31 January 2017

Oreo Doughnut (Asda) By @Cinabar

I don’t get to go to Asda that often, it is a little further away from home than the other supermarkets, but every so often I make the effort with items for Foodstuff Finds in mind. I managed to pick up quite a few things on my last visit I hadn’t seen before and as I was walking passed the bakery section, this was the final item to make its way into my trolley. How could I resist an Oreo Doughnut, where biscuit meets spongey goodness.
As it happened I hadn’t realised that in the wrapped paper bag there were actually two Oreo Doughnuts, so I had accidentally purchased twice the amount that I needed… these thing happen! The doughnut is dark in colour, and is covered in a white icing, decorated with Oreo biscuit bits. These are a lot softer than the crunchy biscuit you get in the pack but do have the full flavour experience.

The doughnut is a fantastic chocolatey treat, the sponge is fluffy and moist, and the chocolate flavours are good and rich. The best part is the filling inside the ring doughnut of Oreo stuff, for me this was the bit part as made it most taste like an Oreo biscuit. It just worked like magic. As it turns out I was very pleased to have discovered that I have another doughnut for tomorrow, a treat I’m already looking forward to.

30 January 2017

Butterscotch Brulée Latte (Starbucks) By @Cinabar

On such a wet day I fancied trying out the new drink in Starbucks, the Butterscotch Brulée Latte to warm me up. I have a very sweet tooth, and thought this was going to hit the spot. It promised Butterscotch and sugary goodness. The drink consists of an espresso topped up with hot steamed milk and butterscotch sauce. There are a brulée sprinkles on top too. The brulée sprinkles weren't particularly generous on my drink (as you can see), and I couldn’t really pick up on the flavour of them at all unfortunately. They are not designed to be served on cream, the picture on the Starbuck's menu board showed it straight on top of the coffee, but I think cream would have helped stop the sprinkles disappearing into the coffee and it would have made them a bit more prominent.
The flavour of the drink was distinctly mild, there wasn’t a big sugar rush; the butterscotch taste was mild and added just a nice bit of sweetness. I found it tasted similar to a coffee with brown sugar in it, rather than a special treat for a cold wet day.
It was a smooth drink, with a (unanticipated) gentle hit of sweetness. Over all it was very pleasant. My sweet tooth wasn’t overwhelmed or over excited though, but I still enjoyed my coffee. Lucky I had my marshmallows on a stick to add the sweetness. I wonder if it had been made by a different barista there would have been more generous sauce and sprinkles, I do worry about the consistency in some of the drinks. I had one Pumpkin Spice Latte in the same branch that was so overpowering it was almost undrinkable.

29 January 2017

Meiji Green Tea Biscuits (well Oreos) by @NLi10

Happy Chinese New Year! What better way to celebrate than to eat a Japanese imitation of an American classic. 

Unlike most Oreo snacks this isn't official, and even doesn't really play to the strengths of Meiji - wafers and cream.  That said, the creme in here is pretty darn good, if not as sweet as that associated with their rolls.

Look at that fun texture! The biscuit was fresh and crunchy, but not quite Oreo quality, and the green tea wasn't all that strong but had a nice flavour and felt at least authentic.  You don't get many to a box, but they were not too pricey. Not something I'd chase , but an enjoyable snack and a nice way to blend cultures inappropriately. 

28 January 2017

Montana Beer (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Although I've never been to America myself, I've heard that Montana is very famous for it's natural beauty. It also says so on the bottle label and the photos on Google are outstanding. Anyway, this American style ale was named after the state and has rye crystals added in the brewing to give it its distinctive red colour. It has Galaxy Hops added to give it a passion fruit twang and Imperial malt to give the flavour of the ale more depth. Brewed by Griffon Brewery in South London and at 4.5% volume this beer has a fruity hoppy smell to it on opening. Pouring it into my waiting beer glass I could well understand why they sell this beer on its red hue. It would be difficult to say it leans towards amber or brown, as it really is quite red in colour. The fruity Galaxy Hops knocked me for six on first taste. There is an initial heavy bitter passion fruit flavour to this beer, and it's glorious. The Imperial malt smoothed out the flavour soon afterwards into rich malted goodness. Mmm… this beer transports me to breathing in fresh clean country air on the top of one of the big rugged mountains overlooking a beautiful forest and lake. Ah, Montana, will have to go there someday. I suspect they'll have their own beer, but I wouldn't mind taking one or two of these just in case…

27 January 2017

New Pick Up Minis Choco and Milk (Bahlsen) By @Cinabar

These new biscuits from Bahlsen are in the format of a “mini” biscuit, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that they are small. They are individually wrapped, so handy for lunch boxes or on the go snacks. We previously wrote aboute regular chocolate Choco and Milk Pick Ups here.

