31 May 2020

wasabi - Vegetable Gyoza (@NLi10)

Sainsbury's often have lots of fun little snacks - and here is one of those that we saved for a tasty weekend lunch.

Wasabi is an odd choice for a brand name seeing as it's free in literally every meal kit - but the branding is clean and the packaging very good so we will give them a pass.

Inside the compostable cardboard tray are 5 sweet little gyoza and a sachet of sauce.

These are veggie - and you can zip them in the microwave for a minute which makes them very lunch friendly.  The sachet oppened terribly and went everywhere, but I'd already spotted that the dressing is soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar so I made my own too.

They are still crispy after microwaving, and the veggies inside are recognisable.

And the weather was lovely so we say and ate them outside.  I'd certainly have these again and try more from the brand, but it's not exactly something you can Google to look for!

30 May 2020

Passionfruit Pale Ale (Co-op @innisandgunn) By @SpectreUK

Passionfruit Pale Ale Innis and Gunn

Pretty much the worst beer I've ever tasted was a passionfruit flavoured ale. The worst beer I actually ever tasted was brewed with bananas. Yes, that is not a typo, it really was made with bananas. I wasn't excited about the banana beer. I don't particularly like bananas, so I figured it was just a joke by Cinabar to buy it me in the first place…

I do like passionfruit though, especially when it's mixed with something else, such as orange juice. I remember at the time just before I opened the passionfruit beer how optimistic I was. How much I was looking forward to trying something new and how innovative it sounded. Besides, how could I not like it? And then I tasted it and it was one of the sourest beers I reckon I've ever tried.

So, we're still in some form of lockdown. I'm not sure if anybody really knows what we're supposed to be doing anymore and to what scale of lockdown, but let's just say that if we did have some form of leadership in the UK from at the most a hundredth of what a fairly averagely well led country requires to function, we probably would know what form of lockdown or non-lockdown we'd be attempting to adhere to. Okay, so that's a bit bitchy, but seriously if you can stomach it for more than thirty seconds; watch our news. Anyway, there are still problems getting certain items from the shops, so what does Cinabar find on one of those possibly life threatening journeys outside of the house? Yes, it's another Passionfruit ale!

Okay, so this passionfruit pale ale is produced by a favourite brewery of mine called Innis & Gunn. I don't know what they were thinking at the time or what they suddenly have against me, but now I'm supposed to open the can. At 4.4% volume I can't imagine by any stretch that this beer is going to be strong enough to dull my tastebuds enough to not be able to taste it. Indeed on opening the beer there was a strong fruity smell of passionfruit amongst the mosaic and citra hops, just before the sweet pale malted barley. This 'Tropic Like It's Hop' certainly lives up to its name in its aroma.

In the taste the passionfruit is there right from the get-go, and yet it's not the sour passionfruit that I was expecting that the first passionfruit beer I tried, it was in fact a sweet fruity passionfruit mixed amongst some well thought out hops. This is the flavour that I was hoping from the first passionfruit beer I tried. It's that fruity sweetness of passionfruit that goes so well with just about anything it's mixed with. That refreshing tropical fruitiness that revitalises you on a baking hot day such as today. The initial fruity passionfruit flavour almost dances around the biting and zingy hops, and then skips around the sweet pale malted barley into the aftertaste and off into the distance. Mmm… I'm so glad Innis & Gunn didn't let me down!

29 May 2020

What The Fanta? (Asda) By @Cinabar

What The Fanta

I had my last online order from Asda and discovered via an advert on their page that they have an exclusive drink from Fanta, called What The Fanta, so I ordered a couple of bottles. This is a mystery drink and there isn’t an explanation as to what the flavour is on the label. Apparently there is more than one mystery flavour too so I can only comment on this bottle. If my other bottle is different I’ll write a blog on that too.
The What The Fanta drink is bright green and it is also sugar free, so I poured it into a glass to have a taste test. This drink is definitely apple and something, the ‘and something’ part is very hard to nail down. I went from being sure it was apple and pear to now being sure it is apple and melon. The secondary flavour is juicy, sweet and refreshing and it certainly works. Ok, if I had to choose I would say apple, melon and pear! I think it is more likely to be one or the other but I seriously can’t decide.
This is a nice drink though, sweet and refreshing in the sunshine. The colour is a little bright for me, but taste wise I would love the big reveal and to know the flavour was staying. Can’t wait to find out what is in the other bottle!

