30 April 2019

Philadelphia Milka Chocolate (Asda) By @Cinabar

There used to be a cheese based spread by Philadelphia that was flavoured with Cadbury chocolate. It was actually for sale for several years before disappearing, and then the rest of their cheese spreads went back to being savoury or of course plain. Asda has added this Philadelphia Milka Chocolate cream cheese as a new addition to their website so I eagerly popped it my virtual basket. I love Milka chocolate, I have European tastebuds where chocolate is concerned.
I’m going to be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this Philadelphia Milka Chocolate when it arrived. I don’t buy a lot of cream cheese and if we do have a tub of Philadelphia in it is most likely to end up in a sandwich with some smoked salmon, heaven. I also don’t buy a lot of chocolate spreads either, despite my sweet tooth.

Sweet cream cheese is a different idea, and I thought that there would be many people buying it to use in a cheesecake, which I imagine this would be perfect for. In the end I had some for breakfast on a piece of toast. The spread is quite thick but easily covered my toast and melted into it with the warmth. The bread looked like it had been covered in Nutella, but this was a very different flavour. The cocoa was quite mild and the sweetness fairy subdued. It looked a lot richer than it was from the colour, but was more Philadelphia with a touch of Milka Chocolate. I think if your tastebuds are expecting chocolate spread they will be disappointed, but it does do what it says on the tub. Sweetened cream cheese with a chocolate flavour. I’m sure all the people who used to buy Philadelphia made with Cadbury Chocolate will be pleased to have a tasty replacement.

29 April 2019

Tango Strawberry Watermelon Sugar Free Drink (Poundland) By @Cinabar

Tango Strawberry Watermelon Sugar Free Drink

I’m still on the hunt for refreshing soft drinks, even if the weather has stepped back a bit toward more traditional cooler temperatures at this time of year. I actually found this new flavour Tango Strawberry Watermelon sugar free fizzy soft drink in Poundland, and managed to pick up a few cans.
Once home I chilled them and then poured it into a glass. The drink is a pinky red in colour and was rather fizzy, I had to wait for the bubbles to settle before being able to completely fill my glass. I liked the flavour ever so much, it was sweet with plenty of strawberry and a heavy handed portion of watermelon that was very refreshing. I thought the Tango Strawberry Watermelon delivered nice strong fruit flavours, and that the combination of these fruits was a brilliant idea.Who knew strawberry and watermelon would work so well together, it was practically summer in a can. I have no idea why watermelon isn’t more popular, it is such a refreshing flavour and I’m really pleased to see Tango use it, I’m hoping some other companies make some watermelon flavoured items and it becomes a bit more mainstream. It is the perfect refreshing fruit for summer, now all we need is the sun to show up again.

28 April 2019

Just Water? Just Water! (@NLi10)

Facing an hour long bus journey in the hot sun I decided I’d need a little refreshment, so went for a bottle of water from Holland & Barrett.  They had a staggering array.

Buying bottled water still feels wrong, so I went for the one on special offer, that also promised to be the most environmentally sustainable.

This is just water, which is also reassuring because some people put artificial sweeteners, flavours or minerals in which is annoying when all you want to do is not pass out on the bus.  I'd rather have a bottle of my own tap water to be honest (it just comes out of these things the previous owners left behind - and it doesn't taste of anything!)

So - it's bottled spring water in a container that is made from recyclable sustainable substances - 82% in fact and it's technically recyclable!

Why technically? Well our local council doesn't take these so it's off to landfill - which is sad.  

tetra-packs are an odd one - they are initially better but a can or bottle that can be recycled might be better - truth be told all the stats I had on the energy needed to transport and recycle these things are horribly out of date.  This has a space for your name though so in theory you can trump recycling - reducing and reusing are the best things of all.

So I can take this fairly square paper bottle with a foil inner out on many future bus trips and save money and the planet at the same time.

