Thursday, 30 June 2016

Today's Review: Fanta Zero Fruit Twist

Fanta Zero has been a thing for a while, but the selection is pretty meagre compared to the array of flavours available in their sugarful counterparts. Thankfully, now one of my favourite Fanta flavours is available in a sugar free form, Fruit Twist. I was worried about whether the flavour would carry over, but it still contains some fruit juices, so hopefully it wouldn't be too far off.

This is pretty good, I've got to say. It retains the fruity flavour of the original, thanks in part to the orange, peach, apple and passion fruit juices. Granted, it's not quite as strong, so on the whole it tastes a little watered down, but it's pretty good. There's also the slight aftertaste of sweetener present, but it's definitely not as bad as other sugar free drinks on the market. This is a great effort, and a tasty bottle of Fanta with very few calories. I'll be picking up some more of this for sure.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Today's Review: Maltesers Cookies

There have been a few cookies popping up based on Mars confectionery, such as Bounty and Mars. I thought that's all I could ever want, until I spied this nice red bag on the bakery shelf in Tesco yesterday. Maltesers cookies, what could go wrong? The bag contains four malted chocolate cookies, embedded with pieces of Malteser.

The malted chocolate cookie is the most interesting part of this, and it's pulled off quite well. The biscuit is predominantly chocolate flavoured, but there is a slight hint of malt to it that stops it being your average chocolate cookie. It's not particularly strong, but it is something a little bit different. The Malteser pieces are quite generous in size, but they only seem to be concentrated in the middle of the cookie. I guess that makes sense from a logistic point of view, but it makes the surrounding biscuit a little bland in comparison, despite the malty flavour embedded in it. The Malteser pieces themselves aren't fantastic either, they provide a nice crunchiness but that bold Malteser flavour doesn't fully materialise. Don't get me wrong, these aren't bad cookies, they're definitely chocolatey and have something of a malty twist to them. But for what I was expecting these disappointed somewhat. I'll probably stick with the other Mars adaptations in future.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Today's Review: Asda Carrot Cake Puds

Carrot cake cravings are only natural, but what do you do when you don't want to buy an entire one, or if you prefer to have it contained in a single serving size dessert pot? Asda have you covered with these carrot cake puds. Tesco have wandered into this territory before with a carrot cake yoghurt, but this one seems to offer a more authentic experience. It consists of a spiced carrot compote, spice cake pieces and a cream cheese flavoured mousse. Like a carrot cake in a cup, right?

I made a bit of a mistake with eating the first pot. I figured just dipping through all the layers with my spoon would serve me well, but having them all lined up in a row means I isolated the taste of each layer, and overall its wasn't a fantastic experience. While the mousse is lovely and smooth, with a pretty authentic cream cheese flavour, it felt like there was too much of it compared to the other elements. But the compote, it seemed, was way too strong, providing a spice that I didn't quite enjoy. 

All was forgiven with my second pot though, when I decided to get in there and stir it all up before digging in. It made a world of difference. The majority is still the cream cheese mousse, but mixing in the compote gave it an overall carrot cake flavour rather than a concentrated, slightly unpleasant one on the end. The cake pieces are nice and soft, and add in an extra bit of spice, but there isn't a whole lot of it. This still gives a nice carrot cake experience, but it could have done with a bit less mousse and a bit more cake. A good effort from Asda, just make sure you mix it up before digging in.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 27 June 2016

Today's Review: Monster Punch

It's another Monster flavour. Sadly, it's not sugar free like the last few that came out (that were actually very good), but it's an interesting one. They've gone for a fruit punch, a mixture of fruits instead of just one or two. Also, although the bottom of the can technically says "punch + energy", I more like to think this is supposed to provide energy to punch things with. I know Relentless recently came out with a punch flavour too, but I was aware of this one first, and finally found it in Asda after searching high and low for it. This can contains some real fruit juice, including apple and cherry,but does that provide the flavour that is needs?

