Sunday, 19 November 2017

Today's Review: Jolly Rancher Sour Bites


Jolly Rancher candy comes in all shapes and forms these days, but I don't think I've found one that beats the original sweets yet. This bag is no exception. They swap the classic boiled sweet for a chewier one, and there's a sour element thrown in too. They sounded good enough on paper (or plastic), and they're actually better than a lot of the Jolly Rancher stuff I've tried out. 

They come in apple, watermelon, cherry and orange flavours, and I must say they're pretty close to the flavours of the regular sweets. The watermelon especially is bold and fruity, and all the others also pull off a faithful fruity adaptation. Of course, they don't taste like their real life fruit counterparts, more like those artificial sweet fruit flavours. In the end though, these are pretty average. They're not particularly sour, and they don't taste quite bold enough to leave a lasting impression. Not the best Jolly Rancher candy, but certainly not the worst.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Today's Review: Pret A Manger Festive Flat White


Thanks to Jenny on Twitter, who informed me of the existence of this festive drink available at Pret. As a small aside, since I haven't quite bothered to look it up yet, how is the "Pret" in "Pret A Manger" pronounced? Is it like "Prett", or more French-like, like "Prey"? I tend to switch between the two on the fly, but I'd love to hear your input. Anyways, here we have the Festive Flat White, which is somewhat cryptic, but it's actually a Flat White with a mince pie flavoured syrup. Quite a unique twist in these days of salted caramel and chocolate orange, so I was keen to hunt this down and try it out.

This is a pretty decent Flat White, it's creamy and smooth, with a decent coffee kick. The mince pie syrup is pretty okay too, providing some sweet fruity notes, with a hint of spice, it's actually a pretty great combination that provides flavour and warmth that brings that festive feeling. Definitely more of a Christmas themed drink than some others out there. There is a problem, however, in that this drink is tiny. I got a hot chocolate at the same time as ordering this, and it's no exaggeration that the Flat White was half the size. What is this, a coffee for ants? This may be a pretty nice drink, but I'm going to have to knock down my rating, it's just not great value for money. Try it out if you want to experience something festively different, but I won't be shelling out for one again.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 17 November 2017

Today's Review: Harvester Chicken & Waffles


What do you want for lunch? If your answer is chicken and waffles, Harvester has you covered. Yes, this all American dish is nestled among the more standard offerings of the lunch menu, but of course I was drawn to it straight away. It's a decadent combination of sweet and savoury that I couldn't pass up, waffles with maple flavour syrup, topped with bacon and buttermilk fried chicken strips. 

Now, I've had bacon and pancakes before, and I've also had piri piri chicken on a waffle, but this is an unholy combination of meat and sweet that I hadn't quite experienced. Despite what you may think upon hearing about this, it's not bad at all. The chicken and bacon were cooked well, a nice light crispy coating on the chicken, although the bacon was a little underdone, compared to the way the Americans eat it anyway. A decent sized portion of good meat though.

What's underneath, however, is not so perfect. The waffle has a nice sweetness to it, but is pretty dry, with the flavour falling flat at times. Thankfully the meat is there to help along with the flavour, and the syrup to help with the texture. It's a maple style syrup, definitely not the real thing, ans therefore a little too sweet at times. Still, it saves the waffle from being a total disaster, and it works well alongside the meat as well. This didn't exactly blow me away, but it's a decent enough attempt at something different. It doesn't quite capture that whole American experience, but it's worth a try. Jst don't expect the best.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Today's Review: Soggy Cereal

I love cereal. Whoever says they don't like cereal just hasn't met the right cereal, I'm sure. It's a ubiquitous presence on the breakfast table, alongside the milk that goes with it. Some people may eat cereal without milk, but then, can they even be considered human?

It's a delicate balance, you see, because dry cereal is pretty awful, but soggy cereal is even worse. I genuinely go into a milk state of anxiety if I pour milk on my cereal and then have to attend to something else, the fear of returning to soft, sloppy cereal is too much to bear. It's like overcooking a steak or having burnt toast, it ruins the meal, and since it's breakfast time that sets up the mood for the whole day. I've learned to clear all distractions, to not pour the milk until I am sure I can instantly eat through the bowl. I even regulate the amount of milk that gets onto the cereal while eating by angling the bowl as I make my way through. In this way, all cereals can retain their crunchiness, be they Weetos, Coco Pops, Golden Nuggets or Krave. Because all cereal deserves to be wet, but none of them deserve to be soggy.

Apart from Weetabix, that stuff's delicious all mushed up.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Today's Review: Air Heads Xtremes Sweetly Sour


Air Heads are readily available in the UK now, but they come in more varieties than just the chewy dragees. These were sitting in the world food aisle at Sainsbury's, some sour belts with a "bluest raspberry" flavour, because just blue raspberry isn't enough apparently. Now, when something says "Xtreme" in big bold letters, I'm often left questioning its sourness by the end, and this is no exception. These things are not particularly sour, nor are they particularly blue raspberry. They're sweet, so that's one thing, but otherwise they're pretty bland flavour wise, and the sour element is fleeting at best. Disappointing, I think I'll stick with the regular chews from now on.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Today's Review: Panda Natural Raspberry Liquorice


I found this neat looking bag of liquorice at Sainsbury's. They're raspberry flavour, which I hadn't tried before, and they're vegan and low in fat, with natural flavours and colours. Now, I'm all for some healthier sweets, but I'll admit that those using less than natural ingredients tend to taste better. Still, I was willing to give these a try, because the raspberry sounded pretty good.

At first bite, I wasn't impressed at all with these, they were soft, flavourless soft chews, a little grainy in texture. Thankfully, the more I chewed through them, the more the raspberry flavour came out, and it's actually pretty good. It continues to build, and is very present in the after taste, although it doesn't quite make up for the pretty tasteless start, and the blandness and strange texture are still present in some form even when the fruit comes through. A good option for the vegans out there, but these aren't as great as I hoped.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 13 November 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Double Decker Spread


Not content with turning all their chocolate bars into sharing bags, Cadbury now want to blend them up so you can spread them on whatever you fancy. We've had Caramel and Crunchie spreads, now it's time for some Double Decker on your toast. Or bagel, or flapjack, or, you know, anything. As you can see, the contents are split down the middle. On one side there's a chocolate spread embedded with cereal pieces, and on the other is a nougat flavoured spread. Double spread, Double Decker.

It's important to get the balance of chocolate and nougat right when you're spreading, so you get the full effect of all the flavours. With both sides represented, this does taste quite a bit like your regular Double Decker, in spread form. The chocolate side is pretty much the standard Cadbury spread, which ain't no Dairy Milk, but it's still pretty good. There's a large number of cereal pieces scattered throughout, which gives a satisfying crunch, and the nougat side provides another layer of sweet creaminess. It's not as authentic as the proper chewy stuff, but spread on toast, this stuff is pretty great. If Cadbury keep up with their spreads like this, I'll be very happy.

My rating: 4/5