What The Fanta

28 May 2020

Things I use A Lot (I) aka What's In My Cupboard (@NLi10)

Ok - so essentially I'm running out of lockdown reviews again - but what a perfect excuse for a best of!  Less of a 'clips episode' than TV though as I'm not sure how recently I've mentioned any of these.

First up is my favourite TeaPigs.  I'm not a wine drinker, and I don't really get through much beer.  One thing I do love though is tea - and to me there is nothing that tops Tea Pigs Mao Feng Green Tea.  It has the right balance of strength and delicateness and tastes great hot or cold.  It's not a daily tea like my other green tea, but this is the one I save for a treat.

Along similar lines this isn't my everyday cooking oil, but Clearspring Japanese Toasted Sesame Oil turns fairly ordinary stir-fry ingredients into a luxury meal.  And it lasts for ages as you only need the tiniest bit to infuse the food and the kitchen with that little bit more authenticity.

This however I put on everything.  The original Schwartz Grill Mates Garlic & Herb Twist was a present, but you can still find them.  The mix is heavy on the salt and pepper, bu has other bits like garlic and chilli that you may not put on things.  This goes on my pad thai on toast (egg, this, tamarind, cooked in coconut oil), and goes great with every pasta and grill food that you can imagine.  If I ever can't get another one of these I might be in trouble (or have to blend my own).

I thought giving up dairy (mostly - still have milk in tea and pizzas with whatever they come with) would be impossible.  Switching to fake milk has really improved my sinuses and triggered some (accidental) weight loss too.  The two on the left are my favourite almond and Pea versions respectively.  The right hand one doesn't show up many places.  I believe that the Pea versions are the future and once people cotton on then it'll become the new alternative.  

Hope this was at least interesting!!

27 May 2020

Asian Inspired Singapore Curry (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

It's pizza night tonight, but not for me. Cinabar and her mom have taken to having a pizza on one night of the week. I had been doing a yoga class at the gym on Tuesday nights and was having an earlier dinner, but now I'm doing the yoga moves I learnt in the kitchen instead. However they are still having their pizza and I'm just having something quick at the same time. I haven't particularly liked pizza for many years. I used to eat the Carne Amanti at Pizza Hut, which was my favourite Pizza ever, but they foolishly took it off the menu, and all other pizzas have been a disappointment ever since!

Anyway, I have no idea what Singapore Curry tastes like, as I've not had a Ready Meal that flavour before or seen one in the stores before they all went safety first. I don't know if this Asian Inspired Singapore Curry is going to be authentic, but I'm hoping it will be quick to make and healthy. It certainly sounds healthy with pieces of carrot, spring onion, egg noodles, and plenty of medium hot peppers. It sounds pretty quick to make too, by just removing the lid and adding freshly boiled water and then leaving to stand for 4 minutes.

I peeled back the lid to take a look in the pot before I got started. There were some stringy noodles at the bottom of the pot and plenty of seasoning with diced carrots and spring onions intermingled. I boiled the kettle, put a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster and cut up a tomato. I also had some leftover ham and some coleslaw on the side. On adding the freshly boiled water to the pot the aroma of cumin and ginger curry spices tickled my nose and enticed me to try it.

After cooling I peeled back the lid again and noticed that there was a multitude of finally diced coriander amongst the almost clear sauce. On taste this Asian Inspired Singapore Curry was flavoursome enough with its mix of curry spices. It was tasty, but it didn't stand out as something that I would rush out and buy again. There was a mild chilli heat, but nothing to make me sweat, and I have no idea how I didn't get any of the million pieces of coriander stuck in my teeth.

The half pot full itself also didn't feel very substantial. It didn't fill much of a gap in my recently downsized stomach. Low in calories it was a healthy snack, but a snack nonetheless and was gone in a few mouthfuls. Perhaps that's a good thing because it was quite moreish, but I've had plenty of other noodle cups that filled more of the gap in my tummy before this one.

