Tuesday 30 June 2015

Today's Review: Walkers Max Flamin' Hot

I picked up a Boots meal deal for the first time in a long time the other day, and while perusing the selection of crisps my eyes settled on this interesting bag. I hadn't eaten Max crisps in many years, but I was certainly willing to dive back in for this flamin' hot flavour. The pack says they're new, but I have no idea when they came out. All I cared about was how spicy these were.

I was pleasantly surprised. There's already a flamin' hot flavour from Walkers in Monster Munch form, and they're not all that spicy. But these certainly have a very nice kick to them, a heat that starts out quite intense and sticks around for a while afterwards. Perhaps it's the size of the crisps and the ridges therein, but there's certainly a generous coating of flavour, and it makes for a spicy, crunchy, satisfying bag. I'm sure I'll be picking up more packs in the future.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 29 June 2015

Today's Review: Chupa Chups Candy Pizza

Everyone loves a pizza. But wait, this is no ordinary pizza. While the box does say "Pizza", inside there is in fact not a pizza, although there is something pizza-like. It's a candy pizza, from our good friends at Chupa Chups. 

Would you just look at that pizza. Well, it's not an entire, coherent candy pizza, which was a little disappointing, but there's certainly a lot of candy thrown in there. The crust is made of gummy bananas, which was a bit of an odd choice, but I guess it just looks the part. Underneath there are foam pizza slices with gummy bits on top, which are actually one of the nicest pieces in here. Good thing too, 'cause there are a lot of them making up the base. The toppings are some of your usual pick 'n' mix fare, strawberry laces, gummy fruits, bears and some raspberries and blackberries. Also a solitary fried egg for some reason. All the sweets are pretty good, A nice little mixture to keep things interesting. The gummy bears are a little strange, sporting an interesting yellow foam back, but they're still pretty good. The best part is the blackberries and raspberries, which taste just like the good old pick 'n' mix ones, and there are loads of those too. In short, there's nothing on this here pizza that I didn't want to eat, it's a good fruity mix of gummy and foamy sweets, and very nicely presented it is too. Yum yum.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 28 June 2015

Today's Review: Lion Granola

I do like a bowl of granola in the morning, and there's certainly no shortage of varieties to choose from. Most come from pretty health-conscious brands like Special K and Jordans, but why have that when you can have granola based on a chocolate bar? I first spied Lion Granola a while back, but didn't want to bite at full price. I found a pack in the clearance section of Asda last week for a mere 69p, so while it may not be shifting units all that well, I figured it was worth a go.

This granola doesn't consist of much other than the box states. It's a bunch of oaty clusters, mixed up with chocolate and caramel. But hey, that's certainly not a bad thing. I found the structure of this stuff to be a lot better than most granolas I've tried. I'm a fan of big chunks rather than several flakes, and this box has a lot of chunks. I guess it's the chocolate and caramel that holds it together pretty effectively, and those ingredients also make for a pretty tasty experience. It's not the best quality confectionery, but the oats have a pretty satisfying crunch. Sure, it isn't quite as healthy tasting or clean as the fruity options, and it does get a little sickly due to the amount of chocolate and caramel shoved in there, but it's a decent attempt at granola that has certainly been filling me up in the mornings. 

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 27 June 2015

Today's Review: Jelly Belly Tutti-Fruitti Cupcakes

Not content with dominating the jelly bean market, Jelly Belly have broken into a few other avenues, such as milkshakes, jellies and sodas. Now they're trying their hand at baking, with these Jelly Belly cupcakes. I spied two flavours on offer today, a strawberry jam and a tutti-fruitti. Since the latter has strawberry jam inside anyway, I went for that one. It also sports tutti-fruitti frosting, sauce and jelly beans, all piled on top of a vanilla cupcake. Certainly sounds fruity.

