Friday 28 February 2014

Today's Review: Smarties Chocolate Bar

I'm sure I've had a Smarties chocolate bar before, but I haven't reviewed it, and it certainly hasn't been around for a while if it ever did exist. But the other day I picked up this big block of Smarties chocolate from Tesco. It says it's new, but I'm not sure if I believe it. Anyway, this is basically what it says on the tin, or wrapper, although "sharing block" is a strange and unappetising term. 

Yes, this is a sizeable block of Nestle chocolate with little Smarties inside. The squares pictured on the front, however, are not representative of the real life bar, as I was lucky to find two Smarties in one piece, let alone four or more. Still, when a Smartie was found, it was satisfyingly crunchy, although it's a little weird having chocolate that contains crisp shells that themselves contain chocolate. It's a little too much chocolate, and not enough crunch. But if you like Smarties, this is a novel way to enjoy them. It's good, but clearly not the best chocolate bar out there.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 27 February 2014

Today's Review: Dunkin' Donuts Hot Croistrami & Iced Black Coffee

Dunkin' Donuts only opened in my home town a couple of weeks ago, but it already seems to be an institution. I see a lot of people walking around with boxes of donuts, and there always seem to be a fair few customer inside. I've previously only ventured in to grab a few treats, but today I decided to try out a savoury option for lunch. There's quite a variety available, from bagels to grilled cheese sandwiches, but I went for the most interesting - the Hot Croistrami, which is, quite simply, a croissant with pastrami in. Probably one of the best food name portmanteaus I've seen.

Now, anyone with the slightest bit of foodie knowledge will know that a traditional pastrami sandwich should be served on rye. So what business does it have shoved into a croissant? Well, it may sound like a crazy plan, but it's not bad at all. There are a fair few slices of pastrami in the Croistrami, along with a generous helping of cheese and a nice long slice of pickle, all topped with the signature yellow mustard. It has all the flavour of your traditional pastrami sandwich, but with the added bonus of the sweet, light croissant pastry. It doesn't sound like it should work, but I certainly enjoyed it, and I'll probably try it again in future.

I couldn't have my lunch without a drink, so I decided to try one of Dunkin' Donuts' iced coffees, mostly because that was part of the meal deal. There are a few varieties on offer, like your regular iced lattes, but I decided to see what a simple black coffee would taste like in iced form. The truth is, it tastes like a freezing cold cup of black coffee. That may sound grotesque, because there's nothing worse than a cold coffee, but the temperature of this drink is so low that it seems to pass a threshold and become nice again. It was refreshing, with a great coffee taste, and the energy that goes with it.

So there you have it, two food items that are a bit strange, but they're both quite delicious. If you find yourself near a Dunkin' Donuts, why not pop in and have a Croistrami/Iced Coffee combo? You should probably get some donuts for dessert, because they're delicious too.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Today's Review: Tesco KX Still Sugar Free Red Berry

I do love a good energy drink. From the Red Bulls, to the Monsters, the Relentlesses to the KXs, there have been enough interesting flavours pumped out to keep me satisfactorily pumped up. Tesco have brought out some nice flavours just recently, and I was surprised to see another one on the shelves so soon, in the form of this sugar free, still, red berry flavour. 

Yes, I love a good energy drink, but sadly this is not one. You can probably tell from the very description that it isn't going to be great. Sugar free I can handle, maybe a little less flavoursome than your regular energy drink, but they can still be tasty. But still? I'm sure energy drinks are supposed to be fizzy, because all the other ones are, and now I know why. This drink basically tastes like chemicals, slightly berry flavoured chemicals, and there isn't even any carbonation to distract the taste buds. I don't get why anyone would want to drink a still, sugar free energy drink, but they'll get what they deserve if they want to try this. Not nice.

My rating: 0/5

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Today's Review: Peanut Hottie

Peanut butter fans rejoice! Not only can you eat peanut butter, but you can drink it too, thanks to Peanut Hottie, the hot peanut butter flavoured drink. This has been out for a while, but I've only just managed to find it after I made the arduous trip to my "local" Sainsbury's. But hey, better late than never. Or is it?

