Sunday 31 July 2016

Today's Review: Pringles Brazilian Salsa Style

New Pringles flavour don't come along often, but there's one on the shelves in time for the Olympics, in the form of this Brazilian salsa variety. Salsa sounds like an interesting crisp flavour, one that I haven't seen much of before, so I was looking forward to see what these had to offer.

These taste a whole lot like salsa, I'll give them that. It's a primarily tomato flavour, with a great saucy kick that really rounds it out to give the overall salsa experience. However, I'm not quite sure what makes this Brazilian salsa as opposed to regular. There's a little bit of spice in there, but nothing particularly special, these just taste like your average salsa. It's still good, but they're not particularly reaching for that Olympic theme as much as they could. Worth trying out while they're around though.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 30 July 2016

Today's Review: Samuel Smith's Cherry Beer

Even a nice trip to the pub can become an opportunity for an interesting review. I was perusing the drinks menu at a Samuel Smith's in London when my eyes fell upon a selection of fruity beers. Now, I'm not a great fan of beer, and fruit beers I've tried before haven't particularly excited me, but I figured I'd give these ones a go, especially as there was cherry on offer.

This is a damn good beer, I didn't think I'd find myself saying that, but it is. The predominant flavour here is a very nice cherry, not too sweet, but definitely bold and quite juicy. The beer element is present, certainly, but the bitterness is nicely offset by the fruit, and it all blends together very nicely, to deliver quite a refreshing drink overall. It's somewhat more like a cider than your average beer, I might say it's like a middle ground between the two. But this is definitely a great beer, and I look forward to trying out some of the other fruity offerings the next time I find myself in a Samuel Smith's pub.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 29 July 2016

Today's Review: Twix Cheesecake

Yeah, that's right, Twix Cheesecake. Two delicious words, that create a dream come true when paired. Not that I ever knew I wanted a Twix cheesecake until I saw it, but then I realised that all I wanted in that moment was a Twix cheesecake. This is available in Iceland for a not-quite-good-value £3, but I had faith that this would blow me away. There's also a Mars ice cream bar on offer, but that's a dessert for another day.

All the Twix elements are represented here. The cheesecake is drizzled with caramel, the chocolate is nicely positioned on top, and the biscuit is embedded within. To be fair, they all taste pretty good. It's less the "chocolate sauce" that is says on the box, as it has some kind of solid form, which is quite satisfying, especially when paired with the crunchy biscuit scattered around. The caramel is plentiful, and it provides a smooth, sweet kick that rounds off that Twix taste. It's just a shame that the underneath isn't done all that well. The cheese part is creamy, sure, but it's also quite thick and heavy, while the biscuit is very stodgy, and somewhat dark tasting, leading to quite a bland, dry base. It's a shame, the Twix parts are quite good, but they're not so good as to make up for the disappointing cheesecake underneath. Don't give up though, guys, try a Maltesers cheesecake next time...

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 28 July 2016

Today's Review: Sheep's Yoghurt Yoggipop

Today I paid a visit to Boydell's Dairy Farm, a lovely little place that I would highly recommend. After a day of milking cows and feeding goats and chickens, I couldn't think of a better way to unwind than relaxing with an ice lolly. Thankfully, the lollies were available in the shop, in the form of these Yoggipops, prepared on site with genuine sheep yoghurt. Now, I'm assuming sheep don't excrete yoghurt, and that some kind of magical process occurs to get them to this state, but I was more concerned with trying out this pretty interesting offering instead of learning the processes behind it. These Yoggipops were infused with several different fruits, such as blackcurrant, raspberry and strawberry, and there was even a honey flavour. But I went with the rhubarb, because I guess I was in a rhubarb mood.

I can't say I had an opinion on sheep yoghurt before, but I sure do now. It's... interesting. It has quite a heavy, creamy consistency, and something of a unique flavour. It's not bad tasting, it's just different, definitely a nice milky undertone, but clearly some way away from cow's milk. I wouldn't say it's quite as striking a taste difference as goat's milk, but it does have a tartness to it that made it not quite as good as the more popular animal milk. The texture and heaviness didn't sit too well with me either, it's a little too thick, and while the fruit pieces went some way to alleviating the texture and flavour, I wouldn't jump at the chance to try this out again. These are an interesting little snack, and worth trying out, but I don't think they'll be hitting the mainstream.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

I reviewed the Cadbury mocha choc chunk cookies yesterday, and found them to be quite enjoyable indeed. I also picked up the other variety I saw, it's not quite as unique a flavour as the others, but it's a good combination of staple dessert features, salted caramel and brownies. Like the others, these are soft baked cookies with chocolate chunks, but these also contain caramel pieces and sea salt (surprisingly). The cookies themselves are caramel flavoured too. 

