Friday, 22 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Root Vegetable Crisps With Sweet Chilli


Tesco are really expanding their fancy crisps, not only do they have sweet potato with salt & vinegar, they've also released these crisps from various root vegetables, flavoured with sweet chilli. I love spicy crisps, and also root vegetable ones, so I was expecting a lot from these, especially since they're crinkle cut, unleashing maximum potential for flavour.

These crisps are good quality, there's no denying it, these are some tasty vegetables in crisp form. Beetroot, parsnip, sweet potato, the natural flavours are there. Unfortunately, the sweet chilli is not so present. There's something of a lingering heat that builds up over time, but it's overpowered by the vegetables themselves, so on the whole these are pretty lacking in spice. I was hoping the crinkles would help, but the thing about root vegetable crisps is that they're pretty rolled up and small anyway, so the crinkles didn't do much to extend the surface area for flavouring. They're nice, but they're not much different from if they were just salted. A little bit of spice, but nothing to write home about.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Caramel Latte Cookies


Here's a quick little review of these caramel latte cookies I picked up at Tesco. I've often found coffee flavoured foods lacking somewhat in authenticity. Coffee powder does not a great coffee product make. But the promise of caramel latte was too good to pass up, and I'm glad I took the plunge. These are some great, crunchy cookies, with a smooth coffee flavour. It's helped along by a nice caramel undertone that takes the edge off the slight bitterness of the coffee, and the chocolate chips embedded throughout are a nice addition too. It's not the most authentic latte taste, but it's pretty close, it didn't take me long to polish these off at all. Like a latte, but contained in a cookie. A lot better than I was expecting.

My rating: 4/5

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