Information on the pot;
The 78g pot contains 297 calories, with 1.8g of fat, 4.1g of sugar, and 2g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

26 May 2020

Metcalfe’s Popcorn – Jumbles Toffee Apple Edition (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

After the rather lovely Metcalfe’s Popcorn – Jumbles Eton Mess popcorn that I tried last week I was excited to see the Toffee Apple edition delivered in this weeks online grocery shop. I have struggled to get popcorn in my shop, I think many people are staying in and watching films, but I have been successful getting Metcalfe’s. Popcorn should survey the current situation.
This new version is Metcalfe’s Popcorn – JumblesToffee Apple and has popcorn with toffee (the classic combination) but also slices of dried apple and apple flavouring. The apple may not look that attractive in the photograph but it still maintained its flavour and was juicy and sweet with a good light texture. The popcorn has plenty of sweet rich toffee flavour and a nice apple taste too. This was far too easy to eat, but fairly low in calories so I didn’t have too much guilt.
I liked the mix of textures as it made the popcorn interesting to eat. It is fruity and fresh and not too bad in calories. I think popcorn is becoming my go to snack.

25 May 2020

Sizzling Spiced Chicken Kebab Crisps (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Meaty crisps are usually my favourite, and as a subset I tend toward chicken flavours. I also like something new so I was rather pleased to spot these Sizzling Spiced Chicken Kebab Crisps in my local Co-Op. It is nice that there are still new flavours coming out in a pandemic, I assume they went into production before all of this happened but either way they are welcome by me. Also the lovely Co-Op give NHS workers (like myself and NLi10) 10% discount - which is rather lovely. The lady behind the counter thanked me for working in the NHS and I sheepishly explained I was just admin.
Anyway back to the crisps I opened the bag and was thoroughly impressed with the aroma, there was lovely warming spices and I could immediately pick up on nutmeg. We shared this crisps with sandwiches at lunch time.
I was very pleased with the flavour too, it really did taste like a chicken kebab. The seasoning is sharwarma which means they have coriander, nutmeg and a hint of chilli. The crisps aren’t hot by any means, just nicely warm. The seasoning is well balanced, there is so much going on that they are an absolute pleasure to eat, and they have the wonderful underlying meatiness too. Chicken, spices, nice quality crunchy crisps, these will be a repeat purchase that is for sure.

24 May 2020

Papa John's All Day Breakfast Pizza (@NLi10)

In lockdown it's important to treat yourself to a few nice things - like delivery pizza!

And Papa John's made it very easy by sending us an e-mail advertising regular & Vegan versions of the All Day Breakfast Pizza - for a limited time!

Of course the limit is mostly to do with when they run out of Heinz Beans...

And I replaced the mushrooms with tomatoes as I would with the real deal.

Looks breakfasty!

The beans are the thing that makes this the oddest - well that and the potatoes.  It's a little bit stodgy and really filling.  I had to leave 3 slices for the next day on a large where as I'd usually finish one.

The seal of quality is there, and all the individual ingredients were good quality, but I'm not sure I'd rush back to this one.  Enjoyable - but not a classic style.

23 May 2020

Aunt Bessie’s Jam Roly Poly - Jam & Custard Pale Ale (Northern Monk) By @SpectreUK

On Wednesday I tried and was somewhat surprised to enjoy Aunt Bessie's Sunday Dinner, Roast Dinner Brown Ale. I shouldn't say "surprised", but the brown ale was brewed with Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and her Roast Potatoes after all. Having said that I have eaten plenty of both in previous Sunday Dinner's in the past, I just hadn't had them brewed in a brown ale before.

Presumably this Aunt Bessie's Jam Roly Poly, Jam & Custard Pale Ale, produced by the same Northern Monk Brew Company, is for a liquid pudding after you've drunk the Roast Dinner Brown Ale. I only have one beer after a weights session due to still counting calories and trying to stay slim, so I'm having this Jam & Custard Pale Ale today instead.

I can't recall ever eating a Jam Roly Poly before. I'm sure I have when I was very young, however I do like jam tarts with custard and also jam sponge with custard. I haven't had either of those for a long while either though. This Jam Roly Poly, Jam & Custard Pale Ale, was made with malted barley, wheat, oats, maltodextrin, lactose, plum, apricot, strawberries, custard, hops and yeast. At 5.7% volume this should be quite a strong and possibly odd tasting pale ale. Apparently Jam Roly Poly was always on the school dinner menu, but I always had a packed lunch. I'm suspecting that kids can't take one of these cans as a liquid lunch instead for when it's safe enough for them to go back to school though!

