it has a very distinct flavour and is actually pretty nice.  If you have teenagers that you worry are not eating enough then get some of these for them.  It's probably the least filling of all the ones I've had so far, but not by much.  The texture is very samey and off-putting and it produced a lot of funny looks.  In fact this is very much a school-dinners kind of thing where everything is in one pot.

I didn't hate it, and would happily explore the range to find some others that may be more my thing.  I'd much rather have something from the actual chip shop, but as far as quick snacks go - this is pretty effective.  And it does taste like chip shop curry too!

25 April 2015

Hooper's Alcoholic Dandelion & Burdock (Sainsburys) [By @SpectreUK]

I haven't drunk Dandelion & Burdock for a while. I used to drink it all the time as a child and when I was growing up, and know what it's supposed to taste like and know I used to like it. Fizzy as it was and leaving a long lasting taste in my mouth, in more recent times I'd often regret drinking it as Dandelion & Burdock made everything I tried to drink or eat afterwards taste of Dandelion & Burdock. It's a little like Olbas Oil when you have a heavy cold. Daub it on a hanky and clear your nose, but everything for the rest of the day tastes of Olbas Oil. Here, possibly a little like fancying a cigar when I was younger and used to smoke, I'd generally regret starting it half the way through after I'd licked all the sugar off the end of the King Edwards, and become fed up of the smoky taste of tobacco, I'm now trying Dandelion & Burdock again, but this time there is a kick. There's booze in it...

On opening the bottle there was a pleasant energetic fizz. The aroma of Dandelion & Burdock assaulted my nostrils making me wish I hadn't left it so long to go back to a childhood haunt. The fizzy almost black liquid bubbled into my pint glass encouraging me to take a good swig. Instead I gave it another hearty sniff, with fond memories fumbling over days of mischief in my mind I then took a swig. To start with I couldn't taste the booze, only the fizz and the usual Dandelion & Burdock with fruity undertones of aniseed winning through from so many soft drinks from years gone by. Then came a kick and a not so little dizzying punch from the booze that caught the back of my throat overshadowed by a warming spice, all of which was missing from the soft drinks of the past. This is grown up Dandelion & Burdock, and don't forget it. It tastes good. It feels good as it's spices and wicked boozy kick joyously tickled my throat and other senses, and it's coming to my fridge as a regular!

Information on the bottle;
William Hooper established Hooper's in 1817. Served in a 500ml bottle at 4% volume. Sparkling, with natural flavours of Dandelion & Burdock, made by fermenting Dandelion and Burdock thistle roots.
By Spectre

24 April 2015

Wagyu Beef Burgers (Aldi) [By @cinabar]

I am a fan of Aldi and their special buys they get from time to time. I check the emails from them and when I saw that they would be stocking Wagyu Burgers I made a special visit to Aldi to pick some up.
Wagyu is a breed of cattle that is famed for the quality of its meat. It isn't a breed found that commonly due to its high maintenance costs, but it is very popular in countries like Japan where it is seen as an ultimate luxury item. It is also 100% grass fed. Some steak dinners sell in Tokyo for upwards of £50 for Wagyu beef! These Aldi Wagyu beef burgers were in a twin pack for £2.99, so a bit more down to earth and back in my budget!

The burgers are large too, they are quite thick and not a skinny portion at all. We had them with a white bun, salad and cheese and the essential splodge of ketchup. So did these burgers live up to the hype? Oh my yes. There was a fab meaty flavour, and it was one of the nicest burgers I've eaten. The taste was full on and it was an absolute pleasure to eat. The texture too was firm but givish and the burger was super juicy. It was seasoned nicely, but with a hefty shake of both salt and pepper, the burger could take it though and it added to the complexities of the flavour. It was very filling, as it was such a hefty burger but by the end we were licking our lips having thoroughly enjoyed them.
If you are a fan of beef burgers I'd recommend checking these out for a special treat, but bear in mind they are only there for a limited time only. I'm hoping to pick up another pack or two before they disappear.
By Cinabar

23 April 2015

John West Steam pot - Lemon & Thyme / Sun-dried Tomato [@NLi10]

As part of my ongoing quest to find a lunch that is something to look forwards to I picked up some healthy looking tuna pots by John West to go with my Frey Bentos & curry pots that I had.  I mainly did it out of a sense of balance and to add variety to the range.

