Saturday 30 April 2016

Today's Review: Christmas Pudding Flavour Alcoholic Drinks

A friend of mine saw these interesting little shots in Bookers, and thought of me. It's nice to know that I'm seen as that guy who likes to try weird things. So yes, it is most certainly not the season, but these "Christmas Pudding Flavour Alcoholic Drinks" fell into my hands this week, so it would be remiss of me to not try them out. I think you can tell from that wonderfully unoriginal name that I expected no quality whatsoever from these, but hey, there was an off chance that they would be fantastic.

They're not though. The very fact that they're called "alcoholic drinks" instead of something specific is very telling. If I were to make a Christmas pudding themed shot, I'd go with brandy, because that's what it's associated with. But these little plastic glasses just contain some non-descript alcohol that gives the unpleasant burning sensation without any real hint of flavour. The Christmas pudding element presents itself in a slightly fruity taste, it's not anywhere near Christmas pudding, but at least it distracts from the moonshine underneath for a second before it all collapses into disappointment. I'm glad I tried these out in the off season, Christmas is a magical time, and these shots are like an alcoholic Grinch.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 29 April 2016

Today's Review: Magnum Double Chocolate Bar

Hot on the tail of the new Magnum Double range are some new Magnum chocolate bars. I didn't even know these existed until Amy posted some reviews over the last week or so, but I knew I had to track them down as soon as possible. Thankfully I was able to pop into my local B&M today, and lo and behold, Magum goodness awaited me. Here's the double chocolate version, which boasts milk and dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, covering a chocolate filling with butterscotch and crunchy pieces. Sounded good enough to me.

Look at that cross section, it's certainly very chocolatey, and that's reflected in the taste as well. The chocolate on the outside is much like that on a Magnum ice cream, thick layers of nice creamy chocolate, and the mix of milk and dark provides a great mix of sweet and bitter. The inside is lovely and soft, the difference in texture is almost similar to that of the ice cream, that's how smooth and creamy the inside tastes. It's also packed with a lot of chocolate flavour, but also has a hint of chewiness provided by the butterscotch pieces, and a satisfying crunch is provided by the nibs and crunchy pieces inside. This bar is all about the chocolate, and it delivers in many ways. I figured it would be very sickly, but I finished the bar off with no problems. I think its relatively small size works in its favour, any bigger and it may have been too much, but as it is this bar is an indulgent, tasty chocolate offering that very nicely represents the classic ice cream. Let's hope the trend continues with the double peanut butter bar.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 28 April 2016

Today's Review: Nesquik Chocolate Milk Slice

I've had my eye on these Nesquik milk slices for a little while now, I've never been too willing to bite, because while they look nice in theory, I wasn't sure how good they'd actually be. I finally caved in yesterday when I spied this chocolate flavour, in contrast to the regular milk variety. Chocolate makes everything better, and since this was double the chocolate, I figured I'd give it a go.

These milk slices are basically two slabs of chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate, milky filling in between. As I said, it sounds good in the description, but in practice I can't say I was overly impressed. The sponge is fine, I suppose, it's a little soggy what with the filling in between, but still manages to be a little stodgy. It has a nice enough chocolate taste, but I wouldn't call it a nice sponge. The filling isn't anywhere near as substantial as the picture on the front promises, it's a somewhat lacklustre helping of milky stuff. Again, it's not bad, but it's nothing too special, and there wasn't really enough of it to wow me. Overall, these milk slices are pretty disappointing. They consist of a couple of promising elements, but they don't really deliver on either front. These will probably do well as a quick snack for the kids, but they're probably not going to reach the top lists of favourite desserts anytime soon.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Today's Review: Ribena Very Berry

You can't beat a good olf fashioned bottle of Ribena, when it comes to blackcurrant they're number one. They've tried to branch out in to a few other flavours, but we all know where they came from, a stable, blackcurrant base that is a British classic. That doesn't stop them trying new things though, so here we have Very Berry, a Ribena drink made up with juice from strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and apples. It's also sweetened with Stevia, so it's lighter on the calories. I like a mixed berry drink, so I was excited to see what Ribena could offer with this bottle.

