Thursday 30 April 2015

Today's Review: Wham Rollafizz

After reviewing the Vimto Fizzy Rippa yesterday, you may have thought that would be the end of my fizzy roll up sweet stock. But you'd be wrong, as I also picked up this treat from the very same shelf. This one comes from Wham, who make some pretty damn good chews. But can they transfer their skills to the flat, rolled up confection, and end the slight disappointment I experienced yesterday?

The short answer is no. But hey, it's not all bad. The packet states it's sour raspberry flavour, but I certainly didn't get that from tucking into the sweet. The fizz is prominent and very striking, more of a lip tingler than the Vimto version. But the flavour of the sweet itself is a bit off. The closest thing I could compare the experience to is a Granny Smith, a distinct apple-like taste with a certain tartness. It's a nice enough flavour, just not what I was expecting, and it's certainly a poor go at making raspberry. The other thing is the flavour didn't hang around for long, leaving me with a somewhat flavourless sweet to chew on. But hey, at least they've got the fizz right, and I suppose it doesn't taste too bad, but overall it's a pretty average effort. Wham should just stick to making their chews.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Today's Review: Vimto Fizzy Rippa

I'm a sucker for anything Vimto, so I was happy to find a sweet I hadn't tried in a Co-Op. This is a Fizzy Rippa, basically a Vimto version of the red metre. That's basically it, a fizzy roll of blackcurrant, grape and raspberry goodness.

I say goodness, but really this didn't sit too well with me. There was a nice fizzy hit when I first took a bite, but that quickly gave way to quite a bland taste. The Vimto flavour did soon come into effect though, and it's certainly in keeping with the rest of their sweets, a bold fruity, undeniably Vimto taste. But it is a little understated, and the texture of the sweet itself does tend to overwhelm it. By the end of the roll the flavour had given way to a gritty, sugary texture that didn't make for a good finish, but there was still a hint of fizziness hanging around that softened the blow a little. This isn't a bad sweet per se, but there are certainly better fizzy rolls out there. A good one to try for Vimto fans, but the red metre is a classic for a reason.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Today's Review: Tropicana Essentials Banana, Strawberry & Beetroot Juice

I do like a good fruit juice, but you know, fruit juice is kinda expensive, especially the good stuff like Tropicana. But I spied this interesting new range on offer in Morrisons the other day, and figured it was worth a go. Tropicana Essentials consist of a few varieties of fruit and vegetable juice, and I can't say I've ever tried out vegetable juice, so I figured this would be a good place to start. Banana and strawberry? Sounds good. Beetroot? Hmm, not so sure.

Turns out I was right, really. This juice really isn't my thing. Perhaps it's because I'm already not too keen on banana in my drinks, but I didn't get on well with this. It's a juice, but the banana gives it a definite smoothie vibe. It's some good banana, but the flavour tends to overwhelm everything else. Sure, there's a hint of strawberry, but I really was wishing for more. As for the beetroot? I really couldn't taste much in the first few mouthfuls, but it did eventually come through as a strange kind of subtle base flavour. Perhaps beetroot aficionados will be able to pick it out and enjoy it, but what I tasted really didn't gel well with the fruit, and since I was already overwhelmed by the banana this juice didn't do much for me. I may have a go at the other flavours in the range, but this one wasn't a good start.

My rating: 2/5

Monday 27 April 2015

Today's Review: Cadbury Marvellous Ice Cream - Fairground Candy Crunch

After trying out the raspberry choc brownie ice cream a few days ago, I could resist going back to see what else Cadbury had to offer with the Marvellous Ice Creams. This one seemed the most interesting of the flavours available, boasting a candy floss flavoured ice cream, swirled with chocolate ice cream and packed with Dairy Milk, mini marshmallows, jelly pieces and a "pink sugar crunch".

The candy floss ice cream sounds good on paper, but in reality I wasn't too convinced. It does have a certain candy floss flavour, but we all know candy floss is just sticky, saccharine stuff, and sadly the ice cream is the same. It's a very bold and sickly flavour, and the sugar crunch throughout doesn't help the situation, lending the ice cream some of the texture that makes the real candy floss pretty sickly. Still, there are a lot of other ingredients on board, and they help to save this ice cream from total disaster. The chocolate ice cream and chocolate pieces are spot on, and the mini marshmallows are nice and soft, a nice squishy relief from the ice cream. The jelly pieces aren't too bad either, the flavour does linger for a while after eating one though, quite an intense fruity taste that overwhelms a lot of the other stuff. But since it's taking over the pretty disappointing candy floss ice cream I don't mind too much. This is certainly an interesting idea for an ice cream tub, but I found it to be pretty average. I think I'll stick with the more conventional ice cream flavours as far as Cadbury is concerned.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 26 April 2015

Today's Review: Cheesy Cheese Pringles

Cheese is certainly not my go to crisp flavour, but I was willing to give these Pringles a go, considering they claim to not just be cheese flavoured, but cheesy cheese flavoured. How does cheese become more cheesy? I don't know, but if anyone can teach me I'm sure it's Julius Pringles (yes, that is that dude's name).

