18 August 2018

The Purple Panther Porter (Lidl) By @SpectreUK

I've recently re-watched some of the old Peter Seller's Pink Panther films and was pleasantly surprised at how funny they are. I couldn't remember much about them, as I hadn't seem them in so many years, but that kind of slapstick humour does tickle me.

No Pink Panther with this porter, purple is the colour of mystery and this Purple Panther has oodles of that. I picked this bottle up from a Lidl some time ago whilst we were driving back from a holiday somewhere. I know that sounds vague, but I have no idea how long this bottle has been in my beer cooler. Yes, I have a beer cooler in the kitchen. It was left by the last people who lived here, so thank you very much :-) Cinabar tries to fill the beer colour with other stuff, but it generally doesn't last very long in there. I like my beer cold and refreshing, and not too crowded.

At 5% volume and produced by Hatherwood Craft Beer Company, this Purple Panther is an enigma. Why Purple Panther? Why not Black Panther, as they usually are that colour!? Besides the purple looks more black in the bottle. The label describes dominant coffee bitterness in the Purple Panther's rich smooth flavour, with hints of toffee from the speciality sugar the brewer used in their secret ingredients for this "smoky malted porter".

On opening there was that familiar dark fruity porter smell with a hint of coffee and sweetness. I can see where the 'panther' name for this porter came from. It's almost jet black. On taste there is a definite dominance of coffee to the roasted malts mixed with the complementary bitter hops, followed by the smoky toffee sweetness the label describes that flows like a mysterious dark rich river over my tastebuds. This is an expertly crafted porter from a shop I rarely have chance to go into, and it's full of pretty decent stuff too!

17 August 2018

Yorkshire Tea - Biscuit Brew (Sainsbury’s) By @Cinabar

I was in the supermarket looking at tea, when I had the realisation that the huge box of Yorkshire Tea Gold was cheaper than buying two of the smaller special offer priced boxes sat next to them, even though it amounted to the same number of bags, and itself wasn’t on offer. Mental arithmetic and the search for a bargain went a little out of the window when I also added to the trolley this strange sounding box of Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew, just because I wasn’t sure what it was.
Once home I gave the Biscuit Brew a closer look. I thought it may have been a tea specially designed for the dunking of biscuits, but as it turned out it wasn’t, it is a tea flavoured with biscuit. Really. I immediately checked the ingredients on the back of the box and the saving grace was the the extra flavourings were all natural at least. I put the kettle on.
When brewed this Biscuit Brew tea had a sweet smell, but there was still plenty of proper tea aroma too. The flavour was surprisingly cake like. It reminded me mostly of a vanilla sponge and tea, but all in liquid form. I thought it was sponge like because of the sweet buttery taste, but I guess I could be persuaded it was a shortbread flavour too. My initial sip made me think the Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew was a bit weird, but by the end of the mug I decided I liked the tea, and that over all I think the flavour worked. It was a soothing drink, and essentially adding vanilla and cream just gave the drink a luxury feel. It might not be the tea I go to first thing in a morning, I think its place is a warming cup in an afternoon, ideally with a biscuit ready for dunking.

16 August 2018

Ufit Lactose Free Vanilla Milkshake (Nisa) by @NLi10 @UfitDrinks

I popped to Nisa for a healthy lunch, and failing to find one picked up some milkshakes.  I mean - I'd have probably got a big tub of olives or something equally marginal from Tesco, but at least there would be more choice.

There were a couple of interesting ones in the bad science section of the fridge, but today lets look at the UFit lactose free.

Essentially they stick some enzymes in the normal milkshake, but it has the added advantage of been a nice vanilla flavour too.

Look at my healthy banana! Ignore the sharing bag of crisps just for me...

Looks and tastes like a decent vanilla milkshake.

It does contain a few of the things I'd be considering supplementing in such as D3 so it's certainly not a terrible waste of time.  I'm not sure that the amounts present will turn your life around though, and certainly eating some green things would be a better idea.

Compared to other milk and water (and oil!) drinks though it's not too shabby.  Not something I'd encourage people to live off, but (as I used to use this brand after swimming) a nice treat that will make you feel a little bit better than the big bag of crisps does.

