30 November 2018

Waitrose Fruit Coffee Warmer (Waitrose Cafe) By @Cinabar

Waitrose Fruit Coffee Warmer

I was picking up a few groceries in Waitrose and spotted some interesting sounding drinks on their cafe menu. I decided to try out the weirdest sounding one; Waitrose Fruit Coffee Warmer. I love a flavoured latte as much as the next person but there is something odd about the description of coffee and apple and plum cordial mixed together. The drink comes black because adding milk to this mix would be even more bizarre. I gave it an order and the man behind the counter chopped an orange and put a slice in a mug, added a shot of cordial to the cup, and a star anise. If only had stopped at this point and simply added hot water, but no he added what was essentially a black coffee americano to the mug and passed it over to me.
I starred at it for a while at the table before daring to sip. I managed to convince myself that it must be okay, otherwise it wouldn’t have made it on the menu of a large supermarket. I gave it a sip, I have no idea how this passed any customer testing, it was weird and I found it unpleasant. The acidic orange and plum fruits and coffee just do not mix. I finished the mug to give it the full test and because apparently I hate myself, the flavour did not grow on me. They mixed flavours I love and combined them into something I found myself detesting. There are conclusion here, firstly there is no place for sliced orange in coffee. Secondly hot fruit cordial on its own works, lets not mix it with coffee either. Finally if you are in Waitrose cafe choose the Orange Hot Chocolate if you want something with citrus in your drink!

29 November 2018

Starbucks, but in the CineWorld, Christmas snacks (@NLi10)

We often go to the cinema, we often eat snacks. Sometimes we do both together. 

These are festive pastries.

They seem a little tenuous - it’s a pointy Danish really. I mean they look nice though, chocolate and raspberry seems a rich combo, chocolate and nut sounds nice too. Not really Christmas specific though.

Now these seem more festive. They are clearly Christmas Trees and not just convenient triangles.

I decided on the left one - as it was sparkliest and someone bought the right one first. And it was pretty nice - even though it was essentially just a brownie with some other bits thrown in.

I also had my traditional green tea latte with almond milk and we enjoyed Fantastic Beasts too.

28 November 2018

Christmas Mince Pie Fudge (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Christmas Mince Pie Fudge (Waitrose)

I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't like mince pies. It's true that they are seasonal and only come out in the Autumn and Winter months, but I'm sure they'd sell throughout the year. I usually wash them down with a cup of Chai tea, but have recently found that spiced meed wine goes especially well with them. There's such a wide variety of mince pies that come out during these months that it's difficult to pick which are the tastiest, but I do have an affinity for iced mince pies, however, the deeper the mince pie the better in my view, as I like the filling so much.

These mince pie fudge pieces produced for Waitrose are made in small batches in copper pans using their recipe for brandy mincemeat. We still say "mincemeat" these days, but the savoury mincemeat, traditionally made with either beef or lamb, and suet, has fallen out of favour for the sweeter Vegetarian variety of raisins, currants and brandy. I've never tasted a traditional mince pie, but I reckon it would go well with gravy and some root vegetables, with a beer to wash it down, and sweet mince pies (and spiced meed wine) for afters.

Inside the box there was a bag full of fudge blocks. On opening the bag there was a lovely sweet and fruity smell from the blocks of fudge. As you can see from the photograph, they were uneven pieces with mincemeat mixed in with the fudge mixture. On taste there was the sweet taste of treacle mixed in with the fruity flavours of raisins, currants, sultanas and citrus traveling into the aftertaste with a hint of condensed milk and a quick kick of brandy to finish off with. Mmm… these are good. I think I'll go and make a nice mug of Chai tea to wash them down with, as I've already drank all the spiced meed wine!

Information on the box;
The 130g box has 443 calories per 100g, with 14.3g of fat, 73.9g of sugar and 0.26g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

27 November 2018

Walkers Pigs in Blanket Crisps (Asda) By @Cinabar

Walkers Pigs in Blanket Crisps

Walkers Christmas crisps selection bags this year contains three flavours firstly there is the expected Turkey and Stuffing, which I will undoubtedly be writing about shortly. This is the most obvious seasonal flavour. Secondly there is Brussels Sprouts flavour (oh yes and they are tinged green) Spectre wrote about these, and did not get on with them. I liked them if that counts, but they do taste of sprouts! Finally we have these new Walkers Pigs in Blanket flavour crisps, which everyone knows is the best part of Christmas dinner.
I opened up the seasonal bag and the crisps smelt very much of bacon, in fact just like Walkers regular smokey bacon crisps. I gave them a try and the predominant flavour was indeed bacon, with a good hit of smoke, but there was also a nice flavour of herbs and spices, I think I picked up on sage, which represents the seasoned sausage element of pigs in blankets. These crisps defiantly focus on the bacon flavour, but the addition of the herbs is a nice touch, and it does work well. I thoroughly enjoyed these crisps, and look forward to eating more of them. They are certainly more easy going the the Walkers Brussel Sprouts edition, but full marks to Walkers for an excellent selection bag this year.

