Saturday, 21 October 2017

Today's Review: Fruit Salad Sour Softies

I found this bag of sweets in Asda the other day, and was surprised I hadn't tried them yet. I don't know how long they've been out, but they seem to have slipped under my radar. In the same vein of the amazing Squashies, these Softies are a soft, chewy version of the classic Fruit Salad sweets, and this bag introduces a sour element. They only come in two flavours, but hey, sometimes less is more. You have the classic raspberry & pineapple, as well as blackcurrant & lime. Both sweets taste like their real life fruity counterparts, and the classic flavour are particularly reminiscent of the chewy sweets. The sour element is present, not particularly strong, but there's a certain tang to them that's pretty good. The texture of these isn't quite as good as the Squashies, they're slightly more chewy, but still a good bag of sweets. Definitely worth checking out.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 20 October 2017

Today's Review: Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza Bianca Deliciosa

I was recently sent a voucher to try out this new limited edition Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizza. I'm partial to a Ristorante anyway, so I was happy to oblige. I'm a big fan of the pollo variety, among others, but this one sounded particularly great. It's a bacon and onion pizza, with mozzarella and edam cheeses, but with white sauce on the base instead of tomato. Intriguing, and well worth picking up. But how does it taste?

Pretty amazing actually. The bacon pieces are small, but juicy, and combine well with the onion. Less is more with these toppings, there's less distraction from the goodness underneath. It's a great combination of cheeses, and the white sauce rounds it all off with a fantastic creaminess, making this one delicious pizza. Apparently white sauce pizzas are on the rise, and I'd say it's a trend I'm looking forward to seeing more of. In the meantime, pick up this pizza while it's still around, it's really good. You can grab it from Asda, Sainsbury's and Ocado, and I highly suggest you do.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Gruesome Muffins

It seems a while since Tesco brought out some unique baked goods, but Halloween is just around the corner, and Tesco have responded in fashion with these disgusting looking green muffins. Don't be fooled by the colour though, these muffins are toffee flavoured, and disguise a centre of sour apple, making it quite the fitting flavour for the autumn months. 

I wasn't too sure how these were going to work out, what with them being green and all, but I was pleasantly surprised. The sponge is nice and moist, and while it's perhaps a little too squidgy, it packs a good toffee flavour. As you can see from the picture, the filling is pretty plentiful, and it's got a nice tang to it, with a definite taste of apple. It blends in nicely with the sponge, creating a sour toffee apple flavour that, while a little sickly at times, is a pretty unique combination for a muffin. These are pulled off quite well, and it seems they'll probably only be around for a couple more weeks, so it's worth picking these up from the bakery.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Today's Review: Hunger Breaks Mixed Grill In A Can

You may know that occasionally I'll hunt down the most abhorrent looking food I can find during a shop. Why do I do this to myself? Well, partly because it's nice to be able to warn you in case you were ever thinking of picking up such delights as this mixed grill in a can, and partly because it's nice to write about something that isn't "really good" or "pretty good". Sometimes it's just nice to tear something apart, because, let's face it, no one, not even those who made it, thought that this was a good idea.

Just look at it! What even is that? Well, let me enlighten you. While the can clearly lies about it being a "delicious mix", it does assure me that the stuff on that plate is a combination of beans, diced potatoes, sausage, chicken nuggets and lamb chop. Yes, a lamb chop in a can, what a time to be alive. To be fair, the beans are alright, passable as far as beans go. The potatoes are just mushy and have a weird taste, and so does the meat to be honest. The chicken nuggets don't change in colour or consistency throughout, and taste how I imagine those meaty chunks in dog food taste. The sausage just sort of squidged apart in my mouth, it's hard to tell whether it's processed meat or water with a little bit of fat mixed in. The lamb chop was the most interesting, I was wondering how they got one into a can, but then I realised they did it by not making it resemble a lamb chop in any way. Dubious meat in a chicken dipper shape, with a vague yet horrifying hint of lamb-like flavour. 

You may have gathered just from the title, but don't buy this. If you ever find yourself considering picking up a mixed grill in a can, I'm not sure anything can save you. This just provides solid evidence for the fact that if you're putting your meat in a tin, you're doing it wrong.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Today's Review: Mentos Sour Pop Ins

Here's a wackily designed packet of Mentos I found in the world foods aisle of Sainsbury's. They're Pop Ins, and the text is placed into a large cartoon mouth, so I can only assume they're for popping in your mouth. These ones are sour, and while I know sour Mentos are a thing, I'm not sure I'd tried them before.

Well, now I have, and they're alright. These ones only come in four flavours, there's blueberry, apple, orange and lime, with the lime one being yellow, because green is already taken... Anyway, these are pretty much regular Mentos. They're a bit sour, but I was expecting a lot more. The fruit flavours are authentic enough, but it takes a lot of effort to chew down to the point where the sourness comes through. So yeah, I'm disappointed, but these are still worth a go for the Mentos fans. Something a little different.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 16 October 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Crinkle Cut Four Cheese Crisps

Tesco may be revelling in the oddity that is their candy cane crisps, but they also have some more traditional offerings for the festive season. Here we have some crinkle cut crisps flavoured with not one, but four cheeses. The more cheese the better, I say, so I was pretty excited to find these contain cheddar, Wensleydale, Stilton and Camembert. They're actually pretty impressive too, creamy, cheesy crisps that are packed with flavour. The cheeses are a little at odds with each other, the Wensleydale and cheddar are sometimes lost, but the Stilton and Camembert flavours are bold and authentic, and make for a a different and effective bag of cheese crisps. Well worth picking up for the coming months.

