18 June 2018

Seabrook Fiery Woodsmoke BBQ Crisps (Ocado) By @Cinabar

These are a new variety of crisps from Seabrook, in order to help celebrate the new ride at Alton Towers; The Wickerman which launched this year. The ride is a wooden roller coaster with flames (what could go wrong) so the crisps variety is themed as Fiery Woodsmoke BBQ flavour. The packet also features an image of the roller coaster on the front of the bag too.
The crisps are crinkle cut and have a heavy seasoning sprinkled on them. Crinkle cut are also good for strong flavours as the creases hold the seasoning. I gave one a try and found the favour to be quite unusual. There isn’t that much depth to the flavour, but what was there was still strong. There was a smokey barbecue flavour, focusing more on the smoke than anything more wholesome. Just as I was thinking that the crisps perhaps needed a little more sweetness or seasoning I realised my mouth was on fire. Okay it wasn’t quite that hot, but the chilli burn was strong and it seemingly snuck up on my taste buds. It was actually nice to find some crisps with a kick and a decent chilli buzz, I found them very enjoyable to munch on.
These are tasty crisps, and a nice tie in with Alton Tower’s new ride, somewhere I really should plan a trip too soon.

17 June 2018

World Cup Big Match Meat Feast Pizza (Tesco) @NLi10 #WorldCup

The World Cup is great.  The cinemas are empty, the bars without TVs are nice and quiet and you know you aren't missing anything on social media!  Also there are lot of tie in snacks for people who aren't as excited by the prospects of their national team.

I'm sure this has been around before but I'd not picked it up - so here is a pizza with a meatball crust!

They both feature the word ball - so therefore it's a good tie in!

It looks a bit different than my usual pizzas.

Once you cook it and even it out then it's quite appetising.  While this was cooking I nabbed a slice of a Dominos pizza though, and I think that set my expectations a little too high.  This wasn't as sweet as that was, and didn't have explosive chorizo. What is does have is 12 meatballs, and some pretty decent sliced meats.  It could have done with more tomato and some kind of veg in the middle to balance it out a bit, but this was a decent meal - I had half of it and the other half was shared out with others.  We all liked it, but I don't think the flavours or the ingredients had the required WOW factor.  

Shame really, as I'm not a fan of the cheese crust pizzas so this would have been a good substitute.

16 June 2018

Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose Beer (@MagicRockBrewCo M&S) By @SpectreUK

This Salty Kiss from the Magic Rock brewery, in Huddersfield, is a Gose beer with gooseberry added in the brewing. A Gose is a German style top fermented sour wheat beer, and this one is made with Bavarian Pils. I haven't liked some of the sour beers I've tried in the past, but I don't believe I have tried a Gose. I have enjoyed gooseberry beer, so that's a plus, but this 4.1% volume Salty Kiss also had Sea Buckthorn or Seaberries added in the brewing, as well as salt. Apparently Sea Buckthorn is used as a cure-all in some parts of Russia and Eastern Asia, which could be a bonus for any ills I'm fighting off from swallowing half of the gym's outdoor pool earlier!

On opening the can there was indeed a sour aroma to the wheat beer inside. There was also saltiness at the back of the smell. On taste there is definitely a strong gooseberry flavour to begin with that merges well with the wheat and added citrus kick from the pilsner. There follows an extra bite of sour fruit I took to be the Sea Buckthorn and a saltiness into the aftertaste. It does say "lightly sour, fruity and refreshing" on the can. I definitely agree the with two later words in the description, but I'd say "lightly sour" is an underestimation. However, this is a tasty and unusual beer. If you want something different and off the usual, if not wobbly, beer trail this could be for you.

15 June 2018

New Cadbury Footballs (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

So although I’m not a football fan as such, it has been pretty hard to not notice the start of the World Cup! There is quite a bit of football on the telly, and even the odd new football themed goodies appearing on the supermarket shelves. I picked up these “new” Cadbury Footballs in Sainsbury's, and knew immediately they felt familiar. At Christmas each year Cadbury brings our Snow Bites, which are ball of Cadbury chocolate coated in a white candy crisps shell, much like these World Cup Footballs. Its almost like they just used the same mould and machine…
Ok so these Cadbury Footballs are still tasty and moreish because they are made with Cadbury chocolate. They are sweet and creamy, and are pleasing to eat. They are nice to munch on and the candy shell will stop them from melting (so easily) in the summer heat. I like the crunch it adds to the texture too. I’m sure there will be quite a few bags of these being eaten with people wishing England (or whichever team they support) well. So yes, these will sell well and do taste nice, but they are not the most innovative product from Cadbury for the football. Oh well, good luck to all the teams!