There's a healthy amount of jam crammed in there, but to be honest, I didn't taste it all that much. It has a nice texture, sure, and it blends in well with the nice soft cake surrounding it, but the real attention seeker here is the topping, and there's lots of it. The frosting is piled high, and is pretty sickly, with a bit of a strange texture as well. It's kind of a cross between frosting and marshmallow fluff, a bit too thick for my liking, which only adds to the sickliness. The sauce drizzled on top doesn't help all that much either, as it has a prominent bubble gum taste. The first cake I ate, eating the frosting was almost like chewing gum, though I did find the topping of the second cake a slightly better experience. The jelly beans on top are as good as ever, your classic tutti-fruitti Jelly Belly. It's just the stuff they're perched on top on is a bit too much. A nice cake, maybe if they cut back on the frosting I'd enjoy it a bit more. It's worth a try for any Jelly Belly fans out there, but there are better cupcakes on the shelves.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 26 June 2015

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Coconut & Caramel Poshcorn

Tyrrell's have brought out a couple of interesting popcorn flavours, which I've had varying opinions of. I spied this coconut and caramel flavour in Tesco earlier, one I hadn't seen before, though I believe it might have been around for a while. While I could quite readily say I hated coconut a couple of years ago, I must say it's grown on me at least a little, and I was hoping this popcorn wouldn't rely too much on it for taste, otherwise it would probably be getting a lower score.

Thankfully this popcorn is just right. The coconut is not overwhelming at all, it's a distinct flavour, but quite subtle, relying on the sweet undertones rather than fully assaulting the senses. The pairing with caramel was an interesting idea, and it's one that's pulled off very well. A bold flavour that's nicely swirled in, it's probably what takes the edge off the coconut to deliver an altogether sweet experience. Pair that with the quality of the popcorn itself and you're onto a winner, I only managed to find one un-popped kernel in the entire bag, which must be some kind of record, and every piece possesses a satisfying crunch with a soft centre. This is how bags of popcorn should be, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Tyrrell's pops out next.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 25 June 2015

Today's Review: Jelly Belly Tabasco Jelly Beans

After purchasing some draft beer flavoured Jelly Belly for my dad at Christmas (and apparently neglecting to review them), I couldn't resist catering to his other favourite food group for Father's Day, with these Tabasco flavoured beans. I'm impressed with the amount of interesting flavours Jelly Belly have come out with lately, and being a fan of spicy stuff myself, I was more than happy to try one after my dad cracked open the present. 

As skeptical as I was about a Tabasco jelly bean, that's exactly what I got. I thought the spiciness wouldn't transfer well, or the texture of the bean itself would lead to some unholy creation. But really, everything works here. It starts out with your regular chewy Jelly Belly texture, with a distinct peppery flavour. But soon it gives way to a pretty intense heat, and it's pretty much like you've just chased your jelly bean down with a dash of hot sauce. It's an authentic flavour, and it translates into sweet form very nicely. I'll probably be picking up a bag of these myself, but only because I'd look a bit odd emptying a bottle of hot sauce into my mouth in public. If you like things spicy, these beans are for you.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Today's Review: Frank's Red Hot Chilli & Lime

I'm a sucker for a good hot sauce, the hotter the better. Well, not overly hot, I do enjoy a bit of Spontaneous Combustion, but I wouldn't smother my dinner in it. But Frank's Red Hot is certainly a sauce I don't mind. I've only really had it before on top of Domino's chicken wings, and that's certainly not a bad way to experience it. I found this bottle the other day that contains lime as well, and thought it might be a good thing to cover all my favourite foods in.

This is certainly a hot sauce. Definitely not the hottest I've had, but the spice remains for a good few minutes after eating. It's never too intense, just a lingering, consistent heat that tingles on the tastebuds. The lime is noticeable as soon as it hits the tongue, a distinct citrus kick with a nice bit of tang that works well with the spice already present. This is a satisfyingly hot sauce, with a bit of a fruity hint to take the edge off. I'm certainly looking forward to drizzling it all over my food in days to come.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Fruity Mix'd Up Weirdoughs

The Weirdoughs brand is certainly an interesting one, mainly focusing on crisp flavours, with the odd festive variety thrown in for good measure. Now Tesco have gone a more traditional, fruity doughnut route, but they wouldn't be Weirdoughs if they weren't a bit, well, weird. This pack of 15 doughnuts consists of five different flavours: pineapple, black cherry, orange, banana and strawberry. But the icing on top of the doughnut is different to what the colour of the fruit would be in real life. Crazy, huh?

