30 September 2018

OSHEE Vitamin Muesli Bar Plum/Cranberry (Asda) by @NLi10

Well last time we looked at the water - now lets look at the muesli bar!

OSHEE Vitamin Muesli Bar Plum/Cranberry

Rather oddly it has plums in it! This is a massive improvement over sultanas or raisins.

The pack isn't all that special, but I figured if I'm getting the drinks we may as well get a bar too.

And it looks pretty good - just enough choc to hold it all together and you can see the fruit.

The grains are pretty boring, but then that's not the idea here.  I'm sure its for exercise or similar. And it fills the need, like the drinks its reasonable quality and the flavours are good.

Not going to rush out and buy more, but I enjoyed it.

29 September 2018

Twisted IPA Beer (Gloucester Farm Shop @glouc_services) By @SpectreUK

Twisted IPA Beer

I know it's supposed to be autumn now, but we still have some pretty good weather at the moment. Therefore, before it rains again, I'll still be able to write about the odd summer ale I have in the fridge. Not much could be odder than this Twisted IPA from the Eden Brewery, in Cumbria. First of all it's a black IPA, which isn't all that common. American Citra hops and Azacca hops were added late in the boil for a burst of citrus and tropical flavours, as well as Mango and Guava were added with a final heap of Citra. I'm not all that keen on Mango as a flavouring, so I'm hoping it doesn't overpower the rest of the flavours of malts and hops.

At a hefty 5.9% volume, Twisted had a very tropical fruity smell on opening the can. There was Mango, but there was also Guava in the smell, followed by citrus and further fruitiness from the hops. Lightly carbonated this deep brown almost black in colour Indian Pale Ale poured with a frothy creamy head. On taste it was pretty sour. Certainly not for the faint hearted. There was a blast of tropical fruits to start with that keeps strong and true all the way through each mouthful. Guava actually was the initial predominant flavour, which is a flavour I rather like. Guava mixed well with the sweetness from the Pale Malt, just as other bitter hoppy citrus and hoppy fruitiness joined the fore. Here the Mango also resided, mixing with the full-bodied citrus and fruity hops for an additional and not unwelcome bitterness. Twisted is a complex craft IPA, perfect to be enjoyed on it's own or with a spicy or fishy meal, or indeed a spicy fishy meal!

28 September 2018

Green & Black’s Praline Bar (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Green & Black’s Praline Bar

I saw this bar of Green and Black’s Praline Chocolate on the stand near the tills at Waitrose, when I was taking a glance for anything new or interesting to treat myself too. This is a bar I haven’t tried before and as it contained praline I thought this would make a nice treat for after work.
It turns out this Green and Black’s Praline Chocolate bar is one to be savoured. The wrapper isn’t of the best quality, the writing on the side was even a little blurry, although I accept my photography doesn’t help the issue! The bar inside is something quite special. There is dark chocolate covering a praline filling with hazelnut pieces. The chocolate has a high cocoa content, and this makes it a very rich taste. The praline inside is silky smooth, and the nuts add texture. The hazelnut is well balanced, and this stands up to the cocoa making it a lovely mix of strong flavours. This bar took me by surprise as I thought it was going to be perfect for a quick snack, in reality this is a bar you should take time out to enjoy, the taste is complex, flavoursome but wonderfully chocolatey with plenty of nuts. It is a proper treat, and I think one of my new favourites from Green and Black.

27 September 2018

OSHEE Vitamin Water - Dragonfruit // Citrus (Asda) by @NLi10 #Lewandowski

Today we are continuing the mini theme of water + reviews.  These are the swift response to the sugar tax, water with a flavour and a little sweetness is cheaper to sell now!  Here we have a Polish version with a famous (apparently) footballer on them - lets see what he's up to.

Robert Lewandowski is the brand ambassador for this water.  How difficult is his job? That depends on how nice this stuff is.

Here we can see he's telling me to stop thinking about writing the review and to actually get on with it.  Sound advice - if not a little generic.  Dragonfruit doesn't usually show up in things like this and is probably the reason it went from a maybe review to a pick-up.