This is a juicy drink, sure, but the focus appears to be on the more "common" fruits, there's more of a strawberry and apple flavour than the raspberry and blackberry. The latter two are noticeable, but they don't beat out the others, so while this is definitely a mixed berry flavour, some are better represented. It's pretty refreshing, but overall the fruit flavour isn't quite as strong as it could be, and the addition of stevia seems to add a sweetness which seems slightly off, and I found my mouth was getting drier than I expected. This isn't a bad bottle of Ribena, but it's nothing too special. The fruit juices are there, but they're not implemented particularly well, and I think they should have stuck with the regular sugars instead of the stevia. I was expecting something nice, but ended up with a mediocre drink. I think Ribena should stick to the blackcurrant, it's what they do best.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Today's Review: Bulmers Blueberry & Lime Cider

There is a wide variety of ciders available on supermarket shelves these days, from a range of good quality brands. I normally go for the Rekorderlig or Kopparberg, but I do occasionally pick up a Bulmers. They're not normally the utmost quality, but they get the job done. But now Bulmers have brought out a blueberry and lime cider, and since I love blueberries with all of my heart, I couldn't wait to snag a bottle.

This cider tastes like blueberries, that's the first thing I noticed. It's a bold, very sweet flavour, that's full, juicy, and very fruity. It may have been a little too sweet just on its own, so it's nice that the lime is there as a constant presence to add a bit of tartness to mellow out the overall taste. So it's sweet, and a little bit sharp, but the lime doesn't intrude too much on the main focus, the blueberry is at the forefront and makes this one satisfying bottle of cider. I find often with some Bulmers flavours the fruit flavours give way to the alcohol quite quickly, making the overall taste quite bitter. This one holds up well throughout though, and the blueberry hangs around even in the aftertaste. This is a fantastic cider, and I'll definitely be picking up some more.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 25 April 2016

Today's Review: Milkybar Milk & Crunchy

I've been searching for this bar for a while now, when all I had to do was pop to the shop down the road. This is Milkybar Milk & Crunchy, which is a small Milkybar which... well, has some crunchy bits in it. I guess the marketing department were having a half day when they named this thing, or maybe they were on a roll, and figured the best way to get the message across was putting the description in the name itself. Either way, this is a Milkybar with rice pieces, and that's about it. Oh, it's also shaped like a cow. How fun!

If you've had a Milkybar, which I'm sure most of you have, then you know what to expect from this. If you haven't, it's a fantastically creamy white chocolate, probably the best around, and this bar is no different. It's extremely flavoursome, and is satisfyingly thick, so despite the bar's size it does taste quite substantial. What I do question, however, is the crunchy part. The rice pieces make up 5% of the bar, and while there is a definite crunchy texture in each mouthful, the pieces aren't quite abundant enough to modify the flavour of the bar itself. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, after all, the Milkybar is perfect. But it does make me think they slightly missed the point of the whole endeavour, and could have improved on this variation with a few more rice pieces chucked in. I can't be mad, it's still a great tasting bar. It just could have been a little more different.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 24 April 2016

Today's Review: White Twix

I stumbled upon some White Twix earlier, at a boot sale of all places. I was sure I'd eaten it before, but not so sure if I'd reviewed it, and apparently my suspicions were founded, as my blog is devoid of white chocolate Twix action. So, while I may have had one of these before, I took on the task of eating another one for all you lovely people. Life is hard sometimes.

I think it's pretty clear from the wrapper what to expect from this, it's a Twix with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I don't believe the Mars company dabble much in the white chocolate market, so it's nice to see something like this on the odd occasion. The coating is definitely white, but I wouldn't say it's the best quality white chocolate, it's a little sickly and has a bit of a chalky texture, but it's creamy and has a nice enough flavour, so it's not all bad, an interesting change from the milk chocolate. The lighter flavour also makes the other elements more prominent, and those remain as good a quality as ever, a very sweet, gooey caramel and a satisfyingly crunchy biscuit, so all in all this is a nice little variation on a classic bar. It may not beat the original, but it's worth picking up if you can find it.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 23 April 2016

