Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Today's Review: Moon Pie Salted Caramel

I reviewed the Moon Pie almost two years ago now, and found it to be pretty bland and dry. I don't know who else shares my opinion, but apparently enough people like them for them to have been around for 100 years now. I'm not sure if this is a new flavour release to coincide with that anniversary, but I found myself a salted caramel Moon Pie, and I find it hard to turn down anything that promises salted caramel. 

I said in my previous review that one of the saving graces of the Moon Pie was the chocolate coating. But here we have a salted caramel flavoured coating, and it's not great. It seems to be devoid of saltiness, and the caramel part is just too sweet and artificial. There's no gooey caramel thrown in for good measure either, so the biscuit in the middle is as bland and dry as always. The marshmallow is on hand to add a little something nice, but overall this is one disappointing pie. 100 years of Moon Pies has culminated in this. I don't think I'll be buying any more.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Today's Review: Dr. Pepper Gummy Soda Bottles

Cola bottles. What a classic sweet. Available in pure gummy or sour form, and even extending to the cherry cola bottle. But what if I don't want a cola bottle? What if I'm more of a Dr. Pepper man? Thankfully my prayers were answered, but I had to pay import prices for it. Here's a bag of Dr. Pepper flavoured gummy bottles I picked up in a newsagent. 

Not much more I can do to describe these, they're like cola bottles, but they taste like Dr. Pepper. Well, that's the theory anyway. In practice it's not exactly flawless. There is a hint of that Dr. Pepper flavour, especially if you pop a few bottles in at the time, but it's short lived, and soon enough gives way to that bland, flavourless gummy taste. It's hard to tell if the actual Dr. Pepper flavour is authentic, and it doesn't hang around for too long.I suppose it's not bad, and reminiscent of the drink, but I can't help but feel disappointed. A bland bag of bottles, I'll go elsewhere for my Dr. Pepper fix.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 18 September 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Honeycomb Mini Rolls

I do like it when a limited edition Mini Roll hits the shelves, although they haven't all proved to be winners. Here we have a honeycomb flavour, but will it sit alongside the raspberry ripples or the blackcurrant bites? This Mini Roll contains a honeycomb flavour filling, and a "pale orange sponge". I mean, I would have just said it was orange, is there another one out there with dark orange?

Whenever I eat something flavoured like honeycomb, I'm always expecting some kind of crunch, you know, like a Crunchie. Sadly, there's none of that here, but I can't mark it down too much because that's just my unrealistic expectations. I can mark it down for its somewhat sickly filling though. It tastes a bit like honeycomb, sure, but it's a bit too overwhelming and not entirely authentic. The sponge is alright, doesn't really have an overall bearing on the flavour, but it's there. When all is said and done (or eaten and done), I'm just left with a sort of sickly sweet aftertaste that's reminiscent of honey. It's an alright experience while chowing down, but I won't rank it highly against other, more balanced Mini Rolls. The back of this pack says there's also a hazelnut variety out, so I guess my next mission is to hunt that down. Hopefully that will be nicer.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Crispy Thins With Chilli Cheese

Thin foods are all the rage at the moment. Crisps, biscuits, they're all getting thinner in the hopes to appeal to the healthy crowd. Mini Cheddars are also undergoing this transformation, although I was under the impression that Mini Cheddars were fairly thin to begin with. Still, these ones promised a bit of chilli cheese thrown in, so I was sold. I was just wondering exactly how thin these would be...

Well, there's your answer. I wouldn't say these are exactly slimmer, but clearly they've slimmed down a little, now they're nice and oval, svelte some may say. So yes, there's less Mini Cheddar for your bite, which I guess makes them slightly healthier calorie wise, but how do they taste? I must say, they're pretty great. The classic cheddar flavour is still present, but there's an extra layer of cheese on top, which packs a decent kick from a lovely hint of chilli. The combination of cheeses takes a little getting used to, but as I say, there's no such thing as too much cheese. This is a very decent flavour, I would say I wish they'd release it in regular Mini Cheddar form, but these really aren't much different. Slightly slimmer, slightly thinner, but still with good flavour.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Today's Review: Baxters Spicy Slaw

I do love a bit of coleslaw, and while I would normally pick it up from the fresh aisle, this jar of slaw amongst the sauces and pickles caught my eye. It's a spicy slaw in a jar, which forgoes the mayonnaise for vinegar, mustard seeds and chillies. I figured I'd give it a go to see if it would spice up my lunches, and I'm happy to say that it does. It's nor quite as satisfying as fresh coleslaw, but it's a very decent effort for a topping in a jar. The vegetables are nice and crunchy, and the heat is at a nice level. It could do with being a bit spicier, but there's enough to provide a mellow warmth through whatever you shovel this stuff on top of. It's great in sandwiches, wraps, pretty much anything I've forked it on so far. A very decent spicy slaw, and good for storing in your cupboard in case of a coleslaw emergency.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 15 September 2017

Today's Review: Jacobs Cracker Crisps Roast Beef, Red Wine & Shallot

I told myself I'd step back a little from the festive foods lining the shelves, if only because I've already tried most of them. So I'll wait a while for products to release (and hopefully go on offer) before I bombard you with Christmas fare, but these new Cracker Crisps could not escape my grasp. I mean, they're not specifically a Christmas flavour, although they're quite reminiscent of a meal you might sit down and eat in the winter months. Here we have the Cracker Crisp attempt at a beef flavour, although they've stepped it up a notch with the inclusion of red wine and shallot. Very fancy, but how does it convert to crisp form?