There's barely any in here though and it just tastes of red juice.  Nice with it though, it has that vitamin aftertaste and is quite refreshing.  If it was free because I was the brand ambassador then I think I'd get through enough of it to make it worthwhile.  Wish it wasn't dreaming of dragon fruit and they'd actually put a decent amount in.

Next up is orange/lemon - which to me sounds like they put citric acid in and called it a day.

This one says the limitations are only in my head.  I think he's calling me thick! Maybe the limitations to what flavour you can write on the front is limited only by your imagination.

This drink isn't even blue! It's the colour of citric acid.  This tastes of cheap pop (the Mick Foley kind), and is nice enough but the red flavour was better.

I do feel refreshed and rejuvenated though so Robert has clearly inspired me in some way.  Next time we'll have a look at the snacks from this range too!

26 September 2018

Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels (NISA) By @SpectreUK

Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels

Cinabar recently wrote a blog on the Pizza flavour of these Elephant Squeezed Pretzels. She does like pizza and I remember I enjoyed them too. Innovative Bites very kindly sent us a couple of packets of the Honey Mustard & Onion flavour. Cinabar isn’t that fussed with mustard due to an unfortunate childhood incident involving a large amount of English Mustard, mistaken for German mustard, daubed all over her hotdog. Understandable I guess, but I like all mustards and large amounts of it at a time too. Not to say I’m expecting these Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels to be mustard hot or anything, as anything with the word ‘honey’ in front of it doesn’t point towards nose tingling mustard heat in my mind!
These Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels are baked, not fried, for an added healthy bonus to this alternative snack to crisps or nuts. On opening the packet there was a strong onion smell from the multitude of round thin squeezed pretzel discs inside. From first blast of onion in the taste these Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels just keep on giving oodles of flavour. And that flavour is onion. If you’re looking for a quick end to your after lunch meeting, which fortunately I was, then these Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels are for you. There is a hint of sweetness from the honey and an almost imaginable hint from mustard at the back of the flavour, but who am I kidding? These squeezed pretzels taste of onion. If you like onion flavoured snacks, fortunately like I do, then these Elephant Honey Mustard & Onion Squeezed Pretzels are for you. Just don’t expect a kiss from the missus (Cinabar) afterwards or anybody else in the office either!
Information on the packet;
The 70g packet contains there are 451 calories per 100g, with 16g of fat, 10g of sugar and 2.2g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

25 September 2018

Merry Orange & Berry Preserve (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar

Merry Orange & Berry Preserve

I have purchased a jar of Merry Orange and Berry Preserve from Marks and Spencer. I think this is the first Christmas review of the year. I love Christmas, I love the season, and I love all the limited edition items that come out for it. I have to admit though, September is a little early even for me. I like to get through Halloween before I really think about it. I’m letting it go though as I actually did need a new jar of preserve and this one was the only “new” one I could find in Marks, the Christmas hint on the label shall be ignored, the taste shall not.
So essentially this Merry Orange and Berry Preserve is a Marmalade with added berries, and that sounded perfect for my morning toast. When I spread this I could see the Marmalade strands but there was no missing the berry colour, and this was packed with fruit too.There were strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries all adding to the taste. There was a good base of orange marmalade but the berries were strong and fruity and soon took over the flavour, I liked this as I love a mixed berry jam. The tang of marmalade just added a nice twist. I think if you are looking for something predominantly marmalade in flavour you may find the berries too strong, for me though this cheered up my toast perfectly. In fact it made it very merry....