14 June 2018

Snacks Die In Hot Cars feat Butterfinger coconut (@NLi10)

I often take review snacks out with me for the day, and on holiday, because it’s nice to have things to nibble on and the pics look good.

Sometimes it backfires

I picked up these Butterfinger coconut from the CoOp with the disappointing fusetea drinks, dropped them in the snack bag and them left them in the car in the direct sun.

The bag suggests we should share these...

I’m not convinced that’s possible without a knife!

They taste good, maybe a bit too sweet, and lack the bite of Bounty. But they are far too melty for a decently warm day. I’ll chop bits off in the office instead...

13 June 2018

New Kit Kat Bites – White Chocolate (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

These new Kit Kat White Chocolate Bites from Nestlé come in a re-sealable packet having "Share & Re-close" on the rip 'n' zip top of the packet. Being particularly greedy the whole 'sharing' and 'resealing' concepts are things I'm unfamiliar with. Besides I generally eat chocolate for pudding after dinner rather than 'grazing' between meals. It's a justification in my head for all the calories. It also gives me a chance to have a hot white chocolate drink.

On opening the packet there was a multitude of three(ish) centimetre long white Kit Kat bars inside. Popping one into my mouth there is the usual Kit Kat centre wafer surrounded by a creamy white chocolate. These White Chocolate Kit Kat Bites are very tasty indeed. Perfect for an afternoon snack if you're that way inclined, or for pudding washed down with a hot white chocolate drink. Not for sharing!
Information on the packet;
The 104g packet contains 125 calories per four pieces, with 7g of fat, 11.3g of sugar, and 0.05g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

12 June 2018

Summer Fruits Whips (Marks & Spencers) By @Cinabar

When I typed the title of this review I actually wrote Summer Fruits Walnut Whips; then I had to correct it. This is just because my first assumption on hearing about a chocolate whip is to associate walnut with them. There is no walnut on top of these new Summer Fruits Whips from Marks and Spencers, but there is a fruit topping and a fruity sauce inside, all ready for summer. There are three in the box.
I started by trying the pink topping, it is a blackcurrant covered in white chocolate which is decorated. I have to say it was quite sharp, there was plenty of white chocolate and this helped mellow it a little, but ultimately this was a zingy start to the chocolate whip.
The fruit sauce was inside and at the top of the whip when I tucked in. I kept these Whips in the fridge as it has been quite hot, and this meant that the chocolate was difficult to bite into, as it is rather thick. This does give a nice touch of luxury though. The flavour from the sauce was a much sweeter affair, and although it was mixed berries, strawberry shone through, and it was sweet and fruity. Strawberry and chocolate does work well and this with its light whipped mallow filling ended up tasting like a giant strawberry cream. Definitely an ideal treat for summer.

11 June 2018

Hula Hoops Flavarings Tangy Cheese (Ocado) By @Cinabar

These crisps were brought online from Ocado, and I wasn’t completely sure what the newness was from them from the name. I think I decided it must be the extra strong cheese flavour, and added them to the basket. They are called Hula Hoops Flavarings so I knew they were all about the emphasis on flavour.
They arrived in a very big bag that still felt quite light. We shared them out over a brunch, with sandwiches and some hard boiled eggs that needed using up. A bit of an off combination I know, but sometimes the fridge dictates such things. The minute the bag was open I realised that these were something a bit different, for a start the the Hula Hoops were huge! They are fairly light in texture, and felt nice and crispy. The cheese flavour is strong, but pleasantly so and not too musty. I liked the texture and enjoyed munching on them, they feel big and substantial but easily melt away in the mouth. The cheese was tasty, and my fingers were left tinged with yellow cheese crumb, which reminded me of my childhood. It felt like it tasted like a strong cheddar flavour but was very well balanced. I’m looking forward to trying the salt and vinegar version of this new Hula Hoops Flavarings too, and have a bag of those in the cupboard.