26 November 2018

Christmas Iberico Ham and Fig Crisps (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Christmas Iberico Ham and Fig Crisps

Iberico ham is apparently a cured ham from Spain, I had to google that, but it looks similar to parma ham. I had no idea exactly what it was when I bought these Christmas Iberico Ham and Fig Crisps from Waitrose, and frankly it may be too much to hope that they can narrow done the ham flavour in a packet of crisps to that extent anyway. They do sound posh though, but what else would expect from Waitrose.
We had these in a sharing bowl one lunch time, to accompany some sandwiches and to catch up on the Little Drummer Girl on BBC1 (I still don’t get the drama, but that isn’t the crisps fault).
The crisps are fairly thickly cut and have a decent amount of seasoning on them. The smell is lightly meaty, and as a fan of meat flavoured crisps they were very appealing. I gave one a try and found them to have a surprisingly mild flavour. There is a delicate pork taste from the ham, and sweetness from the fig and these two tastes go very well together. Essentially they are a little bit meaty with a nice contrast flavour like a fig pickle.They are easier to eat as none of the tastes are too strong, and will be good for sharing with friends this Christmas. For me the Christmas Iberico Ham and Fig crisps had more promise of stronger and more complex and interesting flavours. They are easy to like, just not so easy to rave about.

25 November 2018

Divine Christmas Chocolate - Cranberry/Gingerbread (@Oxfam) by @NLi10

Divine are a great little brand for indulgent chocolate bars - I seem to always have a few floating around at any given time.  They unleashed a couple of Christmas varieties on the market in early November and I've been nibbling away on them.

Divine Christmas Chocolate - Cranberry/Gingerbread

First up is Smooth Milk With Gingerbread Crisp.  Not sure why the smooth is important - maybe there are harder grain chocolates that people didn't like as much.

Doesn't look too special, but there is a hint of a smell.  The flavour is 100% Christmas though, it's gingerbread men and chocolates off the tree.  The chocolate is very melty leaving behind the crumbs of the gingerbread (cinnamon crisp on the ingredients) and the spicy hints of aftertaste.  I couldn't eat this all year round, but this is certainly one for the nostalgia fans.

Similarly this one starts off with a lovely medium dark hit (think Bournville) and has a couple of mysterious flavours.  Almost behaving like a dark chocolate brownie with hints of the fruit and the nuts left at the end.  Its an interesting bar, but doesn't have that instant Christmas magic of the first one.  This I could eat at any point in the year, but I just don't think it's special enough for repeat purchases with so many other options out there.  That said, I know people that will love this (my dad for one) so maybe you will too.

A little pricier than I'd have liked at £2.19, but certainly giftable quality chocolate in a nicely pocket sized bar.

24 November 2018

Borough Market Earl Grey Saison (#LoveBorough @Boroughmarket) By @SpectreUK

Borough Market Earl Grey Saison

I'm always very grateful when a company sends me a beer to review. It doesn't happen very often at all (hint, hint…), so it would be difficult to get drunk on hope alone! However, this limited seasonal Earl Grey Saison was sent to me by the Borough Market. So a big shout out to all the people there. Thank you! You sent me a lot to read though. Three and a half pages of information about one beer. I could copy a lot of it here, but I don't think you want to read it again. I could photograph it, so anybody else reading this could also read it, but I'm not sure want me to do that either. So I'm just going to talk about the beer…

I've had a few Saison's in the past and never had a bad one. Brewed in the colder months of the year, Saison's are traditional low alcohol fruity spicy pale ales generally brewed in Belgium. This 5.2% volume Earl Grey Saison blasts this beer into the twenty-first century, and why not? Cold brewed in collaboration between by The Beak Brewery and Partizan Brewery, with loose leaf Earl Grey Tea from Organic Life (they even sent me packet in the post), and English Fuggles Hops grown within the Market Hall all added during its production, this Earl Grey Saison promises to be a creation from a cooperative of hearts and minds.