Today's Review: 100 Grand

I'd never heard of a 100 Grand bar, but seeing this six pack in B&M for just 99p, it was hard to say no. It's a Nestlé bar, so I was sure it was gonna be good, and while it's nothing adventurous, it promises a combination of chocolate, caramel and crispy pieces.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it's pretty similar to a Toffee Crisp. The chocolate is a good quality, much like the chocolate in a Kit Kat or Toffee Crisp, and the crispy pieces provide a satisfying crunch. The difference between this and a Toffee Crisp is the 100 Grand seems to have quite a bit more caramel, and while it is lighter tasting, the balance of ingredients seems a little off, and it's a little too sweet. Perhaps it could have done with some more crispy pieces, but even with the abundance of caramel this is still a good bar. The ones in this six pack are pretty small, but I suppose you can always do two at a time. Or six at a time. Yeah, that's the way to eat them.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 22 April 2016

Today's Review: Alf Turner Dragon's Sausage Roll

I've seen a few variations on the classic sausage roll, some have put tomato ketchup in there, others have shoved in some beans. It had never occurred to me that chilli sauce would be a good addition to a sausage roll, but it did occur to Alf Turner, and I assume their reasoning behind it was "why the hell not". So here it is, a sausage roll with added chilli sauce. Simple enough, but is it effective?

The sausage roll itself is pretty good. Thankfully it only came with instructions for heating in the oven, because that's the best way to do it, and anyone who heats them in a microwave is a monster. So after 15 minutes of cooking, I was greeted with a nice flaky pastry filled with a hefty hunk of meat. It's not the best quality you can find out there, but it's some good sausage. There are not gristly bits or large deposits of fat, just nicely crafted sausage. The chilli sauce is infused into the meat, and I must say it provides a very nice kick, almost a habanero level of spice. It isn't quite uniform throughout the entire sausage roll, but it does give a good level of heat throughout. All in all this is a good quality sausage roll with a great, spicy twist. Apparently there's also a dragon's pork pie and scotch egg, so I'll be tracking those down in the future. Hooray for hot sauce.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 21 April 2016

Today's Review: Dunkin' Donuts Tutti Frutti

Dunkin' Donuts have recently released a trio of "Candy Shop" flavours, because I assume everyone would want their favourite candy shop treats sprinkled on top of a donut. I know I do. There's a peanut brittle, a rocky road, and this tutti frutti variety, which intrigued me the most. As you can see, it's a chocolate coated donut, sprinkled with fruity pieces. The combination of chocolate and fruit was a little odd, but I thought it would all come together in the end.

Sadly, it didn't. The fruity pieces are great, possessing a nice tang and bold flavours, they're satisfyingly chewy and seem right at home sprinkled on a donut. The chocolate coating isn't bad per se, but it's a very odd fit for a fruit themed donut. I'm sure they could have used a strawberry coating to greater effect, so this decision seems a bit odd. It makes what could have been a great flavour into a pretty mediocre one. The chocolate distracted my attention from the fruit pieces, and I didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as I should have. It's a confusing concoction that just doesn't quite work.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Today's Review: Breakaway Caramac

With last year's Caramac buttons also came the release of a Caramac Breakaway, which I had so far been unable to find. Thankfully B&M provided the other day, and I managed to pick up a pack. There's not much I can say to describe these, they're digestive biscuits with a Caramac coating, so just caramel flavoured stuff and biscuit really. But sometimes simpler is better.

The stuff on top is great, it's Caramac, pure and simple. A bold, sweet caramel flavour with a lovely creamy texture, it's exactly the same as the classic bar, and it's a generous covering. The biscuit underneath is fairly good, although it did seem a little dense and stodgy, it didn't quite pack the crunch I'd expect from a biscuit bar. It's not a particularly bad thing, but the overall texture did seem a little off to me. It didn't stop me wolfing down the bar though, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at another. These are a great combination of two delicious snacks, a caramel biscuit delight.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Piri Piri Chicken Melts

I normally cook all my meals with fresh meat, but on the odd occasion that I'm not cooking for the family, I don't mined perusing the chilled aisles for something a bit more ready made. These piri piri chicken melts looked pretty good for a quick fix. There are a few varieties of these available, but the main idea is that they're breaded chicken breast filled with various sauces, and since I'm a spice nut I figured I'd go for the heat.