What can I say? These Pringles are cheesy, very cheesy in fact. A lot of crisps hide their cheese behind onion, but these ones go the whole hog, or rather, the whole cheese. The chip is cheesy, and there seems to be a liberal cheesy dusting applied on top as well. I'm not sure exactly which cheese they were going for, the can hints at a swiss, but overall I'd just say they're a generic cheese flavour. I'm not normally a fan of such a thing, but I must say these were quite hard to put down. Sure, the flavour is a bit intense, and the cheesy powder substance on the chips is a little strange, but the classic integrity and crunchiness of the Pringle itself saves the can for disaster. It's a crunchy, cheesy chip that I quite enjoyed. If you're looking for cheesy potato chips, you certainly can't go wrong with these ones.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 25 April 2015

Today's Review: Connect 4 Dunk

Everyone loves Connect 4, right? It's a game of logic, a game of betrayal, a game of gingerly dropping tokens into a grid. But what about when Connect 4 just isn't enough anymore? My son recently received this interesting little game as a birthday present, it's Connect 4 Dunk, a Connect 4 for the new millennium. Though it doesn't really look like Connect 4. Observe:

Yeah, that's what it looks like. You have the tower, and the two catapult contraptions either side. See, this isn't really like Connect 4 at all. You need to sink four tokens to win, sure, but they don't need to be connected. Basically the idea is to launch your tokens as quickly as possible, so you can get four in before your opponent. In that respect, this is more like a game of glorified Tiddlywinks than Connect 4, but I was willing to give it a chance. 

It turns out it's pretty fun. Sure, there are tokens flying all over the place while you get used to the distance and force required to actually launch them into the right place. Once you do get the hang of it, it's fairly simplistic, but it's a nice, fast paced game that can be pretty competitive, and there's a nice little score slider on the front of each catapult, so you can go a few rounds pretty easily. Sure, this is a simplistic game dressed up in flashy colours and angles, but it's one my kids can all get their head around pretty easily, and really leaves no room for cheating. You can even pop the funnel off the top of the tower for a bigger challenge, which is a neat touch. This may have nothing to do with the original Connect 4, but it's an interesting, if extremely tenuous, twist on a classic that makes for a fun time.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 24 April 2015

Today's Review: Crabbie's Fruits: Ruby Orange

I reviewed the rhubarb & raspberry variety of Crabbie's Fruits last week, and was mightily impressed. I'd picked up a few flavours at once, and thought it was time to bust out another now that the weekend's almost here. This one isn't quite as exotic (if you can call rhubarb exotic), but it still piqued my interest, even if I wasn't expecting to enjoy it all that much. Alcoholic orange juice just doesn't sound great to me.

As it turns out, I was wrong, this is another winner. The flavour in this drink is fantastic, a bold orange taste that is nice and sweet, but has a lovely tartness to it, it's just like biting into a big juicy orange. This bottle contains 10.5% orange juice, and it really shows, making for a refreshing citrus drink. Once again, as with the rhubarb & raspberry, the tart taste seems to do well with covering up the alcohol, all I could taste was that orangey goodness. This is another fantastic flavour of Crabbie's that's certainly cemented my opinion of this new range. Summer's just around the corner, go and grab a few of these bad boys.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 23 April 2015

Today's Review: Dark Rolos

I can't say Rolos are my favourite chocolate, but I certainly wouldn't pass one up if offered, especially if it's the giver's last one. You can't play with people's emotions like that. I spied this dark chocolate variation last week, but didn't take the plunge, as I'm neither obsessed with Rolos or a fan of dark chocolate. But with slim pickings in the way of new items on the shelves this week, I thought why the hell not, and grabbed a bag.

There's not much to say about the makeup of these. They're Rolos, but with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The chocolate is only 45% solids, so it's not overly dark, but I'd say it was definitely enough for me. There is a definite hint of bitterness about these, but it's certainly not as bad as I expected. The chocolate is still quite creamy, and the toffee inside certainly helps add to the sweetness. So yes, they're basically like normal Rolos, but with a slightly darker taste. They taste pretty good, but they were just a little too bitter for me to fully enjoy them. I'll stick with the regular versions in future, and while pure dark chocolate fiends may find these a little tame, they are a nice little variation on the original. So why not give them a go?

