30 June 2023

Wotsits Prawn Cocktail Flavour (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Wotsits Prawn Cocktail Flavour

I’m not sure what is going on at Walkers. I’m starting to think the trucks with seasonings all got mixed up, and then it gave someone a good idea. There's no need to send them back to the other factory, why don't we just roll with it? Spectre tried out Walker's Crisps, which were regular crisps but were flavoured with Wotsits seasonings. Now here we have Wotsits, but flavoured with the regular crisps flavour of Prawn Cocktail seasoning.

These new crisps look a little bit darker with the seasoning than regular Wotsits, but otherwise are pretty much the same in appearance. I gave one a try, and the flavour worked really well. That was a lovely hit of prawn cocktail sauce, tangy but with tomato and a nice hint of spice and sweetness. I like prawn cocktail crisps, so these are an easy win. I know that mixing up the flavours in this way isn’t the most innovative thing to do, but we are enjoying trying out the new flavour combinations. These Walkers Wotsits Prawn Cocktail edition are good, and I will be buying more before they disappear. 

Wotsits Prawn Cocktail Flavour

29 June 2023

HIP POP - groovy small batch UK soft drinks @drinkhippop [@NLi10]

I get a lot of targeted Facebook adverts for food & drink - and I buy a lot of them!

Here I got advertised a cool, UK based brewed soft/ social drinks company HIP POP and I figured I'd bump into them in stores.  I failed to do so - and so I got in touch with them and ordered a mixed case.

This is the Buddhist approach to sampling a companies wares (one with everything) as I basically couldn't decide which I'd like most.

It comes in a pretty sturdy box

That I've now flipped on it's side and am using like a wine-rack for cans, and as the first pic shows they look fantastic (to the extent that I've already lost two cans to on-lookers).

First up - the baseline - Lemonade.  It's got fibre in it apparently which is confusing but not noticeable.  The flavour is well rounded, the sweetness is spot on (no sweeteners too so my mom can have these!) and it's a great pub lemonade.

The Kombuchas are a little different to the normal pops, again - no sweeteners but lots of culture.

These are very kombucha - of you don't like the 'vinegar' side of this drink then this is not for you - but fortunately I'm into this.  The flavours are quite slight, but that's just the nature of the thing.  Lovely stuff.

Cola - closer to the Fentiman's traditional cola taste than the modern corporate one - and a lovely smooth sweetness too.  As a lot of the bigger brands recalculate their formulas to avoid the sugar tax, smaller brands like this are going to thrive. 

Not a fan of grapefruit, but a big fan of blood orange - and this mix works well.  Again - the kombucha flavour is much stronger than the extra flavours.  The CBD here is unobtrusive and took a little while to have any noticeable effect but it did take the micro-pains from my arthritis off eventually which is a nice bonus.

Similar to the above - the cherry sweetness is nice and the kombucha CBD mix is still good.

This one I probably couldn't have guessed the flavour of, but it was just a nice tropical kombucha.

So - six cans in - what's the verdict?

The Kombuchas all taste very similar, I'm not sure that I have a favourite, but I bet if I tried them side by side then I'd know which was which. The CBD is a nice bonus, but I don't feel it really adds much to drinks.

The regular pops (lemonade & cola) are the stars - these are really grown-up versions of their respective drinks.  I hope that pubs can get a few of these in for the summer.

As something to offer guests though these are absolutely perfect. Little self-contained tins of awesomeness.  In fact I think I'll test the Orange one now...

You can message them on the website to create your own box, but the Buddha Box I had is linked here.  It's not an affiliate link or anything, it's just good enough to share!

28 June 2023

Rowntree’s Tropical Tots (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Rowntree’s Tropical Tots

I do like to snack whilst watching a good movie or something on the TV. These Summer edition Rowntree's Tropical Tots were fruit flavoured jelly sweets. Vegan friendly they didn't seem too high on the calories level at seven sweets at 44 calories. Cinabar liked the fact that it had 'aloha' on the packet, so she bought them in the local supermarket. So, there's a lesson for manufactures somewhere in there.