So although Bahlsen has had Pick-Ups out before these new ones are smaller and come in a new variety Choco and Milk. The biscuit is a double layer filled with both a chocolate and milk based filling. You can’t actually see the milk section unless you break the biscuit, as it is totally surrounded by the milk chocolate. There is plenty of chocolate in between.

The biscuits had a good crunch and the filling was surprisingly dominant. The biscuit flavour was buttery and creamy, but this was enhanced by the milk section of the filling. It tasted a little like mixing both white and milk chocolate, which is actually a rather lovely combination. Cocoa goodness, with a soft creamy edge.
I enjoyed a couple of these with a nice coffee, they seemed the perfect afternoon treat, and a nice pick up(!) in this cold weather.
Did I mention that the biscuits are small, as I’m not great at portion control I think I’ll find myself packing two into my lunch box. One is nice, but two is better. ;-)

26 January 2017

Perry Court Farm: Air Dried Apple Crisps (by @NLi10)

As usual, a trip to Holland & Barrett results in me finding some tasty snacks to try. In an effort to not just keep reviewing crisps I picked up these air dried apple crisps from Perry Court Farm which look a little healthier than fried potato.

While there are two different flavours this is seemingly just down to the colour of Apple used - the ingredients are literally just apple.  And the bag inside looks like this.

The tangy flavour is green apples, sharp and exciting, the sweetflavour is red apples, warm and inviting. both taste authentically of apples.  They are also surprisingly juicy and crispy too. In a pinch id prefer the green bag, but both are very edible and when offered to people who like apples the bag goes down very quickly.

25 January 2017

Mr Porky Finest Quality Pork Scratchings (Sainsbury’s) By @SpectreUK

I bought these pork scratchings to have in the hotel room whilst holidaying in York. Little did I know that they were from just down the road near us in Wolverhampton made in the Black Country. I've tried Mr Porky's Pork Crunch before, but not his Finest Quality Pork Scratchings. The packet states that these pork scratchings are made with a traditional recipe "for the connoisseur". Well, I certainly like pork scratchings and have tried plenty of types in the past, so was more than eager to pick up the challenge.

On opening the packet there was a heavenly super salty pork scratching smell. Each pork scratching had a superior crunch that would deafen any nearest person who was trying to concentrate on their afternoon paper over a beer or better still Cinabar whilst watching an atmospheric TV programme. I always get funny looks from her when I eat pork scratchings during late night TV time. These pork scratchings from Mr Porky are perfect. Perfect crunch, perfect salty porky taste, and I'm sure they'd go perfectly with a pint of ale. I just need to go and find a bottle opener…

Information on the packet;
The 45g bag had a suggested 22.5g serving having 141 calories, 10.5g of fat, 0.4g of sugar and 11.1g of salt. Made with 315g raw pork rind per 100g of pork scratchings. Ingredients included; pork rind, pork fat, salt, monosodium glutamate, hydrolysed soya protein, rusk (wheat flour and salt), and dextrose.

24 January 2017

Payne's Milk Chocolate Honeycomb (Pound World) By @Cinabar

I found these chocolates in Pound World and thought that I didn’t recognise the bag. I wasn’t sure if they were new, or just something made by Payne's that I hadn’t seen before. I picked them up and when I got home checked their website and couldn’t see them listed there at all. So I’m not actually any wiser as to whether or not they are new, as they have no new label, but they are new to me, which is good enough.
I opened up the bag and poured out the contents, the first thing to note is that there are a lot of chocolates in the bag, it really is quite a big portion. The chocolate also vary quite a bit in size, from large chunky pieces to small bits. This is contrast to Payne’s most famous confectionary, Poppets, where all are equal sizes.
The chocolates are a mix of toffee honeycomb and chocolate. The larger pieces seem to be several pieces of honeycomb stuck together with chocolat in-between and all around them. I liked the flavour, the honeycomb is pleasingly sweet and flavoursome and the chocolate is thick enough to add lots of cocoa flavour. Crunching through them is fun, and I enjoyed munching my way through my portion. I liked the mixed texture and the sweet rich honeycomb taste. These Payne's Milk Chocolate Honeycomb may have launched without much of a fanfare, but if you see them I recommend picking up a bag.