On opening the beer there was a keen smell of Bergamot from the Earl Grey Tea, and a spicy citrus aroma from the Fuggles Hops. This was a murky fizzy pale golden ale, with a particularly excitable head. There was a particularly excitable blogger pouring it at the time also! I do love Earl Grey Tea, so the delightful smell of this beer made me wait a little to drink it. I just couldn't help having a few more whiffs. There's something quintessentially Belgium about a Saison, it's probably the grain and yeast, but the flavour just dances around my tastebuds. Once I was done with sniffing this Earl Grey Saison, I just couldn't stop tasting it. Why do people just send me the one bottle? That's my greedy side coming out there… The Bergamot tickled my tastebuds first, followed by the citrus spicy bitterness from the hops, and then the grain and yeastiness so finish off this Saison into the aftertaste. Pure bliss, especially with a tuna sandwich for lunch!

23 November 2018

Godiva Chocolate Domes (Sainsburys) By @cinabar

Godiva Chocolate Domes

I know these Godiva Chocolate Domes are on sale with the intention that they are to be given as Christmas gifts. I knew it when I picked up the box and popped it in my trolley and thought; I’ll have some of those myself tonight. ;-)

I love the combination of chocolate and nuts and these Godiva Chocolate Domes looked too good to pass up on. The box is very posh looking and the cardboard on the lid unfolds neatly (and refolds closed). The chocolate wrappers also look stunning, they ate bright shiny metallic blue and smartly packaged. Underneath each one is a pull tab to open them, which is handy and if you tug it the wrapper splits and the chocolates unwrap. I know I have gone on about the packaging longer than usual but it is very smart and is quite the statement.

Inside the packaging the Godiva Chocolate Domes are made with milk chocolate and covered in nuts. Inside there is wafer too offering crispy layers and a whole nut inside for a good crunch. The chocolate is sweet and creamy, and very indulgent. It feels thick and sumptuous. The ganache inside melts in the mouth and the rich cocoa level is spot on. These consist of perfect chocolate combined with nuts and a fabulous mix of crispy and crunchy textures, and eating them I was in chocolate nut heaven.
These chocolates are an absolute delight, right from the packaging through to the contents they are a nut lovers dream. I hope I get some more of Christmas.

22 November 2018

Green Tea Milkshakes? SINGWIN Matcha Milk Tea sachets (by @NLi10)

One of my bosses feels that she should drink more green tea for health benefits, but prefers milky tea.  This gave me the perfect excuse to buy a sack of 18 Matcha Milk tea sachets!

It's 3 in 1 - Matcha, Milk & I assume a vast amount of sugar based on the taste.

OK -  so based on the ingredients the order is Sugar, Fake Milk, then Matcha (5%) which is fair enough. We've all made this at home with too much Matcha and regretted it.

The little sachets are pleasing enough, and English enough that I've been giving them away to people to try.

And it produces a lovely cup of bright green tea! I've been adding my own real milk too for texture, but even without that it's basically fine.  It's a little too sweet for my tastes, but as a 'tea milkshake'  it's essentially what it's supposed to be.  I was unconvinced by the price (18 for £3.60 is only 20p a go I suppose) but it's actually really good. If you have a source of decently hot water then you can make a nice drink.  

A decent change to hot chocolate and a nice one to share with friends.  I think I may even go back and try the 40p a sachet version to see if it suites my more experienced tastebuds or is just the same for more money.

21 November 2018

Walkers Brussels Sprout Crisps (Asda) By @SpectreUK

Walkers Brussels Sprout Crisps
Walkers Brussels Sprout Crisps

It's official; I've done something to upset Cinabar! I must have as I don't even like Brussels Sprouts. I have them once a year, as some people seem to think they go well with Turkey, of which I also don't like that much either. These new Brussels Sprout crisps have recently been brought out by Walkers to punish me for some indiscretion or other. Brussels Sprouts also give me terrible wind, but most people who know me would probably say "what food doesn't?"

