Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Cranberry, Sage & Onion Bread

Not content with peddling festive muffins and cookies, Tesco have now brought out a Christmas themed fresh baked loaf. It appears to be inspired by the good old Christmas roast turkey and its accompaniments, except with bread instead of turkey. So here we have a loaf containing cranberries, alongside sage & onion, like the stuffing. A bit of an odd flavour combination, I thought, but it definitely piqued my interest.

I ate some of this with my dinner a few hours back, and I've been thinking about this ever since, enough so that I've just scarfed down another few slices at 10pm. A risky game for sure, but it's a testament to how tasty this loaf is. The bread itself is a good quality wholemeal affair, a good crust on the outside, giving way to an inside that's slightly dense but soft. The cranberries embedded throughout are lovely and fruity, and I managed to get a taste in every mouthful. The sage and onion are more evenly spread throughout, and while the sage is a little overpowering, it works pretty well with the cranberries to give a nice overall flavour. I was happy that the onions weren't as strong, they're ever present but mild, a good level that doesn't overtake everything else. This is a very decent loaf of bread, it gave me a festive feeling and it's definitely in keeping with the season. Well worth picking up while it's available in the Tesco bakery.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 20 November 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Bits Honey BBQ

Doritos Bits, bits of Doritos. I found these little shot style packets of crisps in B&M, but they're not your regular tortilla chips. These are instead small, twisted crisps, but with a flavour quite befitting the Doritos range, honey BBQ. I must say, it's a pretty good representation of both. There's a sweet undertone of honey, with a nice layer of smokiness on top. It's a unique taste that was odd at first, but grew on me as I made my way through. 

They're also not particularly Dorito-like, they're small and thick, more like crisps than chips, so the flavouring isn't quite as generously spread, but they're small enough for it not to be noticeable. This is a nice presentation of a unique little snack, and an interesting flavour that's well worth trying out if you can pick them up.

My rating: 4/5

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

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Today's Review: Tuc Sweet Chilli

Tuc biscuits are fantastic, we all know that, right? I've tried a few variations on the classic original over the years, mostly from supermarkets throughout Europe, but today I saw this sweet chilli variety in Asda. If you know me, you know I'm a spice fiend, so it's great to see chillies make its way into another food for my tasting pleasure. So, spicy Tuc, does it work?

Yes, yes it does. These are some damn good biscuits. They're the same lovely buttery Tuc at their core, but pretty soon after the first bite the heat begins. The original flavour is noticeable throughout, but the chilli is decent and fairly strong, just not overwhelmingly so. Definitely more of a sweet chilli than any other, it's a great twist on the classic biscuit, and one you should seek out if you're a spice fan. I can't fault them.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Sensations Spice Keralan Curry

We don't get new Sensations flavours all the often, so it was nice to see a new one when I was walking around Tesco yesterday, this one is a spiced Keralan curry, with a nice mixture of coconut and chilli, incorporated with "curry flavour." Now, I can't say I've specifically tried a Keralan curry before, but the internet assures me it's a masala blend, and I have to say, these taste pretty good. There's a nice creamy curry flavour at the base, a lingering heat that isn't particularly strong, but does do the job of building up heat over time. The coconut is a nice addition, thankfully not too overwhelming, but I'd say it's the most predominant flavour in the pack. Still, everything works together very nicely, and this is pretty much a nice, creamy, coconut curry in crisp form. I'll be sure to pick some more of these up, hopefully they'll hang around.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 10 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Millionaire Filled Muffins

While yesterday I tackled the festive fresh baked goods of Tesco, now I've grabbed something from the pre-packaged aisle. Here we have Millionaire Filled Muffins, and unfortunately they're not muffins filled with millionaires, but they are filled with a salted caramel sauce. On top there's a chocolate muffin with chocolate chunks, and it's all crowned with some crumble.

These are some very chocolatey muffins, and they're not bad either. They're a little dry, but the chunks go some way to alleviating that, as well as the sauce in the middle. Unfortunately, it seems to be all caramel and no salt, a lot of people promise salted caramel these days and fail to deliver the goods. Still, a chocolate caramel combination is no bad thing, and these are pretty nice. Also disappointing is the crumble on top, I suppose it's meant to represent the shortbread in the millionaire's, but it doesn't add much to the overall flavour, and is swamped by the chocolate. So a pretty average muffin, I'm sure they could have done a bit better with these, but they'll do for a chocolate fix.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Chocolate Orange Muffins

Festive baked goods are starting to line the shelves, which is never a bad thing. Tesco have their mince pie cookies that have been on offer in previous years, but they also have these chocolate orange muffins, which consists of a lovely looking marbled chocolate and orange muffin, within which lies a mandarin filling, and some chocolate chips for good measure.