Well, that's a lot of sauce. I was surprised at how much there was, and it was definitely satisfying watching it ooze out. The chicken itself is pretty alright, I wasn't expecting gourmet stuff from some already prepared breaded chicken, so it's pretty good considering, it's a nice chunk of meat and I didn't find any nasty surprised inside.The sauce is a lot better than I thought it would be, it packs a pretty strong heat , and there's enough packed in each melt to give the entirety a good level of spice. This is a good, ready made dish in the vein of chicken kievs, and I'm actually tempted to try out some of the others after this. Good effort from Tesco.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 18 April 2016

Today's Review: Butterkist Yoghurt Coated Popcorn

This has been out for a while now, but my local Poundland have only just started stocking this, so my long wait is over. I've been none too impressed with Butterkist's latest seasonal offerings, but I still had faith in this yoghurt coated stuff. After all, it's not an outrageous new flavour, it's just yoghurt and popcorn. What could go wrong?

The popcorn is quite generously coated, but there's still some kernel poking through, so it was apparent these weren't going to be mostly yoghurt. I was worried that there'd be some strange flavour in there that messes the whole thing up, but no, the popcorn is just a little bit sweet, and the coating just tastes like yoghurt, plain old yoghurt. Not that that's bad, in fact it's very good. The coating is sweet and creamy, and the taste is authentic and satisfying. The corn underneath is up to Butterkist's usual high standard, nice crunchy kernels that aren't overly sweet, but they don't need to be given what's on top. The balance is just right, and while yoghurt coated popcorn sounds a little bland, these are very nice and moreish, I finished the bag before I knew it. I'm glad I gave Butterkist another chance, this popcorn is delicious. Let's hope they bring out more winners like this.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 17 April 2016

Today's Review: Swizzels Fruity Pops

Ever had a Fruity Pop? Of course you have, Even if you've never made the conscious decision to buy one, even if your parents never bought one for you, chances are you were offered one as a kid by a barber, doctor or some such. Do doctors still give out lollipops? Am I that old? Fruity Pops are an enduring classic, a Swizzels staple that I'm pretty sure everyone has tried at some point. But I figured it was time to look back at them with my review cap on to figure out if they're as good as we all think they are.

These come in four great flavours: yellow, orange, red and purple. I assume they're meant to correspond to fruits like coloured sweets regularly do, and for the most part they do taste like them. These are very sweet lollipops, they don't contain as clean, distinct flavours as you'd find in Chupa Chups varieties, but they do provide a sugary, fruity flavour that is very addictive and surprisingly juicy. If I have one it's very hard not to seek out another after, every flavour is great and I've never passed up on one.

There is a problem though, although it lies not with the lolly itself, but with the stick. It's made of paper, and for something that you're putting in your mouth for extended periods of time, paper is not a good material to use. It's fine at first, supporting the lolly nicely, but as the sucking continues and the stick gets wetter, it starts to flake and come apart. Spend too long mulling over a Fruity Pop and you run the risk of getting pieces of stick in your mouth, which is entirely unpleasant. I don't know how this design flaw has continued, perhaps it's the best way to keep costs down, but it puts a big damper on an otherwise great lollipop. Still, it's another excuse to munch your way through a Fruity Pop as fast as possible, and the food part is still great, so I won't begrudge the stick all that much. They should probably sort it out, it stops me from giving these things a perfect rating.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 16 April 2016

Today's Review: Costa Chocolate Bundt Cake

I went for a Costa yesterday evening, and while normally I'm more of a coffee-to-go kind of guy, on this occasion I was sitting down, and since I hadn't eaten dessert I went ahead and ordered some cake. I don't normally do that, I find the prices a little too much, especially with the tacked on charge that comes from eating the thing in store. I assume it's a washing up charge, water and soap is mightily expensive.

Anyway, there were many lovely looking cakes on offer, but my eyes are naturally drawn to the words "new" or "limited edition", so I found myself fixating on this chocolate Bundt cake. Who am I kidding, I normally fixate on chocolate cake. It's a fairly simple offering, it's a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, in a Bundt cake shape. True to its word, it is very chocolatey. The cake itself has a very good flavour, nice and sweet with a little hint of dark, it's not too sickly but it did fill me up. The only problem was it was a little dry, and as a result it was a bit crumbly, and not quite as satisfying to eat as it could have been. The ganache on the outside is... alright. Unlike the cake it is pretty sickly, it's quite gooey and very sweet, and the after taste wasn't all that pleasant, it's just a little too much. 

