Friday, 31 October 2014

Today's Review: "German Jellies"

We forewent the traditional Halloween activities this year, and instead opted for a trip to Legoland. I somewhat mourned the loss of trick or treating, after all, I've only done it once. But even after traipsing around The theme park and navigating our way back to Windsor, the revellers found us. Firstly in the form of some teenagers asking if we had any sweets in our various bags, but then another woman passed us by, noticing we had children, and digging out a little something wrapped in tin foil. "Share them", she said, "they're German jellies."

Throwing all instincts about strangers and random packets of tin foil, I decided to delve inside, and was thankfully greeted with some actual German jellies. I believe they were Haribo, but the proper German version, softer and sweeter than the ones you'd find in the UK. So thanks, random lady in the street, your German jellies were fruity and delicious, and not even full of razor blades. As for poison and laxatives? I guess we'll find out later, but for now I'm going to say that while accepting things wrapped in foil from strangers is normally not advisable, tonight it paid off. Happy Halloween.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Today's Review: Fanta Zero Icy Lemon

I do love a sugar free fizzy drink, but I'm often stuck with colas and energy drinks, as the more interesting fruity ones contain quite a bit of natural sugar. But this Fanta Zero has an absolute minimal amount, so I was certainly willing to give it a go, as wary as I was about how it would taste.

Well, I needn't have worried. The bottle says this is Icy Lemon Fanta, and it certainly tastes like Icy Lemon. It's a bold, bitter lemon taste, perhaps a little too much on the tart side, but definitely drinkable. Despite the lack of sugar, this Fanta manages to retain its sweetness, although the aftertaste does leave a bit to be desired, settling into that distinct sugar free dry flavour. Still, for the amount of calories contained within, this is certainly a tasty Fanta, and one that I'll be picking up again.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Today's Review: TorTyrrell's: Rather Hot English Chillies

There's nothing quite like a big bag of Tyrrell's, and although I have apparently never reviewed any of their crisps, I certainly haven't found one that I didn't like. Yesterday I came across a bag of these Tyrrell's tortilla chips (wonderfully named TorTyrrell's), and I certainly couldn't pass up the "rather hot" flavour. 

If you've had Tyrrell's before, you know that they make some pretty high quality chips. Their crisps are crunchy and delicious, with authentic flavours, and these tortilla chips are the same. They're thick and satisfyingly crunchy, without being too heavy. They've also absolutely loaded with seasoning, and it's awesome. "Rather hot" is right, as is has a great, bold heat that is never too strong, allowing some great flavours to come through. With the seasoning and the chips working together, you get a crunchy, spicy, satisfying bag of chips. I'll certainly be picking up more of these in the future.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Today's Review: Merba Brownie Cookies

I've picked up other brands of Merba cookies at Home Bargains before, and I've always been pleasantly surprised. Today I found these brownie cookies at a different discount store that's opened on the other side of town, and I certainly couldn't resist grabbing them based on my past experiences.

Much like the apple pie cookies, these brownie cookies are an attempt to combine two desserts in one, although it's a safer bet this time round, as they're quite similar. Still, it's a tasty sounding idea, and it's pulled off very well. The cookies have a soft texture, with a crispy exterior, and they're loaded with chocolate chips that give a very brownie-like experience throughout. The cookies are even shaped like little brownie slices too, which is a nice touch. Despite having so much chocolate inside, these cookies are never too heavy, they're just tasty, crispy treats that are definitely worth a try. Another delicious cookie from Merba.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 27 October 2014

Today's Review: McDonald's Sweet Chilli Fiesta

It's week two of the My Burger menu, and this week it's something a little more interesting. This is the Sweet Chilli Fiesta. A beef patty, maple cured bacon, peppered cheese, red and yellow peppers and onions, all topped off with a habanero chilli sauce, and placed inside a paprika topped bun. I love the spicy foods, so I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one.

