Sunday 31 December 2017

Today's Review: Tiptree Chocolate Cherry Spread

It's almost midnight, and apparently something significant is happening then, so here's a quick little review of another of my Tiptree chocolate spread pots. This one is cherry chocolate, which sounded delicious, and well, actually it's pretty good. A lovely, rich chocolate base, with a bit less of that buttery after taste. It's sickly, but good if you use it sparingly. The cherry element is pretty good, a natural taste that ramps up the sweetness quite a bit, making it a bit more sickly than if this were regular chocolate spread. Still, it's a decadent spread, with some good natural flavours, I'm sure this would be great on anything you'd like to spread it on.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 30 December 2017

Today's Review: Jack Daniel's Honey Chocolate

Yup, I'm still working my way through the edible Christmas presents. There's an end in sight, but I fear I may fall into a chocolate coma. So why not go out with a bit of a bang in my bar? This is a chocolate bar filled with Jack Daniel's honey syrup. I've tried out the regular Jack Daniel's chocolate before, and found the syrup overwhelmed the chocolate quite a bit. But since the actual whiskey is more palatable than the classic, I figured it would go better with chocolate.

The chocolate isn't the best quality, it's creamy, but not particularly tasty. It's still overwhelmed by the syrup, so it's not too bad, although the syrup does have quite a kick to it. It tastes like Jack Daniel's, which is good, but there's a fair bit in comparison to the relatively thin chocolate. The honey swirled in gives it a nice kick, so it's got a certain sweetness to it, and once the kick of the whiskey has gone it leaves a fairly pleasant after taste. But still, I wouldn't choose this over a regular chocolate bar. I think I'm of the firm opinion that whiskey is for drinking, not eating.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 29 December 2017

Today's Review: Müller Rice Chocolate Orange

Here's a quick little review of this limited edition Müller Rice I picked up the other day. It's a festive chocolate orange flavour, basically in the form of the sauce swirled through the rice. It takes a bit of mixing to get it fully incorporated, and even then it was a little uneven, so it was bland in places. As for the flavour of the sauce, I got the chocolate, but not so much the orange. It presented a few times as quite a sickly orange flavour, but was fleeting, and this is mostly just a mildly chocolatey pot of rice. Not great. Don't worry about grabbing this before it goes.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 28 December 2017

Today's Review: Tiptree Chocolate Spread

It's that odd time between Christmas and New Year's, where I endeavour to finish off all the unhealthy snacks before attempting that diet we all start on the 1st. Unfortunately, it being Christmas, and me loving food, I received a fair amount of edible gifts. Most I've tried before, but some I will post here over the next week or so. I got a nice little selection of Tiptree chocolate spreads this year, six varieties to be exact. Tiptree is famous for its jams, but they do a lot of other great stuff as well. I figured I'd start out with this regular chocolate spread before moving onto something more exotic.

I was under the assumption that one of the most important components of chocolate spread is the ability to spread it, and I can't say this was particularly easy. It's fairly firm, but with a bit of elbow grease I managed to get a fair amount across a slice of bread, spread on thick, but that's all good. So while the "spread" half of the name isn't all that accurate, the "chocolate" part somewhat makes up for it. This is a very rich, very chocolatey spread, a slightly dark, but pleasantly sweet flavour. It is a little on the sickly side, and there's a buttery flavour throughout that's stronger than I'd have liked, but overall it's a very pleasant spread. Much better than your usual supermarket fare. I'm looking forward to trying out the other flavours.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Today's Review: Golden Wonder Chippies Chip Shop Curry

There are a few different varieties of chip shop curry crisps out there, and here's another one from Golden Wonder. These are actually curry sauce flavoured sticks, much like those budget ready salted ones you can pick up from the party food aisle. Not the best form of crisp if you ask me, but at least these have a bit of flavour. It's a pretty nice curry flavour, quite reminiscent of the sauce, but the tiny stick form lets them down a bit, the flavouring isn't as piled on as it should be due to the lack of surface area, and after a short while it gives way to just regular potato sticks. So less Chippies, more crispies, these could have been a lot better.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Today's Review: The Massive Piles Of Presents In My Living Room

Christmas is over. It's the end of Boxing Day, and while various visits to both sides of the in drips and drabs, we can safely say the gift giving is over, as evidenced by the massive mounds of presents that are piled on my living room floor.

I have three kids, and while two are old enough to be heavily invested in the cheap yet compact world of electronics and video games, they're still in possession of a sizeable amount of stuff that has no designated place to be tidied away to. So what am I to do? I could have a good sort out, obviously, but the kids still have a week off school, and it's best to just let them make their steady way through the presents, unwrap them, and given them homes of their own. But until then it's like a minefield of pencils, sweet and game pieces, a semi-permanent mountain range of oversized boxes and gift bags. It's never ideal. No matter how much we seem to clear out before Christmas, there's always going to be more stuff to put away than we have room for. These piles are symbolic of the generosity of family (and us), but they're a pain to be sure. Still, there are a few science kits over there, I look forward to "helping" with those.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 25 December 2017

Today's Review: Thornton's Chocolate Liqueur

Merry Christmas y'all. I've been pretty busy all day, obviously, so here's a quick little review of a Christmas pressie I acquired and have had a little taste of today. It's a chocolate liqueur from Thorntons, a mix of chocolate cream and vodka. Getting drunk off chocolate doesn't sound like a bad idea at all, and this is a pretty decent concoction. The vodka is a little on the strong side, drowning out the chocolate at first and providing something of a sour taste, but it all mellows out pretty quickly and leaves a very pleasant after taste. So yeah, it could be a little more balanced, but it's a pretty unique bottle of booze to sip on in the Winter months.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 24 December 2017