23 January 2017

Kettle Chips - Baked Camembert and Oak Smoked Garlic (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

This new and limited edition crisps flavour from Kettle Chips sounded like it would be quite a punchy variety, and a great alternative to tradition cheese and onion crisps. Essentially they upped the cheese to a stronger camembert and the onion to smoked garlic. I couldn’t wait!
I opened up the bag and was a little disappointed to find that the aroma was quite mild, barely cheesy at all if I’m honest. Baked Camembert with crusty bread is one of my favourite starters in a restaurant, and I love that the cheese normally has such a strong, but creamy, flavour.
I tried one of these crisps and found them a bit nondescript. They were mildly cheesy, and I couldn’t pick up on garlic very much, never the distinction of it being oak smoked. Their mild taste meant that they were easy to eat, and not a flavour that would put anyone off. If you are sharing with friends this might be a blessing. Connoisseurs wanting a strong Camembert flavour, dripping in smokey garlic might just go and dip these into a proper camembert cheese to enhance the taste.

22 January 2017

Wahaca soft taco kit - tomato & smoky chipotle (by @NLi10)

We reviewed a Wahaca meal kit last year, and so we thought we'd take another step up the schoville scale and try the medium heat kit.

This is a smoky chipotle kit, which instantly makes it different to the lush green salsa of the mild kit, and closer to the Old El Passo meal kits. Well, except for the lush yellow corn tortillas!

This time I came prepared. We have TWO little lettuces and tomato as the kit suggests. Did I forget the sour cream? Maybe. Didn't really matter too much, we can use a dash of mayo.

Same as before - marinade with one pack and then cook in the sauce.

Separate the meat (quorn) and fry up the yellow disks as recommended by a comment on the last review (see we do read them!)

And then do your best to artistically make little wraps!

Or kind of just pile it all up like I did.

And so how does it compare? As before there are a lot of flavours going on here to be played with. Yes it's a little more firey (and a lot more smokey) but there are flavours that shine through too. The s salad helped to tune out the heat, but it was never oppressive.  I think I maybe preferred the novelty of the sweet green salsa in the mild version. I will have this again though - but first we have to rave the hot variety...

21 January 2017

Flying Scotsman (The National Railway Museum) By @SpectreUK

We stayed in York for a few days this week. Last time we visited was around fifteen years ago, and we went to the Pink Castle, the York Castle Museum, the York Minster and walked along the city wall, completely missing out on The National Railway Museum. Well, this time I dragged Cinabar straight there on the first day and was certainly not disappointed. Back to the wall the next day, as it just has to be walked!

Whilst wondering around looking at Royal Carriages and famous engines such as the Mallard, and my favourite type of Warship Class Diesel. In the workshop they had the Sir Nigel Gresley in bits and there next to him was probably one of the most famous engines; the Flying Scotsman. I was a little choked at first because the Flying Scotsman was recently finished in full working order and toured the country in 2016. I desperately wanted to see it on the tracks, but was either at work or doing something else when it was in the area. My dad was also wanting to go and see it, and I kind of wish we'd made the effort, as he recently lost a fairly short and brutal fight against cancer. Anyway, there it was, the Flying Scotsman in a workshop staring back at me. Not much of a train geek myself, I also out-geeked an old train spotter who was pointing at the coal tender for the Gresley and saying to his equally geekish friend that it was for the Mallard. In stepped Spectre to put him right… Ooh… he didn't like it! I didn't want to tell him, but I'd already seen the Mallard with its tender outside the workshop and there was a picture of the Gresley on what was left of the frame, which looked exactly like the Mallard!