Turns out this is one spicy burger. The habanero sauce is a lot hotter than I thought it would be, and while it certainly didn't blow the roof of my mouth off, it's a pretty solid heat that lasts a while. The paprika topped bun is a fantastic touch as well, lending some spice and a lovely texture to what would otherwise be the blandest part of the burger. All the other elements blend in well in equal proportions. The beef is juicy, the bacon is flavoursome, the peppers are plentiful and the cheese provides a moist covering with an extra bit of spice, as if there wasn't enough. I enjoyed every bite of this burger, and while it's probably a it early to say it's my favourite of the My Burger menu, I can tell it's definitely a contender for the top spot.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Beef Burrito Tortilla Chips

There's a new line of tasty looking tortilla chips in Tesco, and they're all £1 a bag at the moment, not bad at all. I passed over the cheese and jalapeño and the lightly salted, to go for something a bit more interesting. Yes, these chips are beef burrito flavoured, and shaped.

Yes, these oval chips, aside from the beef flavouring, also contain kidney beans and rice. Small percentages of each, but there's certainly some noticeable in the taste, which adds a certain amount of heaviness and a meaty texture, especially when combined with the beefy seasoning. As far as meat flavoured chips go, these are pretty damn good, and I'm not often a fan. It's certainly not just like eating a burrito, and the tortilla chip itself does win out over the other flavours at times, but there's enough seasoning and interesting ingredients in here to make these interesting. I'm sure I'll be back to try some other flavours in the line, but these burrito tortillas are definitely one to try.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Today's Review: Haribo Frosty Twists

Christmas is coming. People may still not want to admit it, but in just over a week all the other festivities will be out of the way (apart from you Americans with your Thanksgiving). I've been picking at festive bits and bobs over the last month or so, and I'm continuing on that theme with these Frosty Twists from Haribo. They look pretty much the same as the Rainbow Twists that have been out for a while now, but apparently I haven't reviewed them, so this can account for both varieties.

These Frosty Twists are two toned, woven chewy, sour sweets. They're pretty much like green and red fizzy laces wound together and chopped into bitesize pieces. The packaging states that these are apple and cherry twists, but I didn't exactly get those distinct flavours. These are fruity, yes, and tasty too, but more generic chewy sweet fruity than anything else. I guess it's because the sour coating detracts from the overall taste. Not too much though, it certainly leaves a tingle on the tongue, but the fruitiness does shine through. This is a nice variety of Haribo, sour, fruity treats that aren't quite as strong as Tangfastics. They're definitely nowhere near the best Haribo varieties, but they're a nice festive entry into the usual bland offering of differently shaped gummies. So pick some up before Christmas is done.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 24 October 2014

Today's Review: Lindt Fantasmini Ghost

I say this is a Fatasmini, but Tesco seem to think this Halloween offering from Lindt is called a "Ghost Stick", and Ocado concur. But hey, it says "Fantasmini" on the packaging, and it's a much better name, so I'll go for that. This tiny chocolate treat was found amongst the Crunchy Spiders and Screme Eggs, and is a small, cone chocolate on the end of a pumpkin topped stick. It's more of a pretentious looking chocolate lolly, but it certainly looks the part, all dressed up like a ghost.

When I picked this up I wasn't expecting anything special, I figured it was just regular Lindt chocolate (not that the regular stuff isn't nice). Apparently I neglected to read the label, as it clearly states that this is latte, milk and hazelnut chocolate. I'm not sure what latte chocolate is meant to taste like, and to be honest I couldn't really taste anything apart from the hazelnut and a hint of milk. Still, it's a smooth chocolate, in keeping with the quality that Lindt are famous for. Perhaps a bit too nutty for my liking, but certainly not bad. If it were just milk chocolate, I probably would have found it too bland, but as it is, the Fantasmini is a nice little Halloween treat to eat while you look longingly at your Lindt Reindeer. Not long to go...

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Today's Review: Flaming Grill Pubs' Donut Burger

Donuts are a big deal right now, whether they're being cross-bred with muffins and croissants or given savoury crisp flavours. But surely they're still not living up to their potential. What other uses could we have for these doughy, ringed delights? Why, we could put some meat in the middle of course.

