28 February 2018

Seabrook Lamb & Mint Crisps (Morrison’s) By @spectreUK

Roast lamb and mint sauce constitute one of my favourite Sunday dinners, preceding the preferred Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding dinner of course. I'm hoping these Seabrook Lamb & Mint crinkle cut crisps will help to remind me during this mid-week lunchtime of a good hearty Sunday dinner. I may not have the roast potatoes, side vegetables and a glass of red wine at work, but at least these crisps may raise a smile rather than a pre-meal toast.
There's a definite minty smell on opening the packet with a little lamb and parsley in the background. In taste these crinkle cut crisps are certainly big on mint which merges into lamb and mint towards the aftertaste. Once the aftertaste has almost died out there is a bizarre aftershock of parsley and a little garlic in the flavour. This makes for an oddly pleasant secondary flavour.
These Seabrook Lamb & Mint Crisps are definitely minty in taste, with lamb following closely behind to be replaced by an entirely new blast of flavours of parsley and garlic. I can't recall having a crisp flavour that bites back after swallowing, so there you go… Always try something new, you never know when you'll have a new experience!
Information on the packet;
The 25g packet has 126 calories, with 7.2g of fat, 0.4g of sugar and 0.4g of salt. The ingredients are vegetarian friendly, gluten free, and include; potatoes, sunflower oil (30%), rice flour, sugar, yeast extract, salt, acidity regulator; sodium diacetate, onion powder, flavouring, dried herbs; parsley and mint, garlic powder, and herb extract.

27 February 2018

Butterfinger Cups - Coconut (Sainsbury's) By @Cinabar

Butterfinger from Nestle is a brand predominantly known abroad for its peanut butter products. I should know, in the past I have spent quite a few pennies on the imported bars as I am such a peanut butter fan. Peanut butter Butterfinger Cups have finally launched in the UK, and I recently wrote about them. The other new launch in the range was these Butterfinger Cups Coconut edition, with no peanut butter involved. Well, I still couldn’t resist them.
As with the peanut butter ones there are four cups in the packet, sitting on a cardboard tray. If Butterfinger Cups are new to you I should point out that they aren’t cups at all really, more shallow squares of chocolate with a filling.

I gave one a try and found that there was plenty of chocolate, and good hearty filling of coconut. The filling was firm, but by no means solid, and it had that lovely texture of coconut that I like the feel off, where you can pick up on the crispy bits within it. The filling was creamy and sweet and very rich in coconut, and the milk chocolate brought balance to this and turned it into a rather lovely treat. There are four to share and they are nice to give out instead of biscuits with a cup of coffee. As much as I loved these, the peanut butter ones are still my favourites, but that just personal choice, both are yummy. Have you tried them, which did you prefer?

26 February 2018

Coffee-mate Creamy Chocolate (Import) By @Cinabar

I have given up on milk at work. It strikes me that milk at work is a sure fire way to cause an argument. At my previous place of work our shared milk started disappearing at an amazing rate, we went from needing one or two bottles a week to needing four. When we investigated it turned out everyone took milk from our bottle, other staff, even the cleaners. That was when I started using Coffeemate, because I could store it on my desk where I could keep an eye on it.
Now Coffeemate in the UK pretty much has two versions, full fat and low fat, and that is where the product range comes to an end. I heard that this was a different matter in America and that there was a range of flavours! Thankfully these are stocked by Amazon in the UK so I ordered myself a tub of this Coffeemate Creamy Chocolate, despite it being a little pricey. Once it arrived I put the kettle on. As per the regular Coffeemate you need to add it to coffee, and for the ratio I added one teaspoon of coffee and one heaped teaspoon of Coffeemate Creamy Chocolate into my mug. Others may prefer a milkier cup but you can just add more. I have to say the flavour was pretty special, I’m not sure what I was expecting but the taste was just the right level of sweetness, and plenty of cocoa that mixed with the coffee like a dream. It was like an instant mocha, with just the right level of chocolatey goodness, allowing the coffee to shine through too. Now I may have opened this at home, and realised after tasting it how good it is that I actually need a tub for here, so I had to go back to Amazon to order a second tub for work, but that just shows you how much I liked the stuff. I also ordered the French Vanilla, if it half as good at the Creamy Chocolate I’ll be over the moon.

