30 June 2020

Joe & Seph’s Peanut Butter Gourmet Popcorn (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Joe & Seph’s Peanut Butter Gourmet Popcorn

For the first time since lockdown began I have managed to get an Ocado order. I have managed to get other supermarket orders, at one point refreshing available slots at multiple shops at midnight, but no matter what I did Ocado was illusive. As things are (very slowly) returning to normal (or dare I say new-normal) I have finally managed to get a slot at Ocado and that meant I got to have a look at the new and interesting items on a different supermarket site.
As we are spending more time in I have been watching more TV than usual and so I have been looking for popcorn. I discovered the Joe and Seph’s range and ordered a bag of Peanut Butter popcorn, another of my favourite things. The bag arrived and it was a little smaller than I had expected for the price, but this was clearly a luxury product and each piece of popcorn had a generous coating. There were also no unpopped kernels, which is always a bonus. The flavour was sweeter than I expected too, it is very much peanut butter, but creamy sweet and with a hint of caramel. I had been expecting that more salty taste from the nuts but this was a smooth flavour, not so much like peanut butter but more like a rich nut brittle taste. It was very easy to eat and a perfect accompaniment to us finally getting Netflix and watching The Stranger. If I do manage to get another order with Ocado I will look out for another bag of Joe and Seph’s popcorn and see if I can find another unusual flavour.

Joe & Seph’s Peanut Butter Gourmet Popcorn

29 June 2020

Ok, I’m Curious… Intrigue by Quality Street (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Intrigue by Quality Street

I think what I’m most curious about when it comes to these chocolates is the reference to Quality Street on the label. Apart from the familiar looking box, I can’t see how these fit into the Quality Street branding. Is Quality Street becoming a brand with more products than the famous box (or tin) of chocolates you get at Christmas for sharing? Apparently so, anything that mentions praline though is a win for me, so yes I’m curious about Intrigue.

Intrigue by Quality Street

These Intrigue chocolates are all the same in the box, and they are individually wrapped smartly in purple and green. The chocolates inside were a little smaller than I’d expected, and once opened the nut sprinkles were going everywhere. These chocolates are covered in hazelnuts. The praline truffles are quite soft and they have quite a grown up flavour, ie not too sweet. The filling is dark and the nut is quite strong which means they are a little bitter. I liked this flavour but I do love the mix of chocolate and nut. The texture was good too, soft but with a crunch from the nuts.
These might be a step away from the usual sweet treats from Quality Street but I’d be rather happy to get a box of these Intrigue chocolates as a gift, they really are rather nice.

Intrigue by Quality Street

28 June 2020

Do Egg Custards Exist Everywhere? Essential Waitrose Egg Custards (@NLi10)

Spain has pastal de nata, and the U.K. has egg custards. I’m not sure whether everywhere else does!

Waitrose had a couple of them waiting for the perfect home - and we saved 15p!

It’s basically a pastry cup, full of solid vanilla egg custard. It’s a traditional treat round these parts.

And this is what they look like! I really enjoy their creamy goodness, they are very cooling on a hot day. The supermarket ones have to be refrigerated so aren’t as good as those fresh from the bakers.

27 June 2020

La Bella Lola Beer (@barcelonabeer) By @SpectreUK

La Bella Lola Beer

This is one of those beers that I just can't remember where I bought it from. It certainly wasn't from Barcelona where it was brewed originally. However it matches the weather today (or Friday when I was drinking it) and for much of this past week… it's been a scorcher! And what better to refresh myself on a hot Friday evening then with a Mediterranean Pale Ale, brewed by the Barcelona Beer Company.

Produced with wheat and malts from Bavaria and Bohemia, which are Maris Otter and Carapils, as well as with citrus hops of Magnum, Mittelfruh, and Citra, this 4% volume blonde ale should revitalise me for a gaming evening online. We've started playing Call of Duty Warzone as a foursome, and then a threesome when one goes to bed and the rest of us pull a late one. We're not very good, however, with a little (or a lot) more practice we're slowly improving.

On cracking opening the can of this Spanish Pale Ale there was a worrying moment when the over excited beer tried to escape onto the floor. My 'lightning' gamer reactions (and my big gob) prevented any issues with spillage when I quickly shoved the opening of the can into my mouth. There was a strong bitter citrus smell to start with once the froth had died down a little, followed by the sweet malts and wheat.