That's a good cross-section right there, like the inside of a volcano running deep into a planet made of cake. This is actually a pretty good muffin. It's definitely chocolatey, it's definitely orangey, and the two work together pretty well. The mandarin filling sort of steals the show, it's very bold and sweet with a nice tartness to it, though it is a bit overwhelming, especially in collaboration with the orange sponge. The chocolate muffin and chips go some way to balancing the flavour out, but it doesn't quite reach the right level. A very decent festive offering though, it's a nice soft muffin, and the filling adds a nice moistness that rounds everything off nicely. Definitely a pack of muffins to pick up before the season is over.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Today's Review: Bundaberg Root Beer

I've had my eye on this root beer for a while, it's been available in four packs in Tesco for ages, but never decreased from its £4.50 price point. Thankfully, they've started stocking single bottles now, which, while they're just under £2 each, was a more reasonable price to give this stuff a taste. This one's Australian, while most of the ones I've tried are American, I believe.

I believe the others are American because they're a lot more flavoursome, those artificial flavours and colours make a difference I suppose. Yes, this tastes like root beer, but it's quite subdued. It's more natural tasting, sure, and is something of a cleaner overall beverage, but it's lacking in the hit of flavour I'm used to with root beer. This stuff isn't bad by any means, it's refreshing, and that distinct TCP-like root beer taste is undeniable. But I'm not sure I'd choose this over the other brands I've tried. I'm in it for the bold taste, and this doesn't quite deliver.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Today's Review: Costa Billionaire's Latte

The Christmas drinks have arrived, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this new latte from Costa, based on the oh so wonderful Billionaire's Shortbread. This is one you'll want to stir up, as it features layers of chocolate and caramel sauce, on top of which is a "mocha blend", topped with cream and shortbread pieces.

The sauces are laid on pretty thick at the bottom but after I mixed it up it looked pretty well incorporated. The flavours are present in the drink, the caramel at the forefront, and the chocolate just sort of... there. In all honesty, it just tastes pretty much like a caramel latte, just with a bit of chocolate chucked in. I don't see how the coffee is much of a mocha blend, there's not nearly as much chocolate as I figured there would be. I mean, that's not a bad thing, the chocolate layer in a Billionaire's Shortbread isn't meant to be overwhelming. But the shortbread here is very unrepresented. Just a smattering of crumbs on top of the cream, they don't even make their way into the coffee, and I doubt mixing them in would do much for the flavour. This really needs some kind of shortbread incorporated into the drink for the full experience, but as it is it's just a pretty okay chocolatey caramel latte. Not the best Christmas effort.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 6 November 2017

Today's Review: M&S Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter & Caramel Chunkies

Apologies for the overexposed picture, I took it in the low low light of the cinema. Now, I'm not one to frequent M&S, but it seems like I should probably start. I mean, just look at these things. They don't even have a fancy name to make them sound great, because they sound great as is. They have peanut butter, they have caramel, they have chocolate, and they're... chunky. A combination that cannot fail, surely?

These are certainly chunky, and they're also chocolatey, with caramel and peanut butter. So you know, they do exactly as they say on the packet. These are damn good, all the elements work together wonderfully and are distinctly noticeable. There's a generous peanut butter centre, with a smooth, silky caramel layered on top. The chocolate provides a nice thick coating, wrapping up an extremely decadent bite. There's a lot going on, and while they do get quite sickly, they're not as over the top as they seem. A great combination of sweet treats that you should definitely try out.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Today's Review: Galaxy Mocha Latte

Why have a hot chocolate when you can have a mocha? It's pretty much the same but with that extra caffeine kick. It seems Mars have picked up on this, as you can now grab a tin of instant Galaxy mocha latte, containing "chocolate pieces and coffee". Just pop a few teaspoons into a cup of hot milk, stir it up and you're good to go. But at what cost? Is this stuff as amazing as it looks?