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Today's Review: Cadbury Marvellous Ice Cream - Zingy Raspberry Choc Brownie

Cadbury have certainly churned out some nice bars in their Marvellous Creations range, and now they've brought out some interesting ice creams to complement them. There are a few to choose from, but my attention was drawn to this awesome sounding variety. It boasts vanilla and chocolate ice creams, swirled in with Dairy Milk pieces, raspberry ripple, chocolate brownie pieces, raspberry zingers and sugar coated jelly pieces.

Sounds like there's a lot going on in this tub, right? Right. There are plenty of ingredients strewn throughout, and it means that no two mouthfuls are the same. The ice cream is good quality, the vanilla is light and creamy, certainly not too heavy on the vanilla flavouring, while the chocolate is pretty smooth and delicious. It's made even better by the Dairy milk chunks, which add a lovely bit of crunch, as well as the iconic Dairy Milk taste. But the change in texture doesn't stop there, the brownie is chewy and chocolatey, the jelly pieces are soft and packed full of fruity flavour, and then there are the small, crunchy "zingers", which are like cereal balls packing a nice raspberry taste, especially when eaten with some of the slightly gooey raspberry sauce.

I did have some misgivings about all the elements being shoved together, it was a little chaotic and overwhelming with my first taste. But I've found there's order to the chaos, and learned to let go and enjoy the variety of textures and flavours this tub has to offer. It's a creamy, chocolatey, fruity delight, and I'll definitely be picking up some of the other flavours to try out. Well done Cadbury, you've done it again.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Today's Review: Müller Püd Corner

I'm not a big yoghurt eater, but I managed to snag one of these new little dessert treats at work the other day. They're almost like your average Müller corner, but contain a "dairy dessert" instead of the normal yoghurt. The toppings remain much the same though, and I opted for the classic milk and white chocolate balls. As you can tell by the indentations on the pack up there, this can't really be considered a "Corner", as the balls reside in the top third of the pot. But I'm not here to argue semantics, I'm here to talk about the taste.

The main event in this pot is the "dairy dessert", and it's actually pretty nice. It's a thick, creamy offering, more similar to something you'll find in a Pots Of Joy than any other Müller product. Too much would probably be a little sickly, but it seems they've compensated for that by simply decreasing the amount of stuff in there. Therein lies the problem. There are a fair amount of balls contained in the "corner" part, and tipping them all into the yoghurt stuff was near impossible. Several bounced onto the floor, and I was left with a mound of balls perched on top of a thick dessert residing in a tiny space. To stir it all up would have resulted in more casualties, so it was quite an impractical dessert. Perhaps I should change my Müller eating ways, and dip my spoon in the dessert and then the balls, but why should I be expected to change my ways because of a package redesign?

Okay, it wasn't too big a deal, but it did put a damper on my experience. Thankfully, this dessert is pretty tasty. The chocolate balls provide a nice crunch and flavour, and the dairy dessert stuff is very nice and creamy, even if it is a little sickly. This is worth a go, especially for a treat if you're tired of your regular, "healthy" Müller Corners.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 20 April 2015

Today's Review: Belvita Breakfast Tops

I was recently offered a sample of these new Belvita Breakfast Tops to review, I've seen them in the shops but hadn't yet taken the plunge, so I was happy for an excuse to try them out. I seem to have gotten into the habit of skipping breakfast lately, but I was willing to make an exception for these. I've dabbled in breakfast biscuits before, and found the Belvita ones to be pretty damn good. These are basically the same thing, but with an added layer of goodness on top. You can choose from strawberry or chocolate hazelnut, and to be honest I couldn't decide which one I wanted to try out more.

The biscuits in both boxes are top notch. Lovely, crunchy, oaty biscuits that don't seem that much to look at but are certainly filling. They have a lovely texture and a great flavour packed full of different grains. Three biscuits is certainly enough to keep me going until lunch. But that's not the best part of these biscuits. The toppings are a welcome addition, and very well done. The chocolate hazelnut has a nice layer of pretty much Nutella like hazelnut goodness, not too hard, and not too gooey, just a soft chocolatey, nutty layer that complements the biscuit very well. I wasn't too sure about the strawberry topping, but I must say that's delicious too. It's a very sweet, jam like layer, and eaten with the biscuit it tastes very close to a jam tart. But this biscuit tastes cleaner, and more filling, giving a fantastic fruity kick to an already tasty biscuit.

