Friday, 28 April 2017

Today's Review: McCoy's Chip Shop Curry Sauce Chips

I tried out the salt & vinegar variety of McCoy's Chips a while back, and found them to be pretty lacking. I figured I'd give them another shot when I saw this curry sauce flavour, it was something new after all, and held some promise. I grabbed a six pack in Poundlan for... yes, £1. 

These are interesting. The crisps are good, the same good old crunchy texture of McCoy's, fashioned into chip shapes. They have a definite curry sauce flavour, and it's mostly authentic, but it is somewhat marred by the fact that these are quite salty, enough to take the focus away from the other flavours. So while the curry sauce is pretty well done, a smooth creaminess with a slight spice, overall these aren't fantastic. These are worth a try, but I think I'd rather go for the Fish 'N' Chips crisps that pull off the flavours better.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Today's Review: Wall's Cornetto Choc 'N' Ball Strawberry

It's another new Cornetto variety, at least new in the supermarkets, I found this singular box on an otherwise empty freezer shelf in Asda, with no price tag to be seen, so I don't know when it came out, or if there are any others. Anyway, these are Choc 'N' Ball Cornettos, like a regular Cornetto but with a massive chocolatey ball on top. This one has strawberry ice cream inside, so it's basically an extension of the classic original red Cornetto.

At its core (no pun intended), this is pretty much the same as the regular strawberry cone. The cone is fantastically crunchy, the chocolate tip is a welcome addition, and the ice cream is smooth and creamy. I wouldn't say it's the most authentic strawberry flavour, it is a bit too sweet at times, but it's not bad. As for the top part, it's pretty great. More ice cream, all wrapped up in a thick chocolate shell studded with almond pieces for a satisfying crunch. It's a good twist on the original, and well worth looking out for. I hope there are other varieties floating around out there.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Today's Review: Rowntree's 30% Less Sugar Randoms

It's not just Fruit Pastilles getting the reduced sugar treatment, Randoms have got their own healthy(?) bag too. Yes, it's fallen afoul of the same reduced weight business that annoyed me with the last ones, but I figured they'd be worth a try just to see if they taste good. 

I know they've still left most of the sugar in these, but they've taken out a fair chunk, and to be honest, there's not much of a difference in flavour. The chewy ones pretty much taste the same, and they still have the round ones with a juicy filling, which as awesome. The difference is most noticeable in the foamy sweets, which have a more chewy texture, and a slightly less sweet taste, but apart from that it's a good bag. I'm not too fond of the whole reduced weight thing, but if you're watching your calorie intake but craving sweets, these could be a good choice for you. There is a slight odd aftertaste with these, but they're better than the Fruit Pastilles in my opinion.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Today's Review: Rowntree's 30% Less Sugar Fruit Pastilles

A lot of people are on the whole low sugar kick lately, which is a pretty good direction to go from the misguided low fat trend. Carbs are the problem, people, fat is good for you. So here we have a pretty classic bag of Fruit Pastilles, but with 30% less sugar. Not only that, but they didn't substitute the sugar for artificial sweeteners either, so I don't know how they did it. I assume some kind of magic.

These aren't bad actually, I expect things with less sugar to suffer somewhat on the flavour side, because sugar is delicious. These still retain that sugar coating on the outside, though perhaps less so, and the flavours are pretty much the same. There is something of an aftertaste if you suck on them for too long, and they're definitely not as sweet as the originals, but for a reduced sugar sweet, these are still pretty edible. What I will say, however, is that they're a rip off. A bag of regular Fruit Pastilles is 150g, while these clock in at a measly 110g. Is there 30% less sugar in the pack because there are also 30% less Fruit Pastilles? I don't understand the pricing, they've taken the sugar out, why are they more expensive? I'll have to dock you a point for that one guys, it ain't right. Still, these are a good acquisition for those who want to cut their sugar intake but still shove sweets in their mouth.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 24 April 2017

Today's Review: Drumstick Choos

The Drumstick is an all time classic sweet, I can't imagine how many of those gloriously chewy lollipops I've shoved in my face over the years. Recent years have seen Drumsticks appear in various other sweet forms, and they all seem to be fantastic, be they Squashies or Bon Bons. Now we have Drumstick Choos, which are like miniature versions of the lollies, in chew form. I didn't need much convincing with these, I imagined it would be like eating a Drumstick, but without the inevitable stickiness when it comes off the stick.

These chews come in five varieties, and each one has a double flavour. Most of these are based on the different flavours or lolly. There's the classic raspberry & vanilla, as well as strawberry & cream and apple & cherry. This pack also has strawberry & banana and peaches & cream too, so that's a lot of fruity goodness packed into the bag. I have to say, I can't fault these, they're fantastic. They taste just like the original Drumstick lolly, not quite as chewy, but definitely as satisfying. The fruit flavours are bold and authentic, especially the peaches & cream, and even though I'm not a major fan of banana sweets, it's implemented pretty well here. I told myself I'd only have one of each flavour, but before I knew it the entire bag was gone, so I guess that's a testament to how great they are. Or my lack of self control. I'll go with the former.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Today's Review: R. Whites Raspberry Lemonade

I like to peruse the drinks when I pop down to the corner shop, in the hopes I can pick up something I've yet to try. I'm not sure how long this has been around, but it's the first time I've seen this raspberry lemonade on the shelves. R. Whites do a classic lemonade, so I had faith they could pull off a twist on the original formula.

