Thursday, 17 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Waffl-Icious Burger

Another burger review, I'll turn into a burger at this rate. But anyway, here's another unique burger from the Hungry Horse summer menu, after the interesting (and disappointing) experience of the pizza burger from the other day. This one also forgoes buns, instead opting for waffles, for that all American experience I suppose? I've had chicken and waffles before, and it can be a pretty great combination. This burger features a southern fried chicken breast, lettuce, bacon, burger sauce and maple syrup, sandwiched between two savoury waffles.

I was expecting great things from this, and while it was definitely something different, it's probably not something I'd try again. The chicken was pretty good, as was the bacon, but the burger sauce and maple syrup combination was a little odd. I got used to it after a while, and must admit it wasn't too bad, but it's not a pairing I'd have on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the waffles pose the biggest problem here, they're just really dry, they were literally crumbling as I made my way through the burger, and apparently "savoury" in this case means "devoid of flavour". A sweet waffled would have been better, but I guess anything would have been better really. This burger had promise, but failed to deliver again. By all means try it out for a unique experience, but don't expect it to be a good one.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Today's Review: KFC Texas Ranch Burger

It looks like KFC are going down the same road McDonald's have with the Great Tastes range. KFC's version is the Southern Legends tour, four burgers to be released over the next eight weeks, starting with this Texas Ranch. It consists of an original chicken fillet, Monterey Jack cheese, a hash brown, lettuce, deluxe BBQ sauce and ranch sauce.

I was pretty excited for the ranch sauce, because ranch is a pretty great dressing. Unfortunately it's not as good as I'd hoped. It's nice and creamy, sure, but it's not particularly packed with ranch flavour, especially with the BBQ sauce overwhelming it. The BBQ is good though, smoky and sticky, which works really well with the chicken and hash brown. I wonder what it would be like with just the ranch sauce present, but I fear that might be a little too bland. As for the rest of the burger, it's pretty much a Fillet Tower in a brioche bun. The main difference here is the sauces, and they're not pulled off particularly well. A perfectly edible burger, but I was expecting something a bit more unique to start off this promotion. Hopefully the others will step it up a notch.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Leaning Tower Burger

Pizzas for burger buns. It used to be the stuff of dreams, and then only the stuff of over the top internet food shows. But now you can experience the pizza bun at your local Hungry Horse. I would try to employ some fancy words to describe it, but just a look at the picture gives you all you need to know. It's a burger, but instead of buns, there are pizzas. Also it's topped with pepperoni, and it has bacon in it, just because.

I was looking forward to this as soon as I saw the menu, it's a dream come true, two fast food wonders combined in holy matrimony. But the reality wasn't particularly great. I know Hungry Horse isn't best known for its fine cuisine, but I figured they could put together a better quality burger than this. The beef patty tastes like one of those frozen Birdseye ones, while the "buns" are basically like the mini Chicago Town pizzas. It seems like I could probably pick up the same ingredients from the frozen aisle at Tesco and make my own burger for a fraction of the price. The pizzas weren't particularly well done (I like a somewhat crispy crust), and overall the marriage of pizza toppings and burger just isn't particularly fantastic, it's just like having a pizza with a big hunk of meat on top, except you're eating the whole thing with your hands. I appreciate the experimentation, and to be fair it's not a truly awful burger, it just seems cheaply put together, and just isn't all that tasty. 

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 14 August 2017

Today's Review: Sweetzone Pencil Jelly

It's time for another curiosity I picked up from the world food aisle in Asda. Here we have Pencil Jelly, which is jelly in pencil form. It's basically a cross between a jelly pot and a Frube, and these comes in an interesting variety of flavours, including blueberry, pineapple and lychee, alongside your regular strawberry and apple.

They're all wrapped up in a convenient tube, although accessing the stuff isn't particularly convenient. I tried ripping a small hole with my hands, but was met with a splash of un-set jelly stuff, and squeezing the stuff out was a bit of a pain, I feared the tube would burst at any moment. So I went for the scissors, and snipping the top off still yielded that liquid squirt, but it did facilitate getting the jelly out in one long, wobbly pencil. As for the flavours, they're alright. They taste fairly fruity, and some quite like the fruits they're emulating, but I wouldn't say they're much to write home about. The more exotic flavours are pulled off quite well, and I'd say that's a selling point for this pack, but don't break your neck fervently seeking these out.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Chocolate Zero Added Sugar

I've been avoiding this one for a while, I was pretty sure there'd be very little in the way of redeeming qualities for a no added sugar milkshake. But I finally took the plunge since they're 50p at the moment in Tesco. Yes, a no added sugar shake, which is pretty impressive, seeing as sugar is the second main ingredient in Frijj. Now in its place there are sweeteners, and for that sacrifice you get an astounding 19 less calories per 100ml. Doesn't sound like a great trade to me, but I guess I had to see how it tasted before I passed judgement.

Sugar does make a difference you know. I know it's bad for you, but it's also bloody delicious. That's what this shake is lacking, that certain sugary niceness, and although it's noticeable, I have to say it's not awful. Of course there's still the cocoa and buttermilk powder to help it along, but that lack of extra sugar makes it taste quite thinned out and watery. It's a pretty decent attempt at a no added sugar shake, and the chocolate flavour still holds up, but the change in flavour isn't quite worth the meagre saving in calories. A very average milkshake.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Today's Review: San Pellegrino Grapefruit

I do like a good old can of San Pellegrino, their lemon and orange flavours are fantastic, and I was pretty pleased when I saw this grapefruit offering the other day which I'd never encountered before. I wouldn't count grapefruit among my favourite fruits at all, it's too big and tart for my liking. But I was willing to see what the San Pellegrino treatment did to it, so I grabbed this and gulped it down. It's actually pretty refreshing, there's definitely a sharpness to it, but I'd put it on par with their lemonade, it doesn't overwhelm too much. The fruitiness is good, the high amount of grapefruit juice does wonders for the flavour. I still wouldn't say the taste of grapefruit is fantastic, but this can made for a nice refreshing, sparkling drink. I wouldn't choose this over the lemon and orange, but I'm glad I experienced it.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 11 August 2017

Today's Review: Polo Sugar Free Pots

I was recently sent these new handy little pots of Polos, they're like Polos, but they're in a pot. It's a simple innovation, but a pretty good one. I mean, I can't say I've ever had a regular pack of Polos hang around long enough to see if they become stale, but these resealable pots have got to be an improvement on wrapping the foil around the roll and forgetting it in a pocket. These pots both contain sugar free Polos, and they come in either regular or extra strong form.

