Saturday 30 June 2018

Today's Review: Kopparberg Sparkling Rosé Raspberry Cider

Today on "Things We Never Knew We Wanted", it's an amalgamation of cider and rosé from the lovely folks at Kopparberg. Actually, it's just cider in a rosé bottle, but one that it seems Kopparberg hopes will strike a chord with those who want to share their cider without the frat boy image of the wonderful Kopparkeg. 

I'll tell you what, it's never taken me so long to get into a bottle of cider. It's all done up proper with the wire and cork, and it's pretty firmly set in there, it took a good amount of twisting to ease it out with the most unsatisfying pop: a bottle of prosecco this is not. As for the taste, I have to say I'm very underwhelmed. This stuff is fairly high in alcohol content compared to the regular ciders, so the fruitiness is sort of on the back burner. It's like a slightly flavoured alcoholic sparkling water. I mean, it's not undrinkable, it's somewhat enjoyable, but I'd much rather have their regular cider. This is just a whole lot of faff for not much reward.

My rating: 2/5

Friday 29 June 2018

Today's Review: Jaffa Cakes Lemon & Lime

It's a new flavour of Jaffa Cakes! Well, actually, it's not. I'm sure these have been around before, and they definitely have in cake bar form, so I guess just this iteration of the flavour is new. Everyone loves a Jaffa cake, they've definitely perfected that orange jelly, but I must say the lemon and lime is a bit underwhelming. It's zesty, sure, gives something of a nice fruity kick, but it doesn't last nearly as long on the palate as that classic orange. I don't know if I got a dodgy box, but I found the cake itself to be quite dry, and that really detracted from the rest of the flavours. Thankfully the chocolate is still as good and makes up for it a little. Maybe I'll have to have another go to be sure, but this is a pretty mediocre treat. Also, since when did they start putting ten cakes in the box instead of 12? What is this world coming to?

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 28 June 2018

Today's Review: Happy Shopper Candy Cones

Here's the other bag of sweets I picked up to go alongside my off brand Minstrels at the corner shop. Candy cones, which are pretty much foamy ice cream cones. Think foam bananas, but a bit softer and in a variety of flavours. It's hard to identify exactly what they were going for, but these do taste a bit like how I'd expect yellow, brown and pink to taste, so there you go. They have a decent consistency, perhaps a bit on the chalky side, but it'll do for a cheap bag of sweets. The flavours leave a little to be desired though, so it's a pretty average bag overall. Definitely a cheap treat you can chuck at the kids.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Today's Review: Taco Bell Doritos Crunch Burrito

It's happening, surely this is the first step to the Doritos taco shells that took the states by storm. Now at Taco Bell in the UK, you can grab a burrito that's loaded up with cheesy Doritos. I mean, I just popped in to use the toilet and I couldn't leave without one, so that shows the power of the very idea of it. Or that I'm very easily swayed. It's probably the latter.

So we have the Doritos in here, but we also have the beef (or chicken), rice, sour cream and nacho cheese sauce. Yes, twice the cheesiness, and it shows in the flavour. There's a creamy cheese taste and a crunchy cheese taste, and they work quite well together, a little overwhelming in places, but it still makes for a good burrito. The cool sour cream and spicy beef complement each other, so all in all it's a well rounded burrito. The Doritos are plentiful and definitely noticeable, so it's a pretty interesting twist on the regular burrito. Hopefully now we'll get those taco shells...

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Today’s Review: Leaving Your Phone Charger At Home

Phone batteries have come a long way, but so has the amount of energy needed to run the rest of the thing. It used to be you could leave your trusty Nokia a few days without topping up the juice, but now I’ll be lucky to get through one without my iPhone running flat. So leaving my charge at home is a big no no, especially if I’m going to be staying away for a night. I was faced with that plight this evening, rushing around the nearest shops in the vain hope of grabbing a charger, lest I be faced with the unimaginable, a dead phone. How would I function? Thankfully I found a very off brand multi use charger in a petrol station, and it hurt to spend money on it, but I have power, and that’s what counts. Having no phone charger is a terrible situation.

My rating: 0/5

Monday 25 June 2018

Today’s Review: Going On A Diet And Then Immediately Going To The Cinema

I promised myself I’d eat healthily, count calories, make good choices. Then I went to the cinema. What can you eat at the cinema that’s healthy? I don’t see anyone breaking out carrot sticks and hummus over a movie, and besides, I’m pretty sure all healthy foods are unbearably crunchy, not compatible with the cinema. So I caved. I had sweets, and popcorn, and it was glorious. Who needs a diet when you have movies and sugar?