15 August 2018

Aka Red Miso Soup (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

At last the rains have come back and there is a bit of a chill in the air. To warm my bones this morning I’ve decided to try this Red Aka Miso Soup, produced by Miso Tasty. Thoughts of quotes from the movie Full Metal Jacket™ asides where the manufacturer’s name is concerned; reading the box this Aka Miso soup is popular in Hokkaido and northern parts of Honshu, in Japan.

As you can see in the photograph this Aka Red Miso Soup comes in two sachets; one full of Japanese Shichimi Spice Mix and the other Miso paste. Made from twelve month fermented rice and soybeans the Aka Red Miso Soup paste is sported on the box as having a rich umami taste. I’ll take their word for it of course, as I’ve tried Miso soup in plenty of restaurants, but not a red variety before, so this is a first for me. Their Japanese Shichimi pepper spice mix is packed with Wakame seaweed and spring onion, and citrus spices. Miso Tasty Aka Red Miso Soup promises a “warming mix of chilli, mandarin peel, sesame, nori (I thought that was a dwarf in the Lord of the Rings™!), sansha pepper, and ginger.”
So I prepared my trusty work mug (wiping the tea stains out a bit) and boiled the old works kettle. I usually use the dirty great boiler for tea, but that seemed wrong for this somehow. After squeezing out the gooey orange coloured contents of the yellow sachet of Miso soup paste, and shaking out the Wakame seaweed and diced spring onions into the bottom of my work mug, I added freshly boiled water and stirred for a short time. The contents had the consistency I’m used to of a regular Miso soup, whilst being slightly reddish in colour instead of the usual off-green.
On taste this Aka Red tastes like a rich Miso soup. Of course there’s the seaweed and spring onions dominating the flavour, but there’s also the warming spices underneath brushing up against that traditional Miso soup taste. This is a really tasty healthy feeling soup. I couldn’t fault it in a mug, asides drinking it made me slightly worried I’d choke on some of the seaweed and spring onion pieces. I’d recommend a spoon and some bread for dipping. Otherwise, just as good as any restaurant Miso soup I’ve tasted in restaurants... In fact in some cases, even better!
Information on the box;
The box consists of 4 x 20g servings, each with 45.78 calories (very precise), 1.77g of fat, 2g of sugar, and 2.06g of salt. Rich in protein and antioxidants, and with vitamin K and B12, see photograph for ingredients.

14 August 2018

New Caramel Swirl Doughnut (Krispy Kreme) By @Cinabar

Well my home town of Wolverhampton has recently opened a Krispy Kreme outlet in the city centre. I couldn’t resist having a look and seeing if there was anything new that I could use as an excuse to make a purchase. I was in luck because it seems Krispy Kreme are embracing caramel as this season’s flavour, they have this New Caramel Swirl Doughnut and a caramel glazed original doughnut too. This one was by far the most interesting looking out of the two, so I treated us to a box of them.
The Caramel Swirl Doughnut from Krispy Kreme really does sound like a caramel overload. The doughnut is filled with caramel, topped with caramel frosting, which is drizzled with caramel sauce and just for good measure topped with a cube of caramel.

I started with the caramel cube on top and picked it off, and it had a soft non-sticky texture, that was lovely and sweet. I then bit into the doughnut itself and it was a proper caramel treat. The frosting was divine, sweet and rich, and the caramel drizzle emphasised this. The liquid caramel filling was wonderfully sugary, and had hints of butterscotch. The whole doughnut was a caramel lovers dream, sweet, rich and spot on. It also looked rather pretty and was fully loaded with caramel flavour. I’m really pleased Krispy Kreme have opened in Wolverhampton, and I will be back there next time I need a sweet treat, or indeed when they launch the next new doughnut.