Yes, Flaming Grill Pubs have a new menu, and the weirdest new entry is the Donut Burger, a beef patty with cheese and salad, placed in the middle of a sliced, sugar glazed donut. A good way of having your main and dessert at once, or an unimaginable horror? The company I was with went with the latter, but my hopes were high. When it arrived, I was a little disheartened to find that the bottom half of the donut had somewhat disintegrated, I guess because donuts weren't originally made to hold juicy beef patties. But I tucked in, and was quite surprised by the taste. The patties seem to be an improvement on ones from previous menus, wandering into the realm of a Burger King burger in terms of texture and juiciness. The cheese and salad are pretty standard, there's enough to add some flavour, but it's never overwhelming. But the donut is quite the odd addition. It's certainly a sugar glazed donut, light, fluffy and very sweet, and it actually works with the meat pretty well. Sweet and savoury work together to create a very interesting mouthful, although the sweetness does win out a little too much by the end. I wouldn't say it's better than the standard bread bun, but it's a bold idea that actually works despite the odds. 

The Donut Burger may be a bit too strange for many people's tastebuds, but although it may be a bit too sweet, it's certainly the most interesting burger I've had in a while. Well worth a try.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Today's Review: Terry's Chocolate Orange Minis: Exploding Candy

Terry's Chocolate Orange is something of an unwavering classic. There are a few varieties, sure, but at its core it is orange flavoured chocolate, and that's fine by me, because it's damn good orange chocolate. While not exactly the most original taste-wise, the exploding candy Chocolate Orange is one I definitely prefer over the regular, and now you can pick up a bag of mini wedges loaded with the same popping candy.

While you may not get the same satisfaction of smashing the orange open and scarfing down the individual segments, the taste is still the same here. Sure, the texture of the pieces is slightly different, smoother on the outside allow them to cohabit the bag more effectively, but the distinct Chocolate Orange taste is undeniable, and awesome. Smooth, chocolatey, with a great orange kick that makes it hard to stop eating. Of course, you also get the tingling, popping candy mixed in, making this one delicious Christmassy bag of chocolate, and one you can probably pick up for less than the entire exploding candy orange. 

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Jammy Doughballs

The jam doughnut is an institution, available from the bakery section of any supermarket you care to walk into. But Tesco thought the jam doughnut needed a new twist, and here it is, the jam doughball.

These come in a pack of 15 for £1, which is actually pretty good. What you get is a bunch of bite sized doughnuts, each injected with a healthy dose of raspberry jam. I think I actually prefer these to the classic doughnuts. I'm not sure what it is, be it the slightly large ratio of jam to doughnut, making them less dry and stodgy, or perhaps it's the increased surface area in comparison, allowing for more tasty sugar dusted on top. Either way, each bite is a soft, sweet, jammy delight, and it certainly didn't take me long to get through the whole pack. Naughty, but so worth it. These doughballs are awesome.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 20 October 2014

Today's Review: The Book Of Life

Family movie offerings have been fairly sparse this year, and The Book Of Life seemed like another mediocre serving that I probably would have skipped right over. But a free screening came up, so I thought I'd give it a go. The Book Of Life tells the story of Manolo (Diego Luna), a bull fighter and wannabe musician in Mexico, after the heart of the lovely Maria (Zoe Saldana). Unfortunately, he has a rival in the form of decorated soldier Joaquín (Channing Tatum), and it turns out that two of the gods that rule the underworld have made a wager on who will succeed. One of the gods plays dirty, which sends Manolo on a quest through the realms of the afterlife to return to save his one true love when their hometown is in danger.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot, although a lot was revealed in the trailer. But that's only because the pacing of this movie is quite odd. A large chunk of the beginning is used setting up the love triangle, and this is often quite slow and not very interesting. By the looks of the trailer, the main part of the movie should have been dealing with the Land Of The Dead, and that is indeed the best part, but the time spent there is brief and rushed. It's much like the dialogue and jokes spread throughout. Everything just seems rushed, especially the delivery, with one liners recited one after the other, all while other things are happening. Perhaps it's just me, but the whole movie feels very jerky, almost like it's been dubbed, even though it hasn't.