24 September 2018

Limited Edition Bonfire Spice Latte (@CostaCoffee) By @Cinabar

Limited Edition Bonfire Spice Latte Costa

So the autumn items are arriving the shops, and Costa have a new range of drinks for the season referred to as the Bonfire Spice family. I’m trying out the Bonfire Spice Latte to start and am sitting with a warm cardigan on and a pair of sheep’s wool boots. It doesn’t seem too long ago I was moaning about it being too hot and buying a fan. Oh well, hopefully this drink will help me warm up to the colder weather.
Now the first thing I thought was weird about this drink was that I ordered a Medio (Medium sized drink for those that don’t speak Costa) and was told that the new drinks are only available in Primo (aka Small). I’ve googled a bit to find out why and didn’t hit any results, so my assumption is going to be calories, hot drinks like these are often in the press for their loaded calories that people forget to count as they are “just a drink”. Weird though as they are happy to sell Millionaire’s Shortbread at 515 calories a pop, but I can’t have this drink in large (aka Massimo in case you were wondering). The drink according to the calories list had just 65 calories, so I am a little confused. If anyone can shed any light on the limitation to small drinks only please leave a comment below. Apparently I can order 20 small Bonfire Spice Lattes (for the office), but not one single large drink.
Anyway I am definitely digressing from the flavour, which is more to the point for this blog. The flavour of the drink actually worked really well. It was topped with some sprinkles with there predominant flavour being burnt sugar, but the spices in the drink itself were lovely. There was plenty of cinnamon (and I love cinnamon) as well as lots of other warming spices, my guess is Allspice. There was a subtle hint of smokiness and and some sweetness from honey and cinder toffee. The drink wasn’t too sweet though, just nicely spiced and pleasingly warming on a cold blustery day.

Calorie list for the curious: https://www.costa.co.uk/nutrition/Costa-ANI-data-September-2018.pdf

23 September 2018

Keralan Curry Dhal Chips (@Marksandspencer) by @NLi10

All the first curries I had were by M&S.  My parents have never been big curry fans, and my grandparents who -were- shopped at M&S.  This meant that all international and exotic food I ate as a child was the white, middle-class M&S version.

I think this explains a lot about why i find the real thing so appealing.  It is then with trepidation that I return to try M&S curry chips.

Keralan Curry Dhal Chips

And make no mistake - these are good.  You can tell because the picture is of only half a bag!

Here is the ingredients.  Feels as healthy as this kind of thing is going to get.

And here are the lovely little hexagons themselves.  They have a simple curry flavour, with maybe a katsu level strength and more flavour than heat.  The texture and the general feel of them is the real star, and I can imagine adding all kinds of toppings to these.  I'd recommend picking up a couple of bags to wow people with for the Christmas buffet - with some of the fab chutneys that are around at the moment this could be a festive winner!

22 September 2018

Felinfoel Dragon’s Heart Beer (Home Bargains) By @SpectreUK

Felinfoel Dragon’s Heart Beer

I was reminded yesterday that it was 81 years since the J R R Tolkien's Hobbit was first published. Cinabar found her brother's illustrated Hobbit in one of the many moving boxes we've been laboriously sorting through the day before. He was very excited, as he'd been searching for it for many years since he'd moved away. I first read the Hobbit when I left secondary school almost thirty years ago. I'd received a commendation for Design and Technology and had been asked to choose a book to be presented to me during the big awards ceremony. Whereas all the other pupils who were receiving awards that day chose text books for learning, I chose the Hobbit, much to other's consternation. I remember one lad in the audience nearby saying "you can do that?" I read the Lord of the Rings soon afterwards and love all the fairly recent movies.

There is a Red Dragon in the Hobbit called Smaug who invaded the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which is the end of the thirteen Dwarf's quest, who were aided by the wizard, Gandalf, and the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. The dragon is red in the movie, like the Welsh Dragon on the front of this Dragon's Heart craft ale. Of course the aim (literally) is to shoot a huge arrow into the dragon's heart in the Hobbit, so you can see why I picked this beer to blog about today.

Dragon's Heart was brewed by the oldest brewery in Wales called Felinfoel, which was established in 1878. At 4.2% in volume this deep red almost brown ale has a rich malty smell with a fruity hint from the hops. The initial brown malt gives that almost burnt toast flavour that then mixes with the sweetness from the crystal malt. This full-flavour of malts almost trips over the fruitiness from the bitter hops that took my palate on a journey of flavours into the aftertaste. Mmm… definitely a autumn and winter warmer to heat up the old bones on the mountain tops and in those deep Welsh Valleys!

