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