My rating: 2/5

Sunday 24 June 2018

Today's Review: Happy Shopper Chocolate Pebbles

Yes, chocolate pebbles, the corner shop equivalent of Minstrels. I wasn't expecting much from these, but I figured I'd give them a try. Turns out they're not too shabby. There's a nice crispy shell, underneath which is some fairly decent chocolate. It's not exactly great, the texture is a little soft, but the flavour's there. It's definitely not Galaxy standard, but for an off-brand product it's a good effort. There's a decent amount in the bag too, and at 2 for £1 that adds up to a lot of not-quite-Minstrels. You're better off getting a bag of the good stuff when it's on offer, but if you're in a bind and need a fix these are worth a punt.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 23 June 2018

Today’s Review: Eating An Entire Tub Of Ben & Jerry’s

I’m full, so full, but so satisfied. I can pretend like I’m going to leave some for another time, but more often then not I have polished off a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting. I have no regrets, it’s delicious. Don’t act like you haven’t done it too, and if you haven’t, do it. It’s amazing.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 22 June 2018

Today's Review: Tiger Pink Lemonade

It's hard to get a decent cold drink for a reasonable price around town these days, but when I was parched the other day I popped into Tiger and picked up this lovely looking bottle of pink lemonade for a mere pound. There's not too much to say about this, it's just a decent, refreshing bottle of lemonade. Fruity, sour and lightly sparkling, it's a good lemonade, but the lime that's apparently also present isn't particularly noticeable. Still, a very nice, refreshing drink that did the trick on a hot day.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 21 June 2018

Today's Review: Smarties Unicorn Edition

Unicorn Smarties are finally here! Well, that's not what I said, but I'm sure someone did. Unicorns are one of the big crazes of the moment, and naturally everyone is trying to cash in. So here we have a bag of Smarties, in only blue and pink, because they're unicorn colours apparently. Nothing else is different, it's just a bag of Smarties with a different picture on the front, so it really is a shameless cash in.

I can't complain too much though. They're the same price as a regular sharing bag of Smarties, so it's really just a matter of which branding you prefer. My daughter loved them when I brought them home, so they can't be bad. I wish they could have been a little more creative, perhaps chucked a bit of a different flavour in there, but hey, Smarties are still delicious. These are just a bit uninspired.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Today's Review: Mars Mud Pie

I've had my eye on this Mars dessert for a while, but I can rarely justify paying full price for a new dessert, unless it's a tub of Ben & Jerry's, of course. Here we have the Mars Mud Pie, which is currently in Tesco's 3 for £6 offer with various other frozen items. It consists of a chocolate base topped with a malted cream mousse, cheesecake style, drizzled with chocolate and caramel and topped with malty chocolate pieces.

The description informs me that the base is a sponge, but it's more a crumbly chocolate cheesecake base, and while a little dry, it's pretty good. That dryness is offset by the thick layer of mousse, which is light and creamy, and while lacking in the malt flavour, it works well in combination with the base. The toppings are all excellent, generous lashings of sauce that round off that Mars flavour experience, with the malt chocolate pieces really helping to bring it all together. Its starts out great on top and gets a little blander as you go down, but all in all it's a pretty decent attempt at an interesting Mars based dessert.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Today’s Review: Pens That Should Work But Don’t

The biro is a fantastic invention, a convenient ink pen that I don’t go a day without using. But one thing I will say is that sometimes they can just stop working for no apparent reason. There’s ink inside, the ball point is functional, but for some reason that ink isn’t coming out, even after doing the tactical scribble in the corner of the page. It’s infuriating, I’m being conned out of some of that precious ink I paid for. So think I’ve only ever seen one biro run out of ink, all the rest have succumbed to being lost or just refusing to work. Trying to write with a pen and it refusing to do its one is the worst.

My rating: 0/5

Monday 18 June 2018

Today's Review: Bahlsen Choco Moments Crunchy Hazelnut

Bahlsen are going all fancy with their butter biscuits. I love me a Choco Leibniz, so adding in some hazelnut pieces sounded like a great plan to me. I had to wait until these were on offer to justify trying them, but I was happy to pick them up for £1.50 in Tesco the other day.