It took me a good few sips to figure out what this drink reminded me of, but it hit me in the end. It tastes pretty much like a fruit punch Snapple, and that's not a bad thing at all. It is perhaps a little too sweet, but it's a great mixture of dark, bold fruit flavours, and while it's quite sugary and has something of a grittiness to it, it's also very refreshing. Add in the added energy you get as standard with Monster, and this can is very nice indeed. I was a little skeptical of the punch theme after trying the Relentless version, but the Monster wins out with some somewhat authentic fruit flavours. This isn't quite up to the standard of some Monster cans, but it's a good addtion to the range.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Today's Review: Dum Dum Donutterie Zebra Cronut

I decided to check out the market that pops up on my high street at the weekend, and stumbled upon a stall selling some pretty good looking donuts. Not just donuts either, cronuts too! The stall belonged to Dum Dum Donutterie, a shop that's based in Brick Lane, but has made its way in smaller form to my home town. Now, I could have gone for the more traditional donut for a start, but the draw of the cronut was too much. There was a Nutella filled one on offer, but I couldn't help but be fascinated with this zebra cronut, layers of croissant and chocolate croissant, filled with chocolate cream, and topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate shavings. Basically, a whole lot of chocolate.

Yup, it's a lot of chocolate, and it's some good quality stuff. That chocolate cream in the middle is divine, smooth, light and creamy, and the shavings on top are a great mix of milk and white. The pastry is wonderfully layered, and while it is a little dry towards the edges, it's soft and not too crumbly, so I managed to get most of this thing in my mouth without making a mess. Towards the middle where the cream resides is a great combination of flavours with just enough moisture to make one very nice cronut.  I guess the chocolate ganache could have been laid on a bit thicker to prevent that little bit of dryness, but I can't complain too much, this is still good stuff. I'll be sure to visit again to try out the other varieties on offer, and I'm pretty tempted to pop up to the main shop to get one of those amazing looking giant donuts. Might need to take a few friends along for that one though.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Today's Review: KFC Vanilla Milkshake

What can calm our nerves in this post-referendum uncertainty? I'm not sure anyone knows the answer to that yet, but yesterday I figured a KFC Krushem would at least do some good. So imagine my horror as I pulled up at the drive through and find that Krushems are no longer on the menu, and in their place is a standard selection of milkshakes. Nothing fancy shoved in them, just vanilla, strawberry and chocolate shakes. Determined not to leave empty handed, I went for the vanilla, 'cause I'm not adverse to a simple vanilla shake at times. I just hoped my despair at the absence of a Krushem would still allow me to form a valid opinion. 

This ain't no Krushem, that's for sure. It's the same kind of stuff that they had in the Krushems, just with a distinct lack of chocolate pieces, and without those pieces the consistency of the shake itself is clear. It's not very thick, it's pretty watery in fact, so it's more akin to a Nesquik than a standard fast food ice cream shake. There's a little thickness, sure, but it's just not enough. The vanilla had a nice enough taste to it, so this wasn't a total loss, but I wouldn't call this a good milkshake, in fact it's pretty disappointing. We want our Krushems back. In fact, go back further and revive the Joosters Avalanche, that was the good stuff.

My rating: 1/5

Friday, 24 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Jellybean Jumble Bites

Tesco came out with a new range of bakery bites a while back now, and so far I've avoided these ones as they didn't really appeal to me. But during today's shopping trip I was lacking in new products, and I re-read the description on these and figured they were worth trying at least. These bites consist of jelly beans, chewy fruit pieces, marshmallow and biscuit all coated in white chocolate.

It sounds like an odd mixture of flavours, and it is. I skipped out on these for so long because I was sure the difference in textures between all the elements would result in an uneven chewing experience, and in that respect I was right. After the chocolate and biscuit have been chewed away, the fruity bits still remain, and it's a bit of an odd sensation. The taste, however, isn't all that bad. It definitely benefits from having white chocolate over milk, it's a lighter taste, and while it's not the best quality chocolate, it adds a layer of creaminess to what's underneath. The biscuit and marshmallow aren't bad, the biscuit is a little soft, but it has something of a crunch to it. Even the jellybean and fruit pieces aren't all bad, but they're more on the generic sweet side rather than the good Jelly Belly stuff. So there's good and bad all over the place here, it all adds up to a pretty average bag of bites. They're better than I thought they would be, but they're still not great.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Today's Review: Primark Strawberry Milk Shakes

Looks like Primark are doing their own sweets now, fancy that. Well, they could not be Primark, but they were in Primark, and there are no other distinguishing brands on the packaging, so I'll go with that. Most of the selection is the usual sweetie fodder, but these ones seemed pretty interesting. It's been tough to get hold of the proper, powdery milk bottles over the years, we've normally had to settle for the squishy ones. But these not only have a nice coating of powder, but they're also strawberry flavoured, so I figured they'd be a hit.