Cinabar spotted this 3.6% volume Flying Scotsman ale in the museum shop from the York Brewery. This golden beer was hopped with English Challenger hops and Slovinian grown Styrian Goldings. There was a fruity zesty citrus smell from the hops on opening the beer. I was surprised it had survived the train ride home without being a little shaken. The beautiful golden ale shined like the super polished engines in the museum. On first taste I had to agree with the label. This beer is light, fruity and refreshing. There are initial hints of grapefruit from the hops followed by the pale and sweet crystal malts into the aftertaste. Mmm… Proper bitter from up North, perfect with fish and chips or just enjoyed on its own with a good book or newspaper.

20 January 2017

Maple Bacon Jam (The Sweet Beet @TheSweetBeetUK) By @Cinabar

We got sent this jar of Maple Bacon Jam before Christmas to try, and have been looking for a moment to give the taste test. It was from the lovely folks at The Sweet Beet. It is a mix of savoury and sweet, with maple syrup and bacon at its heart, like any proper American breakfast. It is still called a jam, but I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to have it straight on toast.

We decided to have it on the side of some cheese, biscuits, gherkins etc, and thought we’d see how it would fit in. The product has a good bacon aroma, and smells really quite pleasant. I tried a little on its own and the flavour is superb, every meat lovers dream. There is a lovely rich hit of salty bacon, followed by the hint of maple syrup with its sweetness just toning down the bacon. The product may not be that much to look at but in flavour it's a little dream. I liked the texture too, not too bitty, and fairly smooth. We noticed how well it went with cheese, so we have also tried this on cheese sandwiches, which is where I think it works the best. The flavours just work so well together, cheese, bacon, a little bit of sweet and a little bit of savoury, pure heaven. Let’s face it, wouldn’t every sandwich benefit from a little more bacon.

19 January 2017

Macha Green Tea Collon (by @NLi10)

Is there anything that Glico don't make these days? The kings of Pocky keep finding new things to add goo to the outside or inside of and repackaging them so I have to review them.

Today's case in point is the amusingly named Matcha Green Tea Collin (it is a bit like colon - ha!) and I guess it's probably intended to be column. This is basically a wafer tube with the goo on the inside but much bigger and cut into sections.

You get a decent sized bag of them so it's not disappointing when you find out that travel hasn't been kind to them and the wafers are a bit bashed about. Broken biscuits taste the same though so what are these like?

While fairly unnexciting to look at they do pack a surprising punch. Snacking on these during the work day is sure to get you fired up in a 'let's run home!' kind of way. The wafer makes the green tea taste sweet and means it's not too oppressive for regular tastes - but there is a decent Macha buzz to be found here and the lovely heavy aftertaste that I crave.

While I'm not sure it's safe to give these to children or people without willpower as eating a whole box could be a bit too much macha in one go, I'm more than happy to split these over a few days and stay motivated for longer with the recreationally sensational taste and tingle of tea.

18 January 2017

Sanpellecrino Aranciata Rossa [Blood Orange] (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

This Sanpellecrino Aranciata Rossa or fizzy Blood Orange drink sounded like a refreshing treat, and with Cinabar’s Mom constantly cranking up the boiler and blasting me with the heating I certainly need it! It’s made with part orange juice and blood orange juice. And at 135 calories per 330ml can, it’s pretty good for you and should give you a boost during the day, especially with its vitamin C qualities to help fight off these wretched colds I keep getting. On opening the can there was a pleasant fizz from the sparkling juice drink inside. The pinkish liquid tasted slightly of blood orange with normal orange juice as the dominant flavour. So you could say that this tangy drink was sparkling orange juice with an added blood orange twang! Whoosh goes the overheated Spectre trying to chill out from the overheated house.

17 January 2017

Apple and Blackberry Clusters (Boots) By @Cinabar

I’m still playing ball with this January is healthy thing and have accidentally fallen into the trap of lower calories products. Oh for the new releases of Easter chocolate, my sweet tooth cannot wait!
In the meantime I picked up these. Apple and Blackberry Clusters from Boots, in the hope that something sweet might be tasty and yet ultimately fruit based.