Well, first of all, I couldn't get that little frothy top on show up there, but I'll attribute that to the fact that I don't own one of those fancy milk whisks, and had to rely on a humble teaspoon. But, given a hot enough milk and a decent stirring speed, I at least got the stuff reasonably mixed in. I must say, it's not bad. It's a nice, creamy hot chocolate, likely helped along by the milk. But it's sweet, and while the coffee is noticeable, the bitterness isn't too apparent. I don't know how much that speaks for the effectiveness of the coffee itself, but I can't say I got much of a buzz from drinking this. Still, it's a little refreshing, the mix of caffeine and sugar must do something. I wouldn't say it's the ultimate mocha, but it's a pretty good effort from an instant powder.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Today's Review: Virgil's Black Cherry Cream Soda

It's not a particularly regular occurrence, but when Tesco switch up their American food section it's nice to see something new and unique on offer. Here we have a bottle of black cherry cream soda, very sophisticated compared to the cheap cans you normally pick up at corner shops. I was pretty excited to try out a more upmarket cream soda, the flavouring was just a cherry on top, so to speak.

I was hoping this wouldn't be too much to handle in one go, but I must say this stuff is pretty good. The cream soda at the heart of it all is lovely and sweet, and more refreshing than any I've tried before. It would perhaps be a little too sweet, but thankfully the cherry is there to add an element of tartness that balances it all out. It's not the most natural cherry flavour, but it's in keeping with the sweet nature of the soda. This is a pretty great and unique concoction, and I'm hoping to pick some more up while I can still find it. There's also a root beer on offer, so I'll be getting some of that too. Check this stuff out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 3 November 2017

Today's Review: Chocolate Peanut Butter Twinkies

For the immense status that Twinkies have garnered for themselves, I always find myself disappointed when I try them. The cake is so-so, the cream is generally underwhelming. I thought it might change when I spied this different concoction containing chocolate sponge and a peanut butter filling. After all, peanut butter makes everything better, and the box assured me these contained the real stuff. So can putting peanut butter in my chocolate make Twinkies a new favourite?

The short answer is no. These aren't great. The chocolate sponge is marginally better than the regular stuff I suppose, but it's still fairly dry, and not all that flavoursome. Some chocolate taste to be experienced, but not a great one. As for the filling, it may contain real peanut butter, but it's not clear exactly how much peanut butter is there, and I'm gonna say it's not a lot. The cream has a pretty faint peanut flavour, but is mostly just an overly sweet cream that doesn't add much to the proceedings. These had so much potential, but every part of it is just underwhelming. Edible, sure, but not worth paying import prices for.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Irish Coffee Milkshake

It's time for another limited edition Frijj, and this one promises the sweet sweet taste of Irish coffee. So basically like Baileys but without saying Baileys, I guess. It seems a good fit, a creamy liqueur in the form of a creamy milkshake, and it's actually pulled off pretty well. It has that classic thick Frijj texture, couple with a great creamy flavour with hints of coffee. Not so much the alcohol side unfortunately, but it's a nice creamy, tasty shake, and it definitely make me think of Baileys as I was drinking. So while it's not perfect, it's a good, unique choice for a shake flavour that's pulled off well. A lot better than their white chocolate & pistachio anyway.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Today's Review: American Diner Inspired Müller Corner

Ah, the classic Müller Corner, what a realm of possibilities you can choose from just by sticking a corner bit on your yoghurt pot. This time we have some American diner inspired goodies to mix in, in the form of cookie pieces and brownie pieces. Sounded pretty good to me, those are some pretty solid desserts.

Let's start with the cookie pieces. They're very small and cute, and they also come in chocolate and vanilla versions. They're pretty good, a nice crunchy cookie with almost a shortbread-like texture, and the flavours come through quite nicely. Not the best quality cookies I've had, they can be a bit grainy, but they work for the most part. The brownie pieces are pretty good too, a little on the crunchy side, but there's a bit of chewiness in there, and the chocolate flavouring does a pretty good job. 

However, it's all let down a little by the yoghurt. It's just vanilla flavoured, in both cases. I get that they probably wanted to keep the yoghurt neutral so they could showcase the pieces in the corner, but I feel they could have done something in keeping with the American diner theme. Not that I have any bright ideas myself, but it seems like there could be something so much more than vanilla in these. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much, but I know Müller can pull out some fairly decent flavoured yoghurts, so I was just optimistic. These are still worth a try though, some good biscuit and brownie pieces swirled into yoghurt, even if the latter is somewhat bland.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Today's Review: The Snaffling Pig Co. Ham & Colman's Mustard Pork Crackling

I've grown partial to a bit of pork crunch lately, although I'm still a bit on the fence with the whole pork scratching thing, they're a bit tooth-breakingly hard. Here we have a bag of pork crackling, which I guess sits somewhere in the middle of the scale. This one's a little different, it's flavoured with ham and Colman's mustard, which promised to give it a bit of spice, and some meatiness, instead of fattiness I suppose. 