These are the same size as the classic roll Polos, and there are approximately 44 of them in each pot, so that's a pretty decent offering. The pot is pretty sturdy, and easy to open and close, even with one hand, so they'd be pretty good for popping a mint in your mouth in the car. As for the taste, these are pretty good. Obviously they're sugar free, so they're not as good as the original ones, but there's enough mintiness in there to freshen up the breath. The extra strong ones are probably the best, they have more of that freshness, while the regular has something of a chemical taste to it. Still, it's nice to see Polos are now available in a handy pot form, I'll probably be keeping these in the car for easy access. You can grab a pot for around £1.49.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Berry Neighbourly

It's been a while since I've seen a new Ben & Jerry's flavour, so I almost missed this nestled among the others. But thankfully my keen eye spied it, a new exclusive variety for Tesco. Sofa So Good and Wholly Couch were some great additions, so could they make it a hat trick? Here we have Berry Neighbourly, which is an odd pun, but contains blueberry and cookie swirls in vanilla ice cream, with "white chunks". By this they mean white chocolate flavour chunks, and not white chocolate. But I wasn't going to dismiss them based on semantics, I had a tub of Ben & Jerry's to get through.

I'll start with the "white chunks", because although they're not technically chocolate, they're not bad. They're pretty plentiful, and are thick and relatively creamy. They're not the best quality, but they do remind me of the good old Baked Alaska polar bears. The blueberry and cookie swirls complement each other very nicely, a nice bold fruity swirl alongside some nice crunchy, crumbly cookie, similar in texture to a cheesecake base. Some of the swirls were quite clumped together, leaving other areas of the tub as more vanilla ice cream, but the white chunks still made it a good time. This isn't the perfect tub of ice cream, but the blueberry is authentic and makes for a great new addition to the Ben & Jerry's range. Well worth heading to Tesco for.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Double Indulgence

Just a quick review to round off the trifecta of these new Cadbury filled cookies. I've already tackled the chocolate and cookie centres, but here is the Double Indulgence, which is a chocolate cookie with a chocolate centre. The more chocolate the merrier, I thought, and it turns out I was right. These ones are pretty great, they feature the same great chocolate filling of the chocolate centre cookies, which is a significant improvement on the cookie centre. The cookie itself has that generous helping of chocolate chips, as well as a satisfying, crumbly chocolate biscuit. As with a lot of double (or triple) chocolate goods, it is a little on the sickly side after a while, but it's a pretty good chocolatey effort, and once these have been warmed up they make for a great gooey chocolate snack. Well worth picking up.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Smoked Applewood

I finally got round to trying the third "Choose Your Cheese" flavour of Mini Cheddars, and it seems I saved the worst for last. Here we have Smoked Applewood, in crisp form. So basically, it's like a smoked version of regular Mini Cheddars. The smokiness is there, and it's alright while it lasts, but it doesn't last long. Soon it just gives way to the regular old Mini Cheddar taste, which isn't bad, but it's disappointing for a flavour that's meant to be different. I'd try out one of the other new ones if you want something with a bit of variety.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 7 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Soft Cookie Centre

I rated the regular chocolate version of these Crunchy Melts yesterday, so I figured today I'd give the cookie centre ones a go. These are basically the same deal, a chocolate chip cookie with a gooey centre, but this time the centre consists of more cookie. Cookie in cookie, an odd combination, but I figured after heating them up there'd be enough goo to separate the two.

The cookies are good, much like the offering I reviewed yesterday. They're crumbly, and very generous with the chocolate chips embedded throughout. As for the centre, I can't say it's overly noticeable. It does get a little softer in the middle, but where I was hoping for more of a cookie dough flavour, it just seems to be a softer version of the same cookie. It does get better after heating them up, that soft centre gets nicely warm, and has more of that cookie dough feel in comparison to the still crumbly cookie. But the actual gooey part wasn't as large as I'd hoped, so this variety was pretty average compared to the chocolate filled ones. I'd stick with those ones if I were you.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Chocolate Centre

Cadbury are back with another product, and this time they're getting in on the filled cookie market. Here we have Crunchy Melts, cookies with a melty centre. "Even better warm!" the packaging screams. Yeah, I'll take that action. See, you can enjoy these as is, or you can blitz them for ten seconds at a time, and enjoy that hot gooey goodness. Not more than ten seconds though, because then you'll burn the roof of your mouth and ruin your day.

Being the in depth critic that I am, I had to try these both warm and not, and let me tell you, these are pretty good. The cookie is nice and crumbly, and actually has a decent amount of chocolate chips spread throughout, they could have easily skimped on them seeing as there's the chocolate centre. The stuff inside is somewhat gooey straight out of the packet, and while there could have been a bit more, I'd say there's a decent cookie:filling ratio. When microwaved, the chocolate centre does get pretty warm, and it's definitely better in its gooiest state. The cookie itself doesn't change all that much, just gets slightly warmer, though not particularly so around the outside. Still, it's a pretty decent cookie, with a nice creamy chocolate centre. I'll have to try out the other varieties to see if they're as decent as these.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Brownie Filled Cookies

Tesco have been shoving stuff in the middle of cookies for some time now, from chocolate to cheese frosting, and now it's time to give them the brownie treatment. Yes, these unassuming chocolate chip cookies have a hidden chocolate brownie centre, which sounded pretty good to me.