On opening the can I was at first taken aback by the sharp herbal hop aroma, and then came the jam. I could predominantly smell strawberries and apricots, some plum and then a little creamy custard right at the end. This jam and custard smell made me think of a good pudding that I'm sure I'd enjoy - I'm not sure about it in a beer though! There was also some sweetness from the pale malt and a little wheat at the back of the aroma. This jumble of smells made me wonder what this beer could possibly taste like, almost not enough to actually taste it though!

Okay, so I bit the bullet and took a swig. It was actually bizarrely good. Believe me when I say that I really didn't want to like this beer. I'd certainly avoided it for long enough. Quite frankly it sounds like a ridiculous idea thought up by someone who has too much time on their hands, with hops and malted barley to waste. And yet… this beer does tasty really good. It's probably the least likely and yet most flavoursome pudding beer I've ever drunk. Here's the thing; I'm so used to pudding beers having chocolate malt in them that I'm blinkered to trying something new.

This Jam & Custard Pale Ale has a kick from the bitter herbal hops to start with that's pounced on by the sweet and fruity jam, which is then lovingly creamily comforted by the custard, and with a sweet malty goodness into the aftertaste. This Aunt Bessie's Jam Roly Poly, Jam & Custard Pale Ale, is revolutionary, it's ingenious, it's been made by super brewers from the land of dreams and make-believe. They possibly need less time on their hands to come up with something else bizarre. Although they need to make some more of these Jam & Custard Pale Ales first though. I certainly need to drink some more. More liquid puddings from now on please!

22 May 2020

Goodfella’s Cheeseburger Pizza (Asda) By @Cinabar

We always have a pizza in the freezer, it is my guilty pleasure. Obviously I always try to find something new and different to try and I can be quite high brow (I totally recommended Sainsbury’s Stone-baked pizza with Chicken and Pesto) but I also have taste buds for things which just sound down right bad for me. How could I possible resist this Goodfella’s Cheeseburger Pizza, yes a pizza designed to taste like a burger. Wonder why they didn’t call it Pizzurger or… Burgizza, no, wait, I’ll move on….
The Goodfella’s Cheeseburger Pizza is topped with tomato, beef burger bits, onions and that wonderful orange cheese fl you normally get in squares on burgers. Oh my it smelt good. The onions make this pizza for me, they taste like an onion relish and add so much flavour. The tomato weirdly tasted like tinned tomatoes and this works too, they are another of my guilty pleasures though ideally on a sausage sandwich. The meat from the burger bits is nice and beefy and with the ‘authentic’ cheese I smiled as I ate every mouthful. I might go back to highbrow next week, but there is certainly place for this pizza in my life.

21 May 2020

A Nice Cup Of Afternoon PG Tips Tea #TeaAt3 #SolidariTea (@NLi10)

We live in confusing times.  Ordinarily promoted posts on Twitter are things that you don't want to buy, or new stuff to waste time on.

Yesterday i got one that's very very on brand for me.  See below.

So - the purpose of the advert - drinks tea at 3!  So - dutifully while working from home - I grabbed the big box of PG tips and made my partner and I a tea!

Unfortunately the shortbread tin is currently empty - well there is a war on!

I've always been a PG Tips guy (since the tea cards for unnexplained mysteries) and it's nice to see them encouraging something as simple as a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Other teas are available for 3pm tea breaks too (we have a lot of different ones)!

20 May 2020

Aunt Bessie’s Sunday Dinner - Roast Dinner Brown Ale (Northern Monk) By @SpectreUK

Aunt Bessie’s Sunday Dinner - Roast Dinner Brown Ale (Northern Monk Brew Company)

I must admit to avoiding this Roast Dinner Brown Ale from the Northern Monk Brew Company. It has been produced in collaboration with Aunt Bessie's, using her Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes. Having said that I do like both Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and her Roast Potatoes, as well as I have a keen love for brown ale, just not the concept of all three in the same glass. I thought I had better have this Roast Dinner Brown Ale first though, as I have Aunt Bessie's Jam Roly-Poly with Custard beer for afters to write about later in the week. I wish I was joking!

At 5.7% volume this Roast Dinner Brown Ale was made with malted barley, oats, Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and her Roast Potatoes, as well as salt, maltodextrin, hops and yeast. It promises to be an experience to say the least. I have no idea what the Jam Roly-Poly and Custard beer is going to taste like, but last time I had a cider with rhubarb and custard it wasn't good!