I didn't expect these to be my favourites so far!

Spectre has reviewed the Lemon version already but that happened to be the one I'd taken pictures of.  I also had the sun dried tomato version but didn't have my phone on me that day.

In all varieties you get to pots - one of tuna and one with the cops-cous.  It's all pre sorted and has a fill line and lots of things in to make it yummy.  I prefer to make my own flavour to these sorts of things (a bag of plain cous-cous is pence and goes a really long way) but I was surprised by the quality and mix here.  Each variety not only has a different flavour for the tuna but also for the cops-cous so in theory you could mix and match the 6 varieties for 36 different lunches - but I'm guessing they paired them up correctly.

You even get a fill line and they let you in on the secret to a good pot noodle - recover it while the ingredients mingle for the best taste!  While the packaging is good it's not robust enough to be reused like the Fray Bentos one was.  All recyclable though.

Sadly no steam is actually involved (just water vapour - but not all tuna fishermen are scientists so we can let them off_ but it does all end up fluffy and cooked.

As Spectre mentioned - it fills the pot well and there really isn't room for all the tuna.  Just adding it in bits works though.

And much to my surprise it's really good.  It's filling, it has a varied texture, and it's really simple to do - you can even make it with the pre-boiled water in the drinks thing in our break room.  I didn't think that I'd be turning down the meatballs for tuna, but this is tuna done well.

I'm not sure I could replicate this either - while I can mix up my own cous and take that to work, it's the flavours in the tuna that really make this shine.

And while I was googling the varieties for the review I found a 50p off voucher. When I go for my next batch of lunches I'm getting as many of the flavours as I can (without the mushroom one).  It's neither as good as the Pieminister Pie Pots nor as expensive, but I can see myself eating this a lot more as it feels a lot better for me, is cheaper, and is much more readily available. An unexpected win.

22 April 2015

Moser Roth Madagascan Vanilla (Aldi) [By @SpectreUK]

Let me introduce you to one of my favourite white chocolate bars, it might sound a little pretentious to start with, but "Madagascan Vanilla" aside this offering from Aldi is certainly one of those great surprises. I do like white chocolate and I must admit I haven't found one I dislike. I generally have a white chocolate bar for my pudding washed down with a white hot chocolate drink whilst watching something on the box before a hot bath. One has to relax, even when they're bogged down with essays and revising for exams. This gourmet chocolate is one of those treats that make me purr. And I can't say that about just anything. Each bite gives a pleasing snap as your teeth sink in. It might be from a classic recipe and it certainly isn't new, but the Bourbon Vanilla mixes perfectly with the white chocolate to produce a creamy delicious and luxurious journey as I ride white cushions of bliss with each mouthful. It's rather difficult just to eat one bar. I usually have two, but then again I do try to go to the gym most days!

Information on the packet;
Five 25g bars at 148 calories per bar, with 10g of fat and 12g of sugar. Ingredients include; sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, skimmed milk powder, butterfat, emulsifier; soya lecithin, salt, Bourbon Vanilla extract, and ground Bourbon Vanilla. Contains milk and soya.
By Spectre

21 April 2015

KFC - New Toasted Burritos - Original [By @Cinabar]

I’ve seen the adverts about packing in more at lunch time with KFC Burritos and decided to play along. There is a KFC opposite where I work, so Spectre and I decided to treat ourselves on a lunch work break. I think the idea from the advertising campaign is that you can grab a Burrito and go, but I didn’t fancy lunch at my desk so we ate in. Spectre sneakily ordered himself a variety meal (with extra hot wings), not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to eat his favourite KFC lunch. Mister Adventure!
I stuck to the plan at least and ordered the Burrito meal, I went for the Original Recipe variety for a first try. The Zinger version did sound lovely, but I though the Original worked better as a starting point.

My Burrito came rapped in foil, and as part of the meal deal with chips and a sot drink. I carefully unwrapped it and realised that there was nowhere for the filling to fall out as it was neatly wrapped in the Burrito. I quick bite in revealed the goodies.

