Monday, 17 June 2013
I couldn't resist ordering these Passionfruit Kit Kats from Oyatsu Cafe. They're a new edition for Summer 2013 and are very similar in packaging, style and size, to the Matcha Green Tea Kit Kat that I reviewed recently here.
The vibrantly coloured package comes with 12 mini Kit Kat inside. They are all covered in a passionfruit flavoured white chocolate, with extra layers of passionfruit cream between the wafers. The scent is extremely fruity and creamy.
I was quite surprised to find that the chocolate has a slightly gritty texture to it, I was expecting it to much smoother. The flavour is not just a vague "tropical" fruitiness but is most definitely a passionfruit flavour. It's slightly tart and strong, and very different to a sweeter mango or pineapple. For me, the milkiness of the white chocolate and the passionfruit flavour seemed slightly at odds with each other. A darker chocolate or milk chocolate may have worked better, as I think a stronger cocoa taste would help to balance the flavours. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the Passionfruit Kit Kat but it was more of a novelty flavour than a delicious one.
Oyatsu Cafe have offered my readers 15% discount on all orders, simply use the following discount code at the checkout: GROCERYGEMS. This is available for all orders internationally and with no limits. See HERE for more details.
Grocery Gems Verdict: Passionfruit Kit Kat
RATING: 6.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Not for now, but they're worth a try.
Nutrition: 67 calories (per mini Kit Kat).
Purchased: Available from Oyatsu Cafe.
Price: $6.99 (approx. £4.33).
Sunday, 16 June 2013
A quick review for the Marks & Spencer Banoffee Cake which is part of their new Great British Summer range. It's a slightly safer choice from the range compared to the Fish & Chips flavoured crisps I reviewed recently (see here).
This Banoffee cake is very moist, with a thin layer of toffee sauce separating the tiers. The lightly spiced moist sponge is reminiscent of a traditional carrot cake - without any of the "bits". The toffee layer and rich butter cream topping are both extremely sweet and well suited to the light sponge. The banana flavour is quite subtle, a bit like you would find in a banana bread, rather than an artificial flavour. I would have preferred a bit more banana flavour but overall it's still an extremely tasty cake.
Grocery Gems Verdict: M&S Banoffee Cake
RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Not this one - just because there are so many new cakes in the range.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Crunchems are another new addition to the already extensive Cadbury "sharing bag" range. Their previous new offerings, the Cadbury Choc Full Of Pretzels and Popcorn (see reviews here and here) were both fairly good, although I've never bought them again after my initial reviews. I was hoping for something a bit more special from these "Crispy Chocolately Cereal" Crunchums.
The appearance of these Crunchums is quite odd, some of them look like they have gaping open "mouths" which is slighlty unsettling.
See? Luckily for the Crunchums this is not a beauty contest! So what exactly is a Crunchum anyway? Quite frankly I'm none the wiser by looking at them. They're described simply on the back, as "crunchy cereal bites tumbled in delicious Cadbury Milk Chocolate", and also as "milk chocolate covered maize snacks".
They actually look much nicer on the inside - it really is the insides that count with these Crunchums, and that pretty much goes for the taste too. The outer chocolate is not exactly like a Dairy Milk chocolate, it's darker, glossier and slightly waxy. It's perfectly fine for it's duties here, provides a creamy sweetness and subtle cocoa hit. I didn't know what to expect from the innards with it's "cereal bites" definition, since that could mean almost anything. It turns out the inner cereal is very much a savoury and salty one. More similar to a savoury puffed corn crisp rather than a breakfast type cereal. I have to admit it's a very nice combination especially for a sweet and salty fanatic such as myself. It gives that sensation of eating ready salted crisps with some chocolate - something you'll either love or hate.
Finally a sharing bag from Cadbury that I can imagine buying again! I'd also love to track down the Milka Snax Cranchitos which appear to be an almost identical product.
Grocery Gems Verdict: Cadbury Crunchums
RATING: 7.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes - a nice sweet and salty snack.
Nutrition (per half bag): 185 cals, 11.0g fat, 13.0g sugars.
Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.
Purchased: Tesco Express.
Price: £1.00p for 105g bag.
Friday, 14 June 2013
For the Sweet Tooth Dad: This Chocolate & Ale Fudge should appeal! It's a deliciously creamy fudge made with dark chocolate and Yorkshire Ale. It comes in a brightly packaged box and is a complete bargain at only £1.00.
For the Beer Loving Dad: There's a great range of Premium Ales & Stout. This Premium Golden Ale from Asda's Extra Special range is described as a "well balanced fusion of malt and floral hop with a clean dry citrus finish". £1.00 for 500ml. You can even get a #1 Best Ever Dad printed pint glass for him to drink it from (see here). There are also some great offers on wine and bubbly for Father's Day, including a Lanson Champagne, £20 (was £32.48) and an Extra Special Rioja, £5 (was £7.48).
For the Coffee/Tea Drinking Dad: There's a new range of Dad themed mugs available in prices ranging from £1.00 to £4.00.
For the World's Greatest Dad: Younger children will love to present their Dad with this large chocolate "World's Greatest Dad" medal!
For the Sports Fan Dad: This net filled with a variety of chocolate sports themed balls is sure to be a winner! It's for the ultimate Champion Dad! £1.00 for 110g.