This is good stuff, just like I'd hoped. At its core it's that great tasting lemonade, and layered on top is a great, bold raspberry flavour. It builds upon the tartness with a good sour kick, but also adds in some juiciness that keeps it refreshing. As far as raspberry lemonades go, it's pretty flawless. A great variation on the original that's well worth seeking out.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Today's Review: Pizza Pringles

I saw a pizza variety of Pringles alongside the dill pickle flavour I picked up a while back from an import shelf at Sainsbury's. I was going to return and pick some up, but I'm glad I held out on that purchase, as they've now hit the shelves at Asda for a much more manageable £1.50. Pizza flavoured Pringles, sounds like a dream come true. I'm not sure whose dream it was, but I'm sure it was someone's. 

It's never quite stated which kind of pizza these are meant to emulate, but I'm gonna guess it's not ham & pineapple (pineapple goes on pizza). From what I could ascertain from the flavourings, they were going for more of a margherita experience, which isn't a bad thing to emulate in crisp form. There are hints of tomato and cheese, so I'd say the basics are there, but they're not particularly strong or great flavours, just a decent enough attempt at replicating the original. There could be some more to these, it looks like the pizzas on the tin have pepperoni on, and I guess there could have been some meatiness chucked in there, but I couldn't pinpoint it, and there seem to be some flavourings thrown on top of these with no real purpose. The cheese and tomato shine through enough, but everything else is lost. This is a pretty good idea from those Pringles guys, and it's pulled off well enough, but these are nothing particularly special, just a nice change from the norm.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 21 April 2017

Today's Review: Pepsi Max Ginger

This was definitely a surprise for me, a new flavour of Pepsi Max that isn't following the usual cola trends. Cherry cola, that's a thing, along with vanilla and lime, but I'm not sure I've tried a ginger cola before. I enjoy a ginger beer, but this bottle seems like it will deliver a combination of the two.

This is pretty good actually. The ginger flavour is pretty strong, and mostly accurate. A bold taste that provides a nice warming spice, and lingers for sometime after, I'd say it's a very decent effort. The combination with the taste of the Pepsi is a little odd at first, but I did get used to it after a little while. It works quite well together, giving the whole thing a slightly botanical flavour, although the lack of sugar is noticeable in the after taste. I wouldn't say this stuff beats a good old fashioned ginger beer, but it's a pretty original variety of Pepsi that's pulled off pretty well. I hope this sticks around for a while.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Eton Mess Cookies

Now that pesky Easter is out of the way, we can focus on the incoming summer months, and Tesco have brought out these new Finest cookies to help us along. They contain white chocolate chunks, meringue pieces and freeze dried strawberries. A pretty neat idea, but in execution, I must say they're a little bland. 

These aren't bad by any means, but I think they could use a bit more stuff embedded inside. The chocolate chunks are good, a smooth creamy white chocolate, and the meringue pieces add a little soft crunch and some additional flavour, though they are drowned out a bit by the chocolate. The strawberries are a welcome addition, a nice fruity hit that rounds out the flavour, but there aren't quite enough of them to cover the entire cookie, and there are some parts that pretty much tastes like dough. So overall, a fairly average cookie, it does give something of a summery feeling though.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Today's Review: Millions Mallows

When it comes to chewy sweets, Millions are probably some of my favourite. They're delicious, and come in a vast array of flavours. But apparently Millions weren't enough as just a chewy candy, as now you can get them in mini marshmallow form. They're bubblegum flavoured, and they're very small, and there's a lot of them. Maybe not millions, but a fair amount.

Marshmallows seem to be a popular choice for sweet companies to branch out to, I guess it's hard to get them wrong really, and these are pretty good. They're soft, and pack quite a bit of flavour. I wouldn't say bubblegum is the best type of marshmallow, but I couldn't tell you which other variety would have suited these better. It's a good bubblegum, nice and sweet, and it works well in conjunction with the soft chewiness of the mallows themselves. So yes, these are a good effort. I wouldn't say they necessarily need the Millions name, as they're a far cry from the classic hard sweets that get stuck in your teeth. But still, a decent offering, and one that will probably fit in your mini marshmallow gun. You've got one of those, right?

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Today's Review: M&Ms Mix

Hey, do you like M&Ms? Of course you do, but which ones? I mean, you've gotta have a favourite, right? No? Well, it's your lucky day, 'cause now you don't have to choose, you can get three varieties of M&M in one bag! M&Ms Mix is a combination of chocolate, peanut and crispy M&Ms, in a bag that's smaller than usual, but the same price (you may be able to guess my opinion of these).