Still, The Book Of Life does look good. The Land Of The Dead sequences are particularly beautiful, resplendent with colour and awesome details. But even in the realm of the living, the aesthetics are nice, with the characters presented as wooden puppets portraying the story, and everything looks good in 3D too. As for the story, it's so so. There's certainly enough to keep the movie going, but it's a bit thin on the ground, and it's padded out with awkward pop culture references and enough mariachi covers of pop songs to put those Doritos guys out of business. The setting is good, the visuals are great, but everything else is just... okay. The Book Of Life is certainly watchable, but it's definitely not one of the greats.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Today's Review: Skittles Darkside

Well, that picture is pretty dark, how fitting. Yes, these Skittles are of the "Darkside" variety, which seems to suggest they're dabbling in satanic fruits, but the list of flavours is neither here nor there. We have a "midnight lime" and "pomegranate", but also "forbidden fruit" and "blood orange". Two of those are actual fruits, two are not, so I wasted no time trying to figure out the theme, and delved straight in.

To start with, the "midnight lime" isn't really any different from actual lime. I guess it's hard to find a dark tasting fruit that has a lovely green colour, so they just made it sound brooding. As for the rest, they're actually pretty awesome. The "forbidden fruit" and "dark berry" are something of a mix of flavours, with no particular front runner, but they're definitely tasty, with definite berry tones. The pomegranate is pretty accurate, and very juicy and tasty. My favourite is the blood orange, which is wickedly tangy and flavoursome. It's odd for me to prefer the orange sweets, but it's just a testament to how tasty this pack of Skittles is, as the darker colours are very nice, and the orange is even better. The lime, while not quite original, still fits in with its sour kick, so all in all this is a pack of Skittles well worth picking up.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Today's Review: McDonald's Big Uno

McDonald's My Burger has started, seeing a new burger, created by we ordinary folk, released every week for the next five weeks. There are certainly a few very interesting ones coming up that I definitely can't wait to try, but the first burger to come out is something of a modest affair. This is the Big Uno, a concoction of beef, bacon, cheese, onion, lettuce, ketchup and mayo. It sounded a little bland to me, but if I was going to delve into the entire menu I had to start with this.

To be honest, I was pretty surprised. This burger is nothing special, sure, but it's actually pretty tasty. The focus is mainly on the meat, and it's definitely packed full of flavour. The ketchup/mayo combination is one that I haven't really dabbled in before, but it works. The Big Uno is a case of simple but effective, a crisp, fresh burger that doesn't rely on heaps of mustard and gherkins to bring out the flavour. It's definitely not the best McDonald's burger I've had, but this is a meaty, saucy treat that's a good start to what looks to be a promising menu. I'm hoping the rest are as good as they look.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 17 October 2014

Today's Review: Chocolate Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks are a classic. They're certainly more of a novelty than a filling candy treat, but there's something undeniably irresistible about having them fizz and crackle away on the tongue. The original Pop Rocks normally come in fruity flavours, but today I found this limited edition chocolate flavour, which certainly seemed like an interesting change. Not too strange, as a lot of chocolate bars containing popping candy have popped up in recent years, but let's see what it's like to have popping candy containing chocolate.

The popping candy is as good as ever, crackling away on the tongue and in the throat (drink Coke for full effect, will not cause stomach to explode). The little pieces of candy are coated in milk chocolate, resulting in a whole load of spherical chocolate treats, and I wasted no time in emptying them into my mouth. The only problem I found was that some of the chocolate didn't actually have popping candy inside, or if it did, it certainly didn't work very well. As for the taste of the chocolate, it's alright. It' no Cadbury, sure, and does start to get a little sickly, but it was certainly tasty enough for the duration of this packet. These Pop Rocks may not have the same kick as the original flavours, but the chocolate coating is a nice twist that makes for some pretty nice candy.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Today's Review: Haribo Pico-Balla

Many years ago now, I stumbled upon a new kind of Haribo that certainly drew my attention. I don't know whether I picked it up in Poundland, or even Woolworths, but I picked up many bags until they disappeared from the shelves. Thankfully my last trip to Cyber Candy rewarded me with a bag of one of my favourite Haribo bags ever (guess what today's rating will be).