Well, I was interested enough in how a banana, cherry and pineapple doughnut would taste, so I grabbed the bag as soon as I saw it. Looking back, I'm glad I kept it, because without that handy guide on the front I'm not sure I would have guessed which flavour was which. Sure, there are hints of the fruity flavour in each one, but they're really not strong enough, probably because the flavour is concentrated in the icing, and the doughnut underneath is quite filling, detracting from the taste. The bits of flavour I did pick up aren't really that bad, they're certainly quite artificial tasting, but combined with the doughnut itself they make for an alright sweet treat. The black cherry flavour is probably the strongest, and I did enjoy that one, but the rest just fell a bit flat. These fruity Weirdoughs certainly aren't as good as previous flavours, they're an interesting enough idea, but they're not worth going out of your way to pick up.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 22 June 2015

Today's Review: Asda Indulgent Moments: Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel

I had a hankering for some ice creams at Asda the other day, and a brief look at their Magnum-style offerings rewarded me with these fantastic sounding treats. Peanut butter ice cream is becoming a big thing nowadays, and I'm very glad it is. But Asda have combined this trend with another, throwing some salted caramel in for good measure.

These are quite Magnum like in stature, the outside is a crisp chocolate shell, which has a fair few peanut chunks scattered throughout. The innards consist of a peanut butter ice cream with salted caramel swirls. The shell is very nice, certainly not as thick and creamy as a Magnum, but a good quality chocolate with a nice bit of crunch and texture thanks to the peanuts. The ice cream is very good as well, a smooth peanut butter flavour that isn't too sickly. However, combined with the salted caramel, it does become a bit too sweet. Sure, the caramel is a nice addition, and the flavours work well together, but it's just a bit overwhelming for my taste. Aside from that, the swirls seem to be quite disproportionate, I only really got a taste of the caramel next to the chocolate shell, while the centre seemed to be mostly ice cream. Still, this is a great idea for an ice cream, and it's certainly one I'd consider buying again. It's not as good as Ben & Jerry's peanut butter ice cream offerings, but it\s well worth trying.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 21 June 2015

Today's Review: Jurassic World

Over the last few years, there have been a slew of movie sequels from franchises that seemingly ended years ago. They started out not so great, but lately the quality seems to have stepped up a little. Jurassic World is one that's been on many people's radars for a while now, and I was definitely looking forward to it, despite not being as massive a fan of the franchise as others I know. 

22 years after the initial Jurassic Park failed spectacularly, the idea has finally come to fruition in the form of Jurassic World. The park has been open for a while, and is a resounding success, but attendance is flagging a little, so demand for a new attraction is high. Thankfully, the guys in the lab have been working on cobbling together a big, dangerous hybrid dinosaur, the I-Rex. Predictably, this new beast turns out to be a little more than the employees can handle, and the park operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) finds herself running for her life, while also searching for her two nephews who are visiting the park. Thankfully Jurassic World's manly velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) is on board to (hopefully) save the day.

This is a pure Hollywood popcorn movie. I knew that going in, so I wasn't overly disappointed when the plot and characters turned out to be entirely predictable. Sure, there are several twists and turns along the way, but it's very much a formulaic movie. I can't blame them for that though, it's based on a winning formula. The characters are all pretty cookie cutter and one-dimensional, we have the hero, the villain, the damsel, every characters has a specific flaw, and the only development we see from them is changing into the polar opposite. But, as thin on the ground as plot and character development may be, it doesn't matter too much. It may be a killer in most movies, but Jurassic World is about the action, and it has it in spades.

Jurassic Park was a big deal when it came out, the effects had never been seen before. But over two decades later the technology has obviously progressed, and Jurassic World sure does enough to catch up. Dinosaurs are all over the place, and they all look spectacular. The park looks great, even with the obvious product placement, and all the boring character development scenes are overshadowed by fantastic action set pieces. Dinosaur vs. man, dinosaur vs. dinosaur, every sequence is perfectly put together to deliver a true blockbuster experience. Jurassic World is certainly not going to win Best Picture, but if you want to sit back and watch a load of dinosaurs tearing up the place, you can't go wrong with this.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 20 June 2015

Today's Review: No Fear Mother Load Apple

I haven't touched a can of No Fear since I reviewed their quite frankly ludicrous ring pull system three years ago. But I spied this nice little green number in Asda today, and after seeing that it's an apple flavoured energy drink, I was certainly tempted to grab one. Upon doing so I found they've also opted for a more classic ring pull on the can, so that sealed the deal for me. I'm not sure why this flavour is called "mother load" apple, I assume they're referring to the term "mother lode", a principle vein of gold or silver ore, or perhaps the most useful cheat code in The Sims 2. What that has to do with apples and skulls with over ear headphone, I don't know. But clearly the edginess is strong with this can.