On taste this overly excitable blonde ale snapped a bitter and crisp overture of citrus hops with the wheat flavour following and then sweeter malts to finish. This is definitely a refreshing sun loving beer that smacks of hot summer afternoons in the garden, and also sweltering nights in front of a cool noisy fan mopping my brow and cracking can after can open to cool my aching bones from the workout of the day and the gaming night to come. Mmm… perfection.

26 June 2020

Heinz Saucy Sauce (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Heinz Saucy Sauce

Spectre said we were out of mayo and I was sure that there was a bottle at the back of the store cupboard. Turns out Spectre was right (I hate that sentence) we were out of mayo, but I found this bottle of Heinz Saucy Sauce, waiting to be rediscovered. This was purchased pre lockdown and was I’m ashamed to say forgotten about.
As a fan of mayonnaise and ketchup with chips this really aught to work for me. The thing is I like mayonnaise and I like ketchup with chips but I usually have two separate dollops, this new sauce is a mix of the two. Spectre pointed out that this was the basis for seafood sauce, which I think it also might be.
I squeezed a splodge of Saucy Sauce onto the plate, it is pink in colour which does make it look like seafood sauce. I dipped a chip in and it did work rather well. There is a nice creaminess from the mayo, and the tomato adds sweetness and a decent tang. The best way to think of it is mayonnaise with a hint of tomato and from that point of view I’d happily have this with my chips. Spectre though planted the seed that it tastes like seafood sauce and I got that stuck in my head, which meant I was having chips with the wrong sauce. Basically Spectre ruined it (a sentence I’m far more comfortable with)! :-D

25 June 2020

Delirium - Belgian Strong Beer - Pink Elephants On Parade (@NLi10)

I love Belgian Beer so my partner picks them up for me occasionally.  i don't think she knows how much Pink Elephants On Parade from Dumbo traumatised us all as children...

This doesn't feel like an image I want imprinted in my head when I'm drinking something 'strong'

8.5% is pretty strong I guess. I used to drink spirits more than beer so I can't really tell.  I only had a half bottle anyway.

Mainly because that is the size of my glass though.  I'll finish it off tonight - in this heat it's important to stay hydrated.

A strong but smooth Belgian beer, a little more hoppy than I'd like, but not unpleasant.  Goes very well with a nice steak I'd expect.  I had it with peanut burgers though and it still worked well.

24 June 2020

Optimum Rocky Road Flavour (Degusta) By @SpectreUK

Optimum Rocky Road Flavour

I may have been avoiding this Optimum Rocky Road Flavour Protein Bar for some time, even if it does state "high protein meets great taste' on the front of the wrapper. I've been avoiding it to the extent that I have no idea how long it's been in the Foodstufffinds' cupboard. I mentioned last week that I've been pushing it to the back in favour of everything else. However two things happened today; the first being I've run out of pork scratchings that I eat for extra protein with my sandwich and we don't have a food delivery for another few days, and secondly I forgot what I was supposed to be blogging about because it was in the fridge. I was reminded a little too late for lunch about the high in protein chicken bites, which will have to wait until next week instead.

I still weight lift three days a week, of course not at the gym as it's still closed, I use my free weights instead in the kitchen. It's a really hot day today and my muscles are aching. I've had a tin of tuna on a sandwich and just need a little more protein to help fix myself. This Optimum Rocky Road Flavour has 20g of protein in it and no added sugar. This bar is still fairly high in calories, but I need those anyway to help fix the muscles too. I've been avoiding this protein bar for two reasons. The first reason being that I haven't particularly liked anything I've eaten or drank so far that is manufactured as high in protein, and the second being I just don't particularly like Rocky Road Flavour. So this should be interesting…

Cinabar tells me that Rocky Road is usually biscuit pieces, rice crispies (or such like), and marshmallow. I like biscuit pieces, but I'm not particularly fussed about either rice crispies (or such like) or marshmallow. This Optimum Rocky Road Flavour is dark chocolate coated, with a chocolate caramel layer and soy crispies (instead). I was surprised when I took a bite of this bar how the contents seemed to expand and take over the inside of my mouth. The light fluffy cake like centre also felt a little dry, but didn't suck all of the moisture from my body… just almost enough to worry!

I could just about taste the mildest chemical quality to the added protein, but this was so mild I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't been searching for it. The mix of flavours from the caramel, freeze dried raspberries and the soy crispies more or less wiped out this mildly chemical flavour and instead gave me some fruitiness, sweet caramel, and a little crunchy soy all wrapped up in dark chocolate. I have to say that this is one of my favourites of the high protein bars and drinks I've tried, mainly because I didn't particularly like any of the others, so perhaps I've left the best until last!?