It seems the composition of the cookie itself is different in this flavour, it seems stodgier, which does fit in well with the brownie theme, but it is a little heavy at times. Still, it taste chocolatey, which is good, and the chocolate chunks add a nice extra hit of flavour. The caramel pieces provide another layer of sweetness, but there's something about these that doesn't quite taste right, and it lingers in the after taste. I don't know if it's the salt, or the caramel flavouring of the cookie, but it's a little bitter, and it takes what is a pretty good cookie down to a mediocre one. All the elements are there, and they work well together, but something's a bit off. These are nice enough, but I much prefer the mocha flavour. These cookies do have promise though, I'd like to see more coming out in the future. 

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Mocha Choc Chunk Cookies

Another new Cadbury product, but this time it isn't another chocolate bar, it's boxes of cookies. Now, Cadbury are no strangers to biscuits these days, but these cookies seem a bit more decadent than their other offerings. There's a salted caramel brownie (that's for another day), and this more unique variety, a mocha choc chunk. These are soft baked chocolate cookies, with Dairy Milk chocolate chunks and instant coffee powder.

It's nice that they didn't sugar coat the coffee element, they say it's just powder, so I wasn't expecting a particularly mind blowing coffee experience. As it is, it's pretty good, there's a nice strong hint of coffee, and while it's not the best quality, it gives these cookies that mocha edge. It's a little strong at times, but it's good. The cookies themselves have a great, soft texture, almost more like a cake than a biscuit, and they're very chocolatey, with the Dairy Milk chunks lending another hit of chocolate that make these quite rich, but quite delicious too. I'm a fan of these, it's an interesting cookie flavour that's pulled off quite well. Some elements are a little overwhelming, but it's a good package overall.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 25 July 2016

Today's Review: Breakaway Berries & Yoghurt

There seem to be a few varieties of Breakaway hitting the shelves recently, from the Caramac to the chocolate twist. This one is a very interesting take on the bar, offering berries and yoghurt coupled with your regular Breakaway biscuit.

The biscuit itself is berry flavoured, which is a little off, but actually a good move. The berry taste is present throughout, and the biscuit is as crunchy and flavoursome as ever, it seems like the two wouldn't work together, but it's pretty good. The coating on the outside definitely has a yoghurt flavour, it's pretty creamy, and it works very well in conjunction with the berries, but there is a little too much of the coating for my liking, it overwhelms the stuff in the middle and leaves a predominantly yoghurt-like after taste. Still, this is a nice bar, much nicer than I was expecting, a good pay off from a bold change of formula.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 24 July 2016

Today's Review: Coca-Cola Zero Cherry

These Diet drinks are all the rage nowadays, and while Coca-Cola have been in the game for a while, there's still opportunity for more flavours. Even with a Diet Cherry Coke available, they've decided to bring out a cherry flavour of Coke Zero, because why not? From what I've heard about the differences between Diet Coke and Coke Zero, the Zero is based on the original Coke recipe, while Diet is not. So an educated guess would put this as trying to emulate the original Cherry Coke, but with no sugar. Let's see how that pans out.

This does have the Coke Zero base, and while I don't think I'm as much a fan of Zero than I am of Diet, it's not too bad. It's pretty close to the original Coke taste, and doesn't have the sugar, so that's always a positive. The cherry flavour is... alright. It's nowhere near as nice as the original flavouring, it has a slight chemical edge to it, so I wouldn't say it was particularly great. This isn't a bad drink, but it seems a little unnecessary. The Diet Cherry Coke is better, in my opinion, but I guess it's nice to have options. Besides, this may be great for some, but I just find it average.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 23 July 2016

Today's Review: Galaxy Crispy

Here's another acquisition from my trip to WHSmith yesterday, a new Galaxy bar that I had no idea was coming out. While the slew of Cadbury products out in recent years have left me feeling a bit underwhelmed, I get more excited when a new Galaxy bar arrives. The Duet bars were pretty decent offerings, but this is a crispy version of their original bar. Basically it's Galaxy chocolate embedded with crisp rice pieces. A standard chocolate bar addition, but does it work well in this context?