10 June 2018

Fuzetea Peach or Mango (Co-op) by @NLi10

Heading out for the day in the Lake District for the Great North Swim we picked up a couple of nice cold bottles to see us through the day - choosing the currently heavily advertised and discounted to a pound a bottle Fuzetea.

I like ice tea, so thought this would be a fairly safe bet.


Looks like red drink, tastes like slightly sweet water. I mean there is a hint of peach, and maybe a hint of tea, but it’s mostly sweetener and water.

5% peach, and 0.12% tea. It’s not exactly revolutionary - just sweet water. 


Let’s see if the Mango version is more exciting.

More realistic colour. Same invisible taste. 

Turns out it’s made by a Coca Cola, which explains its sudden appearance on all of the adverts. It also explains why it’s basically tapwater with a squirt of concentrate in it.

If you want to drink those barely flavoured water drinks that already exist then this is a fairly uninteresting addition to the range. If you want to pay £1.50 for a 400 ml bottle of artificially sweetened water be my guest. I think I’ll stick to the teas with more tea in them, or a 5 times as large bottle of plain water for the same price.

9 June 2018

Rekorderlig Peach and Basil Cider (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Swedish cider brewer, Rekorderlig, has created some pretty innovative ciders recently, ready for the onset of Summer no doubt. It has been a hot sunny day again, so I thought I'd crack open a bottle with my dinner. This peach cider with basil seemed to fit the bill… either that or it was at the front of the fridge and I was too thirsty to go digging around for anything else. On first glance I had the same feeling I had when Cinabar first introduced me to the bottle; Guh! To be fair I've drank Rekorderlig ciders before and never had a bad one, but peach and basil is pushing it… Surely?

This 4% peach cider with basil had a heavy peach smell on opening, with an almost equal weight of basil at the back of the aroma. This carbonated almost transparent cider as well as the heat of the afternoon sun were begging for a few cubes of ice. Of course, I didn't have any… so proceeded on drinking it anyway! To my surprise the strong basil flavour hit my tastebuds first then coupled with the slightly sour peach into the aftertaste. The fizz and sourness of the drink actually made me sneeze… that or the pollen count from sitting next to an open window. Don't be mistaken though; this is not a soft drink, it's strong on flavour, big on fizz, and has a sneaky sour bite that tickled my nostril hairs no end! I couldn't help but rather like it though…

8 June 2018

Marabou - Black Saltlakrits (Salty Liquorice) Chocolate (Ocado) By @Cinabar

This bar of Marabou Black Saltlakrits chocolate was listed under new products on the Ocado website, and sounded suitably curious to write a blog about. In fact when I say curious I mean I actually had to Google the name. Apparently this bar originates from Sweden and the name Saltlakrits means salty liquorice, which is an odd thing to combine with milk chocolate in my opinion.
I opened up the wrapper and found a milk chocolate bar with some black pieces of liquorice shining through. I broke off a piece and gave it the taste test. It was a bit weird, that was my first impression and it was difficult to get past. The chocolate has a very thick melt, and the the liquorice is crunchy. I hadn’t been expecting it to be hard, but the crispy texture was actually quite pleasant to eat. The flavour from the filling was very strong the liquorice was full and the salt was plentiful. By my third piece I started to really enjoy the curious flavour sensation and the mix of textures. The bar actually became quite moreish, and my tastebuds decided they liked the strong flavour sensation from eating the bar, that is from someone who isn’t a big liquorice fan. Who knew, the Swedish are right though, liquorice and salt work, and adding chocolate makes it magic!

7 June 2018

Strong Roots Spinach Bites (Ocado) by @NLi10

Ocado do some nice vegan things, ones that can sit in the freezer for months without issue.

Here we have a meal accompaniment - a bag of 18 little bites.

Look at that lovely green interior!

As usual, they have a back story and lots of nutrition info.

And they certainly add a splash of green to an otherwise beige tofu snack (that also tastes amazing due to tamarind).