Well, yes. This drink comes in the form of a powder to stir into boiled-but-not-boiling water, and once it's all made up it tastes pretty damn nice. Distinctly peanut-buttery, if a little watered down. But hey, most of the drink is water, so I can't fault it for that. The flavour is certainly bold enough to overcome any blandness, and clocks in at only 83 calories a cup.

If you like peanut butter, then you can't go wrong with this. If you don't like peanut butter, then you probably shouldn't be buying a peanut butter drink.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 24 February 2014

Today's Review: Choco Leibniz Caramel

Choco Leibniz are pretty damn awesome biscuits. A nice, generous slab of chocolate, stuck onto a sweet biscuity base. It's hard not to eat an entire box in one go. I have just noticed that these claim to have "more chocolate than a biscuit", which is a bit of a bold statement. Which biscuit are they referring to? There are plenty of chocolatey biscuits out there, some entirely chocolatey. Unless they're saying that these contain more chocolate than a plain biscuit does, in which case, of course it does. A biscuit is a biscuit, and chocolate is chocolate. Or maybe they're just saying these biscuits are mightily chocolatey. Which is true. But I digress.

The original Choco Leibniz was not enough, and like many other products, we now have a different flavour to add to the mix. So here are some Caramel Choco Leibniz. Much like your milk chocolate variety, but with a layer of smooth caramel in the middle. It's a nice addition, that isn't too overwhelming, but it is a little too sweet, and does detract somewhat away from the flavour of the biscuit and chocolate. Once I got used to the taste it was a bit better, but still a bit sickly. I think I prefer the milk chocolate flavour, but this is a nice change, and will certainly appeal to anyone who enjoys caramel in their biscuits, or in anything. Not perfect, but a tasty biscuit.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 23 February 2014

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Core: All Or Nut-ting

Yay, time for another Core flavour from Ben & Jerry's, and since I've been impressed with others, I was looking forward to trying this one, even if it is nut-based. What we have here is a chocolate hazelnut core, surrounded by both chocolate and hazelnut ice creams, with a generous smattering of chocolate chunks throughout.

Doesn't sound too exciting, and you'd be right, but what is here is pretty decent. The main attraction is the hazelnut ice cream, which is certainly very nutty and creamy. I'm not a huge fan of hazelnut, but this is a fantastic use of it, any hardcore but fans will probably love it even more than I did. It's just the rest of the tub isn't exactly inspired. The chocolate ice cream is as good as ever, and the chocolate chunks are nice, but since this is a nutty ice cream, I don't see why they couldn't have thrown in some hazelnut pieces for good measure to make it a little more interesting. The core, which will probably entice a lot of people, is basically like Nutella. Not that that's a bad thing, it's a nice bold flavour that really pulls the two ice cream flavours together.

It may sound like I'm quite disappointed in this flavour, but it's a good effort that is certainly tasty. It's just a little on the bland side compared to the other awesome flavours that Ben and Jerry have churned out recently. If you love your nuts, you'll probably love digging into this, but I certainly wouldn't choose it over my other favourite flavours.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 22 February 2014

Today's Review: The Lego Movie

In recent years, Lego has taken over the world, which is a bit strange, because I was pretty sure it had already done so. But the Lego video games, along with the sudden explosion in licensed sets, have given Lego a freshness that can appeal to people of any age. Now there's a movie, and while it's surprising that it's taken this long to make, it seems to be a good fit with the insane amount of Lego merchandise that is lining the shelves nowadays. But how does it stack up? Ha, see? That was a building pun.

The Lego Movie follows our hero(?) Emmet (Chris Pratt), a regular construction worker living in a city where everyone lives by the book (literally) and everything is just fine. Awesome, in fact. But when Emmet stumbles into an underground cavern and finds a mystical object, he's suddenly recruited into the ranks of the Master Builders. This band of heroes, including fearless heroine Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett) seek to topple the all powerful Lord Business (Will Ferrell), who is about to unleash the Kragle, a super weapon that will end the world.

Sure, the plot doesn't sound all that, and the amount of characters floating around in the trailer alone makes it seem like a feature length checklist of how many Lego sets you can buy, but this movie is actually a superbly crafted piece of cinema. The action is pretty much constant, with bricks exploding and being rebuilt almost every minute, and the jokes flying just as fast. There's slapstick, word play, dry humour, and the very niche area of Lego jokes, and I lost count of the amount of times I laughed by the end. 