Well, this drink certainly is apple flavoured, and despite not containing any apple juice at all, it doesn't do too bad of a job. In fact, the flavour is something somewhat similar to Apple Tango, so it was actually quite enjoyable, although all the other stuff shoved in to make it an energy drink adds another element of sweetness that offsets it a little, making it a little too saccharine. What I did find nice was the level of fizziness, more so than I've experienced with other energy drinks, and perhaps it would be a little too much with any other flavour, but it does work quite well with the tartness of the apple. Overall, it's good stuff, enough to make me forgive the brand for their past errors. Sure, it's a bit chemically and sweet, and it does have something of a lingering aftertaste, but it's certainly an enjoyable drink that also provides a nice kick of energy. I'm looking forward to seeing what else these guys will bring out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 19 June 2015

Today's Review: Toblerone

I was sent a bar of Toblerone this week to review, and I'm certainly not one to turn down chocolate. You see, Father's Day is just around the corner, so if you haven't got a present for your daddy yet, you're probably a terrible person. But also, there's no need to worry, because you can always run out and grab one of these bad boys. Toblerone have done a repackaging job for the occasion, although the one I was sent was lacking in such finery. But never fear, here's a pack shot:

Look at that, a chocolate oriented championship belt that would bring a tear to any old man's eye. The stuff underneath is still your regular Toblerone, but hey, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Toblerone is manly, and in lieu of creating some awful beer or steak infused chocolate, this bar is just stuffed full of another classic man pleaser - nuts.

Look at all those nuts. Well, it's actually honey and almond nougat, but that's the reason I love Toblerone so much. Most bars are content with ramming huge chunks of nuts in there that hang around for ages, but the Toblerone contains some lovely, chewy chunks that blend in with the chocolate, adding a bit of texture and crunch while enhancing the sweetness of the bar overall. The chocolate itself is smooth and creamy, and the unique triangle shape of each piece makes for several satisfyingly chunky blocks of chocolate that are packed full of the nice chewy stuff. I'm sure many of you have had a Toblerone before, but those who haven't should go and grab one, and pick one up for your old man as well. I know I most certainly wouldn't mind unwrapping a Toblerone on Father's Day. Although the shape of the present would probably give away the surprise...

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 18 June 2015

Today's Review: Red Bull Tropical Edition

With the cornucopia of flavoured energy drinks lining the shelves, Red Bull have been a little slow on the uptake. Sure, there were the coloured editions of a couple of years ago, but apart from that the drinks have remained a steady energy drink flavour. But now there's a tropical variety on the scene, and I couldn't resist snapping it up.

"Tropical" is the best way to describe this, apparently, as there's no real indication of which fruits it's meant to taste like. Still, I guess "tropical" is a flavour in itself now, and this can does taste like it. A predominantly citrusy drink, mostly orangey, but with hints of other such as pineapple and guava. It's certainly not the best tropical flavour out there, but it's pretty nice in energy drink form. The best part is that the flavouring detracts from the energy drink taste, and actually makes for a pretty refreshing beverage. It's a neat twist on the regular Red Bull that isn't perfect, but is still pretty tasty.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Today's Review: Aero Mousse Bar

You can't beat a good bar of Aero, there's something about aerated chocolate that makes it taste so good (it's probably the aeration). But it's been the same old uniformly aerated chocolate for ages now, and it's time to shake things up a bit, so now we have Aero Mousse, which is like an Aero, but with a mousse bit in the middle. Hey, I didn't say they were going to shake things up a lot.

So this bar has two distinct parts, the regular Aero casing, and the mousse filling. I say distinct, but really they're not all that different. Perhaps it was the time spent in a bag in the warm summer air, or perhaps that's just the way it's made, but the insides certainly weren't all that moussey, and the chocolate on the outside wasn't particularly firm. There's some difference in texture, sure, but it's barely noticeable and not all that great. Still, it's the same old Aero chocolate taste, so it's definitely a tasty bar. But it employs a slightly boring concept that isn't pulled off all that well, so it loses some points there. 