21 September 2018

Kiwi Berries (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Kiwi Berries

As much as it might come as a surprise, I was browsing fruit on the Ocado website. I normally thoroughly check crisps, chocolate and biscuits, but this time I focused on fruit. I spotted these interesting sounding Kiwi Berries and thought I would give them a try. They are from a plant known as the Hardy Kiwi and although similar are not just baby kiwis.
I took some out the tub and of course after I washed them I had to cut one in half to see what they look like, and they really do look like mini kiwi fruit.

So the next question is should you top and tail the bits on the end? I know you can eat the skin, but I ended up pinching the top and bottom off as they looked a little unappetising. Flavour wise these were very much like a kiwi fruit, subtle sweetness with hint of melon and citrus. They varied in sweetness, but each one had the same problem, a bitter skin. It isn’t textured, so the consistency isn’t an issue. The whole point of the Kiwi Berries is that you can eat the skin, but to be honest this was the least tasty part, but I’m not peeling them. In conclusion it is nice to try a new fruit, but it isn’t one I’ll be buying again.

20 September 2018

M&S Tumeric & Cayenne Shot (@Marksandspencer) by @NLi10

A while back I reviewed a little Marks & Spencer shot drink that was nice but expensive and here is another of the same.

Instead of Kale this one is Turmeric and Cayenne which is supposed to help with inflammation and tastes nice and burny.  Although the bottle front doesn't say this its actually mostly pineapple juice!

M&S Tumeric & Cayenne Shot

91% in fact! Note that there isn't much water in here and it's basically pure juice - which is decent - but you'd expect that for the premium price.

There are a few amazing flavours going on here, and the effect of the little red bits floating in the drink is pretty cool (note to M&S execs - add glitter to a red one of these shots for Christmas and send us some to review).

The flavour is unexpectedly good - the heat from the pepper is just right and the juice actually works - you could use this synergy with gammon and pineapple I'm sure. Again - i'm not sure that I'd buy this myself as I'm usually after a big drink and not a flavour hit, but this is a lot better for you than a lot of the nonsense on the market so it's a reasonable choice.

19 September 2018

LioBites Smoothie Bites (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

LioBites Smoothie Bites

I recently had two packets of these LioBites Smoothie Bites in the post from Degustabox. It's always good to receive diverse snacks in the post, because often when we're barging through the scrummage of a local supermarket we can sometimes miss interesting products. These LioBites Smoothie Bites sound just the ticket to feed my obsession for finding alternative snacks to crisps and nuts. I don't have a problem with crisps at all, in fact I can't get enough of them, but for dietary reasons, I have to avoid nuts! This is of course a shame, as I miss the little fellas, but hey-ho!

Now I might get a little mixed up here with different Smoothie Bites. There are two packets you will see in the photographs; Mango, Banana & Passion Fruit Smoothie Bites; and also, Mango & Coconut Smoothie Bites. I'm sure you'll see why I'd rather mix up the packets, as there's the dreaded mango in both. I say 'dreaded mango', as I really don't like mango! "Why are you trying a packet of mango crisps?" I hear you say; "Does Cinabar have a weird sense of humour?" A little… However, the thing about food and snacking is you never know in which form you may like it. Therefore I endeavour to persevere! An example of this is that I don't like cooked banana, such as Banoffee Pie (and definitely not banana beer…. Blaargh!), but I do usually like banana crisps! Having said that, I'm hoping that the coconut crisps are made from the inside of the coconut, rather than the outside!

The front of the packets sounded pretty healthy with bullet points of; " 1 of 5 a day (presumably this means 'fruit' rather than double whiskies?), no added sugar, vegan (…friendly, rather than diced vegan in the packet), and gluten free. It also states that these Smoothie Bites are simply "100% natural fruit crisps". On opening the packets and looking at the contents (please see the photographs), these LioBites were certainly not what I was expecting. They were squarish orange coloured crisps with the texture of freeze dried space-food with big crosses on the one side of them, rather than the usual slices of individual fruits, etc…

The big crosses didn't encourage me to eat them, however, I tried the Mango & Coconut Smoothie Bites first. They were very crunchy to start with and then melted in my mouth, but stuck to my teeth a bit. To me they just tasted of mango, but Cinabar said that they tasted of coconut. There's that weird sense of humour I was talking about. I tried the Mango, Banana & Passion Fruit Smoothie Bites next. They tasted of mango to start with, moving to banana and passionfruit into the aftertaste. Sucking on the sticky pieces in my teeth in desperation to get rid of them produced a banana, passion fruit mixed with mango type flavour, which wasn't wasn't all that pleasant after a while. There was even a bit of coconut flavour stuck to my teeth from trying the other crisps beforehand.

