22 April 2018

M&S Italian Meal Deal (almost) Girasoli, Pesto & Baguette (by @NLi10)

My partner popped into M&S after work one day and attempted to pick up the meal deal.  Unfortunately the baguettes that were included were cheesy and not ones I'd have enjoyed so we paid meal deal price and then bought an extra baguette on top!


With this the pasta has to be the main draw, an it looks of a decent quality and well filled.


And it inflates and cooks really nicely!


I'm wasn't sure why was called Girasoli, maybe it's to do with the veggie insides or maybe the round shape.  I'm sure I've had round ravioli before though.  Turns out it's Italian for Sunflower so I guess it's a combination of all of the things.


And here we have a decent meal!  As you can see the pesto is prety luxurious too (and veggie) with lumps and pine seeds and lots of lovely texture.  And that went far enough that we had it with a bolognaise later in the week too which was really good.

The garlic bread was fairly standard, but I'm sure the included one was more of a luxury thing.  I guess we should have taken that anyway and had one each!

The pasta was great and had cooked perfectly. The outers were firm but tore easily, and the contents were delicately flavoured and again were not just a paste of ingredients.  Not quite up to the Rana flavour sensation (I got my promotional refund for those this week!), but as a full meal certainly more than acceptable.

Now to try all the other flavours!

21 April 2018

The Ginger Grizzly Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Lidl) By @SpectreUK


Likening an alcoholic ginger beer to an angry grizzly bear makes me wonder just how hot the spice will be in The Ginger Grizzly, by Hatherwood Craft Beer Company. Too late now I guess, as I've already started the blog! I've tried a few alcoholic ginger beers in the past and throughout their varying spicy strengths I've never drank a bad one. Having said that, there is always chance of a first! After all, grizzly bears aren't known for being warm and cuddly creatures, hence the name. They have been known to tear people apart with their claws, which makes me wonder if this ginger beer by the same name has its own sharp claws. Well there's only one way to find out…

… it does say on the back of the label "pour over ice and garnish with lemon for the perfect serve", which didn't sound very terrifying. So I began to relax a little whilst opening the 4% volume ginger beer's bottle. There was already an unsubtle citrus lemon aroma mixed in with the ginger spice. In fact it was quite strong and stopped the ginger smell dead in its tracks from tickling my nose hairs like some other ginger beers have in the past. Smells to me like the Ginger Grizzly is all out of puff.

Although I must say that the sheer fizz on pouring this drink sounded like the low growling of a distant bear amongst some dark wooded trees. Maybe the bear had stopped for a back scratch on a tree trunk? More like from the taste of this drink that the bear had been waiting to pounce all along from the shadows. There is certainly a mouth burning hotness to this ginger beer. The citrus lemon smell lulled me into the bear's waiting claws as my tastebuds were buffeted by instant waves of spicy burning ginger. The lemon zest certainly takes a back burner showing its fairer hand into the aftertaste, but when the Ginger Grizzy bear has got a hold of you, it's hard to shake his fiery temper!

20 April 2018

Walkers 1970's Cheese Fondue Crisps (Ocado) By @Cinabar


If one food substance could sum up the 1970's it would probably be the cheese fondue. Yes this was the coolest thing for any dinner party in that era, when a bowl of molten cheese would be served up with crispy bread on sticks to dip in. Sadly I’ve never tried a cheese fondue, but I am waiting for them to come back into fashion. Walkers have chosen Cheese Fondue flavour to represent the Seventies era in their new range of crisps;  Flavours of the Decades.
Anyway cheese fondue is essentially just melted cheese which makes this flavour a nicely dressed up version of cheese crisps. The taste is pretty strong on the cheese and they have a nice depth of flavour. They were not too musty, and these cheese was well defined. The cheese itself is quite difficult to specify, but I think it might be a strong cheddar. It is that kind of taste. Cheese crisps aren't my first choice but these were tasty and very enjoyable, of all the flavours that have been released in the Flavours of The Decades range they aren't the most creative but they are a nice addition to the new multipacks.
I might have a look on eBay, and see if i can find a proper cheese fondue set!