There was all sorts in with the chicken, rice, beans and a spicy tomato salsa. I loved the mix of flavours, and textures. I’ve discovered writing this blog that a mix of textures works really well for me. Soft Burrito, rice and the firm chicken meant I found this a pleasure to eat.
I liked that the chicken still had the distinctive KFC flavour, but that you could taste all the other ingredients too. The Burrito was surprising spicy in places, there must have been the odd bit of hot chilli in the salsa that gave a pleasing tingle. I can’t wait to go back and try the Zinger version.
I had a half an hour lunch break and my walk to and from KFC, the ordering and eating of this took up exactly the thirty minutes. I’m not sure this was packing more in as per the advert, but it was a really nice weekday treat.
By Cinabar

20 April 2015

New Cadbury Dairy Milk Puddles - Smooth Mint (WH Smiths) [By @Cinabar]

I noticed this bar when I was in the queue in WH Smiths in their offers section. I find WH Smiths to be pricey for their chocolates, but as they usually have a selection of goodies at £1 it is always worth having a look at their offers. There are often new products in that section too. I had to smile as it says something about the weather in Great Britain, that when spring beings and Cadbury’s thinks of the rain! Yes this new bar sports an umbrella on the design and is aptly named “puddles”. Mint fans will be pleased to hear that the green puddles in the bar are mint flavoured, which is a much over looked flavour in the British market.

I took the wrapper off and was rather impressed by how pretty the bar within was, it had a unique design with several double puddles laid out. The bar is a little awkward when it comes to breaking and sharing, but I still managed to divi out the pieces fairly equally.
The base chocolate is Cadbury Dairy Milk, and the puddles contain a pale green minty filling. It oozes a bit, but isn’t too runny that it’ll go everywhere. It is fairly strong, but still sweet and not too overpowering. It is fresh and minty, but not as strong as After Eights. The bar is also balanced as the chocolate doesn’t have a complete filling of mint, it is just the puddles that contain it. Each puddle therefore has a thick ridge of chocolate around it, which I really liked.

There is also a hazelnut version of this new Puddles bar available, which I’m going to have to try out next. The mint version is something a bit different, and it is nice to have a mainstream bar combining mint and chocolate. Let’s just hope the “puddles” aren’t a prediction of the weather to follow!
By Cinabar

19 April 2015

Fray Bentos Hunger Burster - Meatballs / Bolognese & Pasta [@NLi10]

In a series of lunch-time related reviews I'm exploring the options that we have for eating when the only things you have are a microwave and a kettle.  

First up was the Fray Bentos range.  This is currently on special offer in Asda and is 2 for £3 instead of £2 each - a 33% saving.  As one day's sandwich in the shop is £3 this is pretty good.

While the Fray Bentos pie I reviewed was passable it wasn't something to be too excited about.  I hoped that these would be at least similar quality.

The containers were great quality - like a can that you could microwave so perfect for eating at work. Indeed I've washed out and kept a container for future experiments.  I started off with the Meatballs and pasta one as of the two flavours chosen it seemed the one I'd like the most.

Rip off the tin lid and it looks pretty hearty.

Nuke it for the allotted time and everything sinks! Guess the sauce becomes less dense when heated. It also becomes insanely hot so allow extra time for cooling! It's certainly flavoursome, but the pasta is as expected and very tinned in taste and texture.  I was considering how similar it was to the tinned pasta and meatballs I'd have from heinz as a child and thinking that it was probably twice the price.

Overall though as I dug down I found a lot more meat than I'd found in those cans and overall I was full up by the end - even though it wasn't anything too special.

About a week later I had the bolognese flavour one - which didn't have the meatballs but did have a much superior taste.

I couldn't identify what the difference was in the ingredients but as I was similarly full I think I'd pick this one up in future first - but both are something I plan to have again until they start serving meals at work again.  And if it keeps me off the £3.75 meal deals I'm saving £2.25 a day on the special offer price - result!