They're powdery alright, a little too powdery though, the texture is a little off compared with the good old fashioned milk bottles. Underneath the milk bottle itself has that nice soft, but not too squishy, composition, but the flavours contained therein leave a little to be desired. The milky taste is present, and it's pretty nice, but it's pretty overshadowed by a strawberry flavour that isn't particularly authentic or nice. It adds a little bit of fruitiness, sure, but I wouldn't say it's a very welcome one. Combine that with the powdery exterior, and these sweets are a little dry and underwhelming. There's some nice stuff in here, but it's taken over by the not so nice. Think I'll stick with the more generic sweets.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Today's Review: Vimto Mini Jelly Beans

Vimto have dabbled in a wide variety of sweets, and most of them are pretty good. One corner of the market they hadn't touched, however, was jelly beans, but now they're gunning for it. These mini jelly beans come in three flavours: Original, cherry and strawberry. Yes, the strawberry ones are green, but at least they're a very noticeably different colour apart from being a different shade of red. I appreciate that.

These jelly beans are pretty juicy, I'll give them that. They do appear to have a nice amount of fruit juice in them, but it's not all good stuff. The texture is a little gritty, you can definitely tell there's quite a bit of sugar packed into these. As far as the flavours go, the strawberry is maybe the worst of the lot, I can't say they tasted a whole lot like strawberry. Maybe the colour threw off my taste buds, but it wasn't very authentic. The cherry and original are nice enough though, not completely true to the fruits, but they provide a nice, bold, fruity flavour. I was expecting a little more though, the grittiness isn't great, and maybe if all the flavours were good this could have scored higher. But this falls somewhere in the middle of Vimto's sweet range.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Today's Review: Lurpak Infusions Smoked Chipotle

Butter is my bread and butter, well, half of it anyway. I love butter, but as much as I enjoy it, butter is just butter, right? Well, now Lurpak have infused their butter with different flavours, and this one was the one that sounded tastiest to me. It's a spreadable Lurpak with a smoked chipotle flavour.

This butter has a pretty off looking orange colour, but looks can be deceiving. Sinking the knife in, I found this to be very malleable and spreadable, much more than the regular Lurpak spreadable butter is. It could easily be scooped up and used in any recipe you please, but I decided to try it in its purest form. No, I didn't eat a blog of butter, I spread it on some bread, but I could still experience the flavour. The base is a lovely, creamy butter, but the chipotle presents itself soon enough. It's not a very intense heat, but it's a warm, moderate spice that lasts for quite a while after eating, coupled with a great smoky flavour that really permeates through the butter. This is a creamy, spicy butter that will probably taste great with just about anything. Well, anything you'd add butter to anyway. I can't wait to try out the other flavours they've got.

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 20 June 2016

Today's Review: Tyrrell's My Sweet Potato Coconut & Lime

I love sweet potato crisps, and it's great that they're being released in more flavours. The go to at the moment seems to be chilli, which is right up my street, but I couldn't help but be intrigued by this bag when I spotted it the other day. Being a coconut convert, I was interested to see if I'd still like it when it was smothered on sweet potato crisps. 

I'll start off with the quality of the crisps themselves, but these are Tyrrell's, so it's probably clear that these are very good. A great, crunchy crisp, with an undeniable sweetness provided by the sweet potato. The flavouring on top, however, may be a little too much. The coconut is pretty much the first noticeable element, and it doesn't let up for the duration of eating. It's presented in quite a powdery form, and it's very bold and sweet, dominating the rest of the flavour for the majority of the time. There is a hint of lime that shines through, and the sweet potato flavour does quite well to stand out some of the time, but the strength of the coconut flavour didn't really do it for me. If it was less pronounced and allowed for a balance of flavours, it would be much better. But as it stands this is a bag of crisps that has a great idea, but is slightly flawed in its execution. I still finished the whole bag, mind you, I just didn't enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Today's Review: Smirnoff Cider

There are an awful lot of new ciders popping up these days, and I don't mind at all, there's a lovely variety of flavours around that are mostly pretty damn tasty. Now Smirnoff want to get in on the game, so they've made their own cider. Yes, a Smirnoff cider, a mixture of fruit cider and Smirnoff vodka. The alcoholic blend was enough to pique my interest, but the flavours they've gone for were even more tempting. They haven't started out with the mainstay of apple or pear, instead we get raspberry & pomegranate, and passion fruit & lime. The bottles look great too, apart from the strange placement of the flavour titles on the bottom there.