On opening the packet the greenish crisps (yes, they have a greenish tint a little bit like someone put a Gremlin in a blender nearby), smell like Brussels Sprouts and I guess look a little like Brussels Sprouts from really (really…) far away. I decided to use Cinabar's Mom as a Guinea Pig. She really didn't like the smell of them, even though she likes Brussels Sprouts and equally likes to torture me with them on Christmas Day. Cinabar was next to try them and said they were okay, saying that she liked their savoury nature, but she is way (way…) looking forward to Christmas too much. I'm a bit more of a Scrooge personally.

I had to starve myself for much of the day and be really (really…) hungry to try them. On taste the overpowering smell of Brussels Sprouts really does make these crisps taste like Brussels Sprouts. There's no getting away from the flavour, so I'd recommend you know you like Brussels Sprouts before you buy these crisps. If they're the last crisps in your house I'd recommend I spicy salsa dip to try to mask the flavour. They don't taste all that bad, but they do taste of Brussels Sprouts. It does say it on the packet!

As well as these Brussels Sprout Crisps there are five limited edition Christmas crisps flavours to choose from; Turkey & Stuffing, Pigs in Blankets (the one I'm looking forward to trying most, as they are my favourite things on the Christmas meal), Cheese & Cranberry, and also Glazed Ham (and this is my favourite thing on Boxing Day!).

Information on the packet;
The 25g bag has 126 calories, with 6.7g of fat, 0.6g of sugar and 0.3g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

20 November 2018

Salted Caramel Mince Pies (Aldi) By @cinabar

Salted Caramel Mince Pies

I have been very impressed by all the new Christmas items coming into Aldi, and on our last shop even picked up an impulsive buy of a fibre optic Christmas tree that changes colour. It is super cool. It definitely hadn’t been on the shopping list, but neither had these Aldi own Salted Caramel Mince Pies. There are so many fab seasonal temptations, and I can’t seem to stop myself. Lights, glitter or novelty and I’m on it.

So these new pies consist of regular mince pie filling topped with salted caramel sauce all in a pastry case, so yes a touch of novelty. I tucked in and was pleasantly surprised by the fact the caramel sauce was still distinct inside, it hadn’t blended in with the mincemeat at all. The flavour was quite a blast of sweet, the filling didn’t really need the toffee like flavours and tones, but it did manage to carry it well. The pastry was fairly thick, but was lovely and buttery, as well as being fairly soft. I liked the salted caramel with the filling, but my taste buds have a high tolerance for all things sweet. This may have come across in previous blog posts. :-D Having said all that these are rich and one satisfied me perfectly, a second would have been very indulgent!

19 November 2018

Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes (Asda) By @Cinabar

There are some indulgent desserts arriving in the shops for the winter and Christmas seasons, and some of these are from the big brands. Cadbury have brought out these Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes, there are two pots in the pack, and they looked like a nice treat so I picked them up.

The pots have three layers inside, a biscuits base, a chocolate cheese cake section and a caramel topping. I tucked in and a few things confused me. Firstly the biscuit base was loose. If I’m making a cheesecake at home I press the biscuits bits into the base of the tin making them firm. These were quite loose, not a problem, just an observation. The next part was a bit more weird, the chocolate section was so chocolatey and light and airy I actually went back to the box to check this was supposed to be a cheesecake. Had it not said so I would have guess it was a divine chocolate mousse. It tasted really nice, loads of sweet creamy chocolate, but I think it missed the boat by having the cocoa overpower the cheesecake flavour. The top layer of caramel was fab, almost sweet golden syrup like, I could have eaten a tub of this on its own!!! Yum.
In conclusion this is a very tasty dessert with all the flavours of Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel and plenty of chocolate, it is just not too strong on the old cheesecake section. Sadly it is called Dairy Milk Cadbury Caramel Cheesecakes and not mousse dessert.

18 November 2018

Green & Black’s Velvet Edition - two kinds (by @NLi10)

Ok, I admit it. There was a short while where I picked up far too many interesting chocolates and have got very behind on eating them. I think I was up to ten full size bars.

Here’s a couple I picked up from Cadbury’s World in the summer.

Green & Black’s Velvet Edition

Essentially they are very similar, lovely Dark Chocolate, almonds and very flat. The only real difference is that the second one has orange in it, and I think the first he had more almonds.

Here is the just almonds version, nt too exciting visually, but the smell and taste is great. Lovely texture changes and deep flavours. But I’ll prrobably gift it to the office. Why? The orange version is just that little bit more special.

Looking pretty darn similar, but smelling and tasting of oranges makes this a win for me. Imagine a flat orange Toblerone and you aren’t far off. Lovely and festive without trying too hard. A nice little indulgence.