My rating: 4/5 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Today's Review: B&M American Style Hot Dog Kit

B&M has a fair amount of questionable food items lining its shelves (I have a particular tinned treat I'm trying to hold off experiencing). I thought I was out of the woods after the first couple of rows and yet, on the other side of the store from the food aisles I found that the fun wasn't over. Sitting amongst the Christmas decorations was a stand in the middle of the floor, boasting these hot dog kits. Now, I'm normally used to seeing hot dogs in the refrigerated sections, or packed into dubious cans elsewhere. But never before have I seen them in blister packs alongside buns and sachets of sauce. I guess this is one for all you budding survivalists to put in your bunker, as long as the apocalypse is going to happen in the next few months anyway. The instructions are simple. Snip the end off the hot dog packet, blitz them for 15 seconds, stick them in the buns and microwave for a further 30. There's no more convenient way to get your hot dog fix, but is it worth it?

Here they are in all their glory(?) Notice that weathered look on the buns, like the dry, chapped and dusty hands of a manual labourer. I'm imagining they don't taste dissimilar either. The buns were so dry that one of them snapped as I attempted to put the hot dog in it. Once they were blitzed I suppose they weren't awful, but by no means is this nice bread. The hot dogs aren't great either, but at least they're not slop. There's some semblance of meat in there, and overall I'd say these are simply barely passable hot dogs, rather than the gastronomical punishment I was expecting. They're helped along by the nice little Heinz sachets too, to cover up the disappointment of what lies beneath. So if you're desperate for a hot dog and this is the only option, its not going to kill you. But it's not enjoyable either.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Chopped Nut

How do you like your nuts? If your answer wasn't "whole" you were out of luck as fair as Dairy Milk bars were concerned. But now there's another choice, in the form of this chopped nut bar. Following in the footsteps of the chopped fruit and nut that came out last year, this is pretty much the same, but without the fruit. But are whole nuts really that much of a problem? Or are Cadbury just chopping up their nuts so they can shove smaller pieces throughout a noticeably thinner bar of chocolate?

As you can see in the picture, I either have gigantic hands, or this bar is pretty small (hint: it's the latter). So yes, it's a small bar. But does the chopped nut give it an advantage? Let's ignore the fact that the packaging clearly shows the nut being delivered blunt force trauma via hammer rather than being chopped, and just say that no, it's not better. In fact, I think it suffers for it. The nut is spread throughout, sure, but the pieces are so small that the flavour isn't particularly noticeable. There's a slight nutty undertone, but it's mostly just chocolate with a bit of texture thrown in. At least with the whole nuts you get that definite hit of flavour, this one just has some crunchy bits that are nut-like. Still, the chocolate isn't bad, so it's not all for nothing. I just doubt I'll ever pick this up again.

My rating: 2/5 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Today's Review: Rustlers Gourmet BBQ Burger

You may think "gourmet" and "Rustlers" can't go together in the same sentence, but apparently you'd be wrong. Yes, there's a new range of microwaveable burgers that promise that gourmet experience, with only the finest ingredients, probably. I opted for this BBQ burger, which is served up in a brioche bun. It comes complete with streaky bacon, crispy onions and a smokey BBQ sauce. Just pop it in the microwave for a little over a minute and tuck into some fine dining.

Look at that gourmet goodness. You know, it turns out that when you're dealing with microwaveable burger buns, the difference between regular and brioche isn't that noticeable. I mean sure, this is a little smoother and sweeter, but it's still not a great bun. The burger is your regular Rustlers fare, a passable slab of meat that provides a quick hunger fix, and the cheese is just a slice of processed goodness. As for the other ingredients, they're not bad. The sauce is actually pretty good, nice and smokey, and there's a good amount of it to provide an even coverage. The crispy onions are a pretty good touch too, not the finest you'll find, but they elevate this burger above being completely mediocre. I would by no means call this a gourmet offering, but it's not bad.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Today's Review: Kit Kat Bites White Chocolate

I was exasperated when Kit Kat Bites replaced the awesome Pop Choc, although that aggravation soon faded when they brought out the peanut butter ones. Now we have another variety, this time in the form of white chocolate. I feel white chocolate doesn't get the love it deserves, so it's nice to see a classic chocolate bar covered in the stuff. We know Nestlé can do white chocolate after all, just look at Milkybar. Thankfully, the same stuff is used here, it's light and creamy, and it tastes awesome. Combined with the Kit Kat wafer, it's pretty perfect. The bitesize pieces make for more surface area for the chocolate to cling to as well, making these particularly creamy and lovely. I'm not sure I could choose between these and the peanut butter, they're both pretty amazing. Let's hope more Kit Kat Bites are on the way, they've certainly redeemed themselves in my eyes.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Today's Review: Salted Caramel Matchmakers

Matchmakers are filling up the festive aisles once again, but this year there's a new flavour in town. Move aside mint, salted caramel is coming through. I thought the salted caramel trend was dying down a bit, but it's nice to see more stuff tackling it, especially if they do it right. Thankfully, this is one of those times. I wasn't entirely sure how much I was enjoying these as I made my way through them, but it turns out it was quite a lot, because before I knew it the whole box had gone. Oops.