On opening the can of this Roast Dinner Brown Ale there was a hearty fizz and a good brown ale aroma. I could smell the malted barley and the lightly floral hops, and I could just about smell the Yorkshire Puddings and a little Roasted Potatoes on pouring this deep brown ale. To be honest, I'm not sure if I was imagining the last bit, but I was already fancying a Sunday Roast Dinner on cracking open the can - it's just a shame it's Wednesday and I have a noodle cup and toast for dinner later!

On taste this Roast Dinner Brown Ale is like nothing I have tasted before. It's a brown ale with bells on. The sheer depth of flavour is like diving into the depths of a vat of brown ale and wallowing somewhere at the bottom with every mouthful. First to hit my tastebuds was the sweet brown malt. This malty flavour was lip-smackingly fulsome and tasty. The sweet malts were followed pretty closely behind by the bitter lightly floral hops like a tap to the punch bag of my tonsils. It was then that something odd happened… The depth of flavours just kept on giving. Usually my tastebuds go off into the aftertaste of a beer and that is that until the next mouthful. Here the flavour of sweet brown malt and possibly caramel malt, as well as those floral hops, and there was just that something else akin and certainly complementary on top of those sumptuous malty hoppy flavours. Roast Dinner Brown Ale didn't quite taste of Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes, but this beer made me feel as if I was enjoying a good heart Sunday Roast dinner none-the-less!

Aunt Bessie’s Sunday Dinner - Roast Dinner Brown Ale (Northern Monk Brew Company)

19 May 2020

Toucan Bars (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

So here we have a first world problem, I couldn’t get my Penguin bars in Morrisons. I know right, it is pretty hard hitting stuff. I was also feeling pressured not to browse in the biscuit section for too long, such is the joy of living during a pandemic so I grabbed these Toucan Bars popped them in the trolley and moved on as quickly as I could. At least it means I get to try something different, and see what the competition for the brand leader is like.

The bars are a decent size and consist of two biscuits with a fondant filling and a milk chocolate coating, similar to the ones I was going buy in the first place. I find it difficult not to do comparisons here, but I was very happy with these. The texture felt slightly lighter and crisp. The chocolate was sweet and pleasant, and there was a decent amount. I liked the flavour too, the milk chocolate was soothing. They hit the spot though with a nice cup of coffee. I probably wouldn’t have picked them up if I hadn’t been in a rush but now I think they will be a repeat purchase.

18 May 2020

Sweet Potato Chilli and Lime Crisps (Lidl) By @Cinabar

I prefer sweet potato to fries to regular chips, there I said it. Apparently some people choose sweet potato fries as they are healthier than regular chips, they also count as one of your five a day another reason people choose them, me I simply prefer the taste. Give me a bowl of sweet potato fries, a sprinkle of salt and some mayo as a dip and I’m in heaven. Yes mayo, as I said this is not a health thing.
I was intrigued to see how they would pan out as crisps, and picked up these Sweet Potato Chilli and Lime Crisps from Lidl. We had some one lunch time. The crisps are a darker colour and are in smaller pieces than regular crisps. I tried one and found them to be a little soft, but mostly the flavour was disappointing. The lime wasn’t strong enough to cut through the sweetness. The chilli wasn’t noticeable at all, no warmth from it whatsoever which really missed the point.
The over all crisps came across as sweet, and I love that in chip form but here it didn’t work. I think regular potato crisps have nothing to worry about, these Sweet Potato Chilli and Lime Crisps were not a contender.

17 May 2020

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s Raspberry & Lavender Cordial (@NLi10)

Well, it’s officially happened - I’ve run out of new things to review. Fortunately I often buy things and get into the habit of using them and then realise I never talked to you guys about them.

Case in point is the other flavour of the Mr Fitzpatrick cordial - raspberry and lavender.

We picked this up ages ago, but I saved it for the warmer weather. I was feeling a bit ill the other day (not the popular virus) so we cracked it open for some much needed tasty hydration. And boy is it potent stuff.

Unlike the budget brands this isn’t all sweetness, this is all fruitiness. The lavender hints at its presence but the raspberries burst into life as soon as it hits your taste buds.  Juice and flavouring and a hint of sweetener is perfect for big summer drinks.

Usually I have it a bit darker than this too, but restraint is required to stretch the bottle out.