Information on the wrapper;
The 60g bar contains 202 calories, with 3.3g of fat, 1.5g of sugar, and 0.5g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Optimum Rocky Road Flavour

23 June 2020

Tomato and Basil Scotch Egg (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

Tomato and Basil Scotch Egg

The lockdown rules seem to be changing at such a regular pace that you really do have to check before making plans. Currently we still have 2m distancing, but can meet outside for a small picnic. The weather is lovely so one of the choices for the picnic basket might well be a scotch egg, Sainsbury's have added a new variety so we thought we would give it a whirl.

This is the new Tomato and Basil Scotch Egg, they come individually packed so perfect for packing up to take out but I have to admit we had them at home at lunch time. The eggs are a little bit redder in colour than a regular scotch egg, and you can see the basil packed into the sausage meat. The flavour is lovely too. I like ketchup with a scotch egg so I am already converted to the addition of tomato, it goes nicely with the pork. The basil gives them an Italian feel which makes a bit posher and is a nice twist. I recommend these Tomato and Basil Scotch Egg, a nice variation on a classic. Here is hoping the sunshine last till the weekend.

Tomato and Basil Scotch Egg

22 June 2020

Fried Green Doritos – Doritos Guacamole Flavour (Sainsburys) By @Cinabar

Fried Green Doritos – Doritos Guacamole Flavour

With the exception of vegetables I’m not sure green is a good colour for food. I’d say dusting a food in a green powder is also unappetising, but here we have Fried Green Doritos, or as the bag states; Doritos Guacamole, I think my title is better! ;-)

Spectre hates guacamole, he isn’t a fan of avocado and a dip made from it really was never going to work for him. Still I opened the bag of these Doritos Guacamole and he did give one a try, he didn’t like it but said it was because it tasted of guacamole so at least they are doing something right, even if it didn’t impress him. I had a portion of these to go with a jacket potato and chilli, with a sour cream dip. Did I mention they are green?

The flavour works really well, like a pre-scooped dip on a Dorito. The flavour is cooling but also has a bit of warmth, it is strong on the old avocado but I thought it worked well. It certainly made for a tasty dinner with the chilli con carne. Not sure I could convince a guacamole hater to like these, but at least I managed to get past the colour and enjoy the variety.

Fried Green Doritos – Doritos Guacamole Flavour

21 June 2020

Co-Op Ancient Grains - Sunflower & Honey Farmhouse Loaf (@NLi10)

Lockdown has not only reduced the range of exciting new products flowing into my home, it's also meant that we've been relying on one big trip to the local supermarket a fortnight and getting the staple foods from ordinary shops.  This means a lot of ordinary factory white bread has been consumed.  While this is perfect for toast (and egg sandwiches!) I'd rather have something a little more interesting if it's available.

My partner decided a walk to the Co-Op was in order and we picked this up.  Ancient Grains - Sunflower & Honey Farmhouse Loaf - with sprouted rye and spelt, nutty seeds and fragrant orange blossom honey.  This is not factory white! (although it's almost certainly produced in a factory - which I'm fine with).

The main ingredient is basically normal flour, but there is a lot of goodness there too.

Looks a little boring from this angle.

Now that's better - I mean the spread isn't ideal - but with a few olives and some top grade Pesto it's certainly an exciting snack.

The bread is tasty, full of different textures and chewy bites.  The seeds are noticeable but not over-the-top, and the flavours are subtle enough that you can taste whatever you have added.

All in all a great little loaf and one I'd be happy to keep picking up.  It's a bit trendy I suppose, but it's really nice!

20 June 2020

Lime Gose Beer (Fuller's) By @SpectreUK

Lime Gose Beer (Fuller's)

I have been a glutton for beer in the past, but now I'm keeping my weight down I only have two or three beers a week. I write about at least one of those beers, but this Lime Gose is the second beer I'm writing about this week. I must be a glutton for punishment, as it's also the second sour beer I've tried this week. I didn't like the last one at all. For some reason someone had decided to add cucumber in the brewing, so not only was it sour, it also tasted weirdly like I'd expect pond slime to taste like.

The last time I tried a Gose beer was around two years ago. It's not that I don't like them per se, it's more that I haven't seen many around. I mentioned back then that "a Gose is a German style top fermented sour wheat beer." I don't think I've ever quoted one of my own blogs before, so there's a first! This Lime Gose is another first, I suppose. Produced by Fuller's, at 4% volume this Lime Gose was brewed with lime concentrate, lemon peel, crushed coriander seeds, and Lactobacillus.

