Friday 30 September 2016

Today's Review: Magnum Cookie Crumble White

I find it hard to tell which Magnum flavours are new these days, every time I look through the varieties at Tesco I seem to notice one I've never seen before. I know for a fact these are new though, and not just because every other flavour is on offer apart from this one. These cookie crumble Magnums come in either a pack of three regular size, or this pack of six mini. The big ones were sold out, but they appear to be the same composition, so I guess it doesn't matter. They also come in a milk chocolate version, but I haven't found those yet.

I've got to say, I'm not a big fan of these. The outer coating is as thick as ever, with a nice crunch to it, but I've never liked the white chocolate on a Magnum all that much, and it's the same stuff here. The cookie crumble pieces are pretty plentiful, and they add a nice, darker chocolate flavour, but there's something about the mixture of chocolate and cookie coating that leaves a funny aftertaste. The ice cream inside isn't much to write home about, it's the standard vanilla ice cream you'd find in a Classic Magnum. That's not exactly a bad thing, but seeing as there have been some pretty good flavoured ice creams inside other Magnums lately I was expecting something a little more exciting. It's still a Magnum which is good, but it's not a particularly great one. Perhaps I'd enjoy the milk chocolate ones more. The hunt begins.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 29 September 2016

Today's Review: Belvita Breakfast Crunchy Choc Chips

I was recently sent these Belvita Breakfast biscuits to try out. I've dabbled in Belvita before, and they're probably one of my favourite brands to emerge from this fairly recent craze. These ones are crunchy though, and full of chocolate chips, so that sounded like an added bonus to me. I was asked if I would like to create a recipe involving these biscuits as well, and provided with these nice little photos of some ideas of what to do with them:

Pretty nice, I must say. I figured I'd give it a go, but I have three small children, and I really don't have time in the mornings to slice pieces of fruit into heart shapes, or concoct my own special fruity yoghurt, so I did the best with what I had. So here is my Belvita recipe, basically a combination of the countless spreads I have left over in my cupboard from reviews, alongside a hastily prepared instant coffee:

So there we have it, one has peanut butter, one has Cadbury Caramel spread, and the other has an interesting little chocolate and strawberry spread that I don't think I've reviewed yet. It's all tied together very nicely with the Very Hungry Caterpillar plate. I must say though, they all work very nicely with the biscuit, you could probably put any sweet spread on there and it would be a good match. The biscuits themselves are very clean tasting, a satisfying crunch with some great oaty flavour. The chocolate chips are plentiful, and really, as far as breakfast biscuits go, I can't fault it. I'm not really a fan of the softer styles, so this crunchy version was right up my street, and it delivers on the name. Tasty even if you don't load them up with more sweet stuff.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's One Sweet World

With the recent release of the sofa themed flavours, I thought it would be a while before we saw some more from Ben & Jerry. But lo and behold, three more flavours have popped up since. There's One Love, Empower Mint and this one, which was particularly intriguing to me. It's a coffee caramel ice cream, the first time I've seen coffee in a tub of Ben & Jerry's. Not only that, but there are marshmallow and salted caramel swirls, and chocolate chunks. They sure have crammed a lot into here.

Let's start with the ice cream. It's good, and has a nice, milky coffee flavour, with a nice hint of sweetness that's provided by the caramel. The coffee isn't too strong, which is nice, it allows all the other flavours to come through. The salted caramel swirl is gorgeous, thick and flavoursome, and really adds a nice kick when you come across it. The only thing I would say is that the marshmallow is a bit muted in comparison, I can't say I detected it much while getting through this, while the salted caramel was instantly obvious. It's all topped off with some fantastic chocolate chunks, in the shape of ampersands. They're sizeable, with a satisfying crunch, and it's some good quality chocolate. I have to say I found it pretty hard to stop eating this, although I did in the end, through incredible self control. There's a lot of great stuff in here, and while it's not perfectly balanced, this is a great tub of ice cream, one for the coffee lovers, but there's really something here for everyone.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Today's Review: Shalimar Mango Chutney Popcorn

A new health food shop has opened up in my home town, and while I would probably skim over most of the stock, I couldn't help but see which snacks were on offer. My eyes were drawn to some decently sized packs of popcorn on one of the shelves. Now, mango popcorn isn't a completely unique thing, but it's new enough, and this one promises a chutney element as well, so I figured it was worth a go. 