I was sold immediately with the prospect of the flavours, and I'm happy to say they don't disappoint. Each one has a bold, fruity taste, and the passion fruit one in particular is pretty authentic. It's all blended together quite nicely, and that cider-like aftertaste isn't all that present in these bottles. Granted, it is replaced by a vodka aftertaste, but it's not bad on either count, it just tastes a bit more like a cocktail than a cider, although a lot more refreshing. The only thing I would say about the taste is that the secondary flavours aren't quite noticeable some of the time, there wasn't much of a sharpness to the passion fruit variety, and the raspberry lacked a particularly pomegranate like component. Still, it's a good selection and blend of fruits in these bottles, and these are pretty great ciders, especially from a vodka brand's first venture into the business. I'm looking forward to see what else they can do.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Today's Review: Relentless Passion Punch

Relentless has recently undergone a rebranding, and now their cans stand out with solid, bold colours. I'm more of a Monster man now myself, but I've got to say these new cans look good. They've also snuck in another flavour to go along with the relaunch, and it's one that piqued my interest. It's a fruit punch, and the can is presented in a fantastic purple hue. It's hard to say which fruits are meant to be in this punch, since there aren't any fruit juices in the ingredients, but hey, as long as it resembles fruit it should be good enough, right?

The first thing I was hit with when I opened the can was the smell. I don't know if it was just me, or whether this drink isn't all that, but it smelled a little something like... dirt. Strange, I know, but that was my first thought. The taste of the drink itself raised it in my esteem, although not a whole lot. The overall flavour is fruity, and a nice dark fruitiness at that, but it's hard to tell exactly which fruit they were going for. My brain was trying to grasp at passion fruit the most due to the title on the can, and I did pick some up in the flavour, but there are clearly some other elements at play too. At times it does get a little overwhelming, or starts to taste a little syrupy, but overall it's not too bad. It's not particularly good either, there are far better Relentless flavours out there, so it was somewhat disappointing given the promise of the fruit punch. Clearly not the best Relentless flavour, but it's still better than some energy drinks on the shelves...

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 17 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Mango Zero

I'm really digging mango lately, so my head almost swivelled 180 degrees as I walked past this mango drink nestled amongst Tesco's other fizzy offerings. Not only is it a mango fizzy drink, it's a zero calorie one at that. That went straight in my basket.

There's 5% mango purée in this, and it shows. It has a great, juicy mango taste. It also means it's not quite zero calorie, but at 11 per 250ml I think I can forgive it. For the calories it has it manages to be pretty fruity, although it could stand to have a slightly stronger flavour. Also, the sweeteners contribute to a little bit of a sour aftertaste, but on the whole this is a great drink, and one I'll probably be picking up a lot of in the future. A good offering for the mango lovers out there.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Today's Review: Twix Cappuccino

I visited the bargain store near work today, and stumbled upon a chocolate bar I've never tried before, which always makes me happy. Even better, it was a cappuccino Twix. I love Twix, and I love coffee, so this sounded like a magic combination. Coffee flavoured things aren't always great though, so I had my reservations. 

Basically, it's like a Twix, but the caramel is cappuccino flavoured, and yes, it actually is. As soon as I bit into a finger, I was greeted with a very pleasant coffee flavour. While most coffee flavoured foods end up a little bitter, the combination with the caramel gives it a sweet little lift that really evens out the taste. Add in the chocolate and you've got the makings of a real cappuccino, and the biscuit makes it, well, cappuccino with a biscuit. Basically, this is a fantastic coffee flavoured chocolate bar, and probably my favourite variation on the original.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Coconut Chicken Curry Crisps

Tesco sure are stepping up their crisp game lately, I've already reviewed a few flavours over the last week or so, and I stumbled across some more when I popped in there the other day. These ones were by far the most interesting sounding, a coconut chicken curry flavour. I don't think I've had curry crisps before, let alone one with coconut thrown in, so I was looking forward to what these had to offer.