This Lime Gose is supposed to be a tart refreshing beer to be drank on a hot summer's day. Well, it is summer, but it has been raining almost nonstop all week. I'm hoping that I can find some sunshine in this beer. Saaz hops were used in the brewing with acidulated, lager, and wheat malts in keeping with a traditional Gose.

There was indeed a citrusy sour aroma on opening the beer. After drinking the pond slime sour beer the other day, I'm sure you'll excuse me for more than a little apprehension here… There was definitely sunshine in the colour of this light straw coloured beer, but I couldn't get passed that tart lemon and lime smell as it fizzed and bucked into my waiting beer mug.

On taste this is another obviously sour beer, after all, it says it on the front of the can. However, the sour flavours of the malts are almost immediately balanced by the lime and lemon flavours that complement the sourness with a tart flavour. This tartness is mixed almost daintily with the bitterness from the almost earthy, herbal spicy Saaz hops, of which took my tastebuds into the aftertaste. I shouldn't be so surprised that I liked this beer, but after my trial with the cucumber pond slime concoction the other day, I really thought that I was totally off sour beers. Cheers!

19 June 2020

Pink and White Popdots (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Pink and White Popdots

I like to think I follow the snacking trends, I like to think I do quite well to keep up. I was in the Co-Op picking up a few essentials when I saw these Popdots in the bakery section and I thought I have no idea what they are, I’ll get a bag. The bag made me feel inadequate in order to explain what they were it clarified by saying “bite sized authentic dots”, I was no wiser. I had to google when I got home! So apparently a Popdot is a mini doughnut, sort of a tongue in cheek the centre of the ring doughnuts, iced and sold.

These ones are flavoured with Strawberries and Cream and are covered in pink icing and topped with red and white sprinkles. The icing is soft, but the sprinkles add a nice bit of crunch to the texture. The doughnut itself is very soft and spongey, just like a nice doughnut. The strawberry flavour is quite mild, I think it was just in the icing, but it added a nice hint.

I think these Pink and White Popdots are fun and a nice doughnut style snack. The icing works well, and I’ll certainly go back for another bag next time I’m in, I think they had other flavours.

Pink and White Popdots

18 June 2020

Jake & Nayns' Balti Chicken Filled Naan (@NLi10)

I decided to risk Nissa for a work lunch on my one day in a week - and spotted these in the chiller.  The packaging looked a little more friendly than you'd expect and although it looked like a Pasty assured me it was authentic.

Jake and Nayn didn't however convince me to eat it cold - into the Microwave it goes!

And it looked like this!

There are bits in the bread, which isn't fresh naan quality, but much better than the Tesco naan stuff that I was given as a white child in a white neighbourhood and told it was the real deal.

It is certainly decent enough quality bread!

With rice, sauce and hunks of chicken this was actually a decent lunch.  I mean if I'd walked up Cape Hill I could have got a proper filled Naan bu I'd have paid lots more and had to wait around.  This is perfectly acceptable as a fridge-street food snack or a lunch that won't disappoint.

More thins like this - and more flavours please!

17 June 2020

Jack Brand’s Cucumelon Sour (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Jack Brand’s Cucumelon Sour

Whilst my side of the Foodstufffinds' Snack Cupboard (we're still trying to come up with a catchier name) is running almost of empty, with only three boxes of weird flavoured tea and a grim looking protein bar (I've been avoiding) left somewhere near the back (… I just keep pushing the protein bar further away hoping it will fall off the other end of the planet), fortunately my beer fridge is still looking pretty full (and I drink a lot of that… it just that Cinabar keeps topping it up in order to sustain my inebriation… it's just an easier life all round!).

So huzzah for beer! Although this Cucumelon Sour does sound like something I should also be avoiding, even if it has been produced by one of my favourite breweries (you'll find I have lots of those), Adnams, Southwold in Suffolk. At 4% volume this Cucumelon Sour was produced in the style of 'Kettle Sour'. "So what's Kettle Sour?" I hear some of you ask… I simply have no idea… one of the many brands of popular search engines (Google) tells me; "Instead of a traditional mash, kettle sours undergo a "sour mash." Basically, instead of boiling the beer-to-be and then cooling it to ready it for yeast, the liquid is boiled, cooled, and lacto-dosed. This wort mixture then chills (literally) for a few days in the "kettle" while the liquid sours." That sounds like something I really should avoid!