I have to say, for someone who doesn't generally like beef crisps, these are absolutely delicious. Munching through these I felt like Violet Beauregarde chewing on that dinner gum. These crisps taste just like a roast dinner! Not with all the trimmings, but with all the flavour of a well seasoned joint of beef. The meaty taste is ever present, but subtle enough to be pretty authentic, not like the overwhelming crisps you'd find in say a Walkers pack. The wine is on hand to add a dark, slightly sweet layer on top, which is nicely rounded off with a sweet kick of shallot, a slight oniony taste that pairs very well with all the other flavours. This is a pretty fantastic bag of Cracker Crisps, another one in the range that I highly recommend. I hope Jacobs bring more of these limited edition flavours out, they've all been pretty fantastic so far.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Today's Review: Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

I thought salted caramel was ubiquitous enough already, but apparently it won't stop until it's in all our foods. Here we have some salted caramel Kettle Chips. Yes, salted caramel crisps, with a bit of double cream thrown in for good measure. Now, these aren't the first sweet crisps to have hit the market, Tesco brought out a cocoa and spiced rum for Christmas last year. But these looked to be particularly sweet and decadent, and to be honest I couldn't wait to try them out.

I often bemoan the lack of salt in many salted caramel products, but the opposite is true here. I can understand why there's be a larger amount of salt, these are crisps after all, so they're pretty much like salted Kettle Chips, with some sweet flavours. The caramel is pretty authentic, a nice sweet kick, although it doesn't last too long and the salt soon wins out. As for the double cream, I can't say it was very noticeable. There's maybe a slight creaminess contained in the sweet flavouring, but it's easily mistaken for the caramel, and it's all so short lived it was hard to differentiate. These crisps are a decent, unique idea, and they're not as awful as they may sound. They're just quite imbalanced, and could do with being more sweet, as wrong as that sounds. Let's see if these pave the way for some more sweet crisp flavours in the future.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Sweet Potato Crisps With Sea Salt And Balsamic Vinegar

Sweet potatoes are just better than regular potatoes. There, I said it. I'll always swap chips for sweet potato fries, and although sweet potato crisps are generally a lot more expensive, I do love to shove a bag in my face. They're starting to become more common though, so hopefully the price will come down a little. Here's Tesco's latest offering, which is not only a bag of sweet potato crisps, but a salt and vinegar bag of sweet potato crisps. That's two of my favourite crisp types rolled into one.

One thing I really love about sweet potato crisps is that nice thick texture, that slightly greasy combination of crunchy and soft that's packed with that natural sweet potato flavour. Tesco don't disappoint here, these are some well formed crisps that pack a lovely crunch. The salt and vinegar flavouring is pretty great too, an authentic coating that has a nice caustic taste, it's pretty similar to the stuff they use on the regular Finest crisps. It is quite a bit more subdued due to the natural flavour of the crisps themselves, but thankfully enough shines through for this to be a very enjoyable bag. I hope more flavours are on the horizon for these crisps.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Today's Review: KFC Nashville Hot Burger

It's time for the third Southern Legends burger, around for two weeks only at KFC, it's the Nashville Hot. After being quite disappointed by the Alabama Cheese last time I was quite looking forward to this one, especially after the Nashville Hot chicken came out earlier this year. Unfortunately this burger has a piece of Original Recipe chicken instead of the revamped one, but it does come smothered in a Nashville hot sauce, as well as a helping of ranch sauce and pickles. 

I was hoping the chicken would make an appearance, so I was disappointed about the lack of smoky, flavoursome skin. Thankfully the sauce on top is pretty spicy, a nice big dollop that ramps up the heat while providing a smoky undertone. The ranch sauce was around to cool it down a little, but it wasn't overly noticeable over the hot sauce. The pickles are still a welcome addition to the burger, and although they go better with the Nashville coated chicken, they fare pretty well on top of a standard fillet. This is a fairly decent burger, an improvement on the last Southern Legends offering. Let's see what the last one has on offer.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 11 September 2017

Today's Review: Kit Kat Chunky New York Cheesecake

The Kit Kat Chunky has always been a fine chocolate bar, and its many flavours have never let me down, from one of the first readily available peanut butter chocolate bars in the UK, to the more recent amazing cookie dough variety. Now we have another dessert wrapped up in Kit Kat goodness, this time it's the turn of the cheesecake. Basically, it's like your regular Kit Kat Chunky, but with a whopping 19% cheesecake flavoured filling. I like those numbers.

We all know what a Kit Kat Chunky tastes like, and it's the same stuff here, that nice thick chocolate, the wonderful crispy wafer. The filling is different though, and it's pretty great. To start with, it's plentiful, a nice thick layer of creamy filling on top of the wafer that is present through every inch of the bar. It's got a lovely creamy texture, and a flavour that's pretty similar to cheesecake. Of course it's not as perfect as the fresh made stuff, but it does have that distinct cheesecake-like taste, it's hard to confuse it with any other kind of filling. It's sweet, with a hint of vanilla, but the wafer is there to bring it down a notch and balance it out. It's a little odd pairing the cheesecake filling with a wafer instead of a biscuit base, so the entire cheesecake experience isn't to be had here, but it's a pretty great effort at replicating cheesecake in chocolate bar form. I hope these ones stay around for a while, I see myself getting through a few of these.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Today's Review: Cielos Crunchy Olives

Olives are an acquired taste, I know, but I've grown to love them. One thing about olives, however, is that they're not overly viable as a portable snack. They either need to be fresh, or come in a jar filled with brine. But now we have these crunchy olives, which are perfect for snacking on the go. Sun-ripened and covered in a crunchy coating. Like those fancy peanuts, but with olives instead of peanuts.

So yeah, a sound idea, but unfortunately they're just really bland. The olives are so dried out they're like big, flavourless raisins, and what little hint of olive taste still remains is swamped by the dry crunchy coating, which is almost equally devoid of flavour. So if you were hoping for a lovely olive snack you can carry wherever you go, you'll still have to wait a while. These are thick, crunchy, dried up olives that are just a shadow of their former selves. 