To be honest, these aren't bad, they're just not for me. I eat things in order of preference, which I've probably mentioned before, and I'm not a big fan of mixing things together. I even have a hard time eating handfuls of trail mix. As for M&Ms, I love the chocolate, I'm pretty keen on the crispy, and I could leave the peanut, so to have them all in one bag is a bit unsettling. It's an interesting experience, chucking a handful in my face conjured up a nice enough combination of flavours, a crispy peanut taste that isn't bad. I'd rather just have them separate though. I know it's easy enough to identify which M&Ms are which based on size or shape, but that defeats the object of the bag, so I think I'll just leave these on the shelf from now on. If you can't make your mind up on your M&M varieties though, these may be just up your street.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 17 April 2017

Today's Review: Wall's Feast Sandwich

It's not secret that I love a Maxibon, it was a good day when they were re-introduced to the supermarkets. Now it seems there's a contender, in the form of this Wall's version. It's basically the same setup as the Maxibon, but with the classic Feast as the base. So we have half nobbly choc ice, and half ice cream sandwich, covered either side with some soft chocolate cookie.

You know, these are pretty great. I was expecting something of a pale imitation, but they do a pretty good job. We all know Feasts are great, some good chocolate with satisfying crispiness, wrapped around smooth vanilla ice cream. As for the cookie side, it's a little powdery, but it has a good dark chocolate flavour, and enough thickness to make it work pretty well with the ice cream. The only thing I would say is that these are quite small, I guess to keep in line with calorie counts per portion, so it's not completely satisfying. A pretty tasty ice cream though, a good addition to that summer ice cream lineup.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Cheese & Pickled Onion Furrows

Merry Easter, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying shoving chocolate in your faces. I know I am. I know chocolate is a fitting treat for any special occasion, but it especially is on Easter, so in keeping with the theme, I'm going to review these cheesy crisps.

Cheese & onion is probably my least favourite flavour of crisps, ever. If someone tells me they're a fan, I sincerely question their belief system. That being said, I figured I'd give these a go, since the onion is pickled, and I thought that might make a difference. Turns out, it does. These crisps are good. Not perfect, but definitely something different and tasty. The cheese is an ever present undertone, not too powerful, just undeniably cheesy and tasty. The onion, which normally makes me want to chuck the packet in the bin, has a great sweet edge that really gives these a good flavour. There's still some of that regular old cheese & onion flavouring that comes through a little, but on the whole these taste pretty great, and the furrowed nature of the crisps allows for a lot more flavour. These are definitely the best cheese & onion crisps I've tried. I'd still choose other flavours over these, but they're worth a try.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Today's Review: Cornetto Honeycomb Crunch

Spring is here, and the ice creams are coming out in force. Here's a new Cornetto variety, featuring honeycomb ice cream, with a caramel sauce core, and topped with a chocolate disc.

I'm glad to see the return of the disc, it's a recent addition to the Cornetto that I very much approve it. It's a nice thick chunk of chocolate, embedded with crunchy sugar pieces, and in this variety, despite the disc not being honeycomb flavoured itself, it does work well in conjunction with the ice cream to give the impression of some crunchy honeycomb. The ice cream itself is smooth and creamy, with a nice honey flavour that's sweet, but not too sickly, it's pretty good. I can't say I noticed the caramel core all that much, it's lost somewhat in the ice cream, but I can't say I missed it too much. All of that wrapped up in that classic Cornetto cone, and all in all this is a pretty good offering. A very decent, honeycomb flavoured cone, with a satisfying crunch. Definitely worth a try.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 14 April 2017

Today's Review: Chewits Wands

Here's a quick one, I picked up these Chewits Wands in a pound shop earlier. I didn't need much persuading with these ones, the classic Chewits are great, with several awesome flavours, and pencils are one of my favourite kinds of sweets. So a combination seemed too good to pass up. Unfortunately, in practice, they're not particularly great. There's something of a fruity hint to these, but I couldn't really tell if it was just in the filling, or the outer layer. It didn't last too long, so the outside bit was a bit bland and rubbery. The middle is your standard pencil filling, but it's a little gritty. So on the whole, not a great attempt at pencil sweets, they're mildly fruity but nothing to write home about, there are better ones out there.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Curly Wurly Squirlies

Bags of miniaturised Cadbury bars are no new thing, and I thought they'd pretty much exhausted all their lines. But I was wrong. How could I forget the Curly Wurly? It's a classic bar, satisfyingly chewy, and now you can get it in bite size form. Although half the fun of the big bar was tearing it apart with your teeth.

Yes, they're all in this odd wormy shape, but don't let looks deceive you. Basically, these are tiny pieces of Curly Wurly, the same stuff as the big bar, not much to talk about really. Chewy caramel, coated in chocolate, they're pretty good. The caramel is a bit too chewy at times, and the chocolate isn't the best quality Cadbury-wise, but they're not bad, just a little uninspired. I know that they're carrying on the trend of making bags out of their bars, but I don't think there's much left in that category. These Squirlies are okay, but you can still buy the regular bars, so I guess now you can choose your preferred Curly Wurly fix.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Today's Review: Galaxy Swirlers Shortbread Crunch

With all the Dairy Milk releases that pop up throughout the year, it's something of a special occasion when a new Galaxy variety comes along. These are Swirlers, which has a nice big serving suggestion right there on the packet. Basically, it's a decently sized Galaxy bar that's segmented into fingers, which are tailored for dipping into the beverage of your choice, and not just dipping, swirling. This bar comes in caramel crunch or shortbread crunch flavours.