The characters are all fantastically rounded, and the plethora of notable voice actors all do a wonderful job, both with their own fantastically delivered one liners and the witty dialogue between characters. The whole production looks awesome too, with correctly proportioned bricks flying all over the place, making all kinds of wonderful creations.

I really cannot find fault with anything in the movie. It's well written, beautifully animated, and utterly hilarious. While it's clear by the end of the movie that this is an elaborate advert for the imaginative properties of Lego, I wasn't even fussed. It's a laugh a minute, over the top, block building (and destroying) extravaganza, and if you haven't seen it already, you should probably stop whatever you're doing and get to the cinema. If you're a fan of Lego, or even if you hate it, this is a must see.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 21 February 2014

Today's Review: Wild Berry Skittles

These Skittles have been around for a while in import candy stores, but they're finally available for a reasonable price in UK shops, as evidenced by this nice big bag I got for £1 today. The idea behind them is great, because berries make the best sweet flavours by far, and this bag boasts raspberry, strawberry, wild cherry, berry punch and melon berry flavours.

The flavours are all very nice. They have that distinct "berry" taste that's slightly sour and pippy, but that just helps bring out the fruity flavours which actually match the descriptions very nicely. These Skittles are extremely moreish, and I think I prefer them to the classic original flavours. Maybe it's because I love berry flavours, but I don't see why anyone wouldn't. If you like Skittles, you can't go wrong with this bag. Bold flavoured, juicy goodness.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 20 February 2014

Today's Review: Hopper's Flying Saucers

I'm not sure if these are a new product or not, but I picked these up from my local Tesco about a week ago. I didn't know the brand, nor did I particularly trust the kid friendly packaging, but that certainly wasn't going to stop me trying these chocolate and vanilla flavoured "sponge discs". After all, at only 50p for a sizeable bag, and only 22 calories per disc, what could go wrong? Apart from them tasting bloody awful of course.

Fortunately, they don't. I realised after eating a few that the term "sponge disc" is really the only way to describe these. They're slightly harder than your average sponge cake, choosing to exist somewhere between cake and biscuit, but they're certainly flavoursome, and quite soft once your mandible gets going. The packaging proudly states that they are great for dunking in milk, so more research was performed, with great success. Milk softens these bad boys right up, but not enough that they crumble into a soggy mess. Overall these are a fantastic light snack. They taste great, are low in calories, and best of all they're cheap.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Belgian Dark Chocolate Cake

Less a chocolate cake and more a work of art, I couldn't resist picking up one of these little goodies today at the reduced price of 38p. The cake itself is pretty small, but it certainly packs enough in, with a whopping 442 calories per quarter. It's not surprising when you find out what this is made of: Moist chocolate sponge with layers of chocolate ganache, and a pocket of salted caramel in the middle. All polished off with "gold sparkle". I'm not sure of the nutritional content of gold sparkle, but that wasn't going to stop me devouring this beautiful cake.

The good thing is, it tastes as good as it looks. There may be a bit too much ganache for some people, but I always prefer a nice sickly lump of cake with a high ratio of icing to sponge. It's a creamy, delicious treat, with a lovely hint of salted caramel buried deep within, and whatever sponge I did taste was certainly moist and flavoursome. There may not be enough here to justify the original price, but despite its small size, this is certainly a filling and delicious cake.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Today's Review: Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy

The Tinker Bell movie series is one that I'm sure quite a few people aren't aware of. The first three were direct to DVD releases, with only the last two being released theatrically. But the kids and I have been watching since the beginning, and while the idea of an entire movie series based on the origin story of Tinker Bell doesn't sound all that good on paper, each instalment has actually managed to be decently entertaining. So by chucking some pirate action into the fifth movie, what could go wrong?

The Pirate Fairy follows Tinker Bell and her friends as they set out to find Zarina, a fairy outcast who has stolen the all important blue pixie dust and taken it back to her band of wayward pirates. Will Tinker Bell get the dust back in time? Will the pirates' devious plan come to fruition? Will Disney ever stop milking the cash cow and show us how Tink ended up with Peter Pan? Well, the last question remains to be seen, but for the first two, watch the movie.