19 April 2018

English Tea Shop - White Tea, Coconut & Passion Fruit (by @NLi10) @ETSTeas

I got an e-mail informing me that National Tea Day is the 21st April (Saturday) nd asking if I'd like to try something from the English Tea Shop.  The pictures in my head were of English Breakfast, and Earl Grey and frankly everyday is Tea day in my world so I said yes.

What I actually got was this.


White Tea, Coconut and Passion Fruit is not what I was expecting. White tea is still from the same plant (all tea is) but it's usually used to indicate juvenile or under-processed varieties so I worried how this would work with the strong smells I could detect coming from the still sealed box.


You get 20 lovely individually packaged tea bags (which is great when you find out you don't like it as they are easy to give away) and they tell you what is in them which is a bonus.  There are certainly a blend of ingredients with lemongrass being the biggest surprise as it's 2nd on the list but not listed in the variety.

And much to my surprise it's a fantastic little afternoon tea.  The smells are very reminiscent of the lovely little loose tea shop we used to have in Birmingham.  The flavour is admittedly quite coco-nutty and very in your face, but it's certainly not a herbal infusion as the tea is strong and gives a refreshing aftertaste.  After cautiously only bringing three bags to work I took a load in the following day for some nice summer-time brews.  I could see this being successful in tea shops too which is a high complement as it's really hard to have something that is in a regular non-Teapig teabag and yet still stands out enough to want to pay money for.  I don't think you'd want to dunk biscuits in this...



I'm sure we'll find a spot for it in our ever growing tea collection...


And seeing as today was (bizarrely) the hottest April day in the UK for 70 years I decided to see how it worked as an iced tea.  The answer - surprisingly well! It doesn't have the natural sweetness that it needs to really shine, but with a little fruit (or sugar) and maybe a dash of spirits this would make a fantastic outdoors drink when the real summer gets here.  

***

It was only after all this that I realised we'd got a barely tried box of pyramids of English Tea Shop teas for Christmas (we've managed one so far!) so now I have a great excuse to try those and report back too!


18 April 2018

Rude Health Brown Rice Drink (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK


Admittedly this Brown Rice Drink has sat in the fridge for quite sometime. It was bought way back when I was trying to be healthy in January. It tells me off every time I open the fridge, "Why haven't you tried me yet?" It exclaims. "I just don't fancy you!" I exclaim back, which is probably what the guy who sits next to me in the office should say to the woman who keeps wondering over from way over the other side of the room to bug him. Well it's fish or cut bait time; with the Brown Rice Drink and not for my troubled colleague. I'm just going to twist the plastic cap of this carton and hope for the best…

There was a slight anticlimax on finding the inner ring pull cap followed by a slight temptation to put the carton back in the fridge for another day. Temptation over and deadline for this blog encroaching, I pulled the ring. Warning here! The contents of this carton literally fill the carton, which means pull the ring carefully. A certain amount of sticky white Brown Rice Drink over my laptop screen will attest to that.

The Brown Rice Drink just looked like milk to me. It tasted somewhere in between rice, milk and water, but was refreshing. From the ingredients, calories and fat content, it's pretty healthy too. It would probably go well in a coffee if you can't use milk for dietary reasons, maybe even tea, but I'd recommend a strong black leaf tea, such as Assam or Ceylon, and or one of the smoky varieties, such as Darjeeling or Keemun. As refreshing and healthy drinks go; I'm not sure this would be my first choice, but it certainly wouldn't be my last.

Information on the carton;
The 500ml carton contains 60 calories per 100ml, with 1.4g of fat, 4.8g of sugar and 0.1g of salt. Ingredients are gluten and dairy free, with no added sugar, and included; natural spring water, organic brown rice (17%), organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt.