27 April 2019

Smirnoff Cider with Raspberry & Pomegranate (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I was talking to some guys in the changing room this morning at the gym. Don't worry… we were all fully clothed (if not a little sweaty from our various workouts). We were talking about weight loss and how many calories there are in beer and cider. We all agreed we still like a drink now and then. Let's face it, it would kill my Saturday night blogs if I didn't. Besides everything in moderation, especially if you workout beforehand and are still burning calories hours later from various one minute burnout exercises when you pop the bottle open.

The one guy said that his friend's son-in-law was 39 stone and drank two bottles of vodka a day! I don't know which will get him first; the heart attack or liver failure. The last time I drank vodka was in my late teens. I decided in one of my less brighter moments that to get drunk really fast I would neck a bottle of Smirnoff. It was a 350ml bottle and went down slower than it came back up later on that night, I can tell you! I haven't touched the stuff since. Not through fear or anything, just because I'm more of a rum or whisky type of guy. I generally have them to spruce up a glass of lemonade these days. Besides beer is always my first love where booze is concerned.

This deep pink coloured Smirnoff Cider with Raspberry & Pomegranate fruit flavours seems like a good compromise from the almost tasteless distilled shots. It's lightly carbonated, served in a 500ml bottle and at 4% volume I won't see my last meal again. It smells mainly of a strong mixture of raspberry and pomegranate, which isn't surprising considering the colour. Scarily though it smells like something healthy you may drink with your breakfast (hair of the dog?), rather than giggling with friends on a night out. There is a hint of cider apple in the taste though, which is predominately fruity raspberry and pomegranate. There is a hint of something stronger in there too. That unmistakable hint that someone added a shot to your drink, trying to trip you up, when you are off dancing with the women they're sweet on at the same time… Ah, the good ole' nightclub days…

26 April 2019

Galaxy Darker Collection - Darker Milk Chocolate (Asda) By @Cinabar

Galaxy isn’t my go to bar of chocolate. I don’t have it that often and whenever I do I’m always impressed by how rich it is and always mean to buy it more often. I had a Galaxy Ripple recently and was in awe of it. Luckily for me I do buy a lot of new products (who’d have figured) so when I spotted this Galaxy Darker Collection - Darker Milk chocolate bar I popped it in the basket.
The bar is fairly dark to look out, and the pieces marked on it are a little small for me. As much as I was looking forward to this bar I have to admit my first taste brought mixed feelings. The bar was sweet, and the initial kick of cocoa was nice, as was the thick melt. The remaining flavour in my mouth was weird though, slightly metallic and bitter, only mildly so but it was difficult to ignore. At the end of every piece I had this disappointing hint of flavour in my mouth which stopped me savouring the chocolate.
The more I ate the more that taste went away, but it appeared again when I stopped munching. This Galaxy Darker Collection - Darker Milk chocolate was so nearly a good bar, but I didn’t gel with it. I did still eat quite a few squares, it wasn’t all bad. It just isn’t something I’ll be buying again. I think Galaxy make an amazing milk chocolate bar, and I think that is clearly where their expertise lie. Has anyone else tried this Galaxy Darker Collection - Darker Milk chocolate? Is it just me who didn’t get on with it?

25 April 2019

St. Helier All Natural Sparkling Beverage Orange & Lemon (@NLi10)

I spotted these two cans floating around in one of the discount stores while we were picking up other bits and bobs. From the front they do have a striking similarity to another popular fizzy fruit drink - San Pelegrino.  Even down to the saintly name...

And the foil top on the can - I'm not sure what these are for really.  It feels posher I guess!

Maybe it's just to keep it clean.  Despite the natural ingredients there are both sugar and sweeteners, which is the modern compromise due to the sugar tax and general awareness that our teeth are dissolving.

First up was the orange, I didn't have a glass to hand so here is the ingredients.  There isn't much really, fruit, water and lots of things to help it get here intact.  And it's fine.  It's not as good as the brand it's imitating, but without a can for comparison I'm not quite sure which bit makes it taste wrong.  It's cheap fruity pop in a can.