I was hoping I wouldn't be disappointed as I was with the red velvet cookies, and thankfully these are pretty good. The cookie is nice and soft, and the filling is pretty great, a soft, gooey chocolatey centre that definitely gives that brownie experience. It's perhaps not as plentiful as I'd have liked, but there's enough there to get a bit of brownie in every bite. These are well worth trying out, as filled cookies go these are some of the better ones I've tried. A good brownie centre in the middle of a pretty decent cookie. 

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 4 August 2017

Today's Review: The Emoji Movie Happy Meal Box

Now The Emoji Movie is on general release, everyone can experience the soulless cash grab for themselves. But it doesn't end there, because now you can head to McDonald's to pick up the latest Happy Meal toys based on the movie, accompanied by this Emoji Movie-themed box. I often have a look over the kids' Happy Meal boxes while they're eating, and there are normally a few fun activities to complete, or something nice to look at. Not this time though.

Did you know Happy Meal boxes come with a handy tab you can rip off to turn the base into a tray? It's pretty nifty, but has been around for long before this iteration of the box, so that's not a saving grace here. So there you can see the four sides of this box, half of which barely have anything to do with The Emoji Movie. Poor show. As for the other two sides, one just has a series of pictures of Emojis, and the other has a push out speech bubble. This is what constitutes the only activity on the box. You see, that handy tab contains two rows of Emojis that you can lot into that bubble, like so:

Now you can express yourself in a variety of ways, as long as you have one of five specific opinions about seven specific items. As you can see here, I have decided that frogs make me, uh, ready to dance? It's not particularly clear, and the selection of Emojis is meagre, so I can't see how this would keep anyone interested for more than a minute. It's the only thing to do on the box as well, so it's a pretty dire offering in terms of Happy Meals. It's totally devoid of any meaningful or fun content, but I guess at least that's in keeping with the movie itself. If only there were strips to say "The Emoji Movie makes me feel unmitigated despair". 

The toys are rubbish too.

My rating: 0/5

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Today's Review: Fixing An iPhone Screen At 10pm

I dropped my phone the other week, obviously in between protective glass covers, resulting in cracks all over my screen. Getting a replacement done was cheap enough, but instead I decided to order the parts and do it myself for half the price, because clearly I'm insane. But when I rolled in at 10pm this evening to find my new screen delivered, I took it upon myself to immediately perform surgery on an iPhone with slightly bleary, tired eyes.

All in all, it wasn't too bad. I had quite a problem with a couple of tough screws, so what could have been an hour's work turned into two, so here I am squeezing a review into the final moments of the day. While it was nerve wracking at times, it wasn't overly stressful, and I'll definitely consider self-performed phone surgery again. Probably not late at night though, I think it's better as more of a morning job. 

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Today's Review: Starbucks Caramel Popcorn Frappuccino

After trying out a few of Costa's summer frap offerings, I thought I'd give Starbucks a go, especially when I saw they were offering a caramel popcorn one. I mean, they could have just taken a regular caramel frap and popped some popcorn on top, but the sign assured me that the drink itself was buttery, and had bit of popcorn mixed up in it. So in I went.

Turns out this is just like a caramel frap with some popcorn on top. I'm sorry to say that I was very disappointed with this. There were a few popcorn pieces in the drink, but it wasn't particularly noticeable in the taste. I couldn't really taste the caramel sauce either, so this was sort of like an ice slushie with a slight hint of caramel and coffee. The topping was good, with a generous drizzle of sauce and some sizeable chunks of popcorn, I just wish it carried on throughout the rest. I'm hoping mine was made a bit wrong, because this wasn't a tasty drink, just a cup of disappointment.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Today's Review: Milkybar With Smarties

Here is a Milkybar. It has Smarties in it. Therefore, it is a Milkybar with Smarties. It's an amalgamation of two classic products, which is simple in design, and effective in execution. Here we have a classic, creamy bar of Milkybar white chocolate, with a very generous smattering of Smarties throughout. The combination of milk and white is pretty tasty, and there's a satisfying crunch from the shell of the Smarties. I guess this will be a short and sweet review, there's not much more I can say about it. Good chocolate, with good chocolate inside. This is a very tasty bar, a great little twist on a classic. 

My rating: 5/5

Monday, 31 July 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Red Leicester

So here's another one of the new Mini Cheddars "Choose Your Cheese" flavours. I tried out the stilton a little while back, and sadly I'm still on the hunt for the Smoked, but I'm a fan of Red Leicester, so I figured these will do nicely. Unfortunately I think I was spoiled by trying the stilton first, those had a realy distinct flavour, while these don't as much. There's a hint of something there, a certain creaminess, and a slight taste that is pretty Red Leicester-like, but all in all I can't say they're that much different from the regular Mini Cheddars. With a bit more flavouring these could have been great, but I have to say these are pretty mediocre. Nice, but not particularly Red Leicester. Let's hope the final flavour has more in store for me.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Today's Review: The Emoji Movie

It's happened. It's finally here. I think we've reached the bottom of the barrel, guys. It's The Emoji Movie, the movie based on emojis. I thought the Angry Birds movie would be the worst, but at least that game actually has a semblance of a plot that they scraped together into a semi-coherent story. This is a movie about little pictures on your phone. 

I remain convinced that there's nothing in the way of story that is worth talking about, but let's go ahead and see how far we get. You see, there's an emoji, who's meant to be a "meh", but does faces other than "meh", which gets him in trouble when the phone user tries to send a "meh" but sends something that is not a "meh". He is threatened with deletion, and then escapes from his text app into a world populated with... other apps. Apps like Facebook! Spotify! Candy Crush! Yes, with a paper thin semblance of plot, we're launched into what is basically a feature length ad for the wonders of smart phones. There are stupid characters, there are jokes that aren't funny, there's Patrick Stewart voicing a poo! Yes, this movie has it all, and it's all hopeless. 