13 August 2018

Pringles Festival Edition Salt, Pepper & Herb Wedges Flavour (Asda) By @cinabar

New flavours of Pringles can be quite adventurous, and often quite spicy. These new Pringles have been brought out for Festival season and come in a bright coloured tube that is very eye catching. The flavour didn’t seem that exciting to me, it is titled Pringles Festival Edition Salt, Pepper and Herb Wedges Flavour, but essentially sounded like salt, pepper and herbs seasoning. What I’m trying to say ifs for such a bright and fun time of year and with the pretty packaging the actual flavour sounded like a bit of an anti-climax.
I don’t have any plans to attend festivals this year so had these with lunch, not quite the same as munching these in a tent on a muddy field with loud music, but I’m sure the setting doesn’t affect the flavour.
I gave one a try and realised immediately I had underestimated these new Pringles Festival Edition crisps, they were absolutely full of flavour. The seasoning was quite strong and I think I could pick up on Italian herbs and rosemary, there was nice twist of onion too and the salt and pepper enhanced all these flavours. The taste was quite strong, but in a good way. I had my first one and the Pringles moreish magic kicked in and I couldn’t stop munching. I may have underestimated these crisps, as these are a special edition I will miss them when they go, never mind festivals, these are the perfect tub to pack into any picnic basket, or just to share in front of the TV.

12 August 2018

Mylk - whole - Rebel Kitchen (Ocado) by @NLi10

One of the great things about Ocado learning who you are and what you like is that it makes decent suggestions.  They know I buy almond milk, so they suggest other things that aren't milk, but also kind of are.

Here we have MYLK which is vegan/dairy free yet is a thick gloopy white thing that you use to make cereal edible and can put in drinks.

So far so good with the bran flakes.  It's a bit frothy because I shook it a little too much.  You really don't want to see the cup of tea where I didn't shake it at all.  As it's got coconut milk in there too - that also tasted bad.  Some things don't go well with tea.

It has Himalayan salt for hipsterness - you aren't fooling anyone Mylk.  Otherwise it's a great blend of flavours for non-tea applications.  I must try the next one in coffee.

And yeah - I'd actually consider using this in baking due to the texture/flavour combo - I think it'd do well.  But we know how good I am at getting around to baking so I'll just stick to adding one of these to each Ocado order and having some lovely creamy cereals without all that dairy nonsense.

11 August 2018

The Bee’s Knees Honeyed Ale (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

The Bee's Knees can traditionally mean the "height of excellence", and also something "sweet and good" from "when bees flit from flower to flower the nectar sticks to their legs". This golden English Ale from the Hogs Back Brewery, was brewed with honey and dry herbal hops. At 4.2% volume the label talks of sweetness from the honey, herbal and grassy notes from the bitter hops, and the light toasted flavour of sesame from the roasted barley. of course, ever the trooper, I won't take their word for it… I'll have to try The Bee's Knees myself.

On opening there was a sweet almost syrupy roasted barley smell, almost like dates, to start with followed by a sheer herbal hoppiness. On pouring this beer is a deep reddish brown colour, not as golden as I had been lead to believe from the label. On taste I wouldn't say "smooth" was the first word that came to mind. There was a syrupy fruity sweetness with a hard roasted edge to The Bee's Knees in the initial taste. This was followed by bitter herbal hops that produced a sort of smokiness to that sweet roasted flavour whilst moving into the aftertaste of the beer. I can imagine this beer would go well washing down barbecue ribs or pulled pork. However on its own it seems to be begging for a sticky smoky sauce smeared all over a meaty meal, rather than something to be enjoyed with a good film. Maybe some barbecue flavoured crisps would do it… now there's a thought!