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Today's Review: Slush Puppie Popping Candy

In this small, unassuming packet lay an answer to a prayer I never thought to make, a holy union between two fine confectionaries. This is Slush Puppie flavoured popping candy. There's really not much I can say about this that isn't already said on the packet. It's Slush Puppie popping candy. It tastes just like the well established blue raspberry slushie drink, a lovely bold flavour that certainly carries over well to candy form. As for the quality of the candy itself, it's certainly one of the most effective popping candies I've had in a while. From the moment the granules touched my tongue I was experience a lot of strong pops, and the whole process lasted a good while. It's all the joy of popping candy, mixed with the goodness of Slush Puppie. This is a must try.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 15 June 2015

Today's Review: Yollies

Yeah, that's right, Yollies. You never heard of a Yolly (I assume that's the singular)? Yes, we are apparently no longer content with out yoghurt being in mostly liquid form, even if we can empty them into our mouths conveniently, without the need for spoons. No, we need partly solidified yoghurt, in the form of a lolly. Thankfully, the guys behind Cheesestrings are here to provide us with just that concept, and it's one that definitely caught my eye, although it didn't gain my trust.

Yeah, look at that, ain't it cute? I don't really know how else to describe this, it is, quite simply, a yoghurt lolly. Each one has a lovely imprint of the mascot's face (I guess he's called Yolly?), and a "collectible" stick that has a letter of the alphabet on it. What you'd want with several plastic lolly sticks, engraved with bones and letters, I don't know, but everything's collectible these days apparently. 

But enough about faces and sticks, how does it taste? Well, not great. Quite simply, it just seems wrong. The strawberry flavour is there, sure, but the texture completely ruins it for me. If there's one way I don't want to eat yoghurt, it's in a chewable form, and that's what you get. All the strawberry flavouring in the world probably couldn't shift the thought that I'm chewing on out of date, congealed yoghurt, and having my brain focus on that pretty much ruined my experience. Perhaps kids will love these, perhaps they'll be the biggest new lunchbox filler. But I don't like them. 

My rating: 1/5

Sunday 14 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Cookies & Kreme Cookies

Thanks a lot to one of my loyal (?) readers for letting me know of this new cookie variety gracing the Tesco bakery shelves. Tesco sure have stuck a lot of stuff inside cookies lately, and while this flavour may not be wholly original, it's certainly a neat idea. I know they say "cookies & kreme cookies" as if the filling of the cookie itself contains yet more cookie, but what we have here is simply a chocolate cookie with a white chocolate filling.

Other cookies from Tesco have already had the white chocolate filling, like the melting snowman of last year's festive period. But the difference here is that the innards are much softer and creamier (hence the "kreme" I suppose). I don't know if it's the softer texture of the chocolate or a sheer increase in volume, but there's a lot of filling to go round, so much that the integrity of the cookie is compromised. They'd already started bleeding before I got them home, and as soon as I picked one out of the packet it was flopping around like nobody's business. Not that these aren't nice cookies, quite the opposite in fact, they're nice and soft, with a very bold chocolatey taste, and the filling provides a fantastic creaminess, despite the volume of it it's only a little sickly. This is a great chocolatey cookie experience, but it's definitely fragile. Be prepared to get messy, but it's kinda worth it.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 13 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Vegetarian Kitchen Three Bean Chilli & Rice

I've been working my way through some of the Tesco Vegetarian Kitchen range after being sent a voucher to try some products out, and after painstakingly cooking the sausages and burgers by sticking them in the oven, I thought I'd give myself a break by shoving one in the microwave. This three bean chilli is a good old fashioned ready meal for one, a mixture of cannellini, kidney and butter beans, with some butternut squash thrown in to make up for the lack of meat, and flavoured with jalapeƱo and chipotle. I must say, I couldn't see anything that would make me regret this dish.

Turns out I was right. I know I'm a big meat lover, and the distinct lack of beef was something I was sure I'd notice, but there's really enough going on in here that I didn't miss it all that much. The beans are nice and filling, a good variety of texture throughout, and the butternut squash is present in nice big chunks, providing a nice bit of flavour and substance. The rice is pretty good, certainly a good quality for a microwave meal, and it certainly didn't detract from the experience. There's a lovely bit of spice throughout thanks to the chillies that are chucked in, nothing too hot but certainly a lingering heat that really rounds off a nicely prepared meal. This is definitely my favourite of the vegetarian options I've tried, and is worth picking up, even if you're not a vegetarian.

My rating: 5/5 

Friday 12 June 2015

Today's Review: Rustlers Paninis

I was on the hunt for a quick and easy dinner for one today, and while I was contemplating a microwave burger, my eyes settled on these interesting little numbers. Now, I'm sure we all enjoy burgers that we can nuke in a couple of minutes, but a panini is surely the healthier option? Well, slightly healthier, maybe.