There is no redeeming factor to this movie, it's such a painfully obvious cash grab that's attempting to be down with the kids, they forgot to put anything in it that actually resembles a movie. The performances are flat, the animation is so so, it's just a painful, drawn out mess of a film, and I don't know why I'm still writing about it. How many more ways can I say it's bad? Did I even need to say it? Just look at it, it's a movie about emojis! Don't even go and watch it because you're curious about how bad it could be. It's bad. I got free tickets, and I still feel like I took a bullet for you guys. Just don't see it, don't indulge them. This cannot be the future of cinema.

My rating: 💩/5

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Red Velvet Ice Cream

What with being caught up in all the Ben & Jerry's and Haägen Dazs flavours over the years, I seem to have neglected the less premium ice creams, and Tesco have come up with some interesting concoctions. This one especially caught my eye, a red velvet ice cream. It consists of pink and white cheese flavoured ice cream, a cream cheese sauce swirl and pieces of red velvet cake.

Sounded pretty cheesy to me, but in reality it's not particularly so. The ice cream has a sort of moussey texture, which isn't too bad, just different I guess. It's still nice and creamy, it's just the flavouring isn't quite there. The cream cheese sauce goes some way towards it though. As for the cake pieces, they're plentiful, and they're pretty nice and soft. It's not the best quality red velvet, but it does a decent job of saving a pretty bland ice cream. All in all, this isn't fantastic, but it's definitely a different flavour of ice cream that pulled off fairly well.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, 28 July 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Stilton

Mini Cheddars are great and all, but what about those other cheeses? I know cheddar is a classic, a nice mellow cheese that can be the base for many foods, but it's nice to have something different from time to time. Well, Jacob's have brought out three new varieties of Mini Cheddars, each based on a different cheese. There's applewood, red Leicester, and this stilton flavour. I'm a big fan of the blue cheese, so I snatched these up as soon as I found them.

Stilton has a pretty bold and identifiable taste, and it's pretty well replicated here. A pretty creamy and intense flavour that contains some great hints of blue cheese, and that works very well with the crisps. It fades a little over time and goes back to a more generic cheese, but that initial hit is really good, and this is a variety of Mini Cheddars I'm sure I'll be getting more of in the future.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Today's Review: Haribo Tangfastics Stixx

Just a quick little review of this interesting sweet I picked up in Poundstretcher. It's a combination between Tangfastics and a cable, which sounded like a pretty good amalgamation. Looks like it only came in an orange flavour, and it's pretty good. The outer layer is nice and fizzy, pretty much like a big elongated Tangfastic. The inside is a pretty generous orange flavour creme, which is creamy enough, but the orange flavouring means it's a little on the sickly side. Perhaps with a more traditional white filling I'd be more on board with this. It's good though, and I'd like to see it available in other colours. Like red and purple. Mmm.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Today's Review: Maryland Thins Salted Caramel

Thin biscuits are the new in thing. Just think about it, if you halve the thickness of the biscuit, you get half the calories, which means you can eat twice as much! Anyway, we have seen skinny versions of Oreos and Digestives, so now it's the turn of the cookie, and Maryland is leading the brigade with these Thins. I saw them in chocolate chip and this salted caramel variety, and of course I grabbed the latter, because caramel.

These were a bit odd at first, I must admit. You see, Oreos and Digestives have a pretty regular consistency. I know a Digestive can be a bit crumbly, but both of those transformed into a thinner version while still preserving the same texture and taste. These cookies don't handle it quite as well. You see, Marylands are pretty crumbly, while these thin ones are a bit more solid, and more brittle than crumbly. It's not a massive issue, it's just something I had to get used to while eating. They still taste like Marylands, there's just a different texture to them. The caramel pieces are pretty good, I could actually taste the salt unlike other "salted caramel" products I've tried. There are chocolate chips too, which round it all off pretty nicely with a nice hint of creaminess. Overall, it's a pretty good biscuit. A bit of a change from your classic Marylands, but a good job at a lighter snack. I'll most likely pick up the other flavour in the future.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Today's Review: Asda Dessert Flavour Collection

Asda are really on board with the dessert confectionery lately. I've tried the cables, and now I've moved on to the boiled sweets. This one features the return of the lemon meringue, but also includes toffee apple and black forest. I figured they were more winter desserts, but hey, any dessert is good for me. 

I thought these would be your run of the mill flavoured boiled sweets, but I was wrong. The lemon meringue is probably the most regular of all of these, it's a nice tart sweet, and inside there's a somewhat creamy tasting filling, and combined the two parts do bear a resemblance to lemon meringue, it's pretty nice. The toffee apple is interesting, with a sweet, and slightly spiced apple outer that melts away to a chewy toffee centre. The combination of apple, cinnamon and toffee is pretty nice, but it's a little heavy on the spice, and the boiled sweet/toffee combo takes a bit of getting used to.

That's nothing compared to the black forest though. What starts out as a cherry sweet quickly turns far more odd, at its centre lies dark chocolate. It's like a mix between a glacier fruit and a chocolate eclair, and I really don't know how I feel about it. At first I was disgusted at the very idea of it, but as I ate a few more it grew on me, the flavours work quite well together. That doesn't mean I'm a fan now, it's a very acquired taste and I won't be desperate to grab another bag of these. This bag of sweets has some interesting ideas which aren't too badly executed, worth trying if you want something different, but not a classic.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 24 July 2017

Today's Review: Pot Pasta Carbonara

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, Pot Noodles are a national institution. The ultimate in quick fix lunch options (and maybe dinner?), Pot Noodles vary in sizes, spiciness and flavours, but one thing remains consistent, and that's their... noodliness. But no more, because now you can go for slightly finer dining with the Pot Pasta. It's like a Pot Noodle, but instead of noodles, it's pasta. These come in a few interesting varieties, emulating classic pasta dishes. There's broccoli, bolognese, and this carbonara flavour, which is the one I picked up for my lonely Monday night dinner.