17 November 2018

Sadler's Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

Sadler's Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager

Even after the end of October and Halloween has been and gone, I always think November is a spooky time of year. This 4.5% volume Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager from Sadler's Brewery, in the Midlands, has a spooky skull on the front of the bottle with hops for eyes. It's supposed to look like a regular lager, but have a strong hoppy aroma of zesty Mediterranean Lemons, as well as subtle sweet malts. So if it's supposed to look like a regular lager, I'm hoping it doesn't bloat me like some regular mass produced off the shelf lagers can do!

On opening this Hoptical Illusion there was a very understated fizz. I know I wasn't expecting a champagne pop, but I usually get more than that when opening a bottle of beer or carbonated cider. I worried slightly and checked the date on the label, no that was fine, so I had a sniff. If Mediterranean Lemons smell so understated I'll stick to some other ones! Not that I sniff lemons often, but usually they are pretty sour without getting too close.

On pouring this Hoptical Illusion the fizz did liven up a little and this golden beer does look like a regular lager. On taste I'd say that the smell transcends perfectly, I'd argue against a mega citrus blast of lemons though, as the herbal hops fought against and mostly overwhelmed any flavour of citrus hops. Having said that, there is certainly nothing wrong with the flavour. The herbal hops have a good bitterness to start with, which almost instantly complements the sweet malts, whilst the citrus hops reared their lemon flavour towards and into the aftertaste for a slightly complex journey through my tastebuds. It also didn't blow me up with wind, so I'd certainly have this Hoptical Illusion Dry Hop Lager again, but be a little more wary of what the label says.

16 November 2018

Limited Edition Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Latte (Asda) By @Cinabar

Limited Edition Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Latte

At this time of year I do like the Christmas and Winter drinks that become available in the coffee shop chains. Sometime though it is nice to have a seasonal drink at home. We have a Tassimo machine and Costa makes drinks for this, this year they have brought out a packet of Limited Edition Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Lattes. There are eight drinks in the box and to make one you have to use two of the T-Discs, a milk based gingerbread flavoured one to start and then top it up with an espresso, which I think is standard and that part has no flavouring. Can I also mention size here, this is the largest drink size you can get from a Tassimo, it is a mug's worth but not a large mug. The largest drink you can order in a Costa coffee shop is practically bucket sized! :-D

I made myself a drink and gave it a good stir. There was a light ginger aroma but mainly the scent was off coffee.
I gave it the first sip and found the flavour to be far more subtle than I thought it would be. The gingerbread flavour does add a warming touch and a little sweetness, but it is far from being too sugary. If I had ordered a Gingerbread Latte in a Costa store I’m sure it would have come loaded with sweet syrup, covered in cream and topped with one of those cute miniature gingerbread biscuits, and probably some more syrup over the cream top too. This is a much cut back version. I’m sure you could add your own cream easily enough, but the sweetness isn’t there. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is just different, a toned down version. This made it very drinkable and enjoyable but not necessarily as much fun as you’d hope for in a Christmas drink.

15 November 2018

Nestle Extrême - salted caramel and white chocolate cone (Ocado) by @NLi10

I’ve been pretty good recently, not automatically adding puddings to every Ocado order I do, keeping the freezer reasonably spacious. Sometimes though you need to make sure you have some spare indulgent treats floating around. I spotted these, didn’t even see they were a big brand like Nestle and picked them up.

Nestle Extrême - salted caramel and white chocolate cone

The Extrême is an odd beast, being basically a Cornetto but with more flavours, layers and luxury. There really is only soft textures here, but as the pic above illustrates there is a lot going on.

The multipack branding is plain.

The cone  itself is glorious, and stacked with chocolate and caramel. And it’s the same all the way down, getting sweeter as it goes - which is pretty interesting.  By the end of it I’d totally bypassed my internal caramel limit and was a bit overwhelmed, but I persevered. Enjoyable but just a touch too much - you REALLY - need to enjoy caramel with this one.

My partner will likely happily finish the other two while I explore the pot of vegan hazelnut ice cream we’ve had since the summer.