This is a good quality popcorn, it has a nice crunch to it, and there were no stray kernels to break my teeth on. The flavouring is really layered on as well, and there was actually a pretty big surplus of powder in the bag. It's pretty good, a nice fruity undertone with some spice laid on top, and making my way through the bag made a nice layer of heat build up. There is perhaps a little too much spice, it overtakes the fruitiness and makes this more chutney than mango, but all in all it's a pretty good flavour. and pretty unique. Worth seeking out.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 26 September 2016

Today's Review: Uncle Joe's Winter Nips

I picked up this interesting looking bag yesterday in Home Bargains. These are Winter Nips, which sound quite comical if you're immature, but I'm not so I 'm being very serious. They're small pip sweets that are flavoured with "10 natural herbs and spices", not to be confused with KFC of course. I mean, this guy's got a top hat and no moustache. 

These are traditional sweets with herbs and spices in them, so I wasn't expecting anything particularly sweet. Basically these have a predominant taste of liquorice, with aniseed and minty undertones, and they're not bad. Sure, I'm not a big fan of liquorice, but there's enough going on here to provide something of a refreshing sweet. They clear out the sinuses a little, and they taste nice and natural, very clean flavours. These aren't something I'd pick up for a quick snack, but they're nice and warming, and wouldn't go amiss as something to suck on in the cold winter months.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 25 September 2016

Today's Review: Gusto Cola

My eyes were drawn to this slender black can in the little shop in Stratford station last night. Gusto Cola, it's real cola, and it's low calorie, oh, and it's organic, and fair trade! How could I resist that? I like a bit of authentic cola, as evidenced by my obsession with Fentimans. How would this can stack up? Ha, get it? Stack up, because you can stack cans...

This is a pretty clean tasting beverage, I must say. It's pretty crisp, and it does have the taste of an authentic cola, but it is a little on the bland side. Where I was expecting a bold flavour, I got something of a watered down experience. Maybe it's in the process of applying all these labels that something slipped out. Maybe it's the lack of sugar, or GMOs, or... unfair trade? but there are colas out there that pack a lot more of a punch. While they're probably not good for you, and I've probably just grown accustomed to fizzy drinks that feel like they're actively rotting your teeth, I must say I prefer them for now. Maybe this organic stuff will grow on me, but at the moment I can't say I thought it was great. A decidedly average cola.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 24 September 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Fudge Minis

The mini chocolate bar onslaught continues. Mars have churned out their most popular three in fun size form, so Cadbury have retaliated with a couple more share bags. I've already covered the Dinky Deckers, but Fudge has been given the makeover as well. They're like Fudges, but mini. Clue's in the name I guess. 

I would have taken a picture of the cross section, but I broke the bag out during a brief break at work, and they were all gone within a minute. There's really not much to say though, the big bars consist of a chocolate coating with a fudge centre, and the mini versions are the same composition. There is a drawback in that they're very small, less than bite size I'd say. This means I needed to pop a couple in to be truly Fudgily satisfied, and so the bag disappeared quicker than I'd have liked. Still, they taste good, just like the bigger Fudge bars, and their smaller stature means a little bit of a higher chocolate to fudge ratio, so I can't really complain too much. This is another decent bag to add to the range.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 23 September 2016

Today's Review: 7 Up Mojito

I've been after this one for a while, although I'm not entirely sure why, I don't like mint all that much. I'll put it down to curiosity, and the fact that a phone box advert taunted me with it for a good couple of months. This is basically a 7 Up with added mint, and that makes a mojito. Sadly there's a distinct lack of rum, but I guess we can't have everything.

I tried to like this, I wanted to in a way, but the truth is I just don't. The lemon and lime are there, but they're pretty heavily overshadowed by the mint. It comes in quite quickly and provides an unsettling aftertaste. There's a certain freshness to the mint, sure, but it doesn't really work well with the lemonade. Every time I went back for a sip, I found myself thinking it wasn't too bad, but since I was nursing the bottle for about an hour I'll have to conclude it's really not my thing. Maybe if it had the rum in it I'd understand taking a while to drink it, but as it is I'm not a fan of the minty lemon and lime.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday 22 September 2016

Today's Review: Chicken 'N' Chips

Looks like it's a crispy sort of week this week. Now the guys behind Fish 'N' Chips have brought out yet another new flavour, in the form of Chicken & Chips. That's a freaky looking person in a chicken suit on the front, for sure, but I figured these were worth a go. Despite long avoiding meat flavoured crisps, I must say they're growing on me lately.