The clusters are balls of some sort of cereal based fruit snack. I got distracted by the texture far more than I should have, but they are just so odd. Not interesting and varied, I mean odd. They feel like they have been freeze dried, but aren’t quite crisp enough, but they are hard too. Then when you bite in you get this unpleasant crunch that goes soft and sticky really quickly. I couldn’t get passed this, I did not like the texture at all. The fruit flavours were nice, they were natural tasting and there was plenty of zingy blackcurrant. The apple softens the taste, and if it were just for the flavours I would have enjoyed them. The texture lost me, and it had me wishing I had a select few pieces of fruit to munch on instead. Or a Mars bar… I’m not good at this healthy January lark.

16 January 2017

Forest Feast - Belgian Dark Chocolate Banana [By @Cinabar]

Trying the January healthy fruit theme I thought I’d give this Forest Feast Belgian Dark Chocolate Banana pieces a try. Now I know it mentions chocolate, but I still thought it sounded a little bit healthier… ok the Belgian Chocolate part swayed me in.
I decided to open up the bag and tuck in one afternoon at work. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I assumed a slice of freeze dried banana and a coating of milk chocolate.

The chunks were bigger than I thought they would be, these are big pieces of banana, in chocolate and they are cocoa dusted. Now I have to admit they are not attractive to look at, in fact they are a bit ugly, but put this aside because all is forgiven on the flavour.
Thankfully the banana wasn’t hard of freeze dried, and was actually firm but still soft. This is useful as the size of some of the pieces means that you have to eat them in more than one bite. I wasn’t expecting the cocoa dusting, it looked pretty but I was at work and could feel the cocoa sprinkling on my paperwork… oops.
All in all these were delicious though. The chocolate is the most dominant flavour and they had just a mild flavour of the fruit. They tasted like a banana flavoured fudge wrapped in cocoa goodness. These felt so much more naughty than the fruity treat I’d planned. There was still banana in there, and I’m standing by that!

15 January 2017

Meiji Choco Baby (by @NLi10)

Sometimes snacks don't look like snacks. Occasionally this is deliberate, but un this case I don't think it was.

Meiji here have a large packet of Choco Baby - which look like spares for a board game. You can play Risk with these, you can use them as counters on Magic cards. And then you can freak people out by eating them!

They are the kind of fondant chocolate that sticks to the outside of Pocky sticks (not Meiji, but Glico). They have a waxy exterior and don't really melt, until you bite into them. Nice, but a little unusual, and great for putting out during board game night!

14 January 2017

Big Wave Beer (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I'd like to take this opportunity to give every reader a big wave (pun intended) and a happy new year! I know we're a little way into January now, but it doesn't hurt to appreciate everyone who takes a few moments a day to read our blogs. So, thank you! Having said that, it's freezing cold here in the UK, with driving icy winds and icy rain. I appreciate it's not nearly as cold and life hard fought as many places in the world, but it doesn't mean I can't pick up an American golden ale from Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii, and wish I was there on a sandy beach watching hula championships, beach volley ball and the big waves hit the beach. I'm sure I'd probably have a go on a surfboard too, but I wasn't able to stand up on one last time I had a go when I was a lad.

Served in a 355ml bottle this 4.4% volume golden ale practically begged me to hop on a plane before opening. Big Wave has a very herby hoppy smell to it that tickled my nose hairs. On pouring the shining golden sheen to the beer made me dream of hot summer afternoons and forget the cold outside. This is a refreshing beer. I know I've had plenty of beers in my time that were refreshing, but the label on the bottle screams "refreshing", the hoppy bitter smell taps you on the nose and says "Aloha, refreshing", and the flavour washes over the tastebuds like a big glorious wave of refreshingness transporting me away to some far off sunny beach. The hops keep on giving masses of flavour almost from the initial malty slightly sweet flavour as your tongue awaits the hoppy wave like a surfboard awaiting the foam. Gosh what a splash of herbal hoppy flavour, there is still underlying sweetness here from the caramel and pale malts as each work together to lift your feet up onto your tongueboard as you ride the refreshing crest of hops right into the aftertaste. Mmm… refreshing! Now, where's the barbeque?

13 January 2017

Not Dogs (Birmingham) By @Cinabar #sausageselfie #meatywithoutthemeat

I watched Dragons Den last weekend, and watched as two ladies delivered a pitch all about a new meat free Hot Dog called the Not Dogs. They had sold them on the road and at festivals etc and they had been so successful that they were setting up a new restaurant in Birmingham Bull Ring, which is when my ears perked up. I was due to be having lunch in Birmingham this week and this helped me decided on where we should eat.
I’m not actually vegetarian, but people are also eating less meat for health reasons. It is January, so I have friends that are trying to go vegan for the month, as well as cutting back on bad for you foods. Not Dogs hot dogs (!) have vegan options too.