10 August 2018

Turkey, Bacon & Guacamole Signature Wrap (Subway) By @Cinabar

Well it is Friday lunch time and as I’m at work and that means I have my semi-regular visit to Subway. When I arrived I spotted a poster in the window showing off Subways’ new range of Signature Wraps, and I opted to try out the Turkey, Bacon and Guacamole variant. I chose this one as it sounded quite healthy, and also because avocado and guacamole are really in at the minute, they are seen as being a bit hipster. The lady making it started out with a round wrap, which was flavoured with tomato and basil and it was a slight orange in colour. She spread guacamole and then stacked up on it turkey, bacon, cheese and then asked the usual requirements over salad, where I added lettuce, tomato, cucumber and olives. She said the recommend sauce for this wrap was Ranch, so I went with that. She folded it all over and confessed that when she had sliced some before and they had a habit of falling apart and she would have to start again. Perhaps this justifies the £5 price for a single wrap, which is quite pricey for Subway.
Oh well, I started by trying a little bit of the wrap on its own and found it to be lovely and flavoursome the tomato and herbs did stand out and made an excellent base for this wrap. The guacamole was mild, but had a nice avocado flavour; I’d have just liked a bit more seasoning in it. As a whole though the wrap really came together, the turkey and bacon were filling and the ranch dressing made this a tasty wrap. Each mouthful was different with varied texture from the meats and salad. I was pleased that the wrap held together and it was surprisingly easy to eat, and I didn’t lose any filling. The flavours were lovely together, there was lots of flavours and meatiness and the wrap did make it fun to eat. It is something I would have again, even at the higher price (for a non-toasted take out) lunch.

9 August 2018

Nutri Extracts Matcha Tea - Ceremonial Grade (@extractsnutri) by @NLi10

Sometimes things get reviewed and written up instantly.  Sometimes I forget about things and it takes ages to try them.  In this case I tried the product the day I got it (and many days after) and then didn't write it up.  This is my own fault because I often try to do too many things with these reviews.

Here we have the product.  It's Matcha Tea powder.  It's in a very unassuming package and came direct from the internet.  I wasn't sure that the PR company would send us samples - but we got two HUGE bags.  This is practically a life-times supply of Matcha powder.

Luckily I still have the stirrer and kit from the last time I made this stuff at work so I can drink away.

The ingredients are pure, the preparation guide has the right temp and that you'll want to whisk it, and also suggests way to make it more palatable to us westerners.

It really is good grade stuff - and makes a stonking cup of green tea.

The taste is a little more 'down' than the brand I'd been drinking so a dash of sugar perks it right up.  Superb.  Not much more to say about it really.

Well - except that if you go to the website www.nutriextracts.co.uk and use the code MATCHA15 you'll get 15% off which makes it a pretty good price too (£8 a bag before discount when I paid £20 for my smaller tin!).  If you know someone who doesn't mind the fairly plain packaging then it'd make a great gift!  You should probably ignore some of the health claims though, but it's good for mild relief of my arthritis symptoms, and due to the slow release caffeine you get a nice buzz for 6 hours.  

And that would be that - review straight up & done - except the packaging said that I should try using it in recipes.  And I was at the time supposed to make scones for my birthday (7th July) and take them to work - and green tea scones would be awesome! But - scones require a decent amount of wrist energy to make, and don't like the hot weather we are having.  I'd end up with painful wrists and overly floured scones! I mean - this is all clearly just procrastination - but at some point I will bake things again - and I have no doubt at all that I'll have some of this left ready to pop in half the mixture to see what happens.

8 August 2018

Peckish Tangy Barbecue Rice Crackers (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

Always on the lookout for any tasty alternative snacks to crisps and peanuts, these Peckish Tangy Barbecue Rice Crackers seemed to fit my rather loose requirements. Rice Flour is used in producing Peckish crackers, which makes for a lighter crispier cracker than the usual off the shelfers (yes, I just made up a word – I’m a blogger, I can do things like that, well, maybe…). They are gluten free and are baked in rice bran oil not fried for less saturated fat.
I like the serving suggestion on the front of the packet recommending the cracker muncher dip them in a barbecue sauce, although I’m slightly worried now that these Peckish Tangy Barbecue Rice Crackers are actually just a plain flavour and don’t taste of anything unless you dip them. However, that could be an idea to add the dipping sauce into the packet and just get the customer to do all the work!?
Anyway, there was a strong smell of rice on opening the packet, which made me worry slightly more. The well rounded crackers had an orange tint from the seasoning which made me worry less that I’d have to go out and buy a barbecue sauce to enjoy these with. I don’t think there are any fast food joints around my work I can quickly duck into and nab a couple of free sachets. On taste these Peckish Tangy Barbecue Rice Crackers are pretty subtle though, so you could probably do with something for them to dip into. They’re quite a pleasant barbecue flavour, but not particularly ‘tangy’. The word ‘tangy’ screams sweet lip-smacking flavour to me and these crackers are too understated for that. However, I reckon they’d go well with a piece of light cheese, nothing to strong mind, and perhaps some barbecue sauce daubed on top!
Information on the packet:
The 20g packet has 89 calories, with 1.9g of fat, less than 0.5g of sugar and 0.21g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