Today's Review: Jacob's Pigs In Blankets Festive Snack Bites

It's Christmas Eve, but it's not too late to hunt out some last minute festive snack offerings. Actually, it probably is now, it's almost 11pm. What are you still doing awake? Santa won't come if you're not asleep! Anyway, I managed to find this tub of pigs in blankets flavoured crackers yesterday, having never heard of them before. These are from Jacob's, the creators of the ever fantastic Cracker Crisps, so I had high hopes for these. Unfortunately, those hopes were soon dashed. These are not the same as Cracker Crisps. They're somewhat flaky and hollower, a crumbly cracker whose flavour isn't particularly great. It starts out okay, a certain meatiness with a hint of smokiness and salt. I wouldn't necessarily call it pigs in blankets, but it's not bad. Unfortunately that soon disappears, the flavouring just turns into a generically fake meaty taste, and mixed with the texture of the crackers, it's not a good finish. A disappointing tub. Don't buy some for Christmas Day, even though it's already too late.

My rating: 1/5

Saturday 23 December 2017

Today's Review: Tuc Sweet Chilli Sandwich

I reviewed the new sweet chilli Tuc last month, but apparently I missed this packet when I picked up the first. It's a sweet chilli Tuc Sandwich, which are like Tuc but better, because there's some nice cheesy stuff sandwiched between them. 

This pack is a little different from the sweet chilli biscuits, as the chilli flavour lies in the filling, with the Tuc either side being the regular kind. As such, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I was hoping for a bit more spice than is present here. There's a certain heat in the filling, which is somewhat mitigated by the creaminess of the stuff, but it's pretty good, and you can't go wrong with the Tuc biscuits it's wrapped in. After eating a few, the heat built up to a satisfying level, so it's not a massive disappointment. Perhaps making it all sweet chilli would have been a bit much, but these are some very tasty Tuc sandwiches.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 22 December 2017

Today's Review: Burger King Long Pepperoni

With no Burger King in my home town, it's a rare treat to visit the flame grilled paradise. But today was one of those days, and instead of capitalising on the festive treats on offer, I instead went for this recent addition to the menu. This is the Long Pepperoni, a long burger with two beef patties, cheese and pepperoni, topped with BBQ sauce. Pepperoni in a burger is not a new thing, but it's intriguing enough, I was excited to see what this burger would hold.

Despite containing pepperoni, I can't say I noticed it all that much. A little added meatiness, with a small boost of flavour, but seeing as it was the selling point it was pretty disappointing. I wasn't too sure about the BBQ sauce in conjunction with the pepperoni either, and while it wasn't great, it wasn't too bad either. The rest of the burger is classic Burger King, lovely juicy flame grilled patties, and a decent helping of cheese. So it's not all bad, but as a pepperoni burger it's not a great effort.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 21 December 2017

Today's Review: Sleeping In A Different Bed

I like my bed, it's where I do my sleeping. I spend a fairly large chunk of my life curled up in bed, and as such I have it just to my liking. A nice comfy mattress, a memory foam pillow, perfect for getting into the position I need to get my beauty sleep. But there are those odd nights where I'm not sleeping in my own bed, and while it doesn't take much for me to fall asleep, it is more difficult in a different bed.

The mattresses are different. Some are too springy, some are too hard. Don't even get me started on the pillows. One might not be enough, but two might be too much. My pillow at home is just thick enough to cover the width of my shoulder so I can lay on my side. Other beds require me to change pillow heights or body position, and that's just not right. The bed I'm in right now is too soft, and it's a single, I feel like I'll fall out if I even make a small movement in my sleep. I know I'll be alright in the end, but I'm sure I'll wake up several times in the night, and require several shuffles before I get comfortable again. Even though other beds might be comfortable in their own way, my bed is the best. There's no place like home.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Today's Review: Boots Shapers Honey Butter Crisps

Don't worry, I won't review the entirety of my Boots meal deal from yesterday, but these were just too unique to skim over. Here we have honey butter crisps, three words that I believed should not be seen together, but here they are in one bag. Sweet crisps aren't a new thing by any means, but pairing honey and butter and slathering it on a potato chip is a bit odd, especially in a diet style bag.

These are an acquired taste, to be sure. The honey and butter are out in full force, so I admire the strength of the flavouring. Unfortunately it's such an acquired taste that the tiny bag didn't give me enough to acquire it. They're not inedible, but there's something about the sweet hit paired with salty butter that doesn't quite sit right. An interesting idea for a bag of crisps, but I don't think I'll be getting them again.

My rating: 2/5

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Today's Review: Boots Christmas Triple Sandwich

I'm really getting into the festive sandwich spirit lately, which is a good thing, because in a week I won't be able to find them anywhere. I popped into Boots for a cheeky meal deal, and chose this one out of their Christmas selection. It's a triple offering, containing turkey & stuffing, ham hock & plum chutney, and cheddar & red onion chutney. I was especially interested in that middle sandwich, but they all sounded pretty good to me.