18 April 2015

Thai Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass & Coriander Crisps (@KETTLEChipsUK) [By @SpectreUK]

These Spring and Summer Seasonal Edition Thai Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass & Coriander Kettle Chips were presented in the usual big sharing bag (or Movie Bowl Edition for greedy-guts like me). Not keen on lemongrass Cinabar wanted me to try these crisps first. Too much lemongrass can make crisps taste a little like crunchy washing-up liquid, but with over thirty years experience of making crisps Kettle Chips have never let me down. I do love Thai food and with fresh flavours of coriander, sweet chilli and lemongrass these crisps sounded like a perfect combination. To help with the Oriental flavours I had a mug of green tea with my lunch and the crisps in a big bowl. I also thought these crisps would complement the sunny day outside washed down with a cold American beer from the fridge and a Key Lime Pie for afters for a nod to Kettle Chips heritage.

I was pleased by the spicy sweet chilli smell on opening the crisps with a lighter lemongrass and coriander odour, with mixed herbs and a little ginger in the background. On first crunchy taste the flavours from the smell seemed to wash in fresh waves like a friendly lapping sea upon a sandy beach on bright sunny day. The dominant chilli woke the senses with the lemongrass lightly complementing the flavour instead of scaring it away. No washing-up liquid flavour here, just pure Thai bliss. Each crisp yielded a slightly different flavour too. There was more tomato in some, there was paprika, onion, ginger and varying herby strengths of cumin, coriander and oregano. Rarely can I pick such fresh and healthy tasting flavours in a packet of crisps. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is what I believe Thai crisps should taste like. They went superbly with my fishy tuna sandwich, washed down with the Tap Room IPA beer and then the Key Lime Pie just rounded off the whole experience. Well done Kettle Chips. Make this a regular. These crisps would be ideal for a spicy treat on a sunny day with all the family and or friends around in the garden for a nibbles buffet with some other spicy treats from the Deli Counter.

Information on the packet;
150g packet at 517 calories per 100g, with 30.5g of fat and 1.6g of sugar. No artificial MSG, colours or flavours. Ingredients included; potatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, rice flour, dried onion, sea salt, yeast extract, dried garlic, dried tomato, coriander, ginger, galangal, star anise, chilli, cumin, oregano, citric acid, chilli extract, capsicum extract, paprika extract, lemongrass flavouring, and coriander extract.

17 April 2015

Burger, Fries and Diet Orange Coke - Review (@FiveGuysUK) [By @Cinabar]

The Five Guys in Birmingham is fairly new. It is my nearest branch of Five Guys but as I don’t go to Birmingham that often it is still pretty far away. I have seen it before but have to admit to wandering past, confused by its expensive sounding prices. I don’t mind spending £10+ on a burger and chips meal, but one thats served in a paper bag and foil wrapper just didn’t sound reasonable to me.
One of the people who works with my mum tried out this Five Guys and came back raving about quality of the food and the “crazy drinks machine” and I knew I had to try it out. She had me at crazy drinks machine if I’m honest. Apparently there are over one hundred drinks to choose from!

The restaurant is nicely themed, with plenty of fun quotes on the windows adding to the atmosphere. There were plenty of seats spread out on two levels, including several booths. We found a table even on a busy lunch time, but I think we may have been lucky as the place was packed just thirty minuted later. It isn’t waitress service, so I went over to the till to place our orders, which feels very fast food like despite the highish prices. I went for a burger and chips with a soft drink from the crazy dispenser. My mum went for a hot dog chips and soft drink. The lady at the till suggested we share a chips but I went for separate ones as I couldn’t judge the amount we’d get. The menu is very customisable at Five Guys, with a good selection of additional items at no extra cost. I liked that idea, but as it was a first try I stuck to the safe cheese, lettuce, tomato and ketchup for my taste test.

I was given a couple of paper cups and an order number and went round the corner to wait for my food. First thing I noticed was there was far more than Five Guys sorting out the food, there was a small army, and it was fun to watch them work as they were tightly working in unison. While I was waiting I decided to fill the drinks cups and see what all the fuss was about. There are two machines in the branch and as one was free I had a little time to play, I was testing options then pressing cancel before selecting just to see what I could get. I choose Diet Orange Coke, because I’ve never had it before but I know that I like Lime Coke. My mum went for a Raspberry Lemonade.

