Friday, 15 December 2017

Today's Review: Trying To Write A Review While Very Drunk

I've had a few tipple too many, and I'm on my mobile outside a toilet. I have no idea what to say, nor the capacity to do so. You should count yourself lucky that this is still legible. Merry Christmas everyone. I mean, it's 10 days away, but it's best to be prepared, right? Well, there's only so much I can write while mobile and I toxicated. This isn't th best review I've done, but it might not be the worst. Still, writing reviews while drunk at a Christmas party is not the best method.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Today's Review: Pic's Smooth Peanut Butter

The peanut butter market seems to be expanding lately, with imports and fancier jars turning up on shelves. A new addition at Tesco is this jar made from Australian Hi-Oleic peanuts, whatever that means. I've always had something of an aversion to crunchy peanut butter, so I went for the smooth jar, which still promised me it was "really good".

I know oil separation is natural for jars of peanut butter, it's no different here, but it's something of a problem. I tried mixing the stuff up, but it's still pretty sloppy, and it makes a bit of a mess. So not the best start, but once it's spread across some bread it's still good to go. It's a pretty nice peanut butter, not particularly sweet, since it's just peanuts and salt, but it tastes natural, and definitely has a bold peanut flavour. It is quite sticky, which I don't find too appealing. So some good points, some bad, I wouldn't rank this among my favourites, but it's not too bad. Not one for those with arachibutyrophobia. There's a word of the day for you.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Today's Review: Wilko Maple & Sea Salt Fudge

Excuse that bright flash there, I took this in the cinema, before abruptly opening and devouring the contents. Yes, Wilko are offering some upmarket looking fudge, crafted in Harrogate of all places. Maple seems a pretty good flavour to chuck into some fudge, and it's implemented pretty well here. A lovely sweet taste that's very reminiscent of maple syrup, and the salt is at a very nice level, bringing out the flavours even more. The texture of the fudge itself is a little weird, a bit crumbly, and slightly gritty, but it seemed to get better as I chewed my way through. This stuff tastes good, especially for a box of fudge that's a mere £1.50. Check it out.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Today's Review: Magnum Salted Caramel

I have no idea how long these have been out, but I'm sure I've never seen salted caramel Magnums around before. No big bold "NEW" on the packaging though, so I almost skipped over these. Apparently salted caramel Magnums have been around for a while, but with caramel swirls in vanilla ice cream, while this has a salted caramel flavour ice cream. Whatever the differences, the title alone was enough for me to grab a box.

It's not as elaborate as the Double Magnums that have come out recently, but this is a very decent go at a salted caramel flavour. The ice cream is smooth and uniformly flavoured, a sweet caramel with a definite salty hint, more salted than a lot of products I see carrying the name. The chocolate coating is as good as always, and the two elements work nicely together, the saltiness helps to bring out all the flavours. The caramel could have been a little stronger I suppose, an extra caramel swirl wouldn't have gone amiss, but this is a very good addition to the already massive Magnum range.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 11 December 2017

Today's Review: Hoola Hooch

The snow's been coming down thick and fast, so what better time to review this tropical themed alco-pop? This has probably been out for a while, but it was something I picked up while I was trying to find something new in the corner shop. I remember Hooch causing a lot of controversy when it first hit the shelves, but now everyone's doing it, so I guess they needed to make a new flavour to step up their game. So enter Hoola Hooch, a mango and passion fruit alcoholic drink. I'm all about the mango and passion fruit, and this has the added bonus of getting you drunk (well, ever so slightly sozzled. If you drink the entire bottle.)

Yes, it's not particularly strong stuff, and yes, it's a little on the sickly side, but on the whole, this is a nice sweet beverage with a great fruity flavour. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and it's pretty refreshing, so it's a lot more palatable than swigging vodka from a bottle. If I were still in the alco-pop game, I'd definitely be stocking up on these in time for Christmas. For those who are partial to a bit of WKD, give this a whirl. It's good stuff.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Today's Review: Asda Turkey & Cranberry Pasty

Even those who grab a quick pasty along with their Asda shop get to choose a little bit of Christmas cheer, just look at this one, featuring turkey and cranberry. Sure, this may not sound as luxurious as a turkey dinner, but you can eat this one with one hand, doing whatever it is you do when you eat a pasty. Now, this isn't just turkey and cranberry, the turkey itself is in a "herby sauce", which sounds nice, and is I suppose, but it dwarfs all the cranberry in there. That's even if there is any in there, I thought I tasted a fruity hint from time to time, but it's mostly just like your average chicken pasty, but with turkey instead of chicken obviously. It's not bad, the turkey is nice enough for a cheap pasty, but I came for the cranberry, and only got a smidge, so I left disappointed. If you're looking for festive fun in the pastry aisle, this probably won't fulfil your needs.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Today's Review: Virgil's Root Beer

Another day, another root beer. I said in my review of the Virgil's Black Cherry Cream Soda that I'd try out their root beer, and now I have. It's in the pretty pricey range of £1.70 per bottle in the Tesco American section, but I figured it was worth it given how good the cream soda was. Turns out they make a damn good root beer too. It has that bold, fresh, distinctive root beer flavour, and doesn't seem watered down like a few of the others I've tried. It's a nice smooth experience, definitely refreshing, and packed full of flavour, with a clean, natural taste that ranks this pretty highly in my hierarchy of root beers. I hope this sticks around for a while, it's some good stuff.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 8 December 2017

Today's Review: Go Ahead! Crunchy Dippers Salted Caramel

Continuing on the healthy snack food theme, I picked up these Crunchy Dippers a little while back. They're basically like Dairylea Dunkers, but a sweet version, with mini bread sticks that you can scoop up a sweet dip with. These also come in coconut flavour, but I figured I'd tackle the salted caramel first. 