Pico-Balla are pretty much like cross section of tiny candy pencils, except they're a whole lot better. The outside is fruity and chewy, and comes in a variety of awesome colours. Inside lies a two-toned centrepiece, which is apparently marshmallow, but has more of a fondant texture. Whatever it is, it's soft, smooth with an almost melt-in-the-mouth quality, and while it does look like a lot in the picture up there, I find that the ratios are pretty damn perfect. I often find pencils have too much of the rubbery exterior and not enough filling. Pico-Balla, on the other hand, make for a soft, fruity treat. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more bags of this awesome Haribo variety, and you should be too.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Today's Review: Sunny D Sour Cherry Twist

I've been a fan of Sunny D since the days that it resided next to the soda and purple stuff in that dude's fridge, and turned unsuspecting kids' skin yellow. It's gone through a few iterations over the years, but has remained decidedly orangey as far as I've seen. But the other day I picked up this interesting red Sunny D, which promises a "sour cherry twist".

This interesting concoction is a combination of orange, strawberry, cherry and lime juices, but it seems that some are more represented than others. There's certainly a hint of all of them at first taste, but the cherry soon becomes pretty bold. It's nice, and certainly has a sour kick, meaning it does what it says on the bottle. But the reason for the sourness soon reared its head, as the lime assaulted my senses and detracted from the other, more palatable flavours. Perhaps I shouldn't complain, I can't moan about a juice drink that promises sourness and then delivers, but it seems like they went a little overboard. This is a nice, juicy drink, with some good fruits thrown in to good effect, but the lime does overwhelm a bit too much at the end. It certainly left me with a sour taste in my mouth (har har), but it's well worth a try.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Today's Review: Maltesers Teasers Spread

Everyone who's tried a Teasers bar knows how good it is, but a chocolate bar doesn't carry much practical application apart from being eaten as a chocolate bar. What if we want Teasers in our sandwiches, in our cakes, or just spread liberally on our tongues? Well, now we can do all that, because Teasers now comes in chocolate spread form. 

Yes, this tub may be small, but it contains a fair amount of thick chocolate spread, absolutely laden with malt pieces. The chocolate is not quite up to the standard of the regular Teasers bar, it lingers somewhere between there and and regular, cheaper chocolate spread. It's perhaps a little too thick for my liking, but it's certainly not un-spreadable, and not even that sickly.  The malt pieces are just right too, and certainly elevate this spread into the realm of a very tasty treat. Probably not as nice as melting down the real deal, but it's certainly a good spread.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 13 October 2014

Today's Review: Edge Of Tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow is a movie that I pretty much skimmed straight over upon hearing about it. It seemed like another clunky sci-fi flick that wasn't really worth my time. But I always like to give things a go, and seeing as it came out to buy today, I figured I'd give it a chance.

Aliens have attacked Earth, arriving on a meteor and quickly laying waste to armed forces across Europe. Humanity has been mostly unsuccessful in stopping them, before a small victory spearheaded by Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). Now with renewed hope at stopping the threat, the United Defence Force prepare to attack the shored of France, D-Day style, to eliminate the threat for good. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a public affairs spokesperson during the war, is forced onto the front lines, and with little experience in battle he is quickly killed by one of the aliens. However, he awakes the previous morning, and lives the events leading up to the battle, dying and repeating again and again. Only a meeting with Rita Vrataski serves to enlighten him as to why he is living the same day over and over, and how he may be the key to ending the invasion once and for all.

Well, it's a pretty nice premise. The best way I can describe this movie is like the love child of a ménage à trois between Groundhog Day, Independence Day and Saving Private Ryan. The constant looping of events certainly drags at the start, acclimatising the audience to what in the hell is going on. The movies is based on a Japanese novel, so it does take a fair bit of explaining to get the somewhat convoluted plot across. But once everything is settled, the repeating cycle premise is actually used to full effect, allowing for many twists, turns and diversions. It's often hard to tell whether Cage is in his first or hundredth encounter with a certain problem, and plans change wildly as the plot develops, taking us to fresh locations that aren't corpse riddled beaches. 

The beach is where the bulk of the action takes place, of course, and it looks spectacular, especially in 3D. Sand, bullets and shrapnel fly right out of the screen, and the aliens and humans alike engage in top notch fighting scenes that almost rival Spielberg's classic opener. Cruise and Blunt are great leads, I rarely got bored of seeing their faces going through the same scenes again and again. There is a certain amount of down time where they try and get to know each other better, and this is where the film does drag a little bit, but the action soon picks up again, normally with a fresh twist, so I can't fault it too much. Despite the great execution of the concept, however, I found that the final stages of the movie didn't live up to the potential, devolving into more of a generic sci-fi offering with a certain amount of holes.