These taste like chicken, I'll give them that. They have something of a roast chicken taste, skin and all, and it's mostly authentic. It's not all that strong, but it's probably better than most other chicken crisps I've tasted. There is a certain amount of saltiness that's present in these as well, and it does interfere with the chicken taste at times, but I guess that incorporates the chips element quite well. I wasn't expecting much from these, but I was pretty impressed. They're crisps that taste like chicken, so they've done a good job.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Today's Review: Popchips Ridges Sea Salt & Vinegar

Here's the other flavour of Popchips Ridges I picked up the other day, alongside the quite fantastic crazy hot. I would have been happy with just the one bag, but they're 2 for £3 at the moment, so I went for the classic salt & vinegar. But how do they stack up?

There's a nice texture to these, soft and fluffy, with ridges that do help pack in the flavour. The salt & vinegar is pretty good, bold and tangy, but it's not as prominent as the spicy variety. It's a little imbalanced, a lot of tang in some places, while the taste of the crisp itself shines through in others. This is a decent bag of crisps with a nice clean, popped taste, but the chilli ones are a level above these.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Today's Review: Joe & Seph's Crisp Gin & Tonic Popcorn

Two alcohol themed snacks in two days, it's a wonder I'm not sprawled out on the floor. I found some Joe & Seph's popcorn at a reduced price in a Hawkin's Bazaar the other day, more reasonably priced than normal, so I figured I'd take the plunge, even though gin & tonic isn't exactly my tipple of choice.

This is another alcohol flavoured product that doesn't overdo it on the alcohol, and for that I'm glad. There is a definite hint of gin, but it's nice and clean, and not too pronounced. The tonic is good too, presented in a nice crisp edge in the flavour. Aside from the gin & tonic though, there's also some butter thrown in there, and it does overwhelm the other elements a bit. It's not as if the butter is bad, but mixed with the alcohol flavour it's not particularly great. There's probably a reason you don't get butter in your cocktails after all. This is a good quality popcorn, and the gin is nicely implemented throughout, it's just the balance of flavours is a bit off, so this isn't quite the popcorn for me. If you're intrigued by the idea though, by all means try it out.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 19 September 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Cocoa & Spiced Rum Crisps

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it is in the Tesco seasonal aisle anyway, the chocolate are out in full force. The crisps, not so much, but I did find these nestled in the proper crisp aisle, next to the returning pigs in blankets flavour, so I imagine this is a Christmas themed edition of Tesco Finest crisps. It's cocoa and spiced rum, which certainly seems to fit the bill, and at first elicited a response of "what?" But I should know never to judge a crisp by its chocolate flavouring, after I was blown away by those chocolate corn puffs last week. The spiced rum was perhaps more likely to put me off, it's not really my drink of choice, and those prosecco flavoured crisps they churned out last year were pretty awful. But it is my duty to try out these flavours, so I can inform whether you should stay the hell away or not.

You know what? These aren't bad at all. I know the idea of a chocolate crisp is at first repulsive, but I think it's done rather well here. There's a nice balance of cocoa and sugar, that gives these a mellow, sweet taste, and the chocolate flavouring actually works pretty well with the texture of the potato chip. There's also some salt present, as you'd expect to find in a packet of crisps, and it helps to bring out the flavours a bit more. As for the rum, it's a lot less pronounced than I expected, which is a good thing in some way. The cocoa does dominate quite a bit, but the rum is hiding behind it, providing a somewhat pleasant boozy undertone. I don't feel it's a particularly necessary inclusion, it's not that strong, but I think perhaps without it the cocoa may be a little too much, the rum probably takes some of the sweetness away, and leaves behind a balanced crisp. I'm mightily impressed with this new Finest range offering, I doubt it will find a permanent place in a pack of Walkers classic flavours, but it's a quirky idea that's neatly executed.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 18 September 2016

Today's Review: Popchips Ridges Crazy Hot

There have been a fair amount of new crisp brands and flavours popping up this year, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down as autumn draws in. I picked up three bags of new flavours today, and two of them are from the new Popchips Ridges range. They're like Popchips, but with ridges, it's self explanatory really. They come in four different flavours, but I couldn't resist the chilli, as always, especially when it's labelled as "crazy hot".