Sandwich? More like blandwich. Yeah, these aren't fantastic. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad, but there's not much that particularly stands out. The turkey and stuffing are your regular fare, a classic combination, but one that I've had many times before. The cheddar and chutney is fairly mediocre, not quite a substantial amount of either to justify an entire sandwich, definitely the worst of the three. I was really looking forward to the ham hock, and while it's got a decent amount of meat, and a pretty nice fruity chutney, it still seems a little sparse. So what looked like a hearty Christmas feast wasn't quite up to scratch in my eyes. A decent enough festive change up from the regular Boots sandwiches, but nothing to write home about.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 18 December 2017

Today's Review: The Amount Of Food Pictures I Have On My Phone

Being a reviewer of predominantly food items, and not being in constant possession of a right proper camera, I take all my pictures for reviews on my phone. Nothing wrong with that, the iPhone camera is perfectly adequate to capture all the nuances of a chocolate bar wrapper. But as such, I often find my phone is full to the brim with pictures of random food items sitting atop my speckly counter top. If someone ever took my phone and scrolled through my photo library, they'd most likely be baffled, more so than the people who see me holding out my sandwich for a quick snap before I eat it. 

Seeing as I make a post every day, I suppose all those pictures aren't too out of place on my phone. But seeing as I'm a father of three, it's often worrying how many more pictures I have of snacks than I do of my own kids. Yeah, we have a proper camera for taking family snaps, but it seems I'm more capable of photographing bags of sweets than I am my own offspring. So it's not so much the amount of pictures of food on my phone, it's the disproportionate amount in relation to anything else that's quite worrying. Don't even ask me how many I've transferred to my laptop over the years. So much food, so many pictures. It's not the most awful situation, but it's definitely not great.

My rating: 2/5

Sunday 17 December 2017

Today's Review: Poundland Twin Peaks

Not content with ripping off most chocolate products, Poundland have gone after that famous (and lately infamous) triangular bar. Yes, now you can pick up a sizeable Toblerone knock off for a mere pound. This is Twin Peaks, which isn't based on the David Lynch show, but apparently "inspired by the Wrekin & Ercall hills", though I'm sure they're more inspired by copying the Toblerone in a way that won't get them sued. In the process, they've managed to skimp out on the chocolate in a way that Modelez can only dream of.

Yes, as well as borrowing the ever-growin gap between triangles, this bar also has a chunk taken out of the hills, to create that definitive "Twin Peaks" form. Thing is, they're sort of justified in this because the thing only costs a pound. In actual fact, this thing isn't too bad. The chocolate is a little gritty and not of the best quality, but it's perfectly edible, nice even. The nougat pieces add a bit of a crunch and a nice nutty, honey flavour. They help to distract from the shortcomings of the chocolate, and overall it's a perfectly decent chocolate bar, considering the size and price. So for those who don't want to splash out on an ever-shrinking Toblerone, this is an apt replacement.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 16 December 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Juicy Goldbears

Alright, technically I've reviewed these before, but that was in a foreign, fun size form. Now it looks like you can pick up a big bag of Juicy Goldbears in the UK, which are a lot more sizeable than the ones I rifled through a multipack to find. These aren't just your regular Goldbears, they're made with 25% fruit juice, which is a pretty high number. One benefit of having this big bag is I got to try out all the flavours, as well as having a nice key of what they are. There's pear, apple, peach, banana, cherry and raspberry. 

These are all pretty good actually. Each one tastes like their respective fruit, helped along enormously by the juice. The banana and cherry are a little bit off, but the peach and raspberry are particularly good. So yes, these are juicy by name, and juicy by nature. The flavours do wear off after a little while, but they're good while they last. I actually prefer these to the regular Goldbears, good choices of fruit flavours that are pretty well done.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 15 December 2017

Today's Review: Trying To Write A Review While Very Drunk

I've had a few tipple too many, and I'm on my mobile outside a toilet. I have no idea what to say, nor the capacity to do so. You should count yourself lucky that this is still legible. Merry Christmas everyone. I mean, it's 10 days away, but it's best to be prepared, right? Well, there's only so much I can write while mobile and I toxicated. This isn't th best review I've done, but it might not be the worst. Still, writing reviews while drunk at a Christmas party is not the best method.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday 14 December 2017

Today's Review: Pic's Smooth Peanut Butter

The peanut butter market seems to be expanding lately, with imports and fancier jars turning up on shelves. A new addition at Tesco is this jar made from Australian Hi-Oleic peanuts, whatever that means. I've always had something of an aversion to crunchy peanut butter, so I went for the smooth jar, which still promised me it was "really good".

I know oil separation is natural for jars of peanut butter, it's no different here, but it's something of a problem. I tried mixing the stuff up, but it's still pretty sloppy, and it makes a bit of a mess. So not the best start, but once it's spread across some bread it's still good to go. It's a pretty nice peanut butter, not particularly sweet, since it's just peanuts and salt, but it tastes natural, and definitely has a bold peanut flavour. It is quite sticky, which I don't find too appealing. So some good points, some bad, I wouldn't rank this among my favourites, but it's not too bad. Not one for those with arachibutyrophobia. There's a word of the day for you.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Today's Review: Wilko Maple & Sea Salt Fudge

Excuse that bright flash there, I took this in the cinema, before abruptly opening and devouring the contents. Yes, Wilko are offering some upmarket looking fudge, crafted in Harrogate of all places. Maple seems a pretty good flavour to chuck into some fudge, and it's implemented pretty well here. A lovely sweet taste that's very reminiscent of maple syrup, and the salt is at a very nice level, bringing out the flavours even more. The texture of the fudge itself is a little weird, a bit crumbly, and slightly gritty, but it seemed to get better as I chewed my way through. This stuff tastes good, especially for a box of fudge that's a mere £1.50. Check it out.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Today's Review: Magnum Salted Caramel

I have no idea how long these have been out, but I'm sure I've never seen salted caramel Magnums around before. No big bold "NEW" on the packaging though, so I almost skipped over these. Apparently salted caramel Magnums have been around for a while, but with caramel swirls in vanilla ice cream, while this has a salted caramel flavour ice cream. Whatever the differences, the title alone was enough for me to grab a box.