7 August 2018

McVities Moments Choccy Rocky Road (Asda) By @Cinabar

This is a new product from McVities, normally famed for there biscuits. They are a tray baked item, and there are four squares in the packet, they are called McVities Moments Choccy Rocky Road. Each one consist of a biscuit base, and it topped with chocolate, marshmallow and cherries, which sounds like an excellent combination.
There is a lot of chocolate in the recipe, and I am quite happy with that as I was really enjoying the cocoa flavour. As you can imagine being made by McVities, biscuits feature heavily in the flavour too, and the wholesome taste of Digestives shines through as the base is made with these. It was firm, but not hard to bite through. I liked the addition of the marshmallow chunks as these added a fun squishy texture and an extra bit of sweetness. The cherries worked well, they broke the flavour up with a good sweet and sour taste, they also added a nice juicy element to the texture. I like a mix of textures so Rocky Road works well for me.
These were a fun snack to eat, with lots of chocolatey goodness and a nice Digestive biscuit flavour, which is in keeping with the McVitites name.

6 August 2018

New Chocolate and Salted Caramel GU Velvety Spread (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Well I have to confess I had a bit of luxurious breakfast this morning. I usually have a cereal bar, or toast and jam, but this morning I had a croissant spread with this new Chocolate and Salted Caramel GU Velvety Spread. I spotted the jar initially in Waitrose, I only went in for a jar of strawberry jam but my eyes caught sight of a “new” label and then I had the excuse to buy this product.
The lid of the jar proudly states that it contains no palm oil and is gluten free. The fats seem to be predominantly from sunflower oil and coconut oil, as well as some milk and butter. It is also states to store it at room temperature and not the fridge, which is where the rest of our jams are after opening.

The texture is velvety as promised and the spread is quite light and not too firm, which made it very easy to spread, especially on my hot croissant. The taste was very lush. The chocolate was rich and the salted caramel shone through, it had a toffee like flavour with just enough salt to give the whole thing a bit of a zing. It was wonderful sweet, smooth and rich. I can’t wait to have some more of his spread, it was he prefect treat for breakfast and I think I will be using it to upgrade my next slice of toast!

5 August 2018

Cocoature Handmade Choc - Raspberry (@bamburgh_castle) by @NLi10

So while we were at the castle picking up Raspberry Fentimans when I spotted this lovely looking bar of chocolate.  Bamburgh Castle is not that far from Berwick, so the fact that the family who own the castle have decided to stock up on local treats is fab.

Cocoature seem to mostly sell luxury boxes of chocolates on their website, but they luckily also supply these slabs of the real thing for people like me who just get odd cravings for mixed up flavours.

And as we see the ingredients to these kind of things are not that exciting - but it does confirm that it's a local, handmade, independent choc!

And how do you consume and share sucha  luxury chocolate? Why - while watching The Last Kingdom TV series which features that area and in theory the castle a lot!  I mean - really it's shot in Hungary but I didn't have any local Hungarian chocs.

And how is it?  It's fab.  It's fruitier than the Lidl Easter Egg we had with the raspberry half, and has a lot more bite to it.  It's got the right mix of bits and cocoa so you can tell it's still chocolate, but still get the tastes.  We've been keeping it in the fridge (due to the scorching weather and staying in a caravan) and it's worked out really well.  I'd say it's more of a sharing chocolate than most and it's great to have while watching movies or TV.