17 April 2018

Neapolitan Inspired Popcorn Bites (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar


A favourite childhood ice cream of mine was Neapolitan. When given the difficult decision of what flavour ice cream to pick as a kid in the supermarket the solution of having strawberry, vanilla and chocolate all in the same tub sounded like magic, so I’d often pick the Neapolitan. I will always have an association of summer for these flavours, and as the weather is starting to pick up its seems nice to resurrect them again, but this time in the form of popcorn.
Mark and Spencer have brought out this new Neapolitan Inspired Popcorn Bites, where we have pieces of popcorn coated in milk chocolate, white chocolate and a strawberry coating. I poured some out to take a closer look. The pieces of popcorn do look very smart, particularly the pink ones, and I gave them the taste test.
Each piece of popcorn had a nice thick coating of chocolate. The milk chocolate worked well, and had a good cocoa flavour. The white was sweet and creamy. The pink ones were mainly white chocolate in flavour, with just a hint of fruitiness. I think this is where they could have added a bit of strength to the fruit, but they were still very tasty. I liked the mix of texture from the different shapes of pop corn, and the coating giving them a nice substantial feeling. I think I might be adding a tub of Neapolitan ice cream to my next online order too, just for the sake of reminiscing.

16 April 2018

Kir Royale Flavoured Crisps (Aldi) By @Cinabar


I did my grocery shop at Aldi this week and I wasn’t sure I would find anything to blog about. I do like the store, the quality of the products and prices, but there isn’t always things I’d blog about here at Foodstuff Finds. Today though I was very pleased with my finds, as I spotted these rather fun sounding crisps, they are flavoured with Kir Royale; a cocktail made from a blackcurrant liquor called Creme De Cassis and Prosecco. I apologise for doubting you Aldi, these sound amazing!


So we shared the bag at lunch time and had them with sandwiches. The first thing to note is that the crisps are tinged with their pink seasoning from the fruit. I gave one the taste test, the texture was good, crunchy and crisp, but not to thickly cut. Some crisps are just too thick and are actually uncomfortable to munch. These were just right.
The flavour wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I think I had pictured crisps dipped in sweet blackcurrant cordial, but these were a class above. The fruitiness was quite subtle and focused more on the punchy sour side of blackcurrants, there was a lovely fizzy texture too from some Prosecco powder. Crisps work with vinegar, and this takes the sour edge of the fruit and delivers a similar taste sensation, just with a nice fruity hint to it. They are cleverly put together and just work really well. They are not sweet novelty crisps, they are simply well balanced ones with a lovely hit of zing.

15 April 2018

Mr. Filbert's Olive Snack - Lemon or Chilli (Holland & Barrett) by @NLi10

I really like Olives.  I didn't used to, but going to Italy and Spain a lot gave me a new-found love for the salty little things.  Granted I know that it's not really the olives that I like - posh places with unmarinated olives are always a disappointment. Here though we have portable, marinated, non jar olives.


Granted Holland & Barrett is more associated with lotions and potions (CBD oil trials still ongoing) but they do great snacks.  They used to be the only place for the big plain bags of kettle chips, but now they are mainstream.  I think little things like this will get there too.

Essentially the lemon and oregano olives taste of salty lemon goodness, and while a little squashed sometimes are easily good enough for a starter.


These however are maybe a little to potent to eat all at once and are more suited to snacking and having a couple at a time.  They are both a pain to photograph in the bag as the hole isn't huge, but this just leads to them staying fresher for longer.  The bags have a sticky strip that reseals too.

At £1.99 a bag they aren't amazing value, but they are a lot more exciting to pick up when in town than a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar (for me at least).  And people don't tend to want to join you in the oily snack so you get more.  Hurrah!

A big flavour and convenience hit for me then - I've made it through 4 bags so far...

14 April 2018

Pathmaker Pale Ale (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK



Lately I've been becoming more and more lackadaisical about shaving. Partly because of the expense of razor blades, as I can be a terrible skinflint, partly because of the time taken to shave, and partly because of the shaving rash that makes it look like someone just tried to slit my throat. There are a few clean shaven guys at work, and quite a few more guys who can't seem to be bothered to shave either. I may have said on the odd occasion that I'm not one that can grow much of a beard. In fact it looks more like a hairy neck with a spiky anaemic goatsbeard. I kind of like stroking it when I'm pondering something at work, and only seem to shave nowadays when the stroking gives-way to scratching.
The hoppy bearded individual on the front of the can is the guardian of the North's hop and barley fields. He's let the Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire have some Chinook hops in order to make this Pathmaker pale ale. There is certainly a spiced herbal hop smell on opening the 330ml can. This 5.6% volume pale ale excitedly filled my waiting beer glass with a golden tint and a frothy head. On taste this beer is a treat to the tastebuds. The fresh crisp Chinook hops bash into the malted barley in the initial flavour, crisscrossing each other to begin with and then merging together into a refreshing bubbly bitter aftertaste. This beer is perfect for a Spring afternoon in the sun whether it's with a spot of gardening, or a good book and a deck chair. Enjoy!