This is a pretty decent little snack. I say little, because it is little, there's not a whole lot going on, but for a quick hunger fix it's pretty good. The bread sticks, if not more abundant, could have been a little thicker, a few of them snapped as I was trying to scoop. But they're good enough. The dip is a nice sweet little number, definitely tastes of caramel, and I even managed to pick up the salt, which was nice. I would say it's a little thick, maybe I should blame the dip for my broke bread sticks after all, a smoother salted caramel would have made this all the better. As it is though, it's a decent little snack that tastes naughtier than it is. 

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Today's Review: Activia Grains & Nuts Walnut & Oats

I thought all the healthy products came out in the new year, but it looks like some people are getting their stuff on the shelves before Christmas is even here. Just look at these yoghurt pots, look how many healthy buzz words there are. Bio live! Cultures! Grains! Oats! Fibre! These pots promise "a new tasty breakfast experience", and if there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's breakfast experiences. You can probably tell from the name of the thing, but this is basically a yoghurt with walnuts and oats in.

I know I seem cynical from that first paragraph, but this is actually damn good stuff. The yoghurt is thick and creamy, and while it isn't quite as sweet as I normally like my yoghurt, the stuff mixed in helped to keep my interest. There's a fairly substantial amount of oats and nut pieces in there, not so much that it dwarfs the yoghurt, but the flavours are definitely there, and all mixed together gives a great texture, and despite how small the pots are, they're pretty filling. I wouldn't say this would satisfy you more than a bowl of Weetos, but it's a pretty delicious, healthy breakfast fix that should fill you up in the morning.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Today's Review: KFC Festive Fries

Pretty much every fast food joint changes up their burgers from time to time, but most of them just leave their fries as they are. Not KFC though, they've given their fries the Original Recipe treatment before, and now they've brought out a new seasoning for the Christmas period. It consists of onion, garlic, herbs and "smoky" seasoning sprinkled on top of your good old KFC fries.

I'm all for a bit of a change up with the fries, and these are actually pretty great. The onion and garlic are both noticeable, and there's a certain smokiness to the whole thing, nothing major, and not exactly the main event, but it's nice to taste a few different flavours chucked in here. The blend of garlic, onion and herbs give it that little bit of a festive kick, almost like there's been a ball of stuffing mixed in there. I would say, however, that the flavouring clumps together in a few places, especially at the bottom of the box. That doesn't stop the fries themselves tasting good, but they can be a little bland in some places due to the spread of the seasoning. Still, a very festive offering that will spice up your winter chicken fix. Keep on tinkering with the fries, guys.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Today's Review: Ooola Secrets Chocolate And Raspberry Mousse

Ooola la. We all like a fancy mousse, right? I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce this one, am I meant to spend a set amount of seconds saying each "o"? Anyway, this is a set of three fancy little mousses, containing chocolate and raspberry, with a smattering of chocolate chips. I was thinking the chocolate chips were the secret, despite them being clearly advertised. But it turns out the entirety of the mousses themselves are the secret, if you wish them to be. You see, you could share them, or keep them secret. At a price of £2.40 for three small pots, you're damn right I'll keep them all to myself (I got these at half price). 

It wouldn't be hard to keep these secret, they're tiny. But, as is my motto, it's not the size, it's what you do with it that counts. Crammed in each pot is a decent portion of raspberry, 21% in fact. Swirled in with the chocolate mousse, it's fairly good, although I wouldn't say the mousse is the best. It's a little dark, and the tartness of the raspberries takes over a bit. The mousse and puree combination gives it a bit of an odd texture too. Slight problems on their own, but all mixed together it gives a bit of a messy experience overall. The chocolate chips are good, a little bit of crunch in an otherwise smooth mousse, so these are good for a little indulgent treat. Don't think I'll be paying full price for them though.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 4 December 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Ham Hock & Spiced Orange Chutney Sandwich

Christmas sandwiches don't seem to be as big a deal this year as they have been previously, so I've sort of skimmed over them this time around. But today I found myself picking up a meal deal, so I figured I'd give a festive offering a go. Here we have a ham hock & spiced orange chutney, a far cry from the chocolate and cherry mascarpone Tesco had a couple of years back, but a little different nonetheless.

What a disappointing sandwich. I love a bit of ham hock, but it's not particularly well represented here. There are some sizeable chunks I guess, but there's really not enough to make this a substantial lunchtime offering, it even seems dwarfed by the leaves that only seem to be there to provide a bit of crunch. The chutney is completely overpowering, a not particularly nice orange flavour that dominates everything else, leaving only a bit of meatiness coming through. A complete imbalance, and the chutney isn't even all that spiced, just tastes like a bit of gone off orange. This hardly filled me with Christmas cheer.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Today's Review: Müller Light Rhubarb Crumble & Custard

Here's a quick review of this crumble flavoured Müller Light I picked up earlier today. I love a bit of rhubarb crumble, so it's nice to know that when I lose all my teeth I'll still be able to enjoy it. As long as I lose all my teeth in the next month or so, since this is limited edition...

Rhubarb crumble and custard, this is supposed to taste like, and I'll give them the rhubarb and custard. There's a nice fruity, tart taste, with a smooth custard-like undertone. But I didn't detect any crumble. That always seems to be the way with these crumble or muffin flavoured things, the fruit is there, but the bready element is not. I know it's not the Müller Light way, but a smattering of crumble bits could have made all the difference. As it is, this is a fairly decent attempt at a rhubarb and custard yoghurt, but I was expecting so much more.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Today's Review: Juicy Drop Taffy

Here's an interesting little pack of sweets I picked up from the Co-Op, it seems they're always coming up with new ways to get you to consume sour, unhealthy fluids, at least this one doesn't suggest you spraying it directly into your mouth. This is Juicy Drop Taffy, which comes with a tube of sour strawberry gel, which you can squeeze onto the provided pieces of blue raspberry flavoured taffy. Taffy is basically a chewy sweet, for those not down with the lingo.