I can't say I eat a lot of Pot Noodles, so I was a little disappointed with how little stuff there was inside this pot. It did expand once I filled it up with water, so maybe I was just being picky. But that's not the only thing that disappointed me. The sauce is the main thing, it's not so much creamy as it is watery, making the whole thing a lot more sloppy than I was anticipating. I know I did it right, because there's a line to fill the water to. I know I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure I can prepare a pot of pasta. Thankfully, it's not all bad, it's cheesy enough, and while the ham isn't particularly well represented, there's a little meatiness to be had here. The pasta itself is a welcome change from the "classic" noodles, but while it's filling, it's not particularly great quality. 

The carbonara Pot Pasta is not for me. I suppose it's a nice enough change from a Pot Noodle, but I don't think that's really saying much. Maybe I'll try out the bolognese flavour next time, but this one is just not great. A creamier sauce may have saved it a little, but I'm not on board with a watery pasta pot.

My rating: 2/5

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Today's Review: McVitie's Digestives Banoffee Caramel

The banoffee trend is going strong, now it's even in our biscuits! There are two new varieties of Caramel Digestives, one with coffee, and this banoffee version. Of the two, this one tickled my fancy the most. The regular caramel ones are pretty great, all they had to do was add a bit of banana. I picked these up in Sainsbury's for the sweet sweet price of £1.

I wasn't expecting these to be too great, I think I've been burned by dodgy banoffee before. But actually, these are pretty good. The banana isn't the most natural I've tasted, but there's a definite hint throughout, a nice added sweetness that works pretty well with the caramel. It's a chewy biscuit, a little too much for my liking, but the flavouring is good, and it was pretty hard to stop eating these once I started. This is a very decent spin on the classic Caramel Digestives, I'll be hunting down the coffee ones when I get the chance.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Today's Review: VIP Nuts Hot Toffee

There are a few interesting items lining the world food aisle at Asda, most of them originating from far off countries. This one is a little out of place then, having entirely English packaging, and from a company that originated in London. Still, it's still a pretty out there snack, these are caramelised peanuts with a hint of chilli. Hot toffee, see? I'm all for a spicy peanut, but I was interested to see what the toffee element would bring to the table.

These are pretty hot peanuts. I'm used to being underwhelmed by the amount of spice put into snacks nowadays, but these pack a pretty decent punch. They won't blow your head off by any means, but I was pleasantly surprised. The caramel is done well too, a nice crunchy coating that provides a lovely sweetness which takes the edge off the spice. They're equally spicy and sweet, and it's an interesting attempt at flavour combination that works very well. Some damn good peanuts, I'll be sure to pick some more up next time I'm perusing this aisle.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 21 July 2017

Today's Review: Pringles Mac & Cheese

There are a few new flavours of Pringles out, under a "street food" banner. There are some pretty interesting additions, but this is the one that intrigued me the most, macaroni cheese Pringles. Cheese crisps is a standard, I know, but I wondered how they were going to emulate the macaroni in potato chip form. I know, macaroni and potatoes, doubling up on carbs isn't great, but I went for it anyway.

These don't really taste like macaroni, but they do taste like cheese. There's a little hint of something else, but I can't say I liken it to pasta. These are good cheese Pringles, so I'll give them that much, but it seems the inclusion of the "mac" is a bit of a novelty that isn't executed particularly well. Hopefully some of the other street food flavours will be a bit more authentic, but this is a pretty average effort.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Today's Review: Asda Chocolate Curls

It's been a long time since Cadbury Snaps lined our shelves, and they're still sorely missed in my household. They were fantastic crisp shaped chocolates, and it was incredibly easy to polish off a whole pack in one. When they disappeared they left a Pringle shaped hole in my heart, so imagine my joy when I saw that familiar design on this box of Curls at Asda. Could they replicate that long lost greatness?

There are a fair amount of Curls in this box, but even so, they didn't last long. These are good, a lovely creamy chocolate in a nice thick shape, studded with crispy rice pieces that gives each one a nice crunch. They're delicious and moreish, I found myself popping them in my mouth one after the other, and they brought me back to the days that I'd do the same with the Cadbury version. As far as I know, these are as good as Snaps, so grab a box of Curls if you want to relive that chocolate crisp experience, or if you just want to experience it for the first time.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Today's Review: Asda Dessert Flavour Cables

Summer is here, and summer means desserts, apparently. I mean, I'll have dessert any time of the year, but I guess it's easier to get hold of the fruit required for these summer desserts in warmer climes. So here we have a bag featuring a variety of four different fruity dessert cables. We have lemon meringue, rhubarb & custard, apple pie and blackcurrant pie. I love me a good cable, so I snatched these up as soon as I saw them.

Let's go through these one by one then. I started with the lemon meringue, and my word, they are amazing. A sharp, sweet, lemon flavour, with a definite hint of meringue, which is only accentuated by the creamy innards, which emulate the texture of the meringue as well as the flavour. Pretty perfect in my eyes. The rhubarb and custard are good too, both elements well represented, and although it's not perfect, it's definitely an interesting flavour to have in cable form, different but pretty great. 

As for the other two, I feared they were going to be a bit of a cop out, and it turns out they're nothing too special. Adding "pie" on the end doesn't change the fact that these just taste like apple and blackcurrant, not much pie to had at all. They're not bad, just disappointing where the other two flavours did such a good job at emulating their desserts. Maybe if they swapped the blackcurrant pie for an Eton mess or something, these would rank more highly with me. Hell, I'd just take a whole bag of the lemon meringue. But as they are, they're just above average.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Today's Review: McVitie's Digestives Orange Nibbles

Here's a quick review of this new variety of those good old share bag Digestives bits. Nibbles have been around for a while now, and are pretty fantastic, so I was expecting great things from an orange flavour. Each nibble has that nice creamy chocolate layer, and underneath is the orange flavoured biscuit. Well, they say it's orange flavoured, but I can't say it was all that detectable a lot of the time. A slight hint of orange would come up, but it was quickly taken over by the taste of the Digestive itself, and I can't help but feel disappointed. I was expecting a nice fruity hit, but it's a lacklustre effort. I'd stick with the other flavours, at least they do what they say on the bag.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 17 July 2017

Today's Review: Butterfinger Cups Coconut

I spied these Butterfinger Cups sitting on an end shelf at Asda, and was instantly filled with ambivalence. My joy at seeing the Butterfinger logo was instantly diminished by the fact that they're filled with coconut, and not peanut butter. I didn't know what to think, but since this was entirely new to me, in the trolley they went. I spent the rest of my shopping trip in a state of disappointment over the lack of peanut butter, but also weighing up the possibilities of what was to come...