This is one of those salted caramel products that actually tastes like it has salt in it. Combined with the classic brittle Matchmakers chocolate, it's a sweet, smooth flavour, with a nice salty hint that goes well with the crunch contained within. I'm not overly keen on Matchmakers in general, but these ones are probably my favourite. It's not a perfect flavouring, the salted caramel does fade at times, but on the whole it's a good effort, and a very moreish one. Keep an eye out for these, they might not be around for long.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Today's Review: Mokate French Macaroons Instant Latte

I'm sitting here bathing in the afterglow of my KFC Double Down review, and I figured I'd whip up a coffee with this interesting little bag of instant latte stuff I picked up in Poundworld. It tastes like French macaroons, apparently, although sipping it while writing up my last review, I'm not convinced. I normally write these things on the day they're posted, and I'm normally quite good at remembering how things tasted. But I thought I'd scribble this one down while the taste is still fresh on my tongue.

This stuff is horrible. I should probably have expected that from the fact that it pretty much consists of sugar and flavourings, but I figured it would at least taste a little bit nice. It's as if they've attempted to emulate some kind of nutty, coconut flavour, but run out of money and just gone with the first one they found. The result is a bitter, barely milky, disappointingly flat coffee drink that's neither tasty or refreshing. The after taste is bad, and the initial taste is worse. I would have said it's handy that it comes with its own scoop so you can measure out the powder, but I resent anything that actually encourages me to make up this drink. Vile stuff, don't waste your time.

My rating: 0/5

Monday, 9 October 2017

Today's Review: KFC Double Down

It's here, it's finally here! I know I said that yesterday about the dairy free Ben & Jerry's, but I'd only been waiting for that for a couple of months, whereas I've been longing for a double down for seven years. But now, the legendary "burger" has made its way to the UK, for all to enjoy (or vilify, depending on your stance). If you don't know what the Double Down is, and you didn't guess from that picture up there, let me enlighten you. It's a burger where the buns are replaced with chicken fillets. So we have two pieces of boneless Original Recipe chicken, in the middle of which resides cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce. You're either disgusted or drooling right now, so let's push on with the review.

For all the hype this received about being the height of disgraceful burger decadence, I don't see what all the fuss is about. KFC have brought out burgers containing two chicken fillets before, and this is essentially that but without the bun. Therefore it's healthier, less carbs, more protein, and a good amount of fat too. I was worried that after this long a wait I would be somewhat disappointed by the taste, but I have to say this does a pretty great job. The fillets are great, a nice chunky offering with that signature skin, and there's a good amount of cheese plastered inside. It seems to be a different kind of cheese, somewhat more authentic and creamier, and the addition of bacon really pulls it all together, it's a meaty, cheesy delight. On top of that is some amazing smoky BBQ sauce, making this a messy yet satisfying "burger". Maybe it was just the lack of bun that pulled the focus more to the meat, but this tasted different to any other KFC burger I've had. The Double Down has been a long time coming over here, and I'll be grabbing some more in the short six weeks that it's available. I suggest you do too.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Dairy Free Peanut Butter & Cookies

They're here, they're finally here! I know there's been a lot of excitement about the dairy free Ben & Jerry's, and I have to say that despite the fact that I'm not vegan, I was very intrigued to see how these turned out. Yes, the regular Ben & Jerry's ice cream has been replace with an almond alternative, which is also reflected in the absence of those famous cows from the packaging, and their replacement by these giant sketchy almonds. 

There are a few flavours to choose from here, including chocolate fudge brownie and chunky monkey, but the former was already sold out, and the latter didn't tickle my fancy as much as this peanut butter & cookies tub. For something that is non-dairy, they sure do chuck in a lot of elements that are regularly associated with dairy. Ice cream, peanut butter, and chocolate cookies, all vegan, and all in this tub. Let's see how that works out.

Let's start with the ice cream, as that's the most glaringly obvious thing that would perhaps suffer from the lack of dairy. I must say, it's not particularly fantastic, but it does a fair job. It's a little watery, but the texture is pretty good, and it does still feel like eating ice cream. The peanut swirls are really good, I managed to get some in every spoonful, although that made it hard to tell whether the nuttiness was coming from the ice cream or the swirls. Either way, it's a very nutty tub, and I'd be interested to see how much of the almond flavour creeps into the other varieties. The sandwich cookies are extremely plentiful, sizeable chunks that can be found all over the place. They're a little crumbly, but they do add a nice chocolatey hint overall. I'd say compared to the dairy Ben & Jerry's, this tub was absolutely crammed with chunks and pieces, and that was fine by me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, but the ice cream kings have done it again. Vegans and the lactose intolerants rejoice, and everyone else might want to try it out as well.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Today's Review: Belmont Milkshake Biscuits

Enough of the ridiculous crisps, let's tackle something more on the normal side. I picked up these milkshake biscuits at Aldi the same day I grabbed the cosmopolitan crisps, and I'll be honest in that it was the word "milkshake" that dragged me in. I'm a sucker for a milkshake. They're basically biscuits covered with a milk and cocoa cream, and hey, as long as it's got milk, they can call it a milkshake, right?

I wouldn't say these remind me a whole lot of a milkshake, but that filling (topping?) has a nice creamy taste, with distinct cocoa and milk notes, and they work well together. Not quite a cream as it says on the box, and not quite chocolate either, something in between, and a good texture. Underneath is some pretty good shortbread biscuit. Not exactly your classic buttery goodness, but it's a nice crumbly biscuit with a good flavour. I didn't really know what to expect when I grabbed these, but they're actually some very nice biscuits. I'll be picking these up again.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 6 October 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps

Tesco: "Hold my beer"

Yes, you've read that right, these are candy cane flavoured crisps. I guess you can't get much more Christmassy than that, but it also feels like science has gone too far. Where alcohol, and even fruity crisps are becoming more common, I never thought I'd see a crisp flavour based on a confectionery. But here I am, having tucked into a bag of peppermint potato chips. The things I do for you guys.