I must say that I've enjoyed a few of the Tinker Bell movies a lot more than I was expecting, and this one was no exception. The pirate storyline seemed a bit tacked on at first, but it ends up being a very decent tie in to the Peter Pan universe as a whole, with a lot of nods to the classic film that probably only the adults will catch. This movie is also different in that Tink is not so alone in her adventures as she was before. All of her friends tag along for the ride, whereas before they only seemed like guest stars who stayed behind once the meat of the story begins. Not only do they all set out together, but their powers get switched up fairly early on, which leads to some interesting antics and some slapstick that the kids will find amusing. 

It's not an instant classic though. Sure, it's good, but it's certainly not polished enough to be on par with the Disney Classics. The plot is fairly simplistic and predictable, the acting is good, not great. The movie is quite short too, on par with the other Tinker Bells, but not really enough to justify paying for a full price cinema ticket. However, what is packed into the short run time is certainly entertaining. It's not going to be the movie of the year, hell, not even movie of the week (I'm looking at you Lego Movie). But it's a good time for kids that parents will be able to watch without falling asleep, and isn't that just what we want in half term?

My rating: 4/5

Monday 17 February 2014

Today's Review: Chocolate Collon

Mmm, what a deliciously named treat. Ever since I heard of this sweet snack, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some tiny pieces of Collon.

All connotations aside, I must say these are delicious. The outer layer is a crispy cylinder of wafer, while inside is a soft, smooth chocolate cream. The proportions may look a bit off in the picture, but the cream isn't too overwhelming, and altogether it makes for a very moreish snack. So don't delay, go and snack on some Collon today.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 16 February 2014

Today's Review: Weetabix On The Go Breakfast Drinks

Have you had your Weetabix? No? Holy crap, how are you going to make it through the day? Fear not, because although you certainly can't whip up a bowl of your favourite wheat biscuits on the morning commute, you can now pick up a bottle of the new Weetabix breakfast drink. It boasts all the protein, fibre and energy (read: calories) of your regular bowl of Weetabix, but in drink form.

It may sound odd, but I was hoping that these would taste exactly like soggy Weetabix. While I certainly am quite fussy with my cereal sogginess, Weetabix is the one breakfast food that I enjoy more in its mushed up state. If someone were to give me a bottle of Weetabix sludge, I'd gladly gulp it down, and I secretly hoped that these bottles would provide that.

Fortunately, they do actually have a nice wheaty texture to them. They're flavoured drinks though, and the sweet vanilla and strawberry taste a little artificial, making the whole experience akin to a milkshake, but these little bottles are actually quite filling. It's sort of like putting a Weetabix in a blender with a milkshake and churning it all up. Tasty, and a nice substitute for breakfast, but not perfect.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 15 February 2014

Today's Review: Vimto Drinx

Wilkinson often seem to have some interesting little foodie bits before anyone else. I found Walkers Pops there just the other week, and today, nestled among the new mini packs of Squashies, I found these little bags of Vimto Drinx. I love Vimto, and all sweets derived from it, so I just had to grab some of these.

The bag describes these as "gummy bottles and cans bursting with Vimto flavour", and to be honest that is exactly what these are. Each pack is full of tiny, squishy, purple cans and bottles, and each one tastes exactly like the original Vimto drink. They're juicy and flavoursome, and I certainly didn't like having to share these with the kids, I could have easily devoured the whole pack by myself, and then some. If you like Vimto, these Drinx are basically a chewy sweet version, and they are fantastic. Look out for them.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 14 February 2014

Today's Review: Donuts From Dunkin' Donuts

A momentous occasion today, as one of only two Dunkin' Donuts in the UK opened a short walk away from me. Now all my adoring fans will be able to track me down to my hometown, uh oh. But yes, Dunkin' Donuts has opened in my home town, which is great, because I love donuts. I spell it the American way because these are truly American donuts. I bought a dozen, which almost covered their entire selection.

You may be thinking the whole thing looks much like Krispy Kreme, and you'd be correct, the format is pretty much the same. But there is no Krispy Kreme near me, and it's always good to have a little variety. There may not be too many weird and wonderful varieties as Krispy Kreme, like their lemon meringue pie and chocolate custard, but there is certainly a nice spread to choose from. Besides, these donuts are cheaper by the dozen.

