31 Aug 2012
I couldn't resist buying these Golden Wonder BBQ Saucers in a local newsagent. They looked fun in a retro way, reminding me of the cheap crisps that were popular when I was young. I still remember when these kind of "potato snacks" cost 10p a pack, but that's certainly not the case anymore. I bought these Saucers for 58p! Although they do come in a large bag, which is a share-pack really.
I like the design of the pack with the planets and UFO imagery, but I mainly bought these for my eldest son because he loves anything with a "Space" theme. He's also a big fan of BBQ flavours so these were quite a popular find with him. At least I'm not aware of there being any other space-themed-barbeque crisps on the market!
These snacks have quite an unusual shape, my son excitedly described them as being 3d when he opened the pack! That might be stretching it a bit but they are certainly an unusual walnut shaped with a hollow in the middle. Let's face it - they don't really look anything like flying saucers, it's more of an open weave basket look. But the unusual shape was more than enough to intrigue both my kids and make it a very fun product for them.
These Saucers are quite light and easy to eat. They have that melt on the tongue consistency of snacks such as Skips or Wotsits, rather than the hard crunch of crisps. They are also loaded with the BBQ flavouring. It's a very sweet flavouring with a slight tangy note as an aftertaste. My kids loved these and I'm sure they would be popular with adults too. I certainly ate more than my fair share of them. The bag says to "Grab Some" and I certainly would do if I saw them again!
30 Aug 2012
Let me start by saying that I am quite a big fan of the original Boost chocolate bar. I know they are a complete sugar overload but I can't help myself. The Boost bar is a combination of biscuit pieces and caramel covered with Cadbury's chocolate. It's a really hefty piece of confectionary but one that I find delicious. A Boost bar can stop any sweet craving dead in it's tracks. I don't fancy anything sweet for days after eating one but that's part of the charm.
The great thing about these Boost Stix is that they have the same great taste of the regular Boost but with some crucial differences. The main one being that the Boost Stix is split into two thinner bars. Essentially it is a Boost crossed with a Twix. (Can you see what thay did there?... Stix... Twix). This means there is more chocolate coating but much less of the super sweet biscuit and caramel filling. Also having two individual bars means it is possible to eat one and save one for later. Much less of a sugar overload!
The chocolate is lovely and thick, and there is more of it then on the normal Boost bar. The chocolate is the basic Cadbury's Dairy Milk that covers many other bars. It might not be the best quality chocolate in the world but it's Cadbury's and I love it. The Boost Stix filling is also a combination of caramel and biscuit. This might sound like a Twix but in the Boost bar the biscuit is in pieces and encased in the caramel rather than being two seperate layers. This gives it an extra crumbliness that a Twix doesn't have.
Overall I think the ratio of more chocolate and less filling works better so I actually prefer these Boost Stix to the original Boost. I just wish it was more readily available in the UK.
If you like Boost bars then definitely give these a go!
27 Aug 2012
Even though Kellogg's have recently released a UK version of Froot Loops I was still excited to receive this box of US Limited Edition Froot Loops Sooper Loopers (that's a tongue twister!) as a gift.
I've already mentioned on this blog that the ingredients between the UK and US versions are very different. The US version is packed full of sugar and colourings while the UK version has less sugar and only natural colours. Sure enough the first thing I noticed about the US cereal are the fantastic colours! I don't think we will ever get a UK cereal that includes such a bright blue colour, it must be illegal!
What makes these Froot Loops Sooper Loopers a Limited Edition? Not much it seems, but they do have a new cereal shape which looks like the number 8. They have quite a funky advert on Youtube which doesn't help explain the significance of the shape but I did learn that they are "part of a balanced breakfast". I wonder what you would have to eat to balance out this cereal and make it healthy, some raw spinach and a cholesterol lowering yogurt perhaps?
