31 March 2019

Pastel de Nata - Portugal (@NLi10)

On holiday we had breakfast included - and they had lovely heated pastries. They also had 5e local delicacy of Pastel De Nata.

This is a little custard tart, but not in the English way, it’s sweeter and runnier and the pastry is all layered and crispy instead of shortcrust. I had one every day of the 5 I was there. 4 of those were hotel ones like the above, they were pretty good but I wanted to try one out in the wild.

We had two cakes and a drink at the most south westerly point of mainland Europe, and this one was a little runnier and not as warm. I think I liked the hotel one better. The brownie was very nice too!

Portugal is famous for the Nandos logo, and for cork. I was very tempted to buy this bar of chocolate in a cork box, but at 10 Euros this seemed a bit expensive so we left it for other tourists.

30 March 2019

American Dream IPA (Sainsbury’s) By @SpectreUK

"One heck of a journey" is written on the side of this American Dream can. India Pale Ale (IPA) was originally created for the British Empire for a trek to the East, and then this American Style IPA was reinvented in the US, and then reborn by Hyde & Wilde back in the UK. The mantra on the side of this American Dream can reminds me of something…

One heck of a journey is what life is all about. We all have a certain amount of control over our lives, but you never can tell what's going to happen next… One minute you can be trundling along quite happily, and the next minute you could be injured or worse; get eaten by a huge grizzly bear like the one on the front of the can! You can always stay out of the woods, I suppose. But you can't often control who you fall in love with. You just have to pick yourself up and try to heal from any injuries, just as much as you can cherish any love you're fortunate to find. You just have to keep going on your life's journey, and try to stay true.

Anyway, enough of my musings… I've probably already had too much of this 5.6% volume IPA on writing this blog! American Dream has been boosted with citrus hoppy bitterness from Citra and Summit hops. So it should go well with my tuna baguette and sushi for dinner. On opening the can there was indeed and pale malt smell, but it was virtually overshadowed by an almost grapefruit flavoured blast of citrus hops.

For an ex-barman I poured out the deep golden contents of the can remarkably badly! After twiddling my thumbs and "ho-humming!" for a while waiting for the froth to go down, this American Dream is a traditional tasting India Pale Ale through and true. There is instant sweetness from the pale and other malts followed by an almost knock-me-off-my-feet citrus thunderclap of hops that romps right into the aftertaste. Brilliant…! Now where's my tuna baguette?

29 March 2019

Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Treasures (Asda) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Treasures

One of favourite chocolates as a kid was the Kinder Egg, I like the combo of chocolate and a collectable toy. I still occasionally buy them, and still have a reasonable stash of novelties I have found in them and built. When I first saw this new pack of Dairy Milk Freddo Treasures, I thought it might be something fun to add to my toy collectables. The chest like structure opens up to reveal enclosed foiled areas, one with a toy and one with chocolate buttons. The buttons are Dairy Milk, so are sweet and creamy and tasty. I haven’t had regular milk chocolate buttons from Cadbury for sometime so I enjoyed them, but do accept there isn’t anything new here.

The next section is the toy but when I pulled back the foil I realised it was a just a solid plastic model. There was nothing to do or nothing to build physically. There was a ‘scan me’ and interact online code, but I would have preferred something more readily interactive. This was a nice treat, and I think kids will love these Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Treasures, but I wouldn’t mind something a bit more fanciful in the toy section. I do have another to open, so maybe that will have something a bit different inside.

28 March 2019

Mini Dinosaurus - Choc Biscuits (@NLi10)

We talked last time about one kind of Portuguese Dinosaur Biscuit - now lets look at a second!

These are basically crunchy shortbread dinosaurs, called Dinosaurus so they can trademark it, and probably have  acute advert with jingles.

There also appears to be an app that i'll never try.  The captions for all the dinosaurs refer to how tasty they are and how short their lives will be.

Individually sealed for freshness (and lunchboxes again - I think I shopped in the school section).

Graphed out in a RARR-chart this bag is heavy on the T-Rex and low on everything else.  I'd not spotted there was a reverse T-Rex too - makes me wonder if there are rare mirror versions of them all.  My first bag was mostly Stegosaurus and as the best dinosaur that was a pretty good treat.

They taste chocolaty and like many of the churches we visited in Faro were pretty Moorish.

Not one for adults to necessarily hunt out, but a reasonable option and very easy to finish a bag in one sitting.