As you can see, I picked up a varied selection, from the glazed and sprinkled rings, to the bavarian and boston cremes, and some interesting heart shaped, jam and chocolate filled treats. I would review them one by one, but my verdict on all of them is that they're delicious. Soft, sweet dough, with perfect crispy glazing where applicable, and when provided, the filling is plentiful and tasty. The jam (jelly) fillings are especially sweet and filling, but no matter which donuts you pick you've probably made a good choice. Dunkin' Donuts also offers a nice selection of coffees, croissants and bagels, so I'll surely review these in good time. For now though, rest assured that you can pick up some delicious donuts, provided you can get to a branch. Let's hope there are more to come.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 13 February 2014

Today's Review: Cadbury Egg 'N' Spoon

These interesting little chocolate eggs first came out last year, but I was in full on diet mode then and missed the opportunity to try them. So now I was finally able to grab a box, along with a box of the new milky mousse flavour as seen above. I've heard many people say that these are very sickly, but that certainly wasn't going to put me off.

These eggs are beautifully presented, with each four pack coming in its own little egg box, complete with two little plastic spoons. You bite the top off the egg, revealing a smooth, creamy mousse inside for you to scoop out, before devouring the shell. While the innards are certainly very sweet, I didn't find them too sickly at all, and in fact I prefer them to the thick fondant you'd find in the vastly popular Creme Egg. The milky mousse filling is lighter than the original, but they are certainly both delicious. This is a great Easter product from Cadbury, probably one of my favourites. So don't listen to the haters, tuck into a box today.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Today's Review: Dairy Milk With Ritz & Lu Biscuit

More new Cadbury goodies, hooray! This time we have two different bars incorporating Two kinds of biscuit, the British favourite Ritz, and Lu, the one I have never heard of. I've reviewed the Milka with Tuc biscuit before, and this is pretty much the same deal, some sizeable slabs of Dairy Milk chocolate with tiny biscuits stuck either side. But how do these add up? (Not that I enjoyed the Milka much)

Dairy Milk Ritz

The Ritz version is pretty much exactly the same as the Milka with Tuc, so I wasn't overly keen overall. The Ritz are your regular salty awesomeness, but there just isn't enough of them compared to the chocolate, so the flavour gets overwhelmed quite quickly, leaving it tasting like Dairy Milk with some tasteless biscuit thrown in. Certainly not bad, but a little disappointing.

My rating: 3/5

Dairy Milk Lu

I may have never heard of Lu before, but I'm paying attention now. This may look the same as the Ritz variety, but the biscuit is a sweet one instead, and the whole package turns out to be very nice. It reminds me a lot of the Choco Leibniz biscuits, nice sweet with a satisfying crunch. The biscuit to chocolate ratio may seem as off as with the Ritz flavour, but here it isn't as bad, as the sweetness of both elements compound to make a very nice bar. This is definitely the nicer of the two.

My rating: 5/5

So there we go, two interesting new Dairy Milk bars. One nice, one not so, but definitely a good start for hopefully another year of fantastic new bars from Cadbury. 

Overall rating: 8/10

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Dark Chocolate & Red Chilli Sausages

Valentine's Day dinner is a big deal. Every restaurant I've walked past is boasting some kind of Valentine's menu for at least twice the price it's originally worth, and the supermarkets are chipping in with some a la carte Valentine's meals. But if you don't fancy taking your loved one out for a slap up meal, or even cooking one at home, you can pick up these limited edition sausages, which are apparently perfect for the occasion, and treat the other half to a romantic sausage butty.

The very idea of these was enough to put me off. Chilli in sausages I can get on board with, but chocolate? Still, I couldn't write a review a day if I passed up on the weird and wonderful, so I just had to give these a go. Thankfully, it paid off. The chocolate is present in small flecks throughout the sausage, and when cooking they give off a lovely, sweet smell. As for the taste, these are so much better than I imagined. The chilli isn't so much a prominent flavour, there is just a lovely spicy kick that helps to bring out the sweetness of the chocolate, and chocolate and pork turns out to be a very tasty combination. It looks like these will only be around for a short time, so I suggest you head out and pick some up, as these are the best sausages I've had in a long time.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 10 February 2014

Today's Review: Raspberry & Passion Fruit Fanta

In recent years there have been a lot of new Fanta flavours coming out, and that's pretty good, as all of them are tasty. I especially liked the mango and passion fruit flavour that came out a while ago, so upon spotting this special edition raspberry and passion fruit I just had to give it a go.