But hey, it's not always about the destination, and I certainly enjoyed the ride. There definitely is an end to it all, but it just doesn't live up to the calibre of the rest of the movie. So while it may not be perfect, Edge Of Tomorrow is a fresh, action-filled blockbuster that is well worth a watch.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Today's Review: Mango Pez

Pez is a fantastically nostalgic candy for me. I enjoyed it greatly when I was a kid, but then there were many years where I was Pez-less. I don't remember seeing them around in shops much, but upon visiting America six years ago, I found myself snapping up every cool looking Pez dispenser I could find, and revelling in the two packs of candy you get with each one. Now I have amassed a collection of some 30+ Pez dispensers, and have rarely grown tired of the array of original candy flavours that you can fill them with. There have been others, sure, such as the fizzy varieties, or in fact the softer (inferior in my view) American version, but my heart lies with the original, unchanged lineup. Unchanged until now, that is. There is a newcomer to the Pez party, and it's mango flavoured.

Yes, mango, a very tropical twist on what are otherwise quite commonplace fruity flavours. But I do love my tropical flavours, so I was very excited to find these sitting by the till at Primark. In fact, I couldn't even wait to get home and load them into a dispenser, I just ate them out of the packet like a heathen. Thankfully I was rewarded. The flavour hits instantaneously, a fantastically bold, undeniably mango taste, that lasts from start to finish, whether you chew right through the candy or let it linger on the tongue. It's in keeping with the rest of the regular flavours, very fruity and overall quite delicious. The only problem is that when the candy starts to crumble, the flavour wavers a little, becoming a little too intense and somewhat powdery (a problem with all Pez really), but on the whole it's good eating. Mango Pez is a good addition to an already classic lineup, and I hope to see it remain in the future.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Turkey & Stuffing Tortilla Chips

New supermarket Christmas treats are starting to line the shelves, and these ones seemed very interesting. Aside from the new festive Kettle Chips of course, but they're still a bit pricey for me. So turkey and stuffing tortilla chips it is, a strange combination. I can't say I've ever been eating tortilla chips and wished that they'd taste more like Christmas.

Well, at first these really didn't impress me. There was a slight meaty flavour, but they were also very salty, and on the whole they just tasted like regular tortilla chips. As I pressed on, though, the flavour did start to really come out, and it's actually pretty authentic. Definitely nice and meaty, with a lovely hint of stuffing. The best part is licking the seasoning off your fingers at the end, that's when the flavours really come out. On the chips themselves, however, the flavour's not quite strong enough to win out, making them a little bland and salty. Still, a nice use, and certainly not bad, they just could be better.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 10 October 2014

Today's Review: Tesco Extreme Chilli Houmous

I'm always partial to a bit of houmous, and while the regular stuff is all good, sometimes I like it to have a bit of a kick. I've tried a few chilli ones before from Tesco, and have consistently enjoyed them, though the spiciness isn't too much to write home about. But today I spied this "extreme" chilli houmous, that looked set to promise to blow my socks off. Look at that spice rating. Three peppers, that's some serious stuff.

Basically this is a nice, classic houmous, but with some red chillies and jalapeños thrown in. Not quite my definition of extreme chilli, but certainly a better effort than the usual fare. To be honest, it's certainly not tame. It carries a nice spicy kick throughout, and while i'm quite happy torturing my tastebuds, in this case I can see that less is sometimes more. While it's certainly hot, the flavour of the houmous itself is allowed to come through, making this a nice, creamy, spicy dip that's well worth a try for fans of spicy food. So dip your chip and brace yourself. It's not going to blow your head off, but this extreme chilli houmous is extremely tasty.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Today's Review: Butterfinger Bites

I've been a big fan of Butterfingers for a while now, even before I reviewed them a couple of years ago. Now I've found these Butterfinger Bites, which are, well, bite size Butterfingers. Yes, tiny squares of chocolatey, crumbly peanut goodness. There's really not much difference between these and regular Butterfingers, except that the bite size portions prevent me from shoving too much deliciousness in my face at once. There's also slightly more chocolate per bite, which does well to balance out the flavours, though of course the nuttiness wins out. Not that I mind, these are crumbly, nutty, creamy, tasty bites that are a must buy for any peanut fan.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Today's Review: Crunch Noisettes

Home Bargains delivers another foreign chocolate delight. This time it's a hazelnut Crunch bar. I'm pretty crazy about the original, and the white one certainly wasn't bad either, so I definitely couldn't pass this one up.