This isn't a bad piece of cake, but it's not great either. Each part has its own problems, and it all adds up to just an adequate offering really. Hopefully the next cake I buy at Costa will be better, though it may be a while before I do.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 15 April 2016

Today's Review: Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp

I like Cheerios, I like oats, and I like cinnamon, so having all three of them in the same bowl sounded damn good to me. It's a combination of Cheerios and cinnamon flavoured oat flakes. Maybe I would see why kids like the taste of Cinnamon Oat Crisp. Oh, wait, wrong thing.

There's nothing wrong with these by any means, but I can't help but think they miss the mark. The Cheerios are alright, but they don't have that nice mix of grains you'd get in a regular packet. As for the oat crisps, they're nice and crunchy, and they have a hint of spice, but they end up falling a bit flat, especially with the relative blandness of the Cheerios. This cereal is a good enough mix of oats and cinnamon, but it's not enough to wow me. I'd rather go for other cinnamon cereals with a bit more of a kick.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 14 April 2016

Today's Review: McVitie's Trio

Trio bars haven't been around for a while, or so the internet is telling me. I probably ate some when they were out 13 years ago, but I didn't have my review cap on then so I probably didn't notice it. That doesn't bode particularly well, as I always missed Nerds and Wispas when they went away, but maybe I just wasn't as immersed in Trio madness as others. But anyway, they're back, and I picked some up. I assumed they're called Trio because there are three elements: Biscuit, toffee cream and chocolate. Or maybe they're called Trio because the bar is split into three sections. Or maybe both.

A lot of snacks these days are getting more outrageous with their ingredients and combinations, so it's nice to see this bar hark back to a simpler time. It's just toffee, chocolate and biscuit, and it's nice. They're made by McVitie's, so you know the biscuit is good. It's crumbly but has a good initial crunch to it, and it works well with the chocolate coating, which is nice and thick. The toffee is the main draw here, and it's a very sweet cream with a bold flavour. The only thing is there's a little too much of it in comparison to the other elements, and it ends up being the predominant flavour in the bar as a whole. As nice as the biscuit was, it was hard to detect most of the way through. So while this is a good toffee biscuit bar, it's heavy on the toffee. Not a major problem, but it keeps it from being perfect. These are still worth trying out while they're around though, especially if you have fond memories of what used to be.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Today's Review: Fox's Red Velvet Crunch Creams

Crunch Creams are probably one of my favourite biscuits. The filling is often extremely creamy and generous, and the biscuits either side have a great texture and buttery taste. So the idea of a red velvet variety was too good to ignore. The filling is cream cheese flavoured, while the outer biscuits are chocolate flavoured. Plus they're red. What more could you want?

Well, they look the part, like your average Crunch Cream, a nice amount of creamy filling, and some substantial, crunchy biscuits either side. But the taste doesn't quite match up with the presentation. The filling in particular was quite disappointing, it still has that great creamy texture, but the flavour just doesn't seem right, and I didn't get any hint of cream cheese while eating. As for the biscuits, they're pretty nice, I think that the focus was on making them red, because for chocolate flavoured biscuits these don't taste particularly chocolatey. It's a tasty enough biscuit, and still has a satisfying crunch, but the flavour leaves quite a lot to be desired.

These aren't bad biscuits, they're still a version of Crunch Creams, and Crunch Creams are great. But they've tried to overhaul the whole biscuit, and haven't done it particularly well, and I definitely prefer the original Crunch Creams to this variety. As Crunch Creams, these are pretty average. As red velvet Crunch Creams, they just aren't that good.

My rating: 2/5

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Today's Review: Lusette Wafers

I was recently contacted by Halusky, an importer of Czech and Slovak foods, who are going to be releasing Lusette, a range of chocolate wafer products, in the UK. They sent me a few samples to try out, and I can't say no to chocolate, so here's the selection I received:

Now, chocolate wafers aren't a new thing by any means, but with the recent alteration to the classic Time Out recipe by Cadbury, I figure a little more variety in the market would be a good thing, especially with different flavours like these, from chocolate to nougat. I figured the milk would be the best one to start off with, and it's pretty good for reference, to see what the cross section looks like:

There's definitely a nice thick couple of layers of filling in there, a few wafers, and a generous covering of chocolate. It all comes together pretty nicely, the wafer has a nice crunch to it, the milk filling is smooth and creamy, and the chocolate is pretty damn good too, it doesn't taste like cheap stuff. For some reason I wasn't expecting these wafers to be substantial because, well, they're wafers, but there's a lot of stuff packed in here and overall it was pretty filling.