If you haven't tried US Froot Loops then you really should give them a go, they are unlike anything you can get on these shores. The flavour is super sweet and fruity but the real surprise was the lemon taste, which is quite dominant. It's a very sweet fruity flavour which is nicely moreish. The front of the box says that there are "natural fruit flavours" but the ingredients don't actually list any real fruit. According to google the flavours are Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Blueberry, and Berry. They all tasted quite lemony to me.
I'd be wary of giving these to my kids and I'm glad we have a healthier version here in the UK, but even I can't deny that this is a really fun cereal!
26 Aug 2012
Another chocolate that was only discovered because of the great 10 Foreign Chocolate Bars 001 youtube video from @chocitout. Just like the Aero Boci Strawberry I was very happy when I found this Snickers Cruncher in a local newsagents. This chocolate bar seems to have been imported from Holland. It has been available in UK shops for a while but for some reason has totally passed me by.
I have to admit that gender lines are firmly drawn between me and my husband when it comes to chocolate. Even though my hubby doesn't eat that much chocolate, Mars & Snickers are probably the bars he would go for, whereas I rarely eat them. They just don't appeal to me as much as other chocolates.
The description on the packaging of the Snickers Cruncher describes it as "Milk Chocolate with fresh Roasted Peanuts (21%), Crisped Rice (13%), mixed in Caramel (26%)".
Overall there is something to be said for this lighter chocolate bar. The original Snickers is quite heavy and this Snickers Cruncher is an enjoyable alternative. It's not over filling and provides just the right amount of chocolate snack. My husband really enjoyed it and would definitely buy it again.
If you have tried the Snickers Cruncher, leave your thoughts below!
22 Aug 2012
Part of my CyberCandy haul, it's taken me a while to get around to trying this chocolate bar. There's only so much chocolate a girl can eat!
I went through a bit of a phase as a teenager for always choosing a Twix if I wanted to buy a chocolate bar. Although I have to admit I hardly ever eat them now. This Twix Peanut Butter (or rather just PB, it's too cool for the full words) version has not done much to make me buy a Twix again in the future.
The chocolate bars didn't look too appetising once removed from the wrapper. I admit the top chocolate was a bit melted and broken but even the pristine second chocolate looked like a withered old finger. Luckily it did taste a bit better than it looked, but only a bit.
Once I cut into the bar I saw that the biscuit, or "cookie", layer had a very dark brown colour. This would suggest that it would have a strong chocolate flavour but it was actually very bland. It's not terrible but it didn't taste very different from the regular twix biscuit base. The peanut butter layer was even more disappointing. It was so incredibly tasteless that it might as well not even be peanut butter. There was a slight saltiness but that was it. I even spooned out a bit to taste the flavour on it's own and it was extremely poor. I like my peanut butter to have quite an intense peanut flavour so it's definitley not for me.
The outer chocolate layer is fine, the same as a regular twix. The sort of mass produced chocolate we are all used to. All together the flavours equal quite a bland chocolate bar. It's a shame because one of my favourite sandwiches is nutella and peanut butter spread! The Twix Peanut Butter doesn't come close in terms of flavour.
19 Aug 2012
Another interesting find by my brother. I had never heard of the Milky Way Caramel before. I can't say that Milky Way is my favourite chocolate. The inner filling is way too sweet for me. It's mainly seen as a children's chocolate but neither of my kids are keen on it either. Having said that I had high hopes when trying this bar. I love caramel so I couldn't wait to give it a try.
This chocolate bar has very thick layer of chocolate on the outside, which is very similar to the chocolate on a Mars Bar. Underneath all this chocolate the inner section of the bar is pure caramel.
There is no nougat layer at all, just one thick layer of caramel. Tastewise it is the same as the caramel in a Mars bar. It is not a gooey caramel but it is not hard either. It got quite sticky to eat and the taste was a bit cloying after a while.