The lemon is a little more enjoyable, but still not special. Tastes a bit more like the real fruit, but not enough that you'd pay full price for it.  Better than not having a nice cold drink while working on the computer on a hot day, and better than just water, but I think I'd rather have had one can of the real thing - or even better a bottle of fresh lemonade - than these.

It's nice to see them representing Jersey on the cans though, a little local produce goes a long way.  

24 April 2019

Seabrook Scorchin' Hot Trinidad Scorpion Chilli Crisps (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

Seabrook Scorchin' Hot Trinidad Scorpion Chilli Crisps

Cinabar is trying to kill me again. We've already tried a very hot flavour of crisps from Seabrook Fire Eaters Smokin’ Hot Smokehouse Cayenne the other day, which had our mouths tingling and noses sweating. So no-one would touch these Seabrook Trinidad Scorpion Chilli flavour crisps, except muggins of course. They have a five chilli heat warning on them! I do like spicy chilli crisps and some hot sauces. I prefer hot sauces which I can taste rather than ones that are just trying to hurt me. The amount of warnings on the front of this packet make me slightly anxious. Though I have had plenty of warnings on other crisp packets before and been disappointed that they haven't had the chilli heat they warned of. Have I already stated there is a five chilli warning on this packet? I do remember the chilli heat from Seabrook Fire Eaters Smokin’ Hot Smokehouse Cayenne, but they were very tasty, lets hope these Trinidad Scorpion Chilli flavour crisps are tasty or they might find themselves in the bin, like the odd ridiculously hot sauce I've had in the past.

On opening the packet these almost fire engine red crinkle cut crisps certainly smelt chilli hot, but also like they would be pretty tasty too. Wow… on trying the first bright red crisp there was a taste sensation of hot chilli, but the burn from the chilli straight afterwards was a little too painful for me. I was already sweating from just coming back from the gym after spending too long in the sauna. My nose started to run after the first few crisps. I had a multitude to go… I decided my only option here would be to have a massive crisp sandwich. I used to eat Kamikaze sandwiches laced with diced chilli grown in our greenhouse all the time. This would be a mega Kamikaze crisp sandwich!

… Actually it was a Kamikaze crisp bap, as we didn't have any sliced bread in. I do like a good bap anyway. In fact I do like a nice pair of baps…! Oh my, this one Kamikaze crisp bap was a hot one though. I had some crisps left over on the side which served to torture me as I sweated over my fiery hot Kamikaze Trinidad Scorpion Chilli flavour crisps bap. I went through quite a few tissues mopping my brow and nose by the end of it I can tell you. It certainly was tasty, but also still a little too painful, so these crisps are a little too hot for me, I'm afraid. If you fancy a go yourself, be warned, these Trinidad Scorpion Chilli flavour crisps really are super five chilli burning hot!

Information on the packet;
The 150g packet contained 518 calories per 100g, with 2.9g of fat, 3.5g of sugar, and 0.96g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

23 April 2019

New Cadbury Bournville Giant Buttons (Asda) By@Cinabar

New Cadbury Bournville Giant Buttons

I think one of the trends for 2019 is going to be dark chocolate. We have already seen Cadbury release a Darker Milk chocolate, Galaxy are doing the same and I’m looking forward to writing about it. Here we have a boost of a classic chocolate from Cadbury but in a new format; New Bournville Giant Buttons.
Bournville is a go to cocoa for me, mix a little of the powder with sugar and hot milk and you have a drink that can complete with a lot of the more expensive brands of hot chocolate. Otherwise I have to confess to not interacting with Bournville as a brand very much, unless they have a Limited Edition flavoured bar out of course. I did like the recent rerelease of Cadbury Bournville Orange Dark Chocolate.
These Bournville Giant Buttons buttons then are referred to as “giant” and are pleasingly large, but not huge. The chocolate discs are a dark brown in colour and are relatively thin. I gave one a try and found myself really loving the flavour, dark yes but sweet too. I liked the way it combined the bitterness of the cocoa, but with plenty of sweet. The chocolate was moreish and tasty, and I ate far too many of these Bournville Giant Buttons in one go. The chocolate may be too sweet for a dark chocolate purist, but as a snacking chocolate with added cocoa it worked for me. I might have to pick up a bar of the regular Bournville chocolate and remember not to overlook it in the future.