4 August 2018

Brooklyn Summer Ale (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

It's another baking hot day today here in the UK, but we can't complain too much considering some other parts of Europe; such as Spain are in the late 40s. Produced in New York this Brooklyn Summer Ale seems an apt way to alleviate the continuing uncomfortably hot weather. I'm going to enjoy my 355ml bottle of beer on a hot sunny afternoon with a good book. The label on the bottle recommends enjoying this pale ale on a beach or on a rooftop, and with a good barbecue. There's been a few recommendations to avoid barbecues here for fear of catching fire to anything been as though everything is so dry…

… Anyway, this 5% volume Brooklyn Summer Ale should whet my whistle at least for a while. Brewed with British 2-row barley, and with German and American hops, this pale ale is sported to have breadiness from the barley, and bitter fruitiness from the assorted hops. On opening there was a fairly powerful smell of barley and with a fruitiness at the back of the aroma. On taste this straw coloured ale was indeed strong on taste with an almost lightly toasted bread flavour from the barley to start with, and then a crisp bitterness closely following to end on a bitter flavoursome fruitiness. This is definitely a refreshing pale ale, but it also has a warmth to it that belies the summer theme, or is it just so hot in here that I need to put the fan on again?

3 August 2018

Unicorn Edition Smarties (Asda) By @Cinabar

It isn’t a food related trend, but Unicorns are definitely in at the minute. You can find unicorn designs on anything and everything, be it a swimming pool float to a new mug the unicorn design has made it in 2018. This does have some problems with food cross-overs as there isn’t an obvious flavour, but Smarties gave it a try, and to be honest I don’t think they hit the mark.
The bag is nicely decorate in its pink and blue with a unicorn design on the front. The packaging says fun, the contents say regular Smarties, just blue and pink coloured ones. Yes the concept works, I’ve eaten enough regular Smarties to know the formula is okay, it is just that there is nothing new here.
For me it is the fact that they could have done so much more. Smarties with an edible glitter covering, a new coloured shell, or even a two-tone shell, how about a unicorn design on the shell? So many possibilities. Smarties containing popping candy, heck even something as simple as a white chocolate filling would have made it look a bit more like they made an effort. Unicorns are magical, so it strikes me there should be something magical, or at least a bit more unique and innovative about Unicorn Smarties, not just regular pink and blue ones in a bag. As much as I like Smarties I was a bit disappointed at the lack of effort for this tie in product. It is all about the packaging, there is nothing else new to see here. I get that the pink and blue colours might be useful if you have bought the bag for use in a baking project, but I hardly think that was the target market. Come on Smarties, you had the opportunity to impress us and you chose the minimum effort option. Personally I’ll stick to regular Smarties.

2 August 2018

Look What We Found x Beef Bolognese (@NLi10)

I’m a big fan of the Look What We Found range and so now they’ve tweaked the packages and recipie it seemed a good time to revisit and see what’s changed.

The packaging is so much like a giant pouch of cat food that it always attracts attention.

And you can understand why.  This is batchelor chow of the highest order, with high quality meat sealed away for freshness jus twaiting for you to add the potato and veg - or for bolognese some pasta.

It’s a large single portion, or a more skimpy two per bag, and it’s always rich in flavour. Here the sauce is a lot less sweet than your usual Italian jars and a lot closer to an English stew. The delicate flavours are still there, but the microwave option maybe dulls them a bit compared to cooking on the hob.

I’m still yet to be disappointed by this range ans always have one in the cupboard for a lazy solo dinner when home alone.

1 August 2018

London Flavours 77 Oak Smoked Chilli (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

The packet of these Premium British London Flavours crisps talks about the colourful spiky haired punk era of 1977, and the producer’s homage with this Oak Smoked Chilli flavour. I was two years old in 1977 so that era passed me by a little. There was still some punk music around the charts in the early to mid-80s though, and I’ve certainly never minded listening to some of the old tracks.
Made with 100% British potatoes these 77 Oak Smoked Chilli crisps sound a little too health conscience to be 1970s though; being gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans (who I reckon were shunned around that time), free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, with no added MSG, and GMO free!
There was a luscious woody smokiness to the orange tinted paprika coloured crisps in the packet. On taste these 77 Oak Smoked Chilli crisps have a decent crunch with a slight oily residue on my fingers. Having said that these crisps exploded upon my palate. There was quite a sheer saltiness to start with, mixed with a fairly strong onion flavour, and then the woody smokiness with a mild chilli heat merging with a multitude of spices into the aftertaste. Once I’d started I didn’t want to put the packet down again until I’d finished it. No wonder they call these crisps ‘Premium’. With their complex mix of flavours; being strong on saltiness and onion, with their smokiness and spices, these 77 Oak Smoked Chilli crisps made for a unique flavour sensation. They are really tasty, and I can only hope that I can find some more packets of these…
Information on the packet;
The 40g packet contains 519 calories per 100g, with 28.8g of fat, 3.4g of sugar, and 1.9g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