I'd like to say I liked these LioBites Smoothie Bites, but I just didn't get on with them. There texture is a bit weird. If I was in space or on a long haul flight somewhere maybe, but here on terra firma I prefer real crisps, fruit or not, rather than freeze dried puree from concentrate which is a little bit like a Crunchie bar without the Cadbury's Milk Chocolate and also the Honeycomb. They stuck to my teeth for ages. So much so that I had to clean my teeth before drinking my cup of tea and also whatever I ate next. I just couldn't get rid of the fruity tastes seeping from every crevasse in my mouth. Hey-ho… so much for mango crisps. Back to the drawing board…

Information on the 18g packets;

Mango, Banana & Passion Fruit Smoothie Bites; 49.5 calories, with 0.22g of fat, 14.67g of sugar, and 0g of salt. Ingredients included; banana puree, mango puree concentrate, apply juice concentrate, passion fruit juice concentrate.

Mango, and Coconut Smoothie Bites; 102.8 calories, with 6.4g of fat, 9.97g of sugar, and 0.05g of salt. Ingredients included; mango puree concentrate, coconut milk, apply juice concentrate, peach puree concentrate, carrot juice concentrate.

18 September 2018

Twix Soft Centres Biscuits (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

Twix Soft Centres Biscuits

The packaging on these biscuits looks bright and fun, and as we are Twix fans here at Foodstuff Finds I couldn’t resist picking up a packet of these new Twix Soft Centres Biscuits. There are always regular Twix bars in our cupboard, but I was looking forward to trying these in a biscuit form. I say that, but aren’t Twix bars already in a biscuit form? They are sort of both chocolate bar and biscuit bar. These though are very much biscuits, as they are round and flat.

I opened up the pack and was immediately disappointed, the biscuits were well spaced out with plastic so there was both less than expected in terms of biscuits size and biscuit count. Oh well, I find the packaging on some products really does try and space things out, and this may makes people pick them up off the shelf but surely they realise once they get them home and open them the first thought is one of disappointment.
The biscuits weren’t that great in terms of taste either, there was nothing wrong with them, they just didn’t quite live up to the Twix hype. There wasn’t much chocolate, and the caramel filling was tasty, but somehow wasn’t strong enough in flavour. The biscuit base was fine and crunchy, they were okay to munch on over all just nothing special. My problem was because of the proportions and minimal chocolate flavour I didn’t associate them with Twix as much as I had expected too. In conclusion if I want something chocolatey with biscuit and Twix like flavour, I’ll have a Twix.

17 September 2018

Golden Wonder Awesome Oinks (Local Newsagent) By @Cinabar

Golden Wonder Awesome Oinks
Add caption

We moved house a few months back and to be honest are still exploring the local area. I popped into a newsagent that is quite near by just to have a look and to see if there was anything interesting stocked to write about here for Foodstuff Finds. I spotted these Golden Wonder Awesome Oinks on the crisps shelf and thought that I hadn’t tried them before, but I couldn’t spot a “new’ label. I picked up a few bags (As they were on offer) and went over to the till. The lady behind the the counter chuckled at me and said, another Oinks addict? I asked her what she meant and she said that so few places stock Awesome Oinks that she had got used to people coming in her shop just for them, apparently they are hard to find in the wild. I said I’d actually just not tried them before and wanted something different, she told me I’d be hooked and be back back for more. This was a bit of strange conversation, and it made me curious about what I’d bought.