I wasn't expecting these to be amazing, there seemed to be too many elements that could have been a bit off, but to my surprise these are actually really good. The coconut flavour is very noticeable, but isn't particularly at the forefront, I thought it would be laid on thick to emphasise the main feature, but it blends in nicely with the rest of the flavours. There's a slight hint of chicken that provides a nice, meaty base, and on top of that is the curry part, which presents itself as a fantastically sweet, creamy taste, almost like you're eating a curry sauce. The coconut helps to kick the sweetness up a notch, but it doesn't get too sweet thanks to the meaty undertone grounding it just enough. I went in thinking I wasn't really going to enjoy these, but soon after I tucked in the bag was empty. These crisps are fantastic, it's a shame they're only a limited edition.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Today's Review: Nestlé Yorkie Crack It Desserts

There seems to be a lot of violence encouraged towards our snacks these days. Cadbury want us to smash their chocolate, and don't even get me started on Terry's Chocolate Orange. Now Nestlé want us to carry our aggression over to their desserts, as they invite you to Crack It. Basically there's a chocolate layer on top that you need to break through to get to the other, less solid chocolate underneath. It looks like this:

Not the most appetising looking chocolate I've seen, the other stuff is already seeping through. But a hearty smack with the spoon dispersed the disc and left me with a kind of strange mess of solid chocolate and creamy dessert. I wouldn't say this idea is a stroke of genius, but there's some fleeting fun to be had in the cracking. The taste, however, doesn't really live up to it. The chocolate on top is nice, but the way it cracks mostly leaves an outer ring in several large pieces that don't fit in the mouth that well. A bit nit picky I know, they can't help the laws of physics, but it was a minor inconvenience. Besides, the chocolate dessert underneath just isn't all that nice anyway. It doesn't taste awful, but it's less of a creamy dessert and has something of a syrupy texture, and in that sense it does get quite sickly despite being such a small pot. Thankfully the chocolate chunks are there to balance out the flavour a little, but overall I can't say I enjoyed these. I'll look out for the Rolo version in the hopes that the stuff under the disc is nicer, but I'd give these Yorkie ones a miss.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 13 June 2016

Today's Review: Schwartz Grill Mates Burger Mixes

I was offered some samples of these Grill Mates burger mixes to coincide with nation BBQ week. Well, they arrived a little late to celebrate the actual week, but in my mind any week can and should be BBQ week, so I let this stuff loose on my burgers anyway. Basically, these are some sauces you mix up with your mince to make some tastier burgers. Now, I'm quite accustomed to shaping my own burgers, I like to go for a Juicy Lucy myself, so I was definitely willing to add a bit of flavour to my concoctions, and this is an easy way to do it. Simple empty the sauce into a bowl, slap some mince in there and make four burgers ready for grilling.

It's a very simple process, and it's effective. Because you're using mince the sauce really has a chance to seep into every piece of the meat, and once the burgers are shaped the flavour really permeates the whole thing. You grill them the same as any other burger, and when they're done they have a nice colourful sheen to them. The flavours themselves are good. The Steakhouse contains mustard, garlic and black pepper, and give a quite intense kick of spice with a garlic undertone. There's perhaps a little too much spice that detracts away from the meat itself, but overall it adds a nice layer of flavour. The American Smokehouse was my favourite, offering tomatoes, paprika and garlic, and gives the burger a real saucy taste. It's a little rich, but it's smoky and juicy, and really does kick the meat up a notch. 

These burger mixes are a breeze to use, and add a nice layer of flavour to what could otherwise be a pretty bland burger. The sauces may not be perfect, but they're tasty, and they're worth slathering on your BBQ meats over the summer. Try them out.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Today's Review: Kettle Chips Chorizo, Feta & Olive

It's been a while since the last Kettle Chips seasonal flavour, so much so that I'd almost given up on looking for them. A double take in Tesco today, however, revealed this nice red bag, with some interesting flavours advertised on the front. Chorizo, feta and olive. An interesting combination, feta and olive I agree with, but I don't know if I'd chuck some chorizo into the mix in real life. Thankfully I have some crisps that will do it for me, as long as they taste right that is.