I thought I'd get on with this stuff, but the truth is it's pretty gross. It does exist in the realm between scratching and crunch, but not in a good way. Some parts of this stuff are solid, while others give way easily to a lump of cold grease. I'm not sure if those are pockets of flavour or what, but I couldn't really identify the mustard all that well, there was a bit of spice but it was overwhelmed by the moist fat pockets that seem to be spread throughout. Not a great bag at all, I think I'll stick to the more traditional stuff.

My rating: 0/5

Monday, 30 October 2017

Today's Review: Manomasa Serrano Chilli & Yucatan Honey Tortilla Chips

I've tried a couple of flavours of these Manomasa tortilla chips, but apparently I've yet to review any. That changes now, after I found this new and interesting sounding variety in Asda. The chilli is a regular flavour occurrence in chips, but honey is a new one to me. I was promised sweet and spicy, and hoping that these would deliver.

Despite saying Serrano chilli on the front, apparently these also contain Scotch Bonnets, which makes sense, because these are some very hot chips. I love a bit of spice, and often find myself disappointed with the level of heat, but these deliver, giving a tongue tingling burn that lasts for quite a while. In fact, while often I can't make out much chilli when it's mixed with other flavours, these ones had the opposite effect. The honey wasn't really there, just the intense heat, and it only came out as I made my way through a few chips. When it did though, it was a lovely sweet undertone that took the edge off the chilli, but there was enough to provide a lingering spice that really is satisfying (or horrific if you're not a chilli fan). Coupled with the great quality of the chips themselves, this is a great bag with a unique flavour, and one I'll be picking up again. It's a little off in the flavour balance, but if you're after a bit of heat these are the ones for you.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Today's Review: X-Treme Ketchup & Mustard: Lemon Candy

I have returned from my travels, and while I didn't venture far from the hotel on this holiday, I managed to pick up a few things from the nearest supermarket. Here's a quick review concerning this bottle of "mustard" I grabbed on a whim. As you can probably tell, it's one of those novelty squirty candy things, and the "X-Treme" name implied it was meant to be very sour.

I spent more time trying to get the foil lid off this than I did eating it. It's pretty vile. The taste is a barely passable lemon, and it's sufficiently tart I suppose. But the consistency, it's a thick gel that just isn't good at all, it hangs around too long on the tongue, which allows the initial slightly bearable flavour to give way to an acidic tasteless mess. So if you find yourself in a Spanish supermarket looking for a sweet treat, don't get this one.

My rating: 1/5

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Today's Review: Breakfast Buddy S'mores Crunch

I do love an cheap brand American cereal, as you can actually pick them up for a decent price on import. I picked up this S'mores cereal in Sainsbury's for £2.50, and seeing as I love making s'mores (whenever I can find proper graham crackers), I was hoping it would translate well into cereal form. With this box you can pour yourself a bowl of chocolate and cracker cereal and tiny marshmallows.

Unfortunately, each part of this tastes quite off-brand. I was hoping for the delicious honey taste of Golden Grahams, and while there's a little hint in these pieces, they're pretty lacklustre. The marshmallows are fairly hard, although they soften up once the milk is in the bowl. The chocolate balls are alright, probably the most predominant part, but they're not particularly flavoursome. Mixed together they don't really taste like s'mores, but they do alright for an indulgent sweet cereal. I won't be buying them again though.

My rating: 2/5

Friday, 27 October 2017

Today's Review: Magnum Caramel Crunch & Sea Salt Chocolate

Here's another variety of Magnum chocolate I'd yet to try, and it sounded a lot more interesting than the orange one. This is caramel crunch & sea salt, which basically equates to salted caramel, right? Well, unlike most salted caramel flavoured things I've tried, this one actually tastes salty. It's really good, especially mixed with the creamy chocolate, and the caramel is smooth and present throughout, with a nice little crunch to bring out the flavour. A pretty perfect bar of chocolate, it didn't last long. I'd say this is probably the best of the Magnum chocolates I've had.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Today's Review: Chocolate Buddy Peanut Butter Cups

Here's another treat I picked up from the world foods section at Sainsbury's, some peanut butter cups that aren't Reese's, and for only 50p a pack! I wasn't expecting much from these, but they promised some praline in the chocolate, so I was interested to see how that worked out. Turns out it's a pretty sweet peanut butter cup. The chocolate is thick, with a creamy, sweet praline flavour. I'd say it's actually better than the chocolate in a Reese's cup, but unfortunately the peanut butter isn't quite up to scratch. It's nice enough, a bit crunchy and salty, but it's not the best I've had. It all evens out to a fair contender to the Reese's throne, and they're worth trying out if you want something a little different in your peanut butter cup.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Today's Review: Magnum Orange Chocolate

I know my reviews over the last few days have been short, but I'm out of the country, so these are just some reviews I've set up to publish throughout the week. So bear with me and I'll come back to you with some more goodies next week. 