Apparently this Cucumelon Sour was produced with Huell Melon hops, which I haven't tasted before, and lager malt, which I have tasted (and burped) plenty. Lactic acid bacteria was added in the brewing (because Google told me so…) and also Cucumber extract (I have no idea why… "pretentious moi?"). On opening the (pretty much glow-in-the-dark) can there was a light crisp sour aroma of hops and lager malt with the merest hint of yeast. On pouring this golden and excitably bubbly beer there was more of an earthy smell to it I hadn't experienced before. Not to be put off (well, almost) I took a swig…

Yep, this is a sour beer… SOUR… not unpleasantly so, but sour nonetheless. To say it's an acquired taste is possibly the best way to put it, as I can't completely describe just what Jack Brand's Cucumelon Sour actually tastes like. The trouble is the added cucumber… well, and perhaps also the hops and the way it was brewed, but anyway… suffice to say it tastes a little bit like what you may expect fermented pond slime would taste like. Clean crisp fermented pond slime brewed with cucumber, not that brown gooey bin-juice slime you may see in unfiltered ponds. So that's why the can is such a weird colour!

There isn't much in the way of lager malt in the flavour, more like a recently expired goldfish. It's bizarrely moreish, and I mean that… No really! Sometimes I say that just to be polite and very occasionally pour the rest of the beer away after a few more inquisitive mouthfuls, but here and now I'm actually going to, (punish myself for some ungodly act in my past I just can't think of right now and…) yes, actually drink the rest of the can. Okay… I may be lying!

16 June 2020

Kit Kat Senses - Salted Caramel (Asda) By @Cinabar

Kit Kat Senses - Salted Caramel

Kit Kat Senses - Salted Caramel

It seems a while back now that I wrote about the first of the new Kit Kat Senses bars available at Asda, but this is the last of the new varieties. It is that wonderful modern classic, Salted Caramel. This is why I probably left it till last. I don’t dislike salted caramel, that isn’t the impression I’m trying to give, it is just in the last few years I have tried so many caramel or salted caramel flavoured products that it just has an effect on me. I see it as the ‘no effort’ variety. When a company decides it needs a new flavour that will largely go down well but they haven’t got the time or want to risk anything too different they turn their heads towards the all winning salted caramel. Hagen Daaz, Thorntons, Matchmakers, Galaxy, Krispy Kreme not to mention Kit Kat on previous occasions in the UK. I know I’m ranting but look on the right where it says ‘Our Categories’ click ‘caramel’ and take a look for yourself. 

So this is a nice looking box of Kit Kats, inside they are covered in the traditional foil and paper and they do look smart and retro. The bars are twin fingers and look much like regular bars except there is a lovely sweetness to the aroma. I think the bar seemed a little crunchier than a regular bar so I think that may have come from the salted caramel bits. The flavour is good too, they have a rich undertone of a dark caramel, a hit of sweetness and the aftertaste of salt. The salt is the lingering flavour but it is a nice contrast flavour for the chocolate.

You see that is the problem, I do like salted caramel, it does work. It is just when the Japanese are tucking into Wasabi or Chestnut flavoured Kit Kats salted caramel does look a little easy and boring.

Kit Kat Senses - Salted Caramel

15 June 2020

Robinsons Strawberry, Cucumber and Mint Cordial (Sainsbury's) By @Cinabar

Robinsons Strawberry, Cucumber and Mint Cordial (Sainsbury's) By @Cinabar

In some parallel quantum universe the world is mundanely heading into summer and with that Wimbledon. Summer sunshine, tennis at Wimbledon and of course a nice fruity drink with side helping of strawberries and cream. Well there might not be Wimbledon this year, and we may be some way off gathering for sporting events but this is drink was meant for the tennis, and it sounds remarkably British. Robinsons Strawberry, Cucumber and Mint Cordial. Cucumber sandwich on the side anyone?
I always get confused with cordials on how much to put in, somewhere between a regular version, a double strength and those squeezy bottles it become quite difficult to judge, I went on the generous side with this and that seemed to work. The flavour is so wonderfully summery, the mint makes it taste like a refreshing mocktail. I have a sweet tooth so loved the strawberry flavour, and the cucumber adds a nice cooling tang. If you have guest over for a social distance barbecue this is lovely drink to offer as a non alcoholic alternative. Add a sprig of mint, some ice cubes and a cute paper umbrella, summer here we come. Socially distanced of course, and re-runs of Wimbledon past on the telly.