So Not Dogs are all about their exclusive vegetarian sausage, and they dress this up on the menu with wonderful sounding toppings. I liked the sound of the selection, and all of the creations, and eventually decided on a Kickin' Katie Nacho Dog. I went to order at the till and the customer services was superb, friendly and nice, they lady that served me told me all about the food and the restaurant, and had total enthusiasm for the product. I had with my Not Dog hot dog, a latte (and was asked if I wanted regular or soya milk) and a side order of Waffle Fries.
We sat down and our food was brought over to us, my hot dog looked a little pale, and that was pretty much the only clue to it being meat free. It was generously topped with guacamole, nacho bits and some chillis (which weren’t too hot). The guacamole and hot dog went surprisingly well together and the flavours complemented each other well. It was a fun lunch, although I went for plastic cutlery as the amount of topping on the Not Dog scared the new jumper I was wearing. The Not Dog tasted meaty, and was satisfying to eat, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The fries were a nice addition, we had one portion to share between two. They were tasty, and nice and turned it into more of a meal.

I had a sneaky taste of the burger too, and that was outstanding. The burger was very close (except perhaps very slightly softer) to tasting like a juicy beef burger, and the Not Dog relish was delicious.
My only criticism of the place is that they seemed to have gone a little too minimalistic in style within the restaurant. Yes it is a fast food restaurant, but it still needed a few more tables and chairs. A little more theming would make it more of a place to go in an evening too, rather just somewhere nice to grab a quick lunch.
If you are just grabbing a quick lunch, and they do take out too, and you won’t be disappointed.

12 January 2017

Jelly Belly Pancakes And Maple Syrup (by @NLi10)

As part of a gift package from my parents of import foods I was given these Jelly Belly ( G lie Bee Lie) Pancakes and Maple Syrup flavoured beans.

After the amount of horrible, awkward flavours I'd eaten over New Years I figured that this couldn't offend my senses too much. And mostly I was right!

As usual you get a decent amount of beans in the bag, but contrary to my personal tastes they are all the same kind. The smell is pretty intense and it's kind of like spilling maple syrup on the counter, only sweeter and more offensive. Jelly Belly are the kings of the flavoured beans and they know that the smell is most of the appeal, but my goodness this is a strong one (and the reason I delayed opening).

As for the taste - it's more like what you'd expect - mostly maple syrup. I'm not sure how they would capture pancake without topping, but it's not detectable here. And they are edible. Not wow let's have more compulsive, but you can eat a few. And most people will try one too, but few have more than about three.

The Jelly Bean mascot seems fairly pleased with himself, but I'm not sure anyone needs a big bag of these. This small bag will get eaten eventually, but if it was mixed with three or four other American Breakfast treats (heck there is already a hint of coffee here) then it'd be quite interesting. As it is, other than making my office smell like maple syrup, it's not really successful.

11 January 2017

Twix Bites (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

I do like a Twix on the evening for pudding with a cup of black coffee to wash it down with, so these Twix Bites seemed like a good idea. They come in a re-sealable bag for several nights' snacks or for sharing. I'm a bit of a greedy fellow (you may have noticed)… well, actually a very greedy. I'm like a teddy bear in a chocolate shop. Sharing isn't a word I use very often, unless I don't like something… Then I can be very generous indeed. In fact Cinabar knows me of old and knows that if I try to offer someone a sweet or crisp then they will unlikely like it also.

I greedily tore open the packet to find a multitude of mini Twixs, which were about half an inch long, the thickness of a normal Twix, and packed into the tight space. It wouldn't have been much use taking a photo of the inside of the bag as they looked pretty much like the mini Twixs on the outside. Besides they didn't last long enough to get the camera out of the drawer. Each one tasted great. Crunchy biscuit, smooth caramel, and milk chocolatey. Pretty much like eating a normal Twix without the biting in half. A pretty tasty chocking hazard if you don't bite them at all though! I was just dropping one after another into my mouth, on my own, whilst watching TV, away from people who might like to share, and completely ignoring the 35g suggestion for a portion size. I finished the bag in record time before anyone could come in and take a photograph of them or heaven forbid try to eat one! Good stuff… Only the insane may share.