These paninis come in two flavours, chicken and pesto and pepperoni. I wasn't expecting too much from these, after all, they burgers aren't admittedly of great quality. Opening up the packet, I wasn't too sure what to think. The meat looks a little stingy in both Paninis, and the cheese also looks stretched a little thin. But upon cooking, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The cheese melts wonderfully, and the meat is plentiful enough to provide some in every mouthful. What surprised me most was the sauce. There's a nice and creamy pesto to spread on your chicken, while the pepperoni comes with a lovely, smooth tomato sauce, with a nice herby kick that makes it pretty delicious. The bread was even of a pretty good quality, the Rustlers burgers normally have pretty soggy buns, but the paninis manage to retain their crispness. The bread is a little stodgy, but it's certainly an improvement from the burgers.  Sure, these aren't as good as your fresh made paninis, but they're certainly good enough for a quick snack. 

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 11 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Vegetarian Kitchen Spicy Bean Burgers

Here's another one of the vegetarian options I picked up with the voucher Tesco sent me. I'm a big fan of burgers, so it only made sense that I would go for these. I can't say I was too fond of the idea of a bean burger, but I think I can trace that back to the time someone gave me one instead of my bacon double cheeseburger at the Liverpool Street Burger King, and by the time I found out my train had already pulled out of the station. I was willing to look past that though, especially looking at these bad boys, two massive, thick patties per pack, and with spiciness to boot. What's not to love?

As the pack implies, these burgers are made up of a whole load of beans, with some potato and pepper thrown in for good measure. The result is something pretty damn tasty. There's a whole lot of texture in there provided by the beans, and despite having so many potentially crumbly components they hold together extremely well, with a nice crispy exterior that provides a satisfying crunch. All the different ingredients give a variety of flavours throughout, and the spice provided is a nice, lingering heat that doesn't attempt to overwhelm all the other elements. They do end up being a little dry, which did detract from my enjoyment a little, but it's nothing a little sauce wouldn't fix. These burgers are tasty and satisfying, and they certainly filled me up. They may be a little on the dry side, but they're definitely a good option for any vegetarians out there.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Chocolate & Vanilla Milkshake Slices

You can't beat a good bit of Mr. Kipling, and I was certainly drawn in by the promise of cake that tastes like milkshake, especially when two flavours were involved. These slices are compositionally similar to other Mr. Kipling offerings, chocolate and vanilla milkshake sponge layers, glued together with a creamy filling and topped with icing.

Unfortunately, they're not as great as I'd hoped. The cake is certainly cake-like, but it's certainly not very milkshake-like. You'd expect it to be light and creamy, but instead the sponge is quite stodgy, and while the flavours are certainly chocolate and vanilla in origin, they're just quite heavy and nowhere near milky enough for my liking. There is a saving grace in the form of the creamy filling and topping, and overall it makes for a not wholly terrible cake, but if you're looking for a milkshake experience you won't really find it here. 

My rating: 2/5

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Today's Review: Banana Tic Tacs

You can't escape the Minions. They're all over clothing, food items, even those quotations on Facebook that have no discernible connection to the little yellow blighters. With the Minions movie fast approaching, the merchandising guys are really stepping up their game, and the latest victim to the yellow fever is the Tic Tac.

Yes, banana flavour Tic Tacs. I've been searching for these for a while now and finally found a pack the other day. I haven't been fervently looking because I love the Minions, but because the idea of these was pretty intriguing. I like the fact that they haven't just plastered a Minion face on the box and used it to shift the same old product, no, there's a whole new flavour in here, and much in keeping with the Minions' favourite food. But how do they taste? 

Well, like banana actually. Not exactly like real bananas, but I wasn't really expecting that. No, they carry more of the flavour of your pick 'n' mix foam bananas, or any other good banana flavoured sweet. It's a bold taste that certainly lasts a good while, and there's none of that odd lingering minty feeling that a lot of other Tic Tac flavours seem to have hanging around. These Tic Tacs will leave your breath as fresh as a banana, apparently. So yeah, they taste pretty good, and actually have powdered banana as an ingredient, so they're pretty good on that front. The only problem is that, like other Tic Tacs, they do get a bit powdery over time, and especially if you bite into them. This creates a bit of a weird texture, and sometimes the flavour itself gets a bit overwhelming, but overall it's not too much of a problem. These are banana flavoured Tic Tacs, and they do what they say on the box. I don't know how long they'll be around, so grab some fast.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 8 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Vegetarian Kitchen Cheese & Leek Sausages

I was recently sent a voucher to try out Tesco's new vegetarian range, which has a few interesting offerings for those who are that way inclined. As for me, I love meat, but I was willing to try out some of these dishes. Of course, one of the ones I went for was the meatiest sounding one, in the form of these sausages. Vegetarian sausages are hardly a new thing, but the Tesco ones promise cheese and leek at the forefront, and that sounded pretty tasty.