Look at that, it's got that appetising appearance of... Blu-Tac. To be fair, the flavour isn't far off either. Not that I've eaten Blu-Tac, but this stuff is rather bland, just a hint of blue raspberry that's lost in the overly chewy chew. The stuff in the tube is better, a more flavourful strawberry offering that isn't particularly sour, but does have a bit of a kick to it. It's thick, somewhat plentiful, and definitely bad for your teeth. You can get quite a bit on each piece of taffy, so there's no danger of running out, but the whole thing of unwrapping individual chews and meticulously squirting on the sour gel is just too much faff for not much reward. A bland chew with some slightly sour stuff on top, there are far better things out there.

My rating: 2/5

Friday, 1 December 2017

Today's Review: Müller Corner Christmas Bakery Edition

Yes, the Christmas yoghurts have hit the shelves, and here we have a "Christmas Bakery Edition" from Müller. This corner contains not one, but two different things to dump in your yoghurt. The Christmas bakery is quite apt with the tiny gingerbread men, but I'm not exactly sure what the chocolate balls are meant to represent. But hey, it's chocolate, it can't be bad.

The vanilla flavour yoghurt is a bit of a bland choice, even though it's good vanilla yoghurt. I'm not entirely sure what I'd like to see in place of it, so I guess I can't moan too much. It means the attention is focused on the gingerbread men, and they're really good. Despite their tiny size, they pack a lot of flavour, a nice authentic gingerbread that adds a nice bit of heat. The chocolate is there to add a bit of sweetness, but I think I would have preferred pure gingerbread, the balls don't really add much to the overall flavour. This is a pretty good festive yoghurt, although there could have been more of a focus on adding in some proper festive bits.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Today's Review: Starbucks Fudge Hot Chocolate

I've been somewhat disappointed with the Christmas drink offerings this year, but I always like to hold out hope. So to Starbucks I went, tempted with the idea of their fudge hot chocolate. Because why not? It's a fudge flavoured hot chocolate, didn't seem there was anything too extravagant that could go wrong. Turns out this isn't just a fudge hot chocolate, it's also topped with fudge flavoured cream, as well as the golden chocolate curls.

The cream is great, a lovely instant hit of fudge flavour, and the golden curls add a little crunch and a nice hint of chocolate. Underneath the flavours aren't quite as intense, but there's a distinct fudge taste that runs throughout a pretty great, creamy hot chocolate. I'm glad it wasn't the other way, with a fudge overload, but it would have been nice for the main drink to have a bit more flavour. Still, this is a simple but effective twist on the hot chocolate, and definitely my favourite festive drink of the year so far. Check it out.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Pick 'N' Mix Machine

At the base of the stairs it called me. The sound of children's laughter, followed by that classic theme. "Kids and grown ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo." Yes! I'm a grown up, and I love it so! This monstrosity of a vending machine drew me in from the start, and I was sold when I saw what was on offer. It's a pick 'n' mix machine, whereby you pay £3, choose up to five sweets from the selection, and watch as tiny conveyor belts fill up the cup before your eyes. £3 was a little steep for a pick 'n' mix cup, but look at that selection! Terrific Turtles! Crocodiles! You can't get bags of them easily around here. Also, there were some rhubarb & custard flavoured pencil things that looked utterly amazing, so I tapped my phone and watched this thing go to work. Did I mention that it takes Apple Pay? This is truly the machine of the future.

At least it would be if it worked. You know those rhubarb & custard sweets I was aching for? Turns out that specific conveyor belt didn't work, so I only got the other four selection in my cup. Of course, I only knew this after I'd paid. My friend also got a cup, which was utterly devoid of jelly cherries due to a blockage, and his cup was only three quarters full at the end. It seems like this thing requires a lot of maintenance, the concept is good, but maybe it's just a bit too ridiculous to function. 

Oh, and also the sweets are stale. It turns out leaving unwrapped Haribo sitting on conveyor belts in a not entirely airtight vending machine means they're not the freshest when they're eventually chosen to fall into a cardboard cup. I mean, I ate them, but they were very dry and firm. This is a flashy vending machine with a lot of flaws, designed to reel in kids and suckers. I was one of those suckers, but let this be a warning to the rest of you. Don't get drawn in by the happy music, just go and buy a bag of Starmix instead.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Today's Review: Asda Coconut & Vanilla Popcorn

Just when I thought the fancy popcorn fad was coming to an end, Asda have brought out this delightfully sweet sounding flavour. I'm not sure I've had coconut popcorn before, especially as I only just recently started to like coconut, so I was pretty excited about how this would turn out. Even if the coconut didn't work out, I'd be able to rely on the vanilla, right?

This stuff is fairly coconutty. It's a nice, sweet, bold flavour, that is a pretty good fit with the popcorn. The flavouring, however, has a bit of an odd texture, lending a sort of chalkiness to the kernels that hangs around after eating. It detracts from the coconut flavour a bit, but thankfully there's a nice undertone of vanilla that provides a mellow sweetness, and in the end it works out pretty well. The texture didn't ruin this as much as I thought it would, and underneath there are some good quality kernels with a satisfying crunch. A unique popcorn flavour that can be picked up for a pretty reasonable price.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 27 November 2017

Today's Review: Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon

It's nice to find American Pop Tarts during random supermarket visits, I picked these up in a Co-Op I stopped off in to get some milk. To be fair, they sound and look pretty brown and unappealing, but my new found love for cinnamon drew me to these. 

