25 September 2018

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

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

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.

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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?

10 September 2018

Fry’s Orange Cream #itsback (Poundland) By @Cinabar

Fry’s Orange Cream isn’t a new bar, it is in fact a very old bar. The bar dates back to the 1800s and has been in and out of production over the years. A few years ago it dawned on me that it had disappeared again, I was looking at a shelf and I could see the sister bars, Fry’s Peppermint Cream and Fry’s Chocolate Cream and I realised there wasn’t even a space for it on the shelf any more. A little bit of googling and I soon worked out that I wasn’t the only one to notice its disappearance. Well exciting news everyone; it is back! Not only that but I found it in Poundland in a multipack, so 3 for £1 which is excellent value too.
The packaging is very retro with even a nod to “the king and queen” so the design does date back quite a bit. There are also the five emotions of having a Fry’s Orange Cream shown on the front of the pack too, via the face of a young lad.

As the packaging is so classical I was half expecting to find foil wrapped bars with paper around the middle, but the packaging is a little more modern inside, they are in orange plastic wrappers. The chocolate bar itself is very dark looking, and I broke a bit in half and found a white filling, the original used to be orange in colour so this is the first change. It smelt lovely by the way, and I couldn’t wait to bite in.

The chocolate is very dark and rich and cracked pleasingly when I did bite in. The filling is lovely and thick but soft, and has the original fondant texture. The flavour was sweet and very zingy, with loads of refreshing orange. The sweetness of this combined with the dark chocolate worked liked a treat, and created a proper taste sensation. For me this tasted just like the original, and I am so pleased to see it back on the shelves. I’ll be off to Poundland to stock up on some more bars. This bar is a classic and is the perfect bar for those that love chocolate and orange. So what are the chances of them brining back Fry’s Five Centres too, like this but with five different flavoured fruity fillings… this should be the next campaign.

9 September 2018

Wagon Wheels Jammie Teacakes (Home Bargains) by @NLi10

I'm sure I've had these before.  It's a teacake, but ontop of a wagon wheel style base. The packaging says New though, which either means these have been hanging around for 20 years in Home Bargains (I swear I used to get these from Kwik Save) or there are enough differences here to proclaim newness.

Eitherway its a brave proposition.  Wagon Wheels aren't exactly the hotness right now, and if you make a teacake you are directly competing with not only Tunnocks Teacakes (the best) and 'snowballs' (Teacakes with coconut on the outside).  For a pound for 8 though I'm happy to be a little bit disappointed.

And they aren't too tiny, and the jam bit is actually noticeable - if not as large as in the blue Jammie Wagon Wheels themselves.

And I guess that's the problem.  I could have got a pack of 6 Jammie wagon wheels instead, or saved my pocket money for an extra week and picked up a box of Tea Cakes (which I think are actually 6 for a pound as well).

These are nice enough - every part of the equation is done decently and if you want little snacks for little people then these are ideal.  For us grown-ups though they are just a shade too small to be satisfying and would be eaten in twos.  Or threes...

8 September 2018

Rekorderlig Botanicals Grapefruit Rosemary Cider (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I'm a sucker for the Grapefruit Juice with my Full English Breakfast first thing in the morning whenever we stay at a hotel. I always try to down the jug when I see it each morning. Cinabar goes for the more sedate Apple or Orange Juice or Cranberry Juice if there is any. For me it's always the bitter Grapefruit Juice. That's why this Swedish Rekorderlig Botanicals Grapefruit Rosemary Pear cider caught my eye in the local supermarket. At 4.0% volume it sounds a little odd to start with, but it smells fantastic. It's the smell of breakfast outside in a sunny garden before the Full English is brought out by the waiter. There is the tart smell of grapefruit which combines with the sweeter pear and a hint of rosemary from the lush botanical surroundings. On taste this lightly carbonated pink coloured Rekorderlig Botanicals Grapefruit Rosemary Pear cider tastes as fresh as the early morning. There is the immediate tartness from the grapefruit which is slightly smoothed out by the sweetness of the pear, just like the smell, however the rosemary adds depth to these flavours, a new dimension that made my tastebuds sit up and say "hang on, give me another swig of that!"

7 September 2018

New Cadbury Joy Fills (Sainsbury’s) By @Cinabar

Following on from last weeks review on the New Oreo Joy Fills, we have the New Cadbury Joy Fills. Did you see what they did there with the name, just switched around the brand, after all both are owned by the same parent company now. The Cadbury version of Joy Fills are similar to the Oreo ones in that they consist of a wheat shell filled with a chocolate creme. I poured them out of the bag and thought that they looked smaller than the Oreo ones, but this may well be my memory playing tricks on me as I didn’t put them side by side.

There was plenty in the bag though which was nice. They were speckled with milk chocolate bits, but there wheat brown colour did make them look a lot more like a breakfast cereal.
I gave them the taste test and found them to be very much like breakfast cereal. The Oreo version had a darker flavour, but as the wheat case on these ones is fairly plan it did taste like something I should be eating in a morning. The filling is sweet and creamy and had a good chocolate flavour, not one that I would immediately identify as Dairy Milk, but nice enough. As it happens I like texture and I used to eat breakfast cereal from the box as a kid so these worked for me. Crunchy cases with a sweet chocolate filling, just got to stop thinking about adding milk and a bowl.

6 September 2018

Rhubarb & Custard Milk - in cereals & in tea (@COOPUKfood) by @NLi10

I buy things that aren't milk to use as milk.  I use mostly almond milk, and have tried other nut milks too.  The Co-Op helpfully has a range of flavoured milks which you could try.  And I've seen and had all of these before - except one.

This one.


If you are not British then maybe the concept of Rhubarb and Custard has evaded you.  Essentially it's a British pudding where you put really sour rhubarb out of the garden into a pot with some sugar, boil it up until it resembles food, and then add vanilla custard to the top.

Because these tastes are strong and distinct ones someone in the past had the idea of putting them together in the same boiled sweet - one side far too sour, the other a little too sweet and making something rather special.

Then the Co-op turned it into milk.  Naturally - when reviewing MYLK and almond milks I've put them on cereals and tea - so I did the same here...


As a drink in a glass it's fine - it tastes of both, but more blended than the separated sweets.  With an American style marshmallow cereal the sweetness is off the charts.  It's basically like having your sugar cereal in a bowl of slightly sour custard.  If you want your children to fly to school then this may work - otherwise, probably best for their attention span that you don't.

It's not horrible though.  Frankly I've had worse soy milk experiences than this, and I've not had to drain any off - the little drink at the end of the bowl is actually quite nice too.  I've tried it with both of the american style cereals from last weekend and plainer ones too.  They really all taste the same with this on them, it's just the sweetness that varies.


And now for the ultimate test - rhubarb and custard tea. 

Yup - it’s thick like custard, vanilla flavoured and has that sour spicy rhubarb taste too. And it kind of works! The overall effect is like a vanilla chai, and the thickness actually works to its benefit. I mean as of writing this I’ve still only had one cup, but I may use this to finish the carton instead of the cereal, it’s almost a better fit.

I can’t imagine anyone buying it for this purpose, but if you find yourself with a carton then go for it.