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!

29 July 2018

Rocket Shaped kitchen towel and bright green cider (by @NLi10) @Ora_Home

Sometimes you see a novelty product on special offer and cant help buying it anyway.  On Ocado this week I got a 'voucher' price for this Ora - all round kitchen towel.  We needed kitchen towel anyway and it was £1 or so for the thing so I thought why not.

Turns out the whole one handed thing is handy with 4 cats, one of whom views the world as her personal toilet...

The rocket shape is odd, but it means that you always have a sheet handy and don't need to support the base to grab one (at least while it's full).  I didn't dare take all of the packaging off yet because of other cats knocking it on the floor.  From looking online though the base seems stable and stylish so I'm going to remove that once I get home.

And here we see the interesting side-effect - they are all round.  I'm not sure whether this is handy or not yet - and I'm also curious where the rest of the sheet goes.  You can imagine how the tucks and folds work too - I hope there is a speedy machine that makes the towers and it's not done by hand (I've done similar jobs in factories - this isn't as unlikely as you think)!

As kitchen towel it also works fine - non human spills are dealt with and kept away from hands with relative ease.  Maybe not an everyday kitchen towel - but great if you want something to take out when you have guests round with Pizza fingers.

We got some normal kitchen towel too.

Well - relatively.

It's basically the standard plenty with pictures on it.  Incredibles 2 is a decent film but it won't be remembered as a classic.

And here we have a quick bonus thing - Cider we got locally while away on a National Trust property for the weekend.  The Cider House is very famous locally - and it's got decent reviews.

It's strong, it's insanely green, and it tastes a lot like the standard Brothers cider.  Unfortunately I didn't go over and buy any on the walk as we didn't really have time, but I had a couple of mouthfuls and it was surprisingly drinkable.

If you drank a whole one to yourself you'd probably need the kitchen towel though...

28 July 2018

Devon Farmhouse Cider (Marks & Spencer) By @SpectreUK

Although we've had a scorching summer so far, we're having a pretty rainy weekend presently, but I still fancied a cider to cool myself down a bit. You see with the rain I seem to be slowly getting over a rotten cold, which is making me run hot and then shivery. I've managed to avoid colds for some time, so I suppose I was due one. However, it feels almost foolish to have stinking cold during a heatwave!

This Devon Farmhouse Cider was produced by the Sandford Orchards especially for Marks & Spencer. Sandford Orchards's Lower Parks Farm has been tending and growing fruit trees for generations. At 4% volume this cider has had elderflower added in the brewing. On opening there was quite a strong smell of elderflower to the cider apple aroma from the can. Lightly sparkling this golden cider bubbled excitedly into my waiting glass. On taste this sweet cider was predominantly cider apple with a light and refreshing citrus twist and a touch of elderflower into the aftertaste. I see what they mean on the label where this Devon Farmhouse Cider could be good for washing down Asian spicy fishy dishes, but I enjoyed it just as well with a good old tuna and cucumber sandwich!

27 July 2018

Milka & Strawberry (Pound World) By @Cinabar

Pound World in Wolverhampton is a sad sight at the minute. It is closing down and has reductions on reductions and very empty shelves. We have had quite a few of our purchases for Foodstuff Finds over the years and I couldn’t resist taking one last look. They were a haven for import and new products. The shelves were well picked over but I spotted on the side a Milka bar I hadn’t tried before and could resist picking some bars up.

The is bar is called Milka and Strawberry but is different to the strawberry cream’s I’ve tried from Milka as it is an individual size and has white bits inside the bar. The information on the back of the pack doesn’t go further than “crispy pieces”, I had wondered if they were meringue as they are quite white, but they seemed to be wheat based.
The bar does taste like a big strawberry cream though, but the filling is a little thicker. It isn’t too sweet and the crispy pieces add nicely to the texture. I really like Milka chocolate, as it has a very creamy taste, and this went well with strawberry filling. This is very much a summer bar, and as I had the last piece I said a cheers to Pound World, it will be missed on our high street.