25 February 2018

Bear Claws (Blackcurrant & beetroot) @NLi10

I suspect these first started at Halloween, but this is the first time i've seen them - Bear roll-ups but as pressed shapes called CLAWS.

As you can see the packaging has their usual flair, and has free stuff to encourage the pester power.  Fortunately they are reasonably healthy and taste great.  And the box has feet.

The stickers are surprisingly high quality and as they are in the box not the packs they aren't sticky like the collectors cards were.

Yup - spooky stickers for Halloween!

And you get a mess of body parts...

From which you can make your own monsters!

I wasn't really clear on the arms and feet, but I got three eyes in the pack so that's what he had.  There were some leftover parts too.  If you don't want to encourage children to play with their food (or to assume fruit is healthy without looking at the sugar content) then these are not for you - otherwise enjoy!

24 February 2018

Oliver’s Island Golden Ale (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Oliver's Island is situated two miles up the Thames in the London Borough of Hounslow. It's a 0.9 acre lump of trees that has an urban myth that Oliver Cromwell took refuge on it from a brief spell during the The English Civil War (between 1642 and 1651). A wooden toll building and barge was added in 1777 to charge boaters passing by on the river. A smithy and barge builders was added shortly afterwards, only to be knocked down through lack of use many years later. Anyway, enough history from Wikipedia…

Brewed by Fuller's this 4.5% volume golden ale was made with floral and citrus hops, golden malt, and orange peel was added during the brewing. This beer has me rather excited. I have a big tuna baguette and some sushi on the side for my dinner and I know from experience that orange peel beer, whether it's a wheat ale or golden ale goes very well with fishy meals. I reckon it's the citrus hops and orange peel that brings out the flavour in the fish. They usually go well with spicy dishes too for the same reason.

On opening there was a mixture of sweet golden malt, citrus hops, a little orange and then floral hops at the back of the smell. This is a shiny golden ale that reminds me of summer sun. I was a bit taken aback by the first taste. From the smell I was expecting big citrus flavours, however the sweet golden malt bashed into my tastebuds with those stronger floral hops like a barge crashing into a flowery island. Then come the citrus bitter kick and a little orange towards the aftertaste. This is a step away from the traditional orange peel beers I've tried in the past, and I'm not sure it'll go well with my fishy meal. Ah, well… I'll save it to savour later and pour myself an orange squash!

23 February 2018

Robins and Sons - Peppermint Bark (Mint Cracknel @RobinsandSons) By @cinabar

I had an email from the lovely folk at Robins and Sons asking if I wanted to try their Peppermint Bark chocolate. I have to admit that I have watched many American TV shows and films which have in passing mentioned Peppermint Bark, but I have actually never tried the stuff. I wasn’t even completely sure what it was. Peppermint is one of my favourite choices for a chocolate flavour too, so I know this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It turns out that this chocolatier started making Peppermint Bark because they too couldn’t find any, even via import.
My parcel arrived and I have to say just how impressed I was with the packaging, it was beautifully presented in a box with ribbons! The box was well packaged in an outer box with plenty of packing materials, but the Peppermint Bark was broken when it arrived, however after a bit of googling it turns out it is supposed to be broken into pieces for eating, so I think that was okay. All the pictures on google images show broken slabs. Did I mention I wasn’t sure what Peppermint Bark was. Well to confirm, it is a thin slab of milk chocolate, topped with white chocolate and sprinkled with broken up peppermint sweets or candy cane. I took one of the pieces and gave it a try. The chocolate was a fabulous treat, the milk chocolate is very sumptuous and the white chocolate layering adds a lovely level of creaminess to the bar. The peppermint sweets do fuel a refreshing peppermint flavour which works perfectly with the base chocolate. They look pretty too nestled on the layers.
This would make a fab gift for any American over here missing home, or anyone who has a love of peppermint and chocolate. I for one think I may well be hooked.
If you want to try some for yourself it is available at: https://www.robinsandsons.com

22 February 2018

Earl Grey Crepe Cake - Happy Lemon, Birmingham @NLi10

Happy Lemon have all kinds of wonderful deserts to sample, mostly based around ingredients they already have like tea powder and cheese.  I've always doubted that a real cheese cake would make it home safely, but a crepe stack?  That we can risk!