New Cadbury Bournville Giant Buttons

22 April 2019

Crusha Cookies and Cream Limited Edition Milkshake Mix (Asda) By @Cinabar

Crusha Cookies and Cream Limited Edition Milkshake Mix

As we seem to have had the warmest bank holiday weekend in a while we started on the search for cold drinks to cool us down. This house goes through tons of tea and coffee usually, but in warm weather something chilled is more refreshing. Okay Spectre drinks tea whatever the weather, but has a cold drink as well. One thing that are a treat are milkshakes so I picked up the new Crusha Cookies and Cream Limited Edition Milkshake I’d seen in Asda.
Crusha milkshake mixes are liquid so easily combine with the milk, especially after a quick stir. I added some to a chilled glass of milk and gave it a refreshing sip on a hot day. I liked the flavour, the base taste seemed to be mostly sweet like caramel, but the drink did have a nice super creamy tastes and a hint of golden biscuit about the flavour. For me I had been expecting a little bit of chocolate in the mix, I think mainly because the cookies shown on the bottle look dark, and I didn’t really pick up on this. The taste though is lovely, ones for fans of caramel and vanilla as this Crusha Cookies and Cream Limited Edition Milkshake is primarily sweet and creamy. It was only after finishing my glass that I spotted it had no added sugar, so is low calorie (excluding the milk). I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the milkshake aisle in the supermarket and seeing what else there is to keep us cool on these warm days.

21 April 2019

Jazzie Egg - Marks & Spencer Food (@NLi10)

My easter present from my partner this year was this lovely Jazzie Egg from Marks & Spencer.  As you can see - it's not in the box anymore!!

It's here - open and confused - because I'm not sure how to get in without causing a lot of cleaning up.

It looks fantastic though!  The box has holes on both sides to show it off and so no-one is confused about the lack of Jazzies on the back.

The plastic case keeps it solid and and means that the shop is not full of Jazzies and that the whole think is easily recyclable.

It just means its the first Easter egg I remember where I've had to sit there with a plate to eat any!

In the end I put it Jazzies side down, and then pushed the sides in so I can eat the normal M&S (decent) chocolate and then leave the Jazzies safely in the plastic and not too many escaped.  Over the next week I'll slowly rotate and snap off the coated sections and eat the sweeter sections and hopefully not get them everywhere.

I dread to think what the factory looks like!

Lovely though, both to look at and to eat, and a nice reminder that these things don't have to be branded or complicated to be special or memorable.

20 April 2019

Dark Star Hophead (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

This is my Easter themed beer for this year! What do you think? Okay, okay… so, I couldn't find a real Easter themed beer, but bunnies are synonymous with Easter and bunnies hop, so this is the best I could do at short notice… Okay, okay… so Easter comes around once a year every year, but I forgot about this one, it just crept up and surprised me… or something!

So Hophead is produced by the Dark Star Brewing Company, in West Sussex. Dark Star is named after a song(ish) by the Grateful Dead. I'd never heard their music before, but YouTube can be very (un)helpful at times and now I wish I hadn't listened to the 2015 remastered version. To try to be kind; I'd have to say that it's not my sort of thing, even though I like most music types, asides some rap music, and definitely not the Teletubbies and Mister Blobby! It seems that at 3.8% volume I'd have to drink a heck of a lot of this Hophead to actually enjoy the Grateful Dead's music, but that's besides the point!