This bar follows the same Crunch formula. Milk chocolate, loaded with crispy rice pieces, but of course in this case there are also hazelnut pieces mixed in. Now, I'm not crazy about chunks of nuts in my chocolate, but the crispy nature of the bar meant the nutty texture was pretty much completely masked. What I got was the same old Crunch experience, but with a smooth hazelnut flavour. Another great variety of Crunch bar, so look out for it.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Today's Review: Lemonheads

In the wake of my Boston Baked Beans review the other day, I present another candy by the same guys. These are Lemonheads, a collection of spherical lemon flavoured candies. They're pretty much the same as Boston Baked Beans, but instead of peanuts, there's just more candy. Well, I do like a bit of bitterness at times, so these were a must buy, again priced at 50p.

On the whole, these are indeed quite lemony. There's a bold, bitter flavour throughout that I could certainly get on board with. The only problem is I wasn't sure how to go about eating them. Do I suck, or chew? You see, the outer layer is quite soft, and somewhat powdery, suggesting these candies are made to bite right through. But upon doing so, my teeth quickly struck the solid interior, forcing me to change my strategy and switch to sucking. by the end of the box I was quite adept at biting off the outer layer and swallowing it before working on the inside, but overall it was quite an awkward eating experience. About as awkward as it was writing that last paragraph without sounding dirty.

These candies have a nice flavour, but the differing textures just got in the way of it. There are better lemon sweets out there, but for 50p a box of these aren't bad. I wouldn't go out of my way to get one though.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 6 October 2014

Today's Review: Snickers Rockin' Nut Road

While Snickers certainly doesn't rank in my top chocolate bar list, I am partial to a twist on the original, and spying this Rocky Road variety at Mr. Simms certainly piqued my interest. Almost everything in this bar is slightly different. Aside from the regular caramel, it also contains almonds and marshmallow flavoured nougat, all wrapped up in dark chocolate.

While the elements may be quite different, this is unmistakably a Snickers bar. The nougat is as soft as ever, and the marshmallow flavour is actually very authentic, and very delicious. The almonds make for a good replacement for the peanuts, giving a more mellow, nutty flavour, but remaining satisfyingly filling. The part I was most concerned about was the dark chocolate, fearing it would be too bitter. However, it works well, balancing out the almost overly sweet interior, while still remaining sweet of its own accord. This is a well balanced Snickers bar, and the variations on the classic ingredients are well crafted. It's definitely one of the tastiest varieties I've tried.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Today's Review: Spooky Shreddies

Halloween is just around the corner, and there are finally some good seasonal goodies lining the shelves. Granted, one of them is the Halloween edition M&Ms, which are the same old thing but in different colours. But there are also some mighty interesting offerings, like these "Spooky Shreddies", which are, quite simply, cinnamon flavoured Shreddies. A good choice for Halloween (aside from pumpkin of course), but my relationship with cinnamon cereal is somewhat strained, as detailed in as far back as my second ever review. But cinnamon and I have started to become allies, so I was willing to give these a shot.

There's not much to say about these, to be honest. They are cinnamon flavoured Shreddies, and they taste like cinnamon. At first I was quite put off by the spiciness, being used to purely sweet varieties for so long. But as I continued through the bowl, I actually found them to be quite alright. The spice is not too overwhelming, but it's definitely flavoursome. It provides a nice sweetness that blends in with the Shreddies quite well, but the spiciness still put me off a bit until the end of the bowl.  Certainly not the best flavour by any stretch of the imagination, but that's probably my adversity to cinnamon talking. These Spooky Shreddies are a neat idea, and cinnamon lovers will certainly have a good time. They're just not quite for me.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Today's Review: Big Hunk

I can't say chowing down on a Big Hunk was on my wish list, but I found a bar for a reduced price, so of course I was going to have a go. This is a massive nougat bar, a snack food that is quite underrepresented in the UK. This one contains honey flavoured nougat, but is also packed with peanuts for good measure. Honey and nuts works, we know that, but nougat too?