Rowntree’s Tropical Tots

There were five different colours of flavours of small dome shaped sugared gummies. They were nice and squishy in texture, and with a good coating of sugar. The green gummies were mango flavoured, which was a little confusing in the choice of colour. They had a smooth flavour, and weren't overwhelming in mango, instead tasting of delicate mango with a hint of citrus. The purple gummies were passion fruit flavoured. They certainly tasted of passion fruit, with a sweet fairly strong flavour. The orange gummies were Fuzzy Peach flavoured, like a nice fresh ripe sweet peach. The yellow coloured gummies were pineapple flavoured, with a nice light pineapple taste, which was juicy and sweet. The pink coloured gummies were grapefruit flavoured. They had a proper tart grapefruit taste to them, strong in flavour, and were definitely my favourites. All these Rowntree's Tropical Tots tasted naturally fruity, sweet and moreish. I would definitely have them again.

Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Rowntree’s Tropical Tots

27 June 2023

Passion Fruit Swiss Roll (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar

Passion Fruit Swiss Roll (Marks and Spencer)

Tonight we had a posh dessert, not just any dessert, but a Passion Fruit Swiss Roll. Sorry, but I did buy this from M&S, so I think I can get away with the catchphrase. We quite often buy a chocolate or strawberry Swiss Roll from M&S as a treat, but they are usually on the shelf in a box and not from the refrigerated section. This one is a fresh cake with whipped cream, it also has a summer twist with its passion fruit filling.
Passion Fruit Swiss Roll (Marks and Spencer)

The cake was very pretty too, and it even had some stripes in an orange colour on the sponge. The cake itself has the lightest sponge ever, it just melted in the mouth. It was lightly sweet, but what hit was the zingy, summery flavour of passion fruit, which was an absolute delight. It was a little sharp, but the sweeter sponge brought balance, and then the cream just mellowed it all. This was a seriously good cake, with a lovely mix of flavours that had balance. If you are looking for a summer celebration dessert or even a post-barbecue treat, I can’t recommend this Marks and Spencer Passion Fruit Swiss Roll enough.

Passion Fruit Swiss Roll (Marks and Spencer)

26 June 2023

Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit - What happened to Lilt (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit - Lilt

I am old enough to remember the adverts for Lilt with the slogan "a totally tropical taste" which were on when I was a kid. In these advertisements, there was a man on the beach delivering Lilt bottles, much like there were milkmen at the time delivering milk. I loved those ads at the time, and I think I thought that this service existed in hotter countries. I can’t really remember a lot of other ads from the time, so it really stuck with me.

Over the years, we have drank lots of Lilt and quite often picked up cans, especially on hot days. In very sad news, the makers of Lilt have dropped the branding, which does feel like the end of an era for me. Thankfully, though, the drink does still exist just under the Fanta umbrella. Here we have Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit, which has less ring to it and far too many syllables. Thankfully, the drink tastes the same as Lilt and even has the old Lilt logo tucked away on the back of the bottle. I don’t know why they have done this. I hope this isn’t a step towards its discontinuation. "When you are out, could you please pick me up a can of Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit", That doesn’t roll off the tongue. It certainly has lost a part of its identity, even if it does have the same totally tropical taste.

25 June 2023

Cartwright & Butler - Soft Marshmallow Hot Choc Stirrer [@Nli10]

We get a bunch of hot chocolate style things as presents, and we love them all.  Here is one that the veggie can't have due to the marshmallows - oh no - I'll have to have it! 

It's a neat little package - and perfect for gifting.

So lets heat some almond milk up - and dunk it in!

This is what the block looks like before going in.

And then it turns to oily goo and gradually slides off.

And finally it turns into hot chocolate.


This one - interestingly to me - is more of a hot choc mousse than a runny hot choc - it made a great hot pudding!  And yeah - it's a drink, but a drink that does work well for a cold evening.  We don't have many of those at the moment, but we do have a couple more of the choc on sticks so I'll get to luxuriate in these for a while yet.

24 June 2023

Vault City Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple Beer (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Vault City Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple Beer

Oh, no, Cinabar bought me a sour beer. I think it was in error, as she knows it's the only type of beer I hate. I reckon it was because this beer sounds so interesting. I mean, what's not to like about Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple? Oh, yes, it's a sour beer.

At 6.0% in volume this sour Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple flavoured beer just isn't strong enough to numb my tastebuds. After reading the description, "This velvety smooth, ice cream inspired… SOUR BEER…", I'm wondering how, even in the small typeface that the 'sour' was missed in the supermarket.

Flavoured with raspberries, strawberries, coconut and vanilla during the brewing, this beer is supposed to be so authentic that you could put a "flake in it". I've never had sour raspberry ripple ice cream before, so this should be a new one.