It's not as elaborate as the Double Magnums that have come out recently, but this is a very decent go at a salted caramel flavour. The ice cream is smooth and uniformly flavoured, a sweet caramel with a definite salty hint, more salted than a lot of products I see carrying the name. The chocolate coating is as good as always, and the two elements work nicely together, the saltiness helps to bring out all the flavours. The caramel could have been a little stronger I suppose, an extra caramel swirl wouldn't have gone amiss, but this is a very good addition to the already massive Magnum range.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 11 December 2017

Today's Review: Hoola Hooch

The snow's been coming down thick and fast, so what better time to review this tropical themed alco-pop? This has probably been out for a while, but it was something I picked up while I was trying to find something new in the corner shop. I remember Hooch causing a lot of controversy when it first hit the shelves, but now everyone's doing it, so I guess they needed to make a new flavour to step up their game. So enter Hoola Hooch, a mango and passion fruit alcoholic drink. I'm all about the mango and passion fruit, and this has the added bonus of getting you drunk (well, ever so slightly sozzled. If you drink the entire bottle.)

Yes, it's not particularly strong stuff, and yes, it's a little on the sickly side, but on the whole, this is a nice sweet beverage with a great fruity flavour. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and it's pretty refreshing, so it's a lot more palatable than swigging vodka from a bottle. If I were still in the alco-pop game, I'd definitely be stocking up on these in time for Christmas. For those who are partial to a bit of WKD, give this a whirl. It's good stuff.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 10 December 2017

Today's Review: Asda Turkey & Cranberry Pasty

Even those who grab a quick pasty along with their Asda shop get to choose a little bit of Christmas cheer, just look at this one, featuring turkey and cranberry. Sure, this may not sound as luxurious as a turkey dinner, but you can eat this one with one hand, doing whatever it is you do when you eat a pasty. Now, this isn't just turkey and cranberry, the turkey itself is in a "herby sauce", which sounds nice, and is I suppose, but it dwarfs all the cranberry in there. That's even if there is any in there, I thought I tasted a fruity hint from time to time, but it's mostly just like your average chicken pasty, but with turkey instead of chicken obviously. It's not bad, the turkey is nice enough for a cheap pasty, but I came for the cranberry, and only got a smidge, so I left disappointed. If you're looking for festive fun in the pastry aisle, this probably won't fulfil your needs.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday 9 December 2017

Today's Review: Virgil's Root Beer

Another day, another root beer. I said in my review of the Virgil's Black Cherry Cream Soda that I'd try out their root beer, and now I have. It's in the pretty pricey range of £1.70 per bottle in the Tesco American section, but I figured it was worth it given how good the cream soda was. Turns out they make a damn good root beer too. It has that bold, fresh, distinctive root beer flavour, and doesn't seem watered down like a few of the others I've tried. It's a nice smooth experience, definitely refreshing, and packed full of flavour, with a clean, natural taste that ranks this pretty highly in my hierarchy of root beers. I hope this sticks around for a while, it's some good stuff.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 8 December 2017

Today's Review: Go Ahead! Crunchy Dippers Salted Caramel

Continuing on the healthy snack food theme, I picked up these Crunchy Dippers a little while back. They're basically like Dairylea Dunkers, but a sweet version, with mini bread sticks that you can scoop up a sweet dip with. These also come in coconut flavour, but I figured I'd tackle the salted caramel first. 

This is a pretty decent little snack. I say little, because it is little, there's not a whole lot going on, but for a quick hunger fix it's pretty good. The bread sticks, if not more abundant, could have been a little thicker, a few of them snapped as I was trying to scoop. But they're good enough. The dip is a nice sweet little number, definitely tastes of caramel, and I even managed to pick up the salt, which was nice. I would say it's a little thick, maybe I should blame the dip for my broke bread sticks after all, a smoother salted caramel would have made this all the better. As it is though, it's a decent little snack that tastes naughtier than it is. 

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 7 December 2017

Today's Review: Activia Grains & Nuts Walnut & Oats

I thought all the healthy products came out in the new year, but it looks like some people are getting their stuff on the shelves before Christmas is even here. Just look at these yoghurt pots, look how many healthy buzz words there are. Bio live! Cultures! Grains! Oats! Fibre! These pots promise "a new tasty breakfast experience", and if there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's breakfast experiences. You can probably tell from the name of the thing, but this is basically a yoghurt with walnuts and oats in.

I know I seem cynical from that first paragraph, but this is actually damn good stuff. The yoghurt is thick and creamy, and while it isn't quite as sweet as I normally like my yoghurt, the stuff mixed in helped to keep my interest. There's a fairly substantial amount of oats and nut pieces in there, not so much that it dwarfs the yoghurt, but the flavours are definitely there, and all mixed together gives a great texture, and despite how small the pots are, they're pretty filling. I wouldn't say this would satisfy you more than a bowl of Weetos, but it's a pretty delicious, healthy breakfast fix that should fill you up in the morning.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Today's Review: KFC Festive Fries

Pretty much every fast food joint changes up their burgers from time to time, but most of them just leave their fries as they are. Not KFC though, they've given their fries the Original Recipe treatment before, and now they've brought out a new seasoning for the Christmas period. It consists of onion, garlic, herbs and "smoky" seasoning sprinkled on top of your good old KFC fries.