Well, it's quite nice. The honey flavour is somewhat subdued, but certainly present throughout, and blends nicely with the peanuts to create something akin to Crunchy Nut. The only slight problem is with the consistency. The nougat is chewy and long lasting, of course, but the peanuts are quickly broken down. This leaves some remnants to mix in with the rest of the bar, which leaves it somewhat powdery. Still, it tastes nice, even if it is a little unpleasant on the tongue. Whether that's true of most big hunks, I'm not sure, but I think this is the only one I'll be trying.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 3 October 2014

Today's Review: Boston Baked Beans

Of all the American snacks I've tried over the years, the Boston Baked Bean is one that's avoided me. Until today. I managed to find a packet in Mr. Simms for a mere 50p, and I certainly couldn't pass it up for that price. Basically, this is a tiny box of candy coated peanuts. Why are they called Boston Baked Beans? Well, because they look like baked beans, specifically ones from Boston, apparently. But why peanuts? I don't know, stop asking questions, that's just the way they are. The real question is, do they taste good?

If you're fond of peanut M&Ms you're in familiar territory here. There may be no chocolate involved, but these peanuts are coated in a nice thick layer of crunchy, sugary goodness. The candy is very sweet indeed, and would certainly be too much on its own, but it's nicely counteracted by the taste of the peanuts, and the hard texture of the shell quickly gives way to the softer peanut interior, making it satisfying to chew through as well. I quickly polished off the packet, and I'll probably be picking more up in the future. Boston Baked Beans are a tasty peanut candy treat, and while I did compare them to M&Ms before, they're quite unique in their own right. Sweet, nutty, delicious.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Today's Review: Monster: The Doctor

I was scanning the regular drink selection today when this garish yellow can caught my eye. A new variety of Monster? Well, I had to check to make sure. At first glance it's hard to tell what it's all about, as the can is emblazoned with random phrases and symbols. Apparently they hold some meaning to fans of Motocross, but I don't know anything about that, so this design looked like a colourful Doctor Who/celestial bodies mashup. Thankfully there's a short passage on the back that informs me this flavour was designed (I'm sure) by Valentino Rossi, and that it has a "light, crisp, refreshing citrus flavour", as well as a "full load of our legendary Monster Energy blend". So without further ado, I took that full load in my mouth.

I was pretty excited at the prospect of a citrus flavour Monster, the Relentless lemon flavour is one of my favourites, so hopefully the tradition would continue. Sadly, it's not quite on par, with the Monster variety opting for a more varied citrus taste rather than focusing on the bitterness of lemon. Still, it's quite tart, and certainly flavoursome, but it does feel a little mish-mashy, and not nearly as crisp or clear as the alternative. This is certainly a better effort than Monster's other cryptically named flavour, such as Ripper or Assault, and it's one I'll be picking up again. Certainly not perfect though.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Today's Review: Ka Sparkling Pineapple

Walking past the corner shop this afternoon, I found myself parched, but also only in possession of 50p. Thankfully, underneath the highly priced Coca-Colas and Pepsis, I found this can of Ka for a mere 49p. I've tried some Ka stuff before, and while it's certainly not awful, I can't say it's the best I've had. This can of "Pineapple flavoured drink" carries on that tradition.

They call it "pineapple flavoured", because they certainly can't label it as sparkling pineapple juice. No, this is more like they've taken some of the good old fashioned pick 'n' mix pineapple cubes, dissolved them in some fizzy water, and then heaped some more sugar on top for good measure. Sickly sweet, extremely sugary, and generally un-pineapple-like. I choked it down, and I suppose it left me feeling a little more refreshed than before, but I certainly didn't enjoy myself. That'll teach me to fork out the extra pennies next time.

My rating: 1/5