13 April 2018

Divinely Decadent Chocolate Hamper (British Hamper Company) By @cinabar


We were very kindly asked to try out a hamper from the family business The British Hamper Company, and they sent through their Divinely Decadent Chocolate Hamper.
I have to admit I had been expecting a sort of picnic hamper as a container but it all came packed up in a fabulous box, which was very prettily decorated and wrapped in ribbon. The items inside were well packaged and there was a good selection of goodies inside too.
One of my favourite flavour combinations is mint and chocolate. I have to say one of, as there are quite a few things I like. Anyway this was a beautifully old fashioned looking box of peppermint creams from Mr Stanley’s which are covered in dark chocolate. This was the first item I was drawn too, and I can’t wait to try. The next item to catch my eye was the very posh looking Chocca Mocca drinking chocolate. I do love a hot chocolate, at any time of the year, and as this is made with Belgian milk chocolate it should make a lovely soothing drink. Also from the Chocca Mocca brand are some fruits covered in chocolate, there are two bags of these; strawberries in white chocolate and orange in dark chocolate. I think these add to the good range of flavours available in the hamper, and keep it diverse. I’ve tried Willies Cacao chocolate before and it is in the category of superb, but quite pricey. There are two bars from them in this box, a 72% Las Trincheras Gold dark and a Milk of the Gods milk chocolate bar, and they are of fantastic quality and are proper luxury items. Finally we have a bit of fun from Monty Bojangles in the form of some chocolate truffles called Choccy Scoffy, I can’t wait to taste test them.
This is a fabulous gift for a chocolate lover, the pleasure is in exploring all the interesting items that are included. I was pleased to see that the makes were all of very good quality, and that there were items for all taste buds. It really is a lot of fun receiving a hamper as a gift, and is guaranteed to put a big smile on any recipients face.

12 April 2018

Unicorn Slices (feat. New Day) by @NLi10 and Mr Kipling

Here we have some Mr Kipling Unicorn Slices - and seeing as I was going to a Wrestlemania party i chose to eat them during the New Day match because they love unicorns too!


Here we can see the huge projector screen and the New Day entrance, featuring unicorns and pancakes.


There are even little people dressed as pancakes handing out pancakes - maybe I brought the wrong snack!


Turns out you can't really see food if you take it's picture in front of a projection screen.  This isn't ideal.


Luckily we had one left to take home for a decent shot.


Note the penguin themed scamper-pants.  These are your standard Mr Kipling slices - basically pure sugar.  At first I was upset they hadn't hid any kind of flavour in there, but then I realised that unicorns probably taste of pure sugar anyway.

If you want hyperactive children then get these, otherwise you can probably pick up other versions that have a taste too!

11 April 2018

Walkers 1950's Coronation Chicken Crisps (Ocado) By @SpectreUK


As part of Walkers ‘Celebrating Flavours of the Decades’ editions this Coronation Chicken celebrates the 1950s, namely the coronation in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth the second (or ‘first’ to the Scottish), and the creation of this unique chicken meal that was to become iconic of that time. I have eaten Coronation Chicken before, which was cold, creamy, mildly curry flavoured and it went well with a salad. Of course, Walkers crisps are one of this country’s iconic crisp manufacturers. So an iconic chicken dish made into a flavour by an iconic crisp manufacturer… what can go wrong?
On smell I’d say this could be any mild curry sauce, much like a chip shop curry sauce flavour. On taste these crisps could definitely be mistaken for chip shop curry sauce flavoured crisps. I can see how this could come about though. It’s quite simple I suppose, with chip shop curry sauce we dip in chips, so the potato flavour is naturally there, where it isn’t with Coronation Chicken. I tried a pile of crisps shoved into my gob rather than one daintily at a time, and strangely the flavour changed slightly with more chicken shining through. So there is chicken flavour here as well as the mild curry sauce… you just have to eat more!
Information on the packet;
The 25g packet has 130 calories, with 7.4g of fat, 0.8g of sugar and 0.32g of salt. These crisps are suitable for Vegetarians. See photograph for ingredients.