After leaving the can in the fridge and dreading it for much of the day, I finally decided it was time to start this week's beer blog. Oh, joy. I noticed amusingly, that the beer can stated "shake to wake". Those who shake beer cans generally end up wearing the contents. So, I gave the can a good talking to instead. Mainly about having the word 'sour' in such a small typeface.

On opening the can there was a tart raspberry aroma mixed in with the sheer sourness that menacingly accompanied it. On pouring I noticed this Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple sour beer had the colour of blancmange mixed with mud. On taste this beer was like drinking the sourest raspberry and slightly strawberry fruit sweet I have ever tasted times one hundred. It's like a fruity super acidic kick in the nuts, followed by an oddly creamy uppercut to the family jewels towards the aftertaste. This beer is so sour I reckon it could strip paint off the fence if I drank it in the back garden. I'm just glad it's raining.

Vault City Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Ripple Beer

23 June 2023

Doritos Burger King Flame Grilled Whopper (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Doritos Burger King Flame Grilled Whopper

Sometimes brands work together that you wouldn’t really expect to be working together, one combination I didn’t see coming was this. Here we have the exciting combination: Doritos Burger King Flame Grilled Whopper Corn Chips. I love Doritos, so I was keen to give these a try, even though the packet says "burger not included"! 

We shared the bag and poured them out. The seasoning makes the chips look a little darker than the usual salted Doritos, but not very much. I gave one a try and was pretty impressed with the flavour. Burger King always tastes barbecued, and these new chips had that distinctive flavour. They had that chargrilled taste that was a little salty, and then the lovely rush of beef. There was depth to the flavour too, I’m not going to say I could pick out all the salad flavours, but I will say they had a hint of freshness to the flavour, which makes sense if you try them! So all in all, these Doritos Burger King Flame Grilled Whopper corn chips sounded like a novelty, but they are well put together and ones I’d go back for, so a total success.

Doritos Burger King Flame Grilled Whopper

22 June 2023

SPAM - Chip Shop Curry Fritters - Iceland [@NLi10]

 Iceland have some good weird food - I reviewed the original SPAM fritters what seems like ages ago, and recently (when I got the Lewis Capaldi Pizzas) I spotted this variation.

Mostly this just makes me worry about store-bought chicken Kiev - but it's a neat idea - put a spicy sauce in the middle of the spam and make it more like a meal!

Thing is - these are basically nuggets.  Two in a box and they aren't that big.

See - mini sausage rolls for scale  (and not because I'm greedy)

And here is the finished product - not quite as runny as the pictures on the box, but I think that the 2nd one was a bit gloopier so maybe I needed the oven on for a bit longer - but it's a heatwave so I stuck to the timings.

And?  They are decent. Filling for the size (but I really needed 2), but did want a few veggies and carbs adding to make it a meal.  The flavour is the usual salty spam luncheon meat, and the chip shop curry is the English Katsu it's always been.

A decent variation on the classic then, a bit more pricey than the plain ones but on special offer its a nice change.  Would be improved by adding chip shop chips as well though!

21 June 2023

Walkers Wotsits Really Cheesy Flavour Crisps (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Walkers Wotsits Really Cheesy Flavour Crisps

I really fancied a bag of Walkers Wotsits the other day, and found a multipack in a local garage supermarket nearby. I don't know why I suddenly had a craving for them, I haven't had a packet of Wotsits for ages, but maybe that's the reason. It's not that I don't like them, it's just usually I gravitate around other flavours of crisps, such as; ready salted, salt and vinegar, beef, or sea salt and black pepper. I find they go much better with beer.

Anyway, then a few days later Cinabar bought a multipack of these limited edition Walkers Wotsits Really Cheesy Flavour Crisps. "They probably won't taste much different," she says, but maybe they will? Sure, they'll smell much the same with all that cheesy seasoning, but these crisps are made from potatoes, rather than the usual Wotsits' maize. So, they'll not only look different, but they'll probably taste a little different too. The question is, is that 'different' better, worse, or just a bit weird?

On opening the packet I realised very quickly that I was wrong about them smelling the same as regular Wotsits, as these Walkers Wotsits Really Cheesy Flavour Crisps smelt of cheesy potato crisps. They tasted a little more salty than usual Wotsits too, nice and crunchy though, with a cheesiness to start with that was reminiscent of Wotsits, and then that luscious saltiness. I really liked them, though they didn't taste much like the normal Wotsits. Better I thought. Cheesy potato crisps for the win. Though if they hadn't have put Wotsits on the front of the packet, I'd have just figured they were cheese and sea salt flavour, or something like that!