I found a couple of varieties of Magnum chocolate I hadn't yet tried in B&M, and this orange once seemed like it would be pretty great. I wouldn't say the Magnum chocolate quite reaches the heights of Dairy Milk or Galaxy, but we all know that the outside of a Magnum is pretty great. This chocolate is no exception, it's smooth and creamy, and the orange flavouring is mixed in pretty well. It's a nice fruity hint that isn't too strong, and while it's not spectacularly authentic, this does make for a good bar of chocolate. A good addition to the range.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Today's Review: Good Health Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

Here's an interesting little snack I picked up from the world food aisle at Sainsbury's, little pretzel pockets with a filling of peanut butter. I was expecting to be disappointed by some dry cases filled with sub-par peanut butter, but it turns out these are actually really good. The pretzel shells are nice and crunchy, not too dry, and there's a plentiful sprinkling of salt that really brings out all the flavour. The peanut butter presents itself in nice thick splodges inside, creamy yet substantial, and a truly clean, healthy tasting peanut butter. These are really moreish, and it didn't take long before I finished off the whole packet. I don't regret it though, these are well worth scoffing.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 23 October 2017

Today's Review: Oasis Zero Summer Fruits


The Zero train keeps on rolling, diet drinks for all! Now you can get your zero calorie fix in still form, with this lovely light blue labelled Oasis. Well, there are a few calories, but apparently they can still say there are no calories. So how does Oasis fare without the sugar? Well, it's not great. The summer fruits flavour is there in essence, but merely an essence, it's mostly water with some sweetener thrown in, and the fruitiness is pretty dull and unappealing. I'd say this isn't worth it unless you're really watching your calorie intake, and even then you're better off with a Coke Zero or other fizzy number. Not a great effort.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Today's Review: Jacob's Cracker Crisps Roast Lamb, Rosemary & Mint

I tried out the Jacob's roast beef Cracker Crisps last month, and found them much to my liking. Turns out they weren't done with the festive season though, as we have this roast lamb, rosemary and mint flavour. I can't say I was keen on having mint in my crisps, but I had faith after the last one turned out so well. Lo and behold, these taste like lamb, and like good lamb. A bold, meaty flavour that lasts throughout, paired with a great herby rosemary that doesn't overwhelm. The mint is subtle but effective, not strong, but enough to give that nice mint sauce effect. Everything comes together very nicely into a great roast dinner experience. Cracker Crisps are great at layering on the flavouring, and these are no exception, delicious to the bottom of the bag, and hard to stop eating apparently.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Today's Review: Fruit Salad Sour Softies

I found this bag of sweets in Asda the other day, and was surprised I hadn't tried them yet. I don't know how long they've been out, but they seem to have slipped under my radar. In the same vein of the amazing Squashies, these Softies are a soft, chewy version of the classic Fruit Salad sweets, and this bag introduces a sour element. They only come in two flavours, but hey, sometimes less is more. You have the classic raspberry & pineapple, as well as blackcurrant & lime. Both sweets taste like their real life fruity counterparts, and the classic flavour are particularly reminiscent of the chewy sweets. The sour element is present, not particularly strong, but there's a certain tang to them that's pretty good. The texture of these isn't quite as good as the Squashies, they're slightly more chewy, but still a good bag of sweets. Definitely worth checking out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 20 October 2017

Today's Review: Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza Bianca Deliciosa

I was recently sent a voucher to try out this new limited edition Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizza. I'm partial to a Ristorante anyway, so I was happy to oblige. I'm a big fan of the pollo variety, among others, but this one sounded particularly great. It's a bacon and onion pizza, with mozzarella and edam cheeses, but with white sauce on the base instead of tomato. Intriguing, and well worth picking up. But how does it taste?

Pretty amazing actually. The bacon pieces are small, but juicy, and combine well with the onion. Less is more with these toppings, there's less distraction from the goodness underneath. It's a great combination of cheeses, and the white sauce rounds it all off with a fantastic creaminess, making this one delicious pizza. Apparently white sauce pizzas are on the rise, and I'd say it's a trend I'm looking forward to seeing more of. In the meantime, pick up this pizza while it's still around, it's really good. You can grab it from Asda, Sainsbury's and Ocado, and I highly suggest you do.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Gruesome Muffins

It seems a while since Tesco brought out some unique baked goods, but Halloween is just around the corner, and Tesco have responded in fashion with these disgusting looking green muffins. Don't be fooled by the colour though, these muffins are toffee flavoured, and disguise a centre of sour apple, making it quite the fitting flavour for the autumn months. 