We decided to go with the Earl Grey cake stack - which appears to babe made with a powdered Earl Grey as it doesn't have a massive smell/flavour of the usual bergamot.

It does look stunning though, and survived a trip to my sister's house on the bus.  Here we see a sneak peak of her Easter dresser.

Surprisingly it cut into two really nicely, and the layers actually stayed intact.  

The texture was fiendishly good, it hadn't gone soggy at all.  The flavours were slight and more cheese cake than Earl Grey, but still really enjoyable.  £4.80 for the big bit seemed expensive, but when shared is just a reasonable price.  I don't think you'd want this every day, but as a treat I'm sure i could work my way through the range.

21 February 2018

Godiva Caramel Lion with Belgian Milk Chocolate (Sainsburys) By @SpectreUK

Cinabar rather excitedly said to me a few days ago that the famous Belgium chocolatier, Godiva, have started to mass produce chocolate. There are lots and lots of caramel bars on the mass produced market, so I wondered how this compares. Whilst she wasn't looking I stole this chocolate bar from under Cinabar's nose. Some people are easily distracted with pretty colours or an alternative snack she hasn't seen before!

Unwrapping the bar I was impressed by the overall presentation. A Lion's head crest on each of the twelve square pieces of milk chocolate. The first thing I noted on biting into a chocolate crested square was how creamy the succulent milk chocolate was. However, the base is solid milk chocolate. Certainly very luxurious milk chocolate, but not filled with a caramel centre. This wasn't exactly true to the image on the front of the cardboard packet. In fact each lion's head crest on top of each base was filled with thick gooey brown sweet caramel. Okay, so not true to the image, but these chocolate pieces were certainly very tasty and felt like a step up from some of the mass produced brands. However, it's all about the milk chocolate here, as mass produced brands generally have more caramel in them and certainly have excellent quality milk chocolate, if not as amazeballs as Godiva's Belgian milk chocolate. I can't comment on price, because generally I get mass produced brands blended with the weekly shop and I nicked this Godiva Caramel Lion with Belgian Milk Chocolate bar for nothing from Cinabar's usually tight chocolate loving fingers!

Information on the packet:

The 83g bar had 555 calories per 100g, with 32g of fat, 55g of sugar, and 0.21g of salt. For ingredients please see photograph.

20 February 2018

Nestle Les Recettes De L’Atelier - Cranberries, Almonds & Hazelnuts Chocolate (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

I find it is difficult to not be excited when I find a new chocolate bar in the supermarket. That is probably where this blog comes from. When I spotted this new chocolate bar in Morrisons I did think for a minute that it was an imported bar, as the title of the bar is in French; Les Recettes De L’Atelier. Having using google translate, because my French GCSE was more than a few years ago, I discovered that this meant “Recipes from the Workshop”, which does make it sound like a selection of fun experimental flavours. Indeed this particular mix is of Cranberries, Almonds and Hazelnuts in milk chocolate and it sounded very appealing. As for the foreign connection, the address on the back of the bar is for York, but perhaps the concept still came from abroad.

The chocolate is shaped into long pieces all packed with fruit and nuts, so much so they deliberately peep through on the centre of each piece.As someone who loves a mix of textures, this bar worked very well for me. The almonds and hazelnuts are firm and crunchy, and the cranberries sticky and soft. The milk chocolate that surrounds them is very lush, it is very creamy, and the chocolate has a lovely thick melt. The taste is sweet and it is very rich. The cranberries add a little tartness to the taste, and nuts add their woody goodness. I loved this chocolate, it was like a very posh fruit and nut, but it was the sumptuously sweet chocolate that held it all together. I can’t wait to see what other bars get released under Nestle’s new Les Recettes De L’Atelier range.