They have a very soft texture, which is a surprise, but really quite welcome and actually taste of veg. I think that maybe we needed some sweet potato fries alongside to complete the meal.

6 June 2018

Milkybar Wowsomes (@milkybaruki @DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

Cinabar knows how much I like white chocolate, so she passed me these new Milkybar Wowsomes to review. The first thing that struck me was the “30% less sugar” on the front of the box, which may help cut down my oversized belly. The next thing that I found interesting was the “white chocolate with crispy oat cereal in a creamy tasting centre”. It also states that there aren’t any artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours or preservatives in these Wowsomes. Did they replace the sugar with cereal? Sneaky…
These Wowsomes bars have a soft vanilla flavoured centre mixed with oat cereal and coated in white chocolate. So how do they taste? It states that two of these constitute a serving. For someone greedy (like me) the whole 80g box constitutes a serving. My first impression was that these Wowsomes are really quite tiny. Hardly Wow on opening, but “good things come in small packages” so they say… In fact I tell that to Cinabar all the time… On taste their texture is like a soft chocolate bar with a hint of oat biscuit. Much of the sweetness comes from the vanilla centre and decent coating of white chocolate. They do have a soft centre, with crispiness from the mixed in oats. They do taste good, and are weirdly filling, which always surprises me where oats are concerned. I don’t think you’d go far wrong having a couple of these for a white chocolate breakfast treat or an after meal desert filler.
Information on the box;
The 80g box contains 8 bars with each two bars containing 105 calories, with 6.4g of fat, 7.3g of sugar, and 0.11g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

5 June 2018

Lemon and Passion Fruit Whips (Marks & Spencers) By @Cinabar

The usual association with chocolate whips is the classic walnut whip, but Marks and Spencer have expanded there selection with a number of flavours. For summer the new variety is Lemon and Passion Fruit Whips, topped with a little dollop of meringue. There are three in the box.

I started by eating the meringue from the top and it was light crunchy and sugary. Then I tucked into the Lemon and Passion Fruit Whip itself. The milk chocolate coating was wonderfully thick, and of Mark and Spencer usual quality. The chocolate has a sumptuous thick melt, and its sweetness is very indulgent. The flavour inside the whip is mainly from the top where the sauce drizzles down. The sauce is is tropical tasting, and the passion fruit mellows out the zingy flavour of the lemon. The chocolate and fruit flavours are lovely and summery, and the whip itself was light and fluffy. The only negative part was that the fruity flavour was at the bottom of the whip, as the sauce hadn’t really made it there. I think I would have liked the fruitiness blended with the whipped filling instead. The fruit flavour was so nice, I wanted more it.
Even as it is I think this is an excellent addition to the range of Whips in Marks and Spencers, and one I’ll be buying again.

4 June 2018

Rowntrees Watermelon Ice Lollies (@Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Oh my its been hot, and as much as I’ve been enjoying the weather I do need something to help cool me down. I went to the shop to have look for some new ice lollies and found these interesting looking ones from Rowntrees flavoured with Watermelon. There are four in the box, and I opened one up.

I loved the design of these ice lollies, as they had been made to look like slices of watermelon. They even had a few (chocolate) seeds for decoration. The flavour was just what I needed, it was sweet and so very fruity. The watermelon tasted natural, but sweet and juicy. It was refreshing and a very good representation of the flavour. The chocolate drops didn’t add much to the flavour as there were so few, but were very decorative. They did also taste nice, I just wouldn’t have minded a few more, after all actual watermelon is full of seeds! As I worked my way towards the stick I realised that the green section of the ice lolly at the bottom was a different flavour, and it was strong and zingy apple. This was a nice tangy end to the ice lolly and a great contrasting flavour with the watermelon.
I found these Rowntrees Watermelon Ice Lollies very refreshing and absolutely loved the flavours. They were perfectly refreshing on a warm day, and properly hit the spot. The bonus is that they also only have 61 calories per lolly, so I didn’t even have to feel too guilty about the treat.

3 June 2018

GNAW bars of choc with bits (Malt Kiln Farm Shop) by @NLi10

While walking along the Fosse way towards Stretton Under Fosse we decided to visit a local farm shop that has recently been done up.