I'm all for a bit of a change up with the fries, and these are actually pretty great. The onion and garlic are both noticeable, and there's a certain smokiness to the whole thing, nothing major, and not exactly the main event, but it's nice to taste a few different flavours chucked in here. The blend of garlic, onion and herbs give it that little bit of a festive kick, almost like there's been a ball of stuffing mixed in there. I would say, however, that the flavouring clumps together in a few places, especially at the bottom of the box. That doesn't stop the fries themselves tasting good, but they can be a little bland in some places due to the spread of the seasoning. Still, a very festive offering that will spice up your winter chicken fix. Keep on tinkering with the fries, guys.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Today's Review: Ooola Secrets Chocolate And Raspberry Mousse

Ooola la. We all like a fancy mousse, right? I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce this one, am I meant to spend a set amount of seconds saying each "o"? Anyway, this is a set of three fancy little mousses, containing chocolate and raspberry, with a smattering of chocolate chips. I was thinking the chocolate chips were the secret, despite them being clearly advertised. But it turns out the entirety of the mousses themselves are the secret, if you wish them to be. You see, you could share them, or keep them secret. At a price of £2.40 for three small pots, you're damn right I'll keep them all to myself (I got these at half price). 

It wouldn't be hard to keep these secret, they're tiny. But, as is my motto, it's not the size, it's what you do with it that counts. Crammed in each pot is a decent portion of raspberry, 21% in fact. Swirled in with the chocolate mousse, it's fairly good, although I wouldn't say the mousse is the best. It's a little dark, and the tartness of the raspberries takes over a bit. The mousse and puree combination gives it a bit of an odd texture too. Slight problems on their own, but all mixed together it gives a bit of a messy experience overall. The chocolate chips are good, a little bit of crunch in an otherwise smooth mousse, so these are good for a little indulgent treat. Don't think I'll be paying full price for them though.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 4 December 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Ham Hock & Spiced Orange Chutney Sandwich

Christmas sandwiches don't seem to be as big a deal this year as they have been previously, so I've sort of skimmed over them this time around. But today I found myself picking up a meal deal, so I figured I'd give a festive offering a go. Here we have a ham hock & spiced orange chutney, a far cry from the chocolate and cherry mascarpone Tesco had a couple of years back, but a little different nonetheless.

What a disappointing sandwich. I love a bit of ham hock, but it's not particularly well represented here. There are some sizeable chunks I guess, but there's really not enough to make this a substantial lunchtime offering, it even seems dwarfed by the leaves that only seem to be there to provide a bit of crunch. The chutney is completely overpowering, a not particularly nice orange flavour that dominates everything else, leaving only a bit of meatiness coming through. A complete imbalance, and the chutney isn't even all that spiced, just tastes like a bit of gone off orange. This hardly filled me with Christmas cheer.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday 3 December 2017

Today's Review: Müller Light Rhubarb Crumble & Custard

Here's a quick review of this crumble flavoured Müller Light I picked up earlier today. I love a bit of rhubarb crumble, so it's nice to know that when I lose all my teeth I'll still be able to enjoy it. As long as I lose all my teeth in the next month or so, since this is limited edition...

Rhubarb crumble and custard, this is supposed to taste like, and I'll give them the rhubarb and custard. There's a nice fruity, tart taste, with a smooth custard-like undertone. But I didn't detect any crumble. That always seems to be the way with these crumble or muffin flavoured things, the fruit is there, but the bready element is not. I know it's not the Müller Light way, but a smattering of crumble bits could have made all the difference. As it is, this is a fairly decent attempt at a rhubarb and custard yoghurt, but I was expecting so much more.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 2 December 2017

Today's Review: Juicy Drop Taffy

Here's an interesting little pack of sweets I picked up from the Co-Op, it seems they're always coming up with new ways to get you to consume sour, unhealthy fluids, at least this one doesn't suggest you spraying it directly into your mouth. This is Juicy Drop Taffy, which comes with a tube of sour strawberry gel, which you can squeeze onto the provided pieces of blue raspberry flavoured taffy. Taffy is basically a chewy sweet, for those not down with the lingo.

Look at that, it's got that appetising appearance of... Blu-Tac. To be fair, the flavour isn't far off either. Not that I've eaten Blu-Tac, but this stuff is rather bland, just a hint of blue raspberry that's lost in the overly chewy chew. The stuff in the tube is better, a more flavourful strawberry offering that isn't particularly sour, but does have a bit of a kick to it. It's thick, somewhat plentiful, and definitely bad for your teeth. You can get quite a bit on each piece of taffy, so there's no danger of running out, but the whole thing of unwrapping individual chews and meticulously squirting on the sour gel is just too much faff for not much reward. A bland chew with some slightly sour stuff on top, there are far better things out there.

My rating: 2/5

Friday 1 December 2017

Today's Review: Müller Corner Christmas Bakery Edition

Yes, the Christmas yoghurts have hit the shelves, and here we have a "Christmas Bakery Edition" from Müller. This corner contains not one, but two different things to dump in your yoghurt. The Christmas bakery is quite apt with the tiny gingerbread men, but I'm not exactly sure what the chocolate balls are meant to represent. But hey, it's chocolate, it can't be bad.

The vanilla flavour yoghurt is a bit of a bland choice, even though it's good vanilla yoghurt. I'm not entirely sure what I'd like to see in place of it, so I guess I can't moan too much. It means the attention is focused on the gingerbread men, and they're really good. Despite their tiny size, they pack a lot of flavour, a nice authentic gingerbread that adds a nice bit of heat. The chocolate is there to add a bit of sweetness, but I think I would have preferred pure gingerbread, the balls don't really add much to the overall flavour. This is a pretty good festive yoghurt, although there could have been more of a focus on adding in some proper festive bits.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 30 November 2017

Today's Review: Starbucks Fudge Hot Chocolate

I've been somewhat disappointed with the Christmas drink offerings this year, but I always like to hold out hope. So to Starbucks I went, tempted with the idea of their fudge hot chocolate. Because why not? It's a fudge flavoured hot chocolate, didn't seem there was anything too extravagant that could go wrong. Turns out this isn't just a fudge hot chocolate, it's also topped with fudge flavoured cream, as well as the golden chocolate curls.