I really enjoyed these Tops biscuits. If I were to go back into the breakfast biscuit business, I'd definitely be picking these up over the regular, non-topped flavours. If you're looking for a quick, filling breakfast, go pick up some of these.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 19 April 2015

Today's Review: Oasis Pineapple Rush

I was surprised to find this new Oasis at my local corner shop earlier, especially since it's a pineapple flavour. It's nice to see Oasis using the more tropical fruits, and this Pineapple Rush variety is a mixture of pineapple and apple juices. 

It's nice to see that unlike a lot of Oasis flavours, there isn't some orange thrown in for good measure, and the result is that this is an entirely new Oasis experience. The pineapple is certainly noticeable, very sweet and it gives a nice tropical edge. I know that just on its own, pineapple juice can get sickly quite quickly, so the apple in this bottle really provides a stable base, a slightly tarter and smoother flavour that complements the pineapple perfectly. This is a well balanced bottle, and provides a nice refreshing drink that pulls off the new flavour very well. This is the best variety of Oasis I've tried in a while, and is certainly one I'll be looking out for over summer.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 18 April 2015

Today's Review: Crabbie's Fruits: Raspberry & Rhubarb

In a world full of awful tasting alcoholic beverages, I was certainly pleased when Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer came along. But if you're not a fan of ginger, you might not be keen on taking that option. Fear not though, because now Crabbie's have come out with a line of fruity alcoholic drinks, simply called "Fruits". There are a few flavours to choose from, but to start with I picked up the most interesting of the bunch, this alcoholic raspberry and rhubarb.

I can't say I've ever heard of an alcoholic rhubarb drink, but I was certainly willing to try one. I do like a bit of rhubarb, and this bottle definitely delivers on that front. A very bold, tart flavour that brought up fond memories of rhubarb crumbles and rhubarb & custard sweets. Just the rhubarb on its own may have been a bit too much, but thankfully there's some raspberry thrown in, which provides a nice juicy, sweet undertone that still packs a bit of a sour kick. Overall, the bottle is right, it's a very fruity drink, and it's good that the label also states it's alcoholic, as I struggled to taste any kind of alcohol present throughout the entire bottle. Perhaps it's the tartness of the ingredients, perhaps it's the fruit juices they've squeezed in there. All I know is that this is a tasty, fruity drink that's refreshing, and will also get you drunk. What more could you want? This bottle is certainly suited to the coming summer months, and I'm sure I'll be picking up some more of these when the barbecues start.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 17 April 2015

Today's Review: Choco Leibniz White

I was recently offered a sample of this new white chocolate variety of Choco Leibniz to review, and it's safe to say I jumped at the chance. I certainly love a pack of Choco Leibniz, and while I lamented the absence of a white version while I was reviewing the recently released Deli Choc, it seems they'd been brewing one up all this time. Unlike other Choco Leibniz flavours, this one is switching it up a little. There's the white chocolate on top, of course, but underneath the biscuit is now undeniably darker, an interesting cocoa offering to replace the classic butter biscuit. It's a bold move, let's see if it pays off. 

The first thing I noted was the striking similarity to the new Pick Up! Black'n White I reviewed a couple of months ago. They're also made by Bahlsen, so technically they should be pretty similar, and they are. The chocolate on top is nice and thick, as is the norm for Choco Leibniz. It's certainly very smooth and creamy, and is worthy of taking the place once held by its milk chocolate brethren. As for the biscuit? Well, I'm not entirely convinced. It's crunchy, yes, chocolatey, sure, but I can't help but feel that something isn't quite right, much like the feeling I had with the Pick Up! The biscuit has quite a dark taste, and while it does complement the chocolate to a certain extent, it does overpower it in the end, meaning the aftertaste is quite a dark, cocoa experience. 

Overall, it's still a nice biscuit, but I wonder if it would have tasted even better if the original butter biscuit was left in place. But hey, it's nice to have something different, and this is a worthy addition to the Choco Leibniz range. So go on, give them a go. You can pick up a pack from Sainsbury's.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 16 April 2015

Today's Review: Pringles Spicy Chilli Tortilla Chips

Pringles are great, the best crisps you'll find in a tennis ball tube. But don't you wish they would come in tortilla chip form? Well, your wishes have come true, Pringles Tortilla Chips are here, in a nice array of Mexican themed flavours like sour cream, nacho cheese and this spicy chilli variety.