10 April 2018

Sprite - Lemon, Lime and Cucumber (Ocado) By @Cinabar


A little while ago, when fruit infusions were very much on trend, I tried cucumber and water. I know this might not sound exciting, but I swear cucumber in water beats any selection of fruit or berries you can think of. I know it isn’t the most exciting vegetable, but trust me on this it was meant to be drunk. Cucumber added a level of refreshing I simply hadn’t been expecting. I have to admit I thought at the time that I couldn’t work out why there weren’t more drinks with cucumber available commercially, but then Winter came and I forgot all about it.
As spring finally hits, Sprite seems to have seen the magic in cucumber that I had last year, and I was super excited to see this Sprite Lemon, Lime and Cucumber listed on Ocado. I actually had to make myself wait for it to chill in the fridge after the delivery arrived, I was so keen to just pop the can straight away. When I finally did open the can it fizzled pleasingly as I poured it into my glass. I gave it a sip and let the flavours wash over me. There was plenty of of the usual lemon and lime to identify itself as Sprite, but the cucumber worked its magic touch. The cucumber tasted fresh and cooling and partnered with the lemon and lime made the perfect drink for a warm day.
This is a soft drink aimed at the grown up market, and I will gladly lap it up. Its refreshing, different but still has the lemony goodness of Sprite. Possibly the most refreshing drink available in a can, for those that like cucumber that is.

9 April 2018

Orange Dark Chocolate (Jamaica Inn) By @Cinabar


I had some family come back from a holiday in Cornwall, and they very kindly gifted me some chocolate from the world famous Jamaica Inn which they visited. It is a pub in Cornwall famous for its history of smugglers, which has inspired a TV series, and even a Hitchcock film. This explains the pirate logo on the front of the chocolate bar too.
So this bar has been handmade in Cornwall, especially for the Jamaica Inn. The bar consists of dark chocolate and is flavoured with orange. There is a bit more detail on the back of the pack where it states that the chocolate is infused with natural orange oil and covered in orange jelly pieces.


Once open you san see that the bar looks big and chunky and very dark, and the back is pretty too. From the packaging this looks like it is going to be a bit of a novelty bar, but the quality of the chocolate is actually spot on. It is rich and dark, but with enough sweetness to bring balance. The orange flavour works a treat with the chocolate, the orange oil is an excellent match for the dark chocolate. The candy pieces bring a lovely bit of texture, and are fun too. If you are visiting the area I’d highly recommend the chocolate, and any brought back as gifts will be warmly received, but also I would recommend buying a bar for yourself too! Don’t let me forget, thanks for the chocolate dad. :-)

8 April 2018

Giovani Rana On Tour (free pasta inside) by @NLi10 #free

While I was dashing from the bus to the cinema this weekend I spotted a familiar logo on one of the promotional huts that hide outside Morrison's occasionally.  Having been a fan of the Giovani Rana pasta ever since I stumbled upon it, the idea of a free snack of a new flavour was enticing.



I had the chicken and bacon flavour, and I got a nice compostable fork and bowl with 5 pieces in.


The deal was this.  If you buy two packs of the pasta from any store and then keep the receipt they will send you the £5 back.  For something I'd probably buy anyway this was a deal.  It's not a location specific thing, it's a timed deal on their website.

I chose a veg style one, and a meat one.


And yeah - you may spot they are double the price of the own brand ones, but they are so worth it.


The veg based one is Spinach & Ricotta, takes two mins to cook and is as soft and tender as you'd expect.