The whole bar is just like a Mars bar without the nougat. It is probably fine for fans of caramel but it just felt like something was missing. The caramel is a bit too bland to carry off a bar this size by itself. This kind of filling lends itself better to smaller individual chocolates. In a bar this big, it lacked texture and flavour.
I don't think it can compete tastewise with either the classic Mars Bar or original Milky Way. Let me know if you have tried the Milky Way Simply Caramel bar and what you thought of it!
My brother bought me this little gem in a sweet shop in Brighton. I loved the idea of this glorious marriage between Snickers and peanut butter. The best thing about a regular Snickers are the huge crunchy peanuts so this combined with extra peanut butter could only equal deliciousness.
Inside there are two squares of chocolate. They are a decent size and I quite like it when chocolate bars are sectioned in this way. It just means more chocolate coating and being able to save some for later, which is always a good thing.
I've said before that Snicker is not a bar I buy very often. This Snickers Peanut Butter is described as "Filled with peanut butter, peanuts, caramel, nougat and covered in milk chocolate". Sounds like they took every ingredient and the kitchen sink and threw it into this bar! It's a Mars Bar, a Snickers Bar and Reese's peanut butter cups all rolled into one.
Happily the result is delicious and one that I was craving more of as soon as it was finished. There are many different flavours and textures at play all at once but somehow they all work together well. The layer of nougat at the bottom is quite thin but is nicely chewy. The peanut butter is salty and sweet at the same time with a slightly crumbly texture. There are generous chunks of peanuts which add a great crunch. Then to top it all off there is the thick layer of chocolate coating which is solid and creamy.
It's impossible to sum up this bar in one word. It's sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy, crumbly, creamy - all at the same time. I loved it and so did my hubby so this is definitely one we'll be looking out for again.
14 Aug 2012
Everyone in my family knows that I love coconut so when my brother saw this Ritter Sport White Coconut square in a sweet shop in Brighton he very kindly bought it for me. In fact he bought me two. I think he made the correct presumption that there is nothing about this bar I wouldn't like! To top off the all-round perfection it's also a Limited Edition. Thanks Bro!
As soon as I took off the wrapper I could see that the chocolate is loaded with coconut. Perhaps more unexpected is the inclusion of crispy rice pieces too. The bar is described on the back as "White chocolate with coconut (9.7%) and crispy rice (5.6%)".
Ritter Sport is not a brand that I am too familiar with. I've only tried a few of their bars before but with flavours such as this Limited Edition White Coconut, they are now a brand I will be looking out for. This White Coconut is part of a summer range which also includes two other Limited Edition varieties: Wild Berry Yogurt and Amarena Cherry. The White Coconut is definitely the more appealing of the three.
The white chocolate in this bar has a very creamy almost milky flavour to it. It's smooth with a subtle vanilla hint. It's not overly sugary or cloying like some white chocolates available. There is no doubt that this is a delicious white chocolate in it's own right.
But the real star of the show is the coconut. Ritter Sport say on their website that they use Indonesian coconut in this product. They describe it as "bringing the Caribbean to your door". Quite a bold statement and never having been to the Caribbean myself I can't judge whether that is true or not. All I can say is that it tastes divine. The coconut flakes are packed into this bar so that every mouthful is full of coconut flavour. The crispy rice also adds a delightfully crunchy texture to the whole bar which I thoroughly enjoyed.
If you like coconut and white chocolate then you will love this bar. The only downside is it is quite hard to track down and is only available for a limited time!
13 Aug 2012
Here's a brand new product which is exciting and innovative. I was lucky enough to be sent two tubs of the intriguing Duke of Delhi Snack Mixes to review. They promise to be a mix of "authentic Indian ingredients and flavours, infused with a ZING of British spirit". They are all handmade and hand mixed with natural flavours.
Duke of Delhi has a very strong family ethos behind the company. The founders visited India as children and were captivated by the flavours and the street snacks they encountered there. They have been inspired by these flavours to create the unique Duke of Delhi range. It's all about flavour combinations which are delightfully unexpected.