My rating: 1/5

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Today's Review: Jelly Babies Snowmen

Now is the winter of our discontent. Well, the Christmas of many shoppers' discontent anyway. Yes, the Christmas products are lining the shelves, to the cacophonous chorus of "But it's only September!" At the moment they're only taking up around a quarter of the seasonal aisle at Tesco, so it's not particularly awful, and I don't mind about products coming out early, so I subsidised this madness by picking up a bag of these Jelly Babies in the shape of snowmen. Even though I don't like Jelly Babies.

These are Jelly Babies. But they look like snowmen. Also they only come in red and green, because they're the festive colours. So basically it's a glorified two tone bag of regular old strawberry and lime Jelly Babies. They still make me feel sick after a few, and this attempt at a festive bag is just disappointing. At least make up some new flavours or something. I guess pick these up if you're insistent on filling your snack bowls with purely festive shaped confectionery, but there are plenty more nice Christmas treats out there that you can grab. Like those Mr. Kipling cakes that... go out of date before December... Maybe it is a bit early.

My rating: 1/5

Friday, 8 September 2017

Today's Review: Tostitos Mango & Habanero Salsa

Yesterday I reviewed the fairly sublime Tostitos lime tortilla chips, but I neglected to mention the salsa that I paired it with. After all, they're there to complement each other, the picture of the bottle is on the bag of chips. Being a spice fiend, I went for this hot mango & habanero salsa, and drizzled it all over those lime chips, as intended.

I was expecting this to be something with a bit of spice, but nothing overwhelming. It's actually hotter than I thought, not painfully so, but it's got a real kick to it. The habanero is very noticeable, and instantly hits the tongue. The mango is on backup to provide a sweet, fruity kick that mellows out the spice a little, but the heat still lingers in a good way. One of the good things about this salsa is it's not too chunky, there are some bits and pieces in there, but it's a pretty great consistency for drizzling, and emptying the bottle over a bowl full of chips saw it actually permeating through quite a few layers. It was easy enough to shake off any excess onto chips below as well, so I managed to get pretty even coverage throughout the bowl. It seems perfectly designed for spicing up your tortilla chips, and it tastes great. This is a fantastic spicy salsa that I'm sure to pick up more of in future.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Today's Review: Tostitos Hint Of Lime Tortilla Chips

Move over Doritos, there's a new tortilla chip in town. I'd heard of Tostitos as a fairly well known American brand, so I was pretty happy to see these massive bags on a stand in Tesco. So here's a quick review of the chips themselves, although I also paired them with the bottles of salsa created especially to drizzle on top.

Granted, the same company produce Doritos and Tostitos, but I actually found these to be a lot better. Where Doritos are fairly thick, these are light and airy almost, they seem a perfect consistency to whip up a serving of nachos with, although they're so light it's pretty easy to eat a whole lot in one go. It's a good thing they're so tasty then, a great corn based chip with a lovely hint of lime that adds a fruity tartness. I like the hint of lime Doritos, but I think these ones blow them out of the water. I'm pretty excited to get my hands on the other flavours available, as well as the bottles of salsa. Stay tuned for one of them.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Home Sweet Honeycomb

Many thanks to DestroyED, who informed me earlier today that alongside Berry Neighbourly, there's another new Ben & Jerry's flavour hitting the shelves. Naturally I went out and bought it straight away. Berry Neighbourly appears to be a Tesco exclusive, but this one lacks the type on the top of the tub, so hopefully you can pick it up anywhere. This flavour is a very honey-themed one, boasting a cream ice cream with honey caramel swirl, embedded with chocolate covered honeycomb pieces.

If you like honey, you'll like this. Well, as long as you like ice cream as well, I suppose. The ice cream itself is lovely and sweet, creamier than the regular Ben & Jerry's vanilla, I very much enjoyed it. The swirl throughout has a fantastic natural honey flavour, alongside a sweet hint of caramel, both lending to the thick, almost syrup-like texture. Unfortunately, there wasn't as much swirl as I'd hoped, but what was there was pretty great, definitely lending to the honey theme. Where the swirl was lacking, there were plenty of chunks to make up for it. They ranged from tiny to fairly sizeable, but each one consisted of a nice thick chocolatey coating, and some satisfyingly crunchy honeycomb underneath. Pretty much like little chunks of Crunchie, swirled into some nice ice cream. Not a perfect tub, it's a little bland in some places, but a decent attempt at a nice unique tub.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Today's Review: Nutella B-Ready

Do you love Nutella? Of course you do. Would you like to eat it on the go, but don't want to face the indignity of walking down the street eating it out of the jar with a spoon? I mean, I'd understand if you did that, but now there's an easier way to get your Nutella fix on the go. Behold, the Nutella B-Ready, a marriage of Nutella and the Kinder Bueno, giving you a crisp bready shell full to the brim with that hazelnut chocolate goodness.

I think I pretty much summed it up with that description there, it's pretty much a Kinder Bueno filled with Nutella. The stuff on the inside is what you'd expect, chocolate, nutty creamy goodness, and the outer shell is thick and crunchy, with a flavour that works pretty well with the Nutella. The outside is a little dry, and while the Nutella goes some way to covering it all up, it's not a perfect balance. There are also apparently crispy pieces embedded in the Nutella, but I can't say I noticed them much, so I don't see much point to them being there, I'd rather just have more Nutella. These are some pretty damn tasty snacks though, the perfect way to shove that choco-hazelnut spread in your mouth on the go. Just be careful not to eat all six in one go, it's pretty difficult...

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 4 September 2017

Today's Review: Muffin Break Duffin

I thought the crossover baked goods fad was dying out, but fortunately there's still some life in it. I popped into Muffin Break today and found their latest offering, the Duffin. It's a doughnut crossed with a muffin! With chocolate hazelnut inside! Now, this isn't the first Duffin by a long shot. Starbucks had one back in 2013, while Tesco came out with theirs in 2014. Wow, look at that, I've been around long enough to refer to myself for a brief history of snack foods. But I digress, let's see how this Duffin stacks up.