Well, that's a lot of rice in there, it's nice to see they're not skimping on the fillings. As you can probably guess, this bar has a very crispy edge to it, the entire bottom layer is nice and crunchy, while in between and on top is the same old Galaxy chocolate we know and love. While it certainly looks impressive, however, I think there is a bit too much crispiness in this bar. The rice itself doesn't pack a whole lot of flavour, so while the texture is great, the taste of the chocolate itself is stretched a bit thin. Still, it's good chocolate, and this is a decent addition to the Galaxy range. It's not as good as others, but it's a very decent effort.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 22 July 2016

Today's Review: Tyrrell's Poshcorn Summer Strawberries & Cream

I often overlook W.H. Smiths as a purveyor of snack foods, but wandering through there today I found not one, but three products I hadn't yet tried. The most eye catching one was this bright packet of popcorn, a very summery addition to the Tyrrell's Poshcorn range. I was thinking how unique this flavour is, but a quick search through my history reveals that Butterkist did this same flavour a couple of years ago, and I'd completely forgotten about it. Still, this is Tyrrell's, not Butterkist, so it could be a much better flavour. Let's see.

The popcorn here is of a good quality, as always. It's quite soft, but quite a few of the kernels have something of a satisfying crunch to them. The flavouring is good, but it is a little sparse. There is an overall strawberry flavour, but it is concentrated more in some places, while other kernels are weaker. The cream doesn't really present itself during eating, it wasn't entirely apparent at first, but it did hang around in the after taste. It blends in quite well with the strawberry, but there just wasn't enough flavour overall to make this a truly good bag of popcorn. Compared to other offering from Tyrrell's, this one was pretty average. A nice idea for a summer flavour, but not a favourite for me.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 21 July 2016

Today's Review: KFC Rio BBQ Bites

The last promotional round at KFC saw the return of the Supercharger, so I was hoping for something new this time around. It looks like it's time to prepare for Olympic fever, as now you can pick up "Rio BBQ Bites", a tentative connection between chicken and sport that provides us with BBQ sauce smothered bites. There are two varieties of sauce you can get on these, fiery chilli or sweet and smoky. You can get a tub of four on its own for £1.99, but there's also a meal available for £4.99 that comes with eight bites, and you can get one tub of each if you fancy. That's smart thinking.

The bites themselves are the same old chicken, not that that's a bad thing. They're sizeable chunks of chicken, with the good old fashioned KFC coating, pretty much like a smaller mini fillet. As for the sauces, they're both pretty good. The fiery chilli isn't particularly fiery, but it does pack a decent amount of heat, while also providing an underlying sweetness. It may not be as spicy as I'd hoped, but it is more flavoursome than a sauce that simply exists to blow your head off. The sweet and smoky sauce seems a lot heavier, it has a very smoky flavour, and is more reminiscent of BBQ sauce than the fiery one. The sweetness is present in this too, but it also has some spice packed in, and at some points I felt it was more intense than in the chilli variety. The smoky elements work to keep that spice in check, and the result is a sauce that's fairly rich, but it's still pretty good, and I think it's my favourite of the two. These bites are a nice addition to the menu, and are worth checking out while they're around.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Today's Review: Mountain Mist Cranberry And Raspberry

Phew guys, I don't know if you'd noticed, but it's pretty hot. Still, I keep walking to work, and that's not conducive to a comfortable feeling, especially when I keep getting so thirsty. So, I've been reduced to popping into corner shops in order to get a quick, cold fix that gives me the motivation to keep going, instead of collapsing in a melted heap. It's hard to figure out what to buy sometimes though. I don't like water, and all those Coca Cola products are probably more sugar than life sustaining fluid. Okay, maybe not, but I thought I could do better. My eyes managed to lock onto this little bottle of goodness today, a sugar free, sparkling flavoured water, and only 65p too! It was as close to water as I was comfortable with, so I figured I'd pick it up.

This stuff really is sugar free, in fact it appears to be everything free. It's literally carbonated water with some flavourings thrown in, and despite the artificial sound, it's actually not bad. Sure, it tastes a little like chemicals, but over the top of that is quite a nice cranberry and raspberry flavour. So it tastes nice, not perfect, but pretty good for its lack of calories. It seems the focus here is more on the water itself, and this bottle actually refreshed me a whole lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting garbage from this, but it's very tasty after all. I think I might be popping into that shop more often.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Sultana & Oat Cookies

Oatmeal cookies get more of a bad rap than I think they deserve. I like oats in most things, especially cookies, and while Tesco haven't gone for the full oatmeal, they have come out with these oat cookies, with sultanas in them and everything. I figured they'd still taste good, so I was eager to pick them up.