14 June 2020

Fentiman's Tropical Soda (And Vodka) - by @NLi10 @FentimansUK

The weather has been a bit odd this weekend.  Even if we could go out, i'm not sure what the right clothes would be.

Staying in with social/alcoholic drinks then is the order of the day - lets continue with the Fentiman's Tropical Soda.

So - I did first try this on the video (see bottom of post) but it was interesting enough for me to want to write about it in more detail.

Here it is, in all it's glory.  Lovely colour, not just lemonade or coke for me as a mixer!

It suggested Rum or dark spirits, but I didn't really have any open - so like the heretic I am I went for Vodka.  Kind of a tropical screwdriver.

Can't really read it that well - but it's basically a soda with a lot of fruit and botanicals in - and on it's own it tastes a lot like the tropical tip-tops that we used to get out of the freezer as a kid.  Amazing nostalgia hit and great, fruitier version of that flavour.

But - as mentioned in the video they left a gap at the end of the flavour for the alcohol so it just didn't taste quite 'right'  and the Vodka sat quite nicely there.  

Not quite dark and stormy rum, but like a fruity Russian punch it was a lovely thing to drink on a stormy afternoon.  Will have to find a little minature to go with the rest of the bottle.  One of those trendy ones like Kracken or something!

It's a fabulous mixer and something that I hope bars will stock should they ever re-open.

Here is the original video for those that missed it featuring vegetable flavoured chocolate and seaweed crackers.

13 June 2020

Wanderlust Beer (Morrison’s) By @SpectreUK

There are possibly three types of people during a pandemic. There are those that have to work to help keep the ones that have to stay at home sane and healthy, and there are those people that strangely seem oblivious to any danger whatsoever. I wouldn't blame the people who have to work for wanting to stay at home, and as one of those who have the luxury and yet frustration of staying at home I understand a possible desperate need to go outside. And as for the people who seem oblivious to the dangers of an airborne pandemic, they are most likely the ones who are helping to clog up the hospitals. Okay, so the danger level seems to be slowly abating here in the UK… but there is still danger. I can't blame those that now want to wander out into the unknown and take a few more chances. With my slow knee recovery, I can't particularly wander that far anyway…

So this Wanderlust is produced by the Allendale Brew Company, in Northumberland. It appeals to me more at the moment because of being cooped up for so long. Created with pale malt, and a variety of hops including; Citra, Centennial, Cascade, and Zeus, this 6.5% volume Wanderlust can take my mind to the hills without having to leave my own living room. Besides I can always walk it off wandering around the estate in the fresh air for a short time later.

On opening the can there was a mixture of citrus and a floral hoppy smell followed by an aroma of sweet pale malt. This deep golden IPA poured like the sun on a hot summer's afternoon during a long walk in the wilds. Not that I know much about that, I'm afraid, however there is a nature reserve not too far away from where we live that we have been wandering around lately. This nature reserve is a mixture of dense woodland and scrubland with a river running straight through it. It's often quiet and peaceful enough to listen to the winds flowing through the leaves of the trees, and we've seen buzzards and pheasants in there. There are supposed to be otters living around the river too.

On tasting this Wanderlust the bitterness from the mixture of hops hit my tastebuds first like a refreshing drop of cold sharp rain on a hot day. The citrus bite and floral undertones gave way to the sweet pale malt providing a flavoursome lip smacking heartiness, as the taste of the oats in the ingredients merged with the sweet malts into the aftertaste. This Wanderlust is not only a wander for the mind through wilds of the countryside, but also a wander of the tastebuds with it's biting bitter hops and its sweet flavoursome malts followed by its wholesome oatiness. Mmm… very nice indeed, I'd have to pack a few cans of this inside of my rucksack if I was to go a wandering…

12 June 2020

Harry Brompton’s London Ice Tea (Sainsbury's) By @Cinabar

Harry Brompton’s London Ice Tea

I may have put together my online order over a week ago before it finally arrived. This meant that I made the order when the weather was sunnier, I bought ice cream, sun lotion and iced tea. It is raining now, joy, I did not time this well. Still ice tea from the fridge is nice any time, or at least that is what I’m trying to convince myself.

I don’t know the make Harry Brompton's, but it sounds quite posh, the addition of the word London makes it sound like something they would sell abroad more than anything. The drink is a black tea blended with lemon and lime flavours, perfectly refreshing for a hot day. The drink is quite a dark colour and it is quite a strong tea flavour too. There is plenty of lemon and I enjoyed the citrus flavour, there is some sweetness but not enough to over power the sharpness of the fruit.