I'll start by saying I really liked this, but there is one gripe I had with it. This isn't a duffin. The muffin element is present, sure, but it doesn't seem to contain anything doughnut like, instead it has the consistency of a croissant. So why not call it a Croiffin? It's a flaky, pastry like outer, with a denser, cake-like inside that's full to the brim with chocolate hazelnut goodness. It's soft, sweet, chocolatey, just all round delicious, with a generous dusting of icing sugar that rounds off the sweetness. So yeah, it's pretty perfect, but it's not a duffin. So head over to Muffin Break for your misnamed Croiffin fix, before they disappear.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Today's Review: Galaxy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I reviewed the new Bounty soft baked cookies the other day, so here's a quick review of the other product available in the range, they're Galaxy cookies. I do love a bit of Galaxy, so I was excited to see how it would fare in cookie form. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. You may notice from the packaging itself that these aren't soft baked cookies, just regular ones, so as such they're a standard crunchy cookie affair. A pretty good cookie, but I was hoping for more soft baked goodness. As for the chocolate chunks, I'm afraid they suffer in the same way as they did in the Bounty cookies. They take sort of a back seat to the rest of the biscuit, so while there is a chocolate taste in there, it's not particularly strong nor distinctly Galaxy. All in all, a fairly decent chocolate cookie, but there's nothing to set it apart from any others on the shelves. If you're wondering which of these packs to go for, I'd suggest the Bounty.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Today's Review: Tic Tac Mixers Coconut & Pineapple

Tic Tacs ventured into the flavour changing business a while ago, and have created some interesting combinations, some great, others not so. Now they've gone totally tropical with this amalgamation of coconut and pineapple. It starts out as coconut, and changes to pineapple, all while giving you that fresh feeling. Well, that's what they say, let's find out if it's true.

Fruit flavours of classically minty sweets are always a bit odd for me. They may taste fruity, but there's always that underlying fresh mintiness that lingers and makes it seem a bit off. It's not a major thing, but it's more noticeable here than in the other Mixers. Aside from that, they're nailed the flavours pretty well. It starts out with a light, sweet, distinctly coconut flavour, and eventually gives way to an almost juicy seeming pineapple that, while a little overly sweet, is pretty reminiscent of the fruit itself. These are some pretty unique Tic Tacs, and the flavour changing works very nicely. I'm not sure how long they'll be around for, but they're worth checking out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 1 September 2017

Today's Review: Bounty Soft Baked Cookies

Love chocolate bars? Love cookies? Thankfully there have been many efforts to marry the two over the years, mostly based on Mars chocolate, including the Twix and Mars cookies available in the bakery aisle. Now you can find a couple more products in the biscuit aisle too, in the shape of soft baked cookies based on Bounty and Galaxy.

These Bounty ones contain chocolate pieces and coconut, wrapped up in soft cookie, and I must say it's a pretty good effort. The cookie is nice and chewy, with a fair amount of coconut mixed in that adds a great hit of flavour. The chocolate chips round it off to complete the Bounty experience with a bit of creaminess, but they're not particularly plentiful. The coconut is the predominant flavour throughout, which isn't a bad thing, but with more chocolate I think these would be pretty perfect. A good entrance into the soft baked cookie market (a very specific market, I know).

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Today's Review: KFC Alabama Cheese

It's time for another KFC promo burger, this one also around for just two weeks, on the heels of the Texas Ranch. Here we have the Alabama Cheese, which consists of a brioche bun, chicken fillet, two slices of cheese, kethcup, pickles and mustard. I don't remember having mustard in a KFC burger before, so this showed some promise.

Unfortunately I can't rate this one too highly. It's a pretty bland burger, especially coming off the last burger that had that classic hash brown to make it into more of a tower. The pull here is in the double cheese, which is nice to have, sure, but it doesn't do too much for the flavour. The ketchup is good enough, but the mustard, while possessing that nice mellow American flavour, isn't plentiful enough to really stand out. Also, as far as I could tell, there were no pickles in my burger, I didn't realise they were meant to be in there until I just read the description to type up for this review. It's a shame, I think the pickles would have elevated it into something pretty decent, but I couldn't help but feel disappointed with this flat, sauce-ridden burger. Let's hope the next one's better.

My rating: 2/5 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Today's Review: New Recipe KIND Bars

I recently received a package of KIND bars in the post, a couple of the flavours have undergone a face lift/recipe change, so I was sent some to see what I thought. I already commented on these pretty kindly when I tried them out a while back, but I didn't find these particular ones to be perfect back then. Let's see if these changes are for the better.

The almond & coconut has had its packaging changed from dark brown to a breezy blue, and I think it's a little more fitting with its tropical nature. Inside the wrapper, it seems as if the bar has undergone an improvement too. In my last review I noted that this one was very sweet, with the coconut being a bit overwhelming. Tucking into this one, I noticed the coconut wasn't quite as pronounced, the nuttiness shines through very nicely, and I wouldn't say it's as sickly as I remember the last one being. Looks like an improvement all round.

As for the dark chocolate mocha, I mentioned last time how the coffee wasn't strong, which was what I was hoping. The bar I received this time seems to place a bit more focus on the coffee element, this tastes fairly dark and bitter compared to how I remember the last one. It's not a bad thing, it's still a nice, authentic coffee flavour mixed well with dark chocolate and an abundant underlying nuttiness. It's perhaps a little more bitter than I would like, but it's a great bar for all you coffee nuts out there. 