Brewed with Malted Barley and Cascade Hops, there is fruitiness in this beer promised on the label. I imagined when I picked this beer up off the supermarket shelf that "Hophead" would refer to a menagerie of hops rolled into one beer bottle. However, just the Cascade hops in this Hophead possibly won't overcomplicate the flavour. On opening there is a fruitiness in the aroma of this deep golden almost straw coloured ale. As the almost overpowering fruity hops smell collides with the malted barley, there is an almost biscuit aroma to finish. This is a beer I could smell all day.

On taste Hophead is actually a complex flavoured ale. There is thick sweet malted barley to start with that's pounced on almost immediately by the fruity bitterness from the hops. The malted barley wrestles with the hops like a stubborn child trying to steal an Easter Egg off a rabbit! This battle of flavours runs straight through into the aftertaste. The sweet almost biscuit flavours from the malted barley and that fruity bitterness from the Cascade hops fight madly away at each other. There is more fruitiness into the aftertaste, so I suspect the bunny wins the Easter Egg and hops off into the Spring evening sunshine!

Have a Happy Hoppy Easter, Everyone!

19 April 2019

Maryland Cookies Wonder - Toffee Popcorn Crunch (Aldi) By @Cinabar

These heavily loaded cookies were found in the wonderful section of Aldi with the Special Buys. This means they don’t normally stock them, they are just there for a short term only, and as you can imagine it is one of my favourite aisles to explore. This weeks find were Maryland Cookies Wonder - Toffee Popcorn Crunch.
I couldn’t decide how popcorn would work on a cookie, but I certainly liked the idea. I opened up the biscuits, I had a cup of tea next to me but on this occasion I decided not to dunk. This is pretty dedicated stuff from me, I do dunk biscuits but I wanted to try one out without the tea, to see how the popcorn element worked.
So these Toffee Popcorn Crunch Maryland Cookies have lots of sweetness, and the first flavours I picked up on were caramel and chocolate. These flavours pretty much dominated the biscuit taste, with just a slight hit of popcorn afterwards. I couldn’t pick up on the texture of the popcorn apart from where I had a little bit of the inner kernel shell in my biscuit. The biscuits were chunky and the chocolate pieces were big and these things hid the texture of the popcorn too. Overall I enjoyed these biscuits, they were sweet, chunky, crunchy and had lots of chocolat on them. As an exciting way to try out popcorn on a biscuit I felt they missed the mark.

18 April 2019

Choc Affair - Three Artisanal Chocolate Bars (@NLi10) @ChocAffairFT

Happy Chocolate Weekend! Let us celebrate Ostara by consuming beans and sugar in a variety of flavours and shapes!

We've bumped into the Choc Affair products a few times over the years *Geraniums*  and *Bergamot* and agreed that they are rather fantastic.  I remarked that they are very gifty - and I got all these as gifts!  Will deal with the top one another day - promise.

We actuially dealt with the PEach And Raspberry flavour in a previous review - but frankly it's appeal has only grown on me since then so I'll keep saying how amazing it is.

As you can see here it has lots of bits in it which I love.  The other two have lots to compete with.

Fortunately Dark Chocolate, Lime & Sea Salt are three of my favourite things.  There is a little crunch here and there but otherwise this is smooth, salty chocolate with a kick of lime and a little salt left in the teeth afterwards.  A much darker mood than the light peach melba version, but equally exquisite.

That leaves us with the Mango - which was always going to be the most unusual of the three.  I'm not sure I've had Mango chocolate ever!

The smell is amazing - of all the three this is the one that permeated the room, and turned heads.  And the taste has enough of the mango to be just as satisfying.  The chocolate itself is soft, and much more friendly than the version with the raspberry bits.  I think I'd almost say this is more traditional - and certainly has a flavour which I could see being used for eggs and other shaped Easter goods.