I must say I was horrified and intrigued in equal measures when I saw these. I was pretty convinced they'd be an abomination, and I'm still not sure how I feel even after eating a few. What I can say is, these taste like candy canes. There's a bold peppermint flavour that's present from the first bite, and hangs around a fair amount in the aftertaste too, there's even a slight freshness to it. So I have a dilemma. On the one hand, even with no frame of reference, these are some good peppermint crisps. On the other, these are crisps, and they have no business being peppermint flavoured. Just because the flavouring's authentic, doesn't mean it works. The potato and mint are quite at odds with each other, and I can't say I enjoy these as much as I find these not entirely unpleasant. Another unique crisp flavour to tuck into this festive season, so by all means grab some, and horrify your friends and family. Just don't be surprised that they're not as awful as they sound.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Today's Review: Aldi Cosmopolitan Crisps

Alcohol flavoured crisps. You may not think that should be a thing, but over the years we've seen Guinness crisps, and Tesco's prosecco and rum flavoured attempts. Now it seems Aldi wants to throw their hat in the ring, and also crank it up to 11, with these crisps modelled after a classic cocktail. Because who doesn't want fruity alcohol potato chips?

The description sounded quite nice. "A fruity blend of lime, cranberry juice and orange liquer with smooth vodka". Then I realised that all that is in the form of a crisp, and I was at once disgusted and intrigued. Of course I picked them up, and of course I tried them, and, to be fair, they're not awful. Not good by any means, but as far as I imagined fruit and vodka crisps would be atrocious, these are actually edible. The vodka isn't particularly noticeable, the predominant flavours here are the cranberry and lime, with a little hint of orange. They're pretty authentically fruity, and I'd probably score them higher if they, you know, weren't used to flavour crisps. It's an odd combination, and certainly an acquired taste, but I'd say these are worth a try just for the experience. Maybe set up a bowl of them at your festive gatherings to bamboozle your guests.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Break Bar

Not content with dominating the chocolate bar market, Cadbury have attempted to branch off into other snack food areas such as cookies, doughnuts and microwave puddings. Now it seems they've got their eyes set on those single serve breakfast bars, not that these are breakfast bars specifically, they're Break Bars. So I guess you can have them on your break. Basically, it's a biscuit bar with chocolate in the middle, and also on the bottom.

This is Cadbury we're talking about here, so the chocolate is good. The layer on the bottom is your standard Cadbury stuff, but the middle is something different. The box may says it's "melting middle", but it was clearly already melted by the time I bit into one of these bars. It's a smooth, creamy filling that almost has a chocolate-hazelnut taste to it, pretty good. If only the biscuit was as good, but alas, it is not. It's like they tried to make shortbread but didn't quite get it right. I'm not sure exactly what's wrong with it, it's a bit dry, the buttery flavour doesn't stretch far enough, I don't know, I guess it's a combination of things. But the biscuit isn't all that, and that's a large part of the bar. It's not awful, I'd just expect a lot more from Cadbury, especially since they've already proven they can do biscuit from the Snack shortcakes. All in all, it's pretty average. You might want to pick some up for your break at work, but you'd be better off picking up a multipack of chocolate bars. Unless there's some kind of stigma towards eating chocolate bars at your place of work, in which case, it's probably time to change your career.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Today's Review: Unicorn Froot Loops

Froot Loops are one of those rare cereals that have made the trip across the pond (I'm still waiting on Trix and Cap'n Crunch). Now, not only can you get regular Froot Loops, you can also get these unicorn Froot Loops! Look, there's a unicorn on the box! Also one on the back you can colour in! What else is different? Well, not much.

Holy glittering Froot Loops, Batman! Well, they look like they're glittering in the photo, and I was hoping they'd actually glitter a little because, you know, unicorns. But no, these are regular Froot Loops. Apparently they've been given more natural shades, but in reality they've just taken out a couple of the colours. These only come in purple, pink and yellow, and I think yellow's only there so they don't seem cheap. Or to emulate the horn, who knows. The Froot Loops themselves aren't bad. They're a little sickly sweet, but they have those nice fake American fruit flavours that it's hard not to like. It's just a shame it's lacking in some of the fruits entirely. This re-branding just seems like a money grab, the only things that are different are superficial. I'd stick with the originals.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 2 October 2017

Today's Review: McVitie's Digestives White Chocolate Nibbles

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and by that I mean things are starting to turn white. Christmas is a pretty good excuse to break out the white chocolate, and I'm all for it, I wish white chocolate was used more often. So here we have a lovely snowflake covered limited edition Nibbles bag, Digestives balls coated in white chocolate instead of milk, or dark, or both. There's not too much to say about them, apart from that they're good. The white chocolate is of pretty good quality, a nice creamy, smooth coating that works surprisingly well with the biscuit. It's not on Milkybar level, but it's a decent offering. The balance between biscuit and chocolate is good too, so they're not too dry. Just a nice crunchy, creamy chocolate biscuit ball. I'll be sure to pick some more up before they disappear. My only question is, where are the white chocolate covered Digestive biscuits?

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Today's Review: Fairfields Farm Heat & Eat Cheese & Chive Crisps

Are you tired of regular old crisps, want to shake it up a bit? Well, why not try some hot crisps? Yes, these are Heat & Eat,a bag of crisps you stick in the microwave, because why not? I was pretty intrigued when I saw these, although I didn't expect much. I went for the cheese ones, despite not being overly fond of cheese crisps, because it comes with a little pot of caramelised onion chutney to dip them in. Yum. Just rip open the bag, blitz for 30 seconds and they're good to go. I wouldn't microwave them for longer, lest they start to look like that picture on the packet there.