These are actually pretty damn good. They're pretty uniformly brown in colour, so they're not exactly the best looking, but the insides boast a sticky, slightly gritty sweet filling that has a darkly sweet taste. Like molasses, with a hint of cinnamon heat. It's not quite as decadent as the other colourful Pop Tarts varieties out there, but they're pretty tasty, with just the right amount of cinnamon. I'll be picking these up again (if I see them around.)

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Today's Review: Nix And Kix Mango & Ginger

I picked it up when I read "mango", I stuck it in my basket when I saw "cayenne". Yes, this is a juice drink with cayenne chilli pepper mixed in, that was weird enough for me to want to crack this open straight away. The is one of a range of Nix And Kix drinks. The "nix" refers to no refined sugar or artificial nastiness, while the "kix" is obviously the chilli. But does this weird combination work?

I was worried the spice would be a bit much here, but the predominant flavour is the mango, a natural tasting, fruity juice that's very refreshing. The ginger is at a nice level, providing a bit of warmth that helps to bring out the sweetness of the fruit juice. As for the cayenne, it mostly hangs around in the after taste, which isn't a bad thing at all. The sweetness comes in at first, followed by a nice sharp kick that provides a decent amount of heat at the back of the throat. It is maybe a little too much what with the ginger adding some spice as well, but on the whole this is a refreshing juice drink with an interesting kick. I'll be sure to grab the other flavours when I see them, this is a very nice bottle.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Today's Review: KFC Celebrations Krushem

What's Christmas without a box of Celebrations? Awful, that's what. But think about those who have trouble chewing, what are they to do? Well, KFC has the answer, by introducing a new Krushem that has not one chocolate mixed into it, but five. It's like a box of Celebrations chucked into a milkshake. Featuring Galaxy, Galaxy Caramel, Maltesers, Mars and Twix, this is one I couldn't wait to get my hands on.

I'll start by saying that this is a bit of a mess. That doesn't make it bad, sometimes a bit of mess is a good thing. There's a lot going on in here, so many elements at work together that it's somewhat hard to differentiate. I mean, I don't shove one of each Celebration in my mouth at a time, and from tasting this Krushem I can see why. The shake itself is nice and chocolatey, with a hint of caramel, while the chunks are plentiful and varied. I never thought I'd say this, but I think there are too many pieces, I had to pause between every mouthful to chomp down on some fairly firm bits of chocolate, biscuit and whatever else came up through the straw. So yes, this isn't bad by any means, but it is very busy, and all the flavours that would be great on their own just kind of mix into one. So while it's a great idea on paper, the execution isn't fantastic. A good festive offering to try out while it's around though.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 24 November 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury 5 Star

It's a little odd that despite Britain being the home of Cadbury, there are bars that turn up in other countries that I've never seen before. This was particularly evident in the Australian bars I used to see lining the shelves at Cyber Candy, but this 5 Star I found in the local pound shop is a particularly odd one, as they're made in Ireland to be sold in Egypt. It's a combination of Cadbury chocolate, caramel, biscuit and a smooth chocolate centre.

In essence, this is a lot like a Boost bar, which would explain why it's not sold alongside them here. Perhaps the gold wrapper and star rating system sells better over in Egypt. But yes, this tastes a lot like a Boost, but, dare I say, nicer? The focus with the Boost is on that glucose element, and I guess that subconsciously rubs off on me, as I can pick up that glucose throughout. It's a little noticeable here, but the smooth chocolate innards win out in the end, making this a creamier, tastier version of the Boost. The caramel, biscuit, and both elements of chocolate have a great balance, and make a very tasty bar overall. Hopefully I can make it back to the shop and pick up a few more before they go out of stock, it's pretty great.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Bits Sweet Paprika

I reviewed the Honey BBQ Doritos Bits the other day, but I also picked up this flavour at the same time. So here's a quick review of the Sweet Paprika, which are like tiny little spicy Hula Hoops. Well, I say spicy, but they're not particularly. Of course, paprika isn't exactly the hottest of things, but I was expecting a little more heat than I got. There's a nice smokiness there though, and there's a nice sweet hint to it, but compared to the Honey BBQ they fall a bit flat. So a little bit of sweet smoky spice, and a decent enough snack for on the go, but these aren't anything special.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Today's Review: R Whites Pear & Elderflower Lemonade

Pear lemonade. Pearonade? Nah, that doesn't roll off the tongue. But still, this is a thing. I picked it up in my newest local pound shop, the name of which escapes me right now, but I'm pretty sure it started with "Pound". This was less than a pound, before you go thinking it's some premium priced can of lemonade, but it's made by one of the most well renowned lemonade manufacturers, so I had faith that they were on to a good thing by introducing some pear into their lemonade.

This is lemonade that also tastes like pears, so I guess it does what it set out to do. I wouldn't say it's amazing, but it's a nice enough effort for a different kind of lemonade. The lemon itself is still at the core, so the pear flavour doesn't exactly win out, especially with the elderflower hanging around as well. The fruitiness isn't lost too much, but I would say that the pear and elderflower aren't exactly as strong as I'd hoped, this is pretty much a can of lemonade with a little bit of flavouring thrown in. I was a little disappointed, but this isn't a bad drink. Worth the much less than £1 I paid for it.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Cranberry, Sage & Onion Bread

Not content with peddling festive muffins and cookies, Tesco have now brought out a Christmas themed fresh baked loaf. It appears to be inspired by the good old Christmas roast turkey and its accompaniments, except with bread instead of turkey. So here we have a loaf containing cranberries, alongside sage & onion, like the stuffing. A bit of an odd flavour combination, I thought, but it definitely piqued my interest.