The consistency of these is a little weird. They have a slightly chewy texture throughout, but also possess a crunch, somewhere in between oatmeal and regular cookie, and while it's not entirely unpleasant, it does give the feel of a slightly stale cookie. Not that it tastes like one, these have a nice oaty taste, and the sultanas give it a fruity kick and a bit of juice. Despite not having any cinnamon or the like in the ingredients, these did appear to have something of a spiciness to them, and I can't say it was all that great, I would have preferred a cleaner tasting oat cookie. So, they're not perfect, but they're not awful, just a couple of things that stopped these cookies being too enjoyable. I did manage to eat quite a few of them, so they are moreish, there are just better cookies out there.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 18 July 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Rhubarb & Custard Lanterns

Tesco have updated their baked goods again, just in time for the warmer months, and nothing says "summer" like... lantern shaped pastries? Well, I guess you'd have lanterns set up in your garden on a nice warm evening, but I figured a lantern shape would be more suited to Halloween. Who knows, maybe this is just the best shape they could come up with. But let's focus on what's inside, a mixture of rhubarb and custard, which is a quintessentially British thing, to be sure.

Despite the weird shape, the pastry is pretty good. It's nice and soft, but thick enough to provide a nice, filling base, in the midst of which is layered a generous portion of filling. It's a good mixture, a combination of the kind of custard you'd find in a Danish, and a nice blob of tart rhubarb that's pretty packed with flavour. There is a bit more custard than I'd have hoped compared to the rhubarb, the levels are a little off, but maybe that's just wishful thinking. I guess they have to use the rhubarb sparingly for profit purposes, greedy corporations. Still, this is a good pastry, with a tasty filling, and it might not be around at the end of the season, so go pick some up.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 17 July 2016

Today's Review: J2O Fruit Fusion Orange & Passion Fruit

I reviewed the apple & mango ones of these yesterday, and mentioned at the end that I'll be on the lookout for this flavour. Well, turns out I didn't have to look very hard, as I picked them up today. There's not much I can say to describe these after yesterday's review, they're the same frozen smoothies on sticks, but with orange & passion fruit instead of the apple & mango. Also, they contain two calories less than the others, so that's an advantage.

Unfortunately, the advantages end there, I didn't get on with these. With the first lick I got a flavour extremely similar to the drink that these are based on, a citrus taste with a nice, smooth, passion fruit twist. It didn't last long though. Working my way though this, there were some hints of something good, the fruits working in unison to deliver a sweet smoothie experience. But the orange always won out in the end, providing a very tart and slightly acidic aftertaste that really put a damper on the whole thing. The apple & mango tasted great throughout, and for some time after, but all I've got left to remind me of one of these smoothies is a sourness in the back of my throat. Stick with the apple, these ones are not so great. Started out promising, but soon devolved into something quite bad.

My rating: 1/5

Saturday 16 July 2016

Today's Review: J2O Apple & Mango Fruit Fusion

J2O have joined the frozen dessert game, and have brought out these frozen smoothies on a stick. It's not a bad idea at all, Vimto and Fruit Shoot are among several drinks that have branched out to the frozen aisle, and J2O have a good variety of flavours to turn into nice fruity smoothies. These desserts are apple & mango flavour, although they're also available in the classic orange & passion fruit.

I like that the picture on the box has one of these with a big bite taken out of it. Who does that? My teeth are way too sensitive for those shenanigans these days. So slowly sucking is my game, and it yields some pretty good results in terms of this smoothie. It has a lovely consistency, somewhere between sorbet and ice cream, and the bold fruit flavours mixed in remind me a little of the ice cream in the middle of a Solero. The apple and mango are both noticeable, and are blended well, although the mango does take the front seat some of the time while the apple hangs back, a little subdued. It's a good blend overall though, and these are, on the whole, very tasty frozen smoothies. Only 80 calories as well, that's a dessert I can get behind. I'll be hunting down the orange & passion fruit next.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 15 July 2016