I've gotta say, these do taste like chorizo. There's a deep, meaty taste with an undeniable spice, and as far as meaty crisp flavours go this is a pretty good one. The feta and olive are present throughout too, not quite as much as the chorizo, but definitely noticeable. There's a nice cheesy hint that's always present but sometimes gets a little lost in the spice, while the olive isn't always apparent, but comes through with a somewhat salty taste every now and then, and really helps to round off the flavour. So while the balance isn't perfect here, this is a pretty good bag of crisps, with some interesting flavours that are pulled off pretty well. The last few Kettle Chips flavours haven't fared well with me, but I'm quite fond of this one.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Today's Review: Twinkies Key Lime Slime

It used to be the case that Twinkies were nowhere to be seen on this side of the Atlantic, but now they're popping up all over the place, along with many other American snacks. It seems we're getting them imported a lot sooner than before too, as evidenced by these special edition Twinkies I picked up in B&M this week. They're promoting the new Ghostbusters movie that's coming out soon, and they've not only gone for a very apt green filling, they've done a flavour to match it as well, a creamy key lime.

The innards look fantastic, a very bright green that certainly fits with the theme, nothing looks more delicious than ectoplasm, right? As for how it tastes, it's very sweet, and while it does have a lime flavour, and is very creamy, it does taste a little artificial. It's not too bad though, I'd say I might even prefer it to the original filling. But it still has the same old Twinkie cake, and I'm not too fond of that. There's enough filling to overtake the flavour of the cake a little, but it's still not a great sponge, and has a bit of a funny after taste. So all in all, this is only alright. It's worth a go while they're still around though, the filling is pretty good.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 10 June 2016

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie 'Wich

I found it! It's been a long road to getting my hands on one of these bad boys. I reviewed the Cookie Dough 'Wich three entire months ago, and found out pretty soon after that a chocolate fudge brownie one was also available. I looked everywhere, but to no avail. I gave up hope, until eventually I found a glimmer of hope in a review posted by Amy a couple of weeks back. Tesco Express was the answer, but apparently it wasn't a consistent answer, as most of the ones around me were devoid of anything remotely 'Wich like. I did, however, find a label for the fudge brownie variety at the Tesco Express nearest to me, but with no stock in sight. Thankfully, I used to work there, so I told them to hurry up and order me some already, and it paid off tonight as I finally held it in my hand. Yes, I realise my finger looks broken in that picture, but I assure you my need for ice cream didn't outweigh my need for medical attention, 'tis merely an illusion.

So enough of the back story, let's talk about the 'Wich. It's much like the other 'Wiches (I assume that's the plural), a hunk of Ben & Jerry's ice cream sandwiched between two cookies. It's just in this case, every part of it is chocolatey. Double chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate ice cream with chocolate brownie chunks in. It sounded heavenly, hence my overwhelming desire to get my hands on it, and when I bit into it this evening I was... Slightly disappointed?

Surely not? I know, I'm as dumbfounded as you are. I'm not saying this is a bad ice cream, quite the opposite, it's very good, but I can't say it's had as profound an effect on me as the original 'Wich and the recently released cookie dough version. I think the problem is that it's, dare I say, a little too chocolatey. The ice cream is great, Ben & Jerry can do chocolate ice cream, we know that. But the cookies, while certainly chocolatey, are a little rich, and having two slightly different levels of chocolate packed together, there's a slight imbalance. The brownie pieces, while adding more chocolate goodness, get lost a little in the texture and slightly darker taste of the cookies, so really the balance just seems a little off.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be buying more of these. But they don't quite reach the lofty heights of the more vanilla varieties of 'Wich. Still a great ice cream though.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Today's Review: Choc Nibbles

I spied these on the shelf at B&M the other day, and at first I wasn't sure whether they were pet food that had been wrongfully placed in the food aisle. That little window into the bag makes it look like it's filled with rodent fodder, but after confirming that they were, in fact, meant for consumption by humans, I didn't hesitate in grabbing a bag. These are, apparently, "the original nobbly nibble", which is as good a description as any I guess. They consist of pieces of chocolate, mixed with caramel and dusted with icing sugar.