The other ones were good too. The "Platinum" had nut pieces strewn throughout that gave a nice authentic bit of flavour, while the nougat had a filling similar to the milk variety, but with a slight, satisfying chewiness to it, definitely reminiscent of a good old fashioned bar of nougat. The chocolate one may be my favourite, the filling is a generous heap of chocolate goodness, it seems thicker in consistency to the stuff on the outside, and at times it reminded me of chocolate cake. 

I can't really fault these wafers. They have great fillings, a nice coating of chocolate, and the wafers themselves are crunchy and tasty. They'd be a great replacement for those who have been let down by the changing Time Out recipe, and for everyone else they still make for a good snack. I'll be sure to update this review when you can get hold of these, but for now keep your eyes on the Halusky website, just a brief look through there has made me want to make an order. Halusky have also provided me with a nice little survey for you guys to fill out if you're willing, so check the link here if you fancy giving that a go, apparently there may be a gift hamper of their products in it for you. Let's just hope it contains some Lusette wafers, 'cause they are good.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 11 April 2016

Today's Review: McVitie's Digestives Caramel Flavour Teacakes

McVitie's have been churning out a few interesting products lately, and now it seems they want to grab a share of the teacake market. Now, I probably couldn't resist a caramel teacake, let alone one that promises a Digestives base, so as soon a I saw these they went straight in the trolley. They consist of a caramel flavoured mallow on a Digestives base, covered in chocolate and topped with caramel flavoured sprinkles.

These are good teacakes, I'll say that straight away. The chocolate coating is generous and tasty, and the biscuit base is very satisfying. It's not the consistency of a regular Digestive, but it's not as soft as you'd find in other teacakes. It has a nice crumbly texture that packs a lot of good flavour. The marshmallow is nice and soft, although the flavouring isn't perfect. It's caramel-like, sure, but it's a little too sweet, especially given the already sweet nature of the marshmallow. Add to that the caramel flavouring of the sprinkles, and it was a little too much caramel for my liking. I think if they'd have just made these a chocolate Digestive teacake I would have enjoyed it more. There's also a Hobnobs teacake out, so I'll be on the lookout for those.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 10 April 2016

Today's Review: Fish 'N' Chips Red & Brown Sauce

I've seen these packs of Fish 'N' Chips popping up all over the place in recent months, from Tesco to 99p stores. I've tried the curry sauce variety and found them to be pretty okay,the salt and vinegar seemed like it wouldn't amaze me. But it seems there was a gap in the market they were keen on filling, so now we have Fish 'N' Chips in both red and brown sauce flavours. Ketchup isn't an oft used flavouring, and I can't say I've experience brown sauce crisps before, so I was looking forward to trying them out.

It's clear to see why they went with "red sauce" to describe these ones. They definitely don't taste like the Heinz brand stuff, it's very much a replica of the traditional chip shop ketchup, quite sweet and very vinegary. They've actually done a pretty good job with the flavouring, but the problem is it doesn't last too long, it soon fades out leaving behind a pretty tasteless crisp. Still, it's good while it lasts, perhaps a bit too heavy on the vinegar side, but hey, chip shop ketchup is like that anyway, so it's a fairly good emulation.

The brown sauce is better in terms of longer lasting flavour. It's a bold, rich taste that is certainly in the realm of a good bottle of brown sauce. Again, though, it suffers from being a little too vinegary, and in a flavour that's already quite bitter it does get quite overwhelming at times. So while the flavouring is strong and longer lasting, I wasn't sure it was really the kind of flavour I wanted hanging around. Nice enough, and thankfully these come in quite small packs, as any more and I feel it would have been a bit too acidic tasting for my liking.

These two new flavour aren't bad/ They're far from perfect, but they're a nice addition to an interesting little range of crisps. They're probably the closest you'll get to those dubious chip shop sauces, it just depends whether that's what you want in a crisp.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 9 April 2016

Today's Review: Cookies & Cream Pocky

I've loved Pocky ever since the first moment I picked some up from an import shop many years ago. I love it so much, I've still yet to try the UK version Mikado, because I'm convinced it must be inferior to the real thing. I stumbled upon this box of cookies and cream flavoured Pocky the other day, and couldn't help but snatch it up. Pocky mixed with Oreo style goodness? What could wrong? 