Today's Review: Tex Mex Peperami

An orange pack of Peperami? I was very surprised to see this the other day, the Peperami range has remained unchanged for as long as I can remember. Well, after doing some research it turns out the last new flavour came out in 2008, but that's still a good eight years of the same classic varieties. But no longer, the tex mex flavour is here. It includes a nice selection of spices, such as paprika, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

This is actually a pretty good idea. While I enjoy a hot Peperami, I'm sure some might find it a bit much, while I find the original to be a little bland. The tex mex seems to hit a healthy middle ground, providing a low level of spice that also possesses a slight smokiness. The flavours could perhaps be a little more pronounced, this is quite a mish-mash of different herbs and spices, but the overall result is pretty good. I'd say I enjoy this more than the normal Peperami, as I find that one pretty bland. A very tasty addition to the range.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 14 July 2016

Today's Review: Maynards Bassetts Juicy Chews

Apparently Maynards and Bassetts have united to provide us with their glorious selection of sweets under one umbrella. A pretty good move I guess, they each have some very good products on offer. But from their joint venture comes this new product, Juicy Chews. Basically, they're chews with juice in, hence, you know, Juicy Chews. They come in orange, strawberry and cherry flavours.

I wanted to like these, they sounded promising, but overall I have to say I'm disappointed. The chews themselves have an alright taste, they possess pretty generic fruit flavours but they're a nice level of chewiness. They are perhaps a little big, and that's where the juice part should come in and save the day, but it falls a bit flat. The stuff inside is a bit thick and a little sickly, and it's pretty much just a concentrated version of the flavour in the chew itself. It's a little inconsistent too, some sweets may have quite a bit, while others may have very little. Either way, it makes for a somewhat disappointing experience. I'd say these would be better off without the juice part, but then I fear they'd be too bland. These chews just aren't great, I expected more from two well established sweet giants.

My rating: 2/5 

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Tiffin

I reviewed Dairy Milk Tiffin almost three years ago now, but that was an overly priced, tiny import version, while now it's available as a fully fledged bar in the UK. It's taken me a while to get my hands on one of these, but I finally picked it up in Wilkinsons today for a nice round pound. Dairy Milk Tiffin is basically Dairy Milk with biscuit and raisin, or "dried grapes" as the packaging says. I like how on the front they've included a picture of a tin marked "biscuit" instead of letting us squabble over what those vaguely biscuit-like chunks could be in the picture. But I digress, enough about the branding, how does it taste?

I said before that something seemed a little off in the chocolate, and I guess that still holds true, as Dairy Milk isn't the same as it used to be. This bar is pretty nice though, the change in the chocolate recipe isn't quite as noticeable with these pieces packed in. With all the crazy Marvellous Creations and other such fillings that have come out in recent years, it's nice to have a bar with something simple inside. Simple, yet effective. Sure, the others are fun, but this is just raisin and biscuit, and it's done well, providing a nice crunch and some juicy fruit flavour to round off a very nice bar. It probably won't sit in pride of place next to the classic varieties, but this bar is pretty damn good, and it's nice to see it available in the UK.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Today's Review: Samai Plantain Chips

They make chips out of everything these days. Beetroot, parsnip, apple, it seems everything can be fried and sliced, and the plantain is no exception. Seeing as they're pretty inedible until they're cooked anyway, what better way to cook them than in fried, sliced form? I found a pack of these plantain chips in the reduced to clear section at Tesco, meaning they're trying to get rid of them or they just don't have another place for them. Either way, I figured I'd snag some up before they went, 50p for the bag wasn't so bad.

These are seasoned with Pacific sea salt. I'm sure there's something about Pacific sea salt that makes it different from all the other sea salts, but I wouldn't know the difference. All I know is these taste salty, and it's a good thing they do, because the chips themselves are quite bland. They are crunchier than I thought they would be, and they have something of a clean crispness to them, but taste wise they don't really have anything going for them. The salt provides a nice flavour that permeates the surface pretty well, but it doesn't go a whole way to providing a fantastic tasting chip, and the slightly soft texture ensures that the chip lasts slightly longer than the flavour does. So while these are nice enough for the first few chews, they soon devolve into something less tasty. Take out the "ant", because these are pretty plain chips.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 11 July 2016

Today's Review: Müller Bliss Corner Cappuccino

I love Müller Bliss, the Greek style yoghurt is thick and creamy, and there's normally a nice fruity compote to swirl in to give it that extra kick. Raspberry and lemon are notable flavours as far as I'm concerned. But apparently I'd been missing out on a variety that was devoid of fruit, and instead offering coffee. This is the cappuccino Bliss. I don't know how long it's been out, it doesn't say it's new on the packet, but it's new to me, so I dug in with vigour.