The meaty one was Prosciutto and Mozzarella


And has a nice picture of everyone on the back by the special offer for the free pasta

Still my favourite brand of filled pasta, rich flavours and great textures.


7 April 2018

San Miguel Alcohol Free Beer (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK


I recently wrote about San Miguel Gluten Free beer, and now I have a bottle of alcohol free beer to try. I noted at the time that the gluten free San Miguel was produced in Spain instead of the regular Scottish San Miguel. This alcohol free San Miguel was also produced in Spain. Instead of the maize that dominated the flavour gluten free beer, this alcohol free beer was produced in much the same way as the regular alcoholic version with barley malt and hops.

On opening this alcohol free San Miguel didn't smell like regular San Miguel. It also didn't taste the same. I don't know whether there are different hops and or different varieties of barley malt used between the two countries, but the Scottish version tastes a lot more like regular beer than this slightly sweeter none alcoholic version. There's also a similarity in flavour to the gluten free San Miguel that makes me think that the difference in taste was not just the maize dominating the flavour. On further mouthfuls there's definitely a difference in flavour between the countries, which makes me wonder if local ingredients are used during their brewing. This is an ideal beer for designated drivers who want the taste of beer without the alcohol, but given the choice I'd plumb for the version closer to home.

6 April 2018

Ben & Jerry's Birthday Cake Ice Cream (Morrisons) By @Cinabar



It’s not my birthday, which made me feel a little strange buying Ben and Jerry’s new ice cream as it is Birthday Cake favoured. I don’t object to a cake flavoured ice cream, it just strikes me as a little weird to narrow this to birthday cake, it makes me feel like it should only be purchased to celebrate an actual birthday. If you were having a party with multiple guests, or a children’s party, I think Ben and Jerry’s isn’t the ice cream of choice really, it is a premium price, and the cost would soon rack up. It is the kind of ice cream I like to keep to myself! To be fair it is nearly £5 a tub, and a small tub at that, it isn’t really meant for sharing to a large party.


Anyway, it wasn’t purchased for a birthday party, or indeed ant birthday, but I still bought the ice cream and managed to open it and taste it without the need to celebrate. The ice cream is slightly pink in colour, as one of its extras its birthday cake fondant icing, there are also pieces of sponge cake mixed in. As someone whole loves a mix of texture I have to admit to enjoying the sponge cake cube mouthfuls, they were fluffy and full of vanilla baked cake flavour. The fondant icing was sweet and fruity, and added a good flavour of strawberry, much like a layer of jam in a birthday cake. Everything about this ice cream was sweet, cakey and delicious. It reminded me mostly of cupcakes, and it would have been much easier to buy without feeling weird if it wasn’t Birthday Cake but Cupcake flavour instead. As it, I feel I may need to google famous birthdays and find a celebrity’s special day to celebrate and give me an excuse to buy this again. It is a proper treat of an ice cream, and in retrospect I don’t think I’ll need much of an excuse.

5 April 2018

Jacob Hooy CBD Oil Food Supplement (Holland & Barrett) @NLi10

A friend shared a well researched and thought out blog post about CBD oil and it's been continually linked to the health conditions that I have so I decided to hunt some down.  It was easier than I expected as Holland & Barrett stock it in the UK, but they are usually out of stock so I had to order it from them online (and picked up in store to save money).

It comes in a tiny little dropper bottle.


The instructions on when to use it and what to use it for are deliberately vague.  There are lots of discussions about what it is supposed to do - but even Holland & Barrett aren't willing to pass that on - instead they direct you to the CBD UK Facebook group where you hear success and failure stories.  And a lot of discussion about the foul taste.


The specific brand they sell is Jacob Hooy, which is apparently an old and well established brand from the Netherlands.  That said - this is manufactured from hemp not cannabis so isn't illegal in the UK to buy and use.  It doens't contain anywhere near enough of the THC chemicals that cause the highs, but apparently does contain enough of the CDB compounds that may cause lowered anxiety, reduced inflammation and reduction in pain.


The evil looking dropper is used to put a drop under the tongue at specified intervals.  I've chosen to go with the wisdom of the group and start off low and slow - one drop twice a day for the first week.