Hot crisps seemed a little bit of an odd idea to me, despite the fact that warm tortilla chips make nachos great. Still, despite my misgivings, these are actually pretty good. The half minute warm up time gives these an even level of warmth, and the flavour is pretty good too. It's the onion in cheese & onion that regularly puts me off, but it's substituted with chive here, so it's a pretty good creamy cheesy flavour with a nice little hint of chive flavour. The chutney is good too, although there's not too much of it, so I had to use it sparingly. Also, the uneven size of the crisps means some of them don't fit into the pot. Still, the combination of nice cheesy crisp and bold, sweet chutney makes this a surprisingly good bag of crisps. Maybe hot crisps are the new trend.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Today's Review: Quick Water Magic Sippers

You may have seen Quick Milk straws lining the shelves at Poundworld, those straws filled with suspicious looking pellets that turn milk into vaguely milkshake-like flavours as it travels through. Well, the fun doesn't stop there, now you can get that experience with a plain old glass of water, with these Quick Water Magic Sippers.

The same rules apply, just stick the straw in the cup, and suck to your heart's content. They come in tropical and peach flavours, so I guess they're a little different from your regular cordial offerings. But still, these seem a little unnecessary. It takes some effort to get the water up the straw, and even then the flavour is fleeting. It starts off pretty intense, and a little sickly, and only just mellows out a little before it's gone completely. Even in a small cup of water, after a few sucks there's nothing more to get out of the straw. This just seems like a very awkward way of flavouring up your water, with so many squash options on the market already. These are a novelty for sure, but not a nice one.

My rating: 1/5

Friday, 29 September 2017

Today's Review: IKEA Berry Cheesecake

I don't have a lot of time to review tonight, so off the back of the IKEA meatballs I expressed my love for yesterday, let me address the dessert I picked up at the same time. It's a nice big slice of berry cheesecake, with a crumble-like topping. At £1.75 it's a pretty decent price, and for the money it's a pretty damn good piece of cheesecake. I won't rate it as one of the best I've had, but it's very good. I think the base is where it's lacking, it's thin and not so much like that classic digestive. Thankfully the topping makes up for it, it's crumbly and pastry-like, with a satisfyingly fruity layer underneath that works really well with the smooth cheesecake filling. A good end to a pretty great meal, and another reason I'll be heading back to the IKEA canteen.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Today's Review: IKEA Meatballs

I love IKEA. Pretty much my whole place is furnished with IKEA, my walls lined with Kallax, Trofast and Billy. But since I only learned to drive a short while ago, we've made do over the years with saving our IKEA wishlist for a big online order. But no more, we took a trip last weekend, and as eager as I was to get my hands on some flat-pack, I was more interested in heading to the famous IKEA canteen. I had only heard tales of the meatballs that awaited me there, and I knew I had to experience them.

Many people I know have expressed disbelief that I have only just sampled the IKEA meatballs. Many of you will probably do the same, but here I am, a meatball virgin no more. I always wondered what was so special about these meatballs, I figured it was something in the meat, but it turns out it's what they put on top. Cream sauce and jam, as well as the mash on the side. An odd combination, I thought, but it must work if I've heard such high praise, and work it does. This dish is amazing. The meatballs are just great, simple yet effective, the same with the mash. But combined with that creamy, flavoursome sauce it all comes together very nicely. As for the jam, it's sort of like a cranberry sauce, adding a great sweet, fruity hint to the dish. Scooping a bit of everything up in one forkful gives an overall fantastic experience, these really are as good as everyone says. I'll be heading to IKEA a lot more often.

Also you can get two pieces of garlic bread for 50p. What more could you possibly want?

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Today's Review: Oreo Choc'o Brownie

We haven't seen a new Oreo flavour in a little while, so I was pretty eager to track these down when I heard of them. Thankfully I found them in Asda. These are the Choc'o Brownie Oreos, which were apparently the result of a new flavour poll. Why this won over such suggestions as apple cinnamon oatmeal, when there's already a chocolate flavour available, is beyond me. But hey, brownies make chocolate better, so I was hoping they'd be something special. 

Well, these are good, but I don't see how they're all that different from the regular chocolate Oreos. I guess they're a bit darker in taste, it's a smooth creme filling that has a certain hint of brownie about it, but it seems the difference isn't all that great. The darker chocolate flavour works well with the biscuit, it gives that overall dense taste experience, so this is a pretty good addition to the range. It's just a shame none of the more creative Oreos are hitting the shelves.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Today's Review: Weetabix On The Go Tropical

It's been three years now since I had a Weetabix On The Go drink. I seem to remember not liking the things, but looking back it seems I was fairly fond of them. I figured I'd give it another shot when I saw this tropical flavour, it seemed a weird enough combination that it might actually work. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't. If you think you know what a tropical flavoured Weetabix milk drink might taste like, guess what, you're right. It's sort of like Weetabix mushed up into milk, with tropical fruit juice poured on top. The tropical taste isn't exactly as strong as juice to be fair, but it does have that sickly artificial taste to it, and it really doesn't work well with the milk. I guess the Weetabix part is pretty okay, apparently I liked it with the other flavours, but the addition of tropical here seems to be where it all went wrong. I think I'll go back to the strawberry.

My rating: 1/5

Monday, 25 September 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Choco Biscuit Crunch

Another Big Taste flavour, hurrah! These gigantic bars have often been modelled after the big fat bars of Milka available across Europe, and this one is no exception. This looks to be the British version of the Choco-Swing, and it consists of a thick biscuit, covered with a vanilla cream, wrapped up in Dairy Milk chocolate. There's also another layer of chocolate thrown in for good measure.