These aren't exactly "crazy hot", but they are actually pretty hot. It's a bold chilli taste, with a nice smoky and sweet edge. I was pleasantly surprised by how balanced the flavour is, it's not too hot, but it doesn't take the easy way out either. It seems the ridges accentuate the flavour as well, and it's deeply infused into the slightly softer texture provided by the popped chips. Quite simply, these are fantastic, spicy crisps that are still providing a pleasant tingle on my tongue a while after eating. Maybe not crazy hot, but crazy good.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 17 September 2016

Today's Review: Chicago Rib Shack Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake

I found myself in Westfield today, and en route to a toilet I found my eyes drawn to a particularly good looking burger being served out of the Chicago Rib Shack. Now, I'd already eaten dinner, but I figured I'd peruse the menu for a potential future visit. That's when I saw the selection of shakes, and among them a peanut butter & jelly. Now, I've had peanut butter shakes before, but never with the jelly thrown in, so a shake for dessert it was.

This is a peanut butter shake, no doubt. It's an intense flavour, coupled with a thick, creamy texture. It feels like drinking peanut butter, but in a far more acceptable form than drinking it from the jar. As far as the jelly side goes, I can't say I detected it a whole lot while drinking, the focus is definitely on the peanut butter. But there was something of an undertone to it, and in the aftertaste the nuts faded and some fruitiness shone through. Still, it's not as properly represented as I feel it should have been, the balance could have been better. This is a good shake though, quite unique in its premise, even if the execution is a little flat. You can also get a Fat Elvis, which is PB&J with a shot of bourbon, so I feel a return visit is in order to have one of them alongside a burger or some ribs.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 16 September 2016

Today's Review: Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles Infusions

When I spied this bag earlier, I was sure I'd reviewed them, but on closer inspection I had an inkling that in fact I hadn't. Turns out Rowntrees released Fruit Pastilles Froosions a couple of years ago, and the names are pretty similar. They both have sort of the same premise of dual flavoured sweets, but these Infusions take a posher approach. They come in apple & elderflower, orange & grapefruit and raspberry & pomegranate flavours. 

These aren't bad, but after devouring quite a few of them, I can't say that I was particularly blown away. It's hard to say why, all the elements are there, the fruity base flavours with an interesting edge to them. The elderflower has a slight aromatic taste, and the grapefruit and pomegranate present themselves nicely. I guess the problem is that the flavours don't really pop. I was expecting something bold and juicy, but what I got was a bit subdued. Perhaps there's a little too much of the secondary flavours, and both elements were fighting for my attention. They do complement each other well to a degree, but there's something stopping these from tasting amazing. Still good though, and a nice posh twist on the classic Fruit Pastilles.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 15 September 2016

Today's Review: Shreddies Max Protein Granola

A lot of people seem to be getting into the granola game lately. Despite the fact that most serving sizes of granola contain more calories than other cereals, it's considered the new healthy thing. Now Shreddies are joining in, with Max Protein. It's a combination of cranberries, oat granola and Shreddies pieces. It's also apparently a good source of protein, although with a name like "Max Protein" I figured it would be an excellent source.

This isn't bad at all, it contains some nice chunky granola pieces, and the cranberries are plentiful enough to add a bit of flavour, although they probably could have added a few more. It's not particularly revolutionary as far as granola goes, but the Shreddies pieces are a nice touch, they add an additional layer of flavour that make this an undeniably Shreddies based cereal. This is another granola to add to the pile, but it's not really a bad thing, I suppose it's nice to have a choice, and you can't go wrong with this.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Today's Review: Barny ABC Chocolate Bears

Sometimes my supply of new snacks run dry, and I find myself rooting around in cupboards to find something I haven't eaten before. It's often a fruitless exercise, but it's always worth a try. Today I found a few packs of these ABC Bears from the guys who brought you Barny Bears. They're chocolate biscuits, and the last bastion of hope on the borderline of what is considered acceptable snacks to put in kids' lunchboxes. Also, they have letters on them, which helps the children prepare for Countdown.

I got "duster", did anyone else do any better? Anyway, these are tiny chocolate biscuits. They pretty much taste like bourbons, but without the filling, and nobody wants that. They're not awful, just quite dry, due to the lack of the aforementioned filling. They taste chocolatey, and they have something of a nice crunch to them, so they're alright for a kid's snack I suppose. They ain't no Iced Gems or Mini Party Rings though.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Today's Review: Propercorn Crunch Corn Sweet & Smoky Chilli

Popcorn has been a big thing in recent years, but apparently it's time to change it up a bit. Why have popcorn when you can have Crunch Corn? It's like popcorn that hasn't quite been popped. Well, not quite completely unpopped, but somewhere in between. "A bit like nuts" reads the packaging, so that'll give you an idea of what to expect. These also come in salt & pepper flavour, and as much as I thought I should try that one for my first Crunch Corn experience, I can't resist the call of the chilli.

