Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Today's Review: Haribo Minions Featuring Banana & Ice Cream

Haribo Minions have been a thing for a while now, and they've gone through a few iterations. The inclusion of purple minions a couple of years back was pretty good, but now they've added the very Minion themed flavour of banana, as well as tossing in some ice cream flavoured foam backing for good measure. Now, I'm not sure exactly which flavours the original Minions were meant to be, but this bag has a nice list of which flavour's which on the back, a trend that I've quite enjoyed on recent Haribo bags. Aside from banana, there's also apple, cherry, raspberry and blueberry.

I'm not sure if having the flavours spelled out for me helped all that much. I guess it gave me an idea of what flavour I'm looking out for, but a lot of these don't really have that authentic a flavour. The banana is certainly noticeable, and the apple is actually very nice, with a slight tang to it. The others seem a little generic, not particularly bad, they just taste fruit flavoured rather than a specific fruit. The ice cream backing is alright, I can see where they're coming from, and it's somewhat sweet and creamy, but I wouldn't say it particularly tastes like ice cream. Overall I'd say this is a pretty average bag, some flavours are bland, some are good, but they don't beat the varieties being churned out for the Starmix bags lately.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Today's Review: Choccers

That's right, Choccers, ain't you heard of Choccers before? Well, I certainly hadn't, until I laid my eyes upon this questionably designed bag in Poundworld. They're knock off M&Ms basically, and I don't know where to start, even before I've opened the bag. The off kilter name, all in lower case? The mountains of half eaten candies, emphasising the fact that these contain chocolate, despite being called "choccers" and having "chocolate" written in the top corner? I think I'll talk about the obvious, which is the anthropomorphic "choccers", clad in speakers for some reason, with what I assume would be happy faces if they hadn't each had a bite taken out of them. Instead their faces are fixed in abject horror, their mouths and eyeballs contorted in all directions due to the brain trauma they have clearly sustained from being eaten alive. If that doesn't make you want to eat some cheap M&Ms, nothing will.

As the old saying says, you should never judge a bag of chocolate by its cover, so these could be fantastic. Well, they're not. I mean, they start off promising enough, the shell has a nice little crunch to it. It's just a shame it gives way to some low quality chocolate that almost crumbles in the mouth, leaving a gritty, sugary texture with a funny aftertaste. These things are not good. I don't even understand the need to create a cheaper version of M&Ms, when you can buy the real thing for £1 often enough. Choccers? More like shockers, am I right?

My rating: 1/5

Monday, 24 October 2016

Today's Review: Haribo Starmixmas

The folks at Haribo sure have been busy this year. They've brought out two new Frenzy mixes, two Halloween themed bags, and now they've revamped Starmix for a third time with this Christmas edition that I found in Poundland. This one boasts some festive flavours, which I guess are easier to think of than the "horror flavours" that came in the Scaremix. This bag features eggnog flavoured eggs, gingerbread gummy bears, rings that emulate cherry crumble and apple strudel with custard, apple strudel bottles and cherry trifle hearts. That's an impressive range of complicated flavours, I was very interested to see how they'd pull this off.

You know what, I think they've done it again. These taste pretty much like what they say on the bag. The eggs taste eggy, with a hint of nutmeg, and the gingerbread bears are actually spot on. I didn't think I'd enjoy a ginger flavoured sweet, but these are great. As for the other desserts, the apple strudle is fantastic, a lovely fruity flavour with a hint of cinnamon, and while it tastes like both varieties have a bit of custard thrown in, it tastes pretty good. The cherry ones are good too, with the foam backing of the hearts adding a bit more of that custard flavouring. This is a great range of new Starmix flavours, with a definite winter feeling. Another hit Haribo bag to see out the year.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Today's Review: Butterkist Choc Mallow Popcorn

Here's the other new flavour of Butterkist I was sent to try out, and after the coconut & raspberry that I found pretty okay yesterday, I had higher hopes for this one. It does what is says on the bag, it's popcorn with a chocolate and marshmallow flavour toffee coating. It has some cocoa powder in it, so hopefully that would lend some authenticity to it.