27 March 2019

Clearspring Seaveg Crispies (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

Clearspring Seaveg Crispies

I'm trying a little bit of a health kick. Don't worry it probably won't last, but during this prolonged period of rehabilitating my knee after it's second surgery, I find I need to lose more weight. I've been exercising like crazy and have toned up a bit and lost some weight, but still I look in the mirror and things wobble that probably shouldn't.

Produced in Korea these Seaveg Crispies are a Toasted Nori Snack. 'Nori' is the Japanese word for edible sea vegetables. These Seaveg Crispies are Turmeric flavoured. Although not scientifically proven to have the long… long… long list of benefits Turmeric is vaunted to have, such as being good for the heart and it lessons swelling (around my knee), it does taste pretty sweet and is a member of the ginger family, so should be good for my tummy if nothing else. I have recently got used to drinking a Turmeric tea first thing in the morning, much to Cinabar's 'scientific chagrin'!

Trying not to think of where fish pee, I decided to open the packet of Seaveg Crispies. There are three 4g packets each having 18 calories, which is just shy of two minutes on the exercise bike the physiotherapist insists I slave on at least three times a week. I'm now going to the gym six times a week, so I'm sure she'll be proud of me in a few week's time during our next appointment. Okay… on typing this I realise I'm filling space and actually avoiding opening the packet…

There was a bizarre smell on opening the packet I haven't quite smelt before. It made me want to go and smell a Victoria Sponge Cake to get over it! Even more bizarrely the more I sniffed these vegetable(ish) smelling, mixed with grass, mixed with salt, mixed with turmeric Seaveg Crispies the more I started to get used it.

As you can see from the photograph, they are quite long and very thin pieces of very dark green seaweed. They look a little like Kermit the Frog had an argument with a steamroller, only to be chopped into rectangles. Be careful how you put them in your mouth as they shatter. And they shatter everywhere! There's a strange almost grass-like taste to begin with, then sea salty with a touch of sweetness to finish from the turmeric. They actually don't taste that bad. They smell a bit weird. They look even weirder, but they don't taste that awful. I could get used to these… if only I could get the image of a fish peeing out of my head! ;-D

Information on the packet;
3 x 4g packets, each having 18 calories, with 1.2g of fat, 0g of sugar, and 0.1g of salt. They are organically grown, gluten free, have no additives or preservatives, are high in fibre (at 1.2g) and Vegan. Ingredients included; toasted nori sea vegetable (62%), sunflower oil, sea salt, and turmeric (2%).

26 March 2019

Original Glazed Popcorn (Krispy Kreme) By @cinabar

Original Glazed Popcorn (Krispy Kreme)

There have been quite a few new fun snacks and confectionary where they have mixed two items to create one new one. Remember the Cronut, where they merged a croissant with a donut? Well this is isn’t quite that drastic and it isn’t called Popnut, but it is popcorn with doughnut flavouring. I call it Popnut they called it Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Popcorn, I think my idea was better but I may be in a minority.
This popcorn is designed to taste like an Original Glazed Doughnut from Krispy Kreme, but reading the packaging I noticed that that it was essentially popcorn with just the usual sugared glaze. The bag had a pretty generous helping of popcorn and I poured myself a portion. The pieces were of various sizes, and there was only a couple of unpopped kernels in the bag. For me the revelation was that the flavour of Krispy Kreme doughnuts is apparently all in that glaze, I had wrongly assumed that part was just sugar, but the glaze really is the flavour not the cooking of the doughnut. Consequentially this popcorn was very distinctive in its flavour and did recreate the Krispy Kreme taste perfectly, it was in fact magic. It was sweet tasty and something different to munch on, my taste buds love the flavour of the glaze and this snacking combo. This Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Popcorn will be my snack of choice next time we are watching a film. I’d say it was lower calorie than buying a doughnut, but I can’t promise not to buy one of those too when I’m in store!

25 March 2019

Limited Edition Apple & Cinnamon Shreddies (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Limited Edition Apple & Cinnamon Shreddies

Don’t tell NLi10, but I’m writing about some new breakfast cereal. Cereal is his thing, but I found this fair and square in Aldi and couldn’t resist trying out a box. I may not eat as much cereal as him but I love cinnamon, and so had to try these Limited Edition Apple and Cinnamon Shreddies out. I do like Shreddies and I eat them fairly regularly. With the addition of cinnamon, my favourite spice, it sounded like these could be my thing. I poured myself a generous bowl, and added milk. The texture was stayed firm for quite a while, much like normal Shreddies.
The Limited Edition Apple and Cinnamon Shreddies were more apple than cinnamon, I think the first thing I noticed was some extra sweetness, then the apple follows and a hint of cinnamon. I guess they didn’t want the cereal to be too spicy first thing a morning, but I thought this was effectively teasing me with cinnamon and that it needed a more generous helping. For most people I would suspect this is perhaps a nice touch of the spice. I have to admit I did thoroughly enjoy my bowl though, with the added apple and sweetness making the Shreddies something special. I might just add a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to my next bowl, just to give them the extra a bit of magic that I love.