There you have it, some kernels are pretty much unpopped, while the others have all kinds of shapes and sizes. As far as the texture goes, they're pretty crunchy, some more than others. It's clear the popping isn't consistent through the packet, are pretty soft, while others were pretty hard to bite through. On average though, it's a satisfying crunch, and the flavouring is generously spread on top. These are actually pretty spicy, a bold heat with a smoky sweetness. These are probably one of the better chilli snacks I've had recently, and this is an interesting new snack that's worth a try.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 12 September 2016

Today's Review: Krispy Kreme Chocolate Firecracker

Alongside the awesome S'mores doughnut I reviewed the other day, I also picked this up from the Krispy Kreme cabinet. It's a Chocolate Firecracker, featuring a chilli infused chocolate icing. I love chocolate, I love chilli, and while I'm not completely sure about combining the two, the couple of bars of chilli chocolate I've had aren't all that bad. So a chilli doughnut sounded right up my alley.

It's a nice touch the the chilli is infused into the icing, it provides a solid coverage of spice, and it is actually pretty hot. I would say almost uncomfortably hot in a way, the icing sort of covers and sticks to the tongue, and lets the chilli go to work. It's a decent heat level, but while it's not outrageously hot, it tends to drown out everything else that's going on in the doughnut. Thankfully, the chocolate truffle centre provides some respite, it's a creamy, cooling filling that helps take the edge off the spice. In the end though, the chilli still wins out, and while it may not be so bad for spice enthusiasts, I can see how this would be way too much for a lot of people. It's a neat idea for a doughnut, but I think they went a bit too far with this one.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 11 September 2016

Today's Review: Flips Chocolate Corn Puffs

I spied this big old bag in the European section of Tesco today, at first glance I just saw the corn puffs, but on closer inspection I realised they're chocolate flavoured. I figured they'd be absolutely disgusting, so I just had to try them out. Sure, they might be like chocolate Wotsits, but at least I could make an interesting review out of it.

Turns out these are actually good. Very good, in fact. The chocolate flavour is sweet and bold, and pretty authentic. The corn puffs themselves don't get in the way taste-wise, and their texture is something like a rice cake, but a bit less chewy. I had no doubt that these would be disgusting, but once I started eating them, I couldn't stop. They're great tasting soft, sweet corn puffs. Just goes to show you shouldn't know it 'til you've tried it.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 10 September 2016

Today's Review: Krispy Kreme S'mores Doughnut

Thanks to Grocery Gems for making me aware of the existence of this Krispy Kreme offering. Even though there's a cabinet at the Tesco down the road, I still neglect to look in it most times I visit. I endeavoured to get there as soon as possible when I heard there was a s'mores doughnut on offer though. It's hard to get the genuine s'mores experience in this country, due to the distinct lack of graham crackers, but I figured an American company would have made the effort to make it authentic. Sadly, there are no graham crackers on this doughnut. There is a sprinkling of shortcake, but their efforts seem to have been concentrated on the chocolate and white chocolate coating, and the marshmallow on top and inside.

That's right, a marshmallow filling, and it's actually pretty fantastic. It's light, fluffy and creamy, like Marshmallow Fluff but slightly lighter. It seems to occupy a good middle ground between marshmallow and cream, and it really makes this a good doughnut. The rest of the elements are pretty good, a decent covering of chocolate that overall gives it a sort of s'mores like flavour, but without a meaningful amount of biscuit it can't be perfect. It's a pretty good effort though, and this is one I'd be happy to pick up again.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 9 September 2016

Today's Review: Pop Tarts PB & J Strawberry

It's been a mere three years since I tried the chocolate peanut butter Pop Tarts, but I still remember them fondly. So when I saw the PB & J variety last week, I didn't hesitate in snapping them up. After all, who doesn't want peanut butter for breakfast, especially inside a toaster pastry? While chocolate would be my go to pairing with peanut butter, I'm partial to a bit of jelly too, so I had high hopes for these.