I love the bold packaging and imagery used on the snacks. There is a lovely procession of vehicles (or is that a traffic jam?) on the label which conjures up the vibrancy of Delhi. The elephant on the front is rather regal looking and pulling a grand carriage. The label mentions that 7% of profit goes to the Elephant Family charity. Elephants are clearly important to the founders and there are lovely stories about a boy and his Elephant (called Duke!), along with some poignant illustrations, on the website.
I received two gorgeous sounding flavours. Orange & Nut Delhi Mix and the Chocolate Chunk Delhi Mix. These tantalising sweet and savoury combinations are no doubt part of a growing trend for such upmarket gourmet products. Many of the major supermarkets are now bolder in their choice of flavour combinations. The obvious one is salted caramel which is often found in ice creams and chocolate. I've always been keen on sweet and salty combinations and it looks like I'm not the only one.
The snacks came in very handy tins. They look very impressive and the tins are useful for both serving the snacks and keeping them fresh in between nibbles! These snack mixes are both based on a traditional Delhi street snack called "Chevdo". This differs quite a bit from the more well known Indian snack mix, Bombay mix. The most obvious difference are the potato crisps used. These are essentially grated fried potato and are absolutely delicious. I loved the look of these snack mixes as soon as I saw these potato strips!
|Chocolate Chunk Delhi Mix|
The rest of the mix is made up of the potato strips and a selection of lentils and nuts. They are perfectly spiced with just the right amount of heat. It's a million times nicer than the common Indian snack mixes you can get from the supermarket. The herbs and spices are fragrant rather than overpowering which leads to a very fresh tasting product. The fusion of sweet and spicy flavours is just sensational. This is very much a luxurious grown-up snack to enjoy with friends and family. My husband couldn't believe how much he enjoyed the flavours and it has finally convinced him that sweet and savoury does work!
The Orange & Nut Delhi Mix was fascinating because I couldn't really imagine how the orange and spicy flavours would work together. The ingredients are potato, gram dal, moong, rice flakes, raisins, cashew nuts, peanuts, oil, salt, sugar, Indian spices and natural orange pieces.
|Orange & Nut Delhi Mix|
For those people that don't like the idea of such sweet and savoury combinations there is also the Extra Nutty Snack Mix which sounds like a more traditional option. The Duke of Delhi website also offers a mouth watering range of biscuits on their website. They are made with authentic Indian ingredients and semolina, for an extra special crunch. Check these out for exciting flavour combinations - Fig, Cashew & Chocolate Chip, Coconut & Raspberry, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Cloves & Vanilla.
When it comes to family birthdays or Christmas I love giving food hampers as presents. They are easy to put together and can be personalised with the recipient in mind. I will certainly be buying some Duke of Delhi snacks and biscuits to add to these hampers in the future as they would make a sensational addition. They are just completely different and unexpected but crucially still delicious!
Find Duke of Delhi online, or if you are lucky enough to live close by, also at Marylebone market. Hopefully these snacks will be picked up by one of the supermarket chains, I can imagine this range fitting in perfectly at Waitrose.
UPDATE: Duke of Delhi are now stocked at Fortnum & Mason in London. Congratulations to Duke of Delhi!
Let me know if you have ever tried these Duke of Delhi snacks, I'd love to read your views on them.
11 Aug 2012
But being an eternal optimist (when it comes to chocolate at least) I popped in straight in the fridge and hoped for the best. The next day it felt solid again but I expected it to be a mess with the inside filling leaking out of the chocolate . Happily it didn't look too bad when I opened it, the outer chocolate coating was still intact and the inner layer of cookies and cream looked fine.
Despite the melting incident this has to be one of the best chocolate bars I've had for a while. If I gave out ratings this would be a 10 out of 10. The milka chocolate on the outside is gorgeous with a rich chocolate flavour. The inner filling is delicious with generous chunks of Oreos all wrapped in a creamy vanillla filling. I'm so glad to see a "Cookies and Cream" product where the cookies are actually Oreo's rather than a copy of this iconic cookie.