14 November 2018

New Rolo Snack Bar (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

I'm sure this is a Baader Meinhof, a phenomenon which is otherwise known as the Frequency Illusion. This is when you don't think of something for ages, then suddenly out of nowhere it crops up over and over… Well, I hadn't thought about Nestle's Rolos for years, which is crazy in itself, because they're great, right? It was coming up to Halloween and Cinabar had picked up a bag of assorted mini chocolates from the local supermarket. One of the brands that were in the bag were mini packets of Rolos. Cinabar's mistake was to show me the bag. Before she could tip them into the bowl for prospective Trick or Treaters, I nabbed all the Rolo packets and gorged on them all in one night. Mmm… I even forgot to share my last Rolo with Cinabar at the end of the evening, which as you can imagine I got into quite a lot of trouble for. I'm greedy! I often see it as an asset, as I probably have to bulk up during winter for hibernation or something…

These new Rolo Snacks have four in a box. They have to be stored in the fridge, which could be easily forgettable if left in there for a long time, so I should probably eat them all in one sitting… As you can see from the photograph, inside the wrapper it is almost a pyramid shaped chocolate bar covered in Rolo chocolate, with Rolo caramel at the top of the bar and squidgy cake underneath. The taste is reminiscent of a Rolo from the outer chocolate and the caramel, but the cake centre slightly distracts from that original flavour. It does taste rather good though, but don't squeeze it too hard as you bite it, as it could explode everywhere. So I guess with the added squidgy cake centre it is supposed to be a snack bar, rather than a full Rolo chocolate bar though… hang on a second… a full Rolo chocolate bar! Now there's a thought!! Mmm…

Information on the box;
Each 30g bar has 143 calories, with 8.6g of fat, 11.3g of sugar, and 0.05g of salt. Please see photograph for ingredients.

13 November 2018

Specially Selected Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Specially Selected Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows

I am a big fan of Aldi, we shop there a lot and I am always surprised how a smallish shop has so many interesting and unusual products that come and go. I go on about my Foodstuff Finds in Aldi so much I sometimes think the ladies at work must think I’m on commission, I’m saying this because I love Aldi and the review that follows does not represent my usual view of items stocked there.
It started out okay, we were wandering around the store doing our weekly grocery shop and in the specials section I spotted this box of very posh looking Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows. They are from the Specially Selected range which means they are usually to a very high standard. I’ve had chocolate truffles filled with Raspberry and Prosecco which I loved so I had high hopes for this packet of marshmallows.

Once home I opened up the box, I was aware that the aroma was very curious, it was a little sour and I think was supposed to be the prosecco, but it was nearly akin to vinegar. There were a lot of mallows in that small box, that much impressed me. The Raspberry and Prosecco Marshmallows were very soft too, ultra fluffy, but I can’t praise the texture really as I found the flavour inedible. They tasted sweet, but not of raspberry it was so very artificial. The box doesn’t seem to mention artificial flavours directly so I’m aware this might just be me. They had almost a plastic like flavour to their taste to my taste buds. It was so bad I binned them. I don’t think I’ve done that before to marshmallows so I think it is safe to say these were not for me.
It is just a personal opinion, and as I said I have had very few items I’ve disliked from Aldi. Here is is hoping next week’s shop brings with it a few more specials which are on target.

12 November 2018

Plum Pudding Chutney (Marks & Spencer) By @Cinabar

Plum Pudding Chutney (Marks & Spencer)

Well I’m officially stocking up and testing out Christmas products, but this time it doesn’t come with an apology about being early. Christmas is just around the corner folks, even if I haven’t quite got the tree up yet!
Anyway, one of our favourite quick lunches or teas is to have a platter of cold meats, cheese, olives and biscuits. There is always a nicely chosen pickle to accompany the meal. We do vary the selection of goodies, but this time I had picked up a Christmas themed pickle, this Plum Pudding Chutney from Marks and Spencer. It promises all the flavours of Christmas in a jar which is quite some promise, I’m thinking both turkey and peppermint candy cane! Ok, I’m not, I think this is more Christmas pudding related. We scooped some out to have with our cheese and biscuits. I could immediately see the fig seeds in this dark pickle, like it was from a plum pudding. I gave it a taste and the flavour was remarkably well balanced, slightly sweet, lots of fruit and a lovely underlying Christmas spice that just gave it a good depth of flavour. The spices worked very well with the cheese on my cracker but also complimented the selection of cold meats well. We will use this jar up very quickly I think. It might not be “all the flavours of Christmas” but this Marks and Spencer Plum Pudding Chutney certainly has all the ones I would want in a side of pickle. I’m thinking it will be perfect for left over turkey sandwiches on boxing day too.