I ate some of this with my dinner a few hours back, and I've been thinking about this ever since, enough so that I've just scarfed down another few slices at 10pm. A risky game for sure, but it's a testament to how tasty this loaf is. The bread itself is a good quality wholemeal affair, a good crust on the outside, giving way to an inside that's slightly dense but soft. The cranberries embedded throughout are lovely and fruity, and I managed to get a taste in every mouthful. The sage and onion are more evenly spread throughout, and while the sage is a little overpowering, it works pretty well with the cranberries to give a nice overall flavour. I was happy that the onions weren't as strong, they're ever present but mild, a good level that doesn't overtake everything else. This is a very decent loaf of bread, it gave me a festive feeling and it's definitely in keeping with the season. Well worth picking up while it's available in the Tesco bakery.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 20 November 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Bits Honey BBQ

Doritos Bits, bits of Doritos. I found these little shot style packets of crisps in B&M, but they're not your regular tortilla chips. These are instead small, twisted crisps, but with a flavour quite befitting the Doritos range, honey BBQ. I must say, it's a pretty good representation of both. There's a sweet undertone of honey, with a nice layer of smokiness on top. It's a unique taste that was odd at first, but grew on me as I made my way through. 

They're also not particularly Dorito-like, they're small and thick, more like crisps than chips, so the flavouring isn't quite as generously spread, but they're small enough for it not to be noticeable. This is a nice presentation of a unique little snack, and an interesting flavour that's well worth trying out if you can pick them up.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Today's Review: Jolly Rancher Sour Bites

Jolly Rancher candy comes in all shapes and forms these days, but I don't think I've found one that beats the original sweets yet. This bag is no exception. They swap the classic boiled sweet for a chewier one, and there's a sour element thrown in too. They sounded good enough on paper (or plastic), and they're actually better than a lot of the Jolly Rancher stuff I've tried out. 

They come in apple, watermelon, cherry and orange flavours, and I must say they're pretty close to the flavours of the regular sweets. The watermelon especially is bold and fruity, and all the others also pull off a faithful fruity adaptation. Of course, they don't taste like their real life fruit counterparts, more like those artificial sweet fruit flavours. In the end though, these are pretty average. They're not particularly sour, and they don't taste quite bold enough to leave a lasting impression. Not the best Jolly Rancher candy, but certainly not the worst.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Today's Review: Pret A Manger Festive Flat White

Thanks to Jenny on Twitter, who informed me of the existence of this festive drink available at Pret. As a small aside, since I haven't quite bothered to look it up yet, how is the "Pret" in "Pret A Manger" pronounced? Is it like "Prett", or more French-like, like "Prey"? I tend to switch between the two on the fly, but I'd love to hear your input. Anyways, here we have the Festive Flat White, which is somewhat cryptic, but it's actually a Flat White with a mince pie flavoured syrup. Quite a unique twist in these days of salted caramel and chocolate orange, so I was keen to hunt this down and try it out.

This is a pretty decent Flat White, it's creamy and smooth, with a decent coffee kick. The mince pie syrup is pretty okay too, providing some sweet fruity notes, with a hint of spice, it's actually a pretty great combination that provides flavour and warmth that brings that festive feeling. Definitely more of a Christmas themed drink than some others out there. There is a problem, however, in that this drink is tiny. I got a hot chocolate at the same time as ordering this, and it's no exaggeration that the Flat White was half the size. What is this, a coffee for ants? This may be a pretty nice drink, but I'm going to have to knock down my rating, it's just not great value for money. Try it out if you want to experience something festively different, but I won't be shelling out for one again.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 17 November 2017

Today's Review: Harvester Chicken & Waffles

What do you want for lunch? If your answer is chicken and waffles, Harvester has you covered. Yes, this all American dish is nestled among the more standard offerings of the lunch menu, but of course I was drawn to it straight away. It's a decadent combination of sweet and savoury that I couldn't pass up, waffles with maple flavour syrup, topped with bacon and buttermilk fried chicken strips. 

Now, I've had bacon and pancakes before, and I've also had piri piri chicken on a waffle, but this is an unholy combination of meat and sweet that I hadn't quite experienced. Despite what you may think upon hearing about this, it's not bad at all. The chicken and bacon were cooked well, a nice light crispy coating on the chicken, although the bacon was a little underdone, compared to the way the Americans eat it anyway. A decent sized portion of good meat though.

What's underneath, however, is not so perfect. The waffle has a nice sweetness to it, but is pretty dry, with the flavour falling flat at times. Thankfully the meat is there to help along with the flavour, and the syrup to help with the texture. It's a maple style syrup, definitely not the real thing, ans therefore a little too sweet at times. Still, it saves the waffle from being a total disaster, and it works well alongside the meat as well. This didn't exactly blow me away, but it's a decent enough attempt at something different. It doesn't quite capture that whole American experience, but it's worth a try. Jst don't expect the best.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Today's Review: Soggy Cereal

I love cereal. Whoever says they don't like cereal just hasn't met the right cereal, I'm sure. It's a ubiquitous presence on the breakfast table, alongside the milk that goes with it. Some people may eat cereal without milk, but then, can they even be considered human?

It's a delicate balance, you see, because dry cereal is pretty awful, but soggy cereal is even worse. I genuinely go into a milk state of anxiety if I pour milk on my cereal and then have to attend to something else, the fear of returning to soft, sloppy cereal is too much to bear. It's like overcooking a steak or having burnt toast, it ruins the meal, and since it's breakfast time that sets up the mood for the whole day. I've learned to clear all distractions, to not pour the milk until I am sure I can instantly eat through the bowl. I even regulate the amount of milk that gets onto the cereal while eating by angling the bowl as I make my way through. In this way, all cereals can retain their crunchiness, be they Weetos, Coco Pops, Golden Nuggets or Krave. Because all cereal deserves to be wet, but none of them deserve to be soggy.