Information on the packet;
Each 24g packet has 113 calories, with 5g of fat, 0.5g of sugar and 0.23g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

20 June 2023

Cadbury Mint Flavour Twirl (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Mint Flavour Twirl

This is not the Cadbury Mint Twirl we wrote about four months ago. That was an imported chocolate bar from Australia. This is much more exciting, this is a new British version - we finally got our own Mint Twirl! I love a limited edition, and I love mint chocolate, so I’m seriously excited to tuck in.

There are two bars in the pack, and they are like a milk chocolate-dipped flake. I opened up the park and immediately could smell the chocolate mint, and it was lovely. I bit into the first crumbly bar, and it had such a good flavour. The peppermint taste was sweet and strong, but well balanced with the milk chocolate. The mint is a burst of flavour, then the creamy milk chocolate hits, and the taste is sweet and mellow. Couple this with the fun texture of a flakey Twirl bar, and you have a dream bar. I'm so pleased this came out in the UK, and I hope it will be around for a while.

19 June 2023

Dairy Milk Salted Caramel Fingers (Asda) By @Cinabar

Salted Caramel Fingers

To be completely honest, I have no idea how this took so long. Salted Caramel has been loving life, it has been the most popular new flavour for quite some time. In fact, trying to find brands that haven’t used it is a limited edition is harder than finding brands that have. I get it, what’s not to like about Salted Caramel but I really miss the days of crazy flavours. Cadbury in particular has released a lot of Salted Caramel goodies recently, so these new Dairy Milk Salted Caramel Fingers are no surprise at all.

I opened up the box and have to admit they did smell nice. There was a lovely chocolate aroma but also a rich toffee-like taste. I gave one a try and the flavour was good, there was plenty of creamy milk chocolate but then a rich sweet caramel and a touch of salt. They were nice. I liked them. That is the thing about Salted Caramel what’s not to like, I just like variety too.

18 June 2023

Aldi 99p Taurus Bubblegum & Sherbet Lemon [@NLi10]

I visited my parents for Fathers Day this weekend, and had to pick some bits up from Aldi on the way - and I saw some suspect cider to try. 

At 99p a can it’s hardly luxurious gift cider, but as a post dinner aperitif it’s a lot of fun

Well - post pudding anyway.

First up - bubblegum! And it does smell like bubblegum, and it tastes like the blue stuff they add to ice-cream. Unfortunately it’s on top of the cheap, rough Taurus cider. It’s fine - I mean it’s what I expected. Would be better with ice and a festival.

This is more of a pudding cider, a hit of sherbet and lemon in the same cider.  I think it elevates it a little, but it’s still not a smooth experience.

And the stats confirm - it’s a can of cider! 

For the price these are fine, stick them on the table at a BBQ and they’d certainly all get opened, but I bet some of the sweeter ones wouldn’t get finished.

17 June 2023

STF Big Ideas German Ale (The Wee Beer Shop @WeeBeerShop @STFermentations) By @SpectreUK

STF Big Ideas German Ale

So, what's the big idea? Well, this Big Ideas German Ale for a start. Sorry, I couldn't help it. Brewed by Simple Things Fermentations, in Glasgow, this 5% in volume warm top-fermented K├Âlsch-style beer is often referred to as a hybrid of ale and lager. Big Ideas has Vegan friendly ingredients, and the can states there are notes of strawberry starburst and cut grass, on top of the flavour of freshly baked bread. I'm left wondering if this beer will go well with my fish and chips from our local Chippy or not.

Certainly having quite a fizz on first opening, there was a yeasty aroma on popping open the can. This bright golden ale, lager, hybrid, thingy, reminded me of the hot summer afternoons we've recently been having in the UK. Big Ideas had a yeasty aroma to it with a light herbal bitter hop smell, a wheatiness and even milder smelling malts.

There wasn't much fizziness on first taste after all, which is probably a good thing, been as though I can belch like a hurricane on a windy day after a lager. Initially there was a yeastiness on tasting, with a bucket of wheat, and then a little bitter grassy herbal hops, followed by a mild sweet toasty maltiness to finish. Big Ideas was a very flavoursome ale and I was pleased to find that it washed down my fish and chip takeaway rather well after all.