Once home we had them for lunch with a sausage roll and a mini pork pie, pretty much a pork overload in terms of flavours. I poured the Golden Wonder Awesome Oinks out of the bag and found crisps that were loops that looked and smelt quite appetising. I gave one a try and did really love them. They have quite a strong bacon flavour and they are quite salty too, but the meatiness was lovely. They may be a bit strong for some, but I was loving munching on them. The texture was from a baked crisp and was lovely and crunchy but light, this helped make them all the more moreish. There were a lot in the bag, but I still found myself wanting another, and I just loved there intense bacon meaty salty taste. I think the lady in the shop was right, I will be back for more. I may have to investigate other potato snack from Golden Wonder that are hard to find, I suspect there are quite a few not carried by the big supermarkets.

16 September 2018

OZMO Biscatas - Strawberry Treasures! (Premier) by @NLi10

Occasionally I spot things while queuing in those little grocery shops that we have in the UK.  Often these end up in Disappointment Wars reviews where we look at how bad they are.  These I suspected may join them.  Flashy boxes tend to mean terrible contents.

OZMO Biscatas - Strawberry Treasures

These Ozmo biscatas however are worthy of their own little write up.  They are oddly Pirate themed, and have little (faded) pictures on the chocolate shells as shown on the box.

It even has a game inside - I bet that's good quality...

Oh - it is! Many KickStarter games aren't printed this well.  The way it works is that you draw the biscuits from the bag and move the right number of islands according to the key on the left.  Simple, yet effective - and you can play without dice or scissors as you could easily tear the counters off the bottom.

And the little biscuit things are great too! The creme inside is basically an angel delight like substance, and the outsides were crunchy and tasted chocolatey.  Rarely do I find something that I picked up as a joke that is this satisfying!  Well done Ozmo Pirates - you have treasure worth plundering indeed.

15 September 2018

Anchor California Lager (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Anchor California Lager

This Californian lager was first produced back in the Gold Rush era in 1876 in the Californian mountains, before refrigeration allowed it to be produced in San Francisco. It has the Golden State's bear on the front of the bottle. Cinabar tells me I've never blogged about this 4.9% volume lager before, but it seems so familiar!

I reckon it's because I keep moving it around my beer fridge. Regular readers may recall that I have a beer fridge. The last owners of this house were big wine drinkers, but left their fridge. Been as though I'm a big beer drinker, and not bothered about wine, it's now a beer fridge. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been avoiding this beer or anything like that, but we have to date label the vast amount of beer I have so I don't let any go out of date, as they get buried in this cavernous fridge the last owners left me. The fools. It's great having cold beer right there, even if I don't drink it everyday!

Anyway, back to this beer. This Anchor California Lager is made with two-row California barley, Cluster hops, and their own Krausened yeast, all lagered in Anchor Brewery's cellars in San Francisco. There was a yeasty lager smell on opening the 355ml bottle. This lager is a apt golden colour for a Golden State. It has a creamy head and is not too fizzy like some mass produced big bloating lagers can be. To be honest with you, I'm more an ale type of guy, because of the bloating! Having said that, I could get really used to drinking this craft creamy, bitter lager. It has a mixture of hops and barley in the first taste followed by a distinctive yeasty flavour that mixes well with the herbal hops and sweet barley malt for a perfect finish. Great stuff, can't wait to get some more, and I won't move it around the fridge for so long next time!

14 September 2018

Milka Choc Chip Cake (Poundland) By @Cinabar

Milka Choc Chip Cake

It is no secret that Milka is my favourite chocolate. I’m not sure what makes a favourite chocolate, perhaps it is because I had it as a child. I have a soft spot for Cadbury, but given a straight choice it is Milka all the way. Although the availability of Milka has increased over the years, I still get very excited about finding something new or something I haven’t tried before, often in a pound shop.

I spotted this box of Milka Choc Chip Cake bars in Poundland, the purple box stood out on the shelf an dI just couldn’t resist them. When I got them home I thought the box opening was very smart and it revealed large foil wrapped cake bars inside. Each bar has a crisscross pattern on the top and the sponge had quite a few visible Milka chocolate chips baked in. As excited as I had been about trying a new Milka product the cake bar turned out not to be that novel. The sponge was fine, moist and sweet and the hint of Milka chocolate was nice, but the flavour wasn’t special. If anything it was a bit generic in flavour, it was not really distinguishable from a number of cake bars from big companies to supermarket own. Don’t get me wrong I will enjoy these as a treat in my lunch box, but the only reason I’d be repurchasing them is for the excellent value for a pound, rather than because of my love of Milka.