For the Fun Loving Dad: What could be better than a Super Dad Onesie? Just make sure he doesn't wear it out to the cinema to watch Man of Steel. £18.00 from George at Asda (see here).
And if the kids are planning on making their special man a breakfast in bed, don't forget the Super Dad Toast Stamp!
Asda kindly sent me some Father's Day products for an honest review and all views are my own.
Nespresso have released three new flavoured Variations, into their permanent Grand Cru espresso range. They all feature the Livanto Grand Cru as the base coffee with the addition of 100% natural flavours. I was eagerly awaiting the news of which flavours would be introduced and I'm extremely pleased with the choices of caramel, vanilla & chocolate. Nespresso have released these flavours before as Limited Edition Variations a few years ago, but this was before I was a Nespresso owner!
I bought these from the Nespresso boutique in London yesterday. I've tried all three flavours and here are my initial thoughts (all were made using the Lungo setting and with a touch of added milk).
Nespresso Caramelito - The shop assistant in the Nespresso Store told me that the Caramelito was her personal favourite of the three. It's certainly a lovely espresso, with delicately sweet notes that I enjoyed. However, I didn't find the caramel flavour to be particularly well defined, and I doubt I would have been able to guess that this was a caramel at all. It lacks the smooth buttery notes of a caramel, possessing instead the more subtle hints of a slightly burnt toffee.
Nespresso Vanilio: I love the Vanilio, it has all the velvety vanilla flavour I expected without the sugariness that this would usually entail. It strikes a perfect balance between the base espresso and the vanilla notes. Even though the vanilla is strong and full flavoured, it doesn't overpower the espresso, ensuring that this is a delicious coffee that's easy to drink at any time of day.
Nespresso Ciocattino: This Ciocattino was a real revelation. I'm not usually a fan of mochas, as I don't like the combination of chocolate and coffee at all (even though I like eating chocolate with a cup of coffee!). However, the Nespresso Ciocattino is just perfection, and was easily my husband's favourite of the three. The chocolate comes through as secondary to the initial espresso flavour and leaves a smooth finish reminiscent of a dark chocolate. I recommend drinking one of these with a plain croissant to hand - the combination was heavenly!
The new Nespresso Variations are now available online or instore.
I've heard of Paçoca "candy" before from friends who have been to Brazil. They are traditional Brazilian treats made very simply of ground peanuts, cassava or corn flavour, sugar and salt. I spotted this tub of Paçoquinha, produced by Santa Cruz Alimentos, in the Brazilian section of a grocery store in central London.
The plastic tub was filled with individually and brightly wrapped Paçoquinhas, in the traditional cork shape. The texture is extremely crumbly to the point that these seem to be held together purely by goodwill. Apparently the word Paçoca comes from a native dialect meaning "to crumble". My advice is - handle with care and eat them straight from the wrapper!
The taste is absolutely superb - they're like little crumbly bites of slightly salty peanut butter. So simple but so delicious! If you're a fan of peanut butter then you need to track these down - mine all disappeared within one weekend! There are lots of recipes for making these online and they seem fairly easy to do. One of the recommendations is to eat them crumbled over a banana - I definitely need to make some Paçocas of my own just to try that!
Grocery Gems Verdict: Santa Cruz Paçoquinhas
RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Absolutely.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Purchased: A grocery shop near Oxford Street, London.
Price: £4.99p for the 324g tub (I paid tourist prices but it was worth it!).
Thursday, 13 June 2013
This is a new and Limited Edition summer release for the Cadbury Dairy Milk range which comes in a large 120g sized bar. At first I read the name "Strawberries & Creme" as the quintessentially British flavour choice for a summer theme, that of strawberries and cream. However, this is not actually a strawberries & cream flavour in the traditional sense, as the "creme" seems to refer merely to the nature of the filling rather than the flavour. The actual description on the back of the wrapper is "A YOGURT and Strawberry Flavour Filling". Quite a different thing altogether.
It's certainly a great looking bar, from the summery packaging, to the sleekness of the chocolate itself. There is no mistaking that this is a strawberry offering once the chocolate is out of the wrapper - the fruity scent is immediate, even though it's not the sweet strawberry milkshake type of scent that I expected.
The inner filling has a slightly speckled pink colouring but is completely smooth in texture. It's surrounded by a classic creamy Dairy Milk chocolate.
The strawberry filling has a wonderfully fruity flavour that is well suited to it's tangy yogurt backdrop. This yogurt has just the right amount of tangyness, it's not too tart or sour. Some strawberry chocolate can be VERY sweet but the inclusion of yogurt seems to help curb the sweetness. It's surprisingly easy to polish off a decent amount of this bar without hitting a sugar wall! Compare that to the strawberry filled chocolate from a Cadbury Roses selection, which is pure sugary sweetness through and through.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Strawberries & Creme should perhaps have been named "Strawberry Yogurt"; after all, that seems to work perfectly well for companies such as Ritter and Milka. Despite the misnomer however, I found the Strawberries & Creme to be an extremely delicious chocolate and one that far exceeded my expectations.
Grocery Gems Verdict: Cadbury Dairy Milk Strawberries & Creme
RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: I'd love this to be available in a standard sized bar.
Nutrition (per 3 chunks): 85 cals, 5.3g fat, 7.8g sugars.
Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.