Well, I enjoyed it. The raspberry gives it a lovely tartness, not quite as sour as your classic lemon Fanta, and it's rounded out quite well by the smoothness of the passion fruit. It's an overall quite refreshing flavour with a tangy kick, perhaps ever so slightly too tangy for my liking. If I had to choose any flavour, I'd probably go with the good old Fruit Twist or the good not-so-old mango and passion fruit. But if you're a fan of the lemon variety, you'll probably want to give this one a go. It's good to see Fanta churning out more flavours, hopefully there are more to come.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 9 February 2014

Today's Review: Milka Choco Jaffa Toffee Mousse

There sure are a lot of interesting Milka products that don't make it into the UK supermarkets. I've seen the Milka version of the standard Jaffa Cakes before, but didn't bite as I figured they wouldn't be much different. But today I found that there are more varieties, as Milka apparently aren't afraid to make jaffa cakes that are entirely lacking in jaffa. Instead of the regular orange filling, I had the choice of either chocolate or toffee mousse, and I went with the latter.

The chocolate on top is your standard Milka fare, it's very nice, and the sponge underneath is actually pretty good too. Perhaps a little dry compared to the one and only proper Jaffa Cake, but it holds its own. It's especially helped by the filling in the middle, which is a quite generous helping of some smooth toffee mousse. The flavour, however, is not so smooth. It's quite sweet and artificial, and doesn't really blend in too well with the subtler taste of the chocolate and sponge. It's quite nice once you get used to the flavour, but these cakes are certainly not a patch on the proper orange kind.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 8 February 2014

Today's Review: Choka Blok Big Dippers

Fancy a hot chocolate, but fed up with bitty powder residue? Well, fear not, Choka Blok have you covered with their Big Dippers range. Four different flavours of hot chocolate presented in a unique way.

Yes, it's a block of chocolate on a spoon, but there's beauty in its simplicity. Simply heat up some milk, stick this bad boy in and wait until it all melts into milky, chocolatey goodness. I was a bit wary at first about how long the melting process would take, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was only a minute or so.

But how do they taste? Well, I tried all four, and they were all divine. The Chocolate Extremist and Rocky Road both boast creamy milk chocolate, with marshmallows and brownie pieces mixed in respectively. The pieces are tasty, but not so big that they get in the way of the drinking experience. The Cookie Crumb Mon-star makes a fantastic white hot chocolate with cookie pieces mixed in, while the Gold Digger Dynamite makes a lovely milk chocolate honeycomb concoction. I can't tell you which one I like the most, so you should probably just get them all. Delicious.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 7 February 2014

Today's Review: Butterkist Caramel Popcorn

I sure have been eating a lot of popcorn lately, and in a variety of weird and wonderful flavours. But today I went back to the basics, almost. Butterkist may have brought out a few savoury popcorn flavours (including bacon!) but they've also released this caramel flavour. Sounds reasonable, toffee is a staple popcorn flavour, so why not caramel?

Why not indeed. This popcorn is great. While I do love a bit of toffee, I often find it a little too heavy and sticky. This popcorn seems to solve the problem while still retaining a great flavour. It's light, slightly sticky, soft yet crispy, and overall delicious. It's certainly a better alternative to toffee in my eyes, so keep an eye out for this.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 6 February 2014

Today's Review: Walkers Pops

It must be difficult being Walkers, finding new and interesting ways to spice up their products. Sure, new flavours are a safe bet, but at the end of the day they're just churning out crisps. There may be Wotsits, Monster Munch and the like, but the flagship product can't just sit there gathering dust. So they've added ridges, baked them instead of frying, and now we have Pops, a new kind of crisp that is air popped, resulting in 50% less fat.

To be honest, I have no idea what "air popping" is, but that's the main selling point here, and it's totally not riding on the success of Popchips in any way. But the result of this interesting new method of crisp development is this:

Yeah, these crisps are pretty big, and thick too. They look almost like miniature rice cakes, but they are certainly distinctively crispy. They're very crunchy, and not at all greasy, which was a bit odd at first, but it does indeed make way for a lot more flavour. This worked out well for the melted cheese and crispy bacon flavour, but the original was a little too salty for my liking. 