Apart from Weetabix, that stuff's delicious all mushed up.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Today's Review: Air Heads Xtremes Sweetly Sour

Air Heads are readily available in the UK now, but they come in more varieties than just the chewy dragees. These were sitting in the world food aisle at Sainsbury's, some sour belts with a "bluest raspberry" flavour, because just blue raspberry isn't enough apparently. Now, when something says "Xtreme" in big bold letters, I'm often left questioning its sourness by the end, and this is no exception. These things are not particularly sour, nor are they particularly blue raspberry. They're sweet, so that's one thing, but otherwise they're pretty bland flavour wise, and the sour element is fleeting at best. Disappointing, I think I'll stick with the regular chews from now on.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Today's Review: Panda Natural Raspberry Liquorice

I found this neat looking bag of liquorice at Sainsbury's. They're raspberry flavour, which I hadn't tried before, and they're vegan and low in fat, with natural flavours and colours. Now, I'm all for some healthier sweets, but I'll admit that those using less than natural ingredients tend to taste better. Still, I was willing to give these a try, because the raspberry sounded pretty good.

At first bite, I wasn't impressed at all with these, they were soft, flavourless soft chews, a little grainy in texture. Thankfully, the more I chewed through them, the more the raspberry flavour came out, and it's actually pretty good. It continues to build, and is very present in the after taste, although it doesn't quite make up for the pretty tasteless start, and the blandness and strange texture are still present in some form even when the fruit comes through. A good option for the vegans out there, but these aren't as great as I hoped.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 13 November 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Double Decker Spread

Not content with turning all their chocolate bars into sharing bags, Cadbury now want to blend them up so you can spread them on whatever you fancy. We've had Caramel and Crunchie spreads, now it's time for some Double Decker on your toast. Or bagel, or flapjack, or, you know, anything. As you can see, the contents are split down the middle. On one side there's a chocolate spread embedded with cereal pieces, and on the other is a nougat flavoured spread. Double spread, Double Decker.

It's important to get the balance of chocolate and nougat right when you're spreading, so you get the full effect of all the flavours. With both sides represented, this does taste quite a bit like your regular Double Decker, in spread form. The chocolate side is pretty much the standard Cadbury spread, which ain't no Dairy Milk, but it's still pretty good. There's a large number of cereal pieces scattered throughout, which gives a satisfying crunch, and the nougat side provides another layer of sweet creaminess. It's not as authentic as the proper chewy stuff, but spread on toast, this stuff is pretty great. If Cadbury keep up with their spreads like this, I'll be very happy.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Today's Review: Tuc Sweet Chilli

Tuc biscuits are fantastic, we all know that, right? I've tried a few variations on the classic original over the years, mostly from supermarkets throughout Europe, but today I saw this sweet chilli variety in Asda. If you know me, you know I'm a spice fiend, so it's great to see chillies make its way into another food for my tasting pleasure. So, spicy Tuc, does it work?

Yes, yes it does. These are some damn good biscuits. They're the same lovely buttery Tuc at their core, but pretty soon after the first bite the heat begins. The original flavour is noticeable throughout, but the chilli is decent and fairly strong, just not overwhelmingly so. Definitely more of a sweet chilli than any other, it's a great twist on the classic biscuit, and one you should seek out if you're a spice fan. I can't fault them.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Today's Review: Walkers Sensations Spice Keralan Curry

We don't get new Sensations flavours all the often, so it was nice to see a new one when I was walking around Tesco yesterday, this one is a spiced Keralan curry, with a nice mixture of coconut and chilli, incorporated with "curry flavour." Now, I can't say I've specifically tried a Keralan curry before, but the internet assures me it's a masala blend, and I have to say, these taste pretty good. There's a nice creamy curry flavour at the base, a lingering heat that isn't particularly strong, but does do the job of building up heat over time. The coconut is a nice addition, thankfully not too overwhelming, but I'd say it's the most predominant flavour in the pack. Still, everything works together very nicely, and this is pretty much a nice, creamy, coconut curry in crisp form. I'll be sure to pick some more of these up, hopefully they'll hang around.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 10 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Millionaire Filled Muffins

While yesterday I tackled the festive fresh baked goods of Tesco, now I've grabbed something from the pre-packaged aisle. Here we have Millionaire Filled Muffins, and unfortunately they're not muffins filled with millionaires, but they are filled with a salted caramel sauce. On top there's a chocolate muffin with chocolate chunks, and it's all crowned with some crumble.

These are some very chocolatey muffins, and they're not bad either. They're a little dry, but the chunks go some way to alleviating that, as well as the sauce in the middle. Unfortunately, it seems to be all caramel and no salt, a lot of people promise salted caramel these days and fail to deliver the goods. Still, a chocolate caramel combination is no bad thing, and these are pretty nice. Also disappointing is the crumble on top, I suppose it's meant to represent the shortbread in the millionaire's, but it doesn't add much to the overall flavour, and is swamped by the chocolate. So a pretty average muffin, I'm sure they could have done a bit better with these, but they'll do for a chocolate fix.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Chocolate Orange Muffins

Festive baked goods are starting to line the shelves, which is never a bad thing. Tesco have their mince pie cookies that have been on offer in previous years, but they also have these chocolate orange muffins, which consists of a lovely looking marbled chocolate and orange muffin, within which lies a mandarin filling, and some chocolate chips for good measure.

That's a good cross-section right there, like the inside of a volcano running deep into a planet made of cake. This is actually a pretty good muffin. It's definitely chocolatey, it's definitely orangey, and the two work together pretty well. The mandarin filling sort of steals the show, it's very bold and sweet with a nice tartness to it, though it is a bit overwhelming, especially in collaboration with the orange sponge. The chocolate muffin and chips go some way to balancing the flavour out, but it doesn't quite reach the right level. A very decent festive offering though, it's a nice soft muffin, and the filling adds a nice moistness that rounds everything off nicely. Definitely a pack of muffins to pick up before the season is over.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Today's Review: Bundaberg Root Beer

I've had my eye on this root beer for a while, it's been available in four packs in Tesco for ages, but never decreased from its £4.50 price point. Thankfully, they've started stocking single bottles now, which, while they're just under £2 each, was a more reasonable price to give this stuff a taste. This one's Australian, while most of the ones I've tried are American, I believe.