16 June 2023

Poppets Choc Toffee Popcorn (#Gifted) By @Cinabar

Poppets Choc Toffee Popcorn

Popcorn is one of my go-to snacks. I mean, nothing says movie night in better than a bag of popcorn. I like all flavours, from traditional to the creative ones. The people behind Poppets clearly agree that popcorn is the big thing at the moment and have come up with this fantastic sounding Poppets Choc Toffee Popcorn.

I opened up the bag, and the thing that hit me first was that the chocolates inside are huge! There is no way you could package these up in the traditional Poppets mini box; this is chunky popcorn. I gave one a try, and the chocolate is thick too, and under it is the sweetest toffee popcorn. It is fun to eat, and I enjoyed munching on them. This nailed all the fun textures of chocolate and popcorn, delivering a rich toffee taste and plenty of milk chocolate. It is moreish stuff, and I can’t wait to open another bag with a film tonight.

Poppets Choc Toffee Popcorn

15 June 2023

Fentimans Good & Fruity and Attic Brew Intuition [@NLi10]

Fentimans have rejigged a few drinks to take sugar out and put sweeteners in meaning I've possibly had my last Full Strength Curiosity Cola. :(

They have however released a few other things to fill in the gaps - and because they are designed with the sugar changes in mind they should be more interesting!

Fentimans Good & Fruity is one such drink - it's still (hurray!) and has some fun flavours - we tried Cherry & Blood Orange.  Unfortunately it's basically just fruity water.

Spring water & pear juice plus 6% of the target flavours.  I'm not against this, but I'd want a lot bigger drink than 250ml.  It wasn't bad, I'd rather just have 500ml of water for the same price really.

At a family party recently I got to try the Intuition Pale from Attic Brew - and I liked it!  I meant to take more pictures but one of the people there asked why I was taking pictures of the can and so I spent ages talking about the blog instead of getting more pictures. Ah well. I'm sure I'll have more of this one.

14 June 2023

Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour (Soreen #Gifted) By @SpectreUK

Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour

Fancy a pick me up in a cake bar? Well, this last of the three flavours of Soreen Lift Bars may fit the bill. The other two flavours were Blueberry and also Raspberry & Vanilla, which seemed a little more healthy than this Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour. I enjoyed eating and blogging about the other two flavours, so I'm hoping for the same experience here too.

High in vitamin B12 these Soreen Lift Bars are supposed to reduce tiredness and fatigue, while also improving our central nervous system and metabolism. I left this Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour until last because it sounded the most "cakey". I know that's not a real word, but I'm a blogger and we make words up all the time.

Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour

On opening the Chocolate Orange Lift Bar there was a strong orange and chocolate aroma. There were lots of chocolate chips in the Lift Bar, which made it feel even more cakey. On taste this Chocolate Orange Lift Bar tasted very much like the name suggests. There was plenty of orange flavour to start with and the chocolate chips had a mild crunch, adding to the flavour.

This Chocolate Orange Lift Bar was very tasty indeed, and certainly felt more of a pudding than the other two bars. It tasted like a healthy sweet snack for after dinner, rather than my ubiquitous Soreen Loaf after my lunchtime sandwich. I'll certainly have to get some more.

Information on the packet; With 4 x Lift Bars at 139 calories per bar, and having 1.8g of fat, 7.4g of sugar, and 0.22g of salt. Vegan friendly, please see photograph for the ingredients.

Soreen Lift Bars Chocolate Orange flavour

13 June 2023

Warheads Sour Watermelon Soda (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Warheads Sour Watermelon Soda

It is not hot enough for this drink, and it is currently roasting hot in the UK. Today the sun has been blasting down, and the heat has been unbearable. In general, people don’t have air conditioning in the UK, and sadly, we don’t. So the fans are on, and the iced drinks are flowing from the fridge. Apart from this one. 

I have had this in the fridge for a while, and if a hot day like today wasn’t perfect for it then I have no idea when it would be. I popped the can, and there was a hiss and a fizz. It bubbled as I poured the pale pink liquid into a glass. I gave it a sip. The first part of the flavour is sour watermelon, which isn’t too bad; it is sharp. However, then a stronger acid flavour washed over the palate, which was unpleasant. I didn’t like the taste; I guess it is what it promised on the can, and I thought this would be fun, but no, it isn't for me.

Warheads Sour Watermelon Soda