It's nice to see that even though these bars have been on the market for a relatively short time, changes are already being made in an effort to improve the recipes and aesthetics. They still taste great, and they're still pretty healthy, and accommodating to a variety of dietary needs. So keep an eye out for them.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Today's Review Strawberry Sundae Jammie Dodgers

Jammie Dodgers are a British institution, but not one that I particularly subscribe to. Sure, I like a Jammie Dodger, but I wouldn't go out of my way to grab one. If there's one in the biscuit tin it's a bonus, but you won't find me clamouring in the aisles for a pack. I was definitely quick to snatch this one off the shelves though, because look, it's a limited edition! Yes, we've seen a few different flavours over the years, and here's one to brighten up your dreary summer. It's a strawberry sundae Jammie Dodger.

See, the regular old Jammie Dodgers are already strawberry, so what exactly is different about these ones? Well, the "sundae" part is represented by a vanilla cream filling, which is placed in tandem with the classic jam. A small variation, but one that could have worked. Unfortunately I didn't really notice much difference. There's a slight creaminess to the filling, but the vanilla doesn't do much to outshine the ever present strawberry. One of the things I don't enjoy about Jammie Dodgers is the filling isn't quite enough to detract from the relatively thick biscuit either side, and it's the same case here. The inner flavours get a bit lost along the way, popping up every now and then, but mostly contributing to a pretty lacklustre biscuit. I knew from the start this wasn't going to be a revolutionary Jammie Dodger, and I was still a little disappointed.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 28 August 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Choco-Hazelnut

I may have been a little disappointed with the white chocolate & pistachio Frijj, but I also picked up this new choco-hazelnut flavour, a less unique one, sure, but also a recipe for success. This is a much better shake than the previous offering, with a creamy, chocolatey base that Frijj have already well established with their regular chocolate variety. The hazelnut is lovely and strong too, a significantly nutty taste that runs throughout, and it's not all that rich either, so I didn't find it too sickly making my way through the bottle. It's not quite like drinking a jar of Nutella, but it's a good effort from Frijj, and a bottle I'll likely pick up a lot more of in the future.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Today's Review: Frijj White Chocolate & Pistachio

Frijj have churned out some pretty unique flavours in the last couple of years, and this one is no exception. Here we have a white chocolate & pistachio shake, the very mention of which was enough to get me out hunting, because I love me some pistachio. I believe it's also the first time I've tried a white chocolate Frijj as well, so there's a double whammy here.

Let's start off with the white chocolate, I have to say it's a fairly decent attempt. It's smooth and creamy, as you would expect from Frijj, and it's got a pretty good flavour to it, light and chocolatey. The pistachio, however, is a little disappointing. There's a certain hint of nuttiness throughout, but it's not particularly strong, the chocolate overwhelms it a lot of the time. It's a nice flavour to have there, pretty sweet, and blending nicely with the chocolate, but the balance is just a bit off. I was really looking forward to this shake, and while I liked it, it didn't blow me away. Looks like it's only around for a little while though, so if you're interested grab it while you can.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Today's Review: Kinder Bueno Coconut

There's a new Kinder Bueno in town, and this one is tropical. Yes, it's the classic Kinder hazelnut filled treat, but with an added sprinkle of coconut goodness. Now, I used to hate coconut, but I've grown pretty fond of it in recent years, so I was pretty excited to see how this turned out. This is basically the same make up as a Kinder Bueno, the creamy hazelnut filling, the wafer around it, and the white chocolate on top, but now there's a sprinkling of coconut for good measure.

This is great, even better than I thought it would be. The white chocolate and coconut go together incredibly well, creating an awesome flavour atop that lovely, crumbly wafer. The insides are as good as always, smooth and nutty, and they also work well in conjunction with the coconut to deliver just a great tasting bar. I wouldn't count the Kinder Bueno among my favourite chocolate bars, but the addition of the coconut really kicks it up a notch in my book. Well worth a try.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 25 August 2017

Today's Review: Tropical Jelly Babies

I'll get it out of the way, I'm not a fan of Jelly Babies. That starchy coating just doesn't sit well with me, and after a few I start to feel a bit sick. But still, I couldn't resist picking up this bag, because it has new flavours, and tropical ones at that. So here we have banana, pineapple, mango, and... oh, that's it.

Yeah, three flavours in the whole bag. I guess that's better than one, but I figured there'd be at least four. But hey, quality over quantity, right? Well, these are okay. The pineapple is probably the nicest. It's not too intense, but it's a somewhat authentic flavour. The banana is pretty okay too, more of that confectionery banana flavour than a natural one, it's nice and sweet, but somewhat sickly so when paired with the jelly and coating. I was looking forward to the mango the most, and unfortunately it's pretty disappointing. There's a little fruity hint to it, I wouldn't say it's really mango flavoured though. Sadly, that's the lot. Maybe with another fruit or two these could have been better, but this is a mediocre offering of tropical flavours. 

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Today's Review: Monster Hydro Tropical Thunder

Energy drinks are nice and all, but they're not exactly what you'd call healthy. Apparently Monster have realised this, and instead of just pumping our veins full of guarana and taurine, they want to chuck glucose into the mix and go down the Lucozade route. Here is a drink you can chug while you get your sport on. Well, probably not really, but it's non-carbonated, so that does make it easier to chug. Monster Hydro comes in three flavours, and in lieu of the melon, I chose this tropical variety over the "green".

Oh dear, this is not nice. I mean, it's a little refreshing, and somewhat juicy, but on the whole it's very disappointing. The tropical flavour doesn't really present itself, there's a hint of fruitiness that vanishes under a sort of bitter chemical taste, and the bitterness does build up after a while, making the drink less refreshing as a whole. I can't even say it perked me up as much as a regular can of Monster, so this doesn't have much going for it. It's not even on par with the Lucozade Sports bottles, and they weren't great to start with. I might give the other flavours a go, but if this bottle is any indication, it's not worth it.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Squidgy Babies

There sure are a lot of Haribo bags coming out lately, and there seems to be a renewed focus on the jelly babies. There's a jelly baby duo bag that I've tried and apparently neglected to review, but they're pretty good (I'll have to pick up another bag so I can write it up for you guys). This bag, however, I am well prepared to rate, and as soon as I saw them on the shelf I was sold. I love the Haribo jelly babies, a lot more than the classic Bassetts, those ones are a bit gritty and gross. The Haribo ones are just nice and juicy, with a lot of flavour, and now they've received an upgrade in the form of foam backs. Foam backed Haribo are clearly the best (especially the Starmix hearts), so this was a recipe for success.