Once I’d sorted that out it wasn’t long before my order number was called and I was given a paper bag. This is probably the most disappointing part, nothing says non-premium like a brown paper bag. I headed back to the table and had a look at the goodies within. The hot dog and burger came wrapped in foil, and there was a chip mountain in the bag. There were two small cups of chips, but the extras in the bottom of the bag were very generous. We couldn’t finish them!

As I unwrapped my burger I munched on a chip and was taken aback. The chip was perfectly cooked, and pre-salted. The texture was almost crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy inside. They are cooked with the skins on which meant they had a full potato flavour too, and were very impressive.
The burger was up next and again, it was spot on. The beef was full flavoured and juicy. It is one of the nicest burgers I’ve eaten, I just wasn’t expecting such quality. The salad was crispy and the bread soft and fresh, it may look like fast food, but it certainly tastes better than a lot of restaurant burgers I’ve eaten! Now onto the Orange Coke, it was fab, I was smiling as I drank it. The sweet citrus tones were prefect with the base flavour. Of course next time I’m having something different, probably the Raspberry Coke. Frankly I’ve got a hundred combinations to work through, and I’m thinking of putting a spread sheet together… err, too far?
Anyway my mum loved her hot dog with ketchup, mustard and onions and said she was very impressed with the place. In conclusion the meal was worth every penny, and I seriously can’t wait to go back.
By Cinabar

16 April 2015

Waitrose cheese gift set with black charcoal hearts [by @NLi10]

Ah - lovely lovely Waitrose - is there anything they don't sell?  For Christmas I got this lovely cheese gift set with a slate, and some onion relish with a box of Thomas Fudge Deep Black Charcoal Hearts. Now sure - I despise cheese in all its forms - but I do have a partner who loves it so this was a gift for us both.

I got my partner to take the pictures so expect more stylish shots than usual and a particular regard for the packaging design. I still can't rotate pictures on the iPhone though...

I think the take home message here is that a few nibbles make friendships grow, but too many nibbles and you've got rotten soggy turnips. And by the looks of things a mid-air collision between two swifts.

Here we see the charcoal biscuits lovingly peaking out of the box. You can't quite tell that they are heart shaped but they are.  Black hearts isn't a combination that I'd have instantly though of but they do look striking and have a good surface area.

And here is the finished composition. The cheese eater did like it, but she preferred the cheese and the Wilkin & Son relish to the biscuits.

I had mine without cheese and did like the combination.  The biscuits were quite hard (in a good way) and had a plesant snap to them. We haven't finished the box yet though so we can't be craving charcoal too much.  I think the best word for them is gormet - you don't want this for lunch at work, but as a nice indulgent snack it was very welcome.

15 April 2015

Pick Up! Black 'n White Biscuits (Sainsburys) [By @SpectreUK]

These Black 'n White Pick Up! biscuits have a white chocolate bar set between two milk chocolate flavoured biscuits. Been as though I like white chocolate so much, Cinabar passed me these to try. On opening the packet I first noticed how crumbly the outside dark brown chocolate sandwich biscuit was. This is not a biscuit to eat in bed if you're that way inclined. So I had to get out of the bed pretty quickly before I received a stern telling off!

There was a slimline piece of white chocolate that ran beween the two biscuits much like the shiny picture on the front of the packet, but fortunately not that shiny as I'd start to wonder what made the sheen. Although not eating it in a particularly well lit room I was still relieved of the matt biscuit and white chocolate. The hard white chocolate centre made eating the already crumbly biscuit even more crumbly in an over exaggerated super crumbly way making me wish I'd used a plate. Now I will probably have to get the Hoover out. The biscuit itself (once I'd stopped panicking over the crumbs) tasted great. There was the crumbly milk chocolate outer sandwich biscuit taste to start with, and then the creamy inner white chocolate merged with this flavour to present a lipsmackingly luxurious creamy milk chocolatey aftertaste that made me want another biscuit. These Pick Up! biscuits are perfect for a lunchbox, or afternoon snack with a coffee or pot of tea, and especially if you're having a meeting at work with four other people. Just don't forget some plates!