31 July 2018

New Mr Kipling Flapjack Squares (Asda) By @cinabar

Flapjacks aren’t new, in fact they are a classic treat here in the UK, but Mr Kipling have now launched their own version. Flapjacks are made with golden syrup and oats, and baked into slices. The packaging from Mr Kipling is bright orange and there are three individually wrapped flapjacks inside. I always associate Mr Kipling with having six smaller cakes in their boxes, but this box has three larger slices, so these are quite substantial cakes.

The flapjacks have a drizzle of chocolate icing on top, it looks pretty but isn’t enough to change the flavour, but the taste didn’t need anything adding it was already spot on. The golden syrup shone through, and the wholesome flavour of oats made this feel a pleasure to eat. The sweetness was well balanced, syrupy but not overly so, the oats still stood their ground. The texture was nice too, it was firm but not thick and stodgy. It didn’t fall apart either when you ate it, but still had just a little syrup stickiness. These are definitely a success from Mr Kipling, and are perfect with an afternoon cuppa, rich and naughty but a lovely pick me up.

30 July 2018

Degusta Box July 2018 (@DegustaboxUK) By @Cinabar

It is that time again when a nice delivery man brings us this month's Degusta box. This one felt quite heavy and I was keen to see what goodies were inside. It looked quite packed and had a nice mix of drinks in there too, perfect in this hot and muggy weather. The first thing that caught my eye though were new crisps.

These crisps are from the brand London Flavours and isn't a make I've heard of before. We are very much looking forward to trying out a new brand, and I have to say I'm loving their packaging.

Spectre immediatley disappeared this Rosie's Rhubarb Cider when he saw it. This is from a brand he knows well, and has enjoyed in the past. It is a nice refreshing twist for the weather with the added rhubarb.

I am more into my soft drinks, so was excited to see these fizzy drinks from Ribena, which has always been a favourite brand in our household. I was pleased they were is glass bottles which are easily recycled. I love the sound of the topical one with pineapple and passion fruit.

There is nothing better on a hot day than an iced coffee, so I have stashed this carton of Percol Protein Latte coffee in the fridge. It contains a boost of protein too which seems to to be the popular hipster added ingredient. Not that I have a lot of knowledge on the subject, but if you are trying to increase your protein intake a small can of tuna contains a decent amount, but doesn't work as well in glass over ice.

Some people might think it is too hot for hot chocolate, but they would be wrong, I drink it throughout the year for a easy chocolate fix. I do love that this version from Cadbury High Lights is low sugar and low calories, so there is no guilt.

Talking of low sugar these Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles are new as they are lower in sugar, which is better for us. I'm looking forward to trying these out.

There are also two mixes from Capsicana, one for Paprika and Spices for chicken, the other to mix up our own guacamole. Both of these would go together well, especially if the spiced chicken is in a wrap.

I'll be popping this next item in my lunch box for an afternoon treat. It is from the company Pulson and is a raw chocolate brownie, flavoured with the ever popular salted caramel. That should get me through the afternoon sugar craving.

There are also some cheese flavoured rice crackers from Peckish, these will come in handy for afternoon snacks.

We also have some sachets of Miso soup, which makes a nice accompaniment to a sandwich for lunch. These are from Miso Tasty and are flavoured with warming spices.

Last but not least we have some Heinz Salad Cream. This is a staple already in our house, but especially at this time of year when we are eating more light healthy salads. Spectre also likes crisps dipped in Heinz Salad Cream but he has always been a bit odd!