These are, literally, the Haribo jelly babies with a foam back on them. It's a combination of two great things, and they're pretty great. Not perfect mind you, it is a bit odd having the two different textures working together, the chewy baby doesn't break down as fast as the foam, so it's a bit mismatched. The fruit and milk flavour combination takes a little bit of getting used to, but I liked it, and I would say this is a pretty good twist on the original jelly baby formula. Soft, squidgy, fruity goodness. Another good bag for the Haribo range.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Today's Review: Drumstick Squashies Rhubarb & Custard

The original Drumstick Squashies remain one of my favourite bags of sweets to pick up when there's nothing new around. I didn't grab them today though, because not only was there something new, there was a new variety of Squashies! Now you can get your Drumstick fix in soft rhubarb & custard form. I'm a real sucker for anything rhubarb flavoured at the moment, so these were right up my street.

I wasn't a fan when the Squashies branched out into the bubblegum and sour apple & cherry, but they've returned to form with these ones (although the Halloween flavour was good too). The rhubarb kits straight away, a nice tart, sweet flavour that's reminiscent of the classic sweets. The custard side is a somewhat milky affair, in keeping with the flavour of the original Drumstick lollies, but there is a definite custardy hint that really works well with the rhubarb. I couldn't stop eating these, they're great, and I hope they stick around for a while. Another Squashie hit.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 21 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Picnic Bites

Just when I think Cadbury have turned all their bars into bitesize form, they crank out another one. To be fair, I often forget about Picnics until they pop up on the shelf to remind me of their existence. So here we have Picnic Bites. They're like Picnics, but bites. I don't really know what else to say, we've been through this so many times before. 

It's nice to see something with a fruit and nut element, a lot of the share size bags just dabble in the old chocolate and caramel. But packed inside of these is everything you'd find in your regular Picnic bar. There are peanuts, raisins, caramel, biscuit, all wrapped up in that nice Cadbury chocolate. They're pretty good actually, a nice change from the usual fare. I would say they're a little on the dry side, they could use a bit more of the caramel or chocolate, but all the elements are there and work together pretty nicely. There's a satisfying crunch from the peanuts and biscuit, and a bit of fruitiness from the raisins. So there we have it, another bag to add to the range, and a pretty good adaptation of a Cadbury bar.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Today's Review: Fabric Conditioners That Don't Say "Fabric Conditioner" On The Label

I'll admit it, I don't do the washing all that often. It's not my area of expertise, I have taken command of other areas of the house. But from time to time I will stick a load of washing on, and while I don't consider it a gargantuan task by any means, there are some things that baffle me about the whole experience. The main problem is telling the difference between the detergent and the fabric softener. "Don't be a fool!" I hear you cry, "Just look at the label!" But that's the thing. Some of these bottles don't convey that information at all. 

I know it's an easy enough problem to remedy. The detergents are stocked separately from the softeners in the supermarket, fabric conditioners are produced by certain brands, and just look at all the clues on the front of the bottle there. There's a little girl wrapped up in a soft sheet, with a soft bunny. It says "soft embrace" underneath. Hell, one of the brands is "Comfort". I can ascertain what is a fabric softener with enough of a perusal of the bottle. Look, this one even tells me what it is eventually.

Right there. Can you see it? Maybe if you squint?
But why is this a thing? Why can't the front of the bottle just explicitly state what's inside? What if I'm doing washing in a hungover state, and my mental faculties are blunted? Just put it on the front! Why is this poor label design still a thing?!

Wow, I think I've become passionate enough about this. For all I know, I'm the only one that's encountered this problem. But it does infuriate me. Every time I need to follow clues to identify what I'm putting in my washing machine, I die a little inside.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Today's Review: Tropicana Morning Boost Forest Fruits

I can't say I regularly pick up smoothies, though when I do I tend to enjoy them. I guess it speaks to my general unhealthiness that I don't indulge in the blended fruit drink often, but I couldn't resist this shiny new bottle of Tropicana smoothie that contains both fruit and cereal. With a bunch of forest fruits packed in, I assumed it would be a nice thick smoothie with a cereal hint, and it turns out I was right.

The one thing I don't get on with in smoothies is the overly banana flavour that often come with them. This one, thankfully, tastes more like those lovely forest fruits, with hints of apple and berries, a pretty delicious concoction. The cereal is generously mixed in, and provides a nice thick texture that makes this even more filling and satisfying, and adding a little extra to the flavour as well. I had trouble putting this bottle down, it's a great smoothie, and I'll most likely be picking it up again.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 18 August 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Smurfs Chamallows

Haribo have pumped out quite a few varieties of their marshmallows over the years, and now they've been given the Smurfs treatment. These ones are in the shape of the whole Smurfs family. We have Smurfette, Baby Smurf, a regular Smurf, and a house. Yeah, a house, families come in all shapes and sizes these days. 