These sausages feature steamed potato, gruyere and cheddar cheese, leeks and parsley. The resulting taste is pretty nice, there's certainly a fair amount of cheesiness, and the leek and parsley add in some nice veggie flavouring. The potato is the most present taste though, and at times it's not all that good. It's quite lumpy, which certainly provides some texture, but didn't feel quite right in a sausage. Apart from that, there's not that much holding these sausages together, and they crumbled quite easily even when I sliced through. It's not a major issue, the crumbs can easily be picked up, but I'd expect a sausage to actually stay in the sausage shape while eating, and this was just too messy for my liking. These sausages do have some interesting flavours buried within, but the potato does tend to overwhelm and the crumbling is inconvenient. They're certainly not bad, but they're not all that great. If you've had enough of your Quorn and Linda McCartney, by all means give these a go.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 7 June 2015

Today's Review: Jacob's Thai Sweet Chilli Cracker Crisps

Regular crisps are going out of fashion. It's time to snack on other things, like rice cakes and crackers. But if you're not quite ready to give up on crisps yet, Jacob's are here to help you with the transition, with their cracker crisps.

There are a few flavours to choose from, but I chose the sweet chilli, as I'm a sucker for spice. These cracker crisps are just as you'd imagine, crackers that are the size of crisps. The texture is great, not as heavy as a regular sized cracker, but thick enough to give a satisfying crunch, before flaking off to provide access to the flavour within. This is only a good thing, as these taste great, a bold, spicy flavour that lingers long after the cracker is gone. The flavouring seems to be generously applied all over the crackers, so there's never a mouthful that isn't fantastically tasty. I'll definitely be picking up some more of these, and I urge you to do the same.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 6 June 2015

Today's Review: Tesco Honey Lime Chicken Sandwich

I was recently sent a voucher to try out this interesting new sandwich from Tesco. It was the winner of a public vote that took place over Facebook and Twitter, making it a very social sandwich indeed. There was some stiff competition in the form of lamb & mint and fish finger & tartar sauce sandwiches, but in the end this honey lime chicken offering took the trophy. It consists of honey and lime chicken salad, with cheddar cheese, guacamole mayo and sriracha sauce.

Sounded pretty tasty to me, and it certainly is. The chicken is very flavoursome, a definite sweet hint of honey coupled with the slight tang of the lime, it's certainly worthy of the top spot. The extras are all pretty good too, there's a generous helping of cheese, and the guacamole mayo adds a nice element of creaminess. The sriracha sauce is also a nice touch, adding a little bit of spice on top of everything else. All the elements are of good quality, but to be honest there is perhaps a little too much going on in this sandwich, a lot of flavours competing for dominance. I feel this sandwich may have been better without one of the sauces, but as it stands it's certainly a tasty offering, even if it is a little busy. This sandwich is well worth picking up, and it's even part of the meal deal, so it's perfect for your lunch break. Go and grab one.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 5 June 2015

Today's Review: Blue Riband Coffee Cream

I've never really understood the appeal of Blue Riband. There are many nicer biscuit bars out there, and its name certainly doesn't stand out among the others. Sure, I'll eat one if there's nothing else around, but really I find it to be a bit bland. Now there's a coffee cream variety available, and I figured it might make things a little more interesting.