I think this would be a lovely drink to have in the back garden on a sunny day with a barbecue. I’m enjoying it inside, keeping warm, next to the radiator. Got to love the British weather. Now where did I put that ice cream?

11 June 2020

Review Roundup Video: Review Round-up: Duck Crisps, Seaweed Crisps, Broccoli Chocolate & Pineapple Pop! (@NLi10)

Hello everyone - I did a video again!  If it's an acceptable quality then please let us know and we can do more of them (and like comment subscribe etc.).  We'll carry on doing the real reviews anyway too.

Today we try an experimental video rounding up 4 of our recent reviews: Pringles Rice Fusion - Peking Duck with Hoisin Sauce Off The Eaten Path: Rice & Sea-weed Crispy Curls (Sea Salt) Ombar Choccoli - 55% Cacao Broccoli Chocolate Fentimans Classic Tropical Soda: Pineapple & Cardamom

10 June 2020

Midget Gems - Sugar Free (Degusta) By @SpectreUK

Midget Gems - Sugar Free

These Midget Gems were produced by Free From Fellows and they sound a little too healthy to be sweets. They are gelatine and gluten free, with no artificial colours or flavours, or sugar! Yes, you read that right… No sugar. They are made with sweetener and syrup. I'd say they are free from fruit juice too, however the only juice concentrate mentioned in the ingredients is black carrot, which doesn't sound very appetising. Black Carrot sounds like a Death Metal Health Rock Band for people who like a bit of wicked and yet in a healthy feeling wellness kind of way.

These Midget Gems gummies are produced in both a red berry and a blackberry mould. There was a very juicy fruity berry smell on opening the packet. I thought I'd try a red berry gummy first. The red berry tasted a little too waxy to taste of anything in particular, which was pretty disappointing. I'm not keen on eating snacks for the sake of finishing the packet anymore, if they taste bad, I'm not wasting the calories on it. I realise that may sound wrong to some people, but I'm still trying to keep my weight down and rehabilitate my knee. So I figured I'd just stick with the black berry ones if they tasted okay. The black berry gummies taste like black carrot… okay, I'm kidding… but there was that heavy coating of carnauba wax again that just totally put me off that flavour too. Shame really, I do love gummy sweets and was hoping for a low calorie alternative. I'll just keep looking, I guess…

Information on the packet;

The 100g packet contains 217 calories, with no sugar, 0.3g of fat, and 0.07g of salt. Vegan friendly, please see photograph for the ingredients.

Midget Gems - Sugar Free

9 June 2020

Cheesies – Crunchy Popped Cheese – Cheddar (Holland and Barrett) By @Cinabar

Cheesies – Crunchy Popped Cheese – Cheddar

I’m going to be honest the term Crunchy Popped Cheese meant nothing to me when I picked up this bag in Holland and Barrett. Cheese is not usually crunchy, or popped and this wasn’t even found in a chiller cabinet. I like cheese, no I love cheese, so I had to figure out what this product was all about. I’ve had popped crisps before and these seem to be cooked in a similar way, heat until they dry out and pop, they look a bit like croutons as they are airy like a bread and crunchy too. The only ingredient in them though is cheese. I’m not sure when the correct time to eat these is, perhaps just watching the telly, we had them with a cheese meal which was a little over formal for these snacks.
So they taste like a really nice cheddar, quite a strong flavour with plenty of depth. I liked the taste very much. The texture is light and crunchy, my brain was telling me it was wrong but the more I ate it grew on me. I probably would have these again, I think they would be fun to munch on while watching a film. They were lower in calories than I expected too, but not so low in fat as they are cheese after all.

Cheesies – Crunchy Popped Cheese – Cheddar

8 June 2020

Walkers American Hot Pizza Crisps (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Walkers American Hot Pizza Crisps

Gosh it is nice to see a new flavour of crisps on the shelves, and these sound quite exciting too. They have been inspired by a favourite meal out of mine, I present Walkers American Hot Pizza Crisps. I like pizza, I look forward to getting a pizza be it takeaway for from the oven and I like crisps, so these sounded perfect for me.