I don't think I really have a clear favourite here.  I know the raspberry one will be finished first, but I'd be more likely to buy a Melon one as a quirky present for someone.  Yet again - Choc Affair have delivered high quality, but more importantly starkly different treats that only pretend to be ordinary chocolate bars in wonderfully crisp gold foil.

17 April 2019

Swizzels Drumchick Squashies (Asda) By @SpectreUK

I decided to go for a different type of blog than the usual chocolate egg variety. I do usually like fruit flavoured gums and foams, so these Swizzels Drumchick Squashies orange and pineapple flavoured foam gums sound right up my street. They have been brought out as a seasonal change to their usual Drumsticks. I usually do like orange and pineapple flavoured foodstuffs and drinks, so I'm quite looking forward to these. However, I noticed in the ingredients the only fruit used to make these Swizzels Drumchick Squashies was apple pulp, so there is no actual orange and pineapple to speak of. So what do they taste like…?

Well, there was the unmistakable smell of carnauba wax on opening the packet and a little apple. As far as I know the carnauba wax is used to stop the foams from sticking together. It slightly detracts from the flavour also. Once through the slightly waxy flavour, there is a taste of sweet apple followed by a little orange and pineapple which follows into the aftertaste. These Swizzels Drumchick Squashies orange and pineapple flavoured foam gums were pretty moreish once I'd got used to the slightly waxy coating…

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Information on the packet;
The 160g packet contains 71 calories per 20g serving, with less than 0.1g of fat, 12.5g of sugar, and than 0.1g of salt. With no artificial colours, please see photograph for ingredients.

16 April 2019

Mini MixUp Chocolate Eggs (Aldi) By @Cinabar

I was in Aldi looking for something Easter themed to munch on (before the event) and found this bag of chocolates called Mini MixUp Chocolate Eggs. The chocolate are individually wrapped and are egg shaped. This makes me think these would be good for egg hunts or just sharing on the day, if there isn’t enough chocolate in your house already! We had them just to snack on while watching TV. There are four varieties of Mini MixUp Chocolate Eggs, and they are:

Choco Eggs
These eggs had a lolly hint of hazelnut and a creamy filling. It wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting, but as a nut fan I loved these.

Oozy Eggs
The Oozy Eggs were filled with a sweet thick liquid in the format of a sugary fondant. They reminded me of a Creme Egg, and as such I rather liked it.

Toffee Egg Bites
These were mostly chocolate, with some bits of crisps toffee mixed in. The toffee flavour wasn’t too strong, but it added a nice taste to the base flavour.

Cookies N Cream
I loved the added biscuit tones and the added crunch. Chocolate and biscuit go together really well, so I think these were my favourites.

I have to say I was very impressed by this bag of chocolates, and I’m a little sad they are going to disappear after Easter. I will have to pick up another bag later in the week.

15 April 2019

New Pringles Rice Fusion - Malaysian Red Curry Flavour (Asda) By @Cinabar

These crisps are a both a new flavour and a new style of product from Pringles. They are called Pringles Rice Fusion - Malaysian Red Curry flavour crisps, and they are actually made with rice flour. The flavour is that of a curry that would also go well with rice, but these are still in the usual Pringles crisps format. In fact, dare I say it, if you didn’t know they were made with rice flour you wouldn’t have noticed a difference in texture.
I have to admit to not knowing what a Malaysian Red Curry should taste like. I have had Thai red curries, but not Malaysian, so it is probably best if I just describe the flavour, and try not to worry too much about what it is supposed to taste like.
These crisps are mildly spiced, but they are very fragrant. I could taste curry powder and cardamon and I liked these spices. The other main flavour is a lovely creaminess that runs throughout the taste which was very much like coconut. This worked beautifully with the gentle spices, and as ever with Pringles, theses crisps were very moreish and tasty. To my taste buds they could have been made with the usual potato base and I don’t think I would have noticed, the rice works very well. One thing is though these Pringles Rice Fusion - Malaysian Red Curry Flavour were so tasty, it makes me want to try a proper Malaysian Red Curry, so I better have a hunt for a recipe.