This is basically the same affair as your regular Blue Riband, wafer covered in milk chocolate. You might think that being called "coffee cream" would mean there was some sort of cream layered inside, but no, the wafers are coffee flavoured instead. There certainly is a pretty strong aroma of coffee when you crack one open, and the first taste while eating certainly has a strong coffee presence. It's not bad at all, a smooth, almost creamy taste, but the problem is it doesn't hang around for too long. Soon the wafer takes over, and the sheer amount of it means the coffee flavour takes a back seat as you chew through the dry wafer that is only offset by the chocolate wrapped around it. Okay, I guess there's not that much wafer, and there is a nice bit of flavour to it that isn't present in the original, but overall I still find this to be a pretty bland biscuit. It's just now a pretty bland biscuit that tastes like coffee.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 4 June 2015

Today's Review: Lipton Raspberry Ice Tea

I do enjoy an iced tea on a hot summer's day, or any day for that matter. I've only really dabbled in peach and lemon flavours, because they're normally the only ones I can find in easily available bottled form. But I found this raspberry flavour from Lipton the other day and snagged it immediately.

I was really looking forward to this, I was. I think it affected my experience of it at first, as the initial few sips were refreshing and had a fair amount of raspberry flavour. But as I made my way through the bottle, I realised it wasn't all that flavoursome. It's a somewhat refreshing drink, although it does have a bit of a dry edge to it due to the tea extract. But it's just pretty bland, and seeing the ingredients supports that. Aside from sugar, water and acid (yum), there is a mere 0.12% tea extract, and 0.1% raspberry juice. The tea extract sure goes a long way, but the juice not so much. This could have been a great bottle, but there's not enough fruitiness to make it work. It's an okay iced tea, but not a great raspberry iced tea.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Today's Review: Snickers & Hazelnut

Snickers, while not my go to chocolate bar, is indisputably a classic. There have been several tweaks on the formula in recent years, most notably the three different versions that pack in extras of all three main components. Now that's done with, Mars have decided to just stick in a different kind of nut, and so we have the Snickers & Hazelnut.

Basically, it's like a regular Snickers, but with hazelnuts. Don't worry, there are still peanuts, there's just a little extra to make it interesting, and it certainly does.The original Snickers is all present and correct underneath. Certainly not my favourite, but the chocolate, caramel and peanuts are all pretty tasty and combine to make that classic Snickers taste. The hazelnuts are a very welcome addition, a bit of a different texture, and certainly a sweeter taste to layer on top of the peanuts. I thought there may be a few too many nuts with the two different types packed in, but the levels seem just about right. Overall it's a great package, and a simple but well executed twist on the original Snickers bar. I don't know how long it's going to be around for, but I'd suggest grabbing one.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Today's Review: Terry's Chocolate Orange Pots Of Joy

I've dabbled in the Pots Of Joy range before, and certainly found nothing objectionable so far, but I don't frequently pick them up on a shopping trip. When I saw these Chocolate Orange Pots Of Joy, however, I had to give them a try. I'm a sucker for a Chocolate Orange, and while they're available in several shapes and sizes, I thought a creamy dessert version might be interesting.

Here you have a somewhat small pot, containing a creamy milk chocolate layer, covering some orange flavour goodness. Well, I say goodness, but that's not really how I'd describe it. The chocolate stuff is great, creamy, smooth, tasty, much like any of the other Pots Of Joy I've tried. But the orange part is a let down. It tastes like orange, sure, and combined with the chocolate it does come close to the actual Chocolate Orange. But there's way too much of the orange stuff compared to the chocolate, and it's pretty thick and sickly. It overwhelms the chocolate layer, meaning by the end you're just left with a very sweet orange taste which just didn't sit right with me. It's an alright dessert, sure, there are plenty worse out there. But coming from a range that has so much better on offer, this was quite a let down. If you're hankering for a Chocolate Orange, just stick with the solid stuff.

My rating: 2/5

Monday 1 June 2015

Today's Review: Milka Choco Biscuit

You can't beat a good Choco Leibniz biscuit, though many others have tried the same formula. Nothing has quite toppled the classic Bahlsen version, but I was pretty excited when I found this effort from Milka in Menorca. Milka chocolate is awesome, so combine it with those butter biscuits and you've got a winner, right?

The chocolate is certainly top notch, your classic, creamy Milka goodness, and it's a nice thick coating that certainly provides a lot of the flavour. As for the biscuit? Well, it's alright. It's certainly not a butter biscuit, but I wasn't going to let my unwavering opinion of Choco Leibniz get in the way of a good time. Instead this is more of a malted milk style biscuit. It's pretty tasty, but a bit crumbly, so the experience was dampened somewhat. Still, it works well with the chocolate, and this is certainly a biscuit to try out, much like any Milka product is worth a go. Not perfect, but pretty damn tasty.

My rating: 4/5