26 July 2018

Latrice - Excuse The Beauty chocolate bar (@LatriceRoyale @SweetStoreLA) by @WarlockAnt & @NLi10

I have friends with odd tastes.  It's not so much the whole Drag Queen thing (that I get) but how many people think to go online and buy their chocolate bars - all the way from the States?!

Well one of my friends did (the one who is coming with me to see Latrice if she ever makes it to the UK without postponing the tour again), and he sent me the pictures to prove it.

Should you decide to partake you can pick them up here direct from her website.

So - what does an $8 Candy Bar taste like?  Lets ask!

"It was very like our chocolate very sweet and full of many tastes.  The flavour were all well mixed and it's kind of like a selection box in a bar - each bite was different.  Some were smooth and some were crunchy, depending on where you bit.  It would satisfy the chocaholic deep inside of all of us, and it makes a fantastic treat for yourself or a present to a drag queen super fan"

To the uninvited onlooker it's a white chocolate covering...

...on a milk chocolate bar - that is basically a Rocky Road!

As the site says 

From Sweet! Hollywood, this candy bar hand-crafted by Latrice includes:

Milk Chocolate

White Chocolate


Macadamia Nuts



huh - it even copied the formatting (but not the odd font)!

So - if you want to tip your preferred drag queen, and get chocolate in return instead of CDs then go for it - it certainly sounds like an adventure!

25 July 2018

New Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Mocktails (Superdrug) By @SpectreUK

I do like fruit flavoured gummy sweets, sours or plain, I usually can't eat enough and have been known to finish whole packets in one sitting. Never you mind the sharing recommendation in fine unreadable print somewhere ignorable. These new Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Mocktails come in three chewy flavours. The pink gummy Strawberry Daiquiri flavour are a sweet strawberry flavour, but I had to look a little bit for the lime. The yellow gummy Pina Colada flavour had a predominately pineapple flavour, with a slightly creamy aftertaste of coconut. The brown gummy Cuba Libra flavour had a sweet cola flavour mixed with a strong lime tang. I thought these Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Mocktails were a squishy melt in the mouth treat, and a rather innovative summer concept. As far as I recall there haven't seen any novelty Wine Gums before, asides sour or tangy editions. So these Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Mocktails are a step away from the norm. Good for them, I say, the packet didn't last long and there wasn't much in the way of sharing either. I'll look forward to some winter mocktails to warm my cockles!

In the packet;
In the 165g packet there are 78 calories per four sweets, with less than 0.1g of fat, 13g of sugar, and less than 0.1g of sugar. Please see photograph for ingredients.

24 July 2018

Elephant Squeezed Pretzels with Pizza Taste (Parc Market) By @Cinabar

We had a recent stay at Center Parcs in Sherwood and visited their onsite shop for snacks. People say it is very expensive in the shop but the prices were actually okay, perhaps not the best bargains but not so expensive that we felt the need to go off site. They had a good range of products too. As an example we found theses interesting “crisps” in there. We brought them back home with us and tried them with our lunch.
These strange looking snacks are described as Squeezed Pretzels with Pizza Taste and are made by a company called Elephant. Presumably inspire by an elephant standing on a pretzel?
The Elephant Squeezed Pretzels are flat discs of pretzel, with a small hole in the middle. The back of the pack says they can also be eaten with cream cheese, but we had them as they were from the bag. I liked the texture of these pretzel crisps, they are crunchy but the pretzel makes them feel substantial and you don’t need to eat too many to feel full. You could taste the pretzel and the bread like flavour was a nice base for the flavouring. The pizza seasoning worked a treat, there was a lovely hit of tomato, and a nice mix of Italian herbs like basil and oregano. They were very moreish and I honestly think it would be a shame to cover them in cream cheese as the hold up so well on their own. Now I just need to work out who else stocks these Elephant Squeezed Pretzels, so we can try out some of their other flavours.