It would be remiss of me not to eat this bar in the way it was intended, so I brewed myself a latte and went to town. In essence, this is the same old Galaxy chocolate, but in stick form. It's fantastic creamy chocolate, and swirling it in a hot drink makes it a lovely warm, gooey experience. The shortbread embedded throughout is something of a nice touch, it doesn't particularly add a lot of flavour, but it provides a good texture. I also think it's key to holding the bar together, as I didn't experience any chocolate falling into my mug, and I think the biscuit goes some way to providing support. Once the chocolate has melted a bit, the shortbread is more noticeable and satisfying, so I think it's best to swirl these before stuffing them in your mouth. The packet tells you to share, but I found it extremely hard to do that. This is a pretty neat idea for a new bar, and it's pulled off pretty well. I can't say I've dunked my chocolate in a latte before, but it's a good way to eat.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Today's Review: Häagen-Dazs Blueberries & Cream

I feel the blueberry doesn't get the love it deserves. Sure, it's commonplace in muffins, but it's only lately I've seen it turn up in other products. Now Häagen-Dazs have delivered in the form of this blueberry ice cream. Yes, it's ice cream, not sorbet, it's a "blueberries & cream" flavour, so I was expecting something more decadent than your standard fruity frozen dessert.

There's not too much to say to describe this. It's blueberry ice cream with blueberries in it, and it all tastes a lot like blueberries. So there you go, blueberry haters need not apply. The ice cream itself is very creamy, probably because of the cream... but yes, it still packs a fruity flavour, although it is diminished a little bit by the dairy. The embedded blueberries are a nice touch, they add a bit of tartness and more of a fruity kick, and they taste surprisingly fresh considering they're been frozen in ice cream. This is a damn good blueberry ice cream, simple, yet effective.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 10 April 2017

Today's Review: Müller Corner Goes Nuts!

How nuts is this? Oh no, the nut puns have started already. Yes, this is a decidedly nutty variety of Müller Corner, and it definitely grabbed my attention. Not only does it feature caramelised almonds in the corner part, but the yoghurt is pistachio flavour. What more could you want? 

This is one nutty yoghurt, I'll say that right away. The yoghurt has a pretty fantastic flavour, a smooth, inoffensive taste that's definitely reminiscent of pistachio. It works really well with that classic Müller creaminess, and it's all accentuated when you factor in the almonds. The chunks aren't particularly sizeable, but they're plentiful, and they're sweet and nutty, providing a great crunch and a burst of flavour. It all combines to make one spectacularly nutty yoghurt that's, quite frankly, delicious. One for all you nut nuts out there.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Today's Review: Limited Edition White Skittles

I spied this particularly colourless bag nestled next to the other Skittles at Tesco earlier. It made me do a double take, as any monochrome version of packaging probably would. My first thought, for some reason, was that it was some kind of colour your own packet, not that the logistics of that would work. But it turns out there's an awesome sentiment behind this bag. This is, indeed, a pack of white Skittles. As the blurb on the back reads: "Only one rainbow matters this pride". Skittles have forgone their natural colours in support of Pride this year. That's a statement and a half.

Yes, pure white Skittles, they're definitely unique. Otherwise these are just the regular Skittles, with the same flavours. There is a problem with this, however, in that you can't tell which is which. That may not be an issue to some, but I'm a man who likes to sort his sweets by colour and eat them in order. Green, yellow, orange, red. purple, that's how it should be in my eyes. But now there's no way of knowing! Well, I suppose it's not too bad, there's not really a bad flavour of Skittle, so it was a different way of eating for me, and it was still good. Plus, if you're that worried about ordering your flavours, the colourised version is still available. This is just a great idea for a limited edition, with a very decent message behind it. So grab your white Skittles while you can.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Minions With Candy Floss Fluffy

Minions are a big thing, I know, and Despicable Me 3 is just around the corner, so of course it's time for another version of the Haribo bag. I'm not sure how many iterations these sweets have been through, but there was at least the original, the one with "King Bob", and the banana and ice cream flavour additions. Now we have another new sweet in the form of a foam backed Fluffy the unicorn, with a candy floss flavour. 

I'll focus mainly on the Fluffy sweet, as the rest of the Minions are pretty standard fruit flavours. They do now have labels on the back of the pack, which is a trend I'm liking with recent Haribo bags, sometimes it wasn't immediately apparent which fruits they were going for. These ones do seem pretty accurate though, they're some good fruit flavoured sweets, but nothing particularly mind blowing. The same goes for the candy floss really. It's good, a sweet, definite candy floss flavour, and it works particularly well with the foam back, giving it a slightly airy texture that goes well with the taste. It's not the most perfect rendition of candy floss, but it's a decent attempt, and a little something different after the fruit Minions. I could say it's a big of a cash grab releasing yet another different version of these things, but I'm not mad, it just gives me an excuse to eat more Haribo. So yeah, another pretty good bag.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 7 April 2017

Today's Review: Tony's Chocolonely

I know it's been a couple of weeks now since I went to Amsterdam, but it turns out I failed to review this lovely little chocolate bar I picked up while I was there. This is Tony's Chocolonely, and I was instantly drawn to it due to its colourful design, as well as its thickness. This is a beast of a bar, and there's not much to say about it other than it tastes fantastic. 