The cream is great, a lovely instant hit of fudge flavour, and the golden curls add a little crunch and a nice hint of chocolate. Underneath the flavours aren't quite as intense, but there's a distinct fudge taste that runs throughout a pretty great, creamy hot chocolate. I'm glad it wasn't the other way, with a fudge overload, but it would have been nice for the main drink to have a bit more flavour. Still, this is a simple but effective twist on the hot chocolate, and definitely my favourite festive drink of the year so far. Check it out.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Pick 'N' Mix Machine

At the base of the stairs it called me. The sound of children's laughter, followed by that classic theme. "Kids and grown ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo." Yes! I'm a grown up, and I love it so! This monstrosity of a vending machine drew me in from the start, and I was sold when I saw what was on offer. It's a pick 'n' mix machine, whereby you pay £3, choose up to five sweets from the selection, and watch as tiny conveyor belts fill up the cup before your eyes. £3 was a little steep for a pick 'n' mix cup, but look at that selection! Terrific Turtles! Crocodiles! You can't get bags of them easily around here. Also, there were some rhubarb & custard flavoured pencil things that looked utterly amazing, so I tapped my phone and watched this thing go to work. Did I mention that it takes Apple Pay? This is truly the machine of the future.

At least it would be if it worked. You know those rhubarb & custard sweets I was aching for? Turns out that specific conveyor belt didn't work, so I only got the other four selection in my cup. Of course, I only knew this after I'd paid. My friend also got a cup, which was utterly devoid of jelly cherries due to a blockage, and his cup was only three quarters full at the end. It seems like this thing requires a lot of maintenance, the concept is good, but maybe it's just a bit too ridiculous to function. 

Oh, and also the sweets are stale. It turns out leaving unwrapped Haribo sitting on conveyor belts in a not entirely airtight vending machine means they're not the freshest when they're eventually chosen to fall into a cardboard cup. I mean, I ate them, but they were very dry and firm. This is a flashy vending machine with a lot of flaws, designed to reel in kids and suckers. I was one of those suckers, but let this be a warning to the rest of you. Don't get drawn in by the happy music, just go and buy a bag of Starmix instead.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Today's Review: Asda Coconut & Vanilla Popcorn

Just when I thought the fancy popcorn fad was coming to an end, Asda have brought out this delightfully sweet sounding flavour. I'm not sure I've had coconut popcorn before, especially as I only just recently started to like coconut, so I was pretty excited about how this would turn out. Even if the coconut didn't work out, I'd be able to rely on the vanilla, right?

This stuff is fairly coconutty. It's a nice, sweet, bold flavour, that is a pretty good fit with the popcorn. The flavouring, however, has a bit of an odd texture, lending a sort of chalkiness to the kernels that hangs around after eating. It detracts from the coconut flavour a bit, but thankfully there's a nice undertone of vanilla that provides a mellow sweetness, and in the end it works out pretty well. The texture didn't ruin this as much as I thought it would, and underneath there are some good quality kernels with a satisfying crunch. A unique popcorn flavour that can be picked up for a pretty reasonable price.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 27 November 2017

Today's Review: Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon

It's nice to find American Pop Tarts during random supermarket visits, I picked these up in a Co-Op I stopped off in to get some milk. To be fair, they sound and look pretty brown and unappealing, but my new found love for cinnamon drew me to these. 

These are actually pretty damn good. They're pretty uniformly brown in colour, so they're not exactly the best looking, but the insides boast a sticky, slightly gritty sweet filling that has a darkly sweet taste. Like molasses, with a hint of cinnamon heat. It's not quite as decadent as the other colourful Pop Tarts varieties out there, but they're pretty tasty, with just the right amount of cinnamon. I'll be picking these up again (if I see them around.)

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 26 November 2017

Today's Review: Nix And Kix Mango & Ginger

I picked it up when I read "mango", I stuck it in my basket when I saw "cayenne". Yes, this is a juice drink with cayenne chilli pepper mixed in, that was weird enough for me to want to crack this open straight away. The is one of a range of Nix And Kix drinks. The "nix" refers to no refined sugar or artificial nastiness, while the "kix" is obviously the chilli. But does this weird combination work?

I was worried the spice would be a bit much here, but the predominant flavour is the mango, a natural tasting, fruity juice that's very refreshing. The ginger is at a nice level, providing a bit of warmth that helps to bring out the sweetness of the fruit juice. As for the cayenne, it mostly hangs around in the after taste, which isn't a bad thing at all. The sweetness comes in at first, followed by a nice sharp kick that provides a decent amount of heat at the back of the throat. It is maybe a little too much what with the ginger adding some spice as well, but on the whole this is a refreshing juice drink with an interesting kick. I'll be sure to grab the other flavours when I see them, this is a very nice bottle.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 25 November 2017

Today's Review: KFC Celebrations Krushem

What's Christmas without a box of Celebrations? Awful, that's what. But think about those who have trouble chewing, what are they to do? Well, KFC has the answer, by introducing a new Krushem that has not one chocolate mixed into it, but five. It's like a box of Celebrations chucked into a milkshake. Featuring Galaxy, Galaxy Caramel, Maltesers, Mars and Twix, this is one I couldn't wait to get my hands on.