14 April 2019

Crepe Cake - Matcha Style (Happy Lemon, Birmingham) by @NLi10

We've covered the phenomenon of the crepe cake before here on FoodStuffFinds and found that it's tasty and massively filling.  What happens then when we combine this with the fashionable (and lovely) super stimulating Matcha powder?

I'd assumed it was a light sprinkle on top and maybe a little in the mixture.

Nope - this thing is mostly Matcha!  You have a good mm on top, it's in all the layers, and the crepes themselves look green too.  It's pretty hardcore.  Luckily this was to slit between three (and was still a bit too filling) so I didn't quite fly home.  

It is a work of art though - be a shame if anything happened to it...

Oh no! As you can see - it's very green.  It has the flavours of the standard crepe cake but with the intense addition of the Matcha on top.  It has the strongest tea flavour that I remember trying, but with the sweetness and creaminess of the pancakes it doesn't overpower.  This is definitely a sharing desert though and I'm glad I waited until there was a group of us who are relatively into this kind of thing to try it out.  I think I had most of the very top layer though.  

A great experience and one I'm sure I'll have again - and it made the rest of the afternoon a buzz too!

13 April 2019

Katy Apple & Rhubarb Cider (Marks & Spencer) By @SpectreUK

I seem to be a little lost for words today. I could talk about the weather, which is cold and a little overcast. Not great for cider, such as this Spring feeling Katy Apple & Rhubarb Cider from the Woollen Farm, in Kent. There was not much heat in the outside pool whilst I was swimming after my weights at the gym today. I gave a little chuckle when the sun poked out of the clouds for a moment and a mom and dad with toddlers jumped in and then promptly jumped out again.

A day out at Ludlow Castle yesterday had left me in so much pain in my knee that I didn't think I'd be able to do any weights today. I even felt a little nauseous from it whilst driving to the gym. I push myself. You have to. Without discipline anyone who is going through any rehabilitation will tell you that you won't stand a chance. I got up to 30kg for two sets on the Seated Leg Curl for my hamstrings without pain. I don't even remember a time I reached that level before both operations on my knee over the last four years. I just had to catch myself for a while. It's difficult to control my emotions sometimes. Even writing this now. I managed to do all my other weights and cardio, even finishing with a fairly brisk walk on a machine after my physiotherapist had encouraged me to do so a couple of days ago. I didn't have to catch myself then though. It was the first time I'd ever been on a walking machine. It'll probably take sometime to get used to the sensation, as it feels like I'm walking backwards…!

So, what have I got here? Cider, yes… Katy Apple & Rhubarb Cider. I do like cider, of course, I prefer ale, but the amount of time I spend in the sauna these days, I do often need something refreshing to cool me down. I do like rhubarb also. We had a few rhubarb plants at the last house. Each year they would yield one pudding for three people and one glass of rhubarb juice, which I always drank. Not much, you may think, but it all tasted really good!

Made with Katy apple juice, Timperley Early and Queen Victoria Rhubarb this 4% volume lightly sparkling cider has a slightly pinkish glow to it on pouring. The cider apple shines through in the aroma first with a sweetness from the rhubarb behind it. Gosh this Katy Apple & Rhubarb Cider is crisp. It's got a knife edge sourness from the cider apple to start with followed by a tart sweetness from the rhubarb into the aftertaste. Mmm… I'll kick back and enjoy this cider for a while, and hopefully Cinabar will treat me to another few cans when the lady's tennis starts to get interesting!