Information on the packet;
Produced by Bahlsen in Germany. Five in a pack. Per 28g bar there are 146 calories, with 7.6g of fat and 10g of sugar. Ingredients included; white chocolate (34%), milk chocolate (10%), sugar, wheat flour, cocoa butter, palm oil, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, low fat cocoa powder, glucose syrup, clarified butter, skimmed milk powder, salt, raising agents; sodium carbonates, diphosphates, emulsifier; lecithins (soya); ground hazelnuts; flavouring (milk), whey products, starch (wheat), acidulant; citric acid; and hen's egg yolk powder.
By Spectre

14 April 2015

Mentos Choc & Caramel (WH Smiths) [By @Cinabar]

To be honest I wasn’t sure these were a new a product when I first bought them. I have never seen them before, and I really ought to learn to trust my instinct, but there was no “New” label and there was a note on the packaging saying they were produced in Russia. I put them down initially to just being an import. However the packaging is all in English and they were bought in a very mainstream shop which is not known for its imports. So I think it safe to say they are a new product in Smiths at least which just came with little fanfare. I had them on my desk at work, and people kept asking about them so they are certainly knew to some. I opened them up and shared some with my colleagues.

I was disappointed that the sweets didn’t have the usually Mentos hard shell, in fact the coating was just a thick soft chewy toffee. The shell is one of the feature of Mentos you sort expect to be maintained with all its varieties. The filling was nice, it burst with a hit of chocolate and cocoa, that tasted quite strong and went well with the caramel. These are nice, easy to eat sweets. They are essentially just ├ęclairs though, and don’t really bring much new to the sector. I preferred them slightly to Cadbury ├ęclairs as they are softer, but at 70p a packet it is far better to buy the larger bag of Cadburys for £1.
By Cinabar

13 April 2015

Rolo Dark Dessert (OCado) [By @cinabar]

I was quite excited to see the new Rolos Dark last week, reviewed here. We don’t get a lot of new product from Rolo, it is a firmly established brand but not one we associate with new or limited editions. There is however a Rolo dessert, and now a new Dark Rolo Dessert! This makes me think that the Rolo Dark might be here to stay for a while, otherwise I don’t think they’d go to trouble of making this new parallel product.
I like the regular Rolo desserts so I added these new ones to my Ocado order the moment I saw them online. Inside the pots are two layers, one is a caramel and one a dark chocolate. The caramel layer takes up the majority of the pot with chocolate making up what is effectively a topping.

The caramel section is the same as used in the regular Rolo dessert. It is sweet with rich toffee tones, and very easy to eat. Both layers are smooth, not like a mousse, but they do feel pleasantly thick and silky. The chocolate topping is nice, although it looks darker the flavour wasn’t that much stronger than the regular edition in terms of cocoa. Maybe it was hard to tell, the caramel section does take up a large proportion. It was slightly stronger and that made the contrast in flavours better for me, but it wasn’t as dark as it could have been. Having said that I will buy these again as I enjoy Rolo desserts and they were very enjoyable.
By Cinabar

12 April 2015

Heck - "We do damn good sausages!" (Asda) [by @NLi10]

My local Asda doesn't do many gourmet choices - and when they do I like to support them.  These were bought with only a day or so left on the use by - and they had quite a few left - so I suspect that this was my one shot at trying these.

Created by the catchily named (like all small brands should be) Heck it sounds like almost begrudging surprise that anyone is buying them, or that theres a darn tooting western theme that I'm not spotting.
That aside, with the self aggrandising product name of "we do damn good sausages" I figured that these pudgy little beasts would be pretty filling and of a high quality.  Indeed being gluten free means that it's not just going to be full of cereals and should be pretty meaty.

This bit of the box reminded me of Pieminister and all the other Indy food brands - a great victory for clean design on packaging.

The fat little sausages sizzle sweetly and browned nicely. I used a nice low heat and just left them to get on with it while i did the washing up.

I also discovered a mutant double tomato in my plum tomatoes. Superfoods indeed.

All combined together with some wormy udon noodles it made for a nice balanced meal.  I was pleasantly surprised by the meatiness and flavours, and there wasn't much in the way of herbs and whatnot in there to get in the way of the flavour.  I added some relish to the top after I'd taken the pictures and found three sausages to be very filling - I could have probably managed on just two.

These are a very good buy and I'll look out for them in future.  Heck, I'd certainly try other stuff by the same people too!