I'll start by saying that this is a bit of a mess. That doesn't make it bad, sometimes a bit of mess is a good thing. There's a lot going on in here, so many elements at work together that it's somewhat hard to differentiate. I mean, I don't shove one of each Celebration in my mouth at a time, and from tasting this Krushem I can see why. The shake itself is nice and chocolatey, with a hint of caramel, while the chunks are plentiful and varied. I never thought I'd say this, but I think there are too many pieces, I had to pause between every mouthful to chomp down on some fairly firm bits of chocolate, biscuit and whatever else came up through the straw. So yes, this isn't bad by any means, but it is very busy, and all the flavours that would be great on their own just kind of mix into one. So while it's a great idea on paper, the execution isn't fantastic. A good festive offering to try out while it's around though.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 24 November 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury 5 Star

It's a little odd that despite Britain being the home of Cadbury, there are bars that turn up in other countries that I've never seen before. This was particularly evident in the Australian bars I used to see lining the shelves at Cyber Candy, but this 5 Star I found in the local pound shop is a particularly odd one, as they're made in Ireland to be sold in Egypt. It's a combination of Cadbury chocolate, caramel, biscuit and a smooth chocolate centre.

In essence, this is a lot like a Boost bar, which would explain why it's not sold alongside them here. Perhaps the gold wrapper and star rating system sells better over in Egypt. But yes, this tastes a lot like a Boost, but, dare I say, nicer? The focus with the Boost is on that glucose element, and I guess that subconsciously rubs off on me, as I can pick up that glucose throughout. It's a little noticeable here, but the smooth chocolate innards win out in the end, making this a creamier, tastier version of the Boost. The caramel, biscuit, and both elements of chocolate have a great balance, and make a very tasty bar overall. Hopefully I can make it back to the shop and pick up a few more before they go out of stock, it's pretty great.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 23 November 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Bits Sweet Paprika

I reviewed the Honey BBQ Doritos Bits the other day, but I also picked up this flavour at the same time. So here's a quick review of the Sweet Paprika, which are like tiny little spicy Hula Hoops. Well, I say spicy, but they're not particularly. Of course, paprika isn't exactly the hottest of things, but I was expecting a little more heat than I got. There's a nice smokiness there though, and there's a nice sweet hint to it, but compared to the Honey BBQ they fall a bit flat. So a little bit of sweet smoky spice, and a decent enough snack for on the go, but these aren't anything special.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Today's Review: R Whites Pear & Elderflower Lemonade

Pear lemonade. Pearonade? Nah, that doesn't roll off the tongue. But still, this is a thing. I picked it up in my newest local pound shop, the name of which escapes me right now, but I'm pretty sure it started with "Pound". This was less than a pound, before you go thinking it's some premium priced can of lemonade, but it's made by one of the most well renowned lemonade manufacturers, so I had faith that they were on to a good thing by introducing some pear into their lemonade.

This is lemonade that also tastes like pears, so I guess it does what it set out to do. I wouldn't say it's amazing, but it's a nice enough effort for a different kind of lemonade. The lemon itself is still at the core, so the pear flavour doesn't exactly win out, especially with the elderflower hanging around as well. The fruitiness isn't lost too much, but I would say that the pear and elderflower aren't exactly as strong as I'd hoped, this is pretty much a can of lemonade with a little bit of flavouring thrown in. I was a little disappointed, but this isn't a bad drink. Worth the much less than £1 I paid for it.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Cranberry, Sage & Onion Bread

Not content with peddling festive muffins and cookies, Tesco have now brought out a Christmas themed fresh baked loaf. It appears to be inspired by the good old Christmas roast turkey and its accompaniments, except with bread instead of turkey. So here we have a loaf containing cranberries, alongside sage & onion, like the stuffing. A bit of an odd flavour combination, I thought, but it definitely piqued my interest.

I ate some of this with my dinner a few hours back, and I've been thinking about this ever since, enough so that I've just scarfed down another few slices at 10pm. A risky game for sure, but it's a testament to how tasty this loaf is. The bread itself is a good quality wholemeal affair, a good crust on the outside, giving way to an inside that's slightly dense but soft. The cranberries embedded throughout are lovely and fruity, and I managed to get a taste in every mouthful. The sage and onion are more evenly spread throughout, and while the sage is a little overpowering, it works pretty well with the cranberries to give a nice overall flavour. I was happy that the onions weren't as strong, they're ever present but mild, a good level that doesn't overtake everything else. This is a very decent loaf of bread, it gave me a festive feeling and it's definitely in keeping with the season. Well worth picking up while it's available in the Tesco bakery.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 20 November 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Bits Honey BBQ

Doritos Bits, bits of Doritos. I found these little shot style packets of crisps in B&M, but they're not your regular tortilla chips. These are instead small, twisted crisps, but with a flavour quite befitting the Doritos range, honey BBQ. I must say, it's a pretty good representation of both. There's a sweet undertone of honey, with a nice layer of smokiness on top. It's a unique taste that was odd at first, but grew on me as I made my way through. 

They're also not particularly Dorito-like, they're small and thick, more like crisps than chips, so the flavouring isn't quite as generously spread, but they're small enough for it not to be noticeable. This is a nice presentation of a unique little snack, and an interesting flavour that's well worth trying out if you can pick them up.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 19 November 2017

Today's Review: Jolly Rancher Sour Bites

Jolly Rancher candy comes in all shapes and forms these days, but I don't think I've found one that beats the original sweets yet. This bag is no exception. They swap the classic boiled sweet for a chewier one, and there's a sour element thrown in too. They sounded good enough on paper (or plastic), and they're actually better than a lot of the Jolly Rancher stuff I've tried out. 