24 March 2019

Biscuits with print on them - Portugal (by @NLi10)

Finally! We escaped from the anglicised resorts into real Portugal (Faro) and found some genuine Portugese things to buy.  Granted they look a lot like the rest of that part of Europe, but there are at least some interesting things.

Behold - the biscuits section!

These are clearly designed to stuff into the lunchboxes of children, but we don't care.  Your tie-in two-way marketing is valid here sirs!

As well as the typical things (look - FINAS is thins!) there are  lot of Dinosaurs which is fine with me.

And Tosta Rica seems to be a popular brand - so let us snack at their intersection.  

Wait - these aren't the biscuits we are looking for - these are Salad biscuits with Star Wars characters on them? You're tearing me apart George Lucas!

That's better.  Safely on a bus we can eat our Jurassic World split choc biscuits.  They have puffy light biscuit on top and bottom, and not that exciting creme in the middle.

And they are of course lunch box sized.

Here we see a generic carnivore - probably a T-Rex

Here is a Cupasaurus called Dario.  I'll bet these are the ones from their adverts that show up on all the branded ranges.

The dinosaurs have certainly left their mark.

And they are nice - crispy enough to be satisfying, creme enough to not need a drink - and more importantly they don't melt in the sun!

They also have other brand tie ins as we found out later in the trip

Spiderverse is really good - if you can still catch it in a cinema do so! The recent JP films, not so much.  The biscuits however are perfect for travelling snacks.

23 March 2019

Session Pale Ale (Aldi @hambletonales) By @SpectreUK

I do like a good pale ale. Well, to be honest with you there aren't any types of ales I don't like, but a refreshing pale ale in the Spring months can be pretty special. This Session Pale ale by Hambleton Ales, in North Yorkshire, harkens back to when folks used to drink ale on the job way back up until around the First World War. Workers used to be given drinking 'sessions', with a light ABV (alcohol by volume) so they didn't get too hammered! Sounds good. We probably shouldn't have stopped that…!

This Session Pale ale has a 3.8% ABV. It was produced with Maris Otter Pale Malted Barley and Crystal Malted Barley, as well as Mosaic Hops and Cascade Hops. It has a pale golden colour and a cheerful fizz on pouring. I'd agree with the bottle in that it has a fruity, zesty smell of lemon and a little apple at the back of the aroma. To begin with there is a jumbled up mixture of flavours. It's not quite; "here's the malts and then the bitter hops", with this Session pale, as they all seem to jump on my tastebuds in one ambush. It's good though. Really good! There is a big malt flavour initially, but there's also bitterness straight away from the hops. There follows a little sweetness from further Crystal Malt undertones, but just as I got used to them there's a big zesty bitter kick with sweet malt flavours into the aftertaste. This Session Pale is pure gold. I could happily drink it all day, rather than just in one se… You get the joke!? ;-p

22 March 2019

Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies (Aldi) By @Cinabar

I feel I need to start by saying the biscuits are not sugar free. I say this because my only knowledge of the biscuit company Gullon is that they do a good range of sugar free biscuits and that is what I have come to associate them with. These Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies are not low sugar, and it turns out they have a large range of sugary biscuits too, these ones do look rather tasty anyway. They consist of two sandwiches of dark chocolate biscuit over a white cream filling and the whole thing dunked in white chocolate. My brain was thinking they were similar to white Chocolate covered Oreos, and I was looking forward to trying them.

The box opens to reveal six twin packs of biscuits, which are wrapped making them perfect for a portioned lunch box treat. The biscuits have thin white chocolat on the base, where the dark biscuit shows through, and thicker chocolate on the top. I gave them a try and loved every bite. The white chocolate is rich and creamy, and the biscuit is dark and flavoursome, the contrast of the two flavours is heaven. The texture too is wonderful, I love a mix of textures and between the crunchy biscuit, soft filling and the chocolat coating these more than delivered. I have to get myself some more of these Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies from Aldi, as they are my new favourite biscuits, and I must check out their other ranges too, see what else they have to offer. There is more to this brand than just sugar free.