19 February 2018

Molten Hot Chocolate (Starbucks) By @Cinabar

February has been a cold month, the kind where you get home and put the fire on to warm up. When I was out shopping I was looking for somewhere to warm up there too and thought I’d see if there was anything new in Starbucks. I was excited to see they had a new drink, Molten Hot Chocolate, and knew that would be perfect to warm me up.
The drink came topped not with regular cream, but with mocha infused whipped cream, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. It looked like just what I needed. I gave a the drip a sip and found the hot chocolate was remarkably soothing. The flavour tasted like a proper hot chocolate, full of flavour and very rich. The cream added an nice mocha taste, which contrasted well with the drink. To be honest the hot chocolate had so much flavour it felt like dessert in a mug. Despite this when I finished my Molten Hot Chocolate I found loads of chocolate sludge at the bottom of my cup. Now if this had been mixed in I suspect the drink would have been even more intense if that is possible. I’ll have to go back for a second cup, just so I can test the theory of the completely stirred version!

18 February 2018

Import Snacks in Spain, but from other places - feat. MilkyWay Midnight (@NLi10)

Tenerife has sweet shops because tourists like eating sweets, and tourists like taking sweets home as presents.  All of these shops were really quite dull and with the hotel buffet being the source of 2/3 of all my meals I was worried that I'd have nothing to review.

Then we spotted this unassuming place.  We almost didn't bother going in!

The only clue that it's a bit out of the ordinary was a sign outside that had American and English oddities on it.

Inside the shelves are sparcely stocked but with some of the best and most exciting things from around the world.  I ignored the wide selection of English stuff and got just over 5 Euro of wonderful things to try.

Milky Way Midnight Dark - USA

This is a fascinating little idea.  In Britain Milky Way is marketed as a treat for 4-8 year olds that won't stop them eating their dinner too.  This is a MilkyWay for the Dads.

The chocolate on the outside is devilishly dark, and is closer to a Green & Blacks than any American chocolate should dare.  The inner is fluffy and white and far too sweet for my English taste-buds, but with the dark choc surrounding it - it gets away with it.  The caramel, which could easily have been a throw away layer, is luxurious and slightly burnt.

One of the nicest American bars I've ever had the pleasure to try and even at around 2 Euros for the import version actually worth the money.  If I'd not waited til we got back to try these I'd have picked up a spare for you. As it is, you'll have to find your own.

Alpella Wafer Hills - Turkey

Looking to make the most out of my Euros and to grab as many things that I'd never see again I went for this bar, which appears to be in the same family as the Kinder Bueno.  It's twice as long as the Milky Way, but at 42g about the same weight.  I think it was about a Euro.

Pleasingly it's stolen the Cadbury's metallic purple colour scheme - I always said someone should paint a F1 car in those colours.

Interestingly it has the import details printed on the wrapper which suggests these are designed for the Spanish.

The wafer is a bit cheap and doesn't snap as nicely as I'd like, and the Nutella style paste in the lumps isn't flavoured quite as I'd expected but it's still quite a compelling snack.  The many different ways to eat a bump at a time means it dissapears quite fast, and unlike the Milky Way is a very light bite.  More like a wafer bar in the shape of a Bueno then, and tasting more like the cheaper cremes of those I can understand why it's much better value.  Enjoyable, but not that memorable.

17 February 2018

Choc & Orange Stout (Morrison’s @BlackSheepBeer) By @SpectreUK

It's no secret that I make a beeline for the soft centres in any box of chocolates. Cinabar and her mom have given up losing so many soft centred chocolates that they now buy me boxes of chocolates solely made up of soft centres. That's a great idea, but I still steal their's as well!

Here is a novel idea from the Black Sheep Brewery which is to make a soft centred stout, so to speak. This is a chocolate and orange stout. Chocolate orange is one of my all time favourite soft centres, next to strawberry of course. I've tried orange peel beers before and many many chocolate stouts and porters in my time, but I don't think I've tried a chocolate orange stout before.

This stout was brewed with real dark chocolate and orange peel, as well as roasted dark malts and Cascade Hops for added citrus zest. It sounds like a pudding beer to me, one that could be served after dinner all year round, rather than a spiced chocolate and orange stout which could be considered a winter warmer.