These are interesting, at least that was my first thought. Small, powdery sticks with a strange texture. But once I got over the nuance and settled into them, I found these to be utterly delicious. The chocolate is fantastic, as evidenced by the prominence of cocoa butter and cocoa mass in the ingredients. It has a light, milky flavour with a hint of dark, and the caramel adds another layer of sweetness and provides an ever so slightly chewy texture. The icing sugar, while most likely only there to stop the things sticking together, is actually a welcome addition, a light dusting that mixes in well with the other elements to make a great tasting, chocolatey treat. I'm glad I took a chance on these, they're awesome, and I'm definitely a nobbly nibble convert.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Today's Review: Frijj Choc Orange Milkshake

I reviewed Frijj's interesting new mango & passion fruit shake a couple of days ago, but they've also brought out this more conventional chocolate orange flavour. Chocolate and orange, it's a winning combination, and seeing as Frijj are well versed in their chocolate milkshake, I didn't see how it could go wrong.

The key, it seems, is in the fact that there's no actual orange in this at all, it's flavourings doing all the work. While that may work for some flavours, it doesn't quite pan out for this one. There's a hint of orange in there, sure, but it's not particularly authentic, and it's not all that strong either. The chocolate underlying it is nice enough, smooth and creamy as the chocolate Frijj normally is. But the orange element is just disappointing, and it makes for a pretty average shake overall. This was a nice idea, and simple enough, but it's not pulled off that well. These new flavours aren't all that, I think I'll stick with the classic in future.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Ginger And Chilli Crisps

I reviewed a couple of new Tesco Finest crisp flavours a few days back, but it turns out I wasn't done, as I spied this bag of chilli and ginger crisps on the shelf yesterday. Yes, chilli and ginger, the promise of a spicy extravaganza. I love chilli, and I've grown to love ginger too, so this sounded like a fantastic bag to me.

These are spicy, there's no doubt about it, not as spicy as I'd have thought, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As much as I like my head to be blown off, I can also appreciate a mellower heat, and this bag provides a consistent spice that let the flavours come through. These mainly taste like chilli, but there is a slightly sweet undertone of ginger, that gives an extra kick of spice. The dash of soy sauce is a nice touch, and helps to bring all of the flavours together. They may be a little imbalanced, I think a little more ginger would have been interesting, but overall this is a tasty bag that's worth picking uip while it's around.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 6 June 2016

Today's Review: Frijj Mango & Passion Fruit

Mango and passion fruit milkshake. No fancy introduction, this is weird, but compellingly so. I mean, I guess it's not so weird, fruit flavoured milkshakes aren't unheard of, strawberry is a staple milkshake flavour, so why not a more tropical one? I must admit, I've had a mango shake before, but that was more of the ice cream shake persuasion, while this one is the typical Frijj, mostly milk with some flavourings thrown in. So does this taste like mango and passion fruit, and if so, should this be a thing?

I must admit I wasn't expecting much from this, I thought the milk and fruit combination might be a little too odd. But making my way through the bottle was not a bad experience. The foremost flavour is, of course, the milk, but the flavourings provide a nice enough taste that is reminiscent of tropical fruits. I wouldn't say it's the most authentic flavour, and I wouldn't say it works perfectly with the taste of the milk, but this isn't bad by any means, it's just not great. It's different, but it's easy to see this won't be making its way into the classic milkshake flavour line up any time soon. Who knows, you might enjoy it, and while I probably won't buy another one, it was a nice enough experience. Keep pushing for those weird flavours though, guys.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Today's Review: Mr. Sherick's Cookies & Cream Shake

My town is lacking a Waitrose, for the time being anyway, so I take any opportunity I can to pop into one if I go travelling somewhere. A quick nip into the King's Cross branch presented me with some interesting looking shakes, and they were on offer as well. This is Mr. Sherick's cookie & cream shake, a vanilla milkshake with cookie pieces in it. Also, the cream part is made up of a hefty dollop of double cream. Sounds good, right?

Well, yes, it is good. This is one spectacularly creamy shake, because, y'know, the cream. But it also has a lovely, smooth vanilla flavour, and despite the decadent stuff packed into the bottle, it's not sickly at all. The cookie pieces are the real kicker here, and there is a whole load of them. They're a little soggy, which is to be expected as they're suspended in milkshake, but they provide a great change in texture, some crumbly, chocolatey goodness that blends in fantastically with the shake. It's a shame there wasn't a bigger bottle available, I could've chugged a whole lot more. Still, I enjoyed every mouthful, and now I want to seek out any Waitrose I can find to load up on the other flavours. This is a damn good shake.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Today's Review: S'mores Pop Tarts

I've had my eye on these Pop Tarts for a while now, and finally found them for a decent price in B&M. It's like a s'more, but in Pop Tart form. That means chocolate and marshmallow in the middle, and a chocolate frosted graham cracker crust. Sounds delightful.