21 March 2019

Lipton Matcha - And other Portuguese drinks (@NLi10)

Look at the tiny Strongbow! It almost looks civilised. Almost. Still tastes like Strongbow though, so never mind. There was a fruit one too, but I’ll save those for the Wrestling shows. Effective thirst quencher.

Over in Portugal Captain Birdseye has conveniently changed to Captain Iglo. Maybe he’s hiding from Interpol.


 Still in the supermarket we find a huge stash of Lipton teas. While they are Eurotrash compared to the Asian brewed teas these will do on a hot day - especially when there are new flavours to try.

 I think I maybe should have got two smaller ones for the contrast, but we just went for the green matcha. This was the Yuzu version.

Unfortunately the percentage of Matcha was so low that the percentage in my blood is probably usually higher (not on holiday, I’m getting Jasmine Tea withdrawal symptoms). Still, it’s their nice if not a bit watery green tea so has its own charms and keeps the dehydration away. I mean I’ve got some sunburn, but that’s not the drinks fault.  And we located some actual snacks too!

20 March 2019

Hartley’s 10 calories Flavoured Jelly (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

In my life I have met two types of people. There are those that like jelly and ice cream in the same bowl, and those that like jelly or ice cream in a bowl on their own. I'm a jelly or ice cream kind of person. Don't get me wrong, I do like jelly and I also like ice cream, just as long as they don't meet in the same bowl. Now you'll be able to tell which type of person you are by determining how crazy I sound. If I should perfectly reasonable, then you are not a jelly and ice cream in the same bowl type of person either!

Black Forest Gateau Jelly

Cinabar asked me why I choice to try this jelly. "You don't even like Black Forest Gateau!" She exclaimed. It's true I don't particularly like cherries for a start, which doesn't help with liking the cake itself. Many years ago whilst staying in Lumley Castle, near Newcastle Upon Tyne, there was nothing on the pudding menu I liked, but I went for the bowl of cherries, because it came with shortbread. I figured it would be a tiny bowl of cherries with some biscuits on the side. I'm telling you that I never seen such a big bowl of cherries in my entire life!

On opening this 175g plastic pot there was an unsurprising and yet also unsurprisingly unwelcome smell of cherries. This chilled deep red almost liquid jelly smelt of Maraschino cherries, and strangely a little creamy. I wasn't particularly fussed by tasting it at this point, but this is what us hardy bloggers have to do, so I reluctantly dug a spoon in. The only thing that tasted more of cherries than this jelly was the monstrous bowl full that I started and almost threw up at Lumley Castle. I couldn't really pick up on any chocolate flavour though. Although there was a slightly odd taste of cream at the back of the flavour, which didn't bode well with my half crazed jelly or ice cream persona.

Lemon Cheesecake Jelly

Before you say it, yes, with the whole jelly or ice cream ideology this is probably not a good idea! However, I do love lemon cheesecake, unless, of course; it's baked! There are two types of people… Oh, never mind… I just don't like baked cheesecake! Anyway, even Hartley's would have a job on baking jelly flavoured with lemon cheesecake. Surely?

On opening the pot there was a decent smell of lemon. This was to be expected for a Lemon Cheesecake Jelly. In fact if I almost stick the pot up my nose I would say it does smell of lemon cheesecake, and not the baked variety. Phew! There is that creamy flavour again after a initial fairly sour taste of lemon. Here the creamy flavour is more pronounced, however it does actually taste pretty good… well, if you like that sort of thing! I'd certainly say that this was my favourite out of the two jellies… Mainly because no matter how many cherries a hotel can try to force feed me, I'm just never going to like them!

19 March 2019

McVities Moments 4 Hare-Brained Honeycombed Tiffin - Easter Limited Edition (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Everybody loves the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland don’t they, such a better character than Alice, way more fun. Anyway these new McVities Moments 4 Hare-Brained Honeycombed Tiffin were just being put out in Aldi while I was doing my grocery shop and I popped one in the trolley as soon as I saw them. The White Rabbit theming caught my eye, and then I spotted the phrase Easter Limited Edition, and I couldn’t resist.

So the packaging gets a thumbs up, the next thing was to try the McVities Moments Hare-Brained Honeycombed Tiffin. They are decorated with small sugar flowers, smart, but not quite as crazy as I’d hoped from the packet. The flavour and texture though is lovely. The bars are firm, with a nice amount of chewiness and the sugar flowers do actually add to the texture by bringing a nice crunch. I could taste the honeycomb and the added sweetness blended nicely with the milk chocolate and Digestives flavours. I though these Hare-Brained Honeycombed Tiffin squares were a lovely treat. If you are sharing with friends I’d suggest bringing out the packet as it is rather fun, and the White Rabbit really does make it something special. You wouldn’t want to be late for afternoon tea.