I believe the others are American because they're a lot more flavoursome, those artificial flavours and colours make a difference I suppose. Yes, this tastes like root beer, but it's quite subdued. It's more natural tasting, sure, and is something of a cleaner overall beverage, but it's lacking in the hit of flavour I'm used to with root beer. This stuff isn't bad by any means, it's refreshing, and that distinct TCP-like root beer taste is undeniable. But I'm not sure I'd choose this over the other brands I've tried. I'm in it for the bold taste, and this doesn't quite deliver.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Today's Review: Costa Billionaire's Latte

The Christmas drinks have arrived, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this new latte from Costa, based on the oh so wonderful Billionaire's Shortbread. This is one you'll want to stir up, as it features layers of chocolate and caramel sauce, on top of which is a "mocha blend", topped with cream and shortbread pieces.

The sauces are laid on pretty thick at the bottom but after I mixed it up it looked pretty well incorporated. The flavours are present in the drink, the caramel at the forefront, and the chocolate just sort of... there. In all honesty, it just tastes pretty much like a caramel latte, just with a bit of chocolate chucked in. I don't see how the coffee is much of a mocha blend, there's not nearly as much chocolate as I figured there would be. I mean, that's not a bad thing, the chocolate layer in a Billionaire's Shortbread isn't meant to be overwhelming. But the shortbread here is very unrepresented. Just a smattering of crumbs on top of the cream, they don't even make their way into the coffee, and I doubt mixing them in would do much for the flavour. This really needs some kind of shortbread incorporated into the drink for the full experience, but as it is it's just a pretty okay chocolatey caramel latte. Not the best Christmas effort.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 6 November 2017

Today's Review: M&S Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter & Caramel Chunkies

Apologies for the overexposed picture, I took it in the low low light of the cinema. Now, I'm not one to frequent M&S, but it seems like I should probably start. I mean, just look at these things. They don't even have a fancy name to make them sound great, because they sound great as is. They have peanut butter, they have caramel, they have chocolate, and they're... chunky. A combination that cannot fail, surely?

These are certainly chunky, and they're also chocolatey, with caramel and peanut butter. So you know, they do exactly as they say on the packet. These are damn good, all the elements work together wonderfully and are distinctly noticeable. There's a generous peanut butter centre, with a smooth, silky caramel layered on top. The chocolate provides a nice thick coating, wrapping up an extremely decadent bite. There's a lot going on, and while they do get quite sickly, they're not as over the top as they seem. A great combination of sweet treats that you should definitely try out.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Today's Review: Galaxy Mocha Latte

Why have a hot chocolate when you can have a mocha? It's pretty much the same but with that extra caffeine kick. It seems Mars have picked up on this, as you can now grab a tin of instant Galaxy mocha latte, containing "chocolate pieces and coffee". Just pop a few teaspoons into a cup of hot milk, stir it up and you're good to go. But at what cost? Is this stuff as amazing as it looks?

Well, first of all, I couldn't get that little frothy top on show up there, but I'll attribute that to the fact that I don't own one of those fancy milk whisks, and had to rely on a humble teaspoon. But, given a hot enough milk and a decent stirring speed, I at least got the stuff reasonably mixed in. I must say, it's not bad. It's a nice, creamy hot chocolate, likely helped along by the milk. But it's sweet, and while the coffee is noticeable, the bitterness isn't too apparent. I don't know how much that speaks for the effectiveness of the coffee itself, but I can't say I got much of a buzz from drinking this. Still, it's a little refreshing, the mix of caffeine and sugar must do something. I wouldn't say it's the ultimate mocha, but it's a pretty good effort from an instant powder.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Today's Review: Virgil's Black Cherry Cream Soda

It's not a particularly regular occurrence, but when Tesco switch up their American food section it's nice to see something new and unique on offer. Here we have a bottle of black cherry cream soda, very sophisticated compared to the cheap cans you normally pick up at corner shops. I was pretty excited to try out a more upmarket cream soda, the flavouring was just a cherry on top, so to speak.

I was hoping this wouldn't be too much to handle in one go, but I must say this stuff is pretty good. The cream soda at the heart of it all is lovely and sweet, and more refreshing than any I've tried before. It would perhaps be a little too sweet, but thankfully the cherry is there to add an element of tartness that balances it all out. It's not the most natural cherry flavour, but it's in keeping with the sweet nature of the soda. This is a pretty great and unique concoction, and I'm hoping to pick some more up while I can still find it. There's also a root beer on offer, so I'll be getting some of that too. Check this stuff out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 3 November 2017

Today's Review: Chocolate Peanut Butter Twinkies

For the immense status that Twinkies have garnered for themselves, I always find myself disappointed when I try them. The cake is so-so, the cream is generally underwhelming. I thought it might change when I spied this different concoction containing chocolate sponge and a peanut butter filling. After all, peanut butter makes everything better, and the box assured me these contained the real stuff. So can putting peanut butter in my chocolate make Twinkies a new favourite?