This is real chocolate, creamy goodness with real cocoa butter that just made me long for more. It's a thick bar, so each chunk is filling and satisfying, but it's so moreish I tended to keep going until I physically couldn't eat any more.  I picked up a couple more bars to take home with me, and every one I opened was like unwrapping a Wonka bar. Dairy Milk may be the go to bar in this country, but it's clearly suffered in quality as of late. A bar of Tony's though, that's the good stuff, and I'm pretty sad that it's only really available in Amsterdam. What's more, they stick to strict rules regarding the origin of their ingredients, being vehemently against child labour and entirely Fair Trade, and that's only a good thing, especially if it makes chocolate taste this good. The best snack I found in Amsterdam.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Filled Carrot Cake Muffins

It's nice to see which seasonal offerings Tesco provide throughout the year, although some aren't so great, there are a few that have been pretty good. This Easter sees these carrot cake muffins hitting the shelves, they have a cream cheese-like filling too, so it promised all the goodness of a carrot cake in a portable, easily edible form.

Oh dear, that's not a good start. Look at the filling, there's not much there. Not that it's particularly great filling, but it does have something of a cream cheese flavour. It's a bit gritty and thick though, and tastes slightly artificial, but at least it goes some way to providing a bit of sweetness and moisture to the muffin, which itself is pretty disappointing. Again, there's a definite carrot flavour in there, but the sponge is quite dense and sickly, and there's just not enough flavour packed into there to make it good. There are some spices chucked in, hints of cinnamon and ginger, but it's a bit much and it ends up compromising the taste. There seems to be a fair amount of spice concentrated into the sugar pieces on top, which gives little bursts of intense flavour, while the rest of the muffin has little going for it. This is not a good effort at combining muffin and carrot cake, it's an imbalanced, under-filled stodgy sponge. Some alright stuff in there, but very little.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Today's Review: Liptov Hravé Parenicky

Here's another treat I received in my package from Halusky, the Czech and Slovak food store. This one is cheesy, which is something I always welcome. This is an interesting one, they're cheese snacks, but in a spiral shape. Of course, the words on the pack are all foreign to me, so I let Google Translate do the talking:

"New modern offer Liptov cheese playful shapes is perfect for family meeting, party or small bite when you get a craving for something small"

I guess we're some way from universally understanding languages. But what I can glean from this is that these cheese spirals are "playful", indeed it seems like "Hravé" translates to that, so it's right there in the title. I wouldn't say these are particularly playful, but I will say that they are like the offspring of a Cheesestring and a Fruit Winder. The cheese is our regular processed stuff, there's not a whole lot of flavour there, but the added smokiness does go some way to making it better. The texture is fairly rubbery, I'd say slightly more than a Cheesestring. There is a fair amount of it though, so there's quite a bit to unwind. As a cheese snack, it's not fantastic, but it'll do. Alright for a cheese fix, or something a bit different. 

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Today's Review: Dunkin' Donuts Raspberry Choc Brownie

It's time for a new round of Dunkin' Donuts, with a trio of cake inspired creations. There's tiramisu, pecan pie, and this raspberry choc brownie. I had to go for this one, mainly due to the nice brownie chunk on top. Not only that, but there's some raspberry jam buried in there too, What could go wrong?

This is a pretty good combination of flavours. The donut itself is as good as ever, nice and soft, with a generous chocolate glazing to top it off. It may not look like it as the brownie chunk is covering the hole, but this is a ring donut. Not that that's a bad thing, the brownie more than makes up for the lack of extra dough, it's a sizeable moist chunk that blends in really nicely with the rest of the elements. The raspberry jam is a subtle addition, it's not layered on thick, but it provides a fruity hint that rounds this off very nicely. This is one delicious donut, who knew two desserts could go together so well? Well, it was probably self-explanatory, but still, go and grab one of these.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 3 April 2017

Today's Review: Pepe Chrumky Peanut Corn Puffs

I was recently sent a box of goodies from Halusky, a food retailer who specialise in Czech and Slovak products. I'm always up for some interesting foreign snacks, so I was happy to see what they offered. I'll go through a few in coming days, but this is the one that stuck out the most. It's a bag of Pepe Chrumky. Don't ask me what that means, but they're basically peanut crisps. You may have gathered that from the creepy football-playing peanut mascot. He has a strange expression, those detail lines look like an inordinate amount of body hair... but hey, we can't judge a bag of crisps by the strange cartoon character on the front, as I always say.

In the same way that those chocolate corn puffs I tried a while back pleasantly surprised me, these ones did as well. These are corn puffs too, but with a very nice peanut flavour. They're soft, and slightly oily, which gives a greasiness that's not particularly great, but it does lend to an overall taste of peanut butter, so all in all it's not bad. Great texture, good flavour, I wouldn't mind picking up another bag of these. Looks like they're only 60p in the Halusky store in London too, so that's quite a steal. Worth looking out for.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Topped Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough

I've been after these Topped Ben & Jerry's flavours for a while now, but I finally managed to track this down in Morrisons. Basically, it's Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but with a topping. It didn't immediately strike me as a revolutionary ice cream idea, but hey, we've had the Core, so why not put something different on top? This one is a chocolate ice cream, embedded with cookie dough, chocolate chunks and a caramel swirl, and finished off with a chocolate topping.