I'm a sucker for the spicy stuff, so I had to grab a can of the spicy chilli. Fortunately I was rewarded for my decision. These chips are about the same thickness as your regular Pringles, but the tortilla texture makes for a much more substantial bite, with a satisfying crunch. They have a great texture, and while I wasn't expecting much spice from these, they did surprise me, giving a nice heat sensation as soon as they hit my tongue, one that lingered for a while after eating. It's not a particularly strong spice, but it's certainly well suited to the size and texture of the chips. 

I wasn't sure what to expect from these Pringles, but I can't say a bad thing about the spicy chilli flavour. I'll definitely be picking up some of the other flavours soon, so watch this space.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Today's Review: Cadbury Salted Caramel Crunch Fingers

After trying out the salted peanut crunch Fingers a few weeks back, I finally found a box of these salted caramel ones in Morrisons the other day. These are the ones that really caught my eye when they first came out, and although I really enjoyed the peanut variety, I was certainly still looking forward to this one.

These Fingers boast a caramel flavoured biscuit, with some salty crunchy bits thrown in for good measure, all wrapped up in Cadbury chocolate. The chocolate is as good as ever, you can't go wrong with Cadbury. As for the biscuit? Well, it's pretty good. The caramel flavour is present throughout, it's pretty smooth and very sweet, though perhaps a little too sweet. Throwing in some proper caramel would have been a better idea, as it's pretty obvious that these Fingers have a caramel "flavour", it doesn't taste quite right. Still, it's a nice enough effort, and didn't affect the overall flavour too much. and the crunchy pieces scattered throughout the biscuit add a nice bit of texture and saltiness. These may not be as nice as the salted peanut Fingers, but they're definitely worth picking up.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Today's Review: Domino's Chicken Tikka Pizza

It's always a struggle deciding which takeaway to get. Stuck between an Indian and a pizza? Well, Domino's have you covered with their new chicken tikka pizza. It boasts tandoori chicken, red onions, tomatoes, and interestingly enough, onion bhajis, all on top of a tikka sauce. Now, I'm firmly in the barbecue sauce base camp, but I couldn't resist trying out a curry on top of my pizza.

Interestingly, the first point for this interesting creation was awarded as soon as it arrived. There was definitely a strong curry smell that was noticeable through the box. Opening it up, I was greeted with a generous array of toppings. The tandoori chicken is a staple Domino's ingredient, but the onion bhajis are certainly a new and interesting addition. The chicken is nicely spicy, certainly not massively hot, but enough to provide a bit of warmth. The sauce is surprisingly nice, a creamy, slightly hot offering that added to the curry experience. The best part for me, though, was the bhajis. They add a satisfying crunch to every slice, and each one packs quite a bit of flavour that goes really well with the spices already in play. So yes, the toppings are all good, I'm just not sure about the fact that they're on the pizza. I opted out of my original stuffed crust, and the classic was just a little too flat and dry, and certainly detracted from the tastiness of the toppings. Perhaps if they stuck it all on top of a massive naan it would be more authentic, but I don't know if that would work, I'm not a pizza scientist. 

This tikka pizza is a very neat idea, that's pulled off pretty well. The toppings are all nice and tasty, the sauce is a great addition. But I think if I fancy curry in the future, I'll stick with actual curry. This pizza is worth a try, but I don't think it will make it into my top Domino's choices.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 13 April 2015

Today's Review: Fanta Apple & Sour Cherry

I'm always happy to see a new Fanta flavour on the shelves, especially one with a nice dark red colour. This is an apple and sour cherry Fanta, and while I wasn't sure about the apple, the cherry certainly caught my attention. I've been looking out for this one for a while, and I finally found it in Morrisons today.

Both flavours are represented in this bottle, that's for sure. The first sensation I got, paired with the fizziness of the drink itself, was a nice, tart cherry taste, and it did stay tingling on my tongue for quite a while. It's certainly a bold flavour, but it is perhaps a little too sweet, which does offset the sourness a bit. As for the apple, it soon emerges from the tanginess, and it's reminiscent of apple Tango in taste. Not bad, but also a little sweet, especially when thrown in with the cherry. So yes, both the fruits are nicely represented, but I'm not sure about how they work together. You'd think the apple would provide a nice sweet base from which the cherry can really work its sour magic. But once the apple came to the forefront it just seemed to be fighting the cherry for dominance, both flavours are very bold, and quite tangy, so to have them both vying for my attention didn't make for a great overall taste. This is still quite a nice fruity drink, and worth a try for cherry fans, but it just didn't fare well with my tastebuds. There are a lot more superior Fanta flavours out there where the fruits work nicely together, and I think I'll stick with those.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 12 April 2015

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Puddles: Smooth Mint

Despite not being a fan of mint chocolate, I decided to go ahead and pick up the other variety of Puddles bar after I reviewed the hazelnut filled one the other day. This bar follows the same drill. It's a nice slab of Dairy Milk chocolate, within which are several raised "puddles" with a mint flavoured filling. 