It’s a lovely area, and the fields of strawberries on the road down to the big barn of the Malt Kiln Farm Shop are really tempting.

The entrance makes people look tiny.


And it has a garden centre vibe inside, but is lovely and airy.

Fortunately for me, amongst the local produce is a valid review target. We like GNAW, they crop up in charity shops and make lemon meringue chocolate bars.


Here there is a new addition to the range, bars with bits in. One contains raisins so we laugh at that one and move on. Two contain seeds and granola and good things so we can buy those. 

First up we tried the milk chocolate variety

It’s essentially a slab of chocolate with peanuts granola and seeds. None of these really stand out as much as the salt on the peanuts which when you hit it is amazing. Yum. 


I think I preferred the dark version overall, while the orange flavour kind of vanished after the first bite the dark choc and seeds was much more my bag. My partner disagreed and preferred milk, but they were both good enough to try again. 

It’s mostly choc though, so not really ideal for a hot day.


If I’m honest though, I’d rather have another large bowl of the fresh strawberries we picked up on the day. Yum! 

2 June 2018

Sweet Cheeks Cider (@glouc_services Farm Shop, M5) By @SpectreUK

This Cotswold Cider is called Sweet Cheeks and was named to celebrate the great embarrassed British 'Blush'. It's a blend of cider, blackberry and elderberry. It's name and illustration on the label reminded me of a fairly prominent birthmark of mine. Nothing kinky I assure you. I have a strawberry mark or Strawberry Hemangioma on my right cheek. I have been blessed with a fairly rosy left cheek so it's not all that noticeable all the time, just when I'm too cold (which I suppose can be often in the UK) or feeling ill, although I see it every time I look in the mirror. It was a birthmark that returned in my early twenties and hasn't gone away. I've had few jibes about it, other than the "you've got something on your cheek" or such like, probably because I've often been told that I don't suffer fools gladly.

Anyway, back to this Sweet Cheeks cider. I hadn't been expecting this medium cider to be carbonated, so the cheeky fizz on opening the 330ml bottle was a pleasant surprise. It first had a dominant cider apple smell to it, followed closely by a punch of blackberry and a kick of elderberry. This cider smells of summer. It's a hot day today (which makes a change), although I can still see the mark on my cheek as I've been off work with an upset tummy for a few days. I'd recommend checking an outdoor hotel swimming pool for dead bugs before you swim in it. There's serious fruitiness in the first taste of this deep red cider. Straight away there's cider apples bashing against blackberry whilst elderberry seems to nudge in between them trying to break up the fight, with a tussle of these flavours right through to the aftertaste. Big on flavour and long on refreshment, this 4% volume Sweet Cheeks cider could certainly make anyone blush on both cheeks at the same time, or one after the other…

In art college we were taught to draw face portraits symmetrically, whereas that's often not the case. It just reminds me that it's okay to be different. We are all different in such a variety of ways, whether it may be by skin, size, abilities, learning or beliefs. We are often all just trying to get along with the everyday. We all just have to work out a way to respect each other for that.

1 June 2018

Teoni's Marshmallow Cookies (@glouc_services) By@Cinabar

I think some of the most visually interesting cookies I saw at the farm shop that is on the unlikely place of the M5 and disguised as Gloucester Services, were these Marshmallow Cookies by a Devon company called Teonis. They looked really interesting because each one of them consists of a thick chunky cookie, with a sunken middle and a melted marshmallow on top. The biscuits are big too, and looked like a proper treat.
The flavour was sweet and wonderfully oaty with a good hit of sweet golden syrup. I found myself really enjoying the flavours. The oats gave them a lovely wholesome taste. The marshmallow meant the the thinner middle section was quite sticky, and although visually it made the biscuits look intriguing, I’m not sure it added that much else. The marshmallow flavour didn’t come through that much and the stickiness wasn’t the best representation of what would have been a big fluffy mallow. As much as I like marshmallows, this made me want to try Teonis plain cookies.
One important thing though, these biscuits are perfect for dunking, they are thick and chunky and hold together really well. They also absorbed my coffee well, and the flavours worked perfectly together. Now all I need to do is work out where I can buy this brand in the Midlands.