One thing I will say is that the yoghurt isn't quite the same as with other flavours. It's less heavy, and more of a light, frothy texture. This was a little disappointing at first, seeing as I love the thickness of the other Bliss yoghurts, but once I had a couple of spoonfuls I realised that the frothiness added to the coffee effect. The coffee is provided in the form of a somewhat concentrated sauce, which is in itself quite strong, but when mixed in to the yoghurt provides a nice, light cappuccino flavour. The light milkiness of the yoghurt mixes in with it very well and gives a somewhat authentic coffee experience. It's not perfect, certainly, and I believe the texture of the yoghurt could have been thicker and given similar results. But as it is, this is a great coffee flavour yoghurt, and it's pretty light on calories too.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 10 July 2016

Today's Review: Tic Tac Intense Mint

I've been watching what I've been eating over the last week, which is definitely not conducive to my snack food reviewing tendencies. As such, while I've been steadily reviewing a new snack food every day for several weeks now, I seem to have run out of new things to cram into my face. While I was frantically searching the place for something I haven't yet rated, I stumbled upon this box of Tic Tacs at the bottom of the snack box, one that I picked up on holiday in Tenerife back in May. They're mint Tic Tacs, yes, but they're intense mint Tic Tacs, for when your breath needs that extra bit of freshness I suppose.

It says "intense" on the box, and they ain't kidding, these are some strong mints, almost offensively so. They're along the lines of extra strong Polos, and while the flavour is certainly minty, it's just too much for me. After a regular Tic Tac I feel pretty fresh, whereas with these I feel like my sinuses have had a good scrub. Then again, I'm not a big fan of minty stuff, so maybe these will fare well with others. I can somewhat see the appeal, and the flavour is as good as you'd expect from Tic Tacs, but they're uncomfortably strong for me.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 9 July 2016

Today's Review: Haribo Tangfastics Frenzy Carnival

Alongside the launch of the Starmix Frenzy Carnival come this Tangfastics version. I figured there would be a Tangfastics bag around somewhere, as these were brought out in tandem with the first round of Frenzy flavours. While I wasn't too keen on the Starmix this time around, sometimes it's worth giving things the benefit of the doubt.

This bag is pretty heavy on the pineapple, and also features melon lime, mango and grapefruit flavours. So it's keeping with the tropical theme present in the Starmix, but I think it works better here. The sour coating on the sweets helps, I think, as where the fruit flavours may be a bit under pronounced the sugar adds a nice tang that reinforces the fruity base. They're still not perfect, the original Tangfastics are still superior, but the flavours here are pretty authentic and taste quite bold. The dummies in particular are good, and the lemonade and lime bottles are pretty great too. This is a nice twist on the regular bag, and worth picking up while they're around.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 8 July 2016

Today's Review: Fizz Wizz Shock

I like to pop into the 99p shop in town to see if any interesting products have popped up, and on my last visit I found several boxes of Fizz Wizz, which are basically sweet strips in the same shape of those Maoam sticks. There were several varieties, but this black box interested me the most, offering me extreme sourness. They come in three flavours: Orange, strawberry and blueberry.

As I always do, I started out with my least favourite colour and devoured and orange one. I was not impressed to start with. First of all, the texture is not the same as a Maoam, it's somewhat more crumbly, less chewy, although it retains some chewiness. It's hard to describe, and it took some getting used to, but after a few sticks I figured it wasn't so bad, just different. The orange flavour isn't that great, and it doesn't have much of a sour taste to it either. But as I moved onto the others I was more impressed. The strawberry has a nice flavour, and is actually very sour, while the blueberry tastes very nice indeed, despite lacking a little bit on the sour front. It's nice to see a blue sweet flavoured with blueberry instead of the standard blue raspberry, so that elevated my opinion of these. Overall then, these are some pretty good sweets. The orange may not be great, but the other two are tasty, and a box of them for 99p is not bad at all.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 7 July 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Caramel Spread

I tried out the Cadbury Crunchie spread a little while back, and found it very much to my liking. I was eager to pick up the caramel variety as well, but I figured I'd wait for it to go on offer, especially as I have about five jars of previously reviewed spreads that I still haven't finished. Apparently the wait was not long enough, those jars are still in the cupboard, but the caramel spread is finally on offer in Tesco, so I snatched it up. Quite basically, it's a Cadbury spread with both chocolate and caramel in it. Just look at those swirls, lovely. 