When I say I don't like mint chocolate, I mean it. I've politely endured many a post dinner After Eight, in my mind there's no such thing as a green Aero. But I must say, I really like this bar. The smooth, gooey innards may not have been the best consistency for the hazelnut filling, but it really works well with the mint, making for a lovely creamy, minty texture that blends in well with the chocolate. I was expecting the mintiness to overpower everything else, but the classic, awesome Dairy Milk taste holds its own, and it all works together to give a lovely mint chocolate experience. I found myself devouring the bar pretty quickly, and for someone with such big misgivings, that's certainly a compliment. It's certainly not going to be my first choice when selecting a Dairy Milk bar, but this Puddles variety sets out to deliver a mint chocolate experience, and it does it very well. So give it a go.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 11 April 2015

Today's Review: Oddka Twisted Melon Vodka

I enjoyed the strawberry milkshake Oddka so much that I had to go back and try out another flavour. The melon really caught my eye, fruit always makes alcohol taste better. This is basically the same drill, it's vodka with a watermelon flavour.

Well, it does what it says on the bottle. The flavour is very sweet, reminiscent of watermelon flavoured sweets, like a Jolly Rancher, but not quite as bold. It certainly has a lighter impact than the strawberry milkshake flavour, but it still packs a tasty kick, and helps to offset the taste of the vodka itself. The flavour may be a more traditional one to add to vodka than milkshake, but I feel that it could be more rounded, as it does taste a little watered down. Well, vodka'd down. Still, it's certainly pretty nice to drink if you're into your spirits. This is definitely a range I can recommend.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 10 April 2015

Today's Review: Magnum No. 5 - Stolen Kiss: Tartes Aux Pommes

This Magnum has taken up residence in small ice cream freezers for a couple of years now, but I've never bitten thanks to the high price point. But the other day, with the lovely sunshine beating down, and some change jingling in my pocket on a lovely walk past the shops, I figured it was as good a time as ever to take the plunge. After all, who can resist a Magnum, especially and apple flavoured one? Well, me apparently, for several years. But not this time. This Magnum is a smaller than usual offering, but there's a lot more packed in than in your regular varieties. It has the signature vanilla ice cream, though it's punctuated with apple sauce and nutmeg pastry pieces, and all wrapped up in whit chocolate with cinnamon.

Sounds like it would make for a mighty fine apple pie, right? Well, that's true, and this Magnum does taste a whole lot like apple pie. The ice cream has a lovely, distinct apple taste, with the sweetness of the ice cream offsetting the potential tartness. The pastry pieces are a nice addition, although they're a little few and far between, and don't possess a whole lot of texture. What could have been an opportunity for a nice crumbly break from the ice cream is instead a slightly chewy, spicy experience. Not that it's bad, it's just the pastry could have been better executed. The white chocolate coating is as thick and satisfying as any Magnum, lovely and creamy, and the cinnamon sprinkled throughout gives a lovely warm, spicy sensation, just like a nice slice of authentic apple pie. All in all it makes for a pretty different, delicious ice cream. It is, perhaps, a little too heavy on the spice. The cinnamon on its own would be good, as would the nutmeg, but both together tend to take over the show from the other ingredients. Still, it's well worth picking up. I don't regret it. It's nice for a change, though I think I'll be sticking with the more classic Magnums for a regular treat.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 9 April 2015

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Puddles: Smooth Hazelnut

I'm always glad to see a new Cadbury product, and thankfully they're damn good at churning them out. This Puddles bar is an interesting addition, it's like a regular Dairy Milk bar, but with raised, filled "puddles" of chocolate throughout.