Butterfingers are one of my favourite bars, fantastic peanut buttery goodness that transfers very well to chocolate cup form. But I needn't have worried about how the transition to coconut would go, these things are bloody delicious. The chocolate outer layer is smooth and creamy, and satisfyingly thick. The filling is just divine, a great mixture of coconut flavoured cream, with shreds of desiccated coconut throughout to give a nice texture. I guess I'd say it's like a Bounty, but the innards are far creamier, and to me that's only a good thing. I've grown to love coconut over the years, and these cups are a fantastic use of the flavour, and well worth seeking out.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Today's Review: Doritos Roulette With Tabasco

Doritos Roulette came out a couple of years ago now, and the spicy ones packed a pretty decent punch. I was quite keen of them, despite the rest of the bag being filled with boring old cheese. Apparently my love of spicy stuff doesn't extend to the rest of the populace though. Now, this year, the Roulette has undergone a re-branding, in partnership with Tabasco sauce. Now, I like a bit of hot sauce, and I know that Tabasco doesn't exactly blow the socks off, but the bag is still touting the "ultra spicy" warning, so I was eager to see how these stood up to the original bag.

The only thing I got from this bag was a slight tingle on the tongue. At first it was even hard to distinguish between the cheese and Tabasco chips, it's only after a fair few that that warm feeling crept in. It's not intense, it's not even that spicy. These chips are a downgrade, and a disappointment. I'm guessing they toned them down to avoid any further bad press, but I know I won't be picking up a bag of these again. Even the Chilli Heatwave are spicier than the few Tabasco chips thrown in here. This is one low stakes roulette.

My rating: 1/5

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Finest Soured Cream & Peppercorn Trio Crisps

I do love a bag of Tesco Finest crisps, and they're always one to pull some interesting flavours out of the bag (I'm looking at you, rum and cocoa). This new limited edition is pretty unique, and it caught my eye instantly, seeing as I love a bit of peppercorn, mostly in sauce form, on a steak. So here we have a trio of peppercorn colours, along with sour cream, in a bag of crisps. After all, you can't go wrong with a bit of sour cream.

Sounded pretty good to me, and they are, like really good. It's a great combination, with the smooth sweetness of the sour cream, coupled with a lovely peppery hit, and both elements work together wonderfully. They're creamy, with a slight spice, and the pepper is ever present, blending in very well, it doesn't let up or trail off, this is a consistently delicious bag of crisps. A pretty unique flavour that pretty much tastes like it says on the bag. It's a shame this is a limited edition, I would have liked it to stick around.

My rating: 5/5

Friday, 14 July 2017

Today's Review: Fox's Cookie Minis

It looks like the next big thing is sharing bags of biscuits, and that's not a bad thing at all. Maryland have already brought out their bite-size bags, and now Fox's have followed suit. There are a couple of varieties available at Tesco, and to start with I went for these classic chocolate chip cookies. They come in a nice zip-locked bag too, but with that comes a bizarre set of demands, apparently I need to share and reseal these? One of those alone is a challenge enough.

These are some tiny little cookies. I would have taken a picture, but apparently I was too busy shoving them in my face, and no, I neither shared nor resealed... I guess you can probably tell from those clues that these are delicious. Tiny, buttery, crumbly cookies embedded with a generous amount of chocolate chips. They're sweet, plentiful, and easy to scoff by the mouthful. This bag did not last long at all, and despite my gluttony, I still felt less guilty than I would eating an entire regular packet of cookies. A great bag of fantastic cookies, be on the lookout for them.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Today's Review: Red Bull Summer Edition

I don't often go for the cans of Red Bull. I know it's good stuff, but Monster is significantly cheaper by volume, and it does the job of perking me up to my satisfaction. One thing I can't resist, however, is a new flavour of Red Bull, so I was suitably excited when I spied this green can across the aisle at Morrisons. It's a "summer" flavour, which equates to kiwi & apple, because they're the go to flavours for summer-themed, green-coloured drinks.

I don't rate kiwi fruits. I don't find them entirely awful, but I think there's nicer stuff out there. I don't understand why so many people are putting it in drinks, but I have to admit it gives a sharp, tropical edge to what could have otherwise been a bland flavour. Having apple as the main flavour provides a sweet, crisp base, on top of which there's a certain tartness that the kiwi provides. It's not too much, so I was pretty fond of this, it's like an apple energy drink with a little twist. It's refreshing, and underneath it all is that classic Red Bull formula for perkiness, it's just a great little drink. More summery tasting than the original, so snatch it up while we're in the season.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Today's Review: Oasis Apple Cherry Sour

Two new Oasis flavours, now that's something I can get on board with. They're going for something different this time, these new varieties are sour and feature fruity combos. There's apple & kiwi, as well as this apple & cherry. I mean, I would have taken those flavours as they were, but the sour element sounded interesting enough. Also, they're pretty low calorie, so that's a bonus, only 20 calories per bottle. But would that affect the taste?