23 July 2018

Blueberry Cheesecake Crème Frappuccino (Starbucks) By @Cinabar

The weather and sunshine don’t seem to be going anywhere, so I’m yet again looking for a cold drink for a treat on the Starbucks menu. I have to admit that I don’t usually go for the Frappuccino style drinks at all, I find them too cold. I mean I either don’t have time for the ice to melt so end up leaving lots, or forcing it and ending up with an ice cream headache. Having said all that these are extraordinary times for a British summer and even I am happy to have a drink that is extra cold. On the menu were the new cheesecake flavour drinks, and I chose the Starbucks Blueberry Cheesecake Crème Frappuccino.
The drink is purple in colour and looks very vibrant, it was also topped with cream, and a biscuit crumble. I started by trying the cream and biscuit crumble together and it was rather delicious, the cream really enhanced the biscuit crumb flavour. You can have the drink as a lighter edition without this topping.
The drink itself was creamy and had a not to sweet blueberry taste. The fruitiness was well balanced, and the creamy background flavour made it feel like a blueberry milkshake, or dessert in a glass. Pure yum. With the the weather the way it is currently I have a new found love of Starbucks Frappuccino drinks and will be back to try out the other flavours.

22 July 2018

International KitKats from Japan - Sake, Banana, Wasabi & Dark (@NLi10)

When people go on holiday at work they bring back goodies from around the world.  This particular haul was epic - Japanese KitKats!  To get the most out of this opportunity and not just eat all of the snacks we took four and then quartered them to share amongst the tea.

I didn't get the Jam version to trial, and we ignored the matcha green tea one that I've bought loads of previously.

The boxes are truly ace pieces of packaging as art.

I think these are special regional editions from the new factory they built just for odd flavours.

These are truly gift-like experiences and not just for snacking on

Although we've clearly managed to eat a lot.

And here are the bars!

First up was the Sake - and as a colleague remarked it almost tasted of whisky!

It was very strong and certainly the most interesting of the bunch.  Probably not one for the children though.

Next up we have banana - with disappointing lack of yellow chocolate!

The flavour was that of the little yellow sweet bananas but in KitKat form.  As expected - decent enough.

Here we have the dangerous one of the bunch - Wasabi!

Pleasingly green and with the right smell, but it just wasn't that mind blowing.  I enjoyed it - sure, but I'm not sure I'd go out and buy these.

Last up was the dark one

We've eaten a lot of dark KitKats so this was again kind of a flop (but one I'd happily eat at regular prices).

So - presuming 50p per tiny bar the only one I'd import would be the Sake, but the others at a regular price are all reasonable.  More fun successes form the KitKat international factory!

21 July 2018

Warhammer World: Bugman’s Bar and Troll Brew Beer (By @SpectreUK)

We've just spent my Birthday Week (yes, I get a week) at Centre Parcs in Nottinghamshire. We had a great adventure week doing everything from the water park to miniature golf, learning to fire a crossbow, to quad biking, falconry, boating, and quite a few trips to their lovely spa.

On the way to Centre Parcs I dragged Cinabar to Warhammer World. I've been a collector and war gamer for many years, but never visited the hub of Games Workshop, so it was a bit of a pilgrimage for me. After getting several treats for my Birthday and wandering around the war gaming tables, we stopped off at Bugman's Bar for a spot of lunch.

The bar itself is Dwarf themed in Games Workshop's branded Bugman's style with a few of Bugman's Beers on tap. Cinabar ordered a fish finger sandwich, and I had a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich. I couldn't help but order the Troll Brew from the rather ugly image on the pump handle.

Although the bar suddenly became very busy after Cinabar's empty bar photo our sandwiches arrived pretty quickly. Both sandwiches came with a tub of really nice chips, and there was plenty of sauce on the side. It was a huge portion served on a wooden board. There was a lot of bacon in my BLT, some diced onion, and chopped tomatoes. The bread was pretty soft and thick, and my sandwich was very tasty with its decent supply of bacon. Cinabar loved her fish finger sandwich too.