Basically, these are like Choco Leibniz, but with pieces of hazelnut embedded in the chocolate. It adds a great nutty flavour, and a satisfying crunch, and as a result of the pieces, the chocolate is really thick. More chocolate is great, although I must say it sort of overpowers the butter biscuit, throwing off that tasty balance of the original. Still, these are nice for a decadent treat. The fact that there are only six in a packet isn't great either, but I think the chocolate makes up for that. Definitely worth grabbing.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 17 June 2018

Today's Review: Skittles Orchards

I do love a new bag of Skittles, even though this one has been available in the form of an import for some time. Still, it's nice to be able to pick them up for a reasonable price, and the current £1 in Asda is certainly worth paying. These are some new flavours based on... orchard fruits apparently. Well, they're not all new flavours. You have lemon and orange, which were already there, so really we're looking at the cherry, apple and pomegranate.

The pomegranate is great, a dark fruity flavour that's very bold and pretty juicy. The cherry is good too, not exactly authentic, but with a nice sour kick. The apple is particularly sour, really fruity and tart, and perhaps my favourite in the pack. The orange is your standard Skittle fare, and while the lemon has a bit of tartness it's a little on the bland side. Still, this is a decent bag of Skittles, with some interesting new fruits thrown in. Well worth picking up while they're around.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 16 June 2018

Today’s Review: Deleting Registry Files On Your Computer

Don’t do it man, unless you really know what you’re doing. Don’t follow the whims of some madman on an Internet forum. Now what was an attempt to solve a minor issue will lead to me restoring Windows. Annoying all around. Don’t tinker with your computer willy nilly.

My rating: 0/5

Friday 15 June 2018

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling James' Peach Fancies

A few boxes of Mr. Kipling cakes have hit the shelves with a Roald Dahl theme. Each one comes with a lovely illustration and an interesting new twist on some already classic cakes. There are a variety of cake slices based on a few books, but I was particularly drawn to these peach fancies, based of course on the giant fruit in the book. They're pretty much like regular fancies, but the fondant has a peach flavour.

I love a fancy, it's hard not to eat a whole bunch in one sitting, and I definitely got through a couple after I opened the box. Truth is though, they're not fantastic. The cake is a nice soft sponge, the cream in the middle is decent, but not quite enough to offset the fact that the sponge is a little dry. The icing definitely has a peach flavour, and it's pretty authentic, it just fades fairly quickly, and after eating one I didn't get that nice peachy hint on subsequent cakes. Nice overall, but the peach doesn't quite hold up, even though it's really good to start off with. An interesting twist on the original, but they do fall a bit flat.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 14 June 2018

Today's Review: Maltesers Buttons

These have been on my radar for a while now, after seeing them in a couple of Facebook posts in recent months. Finally, they're here, Maltesers Buttons. Basically, they're Maltesers in button form, there's not much else to say about them. If you've had the Malteser chocolate bar, you know the drill. 

These are good, really good, I was expecting them to be, and they are. They're fairly sizeable buttons of chocolate, embedded generously with honeycomb pieces. They're creamy, crunchy, and undeniably a new way to get that Malteser experience. Easy to share, but I have to admit I'd find it difficult to. This is another great product in the Malteser range, grab them as soon as you can.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Today’s Review: KFC’s Corn Cobette

Everyone has their own favourite side at KFC. I’ve heard a lot of opinion skewed towards the gravy, but the coleslaw is good too. Once upon a time, my favourite was the corn cobette. I have no idea why, maybe I had no other corn cobs to compare it to. But going back and having one today made me realise the error of my ways.

The KFC corn cobette is a small, perfectly formed cylinder of corn. Uniform rows of golden sweet corn, but while they look great, the taste is something else entirely. A good corn on the cob should crunch, the KFC one squidges. It seems like they pump it full of water to get those corn pieces looking nice and juicy. The result is something that sort of tastes like a cob of corn, but is mostly just liquid. Besides, good luck even getting to the biting stage, I don’t know which storage units KFC uses, but every corn cobette I’ve received is hotter than the surface of the sun. After waiting an eon for it to cool down you’d at least expect it to taste great. But no, it’s just not nice. Stick with the gravy, friends.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Today’s Review: Travel Toiletry Bottles

I’ve recently started doing an overnight shift at work, which means once a week I need to pack up all the stuff I need to make me clean of a morning. Now, the thing about toiletries is that they tend to come in large bottles, which makes perfect sense in the home, but not much in a travel situation. Thankfully you can pick up tiny bottles from pretty much any pound shop and distill your favourite lotions and potions into them in small amounts. Simple, yet so effective. Of course, their primary use is to circumvent the arbitrary 100ml rule imposed by airports after 9/11, but in all honesty it’s just better to be able to carry a small amount of shower gel and shampoo for a one or two night stay. Tiny bottles are a fantastic invention.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 11 June 2018

Today's Review: Yorkie Pro

Protein chocolate bars are becoming increasingly common, and Nestle have started churning out versions of their bars with added protein. This Yorkie is one of them, promising... whatever benefits you get from adding protein to a bar filled with sugar. It comes with crispy pieces, which sounds like the raisin and biscuit Yorkie without any of the fun. But hey, some crunch is better than none.