This chocolate bar was very sweet but every bite was pure heaven. If I make any order from CyberCandy in the future it will have to include the Milka and Oreo bar. Hopefully the next one I try will not have any melting accidents!
8 Aug 2012
If you've read this blog before then you will know that I love finding new products. Living in London it's obviously easy to find interesting imported products but when that extends to crisps and chocolates I become very happy indeed.
That's exactly what happened when I quickly popped into a local Asian supermarket to buy a few basic groceries. At the till I spotted these gems for 79p each: Lay's Spanish Tomato Tango and Lay's India's Magic Masala crisps. They also had Lay's American Style Cream & Onion which I decided not to buy, and when I went back the next day they had all gone!
Lay's is the same brand of crisps as Walkers. For some reason they are called Lay's in the rest of Europe and in the US. On a holiday to France earlier this year my suitcase was loaded with food purchases (even on holiday I love looking for new food products!) and one of my favourites were Lay's Cheeseburger flavour crisps. I love trying out the unusual flavours that can be found abroad.
This was the first time I have seen the Lay's brand in a local shop (although the very next day I saw Lay's Paprika flavour crisps in a Polish shop!). These Spanish Tomato Tango and India's Magic Masala have been imported from India and are made for the Indian market.
The Spanish Tomato Tango was my favourite out of the two. I like tomato ketchup flavour crisps anyway and these were very similar but with a deeper flavour. Looking at the ingredients there were spices that you wouldn't normally find in tomato flavour crisps such as ginger, clove and cinnamon. I was worried that this might be a bit overpowering to the tomato but the flavours all worked very well together. It had a rich tomato taste that was also sweet at the same time.
I'm not sure what the 'Tango' part of the name means, apart from to re-emphasise the Spanish theme. I think they chose the wrong dance though, surely these should be called Tomato Salsa not Tomato Tango!
The India's Magic Masala crisps were more popular with my husband than with me. They had a lovely flavour at first with multilayered herbs and spices coming through, especially the mango powder and cumin flavours. The chilli heat grew stronger after a few mouthfuls and was a bit too much for me, but then I don't enjoy chilli flavoured crisps. My husband however enjoyed these because they are not the usual chilli crisps that you can get in the supermarket. These have more herbs and spices at play which adds to the depth of flavour.
Hopefully I will be able to go back to the same shop and find the Lay's American Style Cream & Onion restocked because I would certainly like to give those a try too.
Have you found any imported Lay's crisps in local shops or brought any interesting ones back from abroad?
6 Aug 2012
Children always know more than we give them credit for. I had no idea my boys were even interested in my blog or really knew about it. But I was in no doubt when my eldest shouted out in a shop, 'Mum I've found something with Limited Edition on it! You can use it on your blog!'. Still, he made a good call because it was a hot day and this Limited Edition Fanta Mango & Passion Fruit looked very appealing.
I don't think I have ever bought a can of Fanta in my life. Fizzy orange is just not my thing, in fact it's totally horrid in my opinion. But as you may have seen before on this blog I do like mango and passion fruit flavours, especially in yogurts. I've had mango and passion fruit juice drinks before, but I've never tried these flavours in a fizzy drink.
This can is described as 'lightly sparkling' and it's exactly as described, not too fizzy but not tasting 'flat' either. I thought the fruit flavour might be a bit too sweet and cloying but it wasn't at all. In fact the mango and passion fruit flavours were quite light and mild. The whole drink was very refreshing. Maybe it was because I tried this on a hot day and I needed an energy boost but it went down very well.
Disappointingly there is no actual mango or passion fruit juice listed in the ingredients. Instead there is orange juice (2%) and natural flavours. I would have expected more than 2% fruit juice and if I had looked at the ingredients before purchasing I wouldn't have bought it. A mango and passion fruit drink should have some real mango and passion fruit in it!