And the taste?  It's basically like Sunny Delight made with grass cuttings.  If you eat things like Kale and other strong green things then you'll probably already be a bit used to it.  It should be noted that I've been very intentionally keeping it away from my taste-buds so maybe i'm missing out on the pure evil.

Like our other health investigations I'll link all these articles together and track my progress with this new fad oil and see if it helps my Rheumatoid Arthritis and changes my sleep patterns at all!

4 April 2018

Hula Hoops Puft Sweet Chilli flavour (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK


As part of the “Hula Hoops family”, these wheat and potato Puft Hula Hoops are a larger and lighter version compared to the original ‘finger top’ crunching snacks. Don’t tell me you never put one Hula Hoop on each finger top as a child (of adult… maybe)? Well, these Pufts are wider hoops for bigger fingers! My favourite of all the flavours of Hula Hoops has always been BBQ Beef, but let’s see what this new Sweet Chilli flavour has to offer…
On opening the packet there was a sweet and mild chilli aroma, mixed with the wheat and potato of the crisps smell from the red tinted Puft Hula Hoops. The flavour of these Hula Hoops starts off quite subtly. First comes the wheat and potato flavour from the Puft, then a sweetness mixed with a tasty cayenne pepper flavour, and a touch of ginger and onion into the aftertaste. There is a very mild chilli burn from these crisps, which slowly builds but never troubles. These are a subtle yet tasty alternative to the usual flavour bursting Hula Hoops. Good for sharing if you have lots of bags dumped in a bowl for a party and maybe dipping into mayonnaise whilst watching a good movie.
Information on the packet;
Each 15g packet has 71 calories, with 3g of fat, 0.5g of sugar, and 0.23g of salt. There are no artificial flavours or colours, and these crisps are cooked with 100% sunflower oil. Please see photograph for ingredients.

3 April 2018

Starbucks Red Apple Rooibos Tea Latte (@StarbucksUK) By @cinabar


When I went into Starbucks, which was for a break on a busy Bank Holiday Monday, I was quite intrigued to see some new tea drinks. They have launched a range of Starbucks Tea Lattes, one of which is a Matcha Latte, which is one of my favourite drinks in the Japanese restaurant we go to. It is made with hot milk and Matcha powder, and is a delicious finish to the meal. However I was on the quest to try something new, so another drink that caught my eye was the Starbucks Red Apple Rooibos Latte and that is what I decided to order.
The drink was served in a nice mug with a dusting of delicious apple blossom topping decorating the top. I enjoyed the flavour of the latte. I think I had been worried that this would be one of the novelty over sweet and indulgent drinks from Starbucks, but this was far from it. The flavour was quite subdued, the apple was rich but very gentle on the sweetness and the Rooibos tea blended with it perfectly. I thought the two flavours went together impressively well, and managed to be both refreshing and soothing, the apple just shined through just enough. I was pleased with my choice of drink, and it is one I will go back for, but I’ll be trying the Match Latte next.

2 April 2018

Create A Crisp (Waitrose @createacrisp) By @Cinabar


I actually first saw this brand of crisps on Twitter and have to admit to not quite getting it. I wasn’t sure how you were supposed to create your own flavour within a multipack, so I made and effort to pick up a bag of Create A Crisp from Waitrose when I was last in.
Reading the bag made the concept make a lot more sense. In side the pack are unseasoned crisps and flavour sachets which you can mix and add. There are a decent selection of flavours, from prawn, steak to garlic and black pepper. I wanted something for my first bag that sounded like it would go, but still used two flavour sachets, I went for Chicken and Thai Chilli. I opened my bag, sprinkled in both sachets, scrunched the bag closed and shook it, as per the instructions, for 20 seconds.
The crisps are crinkle cut to help catch the flavour and after their good shake the seasoning was fairly evenly distributed. The flavour worked well, the chicken was meaty and the chilli added a nice Thai tang, but it wasn’t very hot. I enjoyed the crisps ever so much, and it was fun making an interesting flavour combination. I guess the real fun will be trying something a bit more out there, and seeing if you can invent a winning combination; Lime and Cheese anyone?