Note - that is not our ginger cat begging to be fed!

Overall - if I had to be stuck drinking fruity (cocktails) in my own garden then Mr. Fitzpatrick’s is the cordial I want them made with.

16 May 2020

Bridgnorth Porter (Co-op) By @SpectreUK

I picked this Bridgnorth Porter not only because I fancy a pudding beer after my rather tasty lamb steak dinner earlier, but also because Cinabar and I had a day out in Bridgnorth in early February before this terrible virus took hold in this country and we had to lockdown. We had a good day out, where I enjoyed my favourite Full English Breakfast at a garden centre on the way there and then we wondered around the shops, what was left of the castle and went down and back up the cliff railway. It was a chilly day and we stood by the river for a while watching it flow by. It is a good recent memory of our last day out together. I'm certainly hoping that it will be safe enough for us, and also everyone else out there, to have days out like that in the not too distant future.

This Bridgnorth Porter was produced by the Hop & Stagger Brewery, in Shropshire. At 5% volume this dark porter boasts chocolate malt, dark fruity hops and a hint of sweet caramel, presumably from caramel malt. Bridgnorth Porter won the silver medal at the International Brewing Awards in 2019. It states on the bottle that its best served at room temperature. I know that there is some contention in various countries about the temperature of our beer, but just think; cold foods and drinks are less flavoursome than when they are hot or at least warm. So if you want a more flavoursome beer, don't keep it half frozen in the fridge, and I personally never… EVER add ice to liquor!

On opening this Bridgnorth Porter I was immediately struck by the deep strong smell of chocolate malt and the rich fruitiness from the hops. Gosh, I am going to enjoy this porter, I can feel it in my aching bones. They're aching because I'm still doing huge amounts of exercise to rehabilitate my knee and shoulder and also keep my weight down, but only in the kitchen. I used my free weights earlier and do around two hours of mat exercises each morning. I find I burn enough calories to keep my muscles and also not put on any access fat whilst eating a balanced diet. I usually have tuna after weights for its high protein content, but my toasted bacon sandwich with two fried eggs, as well as pork scratchings and crisps on the side on a Friday is quite a treat!

On taste this Bridgnorth Porter oozes dark chocolate malt to start with, and then the sumptuous fruitiness from the hops wrapped lovingly around my tastebuds. There is an underlying sweetness from the caramel malts, which enhances the fruity flavour of the hops. This sweetness from the malts and that deep fruitiness is then followed by a roasted coffee flavour which mixes with the hoppy fruitiness and the velvety chocolate malt into the aftertaste. Well, I was looking for a pudding beer tonight following my glorious lamb steak meal and also to celebrate a good day out from a while ago, and this Bridgnorth Porter certainly hit the right spot.

15 May 2020

Metcalfe’s Popcorn – Jumbles Eton Mess Edition (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

Metcalfe’s Popcorn – Jumbles Eton Mess Edition

One of my work colleagues said he had been desperately trying to get popcorn on his online order, which I know is a first world problem. He reckons everyone is at home so watching TV / films and they want popcorn to go with it. I haven’t been too bad, I keep trying to buy Cinema Sweet and they keep replacing it with Toffee, which sounds okay but in this household means Spectre nicks it and I never see it again. This has happened 3 weeks running! So the last week I called their bluff and ordered this Metcalfe’s Popcorn: Jumbles Eton Mess to literally mix things up. It worked, I finally got some popcorn for myself!
The bag is surprising low in calories, so I didn’t feel to guilty having a large portion while watching Picard. The popcorn is strawberry flavoured, and comes with mini meringue and freeze dried strawberries in the bag. I started out by tasting he popcorn and really liked the dusted strawberry flavour, they were sweet but not overly so. The meringue pieces were lovely, sweet and crunchy and the strawberries had a decent flavour and that crispness that comes with freeze drying. To me the bag has the flavours of summer, and it was perfect to munch on and a fairly low calories snack. I liked them so much in fact I ordered another bag, and their other Toffee Apple variety too. I just need to remember to hide it from Spectre as it mentions the word toffee… wish me luck.

Metcalfe’s Popcorn – Jumbles Eton Mess Edition

14 May 2020

Tesco Chilli & Lime Nibble Mix (@NLi10)

It seems to be pub snacks week on FoodStuffFinds. For me - I’ve not really been out this week, and I have a pub party on Zoom in 30 mins so I’m getting in the mood.