13 September 2018

Vivera - Veggie Shawarma Kebab (@Sainsburys) @vivavivera by @NLi10

My partner picked this up in Sainsburys.  This is fairly unusual behaviour because this looks a lot more like a box of meat than any vegan food ought to.

We have here Vivera's 100% vegan Veggie Shawarma Kebab.  To me this is genius - if it's vegan then it's automatically halal so everyone can eat it happily.  And it looks and smells amazing - especially when lightly fried in coconut oil.

Vivera - Veggie Shawarma Kebab

I know I mention the little food truck a lot, but this is very similar in texture and quality to the Vegan Grindhouse food that I like to eat when I see them about, and that's high praise indeed.

We were so entranced by the smells from cooking that I forgot to get a final picture of this on a plate!

Suffice to say the flavours were spicy but not hot, and very similar to good quality kebabs.  The texture was amazing, and could easily pass for poultry kebabs in a wrap or similar if you want to convince the family to eat a little more healthily without compromising on quality.

Something we will go out of our way to pick up again - and hopefully explore the range.

12 September 2018

Barratt Fruit Salad Softies Sour (Asda) By @SpectreUK

I remember the pick and mix boxes in the sweet section in the corner shop next to my primary school when I was a young lad. One of my favourite sweets back then were Fruit Salad, next to the Blackjacks, and other sweets like Gummy Bears, Laces and Fizzy Cola Bottles. I probably can't eat the Fruit Salads and Blackjacks these days for fear of pulling out my many fillings. However, these Raspberry and Pineapple Fruit Salad Softies Sour from Barratt should do the trick. They should have the taste of Fruit Salads coupled with the sour sugar I'm so keen on these days with just about any gummy sweets I eat. There is also Blackcurrant and Lime flavoured sour Softies in the packet, which I guess is an attempt to replicate the aniseed flavour in a traditional Blackjack.

On opening the packet there was a multitude of two centimetre by one centimetre rectangular soft sweets. The Raspberry and Pineapple Fruit Salads were roughly half pink and half orange, and tasted like a squishy sour Fruit Salad, perfectly chewy and without the worry of losing any fillings from my old teeth. The Blackcurrant and Lime flavoured Softies were roughly half purple and half green, which tasted of a more dominant blackcurrant flavour to start with, quickly taken over by a very sour lime flavour. Not anything like a bitter Blackjack, but then again a sour Softie Blackjack flavour probably wouldn't work in any way!

These Fruit Salad Softies are really tasty with a good sourness. They took me back to my childhood, many… many….. many moons ago, and they made me smile, which are what sweets are all about…

Information on the packet;
The 160g bag contains 328 calories per 100g, with 0.3g of fat, 50.1g of sugar, 0.32g of salt. There are no artificial colours or flavours. Not for vegetarians. Please see photograph for ingredients.

11 September 2018

Maple Rooibos Tea Latte (Starbucks) By @Cinabar

Well Starbucks have launched their autumn drinks menu and everyone will be very pleased to hear that the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back on the menu. This has become a bit of an iconic drink for Starbucks and it has quite a fan base. Starbucks has released another couple of drinks in parallel with this launch and they are introducing us to Maple, with a Maple Latte and a slightly more bizarre sounding Maple Rooibos Tea Latte. I went for the latter, and was served a drink made with tea, but with cream on top.I’m not sure how I feel about a tea latte, never mind one flavoured with Maple and topped with cream and maple sugar.
I gave the Maple Rooibos Tea Latte a sip and thought the drink tasted confused. The Rooibos tea is very strong, and has quite a tangy leafy taste, this didn’t work for me with the sweet autumnal taste of the maple. On its own I came away thinking that the Maple flavour would probably be quite nice, it is warming and slightly spiced and pleasingly sweet. I could imagine it in a milkshake or working happily with coffee. The Rooibos tea flavour needed something else, or possibly actually just to be left alone. My drink was okay to finish, but it just didn’t sit right for me. Have you tried it, what did you think?