Now, I was quite a fan of the Choco-Swing, but for some reason I didn't find this to be a thoroughly amazing bar. Perhaps in the last three years my taste buds have changed slightly, or perhaps there's just something different in the formula (apart from the change in chocolate of course). I just found the biscuit to be a bit too much, leaving the bar a little dry overall. This is by no means a bad bar though, as the dryness is soon alleviated by the smooth, creamy vanilla stuff on top, and the lovely chocolate around the outside. This is a big, thick bar, satisfying, though not perfectly so. It's nice to see Cadbury are still adding to this range, I look forward to seeing what comes next.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Today's Review: Graze Cocoa Vanilla Protein Bites

Graze has been around for a long while now. I keep getting tempted by those free box offers, until I realise I already had one like five years ago. I remember it having some tasty stuff, but I guess the Graze empire has grown substantially, because now they have a presence on the supermarket shelves. More snacks is never a bad thing, especially when they promise vanilla and cocoa oat squares like these ones. They're called Protein Bites, because it has extra protein chucked in there, amongst the oats and seeds.

I have to say, these are pretty small, but what more can you expect from a chocolate flapjack that's only 140 calories? Alright, it's not quite as unhealthy as a chocolate flapjack. It actually tastes pretty clean, not greasy at all, but it has enough flavour to make it a worthwhile sweet treat. The oats are quite tightly packed, with the seeds adding a bit of variety to the texture. The cocoa and vanilla are both easily identifiable, and add a certain creaminess to the mix. The squares are a little dry, but it doesn't become much of a problem because of their size. Not sure if that's entirely a good thing though. These are pretty good, great for a little snack, or for a small breakfast on the go. I'm tempted to get some more.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Today's Review: M&Ms Double Chocolate Cookies

The Mars cookie transformations continue. After the quite nice Bounty soft baked cookies, and the so-so Galaxy effort, I picked up these double chocolate cookies with M&Ms inside. Much like the Galaxy cookies, these ones are of the crunchy variety, but there's the element of double chocolate to help it along. I must say these are pretty good. The biscuit, while quite bland in the Galaxy offering, had a nice sweet chocolate flavour here. It may be a little on the dry side, but the M&Ms spread throughout provide enough creaminess to make them a pretty decent offering. Let's see if Mars have anything else to offer. Some Twix cookies may be pretty decent.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 22 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Root Vegetable Crisps With Sweet Chilli

Tesco are really expanding their fancy crisps, not only do they have sweet potato with salt & vinegar, they've also released these crisps from various root vegetables, flavoured with sweet chilli. I love spicy crisps, and also root vegetable ones, so I was expecting a lot from these, especially since they're crinkle cut, unleashing maximum potential for flavour.

These crisps are good quality, there's no denying it, these are some tasty vegetables in crisp form. Beetroot, parsnip, sweet potato, the natural flavours are there. Unfortunately, the sweet chilli is not so present. There's something of a lingering heat that builds up over time, but it's overpowered by the vegetables themselves, so on the whole these are pretty lacking in spice. I was hoping the crinkles would help, but the thing about root vegetable crisps is that they're pretty rolled up and small anyway, so the crinkles didn't do much to extend the surface area for flavouring. They're nice, but they're not much different from if they were just salted. A little bit of spice, but nothing to write home about.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Caramel Latte Cookies

Here's a quick little review of these caramel latte cookies I picked up at Tesco. I've often found coffee flavoured foods lacking somewhat in authenticity. Coffee powder does not a great coffee product make. But the promise of caramel latte was too good to pass up, and I'm glad I took the plunge. These are some great, crunchy cookies, with a smooth coffee flavour. It's helped along by a nice caramel undertone that takes the edge off the slight bitterness of the coffee, and the chocolate chips embedded throughout are a nice addition too. It's not the most authentic latte taste, but it's pretty close, it didn't take me long to polish these off at all. Like a latte, but contained in a cookie. A lot better than I was expecting.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Today's Review: Moon Pie Salted Caramel

I reviewed the Moon Pie almost two years ago now, and found it to be pretty bland and dry. I don't know who else shares my opinion, but apparently enough people like them for them to have been around for 100 years now. I'm not sure if this is a new flavour release to coincide with that anniversary, but I found myself a salted caramel Moon Pie, and I find it hard to turn down anything that promises salted caramel. 

I said in my previous review that one of the saving graces of the Moon Pie was the chocolate coating. But here we have a salted caramel flavoured coating, and it's not great. It seems to be devoid of saltiness, and the caramel part is just too sweet and artificial. There's no gooey caramel thrown in for good measure either, so the biscuit in the middle is as bland and dry as always. The marshmallow is on hand to add a little something nice, but overall this is one disappointing pie. 100 years of Moon Pies has culminated in this. I don't think I'll be buying any more.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Today's Review: Dr. Pepper Gummy Soda Bottles

Cola bottles. What a classic sweet. Available in pure gummy or sour form, and even extending to the cherry cola bottle. But what if I don't want a cola bottle? What if I'm more of a Dr. Pepper man? Thankfully my prayers were answered, but I had to pay import prices for it. Here's a bag of Dr. Pepper flavoured gummy bottles I picked up in a newsagent. 