On opening, this 6.1% volume jet black stout certainly packed a fulsome aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts, with a little orange suggestion at the back of the smell. On taste the roasted dark malts sprang to the fore merging after a time with velvety dark chocolate and then a touch of citrus bitterness from the hops, and a little orange zest into the aftertaste. I must admit with the heavy flavours of dark malts and some dark chocolate and then the kick of alcohol at the end of the flavours, the orange peel was a little lost on me. The flavours from the roasted dark malts dominated this stout, which was no bad thing. Mixed with the dark chocolate and a little suggestion of citrus hop and orange peel at the back of the flavour made this an ideal pudding beer for those that love their stouts flavoursome and warming, for this is a winter warmer with a cheeky soft centred end.

16 February 2018

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Caramel Chunkies (M&S) By @Cinabar

There is a Marks and Spencer food hall in Birmingham New Street station that I pass through on my commute. I only popped in there for a loaf of bread, but while I was in the queue a “new label” caught my eye, and more than that a mention of peanut butter. I soon found myself with two items at the checkout, bread and Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Caramel Chunkies.

The bag is a bright orange in colour and metallic, which does make it stand out. There is a sticker for re-sealing, but once I opened up the bag I realised there was only nine chocolates, and as I was sharing soon realised there wouldn’t be anything to reseal in there. The chocolates certainly look chunky and though they do need two bites to eat, they are quite light and fluffy in texture. There is some crunch from nutty bits, but ultimately they are soft and easy to eat. This means there is another reason there won’t be anything to reseal, you eat one and you immediately want another. I did love the flavour though, there is lots of nut taste, a hint of salt and loads of creamy milk chocolate. The added layer of caramel gives these a nice gooey feel, dded sweetness, and a layer of luxury. These are a bit too moreish, have a nice mix of textures and combine some of my favourite flavours. I really should have picked up two bags!

15 February 2018

The Highest Vending Machine In Spain is a disappointment (@NLi10)

Whilst on holiday we went up the volcano known as Mt. Teide in Tenerife.  The reason there are no clouds is because we are at 3,500 meters and above them!  As this is technically a Spanish colony the mountain is the highest point in Spain.

Which makes this vending machine in the 'service building' the highest vending machine in Spain!

Now - I'll often do vending machine round ups on holiday, but those in Tenerife were mostly in the hotel and very bland (which was missing a trick really as Germany loves a good vending machine and there were lots of German couples in North Tenerife).

This one is frankly worse. I suspect that my people (the English) have been here and colonised the vending machine as it's all standard high-street fare.  Some Cadbury's, some Kinder, and some Mars - it's like the greatest hits of WH Smiths.  I feel they are missing out here - in the low oxygen atmosphere I'd have loved to have tried some trek food, or something a little volcano themed.

And don't get me started on the prices! Sure you have to bring these up in the Cable Car (which was about 50 Euro for two!) but 3 Euro for a 50p Twix is a little shameful.  

I resorted to the food and drink I'd naturally bought with me.  They should have a few good Euro brands in here to balance it out so that the holiday makers are forced out of their comfort zone for a little while.  

(but that's non of my business...)

14 February 2018

Fusian Sticky Hoisin Duck Noodles (Degusta) By @SpectreUK

We had snow yesterday and now buckets of freezing rain. "Nothing unusual there" I'm sure you are thinking, however, I do need something to warm me up. I was supposed to go swimming yesterday, but couldn't be bothered because of the snow. Not because I'm worried about driving, as now we live much closer to the gym. It's just when you look outside first thing in the morning and think "nah!" I had the same feeling this morning looking at the freezing rain and stayed in bed all morning again. It's good to have a few days off work and laze around, but I need some exercise, mainly so I can have guilt free beer, pork scratchings and a box of biscuits later.