The short answer is no. These aren't great. The chocolate sponge is marginally better than the regular stuff I suppose, but it's still fairly dry, and not all that flavoursome. Some chocolate taste to be experienced, but not a great one. As for the filling, it may contain real peanut butter, but it's not clear exactly how much peanut butter is there, and I'm gonna say it's not a lot. The cream has a pretty faint peanut flavour, but is mostly just an overly sweet cream that doesn't add much to the proceedings. These had so much potential, but every part of it is just underwhelming. Edible, sure, but not worth paying import prices for.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Irish Coffee Milkshake

It's time for another limited edition Frijj, and this one promises the sweet sweet taste of Irish coffee. So basically like Baileys but without saying Baileys, I guess. It seems a good fit, a creamy liqueur in the form of a creamy milkshake, and it's actually pulled off pretty well. It has that classic thick Frijj texture, couple with a great creamy flavour with hints of coffee. Not so much the alcohol side unfortunately, but it's a nice creamy, tasty shake, and it definitely make me think of Baileys as I was drinking. So while it's not perfect, it's a good, unique choice for a shake flavour that's pulled off well. A lot better than their white chocolate & pistachio anyway.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Today's Review: American Diner Inspired Müller Corner

Ah, the classic Müller Corner, what a realm of possibilities you can choose from just by sticking a corner bit on your yoghurt pot. This time we have some American diner inspired goodies to mix in, in the form of cookie pieces and brownie pieces. Sounded pretty good to me, those are some pretty solid desserts.

Let's start with the cookie pieces. They're very small and cute, and they also come in chocolate and vanilla versions. They're pretty good, a nice crunchy cookie with almost a shortbread-like texture, and the flavours come through quite nicely. Not the best quality cookies I've had, they can be a bit grainy, but they work for the most part. The brownie pieces are pretty good too, a little on the crunchy side, but there's a bit of chewiness in there, and the chocolate flavouring does a pretty good job. 

However, it's all let down a little by the yoghurt. It's just vanilla flavoured, in both cases. I get that they probably wanted to keep the yoghurt neutral so they could showcase the pieces in the corner, but I feel they could have done something in keeping with the American diner theme. Not that I have any bright ideas myself, but it seems like there could be something so much more than vanilla in these. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much, but I know Müller can pull out some fairly decent flavoured yoghurts, so I was just optimistic. These are still worth a try though, some good biscuit and brownie pieces swirled into yoghurt, even if the latter is somewhat bland.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Today's Review: The Snaffling Pig Co. Ham & Colman's Mustard Pork Crackling

I've grown partial to a bit of pork crunch lately, although I'm still a bit on the fence with the whole pork scratching thing, they're a bit tooth-breakingly hard. Here we have a bag of pork crackling, which I guess sits somewhere in the middle of the scale. This one's a little different, it's flavoured with ham and Colman's mustard, which promised to give it a bit of spice, and some meatiness, instead of fattiness I suppose. 

I thought I'd get on with this stuff, but the truth is it's pretty gross. It does exist in the realm between scratching and crunch, but not in a good way. Some parts of this stuff are solid, while others give way easily to a lump of cold grease. I'm not sure if those are pockets of flavour or what, but I couldn't really identify the mustard all that well, there was a bit of spice but it was overwhelmed by the moist fat pockets that seem to be spread throughout. Not a great bag at all, I think I'll stick to the more traditional stuff.

My rating: 0/5

Monday, 30 October 2017

Today's Review: Manomasa Serrano Chilli & Yucatan Honey Tortilla Chips

I've tried a couple of flavours of these Manomasa tortilla chips, but apparently I've yet to review any. That changes now, after I found this new and interesting sounding variety in Asda. The chilli is a regular flavour occurrence in chips, but honey is a new one to me. I was promised sweet and spicy, and hoping that these would deliver.

Despite saying Serrano chilli on the front, apparently these also contain Scotch Bonnets, which makes sense, because these are some very hot chips. I love a bit of spice, and often find myself disappointed with the level of heat, but these deliver, giving a tongue tingling burn that lasts for quite a while. In fact, while often I can't make out much chilli when it's mixed with other flavours, these ones had the opposite effect. The honey wasn't really there, just the intense heat, and it only came out as I made my way through a few chips. When it did though, it was a lovely sweet undertone that took the edge off the chilli, but there was enough to provide a lingering spice that really is satisfying (or horrific if you're not a chilli fan). Coupled with the great quality of the chips themselves, this is a great bag with a unique flavour, and one I'll be picking up again. It's a little off in the flavour balance, but if you're after a bit of heat these are the ones for you.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Today's Review: X-Treme Ketchup & Mustard: Lemon Candy

I have returned from my travels, and while I didn't venture far from the hotel on this holiday, I managed to pick up a few things from the nearest supermarket. Here's a quick review concerning this bottle of "mustard" I grabbed on a whim. As you can probably tell, it's one of those novelty squirty candy things, and the "X-Treme" name implied it was meant to be very sour.

I spent more time trying to get the foil lid off this than I did eating it. It's pretty vile. The taste is a barely passable lemon, and it's sufficiently tart I suppose. But the consistency, it's a thick gel that just isn't good at all, it hangs around too long on the tongue, which allows the initial slightly bearable flavour to give way to an acidic tasteless mess. So if you find yourself in a Spanish supermarket looking for a sweet treat, don't get this one.

My rating: 1/5

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Today's Review: Breakfast Buddy S'mores Crunch

I do love an cheap brand American cereal, as you can actually pick them up for a decent price on import. I picked up this S'mores cereal in Sainsbury's for £2.50, and seeing as I love making s'mores (whenever I can find proper graham crackers), I was hoping it would translate well into cereal form. With this box you can pour yourself a bowl of chocolate and cracker cereal and tiny marshmallows.

Unfortunately, each part of this tastes quite off-brand. I was hoping for the delicious honey taste of Golden Grahams, and while there's a little hint in these pieces, they're pretty lacklustre. The marshmallows are fairly hard, although they soften up once the milk is in the bowl. The chocolate balls are alright, probably the most predominant part, but they're not particularly flavoursome. Mixed together they don't really taste like s'mores, but they do alright for an indulgent sweet cereal. I won't be buying them again though.

My rating: 2/5