Now, I like Chamallows, but these ones aren't too great. They're very sugary, grittily so. I'm guessing the different colours are supposed to provide slightly different flavours, but all I could taste was pure sugar. Not that I'd expect much else from a marshmallow, but these were just too much. They're fairly small, so there's not much room for a creamy filling, they're just Smurf shaped elongated surface areas full of overly sweet stuff. If you're looking for a Smurf fix, I'd go for the chewy sweets. These are not great marshmallows, especially when I know Haribo can do the regular Chamallows pretty well.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Waffl-Icious Burger

Another burger review, I'll turn into a burger at this rate. But anyway, here's another unique burger from the Hungry Horse summer menu, after the interesting (and disappointing) experience of the pizza burger from the other day. This one also forgoes buns, instead opting for waffles, for that all American experience I suppose? I've had chicken and waffles before, and it can be a pretty great combination. This burger features a southern fried chicken breast, lettuce, bacon, burger sauce and maple syrup, sandwiched between two savoury waffles.

I was expecting great things from this, and while it was definitely something different, it's probably not something I'd try again. The chicken was pretty good, as was the bacon, but the burger sauce and maple syrup combination was a little odd. I got used to it after a while, and must admit it wasn't too bad, but it's not a pairing I'd have on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the waffles pose the biggest problem here, they're just really dry, they were literally crumbling as I made my way through the burger, and apparently "savoury" in this case means "devoid of flavour". A sweet waffled would have been better, but I guess anything would have been better really. This burger had promise, but failed to deliver again. By all means try it out for a unique experience, but don't expect it to be a good one.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Today's Review: KFC Texas Ranch Burger

It looks like KFC are going down the same road McDonald's have with the Great Tastes range. KFC's version is the Southern Legends tour, four burgers to be released over the next eight weeks, starting with this Texas Ranch. It consists of an original chicken fillet, Monterey Jack cheese, a hash brown, lettuce, deluxe BBQ sauce and ranch sauce.

I was pretty excited for the ranch sauce, because ranch is a pretty great dressing. Unfortunately it's not as good as I'd hoped. It's nice and creamy, sure, but it's not particularly packed with ranch flavour, especially with the BBQ sauce overwhelming it. The BBQ is good though, smoky and sticky, which works really well with the chicken and hash brown. I wonder what it would be like with just the ranch sauce present, but I fear that might be a little too bland. As for the rest of the burger, it's pretty much a Fillet Tower in a brioche bun. The main difference here is the sauces, and they're not pulled off particularly well. A perfectly edible burger, but I was expecting something a bit more unique to start off this promotion. Hopefully the others will step it up a notch.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Leaning Tower Burger

Pizzas for burger buns. It used to be the stuff of dreams, and then only the stuff of over the top internet food shows. But now you can experience the pizza bun at your local Hungry Horse. I would try to employ some fancy words to describe it, but just a look at the picture gives you all you need to know. It's a burger, but instead of buns, there are pizzas. Also it's topped with pepperoni, and it has bacon in it, just because.

I was looking forward to this as soon as I saw the menu, it's a dream come true, two fast food wonders combined in holy matrimony. But the reality wasn't particularly great. I know Hungry Horse isn't best known for its fine cuisine, but I figured they could put together a better quality burger than this. The beef patty tastes like one of those frozen Birdseye ones, while the "buns" are basically like the mini Chicago Town pizzas. It seems like I could probably pick up the same ingredients from the frozen aisle at Tesco and make my own burger for a fraction of the price. The pizzas weren't particularly well done (I like a somewhat crispy crust), and overall the marriage of pizza toppings and burger just isn't particularly fantastic, it's just like having a pizza with a big hunk of meat on top, except you're eating the whole thing with your hands. I appreciate the experimentation, and to be fair it's not a truly awful burger, it just seems cheaply put together, and just isn't all that tasty. 

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 14 August 2017

Today's Review: Sweetzone Pencil Jelly

It's time for another curiosity I picked up from the world food aisle in Asda. Here we have Pencil Jelly, which is jelly in pencil form. It's basically a cross between a jelly pot and a Frube, and these comes in an interesting variety of flavours, including blueberry, pineapple and lychee, alongside your regular strawberry and apple.

They're all wrapped up in a convenient tube, although accessing the stuff isn't particularly convenient. I tried ripping a small hole with my hands, but was met with a splash of un-set jelly stuff, and squeezing the stuff out was a bit of a pain, I feared the tube would burst at any moment. So I went for the scissors, and snipping the top off still yielded that liquid squirt, but it did facilitate getting the jelly out in one long, wobbly pencil. As for the flavours, they're alright. They taste fairly fruity, and some quite like the fruits they're emulating, but I wouldn't say they're much to write home about. The more exotic flavours are pulled off quite well, and I'd say that's a selling point for this pack, but don't break your neck fervently seeking these out.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Chocolate Zero Added Sugar

I've been avoiding this one for a while, I was pretty sure there'd be very little in the way of redeeming qualities for a no added sugar milkshake. But I finally took the plunge since they're 50p at the moment in Tesco. Yes, a no added sugar shake, which is pretty impressive, seeing as sugar is the second main ingredient in Frijj. Now in its place there are sweeteners, and for that sacrifice you get an astounding 19 less calories per 100ml. Doesn't sound like a great trade to me, but I guess I had to see how it tasted before I passed judgement.

Sugar does make a difference you know. I know it's bad for you, but it's also bloody delicious. That's what this shake is lacking, that certain sugary niceness, and although it's noticeable, I have to say it's not awful. Of course there's still the cocoa and buttermilk powder to help it along, but that lack of extra sugar makes it taste quite thinned out and watery. It's a pretty decent attempt at a no added sugar shake, and the chocolate flavour still holds up, but the change in flavour isn't quite worth the meagre saving in calories. A very average milkshake.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Today's Review: San Pellegrino Grapefruit

I do like a good old can of San Pellegrino, their lemon and orange flavours are fantastic, and I was pretty pleased when I saw this grapefruit offering the other day which I'd never encountered before. I wouldn't count grapefruit among my favourite fruits at all, it's too big and tart for my liking. But I was willing to see what the San Pellegrino treatment did to it, so I grabbed this and gulped it down. It's actually pretty refreshing, there's definitely a sharpness to it, but I'd put it on par with their lemonade, it doesn't overwhelm too much. The fruitiness is good, the high amount of grapefruit juice does wonders for the flavour. I still wouldn't say the taste of grapefruit is fantastic, but this can made for a nice refreshing, sparkling drink. I wouldn't choose this over the lemon and orange, but I'm glad I experienced it.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 11 August 2017

Today's Review: Polo Sugar Free Pots

I was recently sent these new handy little pots of Polos, they're like Polos, but they're in a pot. It's a simple innovation, but a pretty good one. I mean, I can't say I've ever had a regular pack of Polos hang around long enough to see if they become stale, but these resealable pots have got to be an improvement on wrapping the foil around the roll and forgetting it in a pocket. These pots both contain sugar free Polos, and they come in either regular or extra strong form.