12 April 2019

New Milkybar MixUps (Asda) By @Cinabar

These new Milkybar Mixups are a new white and milk chocolate product I spotted them on the Asda website. My initial thought was that they reminded me of nineties chocolates called Vice-Versas with were a hard shelled chocolate filled with either white chocolate or milk chocolate and the shell was the opposite colour, especially as both of these chocolate products are made by Nestle.
Once the bag arrived I realised these were a bit different in that there is no shell, it is the two types of chocolate with one coating the other. There were quite a few of these Milkybar Mixups in the bag, and they were a little smaller than I had been expecting.
I gave a white one the taste test and found it to be softer than expected, and a flavour that wasn’t quite the sweet pure creaminess of white chocolate as it had hit of milk chocolate. The milk chocolate ones were almost identical. I think I’d struggle to tell them apart on a blind taste test. Both had blended white and milk chocolate in similar proportions. I think these new Milkybar Mixup were pleasant but missed the boat a bit. They lost their unique selling point of their Milkybar white chocolate, and the mix didn’t quite work. I’m happy to have tried them, but I think Milky Giant Buttons are a better way of getting a white chocolate hit.

11 April 2019

Happy Gut Hut - Plain Kombucha (@NLi10)

There is no point in trying just one of any new thing. With Kombucha I took the very next opportunity to back up my original opinion with a nice small brand version in a trendy bike cafe.

The Happy Gut Hut seem to be a small outfit making soft drinks for little cafes. Perfect. As we all know my love for botanically brewed nonsense this is right up my street. Again it looks a little odd.

In the glass I’m just drinking a weird lemonade, or maybe a German white beer. And also eating an Oreo brownie. I’m a fan of the iPhones portrait mode, but the newspapers restaurant reviews go from above.

I think both work well!

The brownie was great, but you can guess that.

The drink was a bit different to Captain Kombucha- it’s a lot milder, not quite as potent, but still has the same flavours and hints that I’d picked up. It’s still too much like a beer for my partner, but this is somewhere I’d be happier drinking on a night out. I wonder if bars do this in Birmingham yet? 

There are health benefits advertised, but I’m not sure my unique gut issues are happy with too much of this kind of thing. Best in moderation then, but lovely flavours and a great brand to pick up.

10 April 2019

Cadbury’s White Chocolate Creme Egg (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Cadbury’s White Chocolate Creme Egg

We could all do with a treat now and then. After some recent tough times at the gym I need to put behind me, my muscles around my newly operated on knee are slowly but surely growing. Cinabar has somehow managed to wangle me a Cadbury's White Chocolate Creme Egg. I don't know how… mainly because I'm just an unpaid lackey, however it does pay off on the odd occasion. This White Chocolate Creme Egg is my pay off. She's probably thinking it'll keep me happy for a while. She's probably right!

This is one of those prize eggs that people have been attacking regular Cadbury's Milk Chocolate Creme Eggs in stores to win big bucks from. People are even selling them unwrapped on Ebay. Yuck, probably with sticky finger marks all over them for free! It's funny that you don't have to unwrap them to find they are white chocolate, as they have it written in the ingredients on the wrapper.

Cadbury’s White Chocolate Creme Egg

On unwrapping the White Chocolate Creme Egg Cinabar was all over me with a camera! "The Readers will want to see it," she exclaimed.

"How do you eat your's? With a ruddy great lens stuck up your nose!" I replied grumpily.

Cadbury’s White Chocolate Creme Egg

As you can see from the photograph, the White Chocolate Creme Egg is indeed white chocolate on the outside. It has the traditional Cadbury's Creme Egg filling. It bizarrely tastes completely different to the milk chocolate variety. So bizarre it's not even like a distant cousin twice removed! Sure it looks like a White Chocolate Creme Egg, but the sheer creaminess from the white chocolate coupled with the super sweetness from the egg's innards tastes like nothing I've ever tasted before. It's actually sublime. Honestly it's one of the best things I've ever tasted. Unless they start making batches of these Cadbury's White Chocolate Creme Eggs then I strongly suspect this is the only one I'll ever eat. It was certainly timely and one heck of a treat for some of the stuff I've been through lately!

Cadbury’s White Chocolate Creme Egg Ingredients