This is as good as Pocky always is, a lovely crunchy pretzel stick with a generous coating. It says cookies and cream on the box, and the cream is definitely present. It's a nice milky offering , satisfyingly creamy and very sweet. It is perhaps a little too sweet, but since the sticks are so small it doesn't ruin the experience. The cream element is a little over represented, the cookie is slightly noticeable, but the fact that there's no cookie in the ingredients makes sense. There is 1% of cocoa that gives a surprisingly chocolatey taste, so overall this Pocky is pretty damn good. Could do with a bit more balance, but I wouldn't mind grabbing another box of these.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 8 April 2016

Today's Review: Nakd Coconut Bliss Fruit & Nut Nibbles

I don't always go for the unhealthy, additive laden stuff, you know. I've tried Nakd bars in the past, and while they don't beat a nice bag of chocolate in my eyes, I've met a few flavours that I've enjoyed. Seeing as I've become more fond of coconut lately, I was drawn to this packet of fruit & nut nibbles, hoping I could further develop our relationship.

I was worried these would be a little too heavy on the coconut, and that I wouldn't enjoy them all that much, but these are made up of a mere 4% toasted coconut, along with 4% cocoa. The rest of them are made up of dates, cashews and raisins, like most other Nakd products. The result is a satisfyingly filling, fruity nutty bite, with some nice hints of both chocolate and coconut. Since the coconut is spread on the outside, the flavour comes through very nicely, and I liked these a lot more than I thought I would. The only problem I have is the same that I have with all the other Nakd bars and nibbles. The combination of dates, cashews and raisins is a little dry, and while they provide a nice fruity flavour, overall the nibbles are a little too dense. Still, there's all good stuff in these, and they are very nice, and free from gluten, dairy and wheat to boot. Another good addition to the Nakd range.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 7 April 2016

Today's Review: Apple Fanta

Of all the juices, apple is probably one of my favourites. So when I saw this purely apple Fanta in Mr. Simms I snatched it right up. I've tried the apple & sour cherry flavour that came out in the UK a while ago, but that wasn't too great, I was hoping this would be purer and tastier.

My body was ready, I popped open the can, I raised it to my lips, and I was met with a gush of syrupy water with a hint of fruit-like flavour that wasn't very reminiscent of apple. What happened? How hard is it to make an apple drink? Well, I'd suggest they start with the apple juice, but apparently they forgot to include it here. I say forgot, but they didn't, because "Contains no juice" is stamped on the can in big bold letters. So really this can contains a mixture of water, high fructose corn syrup, acid, colours and flavourings. Sounds delicious, right? No? Well, that's because it isn't. I'd say it has a hint of apple, I guess they got somewhere close with whatever chemicals they pumped into it, but that doesn't redeem it, it's still like drinking watered down syrup. If that sounds like fun to you, by all means pick this up. Otherwise, don't bother. 

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Today's Review: Burger King Angriest Whopper

I wasn't going to get a Burger King today, I'd already had enough junk food. But wandering past the window I was greeted with a poster advertising the Angriest Whopper. I think I'd heard of an Angry Whopper, although I never tried one, so the thought of an angrier one was quite enticing. Then I read that it has hot sauce baked into the bun, and the next thing I knew I was at the counter.

That's right, hot sauce baked into the bun, and that's not counting the jalapeños, angry onion petals and angry sauce that's also shoved into this wonderful monstrosity. The result is a stacked, meaty burger that packs a very satisfying spicy punch. It didn't blow my head off, but it has quite a high level of heat once all the elements start working together. The hot sauce bun is a lot more effective than I thought it would be, I figured it would be pretty lacklustre, but the spice is noticeable throughout. The lettuce, mayo, cheese and tomato are on hand to help mellow out the heat, but this is still one hell of a hot burger, and I loved it. I like my Burger King angry.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Today's Review: Innocent Bubbles Tropical

I know Innocent is a nice, natural brand, but I don't really drink smoothies so I often skip over their products, even when they're wearing cute woolly hats. Their Juicy Water is pretty good though, and this new Bubbles can seems to be an extension of that. It's like Juicy Water, but fizzy.