These are the same size as the classic roll Polos, and there are approximately 44 of them in each pot, so that's a pretty decent offering. The pot is pretty sturdy, and easy to open and close, even with one hand, so they'd be pretty good for popping a mint in your mouth in the car. As for the taste, these are pretty good. Obviously they're sugar free, so they're not as good as the original ones, but there's enough mintiness in there to freshen up the breath. The extra strong ones are probably the best, they have more of that freshness, while the regular has something of a chemical taste to it. Still, it's nice to see Polos are now available in a handy pot form, I'll probably be keeping these in the car for easy access. You can grab a pot for around £1.49.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Berry Neighbourly

It's been a while since I've seen a new Ben & Jerry's flavour, so I almost missed this nestled among the others. But thankfully my keen eye spied it, a new exclusive variety for Tesco. Sofa So Good and Wholly Couch were some great additions, so could they make it a hat trick? Here we have Berry Neighbourly, which is an odd pun, but contains blueberry and cookie swirls in vanilla ice cream, with "white chunks". By this they mean white chocolate flavour chunks, and not white chocolate. But I wasn't going to dismiss them based on semantics, I had a tub of Ben & Jerry's to get through.

I'll start with the "white chunks", because although they're not technically chocolate, they're not bad. They're pretty plentiful, and are thick and relatively creamy. They're not the best quality, but they do remind me of the good old Baked Alaska polar bears. The blueberry and cookie swirls complement each other very nicely, a nice bold fruity swirl alongside some nice crunchy, crumbly cookie, similar in texture to a cheesecake base. Some of the swirls were quite clumped together, leaving other areas of the tub as more vanilla ice cream, but the white chunks still made it a good time. This isn't the perfect tub of ice cream, but the blueberry is authentic and makes for a great new addition to the Ben & Jerry's range. Well worth heading to Tesco for.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Double Indulgence

Just a quick review to round off the trifecta of these new Cadbury filled cookies. I've already tackled the chocolate and cookie centres, but here is the Double Indulgence, which is a chocolate cookie with a chocolate centre. The more chocolate the merrier, I thought, and it turns out I was right. These ones are pretty great, they feature the same great chocolate filling of the chocolate centre cookies, which is a significant improvement on the cookie centre. The cookie itself has that generous helping of chocolate chips, as well as a satisfying, crumbly chocolate biscuit. As with a lot of double (or triple) chocolate goods, it is a little on the sickly side after a while, but it's a pretty good chocolatey effort, and once these have been warmed up they make for a great gooey chocolate snack. Well worth picking up.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Smoked Applewood

I finally got round to trying the third "Choose Your Cheese" flavour of Mini Cheddars, and it seems I saved the worst for last. Here we have Smoked Applewood, in crisp form. So basically, it's like a smoked version of regular Mini Cheddars. The smokiness is there, and it's alright while it lasts, but it doesn't last long. Soon it just gives way to the regular old Mini Cheddar taste, which isn't bad, but it's disappointing for a flavour that's meant to be different. I'd try out one of the other new ones if you want something with a bit of variety.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 7 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Soft Cookie Centre

I rated the regular chocolate version of these Crunchy Melts yesterday, so I figured today I'd give the cookie centre ones a go. These are basically the same deal, a chocolate chip cookie with a gooey centre, but this time the centre consists of more cookie. Cookie in cookie, an odd combination, but I figured after heating them up there'd be enough goo to separate the two.

The cookies are good, much like the offering I reviewed yesterday. They're crumbly, and very generous with the chocolate chips embedded throughout. As for the centre, I can't say it's overly noticeable. It does get a little softer in the middle, but where I was hoping for more of a cookie dough flavour, it just seems to be a softer version of the same cookie. It does get better after heating them up, that soft centre gets nicely warm, and has more of that cookie dough feel in comparison to the still crumbly cookie. But the actual gooey part wasn't as large as I'd hoped, so this variety was pretty average compared to the chocolate filled ones. I'd stick with those ones if I were you.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Chocolate Centre

Cadbury are back with another product, and this time they're getting in on the filled cookie market. Here we have Crunchy Melts, cookies with a melty centre. "Even better warm!" the packaging screams. Yeah, I'll take that action. See, you can enjoy these as is, or you can blitz them for ten seconds at a time, and enjoy that hot gooey goodness. Not more than ten seconds though, because then you'll burn the roof of your mouth and ruin your day.

Being the in depth critic that I am, I had to try these both warm and not, and let me tell you, these are pretty good. The cookie is nice and crumbly, and actually has a decent amount of chocolate chips spread throughout, they could have easily skimped on them seeing as there's the chocolate centre. The stuff inside is somewhat gooey straight out of the packet, and while there could have been a bit more, I'd say there's a decent cookie:filling ratio. When microwaved, the chocolate centre does get pretty warm, and it's definitely better in its gooiest state. The cookie itself doesn't change all that much, just gets slightly warmer, though not particularly so around the outside. Still, it's a pretty decent cookie, with a nice creamy chocolate centre. I'll have to try out the other varieties to see if they're as decent as these.

My rating: 4/5