I wasn't too sure how these were going to work out, what with them being green and all, but I was pleasantly surprised. The sponge is nice and moist, and while it's perhaps a little too squidgy, it packs a good toffee flavour. As you can see from the picture, the filling is pretty plentiful, and it's got a nice tang to it, with a definite taste of apple. It blends in nicely with the sponge, creating a sour toffee apple flavour that, while a little sickly at times, is a pretty unique combination for a muffin. These are pulled off quite well, and it seems they'll probably only be around for a couple more weeks, so it's worth picking these up from the bakery.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Today's Review: Hunger Breaks Mixed Grill In A Can

You may know that occasionally I'll hunt down the most abhorrent looking food I can find during a shop. Why do I do this to myself? Well, partly because it's nice to be able to warn you in case you were ever thinking of picking up such delights as this mixed grill in a can, and partly because it's nice to write about something that isn't "really good" or "pretty good". Sometimes it's just nice to tear something apart, because, let's face it, no one, not even those who made it, thought that this was a good idea.

Just look at it! What even is that? Well, let me enlighten you. While the can clearly lies about it being a "delicious mix", it does assure me that the stuff on that plate is a combination of beans, diced potatoes, sausage, chicken nuggets and lamb chop. Yes, a lamb chop in a can, what a time to be alive. To be fair, the beans are alright, passable as far as beans go. The potatoes are just mushy and have a weird taste, and so does the meat to be honest. The chicken nuggets don't change in colour or consistency throughout, and taste how I imagine those meaty chunks in dog food taste. The sausage just sort of squidged apart in my mouth, it's hard to tell whether it's processed meat or water with a little bit of fat mixed in. The lamb chop was the most interesting, I was wondering how they got one into a can, but then I realised they did it by not making it resemble a lamb chop in any way. Dubious meat in a chicken dipper shape, with a vague yet horrifying hint of lamb-like flavour. 

You may have gathered just from the title, but don't buy this. If you ever find yourself considering picking up a mixed grill in a can, I'm not sure anything can save you. This just provides solid evidence for the fact that if you're putting your meat in a tin, you're doing it wrong.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Today's Review: Mentos Sour Pop Ins

Here's a wackily designed packet of Mentos I found in the world foods aisle of Sainsbury's. They're Pop Ins, and the text is placed into a large cartoon mouth, so I can only assume they're for popping in your mouth. These ones are sour, and while I know sour Mentos are a thing, I'm not sure I'd tried them before.

Well, now I have, and they're alright. These ones only come in four flavours, there's blueberry, apple, orange and lime, with the lime one being yellow, because green is already taken... Anyway, these are pretty much regular Mentos. They're a bit sour, but I was expecting a lot more. The fruit flavours are authentic enough, but it takes a lot of effort to chew down to the point where the sourness comes through. So yeah, I'm disappointed, but these are still worth a go for the Mentos fans. Something a little different.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 16 October 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Crinkle Cut Four Cheese Crisps

Tesco may be revelling in the oddity that is their candy cane crisps, but they also have some more traditional offerings for the festive season. Here we have some crinkle cut crisps flavoured with not one, but four cheeses. The more cheese the better, I say, so I was pretty excited to find these contain cheddar, Wensleydale, Stilton and Camembert. They're actually pretty impressive too, creamy, cheesy crisps that are packed with flavour. The cheeses are a little at odds with each other, the Wensleydale and cheddar are sometimes lost, but the Stilton and Camembert flavours are bold and authentic, and make for a a different and effective bag of cheese crisps. Well worth picking up for the coming months.

My rating: 4/5 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Today's Review: B&M American Style Hot Dog Kit

B&M has a fair amount of questionable food items lining its shelves (I have a particular tinned treat I'm trying to hold off experiencing). I thought I was out of the woods after the first couple of rows and yet, on the other side of the store from the food aisles I found that the fun wasn't over. Sitting amongst the Christmas decorations was a stand in the middle of the floor, boasting these hot dog kits. Now, I'm normally used to seeing hot dogs in the refrigerated sections, or packed into dubious cans elsewhere. But never before have I seen them in blister packs alongside buns and sachets of sauce. I guess this is one for all you budding survivalists to put in your bunker, as long as the apocalypse is going to happen in the next few months anyway. The instructions are simple. Snip the end off the hot dog packet, blitz them for 15 seconds, stick them in the buns and microwave for a further 30. There's no more convenient way to get your hot dog fix, but is it worth it?

