Thursday, 23 February 2017

Today's Review: Reese's Peanut Butter

I've tried many variations of Reese's candy over the years, but as of a few days ago I'd never tried just the peanut butter itself. You can pick up Pieces, Cups and all manner of chocolate covered stuff quite easily here in the UK, but I only just decided to bite on this jar of plain old Reese's for £2.50 in B&M. A pretty reasonable price for an import.

Peanut butter is one of my favourite things, so it's clear I'm not going to score this one low. I must say though, it's not as good as I thought it would be. I've stepped up my peanut butter purchases recently from the Sunpat and supermarket own brands to the more organic varieties like Whole Earth, and they tend to shift more towards the peanuts than the butter. I think that might be why I found the Reese's to be very sweet, perhaps too sweet. It's creamy, as the jar implies, but I guess there's just a bit too much sugar in there for my liking. I'm not saying this is bad peanut butter, it's good in fact. It's pretty much the same stuff you find in all the candy bars, but I think when it's surrounded by chocolate and other sweet stuff, that sugary side isn't as immediately apparent as it is here. But the peanuts do still shine through with this stuff, and it's easy to see why it's a classic American brand. Definitely not your healthy living type of peanut butter though.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Today's Review: Tango Orange Popcorn

Not content with flooding the sweet market, Tango have decided to expand to popcorn as well. I heard about Tango popcorn a while back now, but only finally managed to pick up a couple of bags the other day in B&M. This popcorn comes in this orange variety, as well as apple. Both pretty distinct flavours for popcorn actually, so I was intrigued from the start. Let's start with the orange one, because that's the one I just ate.

Orange isn't normally a flavour I'd associate with popcorn, but it turns out it's actually a good pairing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this stuff has an authentic, natural orange flavour, it's pretty much the taste of orange Tango smothered on popcorn, down to a slight fizzy tang. It's perhaps a little too sweet at times, but at least it's not bland. The popcorn itself great, the flavouring on top gives it a satisfying crunch, and the insides are nice and soft. On paper it sounds odd, in reality it's a good combination. This is a great, tangy, orange popcorn, I'll definitely be picking it up again when I next see it.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Mediterranean Cracked Mixed Pepper

Walkers have introduced a new line of share bags under the name "Mediterranean", which promises "100% Olive Oil". I wasn't sure if they meant they were made from 100% olive oil, but that wouldn't make much sense. Turns out they're actually 32.5% olive oil, but I guess the olive oil is 100% pure olive oil? I don't know, marketing is strange sometimes. All I will say is these crisps are made with olive oil, and given a mixed pepper flavouring. These don't come in many particularly comprehensive flavours, but I figured I'd give these a go.

Turns out I was right to be confused by the blurb on the front, while these aren't made entirely of olive oil, they seem like more than 32%. They're greasy, and the olive oil taste is the first thing I noticed when I started eating. It's not particularly nice, and it even dampens the crunch of the crisps a little. The pepper does eventually come through, and it's not a bad flavouring, it's just the olive oil is always there, and it just doesn't work with me. I'm sure Walkers were going for a more upmarket pack of crisps, but I just can't recommend these.

My rating: 1/5

Monday, 20 February 2017

Today's Review: Kit Kat Peanut Butter Bites

Oh my, oh my. I try not to make assumptions, but I had an idea that these would be great as soon as I saw them. The peanut butter Kit Kat Chunky came out so long ago, a time before peanut butter and chocolate was even thought about in this country. It's a classic, and one of my favourites, and now here it is, in bite-size, small finger Kit Kat form. I found the original variety of these Bites to be pretty bland, but I had every faith that these would shake it up a bit.

Sometimes things live up to the hype, even if the hype was just in my own mind. These bites are fantastic. At its base is the classic Kit Kat, a fabulously crispy wafer covered in creamy chocolate, but in between is a substantial layer of peanut butter, salty and creamy, the same good stuff you'd find in the Chunky. The levels are just right, the peanut butter doesn't overshadow the chocolate or wafer, it all works together to form a perfectly balanced bite. It didn't take me long to get through these, and I can see myself picking up a whole lot more in the future. Get these now, they're fantastic.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Today's Review: Reese's Rounds

Reese's still seems to be an emerging brand over here, so it's sometimes easy to forget that there's probably a slew of products from the US that I've never even heard of. Case in point, these Reese's Rounds I picked up from B&M yesterday. They're Reese's biscuits, biscuit topped with peanut butter, and all wrapped up in chocolate. What could go wrong?

Nothing really, these are some damn good biscuits. The biscuit part has an interesting texture, sort of crumbly, with a little chewiness to it, almost like the crispy part of a Butterfinger, if you know what I mean. It also seems to have a peanutty hint to it, so the peanut butter on top does a good job of letting the flavour permeate throughout the biscuit. It's good peanut butter too, creamy and flavoursome, as we'd expect from Reese's, and you can never complain when it's all wrapped up in chocolate. This is a good, balanced biscuit, packed with peanut butter goodness and a satisfying crunch. Well worth picking up.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Today's Review: Kettle Honey & Black Pepper Veg Chips

Regular Kettle Chips are great, but their Veg Chips are pretty good too. A selection of sweet potato, beetroot and parsnip, they provide some interesting flavours and textures, as well as colours. Vegetable chips seem to be a relatively new addition to the crisp aisle, and so far there haven't been too many variations on the simple salted flavours. But Kettle Chips have recently added a few new bags to the range, and this one sounded the most interesting, a combination of honey and black pepper.

The chips themselves are of good quality, as I expected. They have a nice crunch, and some distinct tones of flavour depending on which vegetable you go for. The stuff layered on top, however, is a little bland. The honey is the most noticeable element, and while it's good that it's not layered on thick, I feel it could have been a bit stronger. As it is, it's weak, and only provides a hint of sweetness. It works quite well paired with the saltiness and the vegetables themselves, but it left me wanting more. as for the black pepper, I can't say I really noticed it at all. Sure, there's a taste of seasoning on these, but I couldn't particularly identify black pepper, so that could definitely have been better represented. So some good, some bad, these chips looked promising, but in reality they're nothing special. I'll keep an eye out for the salt & vinegar bag to see if they're any better.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 17 February 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Heat Burst BBQ & Chilli

After trying out the chipotle cream version of these Heat Burst Doritos the other day, I picked up this smaller version of the BBQ variety from a local newsagent. I wasn't sold on the flavour changing chips from the last bag, seeing as the chilli overtook all the other flavours, but I had faith that these could be different.

Turns out these chips are a lot more balanced. The initial BBQ flavour is bold and smoky, similar to the BBQ Rib Doritos, but, you know, without the rib. The chilli kicks in soon enough, but the flavourings seem to work well together, the smokiness is retained while the heat kicks in to a nice level. I think the chipotle cream doesn't work as well because the first flavour already has spice, only to be overwhelmed by a stronger one. In this bag they're both different enough to work, and I must say they're very tasty. Good BBQ, great chilli, awesome heat burst.

My rating: 5/5