Tastes delightful too. The filling is a lovely combination of the two fillings, sweet, chocolatey, with a satisfying, soft ooze of marshmallow that melts wonderfully in the toaster. As for the outer casing, I wouldn't say it's true graham cracker. It's a little soft, as you'd expect in a Pop Tart, but it does have quite a distinct graham cracker flavour, and the chocolate frosting is a nice addition. I was looking forward to these for a long time, and they're worth the wait. They're not as good as a fresh made s'more, but they're pretty damn close.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 3 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Barbecue Pulled Pork Crisps

I reviewed the pretty tasty Tesco Finest shrimp crisps yesterday, but I picked up this flavour at the same time. It didn't seem quite as novel as the shrimp ones, but I can't resist pulled pork, and that's what this bag offers. Slow cooked pork in a tangy barbeque sauce. Wait, Tesco, which is it? Barbecue? Barbeque? Why not just stick with BBQ, or is that not fancy enough?

Whichever way you want to spell it, the barbecue element in these crisps is apparent, it's a nice smoky flavour that's very moreish, it definitely has a tang to it, and I sensed a nice little bit of stickiness as well. As for the pork, though, I feel it's under-represented. There's a hint of meatiness in here, and it's not bad at all, but the barbecue takes the forefront and overwhelms the rest. I'm not too mad, I'm not fond of meat flavours in crisps, and the barbecue part tastes good, but these do fall a bit flat on their promise of delivering pulled pork. Kinda disappointing, but not a particularly bad bag of crisps.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Fiesta Shrimp With Garlic And Lime Crisps

It's been a while since I've found a new flavour of big bag crisps, Kettle Chips just don't seem to be pumping them out like they used to. Thankfully Tesco are providing with the release of not one, but two limited edition flavours, the most interesting of which is this shrimp version. Now, I had to look up the difference between prawn and shrimp just now, I wasn't particularly sure if they were different things. But lo and behold, prawns are normally the big ones, while shrimp are the little ones. They also taste pretty similar, so I don't really what the point in that explanation was, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to discern the taste of either in crisp form.

Whatever the case, these do have a bold shrimp/prawn/seafood flavour, and it's pretty pleasant. Like a prawn cocktail crisp, but a lot more refined and natural tasting. Just on its own it might have been a little bland, but the extra bits kick it up a notch. The lime gives the crisps a nice tartness that isn't too sharp, and while the garlic isn't particularly noticeable, it does linger in the background and provides an additional kick of flavour. The balance of the elements might be a little off, but this is a pretty damn good bag of crisps, and an interesting, different flavour on offer from Tesco. Worth picking up while they're still around.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Today's Review: Kettle Bites Coconut, Lime & Chilli

I tried out the maple barbecue variety of these Kettle Bites a while back now, and found them to be pretty damn awesome. Since then I have dabbled in the other flavours, which came in the form of lentil curls, but I couldn't really get on board with them. Why I didn't review them, I don't know, but I don't think I'd go for them again. The other day, though, I spied this new flavour that again takes the form of wholegrain waves, and this one has chilli in it, so I didn't hesitate to grab a bag off the shelf.

It's not just chilli in these, there's also coconut and lime. Now, lime and chilli works well, I know that, but coconut seemed a very odd choice for a crisp. Despite my misgivings, however, it actually tastes pretty good. There's a subtle, sweet coconut taste that permeates the whole crisp, with the lime and chilli taking up a lot more of the flavour than I thought it would. In fact, there is a bit too much lime, as the tartness does outweigh the sweet some of the time, but all in all it's a nice balance of sweet, sour and spicy. As with the maple barbecue variety, the wholegrain waves provide a lovely crunchy, clean tasting crisp that really allow the flavours to stand out, so these really do taste good, just a little imbalanced. Even if the coconut element makes you wary, these are still worth trying out.

My rating: 4/5