Here they are in all their glory(?) Notice that weathered look on the buns, like the dry, chapped and dusty hands of a manual labourer. I'm imagining they don't taste dissimilar either. The buns were so dry that one of them snapped as I attempted to put the hot dog in it. Once they were blitzed I suppose they weren't awful, but by no means is this nice bread. The hot dogs aren't great either, but at least they're not slop. There's some semblance of meat in there, and overall I'd say these are simply barely passable hot dogs, rather than the gastronomical punishment I was expecting. They're helped along by the nice little Heinz sachets too, to cover up the disappointment of what lies beneath. So if you're desperate for a hot dog and this is the only option, its not going to kill you. But it's not enjoyable either.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Chopped Nut

How do you like your nuts? If your answer wasn't "whole" you were out of luck as fair as Dairy Milk bars were concerned. But now there's another choice, in the form of this chopped nut bar. Following in the footsteps of the chopped fruit and nut that came out last year, this is pretty much the same, but without the fruit. But are whole nuts really that much of a problem? Or are Cadbury just chopping up their nuts so they can shove smaller pieces throughout a noticeably thinner bar of chocolate?

As you can see in the picture, I either have gigantic hands, or this bar is pretty small (hint: it's the latter). So yes, it's a small bar. But does the chopped nut give it an advantage? Let's ignore the fact that the packaging clearly shows the nut being delivered blunt force trauma via hammer rather than being chopped, and just say that no, it's not better. In fact, I think it suffers for it. The nut is spread throughout, sure, but the pieces are so small that the flavour isn't particularly noticeable. There's a slight nutty undertone, but it's mostly just chocolate with a bit of texture thrown in. At least with the whole nuts you get that definite hit of flavour, this one just has some crunchy bits that are nut-like. Still, the chocolate isn't bad, so it's not all for nothing. I just doubt I'll ever pick this up again.

My rating: 2/5 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Today's Review: Rustlers Gourmet BBQ Burger

You may think "gourmet" and "Rustlers" can't go together in the same sentence, but apparently you'd be wrong. Yes, there's a new range of microwaveable burgers that promise that gourmet experience, with only the finest ingredients, probably. I opted for this BBQ burger, which is served up in a brioche bun. It comes complete with streaky bacon, crispy onions and a smokey BBQ sauce. Just pop it in the microwave for a little over a minute and tuck into some fine dining.

Look at that gourmet goodness. You know, it turns out that when you're dealing with microwaveable burger buns, the difference between regular and brioche isn't that noticeable. I mean sure, this is a little smoother and sweeter, but it's still not a great bun. The burger is your regular Rustlers fare, a passable slab of meat that provides a quick hunger fix, and the cheese is just a slice of processed goodness. As for the other ingredients, they're not bad. The sauce is actually pretty good, nice and smokey, and there's a good amount of it to provide an even coverage. The crispy onions are a pretty good touch too, not the finest you'll find, but they elevate this burger above being completely mediocre. I would by no means call this a gourmet offering, but it's not bad.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Today's Review: Kit Kat Bites White Chocolate

I was exasperated when Kit Kat Bites replaced the awesome Pop Choc, although that aggravation soon faded when they brought out the peanut butter ones. Now we have another variety, this time in the form of white chocolate. I feel white chocolate doesn't get the love it deserves, so it's nice to see a classic chocolate bar covered in the stuff. We know Nestlé can do white chocolate after all, just look at Milkybar. Thankfully, the same stuff is used here, it's light and creamy, and it tastes awesome. Combined with the Kit Kat wafer, it's pretty perfect. The bitesize pieces make for more surface area for the chocolate to cling to as well, making these particularly creamy and lovely. I'm not sure I could choose between these and the peanut butter, they're both pretty amazing. Let's hope more Kit Kat Bites are on the way, they've certainly redeemed themselves in my eyes.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Today's Review: Salted Caramel Matchmakers

Matchmakers are filling up the festive aisles once again, but this year there's a new flavour in town. Move aside mint, salted caramel is coming through. I thought the salted caramel trend was dying down a bit, but it's nice to see more stuff tackling it, especially if they do it right. Thankfully, this is one of those times. I wasn't entirely sure how much I was enjoying these as I made my way through them, but it turns out it was quite a lot, because before I knew it the whole box had gone. Oops.