Not much more I can do to describe these, they're like cola bottles, but they taste like Dr. Pepper. Well, that's the theory anyway. In practice it's not exactly flawless. There is a hint of that Dr. Pepper flavour, especially if you pop a few bottles in at the time, but it's short lived, and soon enough gives way to that bland, flavourless gummy taste. It's hard to tell if the actual Dr. Pepper flavour is authentic, and it doesn't hang around for too long.I suppose it's not bad, and reminiscent of the drink, but I can't help but feel disappointed. A bland bag of bottles, I'll go elsewhere for my Dr. Pepper fix.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 18 September 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Honeycomb Mini Rolls

I do like it when a limited edition Mini Roll hits the shelves, although they haven't all proved to be winners. Here we have a honeycomb flavour, but will it sit alongside the raspberry ripples or the blackcurrant bites? This Mini Roll contains a honeycomb flavour filling, and a "pale orange sponge". I mean, I would have just said it was orange, is there another one out there with dark orange?

Whenever I eat something flavoured like honeycomb, I'm always expecting some kind of crunch, you know, like a Crunchie. Sadly, there's none of that here, but I can't mark it down too much because that's just my unrealistic expectations. I can mark it down for its somewhat sickly filling though. It tastes a bit like honeycomb, sure, but it's a bit too overwhelming and not entirely authentic. The sponge is alright, doesn't really have an overall bearing on the flavour, but it's there. When all is said and done (or eaten and done), I'm just left with a sort of sickly sweet aftertaste that's reminiscent of honey. It's an alright experience while chowing down, but I won't rank it highly against other, more balanced Mini Rolls. The back of this pack says there's also a hazelnut variety out, so I guess my next mission is to hunt that down. Hopefully that will be nicer.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Crispy Thins With Chilli Cheese

Thin foods are all the rage at the moment. Crisps, biscuits, they're all getting thinner in the hopes to appeal to the healthy crowd. Mini Cheddars are also undergoing this transformation, although I was under the impression that Mini Cheddars were fairly thin to begin with. Still, these ones promised a bit of chilli cheese thrown in, so I was sold. I was just wondering exactly how thin these would be...

Well, there's your answer. I wouldn't say these are exactly slimmer, but clearly they've slimmed down a little, now they're nice and oval, svelte some may say. So yes, there's less Mini Cheddar for your bite, which I guess makes them slightly healthier calorie wise, but how do they taste? I must say, they're pretty great. The classic cheddar flavour is still present, but there's an extra layer of cheese on top, which packs a decent kick from a lovely hint of chilli. The combination of cheeses takes a little getting used to, but as I say, there's no such thing as too much cheese. This is a very decent flavour, I would say I wish they'd release it in regular Mini Cheddar form, but these really aren't much different. Slightly slimmer, slightly thinner, but still with good flavour.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Today's Review: Baxters Spicy Slaw

I do love a bit of coleslaw, and while I would normally pick it up from the fresh aisle, this jar of slaw amongst the sauces and pickles caught my eye. It's a spicy slaw in a jar, which forgoes the mayonnaise for vinegar, mustard seeds and chillies. I figured I'd give it a go to see if it would spice up my lunches, and I'm happy to say that it does. It's nor quite as satisfying as fresh coleslaw, but it's a very decent effort for a topping in a jar. The vegetables are nice and crunchy, and the heat is at a nice level. It could do with being a bit spicier, but there's enough to provide a mellow warmth through whatever you shovel this stuff on top of. It's great in sandwiches, wraps, pretty much anything I've forked it on so far. A very decent spicy slaw, and good for storing in your cupboard in case of a coleslaw emergency.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 15 September 2017

Today's Review: Jacobs Cracker Crisps Roast Beef, Red Wine & Shallot

I told myself I'd step back a little from the festive foods lining the shelves, if only because I've already tried most of them. So I'll wait a while for products to release (and hopefully go on offer) before I bombard you with Christmas fare, but these new Cracker Crisps could not escape my grasp. I mean, they're not specifically a Christmas flavour, although they're quite reminiscent of a meal you might sit down and eat in the winter months. Here we have the Cracker Crisp attempt at a beef flavour, although they've stepped it up a notch with the inclusion of red wine and shallot. Very fancy, but how does it convert to crisp form?

I have to say, for someone who doesn't generally like beef crisps, these are absolutely delicious. Munching through these I felt like Violet Beauregarde chewing on that dinner gum. These crisps taste just like a roast dinner! Not with all the trimmings, but with all the flavour of a well seasoned joint of beef. The meaty taste is ever present, but subtle enough to be pretty authentic, not like the overwhelming crisps you'd find in say a Walkers pack. The wine is on hand to add a dark, slightly sweet layer on top, which is nicely rounded off with a sweet kick of shallot, a slight oniony taste that pairs very well with all the other flavours. This is a pretty fantastic bag of Cracker Crisps, another one in the range that I highly recommend. I hope Jacobs bring more of these limited edition flavours out, they've all been pretty fantastic so far.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Today's Review: Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

I thought salted caramel was ubiquitous enough already, but apparently it won't stop until it's in all our foods. Here we have some salted caramel Kettle Chips. Yes, salted caramel crisps, with a bit of double cream thrown in for good measure. Now, these aren't the first sweet crisps to have hit the market, Tesco brought out a cocoa and spiced rum for Christmas last year. But these looked to be particularly sweet and decadent, and to be honest I couldn't wait to try them out.