The first thing I noticed when biting into these was the marshmallow flavour, it's quite intense, and not bad at all. It's got a sort of toasted edge to it, and while it's not as good as proper, chewy marshmallow, the flavouring is fairly accurate. I would have been nice to have the texture in there as well though. The chocolate is less pronounced, but as I made my way through the bag it became a more predominant flavour. It's a good combination, two sweet flavours interspersed with a soft, chewy popcorn, this stuff does taste like chocolate and marshmallows. Not entirely authentic, but this is a good effort at a unique bag of popcorn, and it's well worth picking up while it's around.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Today's Review: Butterkist Coconut & Raspberry Popcorn

There are two new Butterkist flavours out now, which is always a reason to celebrate. I figured them coming out at this time of year would mean they're seasonal, but they don't seem to be thematic in nature. I was sent a bag of each to try out, and here's the first one (the other one is choc mallow, I thought I'd save the best sounding 'til last). Yes, while other popcorn companies have been exploring the savoury flavours, Butterkist are still working on the sweet ones (although their pulled pork was pretty great). I love raspberry, and I've grown quite fond of coconut recently, so a combination of the two sounded good to me. 

It says coconut & raspberry on the bag, but I really couldn't detect much coconut. Normally I'd consider this a good thing, too much coconut can really ruin a snack, but I was expecting a bit more than the fleeting coconut moments I got, the flavouring is pretty diminished. The raspberry element is much more noticeable, and actually pretty pleasant, a nice, slightly tangy, fruity taste that works well with the texture of the popcorn. Note it's a raspberry & coconut flavoured toffee on these kernels, so it's not going to be as great as popcorn embedded with real fruit pieces, but it holds up well enough. It's just a shame the coconut is so weak, if this were just a raspberry popcorn I might score it higher, but it doesn't really deliver on half the name. It's not a bad popcorn, but it could be a lot better.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 21 October 2016

Today's Review: Walkers Stax Paprika

Crisps in a tube, what do you think of? The correct answer is Pringles, as Pringles is the only answer. Others have tried and failed, Pringles reign supreme, but that doesn't mean Walkers isn't going to have a go at it. So here we have Stax, Walkers crisps in a tube. I'm guessing they're a limited edition for Christmas, although I found them in the regular crisp aisle. I chose the paprika flavour, because they only ever seem to release new kinds of crisps in ready salted, some form of cheese/sour cream & onion, and spicy, and the spice would win for me every time. 

These look a little... misshapen? I'm going to compare them directly to Pringles, I don't think that's unfair, they're the standard all tube based crisps will be measured by. In comparison, the Stax are slightly thicker, which leads to more crunch than Pringles. They're also flatter, which I think loses them points against the other guys. Sure, they still fit on your tongue in the traditional way, but I sometimes like to flip Pringles upside down and place them horizontally along my tongue, it provides a satisfying hit of flavour (you know what I'm talking about, right?) Doing that with the Stax doesn't yield great results, it seems a lot of the flavouring is concentrated on just the one side. It's a minor complaint really, but it's one that makes me side with the Pringles. In all honesty though, these aren't bad, they're just nothing special. They taste kind of nice, not particularly spicy, but there's some good peppery flavouring in there, could do with a bit more though. I had no problem eating quite a few of these, but I must admit the whole time I was longing for Pringles. They're just better, and these don't stack up. Ha, get it? Stack? Stax? Okay, I'll leave now.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Today's Review: Drumstick Squashies Creepy Orange & Blackcurrant

I've been impressed with the new flavoured Halloween stuff that's come out this year. Haribo released a new version of Starmix, and now Drumstick Squashies are getting involved, churning out this "creepy" bag of orange and blackcurrant sweets. It sounds like a bit of an odd combination, I would say it's because they needed the colours, but I wouldn't say I consider orange and purple to be entirely horrifying. Maybe I should stop pondering why they are the way they are, and instead talk about how they taste.

The first thing I noticed is that these are significantly less "squashy" than the original Squashies, at least at first. They're pretty firm, but that's not really a bad thing, and these soon give way to a nice chewy, fruity sweet as soon as you start chewing. Both the fruit flavours are accurately represented, there's a bit of bold blackcurrant goodness, with a nice citrus undertone. I didn't think the two fruits together would work all that well, but I was pretty impressed. I'd put these on par with the original bag, they're pretty fantastic, and it's a shame they're only going to be around for the next couple of weeks. Grab them while you can.

My rating: 5/5