We’ve had these for ages, probably a year or more, just sitting in the kitchen waiting patiently.

They are peanuts and cashews, but also soy and chilli and lime coating - not ideal for board games which involve touching the pieces. This is why they got neglected. Perfect for a nice beer though.

Here Luna majestically presides over the snacks, having already decided that they are not for cats. 

The cashews have absorbed the flavour a lot, very soft and lovely. The peanuts are un exciting. The soy is maybe a little dry, but if you go for the ones with more topping on the outside are actually the highlight.

Great for the cinema (or movies at home) as well as beer nights.  I will have to top up before the call!

13 May 2020

Brave Roasted Peas Paprika & Chilli (Amazon) By @SpectreUK

Although I am a food and beer blogger I am still a creature of habit in what I like to eat for lunch and dinner. We have settled into having cheese and cracker meals on Sunday evenings, with various pickles and cold meats. Besides I like a glass of port or mead wine to wash it down with. Much to my chagrin I can't eat peanuts anymore due to dietary requirements, so I generally have some sort of spicy peas with my meal. I usually have crisps with my lunch in the afternoon and try not to have crisps twice in one day.

Before the lockdown Cinabar picked me up several packets of spicy chilli peas and also wasabi peas from the Sushi bar she sometimes goes to in Birmingham. Of course that Sushi bar is closed presently and I've run out of packets of spicy peas to go with my Sunday cheese dinner. The supermarkets don't seem to supply many spicy peas, so we thought we'd try Amazon…

… by "We", I mean Cinabar. She found a box of twelve packets of these Brave Roasted Peas Paprika & Chilli. There are a bunch of other flavours, but this one seemed to suite my spicy peas requirement the most, besides when buying in bulk you really have to want what you're buying or at least have a good idea of it, otherwise you end up with a whole bunch of stuff you get pretty sick of. I've recently bought twelve of my favourite gourmet spicy cup noodles from Amazon, and also two boxes of one hundred teabags of my favourite Jasmine tea.

Anyway, on opening the first packet of these Brave Roasted Peas Paprika & Chilli and pouring it out on my plate, there was a multitude of orange paprika coated small yellow peas. From these roasted peas there was a spicy smell of paprika and chilli with a hint of garlic. On taste these crunchy little peas tasted pretty spicy. They were not spicy enough to make my nose run, as the paprika, onions and garlic from the seasoning gave these Brave Roasted Peas a certain sweetness. This mild sweetness mixed well and somewhat cooled the medium chilli heat from the cayenne pepper in the coating. These Brave Roasted Peas Paprika & Chilli are very tasty indeed and I'm glad I have quite a few bags of them. Be mindful if you want a kiss after eating them though, as the garlic is stronger than you first think!

Information on the packet;
The 35g packet contains 133 calories, 3.9g of fat, 0.9g of sugar, 0.5g of salt and 7g of protein. Ingredients included; yellow split peas (84%), rapeseed oil, paprika, sea salt, onion, garlic, tomato, cayenne pepper, black pepper, basil, and oregano, acid: citric acid.

12 May 2020

Aromatic Maple Glazed Duck Flavour Crisps (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

Aromatic Maple Glazed Duck Flavour Crisps

As we were having lunch today I looked out of the window and spotted some ducks on our neighbours lawn which is a little bit weird for around here. We aren’t too far away from the canal, but I think they must have been lost en-route to somewhere, we don’t normally see ducks near a road. One of the nieghbours cat gave them a second glance but decided they looked a bit big for him and left them to it. My guilt was a little increased as we were about to share a bag of these Aromatic Maple Glazed Duck Flavour Crisps at the time, but hopefully they didn’t know. They soon flew off to somewhere wetter presumably, coincidentally when we opened the bag.
The crisps smelt nice, they had a good rich sweet aroma. The crisps are quite big too, with lots of seasoning and a sharp snap to the crisps. These are Sainsburys posh variety. The flavour was impressively meaty like duck, it was a good recreation of the taste. The maple syrup was a nice touch of sweet, but I am a fan of sweet and savoury, so liked it mixed with the duck taste. I would gladly get this flavour again, and I’ll try not to offend any of the local wildlife next time too! :-D

Aromatic Maple Glazed Duck Flavour Crisps