I'm not sure about the science behind adding protein to chocolate bars, but I can tell you, it adversely affects the flavour. There's something of the classic Yorkie taste in there, but all in all that bar seems dryer, almost chalky. The crispy pieces are alright, but the chocolate itself just ends up tasting like an uninspired health bar. Chocolatey, sure, but not in a good way. I think I'll get my protein fix from elsewhere, as long as I can still have a regular Yorkie. Yorkie? More like Chalkie. Har har.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday 10 June 2018

Today's Review: Greggs Lemon Sherbet Doughnut

I popped into Greggs for the first time in a while, to get a hit of that sausage roll goodness. Of course, the doughnuts were there too, just begging me to eat them. They were all out of the limited edition of the moment, but I figured I'd go for this one. It's not just a generic lemon doughnut, it's a lemon sherbet one!

So basically it's a lemon doughnut with a little sour hit to it. I mean, it's a good idea, but in execution its' pretty underwhelming. The topping is nice, a nice lemon glaze with a certain tartness, but it doesn't last all that long. Underneath is just a dry ring of dough, it could have done with a bit of filling, but instead it only served to disappoint. A pretty mediocre doughnut, I wish I'd gone for something else.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday 9 June 2018

Today's Review: Euro Shopper Cola

Have you ever wondered what a 25p can of corner shop cola tastes like? Well, it might surprise you to find out that it's not good. I didn't expect anything to be fair, I just picked it up in lieu of anything new or exciting to review, just so I could chuck in my two cents. So basically, this is a very cheap cola that taste like a very cheap cola. Sugary water with a miniscule amount of bad flavouring. It tastes a little bit like cola, sure, but it's mostly just slightly flavoured water with a load of sugar. Not even worth 25p. Save up your money for at least the cheap Barr stuff.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 8 June 2018

Today's Review: Morrisons Mojito Crisps

Cocktail crisps are not a new thing, but I feel they should never have been a thing. Here we have Morrisons' attempt at a tipple flavoured crisp, with focus on the famous minty cocktail. These promise mint, rum and a twist of lime all in one potato chip.

I'm not overly impressed, but I don't know what I expected after Aldi's cosmo crisps and Tesco's fizzy prosecco offering. These ones are a little fizzy too, and while they do have an authentic mint flavour, it is dampened by the other elements. The rum isn't noticeable, but the citrus twist gives them something of a kick. So yeah, not exactly good, but not bad either. I just don't really know why these exist, I think cocktail flavoured crisps need to die.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 7 June 2018

Today's Review: Merba Blueberry Muffin Cookies

I love me a packet of Merba cookies, so if I see a flavour I haven't tried yet, it's going straight in my basket. Here we have blueberry muffin, consisting of a "muffin style soft cookie" with white chocolate chunks, cranberries, and of course the all important blueberries. 

Muffin style cookies is correct, these are satisfyingly soft, a chewy, almost cake-like experience embedded with quite a few tasty chunks. I'd say the white chocolate is the most noticeable, which provides a nice creamy, sweet hit on top of the biscuit itself. As for the blueberries, I can't say they're as prominent as I hoped. They're there, but they're not exactly juicy, and the presence of the cranberries sort of cancels them out. As white chocolate muffin cookies, these are pretty good. As blueberry muffin cookies, they're so-so.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Today's Review: Co-Op Gourmet Burger Crinkle Cut Crisps

After the complete and utter travesty of the Doritos cheeseburger flavour losing out to the generic salsa, I was excited to see this bag in the Co-Op. Gourmet burger flavoured crisps, complete with beef and cheese flavouring, with a hint of pickle, tomato and chilli. It seemed like these crisps had it all, and I was really hoping they'd fill the void left by the cheeseburger Doritos.