18 March 2019

Twisted Strawberry Diet Coke (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

My local Waitrose is selling (in March) Coca Cola cans with Father Christmas on them. They aren’t reduced in price either, and although they may be in date in terms of ‘Sell By’ it doesn’t give me hope of finding anything new in the drinks aisle. Having said that underneath the Santa Claus cola I am pleased to say I spotted this new drink; Twisted Strawberry Diet Coke.
This is in the Diet Coke range, not the Coca Cola Zero range, although both are sugar free just with slightly different tastes to the base cola. Most new flavours seem to be coming out in some form of sugar free, presumably down to the sugar tax. The can is topped with a ring of pink to show off the new Twisted Strawberry flavour, but the can is still distinctively Diet Coke. I poured some into a glass, and gave it a sip. I think the strawberry was a much milder taste than I had expected, and milder than their other fruit flavours. The taste was nice though, the berry was present, and did linger in the aftertaste. It is a gentle version of a strawberry, perhaps not living up to the word “twisted” in the title, but nevertheless pleasant. I was pleased I bought so many. These Twisted Strawberry Diet Coke cans were sold in a multipack, and I picked up two packs as somebody has to help the Coca Cola stock move in my local Waitrose!

17 March 2019

Soft drinks on the way to Portugal (@NLi10)

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

It feels like I should be talking about alcohol or something more Irish, but I’m on holiday and we really haven’t found any fun snacks yet - they have catered for the British Invasion with all the usual things, but I’ve not made it to a Portuguese Supermarket to get the real snacks.

We got this for the flight so that we didn’t have to buy Jet2 tiny drinks on board. Surprisingly potent and not at all over sour. Great to sip in the air!


This I had with a meal, it had a hint of grapefruit but otherwise just tonic.

We had lunch at a place called sleepy donkey, and when they offer home made lemonade I take it.

A neat little jug of very lemony and a tiny bit sparkling lemonade. Perfect for sunny but windy weather. 

So far so good, but I need some good vending machines or a shop for locals soon or I’m going to have to start reviewing restaurants!

16 March 2019

Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

I've recently found out that I like certain distilled spirits in a glass of lemonade. This Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade is a Crafted Cocktail with probably a shot of the traditional Tennessee whisky, a dash of Triple Sec and then filled to the top with zesty lemonade. At 5% volume this drink should be pretty potent. It has the original Old No. 7 Jack Daniels Tennessee in it, which I've recently found I like in lemonade, so I probably won't mind a little Triple Sec added in too.

On opening the can there was the tangy Triple Sec smell to start with, and then the Jack Daniel's aroma in the background merging with the lemonade. This cloudy lemonade concoction does smell really nice, sweet and zesty after pouring. The fizzy excitable bubbles almost popping out of the top of the glass. On taste the flavours merge almost immediately. There was the Jack Daniel's slightly ahead of the tangy Triple Sec in the race to my tastebuds, whilst the zesty lemonade seems to balance out these two flavours into an all round excellent flavour filled drink. This is very nice indeed and will probably become a regular in my beer fridge. I'd recommend you give it a go…

15 March 2019

Rhubarb and Custard Hot Cross Buns (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Following on from yesterdays look at alternative Easter treats, I found raisin free Rhubarb and Custard Hot Cross Buns in Aldi. I wasn’t particularly looking from Hot Cross Buns without raisins, I spotted an interesting flavour for review, but I’m aware some people have an aversion to the fruit, for example NLi10 who wrote yesterday’s blog post.
These Rhubarb and Custard Hot Cross Buns do have some fruit in them though, as they have pieces of rhubarb baked in.

The insides are also quite yellow, presumably from the custard. The flavour though is milder than I expected, and the hot cross bun spices gives these a similar flavour to regular hot cross buns. I guess this is both good and bad, they keep there classical taste, but stayed cautious on the new variant. The rhubarb is probably the more dominant of the new flavours adding a pleasing hint of sharpness, the custard just comes across as buttery and sweet, which is fine in the context. These were purchased with novelty in mind and they are delicate enough not to offend, but I would have preferred some sharper acidic rhubarb flavours. As a side effect I also now have the theme tune from the classic cartoon Rhubarb and Custard stuck in my head… this wouldn’t have happened if I’d bought the Salted Caramel ones!