Well, it certainly looks pretty nice, but it's what's inside that counts. These bars come in either mint or hazelnut flavour, and since I don't get on too well with mint chocolate, I opted for the latter. The flat part of the bar is your standard Dairy Milk, as good as ever, but a little on the thin side. The puddles themselves are pretty nice and big, and each one contains a good amount of filling. The packet states that it's "smooth hazelnut", so I was hoping for a praline like texture, but in reality it's a little syrupy, similar in consistency to chocolate sauce. It does have a bold, hazelnut flavour, and balanced with the rest of the bar there's a good chocolate to filling ratio. It makes for a pretty nice bar, although I can't shake the feeling that it would be better if the texture of the hazelnut filling was different. In its current state it tastes a little bit sickly. Still, this is worth picking up, it certainly didn't last long after I opened it.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Sticky Toffee Pudding Popcorn

I've been meaning to pick this popcorn flavour up for a while now, and I finally took the plunge the other day. While I do enjoy toffee popcorn, I can't say it's my favourite. It tends to be pretty sticky and sickly, but this Tyrrell's version promised the pudding to go along with the toffee, so I was intrigued.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. This isn't your regular sticky, coated toffee popcorn, instead they're regular kernels with a toffee pudding flavour. I say toffee pudding, and I mean it, the toffee is certainly at the forefront, but there is a hint of cake-iness behind it that really adds another dimension. Perhaps it's the change in texture, but this popcorn really does well to blend in the toffee taste with the kernels themselves, and they work together to deliver a very nice flavour. There's a little bit of salt thrown in as well, that really brings out the sweetness, and altogether makes for a very tasty bag. I may have been disappointed with Tyrrell's lemon cupcake popcorn offering, but this bag is one well worth looking out for. Yum yum.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Today's Review: Oddka Strawberry Milkshake Vodka

I went to a house party last week, so I found myself in the alcohol aisle, which I don't usually visit, perusing the spirits for something to keep me merry while revelling. My eyes passed over all the usual, boring, foul tasting stuff, and settled on a bottle of delightfully pink liquid. It was named Oddka, and the flavour was strawberry milkshake. Now, the very idea of vodka mixed with milk is enough to make me gag, but somehow the idea of a strawberry milkshake vodka was very appealing, so I snatched it up and proceeded to party.

There's really not too much to say about this, you're either going to love it or hate it, and the haters will probably be put off by the very thought of it. But I actually found this stuff to be quite nice. Basically, it's vodka that has a strawberry milkshake flavour, just like it says on the bottle. It's not quite as strong as your average vodka, at only 20% volume, but I found that helped the flavour come out a bit more, and certainly made for a spirit that can be drunk somewhat comfortably straight. The flavour is a little curious, it still has that distinct burn you get with vodka, but the sweetness does quite a lot to combat it, and the milkshake element is actually put in place pretty well, not tasting so creamy as to give the sickly sensation I was expecting. The juxtaposition isn't perfect though, and there was often a battle between the vodka and the milkshake for prominence. But this was certainly a lot better than I was expecting, it's a very interesting idea for a spirit that is pulled off quite nicely. I'll definitely be trying out the other flavours, especially if I can hunt down "fresh cut grass"...

My rating: 4/5

Monday 6 April 2015

Today's Review: Kettle Chips Thai Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass & Coriander

I'm always glad to see a seasonal flavour of Kettle Chips on the shelf, especially if it's a spicy one. This bag has a bit of an extra twist though, some lemongrass and coriander thrown in amongst the sweet chilli. They had me at Thai sweet chilli, so down the hatch they went.

In short, I love them. The chilli doesn't quite come to the forefront while eating, but the spice develops pretty quickly, and the heat lingers for a while. The lemongrass is a lovely addition, an aromatic, citrusy punch that adds an extra zing with an undeniable sweetness. It works really well with the chilli to provide a lasting and awesome aftertaste. These chips are satisfyingly crunchy, wonderfully sweet and pack a nice bit of spice. Definitely the best seasonal edition I've had in a while, so pick up a bag while they're still around.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 5 April 2015

Today's Review: Cheetos Mexican Flamin' Hot

If there's one snack food I ask my parents to bring me back from Oman, it's Cheetos. Specifically any of the Crunchy variety. Be they regular, Flamin' Hot or Cheddar Jalapeño, I love them all. So I was pleased to find my mother had found a new variety of crunchy goodness in the form of these Mexican Flamin' Hot Cheetos. I thought for a second that these may be a rebranding of the Cheddar Jalapeño, but in fact they're pretty different.

These follow the same formula as the other Crunchy Cheeto flavours, big sticks of crunchy goodness, much like giant Nik Naks, but dangerously cheesy. The cheese taste is as bold and flavoursome as ever, it certainly lives up to the Cheetos name. As for the spice, well, I was slightly disappointed. After the intense heat of the regular Flamin' Hot Cheetos, this somewhat pales in comparison. Not that there isn't some spice in here, it's just a slow burning one that takes a while to invade your tastebuds. It's a nice heat that lingers for a while after eating, but it's not quite as strong as I'd have hoped. Still, these are nice crunchy, cheesy crisps that will certainly satisfy those looking for a milder spice.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 4 April 2015

Today's Review: Fruit Shoot Peach & Mango

Fruit Shoot is the go to drink for lunchboxes and family outings. They're all pretty tasty, but they've always come in generic flavours that weren't really worth writing about. But I spotted this limited edition the other day and had to try it out, with an interesting combination of peach and mango.