This is a pretty nice Oasis, the cherry is a nice new addition that gives a nice dark, juicy flavour, which combines pretty well with the apple. It's definitely a sour drink, but I think it might have been better as a regular one. It's pretty satisfying at first, but that tingle on the taste buds soon gives way to something of a chemical taste, it takes away from the refreshing nature of the fruit juice, although I can still taste both elements hanging around in the after taste, so it doesn't ruin it completely. This could have been a pretty amazing bottle, but the sweeteners and the attempt to make it sour drag it down to a pretty mediocre. Worth a try for something different, but I don't see it being added to the permanent lineup.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Today's Review: Dunkin' Donuts Red Apple

It's time to write about another one of the trio of summer donuts gracing the Dunkin' Donuts menu. Here we have perhaps the more run of the mill of the three, in the form of red apple. Look at that glorious glob of red frosting, with a cheeky little green leaf thrown in for good measure. Inside is a generous helping of apple filling. So that just about covers the red and the apple.

You know, this seemed like the most average of the three new varieties, and it seems my suspicions were right. The apple filling is alright, a little too much on the sweet side, but it's a pretty good helping that's saucy with some nice fruit pieces thrown in. Frosting is always a good addition to increase the sweetness, but this is a bit much, that lump of red stuff is pretty sickly and dominates the flavour, so overall this is pretty okay, a nice bit of apple but too sweet for my liking. I'd rather go for the apple cinnamon.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, 10 July 2017

Today's Review Tiger Strawberry Boiled Sweets

Whilst casually glancing at the confectionery near the till at Tiger, I spotted an old but familiar pattern emblazoned on a small packet of sweets. Immediately my mind was transported to years long past, where I'd take the wonderful strawberries and cream Campino for granted, before they disappeared forever for an unknown reason. I've been searching for an alternative for a long time, and this was a glimmer of hope that I immediately snatched up. So, how are they?

Memories came flooding back as soon as I popped one of these in my mouth. An instant hit of strawberries and cream, a sweet and creamy texture, this is what I had been looking for, and it was amazing. Unfortunately, it didn't stay pure for long. The flavour carries on, yes, but there's something else that crept in as I sucked the sweet. It's something of a fresh taste, almost minty but not quite, and it stopped these from being the perfect sweet I'd imagined. It's not a deal breaker by any means, the base flavour is still the closest thing to Campino I've found, so I'll be popping back in to pick up more of these. If you're pining for lost sweets as much as I am, I recommend you check these out.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Today's Review: Fanta Madness

Fanta Madness! Madness, I say! Yes, it's time for another obscurely named foreign Fanta with a mystery flavour. I picked it up from a new deli that's opened up near me. Turns out this one is "red grapes", which is fine by me, I'm a fan of the American grape Fanta, and this was a big old bottle for slightly higher than the price of a can of the US stuff.

Yeah, it's been a while since I've had grape Fanta, but I'm pretty sure this is exactly the same. It has that distinctive grape soda taste, which I'd pretty much describe as "purple". It's dark, very sweet, and only slightly tasting like real grapes. I'm sure for some it would be too much, and I admit it does get a bit sickly after a while. But I like the flavour, it's one of those sweet generic confectionery tastes, like "bubblegum", it's good for a guilty pleasure. So pick up a bottle of Madness, you might be pleasantly surprised. Grape Fanta is good Fanta.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Today's Review: Dunkin' Donuts Pear Woodruff

Summer donuts are here! Well, any time of the year is donut time as far as I'm concerned, but these ones are fruity flavoured, so I guess that fits the bill. There's a trio of new varieties out, but this one seemed the most interesting, it's a Pear Woodruff, I mean, I had no idea what Woodruff was, but apparently it's a very sweet herb, so there we go. If only I had some natural Woodruff to compare it to, but unfortunately my herb garden is lacking.

The pear comes in the form of the filling, and it's an interesting change. I've had a few with apple filling from Dunkin', so it's similar, fruit chunks in a juicy syrup, but the pear twist is pretty nice, with a pretty bold flavour that works well with that great soft dough. The Woodruff seems to be present in the frosting, and there's a lot on top, which is a bit of a shame because it's pretty sweet and overwhelming. It detracts from the pear a bit too much rather than complementing it, but there's enough there to make this pretty fresh, and it's a good sweet tasting donut. I think there just needs to be more balance. Now to try out the other fruity offerings.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 7 July 2017

Today's Review: Forgetting To Write A Review And Then Going To A Beer Festival

I probably had about an hour or two between work and going out tonight, but apparently I neglected to scrawl a quick review to stick to my self-imposed review per day. Now I find myself minutes from midnight, with a fair amount of cider coursing through my system, attempting to put together something to publish, I've used the Backspace key more than I'd like to admit, but I hope this is coherent enough to make some sort of sense. The main message to take from this is that reviews are fairly hard to write while quite drunk, and I'm sure I'll return in my hungover state to attempt to correct any typos I've made while hastily scrawling out this nonsense stream of consciousness. Don't drink and write, guys, it's not efficient at all.

My rating: 1/5

Well, two typos, I suppose that's not too bad.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Eton Mess Bakewell Tarts

Oh yes, Mr. Kipling has a lot of summer flavours up his sleeve, so here's a little review of these Eton mess Bakewell tarts I picked up from Poundland. Eton mess seems to be a hot topic these days, so it's no surprise to see it attempted in cake form. Basically, these are Bakewell tarts, with plum & raspberry jam, vanilla sponge, pink icing and meringue pieces.

That's right, plum & raspberry jam, no strawberries to be found, which is the traditional Eton mess fruit. Also, there's no hint of cream in there, so it seems the only proper Eton mess ingredient is the meringue on top, so that's a little disappointing. Not that these are awful, they're some sweet cakes that are tasty enough, but in terms of emulating an Eton mess, I can't say they do a good job. The jam is fruity enough, but is drowned out by the sponge and the icing, and the meringue isn't quite plentiful enough to make an impact. I'm underwhelmed really, there could have been some creamy goodness put into these, but they're just some lacklustre tarts with a fancy name tacked on.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Today's Review: M&Ms Peanut & Hazelnut

Caramel M&Ms are taking their sweet time coming over here, but while we wait we have this new variety to tuck into. Well, half a new one anyway. This bag contains your regular peanut M&Ms, alongside some hazelnut ones. Chocolate coated hazelnuts are by no means a new thing, but let's see how the M&M treatment works out for them.