This can of Bubbles is comprised of spring water and fruit juices, simple but effective. While the 40% spring water is noticeable in the slightly watered down taste, this is still a nice drink. The juices included are orange, grape and pineapple, so it's not exactly overwhelmingly tropical, but at least I could tell the flavours apart. It's clean and crisp, and the lack of artificial flavourings means I was presented with a bold pineapple taste with a lovely citrus undertone. It's not as pronounced as a pure juice would be, obviously, but this is a refreshing drink that keeps it all natural. I'll be sure to check out other varieties.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 4 April 2016

Today's Review: Burger King Double Chilli Cheeseburger

There hasn't been a Burger King in my hometown for a long time now, but they still insist on advertising on some bus stops near me. The promise of a double chilli cheeseburger was too much for me to handle, but thankfully there was a BK attached to the Little Ched I went to this weekend. So I rocked up in there and picked this sucker up.

It's not the biggest cheeseburger, but it is a double cheeseburger, and it's only £1.29, so it's an absolute bargain. It's as good a burger as you'd expect from the King, a couple of awesome, juicy flame grilled patties, with some generous slices of cheese. Difference is this cheese is flaked with chilli, and while it's not an immediately noticeable heat it soon builds up, and it left a lingering spice on my tongue for a while after. This is a great burger, it delivers exactly what it promises. It's insanely cheap for what it is too, and I'm sure next time I visit a Burger King I'll find an excuse to pick one up. 

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 3 April 2016

Today's Review: Little Chef Lollipops

There's not much I can say about Little Chef. It's a rest stop for the weary traveller, a purveyor of standard British fare. They do breakfasts, they're alright. I can't comment on their dinners, because I haven't had one of those in years. But their lollipops are something else. They're one of a kind, laden onto your little plastic tray atop the bill. They're a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in an emblazoned wrapper. 

Well, the mystery is the white centre of the lollipop, while the enigma is that flavoured shell, if we're being specific. I went to a few Little Chefs as a kid, and I always remember the lollipop being the element I was most excited about. Having visited one this weekend, I can say the lollipop is probably still the most exciting part of a visit. They're not gourmet or anything, they won't be stealing Chupa Chups' market share any time soon, but they're still good. I opted for the strawberry flavour this time, and found it to be pleasantly sweet and fruity, with no hint of grittiness. The white part in the centre doesn't particularly change up the flavour, but there appears to be a uniform hint of creaminess to the lollipop itself. The stick is a good quality too, important for any lollipop, it doesn't fall apart while sucking. These are nice lollipops, and they're free, so they're sure to brighten up your day and prepare you for the road ahead.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 2 April 2016

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Tortillas: Chilli With Chopped Jalapeño

This is a new, fancy looking bag of Tyrrell's, and they're tortilla chips instead of the regular potato ones. Of course, I went for the spicy ones, this one promising chilli and chopped jalapeños. 

I was sure I'd tried some Tyrrell's tortilla chips before, and it turns out I did a year and a half ago. I found them to be pretty fantastic, so there were high expectations for these. Thankfully, they fulfill them, these are some very flavoursome chips. They possess a fantastic, lingering heat that, while not massively spicy, certainly does the job. Not everyone wants their head blown off while eating their crisps. Underneath the tasty chilli flavour is a wonderfully crunchy chip. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes "clean", it's not stodgy, and it doesn't taste like there's anything artificial in there, just a satisfying, great tasting chip packed with some nice spicy flavour. Tortilly awesome.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 1 April 2016

Today's Review: White Rabbit Candy

It was my birthday earlier this week, and since my friends know about my insatiable weird snack hunger, I was given this bag of candy that I've never heard of before. This is White Rabbit, and it's a creamy candy, apparently.

This stuff is interesting, but it's also damn good. In each wrapper there's a cylinder of candy, which is wrapped in edible rice paper, so it's interesting enough making your way through that. Underneath that is a fantastic chewy sweet, soft and creamy in texture and with a great taste. They taste a whole lot like those powdered milk bottles you'd find in a good old fashioned sweet shop, but there's no powder and they have a chewier texture. It's a shame these are imported, 'cause I can't get enough of them. Well worth hunting for.

My rating: 5/5