The strawberry part is the same as you'd find in the regular strawberry Pop Tarts, you know, one of the measly number of flavours they actually sell in the UK. If you're into your Pop Tarts you probably know the strawberry flavour well. It's not particularly authentic, but it gets the job done. The peanut butter is higher quality, not perfect, but a nice hit of peanut flavour with a thick texture, and there's a good ratio of filling to provide a proper PB & J taste throughout. This is a good effort, not quite as great as the chocolate peanut butter, but it's yet another flavour that makes me wish for an expanded Pop Tarts range in the UK. 

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 8 September 2016

Today's Review: Combos Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel

Here's another interesting treat I picked up from an import shop recently, a bag of pretzel pieces with vanilla frosting filling. I'm pretty fond of pretzel pieces, especially Snyder's, and the idea of them having frosting in the middle was too good to resist.

The outside is a nice crunchy, salty pretzel. It's not quite as flavoursome as the savoury ones you'll get in a Snyder's pack, and the saltiness did fade a bit as I made my way through each piece. The frosting in the middle is alright, creamy, but not particularly plentiful. It provides a bit of respite from the pretzel when it gets a bit dry, but neither element really does enough to make this an overall great snack. These are nice enough pretzel pieces, but they could use more frosting and less pretzel.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Today's Review: Twix Bites

Bags of bites are popping up all over the place these days, it seems Mars have gone for a bit of an overhaul, as they've released bite size versions of their three big bars: Mars, Snickers, and these Twix ones. Now, this isn't the first time Mars have brought out chocolate bags based on these bars. We had Mars and Twix Mix a few years back, and these seem to be a more conventional shape than those balls with differing filling. But is it better this way?

These are bigger than the Twix Mix balls, I'll give them that much. They're pretty much a perfect representation of a Twix bar, but in smaller form. They're good, a satisfying mix of biscuit, caramel and chocolate, and while they're not particularly different from the full sized bar, they do solve the slight problem of not knowing what was in the middle of each Twix Mix bite. If you've got a hankering for a sharing bag of Twix, then you can't really go wrong with these.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Today's Review: Mango Fanta

I saw a couple of interesting Fanta flavours in an import shop I popped into at the weekend, but this held my attention the most. It's a mango flavoured Fanta, and while I had a bad experience with the apple variety, I figured I'd give it a go.

This definitely has the same syrupy goodness that I found in the apple, but it's nowhere near as bad. Sure, it's very sweet, but the mango flavour is semi-accurate. Obviously, it doesn't quite taste like the fresh fruit, but at least it's not just sugar water. I wouldn't say it's a fantastic flavour, certainly not as refined as an orange or fruit twist, but it's a moderately well made soda, that unfortunately suffers from being a bit too sweet and syrupy.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 5 September 2016

Today's Review: Cadbury Dinky Deckers

Cadbury have adapted many of their bars into bite size form over the years, but there are still some they've overlooked. But no longer have they ignored perhaps one of my favourite Cadbury offerings, the Double Decker. I found these Dinky Deckers in Sainsbury's for £1. Quite a great name for them, but it was only upon opening the bag that I realised quite how dinky they are.

There's a Mini Babybel for scale, it was the closest thing I could find and I was desperate to shove these in my face. Unfortunately, when I did so, I was somewhat disappointed. The chocolate, nougat and crispy bits are there, sure, but they lack the impact they have in the proper bar. There's something so satisfying about digging into a big sticky lump of nougat imbedded with crispy pieces, and it's not well emulated in miniature form. Looking at the packet, the cross section seems just like their larger brethren, but looking at my picture up there, you can see they're really not. They're not bad, they still taste like Double Deckers, but the experience is very dulled down, turning a fantastic chocolate bar into an average bag of chocolates. Try again, guys.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 4 September 2016

Today's Review: Burger Toast

Yeah, that's right, Burger Toast. Have you never had a nice big helping of Burger Toast before? I found this delightful sounding product nestled amongst the Fray & Bentos pies and Spam, in the "foods that will outlast you in the apocalypse" section. Now, despite the title, this doesn't contain any toast, you have to supply that yourself. No, this is a "delicious" topping for toast that will apparently make it taste just like a burger, because that's a thing I've been missing in my life. Of course, this comes in a can, so let's open up that bad boy and see what's inside.