I often bemoan the lack of salt in many salted caramel products, but the opposite is true here. I can understand why there's be a larger amount of salt, these are crisps after all, so they're pretty much like salted Kettle Chips, with some sweet flavours. The caramel is pretty authentic, a nice sweet kick, although it doesn't last too long and the salt soon wins out. As for the double cream, I can't say it was very noticeable. There's maybe a slight creaminess contained in the sweet flavouring, but it's easily mistaken for the caramel, and it's all so short lived it was hard to differentiate. These crisps are a decent, unique idea, and they're not as awful as they may sound. They're just quite imbalanced, and could do with being more sweet, as wrong as that sounds. Let's see if these pave the way for some more sweet crisp flavours in the future.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Sweet Potato Crisps With Sea Salt And Balsamic Vinegar

Sweet potatoes are just better than regular potatoes. There, I said it. I'll always swap chips for sweet potato fries, and although sweet potato crisps are generally a lot more expensive, I do love to shove a bag in my face. They're starting to become more common though, so hopefully the price will come down a little. Here's Tesco's latest offering, which is not only a bag of sweet potato crisps, but a salt and vinegar bag of sweet potato crisps. That's two of my favourite crisp types rolled into one.

One thing I really love about sweet potato crisps is that nice thick texture, that slightly greasy combination of crunchy and soft that's packed with that natural sweet potato flavour. Tesco don't disappoint here, these are some well formed crisps that pack a lovely crunch. The salt and vinegar flavouring is pretty great too, an authentic coating that has a nice caustic taste, it's pretty similar to the stuff they use on the regular Finest crisps. It is quite a bit more subdued due to the natural flavour of the crisps themselves, but thankfully enough shines through for this to be a very enjoyable bag. I hope more flavours are on the horizon for these crisps.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Today's Review: KFC Nashville Hot Burger

It's time for the third Southern Legends burger, around for two weeks only at KFC, it's the Nashville Hot. After being quite disappointed by the Alabama Cheese last time I was quite looking forward to this one, especially after the Nashville Hot chicken came out earlier this year. Unfortunately this burger has a piece of Original Recipe chicken instead of the revamped one, but it does come smothered in a Nashville hot sauce, as well as a helping of ranch sauce and pickles. 

I was hoping the chicken would make an appearance, so I was disappointed about the lack of smoky, flavoursome skin. Thankfully the sauce on top is pretty spicy, a nice big dollop that ramps up the heat while providing a smoky undertone. The ranch sauce was around to cool it down a little, but it wasn't overly noticeable over the hot sauce. The pickles are still a welcome addition to the burger, and although they go better with the Nashville coated chicken, they fare pretty well on top of a standard fillet. This is a fairly decent burger, an improvement on the last Southern Legends offering. Let's see what the last one has on offer.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 11 September 2017

Today's Review: Kit Kat Chunky New York Cheesecake

The Kit Kat Chunky has always been a fine chocolate bar, and its many flavours have never let me down, from one of the first readily available peanut butter chocolate bars in the UK, to the more recent amazing cookie dough variety. Now we have another dessert wrapped up in Kit Kat goodness, this time it's the turn of the cheesecake. Basically, it's like your regular Kit Kat Chunky, but with a whopping 19% cheesecake flavoured filling. I like those numbers.

We all know what a Kit Kat Chunky tastes like, and it's the same stuff here, that nice thick chocolate, the wonderful crispy wafer. The filling is different though, and it's pretty great. To start with, it's plentiful, a nice thick layer of creamy filling on top of the wafer that is present through every inch of the bar. It's got a lovely creamy texture, and a flavour that's pretty similar to cheesecake. Of course it's not as perfect as the fresh made stuff, but it does have that distinct cheesecake-like taste, it's hard to confuse it with any other kind of filling. It's sweet, with a hint of vanilla, but the wafer is there to bring it down a notch and balance it out. It's a little odd pairing the cheesecake filling with a wafer instead of a biscuit base, so the entire cheesecake experience isn't to be had here, but it's a pretty great effort at replicating cheesecake in chocolate bar form. I hope these ones stay around for a while, I see myself getting through a few of these.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Today's Review: Cielos Crunchy Olives

Olives are an acquired taste, I know, but I've grown to love them. One thing about olives, however, is that they're not overly viable as a portable snack. They either need to be fresh, or come in a jar filled with brine. But now we have these crunchy olives, which are perfect for snacking on the go. Sun-ripened and covered in a crunchy coating. Like those fancy peanuts, but with olives instead of peanuts.

So yeah, a sound idea, but unfortunately they're just really bland. The olives are so dried out they're like big, flavourless raisins, and what little hint of olive taste still remains is swamped by the dry crunchy coating, which is almost equally devoid of flavour. So if you were hoping for a lovely olive snack you can carry wherever you go, you'll still have to wait a while. These are thick, crunchy, dried up olives that are just a shadow of their former selves. 

My rating: 1/5

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Today's Review: Jelly Babies Snowmen

Now is the winter of our discontent. Well, the Christmas of many shoppers' discontent anyway. Yes, the Christmas products are lining the shelves, to the cacophonous chorus of "But it's only September!" At the moment they're only taking up around a quarter of the seasonal aisle at Tesco, so it's not particularly awful, and I don't mind about products coming out early, so I subsidised this madness by picking up a bag of these Jelly Babies in the shape of snowmen. Even though I don't like Jelly Babies.

These are Jelly Babies. But they look like snowmen. Also they only come in red and green, because they're the festive colours. So basically it's a glorified two tone bag of regular old strawberry and lime Jelly Babies. They still make me feel sick after a few, and this attempt at a festive bag is just disappointing. At least make up some new flavours or something. I guess pick these up if you're insistent on filling your snack bowls with purely festive shaped confectionery, but there are plenty more nice Christmas treats out there that you can grab. Like those Mr. Kipling cakes that... go out of date before December... Maybe it is a bit early.

My rating: 1/5