I bought this for 55p in a local newsagents but it is also available at Tesco in 2 litre bottles.
4 Aug 2012
I love new drinks from Starbucks. I love the fact that they bring out new drinks in the summer and at Christmastime. OK they don't make the best coffee in the world but for novelty iced drinks you can't beat them.
The new Starbucks Refresha is unusual because is it made with Green Coffee Extract. It is advertised as being a thirst-quenching refreshment with caffeine but without the coffee taste. The inclusion of green coffee was intriguing. I'm a big drinker of green tea but I have never tried green coffee. Green coffee is simply the name given to coffee beans which have not yet been roasted. These coffee beans still have a greenish tinge and none of the coffee taste or smell we expect from roasted coffee beans.
Starbucks are no doubt capitalising on the weight loss rumblings surrounding Green Coffee Extract (that it can block fat absorption and stimulate the metabolism). Starbucks certainly don't make any claim to weight loss with this product but it's good to know that it's a "low-calorie pick-me-up" since many of the iced coffee drinks out there are loaded with sugar.
I had this drink on an extremely hot day in London which was a good test for its "thirst-quenching" claims. In the Starbucks I visited nearly every customer was ordering one of these Refresha drinks.
These drinks won't give you the same 'coffee' hit as a regular iced coffee drink but they are a much lighter drink which makes them very thirst quenching. These Refresha drinks are great for hot weather but it's a shame that sunny days are rare in the UK!
3 Aug 2012
I've heard some criticism about the Olympic Mascots, Wenlock & Mandeville, especially about the way they look with their giant one eyed stare. Wenlock and Mandeville might not have proved very popular with adults but I know that my children love them and feel closer to the Olympic events through them. They have had cuddly toys of the mascots for quite a while now and they are both well worn from being constantly dragged around!
Living in London my kids are obviously very excited about the Olympics anyway. I was pleased to find the extensive range of Cadbury's mascot themed chocolates and jelly sweets in Poundland in a 2 for £1 deal. These are new shapes and packaging for London 2012 but the chocolate itself is classic Dairy Milk. These make great treats for kids, especially at the moment.
There are also these Cadbury's chocolate lollipops and mini chocolate characters, all in the shape of the mascots.
The shops are full of these chocolates and sweets at the moment, apparently they have not been selling as well as expected, which is probably why they are now in Poundland.
What do you think of Cadbury's Olympic mascot range?
1 Aug 2012
The second of my newly discovered cinnamon flavoured cereals (the first is Sainsbury's Wholegrain Malties) is this American Style Cinnamon Chips cereal by Aldi. I don't often go to Aldi, in fact I've only been there twice. The last time I went they were doing an American event with lots of products under this "Taste of America" range. I never imagined that Aldi ran events like this or I would have gone there a lot sooner!
These American Style Cinnamon Chips are similar to Curiously Cinnamon in that they are covered in a very generous layer of cinnamon sugar. One of the first things I noticed was that the cereal is quite irregular in shape. Some of the pieces are quite large, others are half or a third of the size. This is not because the cereal is all broken, as you sometimes get with cheaper brands of cereal. The smaller shapes are obviously supposed to be that size and fits with the description of "cinnamon chips".
My kids enjoyed the cereal a lot. They loved the sweet taste and strong cinnamon flavour. The layer of cinnamon sugar coats the cereal and tends to dissolve into the milk, giving the milk a very sweet cinnamon flavour. The box is a very large size, 750g, so it will last a fair amount of time.
As well as this Cinnamon Chips breakfast cereal I also stocked up on Aldi's American Style Pancake Syrup, American Style Marshmallows (which are practically the size of pillows!) and American Style Barbeque Sauce. All the products have been very satisfying so far and I would certainly buy them again. Looking at the Aldi website they are current doing an "Asia Specialities" range.