Mmm, that looks amazing. Well, it probably would if I were a dog. It looks like dog food, it smells like dog food, I dipped my finger in for a little sample, and hell, it tastes like dog food too. At least, what I assume dog food to taste like, I can't say I've eaten dog food before. It's a meaty paste that somehow fails to taste like any meat I've ever eaten. But hey, this isn't meant to be eaten straight from the can, it's meant to be spread on toast, so maybe that would redeem it. It's not just the toast you need either, the directions on the can say you spread it on toast, pop some cheese on top and then grill it. I assumed double cooking it would at least kill some of the evil residing within, so I gave it a shot. The can called for a processed cheese slice (of course), but I only had some Cathedral City, so I put some thin slices on top and stuck it in the grill.

There we have it, indistinguishable from a cheeseburger to the eyes, but what about the taste? Thankfully, the cheddar had actual flavour, so it pretty much tasted like cheese on toast, but with something evil lurking beneath the surface. There was a hint of meatiness, although "meat" may be pushing it. I'll tell you now, it didn't taste like a burger, and despite not really tasting the stuff during consumption, I was left with a subtle, foul, paste-like aftertaste for a while. I don't know what would possess someone to buy this. I did it so I can pass on my wisdom to you guys. Just in case you're thinking of buying Burger Toast, don't. You'll probably want to pass on the Pizza Toast as well, but if you've tried it and it actually resembles food, please let me know.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 3 September 2016

Today's Review: Sweets 4 U Chili Mili

As I scoured the shelves at Asda the other day, I found myself perusing the world foods section. There, tucked away in an unassuming corner, I found a tiny packet of sweets. I picked them up on the basis that I'd never seen them before, and on closer inspection realised that they're chilli flavoured gummy sweets. Now, I love chilli, and I love gummy sweets, so surely this would be the perfect combination? Yes, actually, I had reservations from the moment I picked the bag up. Just because I like both elements, doesn't mean they're good when they're put together.

Turns out my intuition was right. These are pretty tiny sweets, and while at first they delivery quite a nice fruity flavour, it soon gives way to an uncomfortably hot chilli sensation. Now, I can handle a lot of heat, this included, but given the fact that it was coupled with a sweet that I had to keep chewing, the burning carried on for a lot longer than I was comfortable with. Normally there's some other flavour to keep you occupied, but this was just heat and chewy gelatin, and was pretty unpleasant. If you're a chilli maniac, you might want to give these a go, but I'd rather stick with the peppers.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 2 September 2016

Today's Review: Mint Oreo

Not one, but two new Oreo flavours in as many weeks. I was less excited about these than I was for the strawberry cheesecake variety, but I figured I'd hunt it down for completion's sake. Besides, picking these up at any import shop was likely to set me back £6 for a box, and that's not a price I'm willing to pay for anything mint chocolatey. I found these in Sainsbury's for £1.20

Yes, I'm not fond of the mint chocolate combination, but I wanted to give these a try anyway. It's the same old Oreo biscuit on the outside, with a mint flavour creme filling, and you know what? It's not bad. Actually, these are very good. At first I was hit with quite an intense mintiness, but I think that was just my taste buds getting used to the different filling of the Oreo. As I ate a few, the mint died down, and became a lot less pronounced, allowing the flavour of the creme to come through as well. Once it evened out, the filling was pleasantly smooth, sweet and creamy, and while it was a little too minty at some points, it works relatively well in partnership with the chocolate cookie. Not my number one combination, but I can appreciate a good mint chocolate when I taste one, and these are good. Let's hope they roll out some more Oreo flavours over here in the future.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 1 September 2016

Today's Review: Asda Caramel Shortcake Flavoured Milk

There are flavoured milks popping up all over the place nowadays, and I picked up this one from Asda today. I tried out their interesting blueberry muffin milk a while back, and this one promised the same dessert-like qualities, in the form of caramel shortcake. Caramel seems to be a relatively untapped milk flavour, and to have the shortcake thrown in on top is a bonus, given that they actually pull it off that is.

This is pretty good, a bold caramel flavour that isn't overly sweet, it's smooth and creamy, not quite as thick as I'd have hoped, but hey, this is milk, not a shake. But really, it's mostly a caramel shake, and there's nothing too special about it. The shortcake does manifest itself in something of a biscuit taste, but it's not all that strong, or particularly nice, so the caramel is the real focus here. While it's a nice enough flavour, the disappointing shortcake element brings it down, and overall it's a pretty average, caramel flavoured milk. Probably worth picking up if you're a caramel fan, but it's not a particularly unique drink.

My rating: 3/5