There were a few tables filled with people playing various board games, such as Blood Bowl, and I could well imagine a group of dwarf adventurers sitting down for something to eat. Although as you can see the bar is quite high, so they may have to stand on tiptoes! The music was metal and not too loud, with a good balance for talking. Some restaurant's music can be too loud for people to chat, whereas a meal out is supposed to be a gathering.The toilets were refreshingly labelled Ladies and Gentlemen too, not anything weird that could confuse the desperate.

My Troll Brew was a good strong amber ale at 4.2% in volume. There were floral undertones in the aroma. In taste there was sweet amber malt to start with, which was followed by bitter herbal hops into the aftertaste. It was not a fruity beer, it was quite bitter, but you'd expect that from Troll Brew. Having said that it was really nice, washed my sandwich down a treat and I would definitely have it again. Somebody wandered past me with a San Miguel. I couldn't understand it, why wouldn't you drink Troll Brew if you have the chance to travel to Bugman's Bar?

20 July 2018

Limited Edition Skittles Orchards (Asda) By @Cinabar

These new Limited Edition Skittles Orchards are now on sale in the UK, and seem to be exclusively available in Asda, for now at least. I tried to google the sweets and found the American version of Skittles Orchards have some difference, for example peach, and their apple is red. I thought I’d see what was in our UK edition pack of Limited Edition Skittles Orchards.

Green - These were labelled as apple. I found the flavour very sour and sharp. In fact it sharpness is the first hit, and it is overpowering, then there is a subtle hint of apple.
Purple - This one is cherry, and the flavour develops as you eat, it starts soft, then gets a bit stronger and a little sour. Is it just me or should cherry sweets be red not purple. A nice cherry taste though.
Yellow - This is lemon, and it is very much a regular lemon Skittle. It is sweet not sour and wonderfully fruity. It is very enjoyable, but that is what you’d expect from a lemon skittle.
Orange - This is orange in colour and flavour. It is sweet not sour, and again very tasty. There is lots of sweet citrus, but aren’t these too in a normal bag of Skittles?
Red - This new flavour is pomegranate. It is sweet and different, these were by far my favourite, they were a good representation of the fruit flavour and every enjoyable. I did google to see if pomegranates are grown in orchards too, they are apparently. Phew.

I have to admit to not being too impressed with this bag of Limited Edition Skittles Orchards. My least favourite flavour were the green sour apple, they were more zing than apple and the fruit flavour never quite over came the sharpness. Green were of course the most plentiful in the bag. The lemon and the orange were a disappointment not because they were bad, just because they were regular Skittles flavours. I did however like the cherry and pomegranate, but perhaps not enough to buy the bag again.

19 July 2018

Fentimans Sparkling Raspberry (from Bamburgh Castle) by @NLi10

It's usually a bit of a chore to get the new Fentimans flavours in Birmingham, but I was up north for the weekend and got to visit Hexham - the home of Fentimans so it should be a breeeze, right?


Fentimans doesn't have a shop anymore, the lovely bar hadn't unboxed them from their stock room yet (rotation of dates and all that) and the off-license only had the one in the window left from their free trial box. The guy serving had tried it though, and thought it was too much raspberry which is a good omen for me as I love that flavour. 

Fortunately we did a lot of visits to local attractions and their shops always have the latest things on offer.  I managed to stumble across a few bottles in Bamburgh Castle gift shop (not the cafe oddly?!)

The castle itself is a really beautiful place.  With live archaeology, and some period style minting happening on site there is a lot to do besides just the epic views and buildings.  As a museum buff they could do with a little more selective curation, but what they have got allows you to discover the treasures yourself.  Like the drinks.

And it's sweet, it's very fruity and the sparkle is just the right side of refreshing.  It's a lot more drinkable than the lovely Cherry Cola they do which is very much a one and done drink.  I think I could happily just drink this for an evening.

As usual it's a real drink with lots of real flavour infusions and not just a diluted syrup.  It's a proper social drink that I expect to sit with the usual lemonades in the pubs.

In the end I think the effort to track it down was worth it, but I've heard rumours that Sainsbury's are already selling the 750ml bottles which will be a perfect excuse to visit them.

Another win from my favourite drinks company.