Information on the packet
140g bag with 173 calories per suggested 35g share, 8.3g of fat, 17.5g of sugar and 0.14g of salt. Ingredients in the photograph.

10 January 2017

Green Tea Latte (Starbucks) By @Cinabar

January is a funny time of year. It’s the month where, against the trend, I go to the gym the least. I can’t stand how busy it is, how the car park is full, how everyone is wearing their new and often bright white gym clothes. They weren’t there in December, between Christmas and New Year, when Spectre and I practically had the place to ourselves.
The other funny thing I noticed was in Starbucks, where the usual queue for flavoured lattes, and hot chocolate creations had also changed somewhat. I still fancied a new drink, but as the Christmas specials had disappeared and are yet to be replaced, I settled on a green tea latte, to be honest I didn’t even know they did them there. Behind me the lady also asked for a green tea latte, and the man behind her asked for a green tea Teavana. It is the unofficial month to detox, but seriously who would have thought green tea would sell so well in coffee specialists Starbucks.
I have to say though they make a nice green tea latte. The drink was made with hot milk mixed with a large spoonful of matcha powder, and frothed together. The flavour of the drink was spot on, there was a subtle hint of sweetness and a little bitterness from the tea, which balanced itself well. The flavour is herby, but also fresh. If you’ve never tried one before it makes for a very different and surprisingly soothing drink.
It nice to see Starbucks mixing things up a bit, and catering for the January detox market, I’ll be back on the syrup and cream topped drinks very soon though, watch this space.

9 January 2017

Rendang Curry Flavour Cracker (Boots Shaper) By @cinabar

I’ve never eaten a Rendang curry, I felt I should mention it as a disclaimer before reviewing Boot’s Rendang Curry Flavour Cracker. I’ve googled it, and it is a curry that is quite aromatic and originates from Indonesia.
Now I have a problem with the name of this product, Rendang Curry Flavour Cracker, and I can’t get passed it. I think they put the singular when they meant the plural, after all there are many cracker in the bag. ;-)
There were genuinely quite a few, I was impressed by the generous helping. This is a product from the Boot’s Shapers range and the calorie content of the whole bag is just 87calories, so when I went to pour them out with my lunch I was pleased by the amount.
The flavour to me tasted like a Thai curry. I guess if you haven’t tried something before you compare it to the nearest thing you can think of. The flavour is creamy, almost buttery form coconut milk, lightly spiced with chilli and there are flavours like lemongrass in the background. I like the flavour, and the creamy taste from the coconut worked very well with them. The chilli was very mild, I suspect a proper Rendang curry would be hotter, and to be honest I too would have liked a bit more spice too.
The texture is okay, they are light and crunchy, but a little dry. That is me being picky, and with a lower calorie product like this I really shouldn’t be. What they do they do well, and it shows that taking the lower fat option doesn’t necessarily have to be plain.

8 January 2017

Little Chocolate Balls (Lindt & Hotel Choc) [by @NLi10]

Over Christmas we got or bought a selection of little chocolate balls with truffle centres.

The first of these is Lindt's Master Chocolatier Collection which is a lovely little gift box.

This contains 2 dark, 2 white and 4 milk chocolate balls covered in appropriate dust.

Panda cat bed not included.  

This is a really nice way of presenting the Lindor balls without their wrappers and with a bit of dust on the outside.  Nothing too fancy in concept but as always yummy and melty and perfect for cinema nights at home!

I purchased the Hotel Chocolat version of the Lime Barrel to gift at Christmas to my boss, and luckily got to try one.  While the same in spirit these have a soft centre instead of a liquid one.

They look a little less gifty than the box above, but the quality is no less than the Lindt.  

These have the lovely strong chocolate with a sizeable lime hit in the smooth textured centre.  I may have to sneak a second one of these as there seems to still be a few left!

These are still not quite as good as the Monty Bojangles boxes though, and as I haven't had any of those since last winter (well not in any sizeable quantity) I think once we've broken the back of all the chocolates in the office and house I may treat myself to a box.