Overall, this is a nice idea that Walkers have pulled off quite well. There may not be too many crisps in a pack, but each one is large and flavoursome. I'm not sure if I would choose them over the regular style of Walkers, but if more flavours become available I might be swayed (salt and vinegar would be nice). They're certainly tasty though, so give them a try.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Today's Review: Tesco KX Cola

Looks like Tesco aren't letting up on their new flavours any time soon. I reviewed their ginger beer flavoured energy drink but a few days ago, and already I've found another new flavour in the form of this cola KX. Red Bull came out with a cola a while back, and I actually really enjoyed that, so I was quite looking forward to giving this one a go.

Thankfully I wasn't disappointed. This may look like your standard supermarket brand energy drink, but this can contains some very nice authentic tasting cola, with none of the nasty energy drink chemicals present in the flavour. Overall it makes for a very refreshing drink, with the added value of giving you an energy boost. This is probably the best KX flavour I've tried so far.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Today's Review: Raspberry BN

BN have brought out some damn good biscuits. The chocolate and vanilla have been out for a while now, and are both delicious, but I stumbled upon this raspberry flavour today. The packaging doesn't say it's new, so maybe I've not been looking hard enough for them, but they're new to me, so that's what counts.

If you've had the chocolate or vanilla ones before, you pretty much know what to expect. The biscuits are pretty big and chunky, a nice crunchy biscuit with a thick creamy centre. Well, these are kind of like that, but instead of the cream we have a fruity interior, making the whole experience like a raspberry flavoured Jammie Dodger. They're nice, with a generous amount of biscuit and fruity filling, but they're not quite on par with the chocolate and vanilla varieties. Still worth a go though.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 3 February 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Double Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

I'm not really a fan of hot cross buns. There's something about the spices and the stodginess of the bread that doesn't sit well with me. But I'm willing to give them another go now that Tesco have brought out a variety of different hot cross bun flavours, and these double chocolate ones really interested me.

Basically, these are chocolate buns with chocolate chips. There's not really much about them that is traditionally like hot cross buns, apart from the aesthetic. Every part has just been replaced by chocolate, and although that's fine by me, don't expect to delve into a packet and taste all the spices you'd find in the original.

As they are though, these buns are pretty nice. They still suffer a bit from the bread being a bit stodgy, but they are certainly distinctly chocolatey, and the chocolate chips are a nice little treat that help break up any monotony. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy these again, but as far as hot cross buns go they're probably the tastiest I've had in a while.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 2 February 2014

Today's Review: Aero Cake

This was pretty hard to pass up, despite its pretty high price of £8. It's an Aero cake! Well, an Aero Bubbles cake, and in a world where the regular chocolate Aero Bubbles can't be found anywhere, but the orange and mint ones abound, this seemed to be the only way to get ahold of them. Plus there's cake too, so that's a bonus. 

Perhaps I was a bit too hasty in picking this up just to get at the Bubbles, but that was all I could see when looking at the packaging. There's certainly some cake underneath, but it's nothing Aero-like. It's a simple chocolate sponge, quite moist, but not that interesting. Thankfully the icing on top was more exciting. It's a lovely, smooth buttercream, with a fair amount of Bubbles stuck in and drizzled with white chocolate. Once I'd polished off the pretty average cake, my spirits were lifted by this chocolatey goodness. I wouldn't say this Aero cake is worth the full price, but it's certainly quite tasty. I wish they'd just done something more with the sponge.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 1 February 2014

Today's Review: Ocean Spray Tropical & Berry Blends

Ocean Spray is the go to juice if you have a hankering for cranberry. The Manic Street Preachers even wrote a song about it. But what if you love the brand, but want some different flavours? Well, now you can try out these new juice blends, and with 50% less sugar too!

Well, therein lies the problem. These juices seem to apply the same wonderful sweetener technology behind Trop50, leaving a weird smooth taste instead of that natural, grainy sugary goodness. The flavours in the forefront are pretty good though, a solid tropical taste for the latter and a dark, juicy berry medley in the latter, both with a nice hint of cranberry to remind you who is behind it all. Still, I probably would prefer this with the all natural sugars we all know and love, because while these are certainly nice, there's just something a little off about the taste.

My rating: 4/5