I had a slight complaint with the Crunchie version, in that it was a little hard to spread what with all the Crunchie bits mixed in. There's no such issue with the caramel though, it's completely smooth and a wonder to spread on whatever you fancy slapping it on. As for the taste, I really can't fault it. It has chocolate, it has caramel, and it taste pretty much like a melted down Caramel bar, and I guess that's what they were going for. There's not particularly a prominent element here, just a great combination of chocolate and caramel flavours that make for a smooth, sweet spread. I've been finding all kinds of excuses to spread this stuff on things and shove them in my face. It's quite unhealthy really, but it's a testament to how good this stuff is. Keep bringing out these spreads, guys, and by that I mean do a Wispa one already.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Today's Review: Oreo Doughnuts

Tesco have updated their bakery again with some new items, and these Oreo doughnuts interested me the most, especially when I first saw the shelf label and found they were out of stock. After getting over my initial shock, I moved on, but thankfully after a visit to Tesco Express a couple of days later I actually managed to see what they looked like. Then I bought them to see how they taste.

As you can tell from the picture up there, these do have an appearance very in keeping with the Oreo theme. There are Oreo pieces atop a white, creamy topping, smothered on a chocolate doughnut which is itself filled with creme. Creme and chocolate, it's the Oreo way. I must say, I've started to become disillusioned with Oreo themed products these days, they seem to be everywhere, so for some reason I didn't have high hopes for these doughnuts. But it turns out these are pretty good. The doughnut itself isn't perfect, it's a little dry, but it has a nice chocolate flavour and the creme in the middle goes some way to softening it up. The topping is all good, providing a proper Oreo taste with a nice crumbly biscuit texture. These are chocolatey, creamy doughnuts, which is all you could hope for I guess, and while they're not perfect, they're a good effort. Despite the dryness of the inner doughnut, I was left with a nice creamy after taste, so overall it was a pretty good experience.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Today's Review: Aunt Bessie's Sweet Potato Jackets

Hunting for new snacks is something of a compulsion, I'm sure fellow bloggers will agree. Every shopping trip consists of me wandering the aisles, scanning the shelves for something I've never seen before. The words "new" emblazoned on some packaging draw my attention instantly, and sometimes lead me to chuck something in the trolley that I'd never normally consider. Take these sweet potato jackets from Aunt Bessie's. I don't buy a whole lot of frozen food, but I saw these and had to have them for some reason. Well, I like sweet potatoes, and I had a day where it was only me to cook for coming up, so I guess that's reason enough. Besides, I know sweet potatoes come in a strange variety of shapes and sizes, so at least some specifically chosen for jacket purposes would be shaped for optimum filling, right?

Apparently not. I don't quite know what I expected, but this is literally two frozen sweet potatoes chucked in a box. They don't appear to be selected based on their shape, just thrown in from a generic batch. So if a convenient shape isn't a key benefit of these, what is? They're frozen, but surely they're prepared for a quicker cooking time, right? Well, the oven option calls for a 35-40 minute cooking time, while cooking your regular sweet potato will take... 45 minutes? What is this? What's the point? I mean, sure, these taste good, but so do any other sweet potatoes, Aunt Bessie's haven't done anything special to these, they just seem to have baked them a little and then frozen them, negating the point of baking them in the first place. It doesn't really matter to me that these taste good, not in this instance. Sweet potatoes are readily available at the front of the supermarket, and they're a hell of a lot cheaper than the £1 it cost me to pick up these two frozen lumps. Despite how they taste, my conclusion is that these are entirely unnecessary. Now I know why I've never reviewed regular frozen jacket potatoes.

My rating: 1/5

Monday 4 July 2016

Today's Review: Candy Land Jelly Filled Flumps

Flumps are an all time classic, untouched by the ravages of time. To be fair, it's a marshmallow twist in different colours, there's not much that could be done to it, and really, does anyone want anything more from a Flump? Perhaps not, but Candy Land are offering an alternative with these jelly filled Flumps. In case you hadn't guessed, these are Flumps filled with strawberry jelly. I didn't know I wanted them until I saw them, and then I immediately grabbed the bag. I found these in Wilkinson for 95p.