They come in apple, watermelon, cherry and orange flavours, and I must say they're pretty close to the flavours of the regular sweets. The watermelon especially is bold and fruity, and all the others also pull off a faithful fruity adaptation. Of course, they don't taste like their real life fruit counterparts, more like those artificial sweet fruit flavours. In the end though, these are pretty average. They're not particularly sour, and they don't taste quite bold enough to leave a lasting impression. Not the best Jolly Rancher candy, but certainly not the worst.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 18 November 2017

Today's Review: Pret A Manger Festive Flat White

Thanks to Jenny on Twitter, who informed me of the existence of this festive drink available at Pret. As a small aside, since I haven't quite bothered to look it up yet, how is the "Pret" in "Pret A Manger" pronounced? Is it like "Prett", or more French-like, like "Prey"? I tend to switch between the two on the fly, but I'd love to hear your input. Anyways, here we have the Festive Flat White, which is somewhat cryptic, but it's actually a Flat White with a mince pie flavoured syrup. Quite a unique twist in these days of salted caramel and chocolate orange, so I was keen to hunt this down and try it out.

This is a pretty decent Flat White, it's creamy and smooth, with a decent coffee kick. The mince pie syrup is pretty okay too, providing some sweet fruity notes, with a hint of spice, it's actually a pretty great combination that provides flavour and warmth that brings that festive feeling. Definitely more of a Christmas themed drink than some others out there. There is a problem, however, in that this drink is tiny. I got a hot chocolate at the same time as ordering this, and it's no exaggeration that the Flat White was half the size. What is this, a coffee for ants? This may be a pretty nice drink, but I'm going to have to knock down my rating, it's just not great value for money. Try it out if you want to experience something festively different, but I won't be shelling out for one again.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 17 November 2017

Today's Review: Harvester Chicken & Waffles

What do you want for lunch? If your answer is chicken and waffles, Harvester has you covered. Yes, this all American dish is nestled among the more standard offerings of the lunch menu, but of course I was drawn to it straight away. It's a decadent combination of sweet and savoury that I couldn't pass up, waffles with maple flavour syrup, topped with bacon and buttermilk fried chicken strips. 

Now, I've had bacon and pancakes before, and I've also had piri piri chicken on a waffle, but this is an unholy combination of meat and sweet that I hadn't quite experienced. Despite what you may think upon hearing about this, it's not bad at all. The chicken and bacon were cooked well, a nice light crispy coating on the chicken, although the bacon was a little underdone, compared to the way the Americans eat it anyway. A decent sized portion of good meat though.

What's underneath, however, is not so perfect. The waffle has a nice sweetness to it, but is pretty dry, with the flavour falling flat at times. Thankfully the meat is there to help along with the flavour, and the syrup to help with the texture. It's a maple style syrup, definitely not the real thing, ans therefore a little too sweet at times. Still, it saves the waffle from being a total disaster, and it works well alongside the meat as well. This didn't exactly blow me away, but it's a decent enough attempt at something different. It doesn't quite capture that whole American experience, but it's worth a try. Jst don't expect the best.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 16 November 2017

Today's Review: Soggy Cereal

I love cereal. Whoever says they don't like cereal just hasn't met the right cereal, I'm sure. It's a ubiquitous presence on the breakfast table, alongside the milk that goes with it. Some people may eat cereal without milk, but then, can they even be considered human?

It's a delicate balance, you see, because dry cereal is pretty awful, but soggy cereal is even worse. I genuinely go into a milk state of anxiety if I pour milk on my cereal and then have to attend to something else, the fear of returning to soft, sloppy cereal is too much to bear. It's like overcooking a steak or having burnt toast, it ruins the meal, and since it's breakfast time that sets up the mood for the whole day. I've learned to clear all distractions, to not pour the milk until I am sure I can instantly eat through the bowl. I even regulate the amount of milk that gets onto the cereal while eating by angling the bowl as I make my way through. In this way, all cereals can retain their crunchiness, be they Weetos, Coco Pops, Golden Nuggets or Krave. Because all cereal deserves to be wet, but none of them deserve to be soggy.

Apart from Weetabix, that stuff's delicious all mushed up.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Today's Review: Air Heads Xtremes Sweetly Sour

Air Heads are readily available in the UK now, but they come in more varieties than just the chewy dragees. These were sitting in the world food aisle at Sainsbury's, some sour belts with a "bluest raspberry" flavour, because just blue raspberry isn't enough apparently. Now, when something says "Xtreme" in big bold letters, I'm often left questioning its sourness by the end, and this is no exception. These things are not particularly sour, nor are they particularly blue raspberry. They're sweet, so that's one thing, but otherwise they're pretty bland flavour wise, and the sour element is fleeting at best. Disappointing, I think I'll stick with the regular chews from now on.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Today's Review: Panda Natural Raspberry Liquorice

I found this neat looking bag of liquorice at Sainsbury's. They're raspberry flavour, which I hadn't tried before, and they're vegan and low in fat, with natural flavours and colours. Now, I'm all for some healthier sweets, but I'll admit that those using less than natural ingredients tend to taste better. Still, I was willing to give these a try, because the raspberry sounded pretty good.

At first bite, I wasn't impressed at all with these, they were soft, flavourless soft chews, a little grainy in texture. Thankfully, the more I chewed through them, the more the raspberry flavour came out, and it's actually pretty good. It continues to build, and is very present in the after taste, although it doesn't quite make up for the pretty tasteless start, and the blandness and strange texture are still present in some form even when the fruit comes through. A good option for the vegans out there, but these aren't as great as I hoped.

My rating: 3/5