Unlike the difference between peanut and chocolate M&Ms, there's no particular way to discern peanut from hazelnut in this bag, so my taste buds were a little confused at first, trying to identify the nut amidst the chocolate coating. But, after a while, I figured it out, and there was some pretty good hazelnut nestled beneath. There's not too much to say really, nice hazelnuts covered in that awesome M&M chocolate. Nutty, chocolatey goodness. It's just a shame that they're blended in with the peanut, because it's hard to single out the flavour and enjoy them to the full. I understand it would probably be more expensive to bring out just a bag of hazelnut, but I feel that's what they need to get my full appreciation.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Today's Review: Co-Op Rhubarb & Custard Milk

Rhubarb & custard milk, why not? I heard about this a while ago, but it's taken me a while, and a few Co-Ops to actually find some. Either not many branches were taking the risk of stocking this, or it was so popular it was sold out everywhere I went. I'll probably go with the former. So yeah, milk flavoured like those classic sweets. I had faith it could work, they put everything into milkshakes these days.

You know what, I was expecting this to be some kind of awful, but I ended up quite fond of it. It's a bit of an odd taste at first, a nice hint of that classic rhubarb & custard flavour, but with an undertone of milkiness. It's very creamy and sweet, but as I drank more the taste grew on me. Definitely too much to drink in one go, but pretty tasty overall. I feel this would have suffered more as a thicker shake, but despite the lightness of the milk itself it does get a little sickly. Still, a unique twist on flavoured milk, and worth grabbing if you can find a carton.

My rating: 4/5

Monday, 3 July 2017

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Strawberry Cheesecake Whirls

Summer may be as good as over as far as the weather is concerned, but we can still carry on the spirit with Mr. Kipling, who have brought out a load of summer based cakes for us to have on our waterlogged picnics. Here we have Strawberry Cheesecake Whirls, a twist on the classic Vienesse, because it's got strawberry cheesecake stuff in it, innit. Instead of raspberry jam, there's strawberry, and instead of the buttercream, there's a "cheesecake flavour filling".

That "cheesecake flavour filling" doesn't sound particularly authentic, and it's not. Sweet and creamy, yes, but I wouldn't say it tastes a whole lot like cheesecake. There are hints of it in there, but it''s sort of drowned out by everything else. The strawberry jam is good enough, a nice fruity hit that's sweet and noticeable. There's just a little bit too much of the whirl itself, and it overpowers the cheesecake element to the point where I couldn't find these very enjoyable. The fillings work somewhat well together, but the cheesecake could use some work. A pretty mediocre twist on a classic cake.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Today's Review: Fruit Salad Bunch Of Bon Bons

Bon bons, and Fruit Salad, together? My little mind was blown upon picking up this bag. I'm always up for classic sweets being reworked, Squashies are great, for example. But it seems these guys aren't content at just making Fruit Salad bon bons, there are also strawberry and lemon ones chucked in the bag too.

I wish they'd have stuck with the one flavour. The strawberry and lemon are just not particularly great compared to others I've tried. The Fruit Salad bon bons are great, they taste just like the classic sweets, and that pineapple and raspberry really shines through in this bag. Unfortunately, despite tasting good, these are not some good quality bon bons. They're barely chewy, quickly giving way to a somewhat powdery, very sweet mush that just seems to be pure sugar. It's been a day since I ate these, and my teeth still hurt. I have sensitive teeth, I know, but I could almost feel them rotting away as I made my way through the bag. Soft, yes, chewy, not so much. They taste okay, but despite the Fruit Salad flavour being good, the others are just not great. I don't think I'll pick these up again.

My rating 2/5

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Today's Review: Mars Choc Brownie

I often wander into Poundland looking for new treats to devour, but a lot of the time the shelves are lined with the same old stuff. If you experience the same, I'd advise to not lose hope, and be vigilant on the way to the till, because it seems that's where they pile all the new stuff in my branch. Take this pack of Mars bars, for example, there were boxes of them stacked nonchalantly in the middle of the queue, I would have walked straight past them if my keen snack detecting eye hadn't been activated. So yeah, chocolate brownie Mars bars, I mean, I can't resist a regular Mars, let alone one that promises brownie too. It seems the title is a little misleading though. I was imagining some form of brownie layer atop the nougat, but it turns out this is just an overall chocolatey Mars, similar to the extra chocolate one that came out a while back. This one differs in that the caramel is "dark", so I was interested to see how this panned out.

The chocolate nougat is great, I can't deny it. Apparently I wasn't a fan of it when the Xtra Choc bar came out, but despite it indeed being somewhat sickly, it's an overall great chocolate experience. The caramel is definitely dark, and is a bit much when taken on its own, but when blended with the nougat, it does create something of a brownie experience. Obviously nowhere near as good as the real thing, and the difference in texture between actual brownie and brownie Mars sort of detracts from the experience, but this is still one very tasty bar. Sickly, yes, unhealthy, yes, but also delicious.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 30 June 2017

Today's Review: Tango Cherry Liquid Ice

I reviewed the orange variety of these Liquid Ice lollies a while back, and was unaware that these came in a different flavour. I can't say I was overly impressed, although they weren't bad. I'll say that these cherry ones are a lot better, but I may be biased seeing as I'm always a fan of the darker colours. These are cherry flavoured ice lollies, which have a pretty bold, juicy flavour. That regular lolly soon gives way to the centre though, which very much does fit the term "liquid ice". It's frozen, but also fairly soft and almost runny, it's a great cold, refreshing filling that packs a lot of tang and adds even more flavour. My major gripe is that the filling only lasts halfway down the lolly, but otherwise this is a great effort, and much better than the orange in my eyes. Tango has made a hit for the frozen aisle.

My rating: 4/5