The first time I read that packaging, I was in American mode, so took the "jelly" to mean "jam". Clearly it's not the classic British seeded jam shoved in there, it is indeed more of the wibbly wobbly jelly variety. The consistency is somewhere in between wobbly and American jelly though, it's a smooth, fruity filling that doesn't quite possess the tenacious texture of a jelly, it's instead more of a paste. It's better than it sounds, based on that description, but I will say that it's not great. The flavour is nice enough, but I wouldn't say it's all that good. Perhaps the taste of the marshmallow threw it out of whack, but these didn't scream "strawberry" to me. Besides, there's not much of it in each Flump, which makes sense seeing as they're pretty small already. Don't get me wrong, these are still somewhat tasty, and they're an interesting variation on the classic Flump, but they could do with a more substantial and flavoursome filling. Good idea, average execution.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 3 July 2016

Today's Review: Lifesavers Butter Rum

Another acquisition from my candy store trip last week, these are butter rum Lifesavers. Now, I'm partial to a Lifesaver, they're a pretty good American version of Polos, and they come in fruity flavours as well as mint, which is great. But butter rum? That's an interesting combination if I ever heard of one. 

I'm torn with this one. I don't like these, at all, but I can't deny that they taste exactly like they say they would. The predominant flavour is a very strong rum, and it's underpinned by quite a smooth, creamy butter taste that would probably be alright on its own, although a little weird in a hard sweet. That rum though, man it's strong. I should probably stop buying sweets that promise a rum flavour, but my curiosity always seems to get the best of me. So what do I do? Applaud these for having a pretty authentic flavour? Or give them a low rating because I can't stand them? I guess I'll stick to the semantics. This is "my rating" after all, and while I can appreciate that the flavours are pretty accurate, I will most definitely not be buying these again. Besides, the butter part isn't too bad, just a little weird.

My rating: 2/5  

Saturday 2 July 2016

Today's Review: Haribo Starmix Frenzy Carnival

Haribo released a "Frenzy" edition of their Starmix and Tangfastics sweets last year, but apparently I neglected to review them. I did try them though, and seeing this bag for the first time I just skimmed over it, figuring I'd been there, done that. But upon closer inspection, this isn't just a Frenzy edition, it's a Frenzy Carnival edition, with different flavours all ready for consumption. So let me right my previous injustices in neglecting to review the Frenzy flavours, here's the new Starmix Frenzy Carnival.

They're still keeping with the theme of tropical flavours, well, vaguely at least. There are some interesting flavour and colour combinations here, such as the green mango eggs, the blue banana bears, and the purple and green mango & lime rings. There's a lot of mango present in these, quite a bit of peach too, but they're all pretty interesting variations on the originals. Trouble is they're not completely represented in the taste. There are some hints of the fruits that are meant to be there, but they're not all that strong. The bears pack quite a bit of flavour, and I found the banana and watermelon ones to be nice in particular. The rings, on the other hand, didn't taste all that great, and the combination of fruits didn't really shine through. Even my favourite Starmix sweet, the hearts, aren't a patch on the red originals. There's a semblance of nice peach flavour there, but it never materialises into something great. That seems to be the theme for the whole bag, each sweet possesses a certain amount of fruitiness, but didn't really impress me. I think I'll stick with the originals, they're classic.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 1 July 2016

Today's Review: Toad-Ally Snax Kangaroos

I popped into the massive candy store on Oxford Street last week, and showed great restraint, as I spent a whole lot less than I wanted to. I did make it out with these though, they're Kangaroos. What are Kangaroos? Well, they're peanut butter filled pretzel bites covered in chocolate. They call it a "peanut butter pouch" to tenuously link it to the name, but the semantics didn't matter to me, it only mattered that they went into my mouth.

Disappointment is a harsh reality, but it's what I experienced with these. They had so much potential, but they fell pretty flat on all front. Firstly, as you can probably tell from the bag, the coating isn't so much chocolate as "chocolate flavor", and it wasn't particularly nice or creamy. Tasted like chocolate a little I guess, but nothing special at all. The pretzel was crunchy enough, but mostly dry and not very flavoursome. As for the peanut butter, I don't know how they got that wrong, but the middle offered an only slightly nutty, quite thick and dry globule of peanut butter. Maybe I got a bad bag, maybe the lack of air conditioning in the store that made these slightly melted compromised the overall flavour. But I can't say I'll try them again. So much potential, wasted.

My rating: 2/5