You know, I wasn't sold on the topping idea, but I have to say, it's fantastic. It's a thick, chocolatey, almost ganache like coating, but it's not sickly. I actually found myself spooning the ice cream out from underneath it so I could save the top for last. Not that the ice cream is bad, not at all, it's a chocolate masterpiece. The ice cream itself is nice and creamy, and complemented nicely with the caramel flavour swirled throughout. The chocolate pieces embedded throughout are great too, the same satisfying chunks you'd find in other flavours like Phish Food. There's the cookie dough in there as well, of course, which gives a nice gritty texture and cookie flavour that takes the edge off what could have been a chocolate overload. This is a damn ice cream, I'm sorry I didn't have faith that good ol' Ben & Jerry could deliver, this topped tub is well worth picking up.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Today's Review: Maoam Crazy Roxx

I found this interesting bag of Maoam in Amsterdam, but it turns out they're now available over here as well, as I saw them in Tesco earlier. These are Crazy Roxx, an interesting assortment of differently shaped and sized fruity rocks. They come in five flavours, such as "apple alarm" and "sexy strawberry", Crazy names, right? Well, these are crazy roxx. That double "x" combo is also pretty edgy.

I wonder how these came to be a thing. From the random shapes and sizes, it seems like they're deformed, rejected Pinballs, but there's a distinct lack of cola, and the addition of a blue raspberry, so I guess these are a new creation. They're pretty good, they do lack that tanginess that Pinballs have, but the texture is the same. The variety of sizes is interesting, they go from tiny pieces to massive chunks, and getting through the bigger ones can result in an achey jaw. But the fruit flavours are bold and authentic enough, the blue raspberry in particular is really good. This is a great addition to the Maoam range, and I'm glad I can get hold of them over here too.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 31 March 2017

Today's Review: Falling Asleep At 9 On A Friday Night

Anyone else got that Friday feeling? You know, the one where you drift off to sleep at the same time as other people would just be starting to consider hitting the town? I hadn't even started today's review, and there I was, hitting the hay with reckless abandon. Am I getting old? Most definitely, but I guess we all need an early bedtime every now and then. At least I had a brief moment of consciousness before we reached the end of the day. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a wild night planned with my pillow. See you tomorrow.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Today's Review: Ice Cream Oreos

Here's another acquisition from the American import shop I found in Amsterdam. They're ice cream flavoured Oreos! But why is the creme purple? Why, because it's blueberry flavoured of course! You know, that old classic blueberry ice cream, a staple alongside vanilla and chocolate. I know, I guess they've already covered the basic ice cream flavours in other Oreo varieties, and the idea of a blueberry ice cream creme wasn't too bad. So I got stuck into these.

Something went wrong here, quite wrong. These are not nice. The creme is just weird, it doesn't really taste like ice cream, the blueberry isn't authentic, and it has this kind of minty freshness about it that really doesn't work well with the flavour. The biscuit is the same old Oreo goodness, but it's not enough to distract from the awful filling. Probably the worst Oreo variety I've tried, I'll be wary of any ice cream ones popping up in the future.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Today's Review: Ritz Bakefuls

I received an elaborate box in the post yesterday, that upon opening provided me with a sample of the new Ritz Bakefuls on a cardboard concertina lift. Top marks for presentation, and I had high hopes for what was inside as well. Ritz Crisp & Thins have been a thing for a while, and this appears to be an individual, baked version of those. I'm all for a bag of Ritz, especially when it comes in salt & vinegar flavour. Ooh, look!

These are thicker than the Crisp & Thin, but I think they're an all round better cracker. They're less greasy, and have a nice satisfying crunch that gives way to a good amount of flavour. The vinegar in these ones is still more pronounced than the salt, but it's a better balance, and these are a great, flavoursome pack of crackers. A must try for all you caustic vinegar crisp lovers out there.

I wasn't particularly expecting these to be great, as cheese & onion is one of my least favourite flavours. These, however, are great. There's less emphasis on the onion, so while it's present it's not overpowering. The creaminess of the cheese is what stands out here, it's a lovely smooth taste that blends in really well with the onion and the flavour of the cracker itself. Probably the best version of cheese & onion I've had in a while.

These Ritz Bakefuls are some great bags of crackers, and will make for a nice, relatively healthy snack. A nice effort, and a marked improvement on the Crisp & Thin.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Schuimblokken

Who wants a nice big bag of Schuimblokken? I did, apparently, and why wouldn't I? These things looked intriguing, and it's definitely a bag of Haribo I hadn't tried, so I snatched it up. Turns out Schuimblokken is something of a classic Dutch confectionery. and the name literally means "foam blocks". So without further ado, and casting aside my expectation of them tasting like fruit salad or rhubarb & custard, I dove right in.