These are pretty heavy on the pickle, that's the first thing I'd say. That and the cheese are the most predominant flavours, which isn't a bad combination, but the rest of the elements fall by the wayside. I'm pretty sure the meat should be a big feature here, and though I'm not really a fan of meaty crisps, I was expecting a lot more. The chilli is barely noticeable, any spice that's there is negated by the pickle. I mean, overall, these crisps aren't bad, it's just the balance of flavours is pretty off. I'm still pining for those Doritos.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Today’s Review: The Grey Hairs In My Fringe

I’m getting old, that’s something I can’t deny, it’s something none of us can deny. But I’m not exactly withdrawing my pension, I’ve got a lot of years left in me. I just wish someone would tell that to my hair. I’ve found a few greys over the years, nothing that bothered me too much. But now a streak of them has appeared right in my fringe, right above where my face is, and people tend to look at my face when they talk to me. So everyone I have a conversation with can see my greyness, it’s a public statement of my mortality.

Okay, you may say it’s not so bad, but I can’t even pass off as a silver fox, I’m no George Clooney. The grey hairs are the messy icing on an undesirable cake. I’m not ready for Just For Men, I barely even feel like a man! I can only assume I’ll have completely white hair in a matter of months, so I’ll have to use my time wisely. Aging is the worst.

My rating: 1/5

Monday 4 June 2018

Today's Review: Batchelor's Pasta 'n' Sauce Prosecco & Mushroom

There's one night a week where I am alone for dinner, and since I normally prepare for a family of five, I often resort to the quick and easy "meal" for one. So I thought I'd spice it up a bit this week and looked for something interesting in the noodle aisle. This packed caught my eye, a Pasta 'n' Sauce featuring prosecco, and mushrooms. Just five minutes boiling in a water/milk/butter potion and you're ready to enjoy some fine dining.

You know, I figured I'd use that phrase entirely sarcastically, as I figured anything that distils alcohol down into a powder would not be a particularly tasty dish. But considering what this is, it isn't too bad. I mean, it's not exactly a sophisticated meal, but it does taste like mushroom. I thought they'd go overboard, really hamming it up with the prosecco flavour, but it's pretty subtle, which is a good thing because, surprise surprise, it's not entirely authentic. Still, all in all, this is a pretty neat little flavour of pasta, easy to make and fairly enjoyable to eat.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 3 June 2018

Today's Review: Asda Retro Rippled Ice Cream Lollies

There have been a few of these popping up lately, in various stored with various names. But as catchy as "Retro Ripple Ice Cream Lollies" sounds, these all have one thing in common. They're basically a Vienetta on a stick. Now, there's something about Vienetta. It's no more than ice cream and chocolate, but there's no denying that it's a magic combination that is tastier than most combinations of the two ingredients. It seems the supermarkets are trying to cash in by shrinking it down and whacking it on a stick. 

It took me a while to get home from Asda, so sadly my ice cream didn't look quite as sophisticated as the one in the picture. Still, I could easily make out the layers of ice cream and chocolate, with the stuff on the bottom being sort of a thick chocolate tray. It has something of a satisfying snap to it. and paired with the creamy ice cream it actually does provide something of a Vienetta experience. It's not quite as good, obviously this ain't on Walls ice cream, and I think it could do with a bit more chocolate. But it's a decent attempt at something a little different. Move over Magnum, it's time for Vienetta on a stick.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 2 June 2018

Today's Review: Walker's Yummy Banana Toffee

Banoffee seems all the rage at the moment, everyone seems to be coming out with a banana toffee variation of their snacks. But today I picked up banoffee in its simplest form, it's a bar of banana flavoured toffee. That's it, toffee with banana. Simple in design, but pretty tasty. The toffee itself is nice and chewy, a smooth, sweet offering that is definitely moreish. The banana is pretty prevalent throughout, another layer of sweetness that is somewhat authentic, but more in line with that artificial banana flavour than that of the fruit itself. Still, I think that overly sweet banana works with the toffee, neither flavour overwhelms the other, making for a nicely balanced bar. It's not false advertising on that packaging, this is yummy.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 1 June 2018

Today's Review: Eating Cheese Before Bedtime

I ate a cheese sandwich not too long ago. Not for any reason in particular, I was hungry and there was cheese, so I ate it right up. They say eating cheese before bed gives you nightmares, and that's always something to consider. But you should also consider that cheese is delicious, so I think the pros outweigh the cons here. Besides, nightmares are just like a little free scary movie, it's a free show. I mean, they might be completely terrifying, but I still think it's worth it just for that little taste of cheese. Cheese is good, no matter what time of day.

My rating: 4/5