The crisps are the usual Walkers texture, quite thinly cut but this works well for them. They are covered in a paprika coloured seasoning too. The flavour works very well, there are a lot of Italian herbs in the flavour, which follows a rich meatiness with a little spice. That will be the paprika shining through and perhaps a touch of chilli, but they aren’t too hot overall. They are meaty and flavoursome and I found myself rather enjoying the Italian tastes, perfect for when you can’t choose between pizza and crisps, have both.

I’ve heard there are other takeaway flavours available too which I’m keeping my eye out for, so looking forward to the Nando’s Chicken crisps. 

Walkers American Hot Pizza Crisps

7 June 2020

Black Snacks Matter #BlackLivesMatter (by @NLi10)

Black Square

There is a lot of history happening at the moment.  With the virus (which I'm directly involved in due to counting numbers for the NHS) I know what to say (stay local, stay safe) and what to do.  With the other thing, the race thing, it's not as clear.

Whether it's the place of a white, Anglo-Irish snack food critic to advise about the problems facing Black communities isn't really up for debate - it's not my area of expertise or experience at all.  But as my wrestler friends have shown - if you have a platform (no matter how small) then use it for good.

Black Lives Matter

Snacks are an odd place when it comes to nationality and stereotypes.  We've reviewed lots of food with 'Jamaica' or 'Caribbean' in the name that have very little to do with those places.  There are lots of local stores which have all kinds of import goods from Black backgrounds - I do love some of the drinks and we've eaten in Summit on the Dudley Road (Birmingham is great for multiculturalism) although its always very welcoming I've never been brave enough to try the Sexy Juice (pineapple) or Irish Moss (seaweed?).  I need to remedy this.

Shamefully I've not really found many African snacks (does Guinness Malt count?), but I've eaten in a lot of the local restaurants.  I need to make a special effort to go more often.

There is a definite Middle Eastern tilt to the food shops nearest me (especially Persian/Egyptian) and I've not really been in as much as I should.  I know the Iranian lemon kebabs are great but what about all the other scary stuff?

I think the point I'm trying to make is that we can all do better.  We can all talk to new people from different cultures and say "what's good" or even "I'm new, What should I try first?".

Business have been hit hard by the Covid (and will continue to be so - this isn't over - not by a long shot) and a little local friendliness can go a long way towards not only showing that you are interested in other people and their cultures, but that you value all colours of your community.

6 June 2020

Meantime London Lager (Co-op) By @SpectreUK

Meantime London Lager

I don't often write about lagers, mainly because I'm usually not all that keen on them. They can be a little gaseous and leave me expelling the most impressive belches. The belches are often frowned upon, especially if I giggle or when I try to make burp a tune. This London Lager was produced by the Meantime London Brewing Company, and sounds a bit too posh to leave me trying to burp the National Anthem, but we shall soon see! Besides, I'm still trying to perfect my Tusken Raider burp voice!

Anyway, at 4.5% volume East Anglian Malt and Goldings Hops were used in the brewing. On opening the bottle there was a crisp malty yeasty aroma with a light floral spiciness from the hops. This golden cheerfully fizzy lager has a sweet malt flavour to begin with, followed by an earthy floral and slightly spicy bitterness from the Goldings hops. This is a very flavoursome lager indeed and after a few swigs I noticed that I hadn't particularly burped that much… although…!

I'd definitely have this craft lager again. The ingredients seemed to have been well thought out and used to provide the maximum of flavour, with a fine balance of sweet malt and floral spicy hops. This London Lager is truly a craft beer marvel that would twist my arm into believing certainly not all lagers are just the belly burping gas balloons of the brewing industry!

5 June 2020

McVities Digestives – Strawberries and Cream (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

McVities Digestives – Strawberries and Cream

I’m not sure how anyone expected summer of 2020, but I’m guessing not like this. It has been a very strange year and not in a good way. Still we may not be able to enjoy the beginning of summer in the way that we wanted to, but there are still the odd new summer product to cheer us up at home. PREsumably this is testimony to how much in advance companies start planning new products.

These biscuits do sound very summery, they are McVities Digestives – Strawberries and Cream edition. I opened up the pack and couldn’t see much evidence that biscuit was any different to a regular Digestive. Even breaking one in half I couldn’t see any strawberry bits. The taste is there though, it is mild, these are mostly chocolate Digestive in flavour, but there is a fruity sweetness that works nicely with them. I couldn’t quite pick up on the cream in the strawberries and cream bit, but I liked the edition of summer fruit flavour. These went down very nicely with a cup of tea in the afternoon, a pleasant sugar fix. Here is to being able to share these with friends when times are safer.

McVities Digestives – Strawberries and Cream