Okay, these are odd. They're called foam blocks, and they are indeed foam blocks. Texture wise they're like something in between a marshmallow and a candy letter, with a flavour more like the latter. It's fairly hard, and has a satisfying snap when you bite into it, but soon softens up with some chewing. I guess if I were to compare them to any marshmallows I'd say they were like the ones you find in Lucky Charms, but the cereal dwelling ones are nicer. These Haribo ones are... well, they're not great. There's a nice sweet flavour in there, but the texture was just off, it was too dry and chewy for my liking, and I couldn't quite get on board with them. This is not a bag I'd pick up again, but it was an interesting ride. I'd say Haribo should stick with the Chamallows though.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 27 March 2017

Today's Review: Peach Fanta

We don't have nearly enough Fanta flavours available around here, as evidenced by the different kinds of fruit flavours I find in import shops. This one hails from Amsterdam, but was part of the American import section of a sweet shop, so yeah, U.S. Fanta is plentiful. One of my favourite fruits is the peach, so I was looking forward to what this can had to offer.

Well, this is just peachy. With several of the American Fanta cans, I've found the flavouring to be far too sickly and artificial. This one is a lot better in that respect, I guess the "naturally flavoured" part is true. It's a very sweet flavour, so it does get a little sickly at times, but it's also pretty natural tasting, and refreshing as well. It's definitely peach flavoured, not the best representation of the fruit, but I'd say it's a pretty good offering. There aren't many peach sodas that I've found, to be fair, but I'd say this is one of the best. A good can of Fanta, worth tracking down.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Today's Review: Cheetos Nibb-it Sticks

One of the best things about going to a different country is seeing which Cheetos are on offer. Well. Apart from the new cultural experiences and such, but Cheetos rank pretty highly. Unfortunately, Amsterdam provided me with none of the Crunchy varieties that I love, but did offer up these Nibb-it Sticks, which come in a lovely yellow and red combination.

This is an interesting bag, they're not cheesy, which I figured was the whole Cheetos ethos, but never mind. These are ready salted, and quite nicely so, they pack a lot of flavour, perhaps a bit much at time, but it's better to have a bit too much than not enough. The texture of them is not overly crunchy, but not soft either. I'd liken them most to ready salted French Fries, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. A different bag of Cheetos, perhaps a little on the bland side compared to their other offerings, but this is a good bag of salted crisps.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Today's Review: Hotel-Provided Shower Gel

As a follow up to yesterday's airport baggage themed review, there are, of course, limitations one has when flying. Liquids are a big issue at the airport, and it's a hassle getting all those toiletries in a 100ml bottle, so it's nice to have the problem partway solved by those little bottles of shampoo and shower gel the hotels provide. i mean, it's the very least they could do to give you stuff to keep yourself clean during your stay, but it's much appreciated, at least they don't charge them like the minibar. Hooray for tiny toiletries.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 24 March 2017

Today's Review: Flying With Just Hand Baggage

I'm on my way for a little city break, a break so short that we managed to pack everything into hand baggage. Oh my, how much easier it is. No line for check in, no carefully managing the weight of the suitcase, we just strolled right through the airport and onto a plane in less than half an hour. All flights should be like this. Of course, this is also a review for flying without children, which in itself is a hell of a lot easier, but this luggage situation is the icing on the cake. So cram your clothes into your backpacks, guys, it's so much better this way.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Kale & Spirulina Corn Chips

I do love a good bag of Tyrrell's, and it seems they're branching out from potato chips to corn chips. I picked up this bag the other day, which seem to have been given a pretty healthy flavouring of kale & spirulina. Not that I've ever eaten either of those, but I figured I'd give them a go. Kale is a leaf, and spirulina is an algae, they sound natural and healthy enough. What could go wrong?

No, they're not mouldy, they're just green chips. At least, I assume that's how they're meant to look. They didn't taste bad, but then, they didn't taste fantastic either. There's a definite hint of flavour in there, and if I had to give that flavour a name it would be green, but it's not particularly strong. It's fairly nice, and the saltiness of the chips help it along, so this isn't a bad bag of chips, just different. The corn provides a nice grainy texture, and overall they taste pretty natural and healthy. I just wish there was a bit more flavouring. If you want some green chips, by all means try them out.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Mojito Cocktail Fancies

These Cocktail Fancies aren't new, I'm well aware, I reviewed them a couple of years back. But this year the cocktails on offer have changed, with the peach bellini being swapped out for the mojito. More of a classic cocktail, I'm sure, and I suppose it's nice to see a bit of mint represented instead of several fruits. I'm not a massive fan of mojitos, but I do see the merit in them. So without further ado, here is the mojito fancy: 

It certainly looks the part, but I have to say it's not particularly flavoursome. At its core it's the same classic Mr. Kipling fancy, a nice soft sponge and some great creamy icing. There is a hint of mintiness in there, and an emulation of the rum that isn't too bad, but it's just not that strong. Now, I'm not a mint fanatic, I'd rather have a less pronounced mint flavour than it overwhelming my senses, but this is just a little too subdued, with a bit more punch this could have been a pretty great cocktail flavoured cake. As it is though, it's just rather bland. The cake itself is nice enough to carry it someway, but I was expecting more cocktail. Oh well, maybe they'll swap it for something else next time.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Today's Review: Costa Caramel Cortado

Costa have expanded their cortado range again lately, with the addition of this caramel variety. The mocha cortado made an appearance last year, and was a pretty good effort, so I was excited to see what this one had in store. If you haven't tried a cortado, it's a tiny coffee. Two shots, topped with a little bit of milk. This one also has caramel swirled into it, as well as caramel crumb, so I assumed it would be sweeter than your regular cortado.