This Fusian Sticky Hoisin Duck Noodles is supposed to take a few minutes to prepare and microwave in a bowl. As you can see from the photograph, there were three sachets. They needed to be mixed into freshly boiled water first, heated for a quick thirty seconds (as we have a 1000 watt microwave) and then the noodles broke into the bowl for reheating for another two and a half minutes. I found the heating times on the packet a little confusing, as they were for a 850 watt microwave, so tried to cut them down a little to suit. Even checking after two minutes the soup had boiled over in the microwave, so my quick lunch was turning into a longer one for having to clean the microwave afterwards.

After a quick stir this noodle soup did look pretty sticky. In fact, it would probably stick to the ceiling if I could get away with chucking it up there… It smelt of Hoisin Duck, even if the ingredients didn't have any in them. sadly I couldn't even get near the soup for a good while. The heating instructions seemed grossly inaccurate, as even after two minutes of heating this soup it had not only boiled over (still miffed I have to clean the microwave), but was also furnace hot. I found some bread for dipping instead before the noodles soaked up all the soup. That didn't work, as by the time I'd taken to type these sentences I'd lost the edge for dipping the bread. What taste I could get out of my now slow Fusian Sticky Hoisin Duck Noodles soup meal, was lost as it didn't stick to the bread. Whilst I waited I ate the bread, which was fluffy, but not very interesting without butter, but hey, when you've got nothing else to write about…

… Seriously, it seems like half an hour has passed and these noodles just won't cool. I just burnt my tongue on them. Asides the impossible heat they do taste good, just like Hoisin Duck sauce with a dominance of onion, ginger and coriander, and with all the other spices and herbs mixed in with the noodles. I'd advise not going any where near this meal for a good long while as it seems quite dangerous to delicate mouths! Short work lunches are a no no. It sure is sticky now… In fact this meal puts the 'sticky' back into Fusian Sticky Hoisin Duck Noodles. Bang goes my quick meal before swimming though. I kept waiting five minutes at a time, stirring to let some heat out and burning my tongue some more. It probably took a good hour or more to eat it safely and I didn't have time to go swimming.

Information on the packet;

The 1/2 packet contains 273 calories, with 11.6g of fat, 4.4g of sugar, and 1.2g of salt. For ingredients please see photograph.

13 February 2018

Haagen Dazs Cherry Blossom Ice Cream (Ocado) By @Cinabar

As I bought this Limited Edition Haagen Dazs Cherry Blossom ice cream online I didn’t fully appreciate just how pretty the tub was until it arrived. The tub has been decorated in a pretty pink and floral pattern, making it a shame to have to store it away in the freezer. The design was most appreciated during the 15 minutes it had to warm up before serving; it recommends taking the ice cream out of the freezer for that long prior to serving to let it soften up.

Once open I could see that the ice cream was rippled, and I had a look on the tub to see that it was a cherry blossom flavour ice cream with a cherry ripple. I gave the ice cream a taste test and couldn’t make my mind up about. What I tasted was a very delicate flavour. It was mostly creamy, with a lightly flavoured cherry sauce, if I really concentrated on the flavours I could pick up the gentlest hint of a floral flavour, making up the cherry blossom element. I liked the delicate flavour with the cream but felt this ice cream was very mild and ended up being more a hint of cherry than even a hint of cherry blossom. So a nice refreshing mild ice cream, but I thought it doesn’t do quite was promised on the very pretty tub.

12 February 2018

Walkers Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings Crisps (@Morrisons) By @Cinabar

I think my favourite flavours of crisps are the meaty ones, and in that category chicken tops my list. Obviously I’m well acquainted with Walkers Roast Chicken crisps, but these new ones sounded like they could be a real winner. I adore hot chicken wings and the idea of this flavour on crisps really excited me. Now these are in a new range for Walkers called Max Strong so I was expecting a kick, but the hotness level from the chilli on the back is labelled as medium so I assumed an intense flavour, but reasonable heat.
We shared out the bag of crisps one lunchtime with sandwiches, and some cheese and pickle, which is a favourite lunch to be honest.