It sounded odd to me, but it actually works quite well. While the mango is a tropical fruit, and I equate peaches with a more British feel (even if they're not natively British), they are pretty good in tandem. Each one has a very unique sweetness, that combines to make a very bold fruity flavour, they don't both fight for your attention, they just get along with each other to provide a lovely juicy taste. If anything it tastes less like a generic fruity drink and more like an experimental Starburst. Don't let that analogy put you off, it may be a little sickly, but it's still a nice refreshing juice. I wouldn't say it would fit in well with the already established range of flavours, but it's certainly a good attempt at something different. So try it out before this limited edition disappears.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 3 April 2015

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Utter Peanut Butter Clutter Cookie Core

It's a beautiful day when a new Ben & Jerry's flavour hits the shelves, let alone a whole new line of flavours. Following on from the Core range, we now have Cookie Core ice creams, which boast a sturdy trunk of cookie goodness instead of the gooey, creamy innards of before. They come in a few flavours, but my attention was immediately drawn to this peanut butter offering. It's truly peanut butter through and through, a peanut butter ice cream, smattered with peanut butter cookie chunks, and a peanut butter cookie core running through the middle. So I guess liking peanut butter is a prerequisite for this one, and thankfully, I love it.

I've tried Ben & Jerry's other attempts at peanut butter flavours, and I've loved them all. Thankfully, this one is no different. It contains the wonderfully creamy peanut butter ice cream that was used in Peanut Butter Cup, and although it does sound sickly on paper, it actually tastes pretty light, a nice smooth offering with a great, sweet flavour. But surely the peanut butter cookies will take it over the edge? Well, no. The chunks spread throughout the ice cream are soft and chewy, similar in texture to the pieces you get in the classic Cookie Dough ice cream, but again with a great peanut butter flavour. The core is the main attraction here, and it certainly delivers. It's a fantastic, crunchy, brittle experience with a great gritty texture that unleashes a lot more flavour. The peanut butter is a constant presence throughout the tub, and while it does sound like it would become a little too much after a while, the difference in textures between the cookies and ice cream really help to break it up and deliver a very tasty tub. Peanut butter haters stay away, because this is one for the lovers, and it's a tub that will love you right back.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 2 April 2015

Today's Review: Cookie Dough Rocky

I picked up these Cookie Dough Rocky bars from Asda a couple of weeks ago, and have steadily been making my way through them. I do love a Rocky, especially the regular chocolate kind, so to combine the biscuity goodness with cookie dough seemed to be a stroke of genius. There's not too much I can say to describe these bars, it's basically a biscuit, coated with milk chocolate, with a cookie dough flavoured cream in between.

That's pretty much what you get too. The biscuit is nice and crunchy, and much the same quality as you'll get in any other Rocky bar. The coating is generously applied, making for a nice chocolate hit with every bite. But the main attraction here is the cookie dough element, and to be honest I wasn't overly impressed. When I think of cookie dough I think of the nice gritty texture, and preferably a smattering of chocolate chips. Of course this isn't quite possible in cream form, so I was a little disappointed. Still, the cream certainly tastes like cookie dough, though the biscuit and chocolate do drown out the flavour a little. Overall, it's a nice new variety of Rocky, and while it's certainly not perfect, it's a tasty bar. They're definitely worth trying before they disappear from the shelves. 

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Today's Review: Robinsons Toffee Apple Tangle Squash

Robinsons have brought out some interesting new squashes with some funky looking characters on the label. Two of the varieties are pretty standard berry and tropical mixes, but this toffee apple offering caught my eye. It certainly is an interesting thing to put in squash, and I certainly wasn't expecting to be blown away, but I thought it was well worth a go.

A purely apple squash is something I'd probably pick up quite often. This one contains some pretty nice apple tones, a slightly tangy, fruity hit that I certainly wouldn't pass up on its own. However, the toffee element just doesn't do it for me. Sure, it tastes like toffee, and sure, toffee apple is a well established flavour. But it just doesn't taste right in liquid form, diluted in water. This squash is sickly, the toffee flavour often overwhelms the apple, making for quite an odd taste. I wasn't sure whether this idea for a squash flavour was a good one, and it really didn't convince me. It's an overly sweet, slightly fruity concoction that I certainly won't be picking up again.

My rating: 1/5