This is definitely a sweet addition to the range. The caramel flavour is pretty thoroughly mixed in, it can be tasted in each sip. The caramel crumb is a fairly good addition, it adds a nice little crunchy texture with an extra burst of flavour. It can, admittedly, get a bit sickly at times due to the extra caramel in the crumb, but on the whole this is a pretty good coffee. Underneath the caramel is a nice intense hit of coffee, mixed in with some good, creamy milk. I still prefer the original cortado, but this is something a little different, it's nice to see the range expanding.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 20 March 2017

Today's Review: Fruit Pastilles Froots

There's a new ice cream on the shelves from Rowntrees. The Fruit Pastilles lollies are a fairly classic fixture nowadays, but I could take them or leave them. These ones looked pretty promising though, layered lollies in orange and blackcurrant flavours. They consist of a fruity coating, lemon and lime ice cream, and a raspberry sorbet centre.

Let's start with the coating. This is where the two distinct flavours lie, and they're very bold and smooth. I'd liken it to the coating of a Solero, very fruity, and they give way to a lovely creamy ice cream. The lemon and lime flavour isn't particularly pronounced, seeing as the flavour of the coating is still around, but it's still noticeable, and adds another fruity layer. The sorbet is probably the best thing here, a rich, smooth raspberry centre that really rounds off a great ice cream. A trio of fruity flavours that's well worth your time.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp

The Big Taste bars came out a while back now, they're massive bars of Dairy Milk that emulate the huge Milka offerings you might find across Europe. now there's been another flavour added to the range in the form of this peanut caramel crisp, which, following on from the Peanut Butter Oreo bar, makes me hopeful of a peanut butter chocolate revolution. This bar consists of Dairy Milk chocolate, peanut filling, caramel, peanuts and crispy pieces. You can pick it up at Sainsbury's for a hefty £3/

Man, this bar is pretty good. It's fantastically peanutty, the peanut filling is lovely and creamy, with a peanut butter like flavour. The caramel adds a nice layer of sweetness, and the peanuts lend a welcome crunchiness and texture. There is, perhaps, a but too much of the filling, as it does get sickly after a little while, but it still tastes pretty great. As for the rice crisp pieces, I didn't really notice them, especially blended in with the peanut chunks. I'm sure they contribute to the overall crunchiness, but I think it would be just as good without them. This is a great, sweet, crunchy bar of Dairy Milk, so track it down and give it a go.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Today's Review: Kopparberg Blueberry & Lime Cider

Kopparberg make some pretty good cider, although it's been a while since I've seen a new one. This blueberry and lime variety comes after that introduction of the Bulmers version last year, but I had faith that this one would be even better. As it stands though, I'm not too sure. It's a good cider, there's no doubt about that, it's just the fruit flavours aren't as pronounced as they are in the Bulmers. There's a lovely underlying blueberry base, and a tartness provided by the lime, and it all kinds of blends together into a satisfying fruity taste. It's refreshing, and very easy to drink, but I think for me the Bulmers beats it by just a little. This is a good effort though.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 17 March 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Caramel Muffins

Caramel Doughnuts have been a part of supermarket bakery sections for a while now, but it looks like Cadbury are branching into muffin territory as well. These are available in both chocolate and caramel varieties, but the chocolate were out of stock, which forced my hand a little. But hey, I was happy enough to try these out. They're muffins with a caramel filling, topped with melted chocolate and caramel shavings. 

These are pretty good. The caramel filling is gooey and sweet, There's a nice thick chocolate layer on top that is nice enough, and lends some of that nice Cadbury taste. As for the sponge, it's pretty nice and soft, although a little on the dry side. There's generally enough of the filling to go around, so while it's not the perfect muffin, it's pretty good. Keep on filling that bakery section, guys.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Today's Review: Spicy Space Raiders

You can't get much for 20p nowadays, but you can get a pack of Space Raiders. What a classic, although they were 10p for around 30 years, and now they're twice that... Inflation, eh? I didn't eat a whole lot of these as a kid, but I dabbled, and I don't remember seeing a spicy version on my travels. What drew me to this packet was the alien with the melted face, presumably because these things are face-meltingly spicy. 

No, not that, these aren't really that spicy. Or flavoursome. They're some pretty lacklustre crisps to be fair. The pickled onion ones are good from what I remember, but this is a pretty feeble attempt at spicy. There's a little bit of heat in there, sure, but the taste doesn't stick around for long, I was just left chowing down on pretty flavourless lumps of corn snack. If I've had these before, there's probably a reason I don't remember them. Go for the pickled onion instead, these just aren't great.

My rating: 2/5