The crisps are thick cut and have deep ridges so there is plenty of seasoning and you can see it has gathered in the gaps. I gave one a try, and was impressed by the solid crunch. The flavour of these is really stunning, the chicken taste is almost juicy, the flavour is spot on and wonderfully meaty. The seasoning is quite epic, and the paprika is subtle but the chilli provides a hefty wallop to the tastebuds. My mouth had quite a hit from the flames and I found myself reaching for the cheese and a drink to help dull the burn. I still loved them though, hot spicy chicken, these really were fab crisps. What scares me though is that I bought one other flavour in the range, JalapeƱo and Cheese, and those ones are labelled hot, so heaven help me! The medium heat Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings Crisps were quite close to my tolerance levels!

11 February 2018

Pepsi tastes different in the Canaries (@NLi10)

We went to Tenerife recently, and went for a wander along one of the many black inhospitable beaches.

We found a nice little cafe that served overpriced bottles of Pepsi with ice and lemon.

I got good value though because the tiny glass made me look like a giant! 

One thing I did notice though was that the Pepsi tasted different, and i just put this down to the ice and lemon.  My partner however noticed the nice little logo on the bottle - this is local Pepsi!

Now I'm sure the Pepsi concentrate is made in a top secret factory in America somewhere, but I'd not appreciated that a small set of islands like the Canaries would have their own regional variation too.

We can prove that it's not exact by looking at the calories.

It's more fattening than English Pepsi? No wonder I put on weight while we were away! (well maybe it was the all you can eat buffets in the hotel).

I wonder if these are just due to the necessities of local production (availability of sugars?) or tuning to local flavours?  When I'm in Spanish countries I live on Aguarius anyway (which is bade by the bad guys - Coke) so don't tend to see the bottles.  Maybe the Tenerife one is purely designed to be used as a mixer?

Something to add to the list of human geography tourism things to look out for in local supermarkets while away.

10 February 2018

Pimm’s Cider Cup Summer Fruits (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I remember I tried the strawberry flavoured Pimm's Cider Cup last year around this time and enjoyed it. I figured I needed another pick-me-up when I watched the weather forecast last night. Snow, sleet and freezing cold rain on the way, as well as storms and dim skies. Lovely. This 4% volume Pimm's Cider Cup Summer Fruits should brighten me up a bit, if not the gloom outside…. Although they shut the outdoor pool at the gym today, because it was having problems with its temperature. I've seen TV programmes with hardy folk swimming in freezing lakes before now, and my gym is worried about a degree or two below legislation…

… Anyway, on opening the bottle there was a pleasant fizz from the cider, with a cool smell of cider apples and mixed fruit berries. From the front of the bottle it looked like a mix of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. This cider had a deep red colour on pouring, and a rather cheerful fizz. On taste the flavour explosion of Pimm's mixed with an amalgamation of berries almost completely overshadowed the apple cider. This was strange as cider was quite prominent in the smell. If you're looking for a cider drink mixed with Pimm's and summer fruits, you may be mistaken. This is Pimm's mixed with summer fruits with cider as an afterthought. It's no bad thing, I suppose, but I prefer a little cider with my fruit rather than the other way around!

9 February 2018

New Cadbury Freddo Biscuits (@Morrisons) By @Cinabar

If you are buying a Cadbury Freddo product, I’m guessing it is because of the cuteness of Freddo the frog. The brand Freddo has quite a few edible chocolate goodies, but I’m not really sure where the frog originated, was there are a cartoon at some point I missed? Anyway for me it was the obvious “new” label that encouraged me to purchase them, from there they jumped into my basket.
To be honest these Cadbury Freddo Biscuits are quite plain in terms of newness, they consist of a neutral biscuit coated in chocolate. The flavour is fine, the biscuit has a nice creamy edge, but with a hint of wheat flavour. The chocolate if fine, as you would expect from Cadbury, and adds a lovely cocoa sweetness. The texture was good too, they are fairly firm and have a nice crispy crunch. They hold together well for dunking. The biscuits are difficult not to like, but I was struggling to love them, because they didn’t add anything new for me. If I’m honest I wasn’t particularly keen on the Freddo element either, I didn’t think this particular version of him embedded into the biscuit showed his best side, the picture on the back looked like a cross between Freddo and Jabba the Hut. Oh well, tasty enough biscuits all the same.