This is one of those salted caramel products that actually tastes like it has salt in it. Combined with the classic brittle Matchmakers chocolate, it's a sweet, smooth flavour, with a nice salty hint that goes well with the crunch contained within. I'm not overly keen on Matchmakers in general, but these ones are probably my favourite. It's not a perfect flavouring, the salted caramel does fade at times, but on the whole it's a good effort, and a very moreish one. Keep an eye out for these, they might not be around for long.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Today's Review: Mokate French Macaroons Instant Latte

I'm sitting here bathing in the afterglow of my KFC Double Down review, and I figured I'd whip up a coffee with this interesting little bag of instant latte stuff I picked up in Poundworld. It tastes like French macaroons, apparently, although sipping it while writing up my last review, I'm not convinced. I normally write these things on the day they're posted, and I'm normally quite good at remembering how things tasted. But I thought I'd scribble this one down while the taste is still fresh on my tongue.

This stuff is horrible. I should probably have expected that from the fact that it pretty much consists of sugar and flavourings, but I figured it would at least taste a little bit nice. It's as if they've attempted to emulate some kind of nutty, coconut flavour, but run out of money and just gone with the first one they found. The result is a bitter, barely milky, disappointingly flat coffee drink that's neither tasty or refreshing. The after taste is bad, and the initial taste is worse. I would have said it's handy that it comes with its own scoop so you can measure out the powder, but I resent anything that actually encourages me to make up this drink. Vile stuff, don't waste your time.

My rating: 0/5

Monday, 9 October 2017

Today's Review: KFC Double Down

It's here, it's finally here! I know I said that yesterday about the dairy free Ben & Jerry's, but I'd only been waiting for that for a couple of months, whereas I've been longing for a double down for seven years. But now, the legendary "burger" has made its way to the UK, for all to enjoy (or vilify, depending on your stance). If you don't know what the Double Down is, and you didn't guess from that picture up there, let me enlighten you. It's a burger where the buns are replaced with chicken fillets. So we have two pieces of boneless Original Recipe chicken, in the middle of which resides cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce. You're either disgusted or drooling right now, so let's push on with the review.

For all the hype this received about being the height of disgraceful burger decadence, I don't see what all the fuss is about. KFC have brought out burgers containing two chicken fillets before, and this is essentially that but without the bun. Therefore it's healthier, less carbs, more protein, and a good amount of fat too. I was worried that after this long a wait I would be somewhat disappointed by the taste, but I have to say this does a pretty great job. The fillets are great, a nice chunky offering with that signature skin, and there's a good amount of cheese plastered inside. It seems to be a different kind of cheese, somewhat more authentic and creamier, and the addition of bacon really pulls it all together, it's a meaty, cheesy delight. On top of that is some amazing smoky BBQ sauce, making this a messy yet satisfying "burger". Maybe it was just the lack of bun that pulled the focus more to the meat, but this tasted different to any other KFC burger I've had. The Double Down has been a long time coming over here, and I'll be grabbing some more in the short six weeks that it's available. I suggest you do too.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Dairy Free Peanut Butter & Cookies

They're here, they're finally here! I know there's been a lot of excitement about the dairy free Ben & Jerry's, and I have to say that despite the fact that I'm not vegan, I was very intrigued to see how these turned out. Yes, the regular Ben & Jerry's ice cream has been replace with an almond alternative, which is also reflected in the absence of those famous cows from the packaging, and their replacement by these giant sketchy almonds. 

There are a few flavours to choose from here, including chocolate fudge brownie and chunky monkey, but the former was already sold out, and the latter didn't tickle my fancy as much as this peanut butter & cookies tub. For something that is non-dairy, they sure do chuck in a lot of elements that are regularly associated with dairy. Ice cream, peanut butter, and chocolate cookies, all vegan, and all in this tub. Let's see how that works out.

Let's start with the ice cream, as that's the most glaringly obvious thing that would perhaps suffer from the lack of dairy. I must say, it's not particularly fantastic, but it does a fair job. It's a little watery, but the texture is pretty good, and it does still feel like eating ice cream. The peanut swirls are really good, I managed to get some in every spoonful, although that made it hard to tell whether the nuttiness was coming from the ice cream or the swirls. Either way, it's a very nutty tub, and I'd be interested to see how much of the almond flavour creeps into the other varieties. The sandwich cookies are extremely plentiful, sizeable chunks that can be found all over the place. They're a little crumbly, but they do add a nice chocolatey hint overall. I'd say compared to the dairy Ben & Jerry's, this tub was absolutely crammed with chunks and pieces, and that was fine by me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, but the ice cream kings have done it again. Vegans and the lactose intolerants rejoice, and everyone else might want to try it out as well.

My rating: 4/5